Wheel decks, named after the spell, 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.
Popular Wheels Cards
Popular Wheels Commanders
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.
- 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 , , , , or .
- 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 , , , and .
- 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.
- 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 , , ,
- Cards that punish opponents for drawing extra cards may include , , , , and .
- 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 , , , or .
- Rather than just punishing opponents for drawing extra cards, some wheel decks may also occasionally use effects like to restrict opponents from drawing excess cards at all, and preventing their opponents from being able to cast further spells.
Strengths and Weaknesses
- 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.
- 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.
- Since many symmetrical end up with your opponents discarding cards, why not weaponize that?
- Example Cards: , , , , , or
- Since many wheel spells fill your graveyard, why not get rewarded for doing it?
- Since many wheel spells fill your opponents graveyard, why not consider taking an extra step and simply finishing the job of emptying their library?
- Example Cards: ,
- Since many wheels end up with you discarding cards, why not use that as an opening to bring some of them directly onto the battlefield, far earlier than you normally should be able to? This also gives you another angle to be able to protect certain key components (i.e. creatures)
- Since wheel spells cause you to dig through your deck, if you have components of it you can put into play relitively cheaply, you can then very easily use wheel spells to dig for the other half of a combo