Wheels

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Wheel decks, named after the spell Wheel of Fortune, are built around spells that force all players to draw an excess number of cards, and which either provide the caster with significant benefits for drawing extra cards or punish their opponents for drawing them.

Wheel decks most commonly appear in color combinations that include blue and red.

Popular Wheels Cards

Popular Wheels Commanders

Strategy

Wheel decks utilize a combination of wheel spells and payoff effects to create a game-winning advantage. Though wheel effects provide symmetrical benefit to all players, that symmetry can be broken through the use of other cards that provide the wheel player with additional reward for drawing extra cards, or which negatively impact their opponents for drawing excess cards.

Wheels/Card Draw

Wheel decks employ a significantly large number of cards that force all players to draw excess cards. The most common effects are the 'wheel' spells themselves, which frequently cause players to discard their hands and draw extra cards to replace it. Common examples of these effects include Wheel and Deal, Jace's Archivist, Windfall, Teferi's Puzzle Box, or Molten Psyche.
Wheel decks will also commonly make use of cards that are not specifically 'wheel' effects themselves, but which still cause all players to draw excess cards. Examples may include Howling Mine, Font of Mythos, Dictate of Kruphix, and Forced Fruition.
Though these cards may also be commonly utilized by Group Hug decks, wheel decks are made distinct from the Group Hug strategy because of their significantly higher density of wheel spells and payoff effects that produce extra benefit or punishment from the specific act of drawing excess cards.

Payoffs

Wheel deck's payoffs typically come in two forms: cards that benefit the caster for drawing extra cards, or cards that punish their opponents.
Cards that benefit the caster for drawing extra cards may include Psychosis Crawler, Niv-Mizzet, Parun, Chasm Skulker, Ominous Seas
Cards that punish opponents for drawing extra cards may include Ob Nixilis, the Hate-Twisted, Fate Unraveler, Underworld Dreams, Smothering Tithe, and Spiteful Visions.
Because several wheel spells also cause players to discard cards, and because the excess card draw can force players to discard cards due to the hand size limit, wheel decks may also capitalize on effects that trigger when players discard cards, not just when players draw them. Common examples include Megrim, Waste Not, Brallin, Skyshark Rider, or Glint-Horn Buccaneer.
Rather than just punishing opponents for drawing extra cards, some wheel decks may also occasionally use effects like Narset, Parter of Veils to restrict opponents from drawing excess cards at all, and preventing their opponents from being able to cast further spells.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths

  • Wheel decks have the potential to be very explosive. Casting a single wheel spell may help the player cycle into another, and then another, allowing them to dig for specific cards they need, or to chain multiple spell together for an extremely large number of draw triggers in a single turn.
  • The payoffs in a wheel deck tend to deal damage equally to all opponents, which allows the wheel deck to end the game efficiently, without having to pick players off one at a time.
  • A wheel player will rarely find themselves with no cards in hand, as the deck is so dense with extra draw effects. This allows them to have a significant role within the game, often keeping their own hand stocked while simultaneously disrupting their opponents' game plans, since enemy players are unable to keep a consistent hand and therefore are less able to effectively plan and execute their own deck's strategy.

Weaknesses

  • Wheel decks force all players to draw extra cards, but without proper payoff cards in play, these spells give a lot of additional resources to a wheel player's enemies. Giving so many extra cards to their opponents can result in those opponents drawing exactly the cards they need to set up their own plan, or worse, the removal effects required to disrupt the wheel player.
  • Because wheel decks tend to deal damage to all opponents simultaneously, it can be difficult for a wheel deck to make alliances with other players, as all opponents may view the wheel deck as a mutual nuisance.
  • Wheel decks are natural prey for Stax or Hatebear strategies, especially cards that restrict players from casting multiple spells in one turn or from drawing multiple cards in one turn.

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