Do Your Worst - Selesnya Wheels
Time to Reinvent the Wheel
Hello, everyone! Welcome to another installment of Do Your Worst, where we take a popular archetype and find the most unusual home for it! I'm your host, Philomène, and in this column, we'll be looking at decks that should not be – or should they?
Today we are looking at the infamous Wheel decks. Named after , this archetype seeks to "force all players to draw an excess number of cards, which either provide the caster with significant benefits for drawing extra cards or punish their opponents for drawing them" (from the EDHREC Wheels page). What seperates this type of deck from, say, a Group Hug strategy is, well, we're not trying to hug anyone. We want to make our opponents suffer for drawing or just holding cards. Isn't it neat? Let's look at some numbers.
Izzet is actually ahead of Grixis in this archetype (5,700 decks to 5,500), but alone helms 5,000 decks. Temur and mono-blue hang around 2,900 decks, and Esper is not far behind at 2,500 decks. reigns supreme in this world of wheels, followed by runners-up and . isn't too shabby either, and we have and fighting for fifth position.
What I'm seeing here is a whole lot of blue and red. We'll cross those out immediately - too good. Then, black isn't a wheel color on its own, but it has a support role in this archetype by having a lot of punishing cards, likeor . As you've come to know in this column, we like a challenge, so we'll have to let black go. That leaves us with white-green: Selesnya. Is there even a single card that wheels in these colors? I guess we'll find out!
Let's start by searching all Selesnya legendaries that have the word "draw" in their text. is a powerful draw engine, but only for ourselves. If only she could give cards to our opponents! and possess the same flaw. That pretty much leaves us with two choices.
Not gonna lie, I love. It looks so cute and goofy and friendly! Darn it, we're supposed to try and make our opponents suffer! Unfortunately, Gluntch's abilities are a little too group-huggy. seems like a safer choice, although I'm ashamed to be playing the ninth most popular commander in Selesnya. I always try to stay below ten, at least! The things I will do for this column, I swear.
Well, out to explore we go! With our nice explorer hat.
Selvala, Take the Wheel!
Alright, let's get our hands dirty. How do we actually do this?
is the only actual wheel in our deck. Whoops. That's okay, though, because our draws everyone a card each turn and usually ramps us, which does a lot of work. We also have access to a suite of colorless cards: , , and (this is not a "may" ability). is the one they told not to worry about.
In our colors, we have... well, not what I'd call 'hidden gems' by any stretch, but we have some options.might help your opponents ramp, but hey! It draws them an additional card, too, so that's fine, right? lets you make a Spirit or two on average, and is a 10/6 for five mana, which is awesome. They have to block it, they draw cards, mission accomplished. gives all players unlimited handsize, like a would do, which is useful for what comes next.
Now that our opponents have full hands, how do we punish them?
We have a couple of items that seem taken straight out of the torture museum that I once visited in Carcassonne, France. There's the classicand its smaller versions, , , and . What's cool is that we're hurting all opponents at the same time. They'll all feel equally loved! There's just always that special someone, and that's who is for.
feels like a . Lucky! is actually really neat. If we're doing our job, we should be getting at least one or two Wolves per upkeep. We can also play cards that care about the size of our opponents' hands: just becomes super big, and (on its back side) does the same, but with trample and vigilance. Gotta keep track of how many spells people cast each turn, though. Fun!
While our opponents try furiously to lower their card count, we can profit from having a lot of cards in hand!
will help create tokens and can act as a wincon later on in the game. is also a potent finisher. and are reusable ways to profit from a full grip. will most likely not stay on the board very long, but if it does, it will hurt! is of course the most Selesnya way to make use of our full hand.
The Wheels of the Deck Go Round and Round
Now, torturing our opponents with various devices is all fun and games, but we still have to cover the basics!
Breaking news:is a good card. In this deck, though, it's positively bonkers. Aside from that, we're opting for a suite of one-mana dorks ( , , and company) to try and cast Selvala on turn two reliably, while will help us keep a large hand.
We're drawing a bunch of cards already, but white has gotten a couple of draw spells that fit this deck perfectly:(a kind of reverse ) and , which doubles as a board wipe safeguard. didn't make the cut, but we'll keep as a representative of the species. is useful to keep in check that pesky player who tries to play their spells. Tsk tsk.
Note: It pains me to say this, but we have excluded and from this deck, because their ability is a "may". I've been wanting to play these cards forever! Alas, it will have to be in another deck.
and have a downside that is actually an upside in our deck! is not particularly good, but it's on-theme. and are board wipes that could make our opponents draw. We will also include a little - just a little - stax package: and . It's simple mathematics; if they can only play one spell per turn, and they draw three cards per turn, their hands can only grow! We also have in case they have any graveyard synergies that can profit from discarding to hand size.
We also run some cards that don't fit in a particular category.and will help stave off some hate coming our way, and will protect our growing board (and nasty torture instruments). lets us untap Selvala for another round of cards! Finally, is just a fail-safe in the case that we deck ourselves.
I think it's time to take the deck out for a spin!
🎡 The Freewheelin' Selvala | Selesnya WheelsView on Archidekt
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| Art by Donato Giancola
I Wheel Remember You
Is this really a Wheel deck? Is this just a mean Group Hug deck? Frankly, we have to be okay with in-betweens. We only have one actual wheel in the deck, but I do believe we succeeded in making our opponents draw cards and punish them for it.
Now that we've, let me ask you: how would you build your Selesnya Wheels deck? Did I miss any spicy card or interaction? Am I really bad for choosing Selesnya's ninth most played commander? Will you ever forgive me? Let me know in the comments! I'm Philomène, and this has been Do Your Worst. See you next time!