Wheel effect

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A Wheel effect (also Wheeling or simply a Wheel) is an effect that causes each player to lose their hand and draw a completely new one, usually seven cards. They are named after the original card Wheel of Fortune, and many variations have been printed, primary in either the blue or red section of the color pie,[1] and to a much lesser extent black.

Description[edit | edit source]

Wheel effects come in various forms, both in how the hand is dumped and how many cards to draw. Usually, the hand is either discarded or shuffled into the library with the graveyard, and usually, the number of cards drawn is seven, the greatest amount discarded, or the same for each player as they had before. Recent wheel effects in Red have chosen three, and some others have chosen "number discarded plus one".

Wheels are very powerful forms of card advantage because they can refill an empty hand all the way back to seven cards quite easily. Many of the older ones, such as the original Wheel of Fortune or Timetwister, are banned in Legacy. The symmetry is deceiving; oftentimes your opponent will already have a full hand, making the wheel hugely lopsided. Wheels also destroy the hand with which your opponent started, and gives them a brand new hand that could be terrible, without the possibility of a mulligan.

These both caused wheels to gain notoriety in the Tempest/Urza blocks Standard environment; it was fairly common on turn one to cast a bunch of artifacts that produced cheap mana and then casting Windfall or Time Spiral to refill your hand and wreck your opponent's. Wheel effects contributed to the "just slightly overpowered" Standard environment that caused a formal Development team to be created.

There's a big debate in R&D as to whether this is supposed to be a red ability. It is a raw form of card advantage that is supposed to be something red is bad at. For now, it stays in red's (and blue's) part of the color pie.[1] More recently, the compromise has been made for red that the set number is three, seen first on Chandra Ablaze. This gives Red the ability more often, and requires a much narrower set of circumstances to utilise than what seven cards would.

List of Wheel Effects[edit | edit source]

Blue[edit | edit source]

Black[edit | edit source]

Red[edit | edit source]

Multicolored[edit | edit source]

Colorless[edit | edit source]

Unsets[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. a b Mark Rosewater (June 5, 2017). "Mechanical Color Pie 2017". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.