Nekusar, the Mindrazer wheel deck. Uses wheel cards with cards that hurt the opponent for drawing cards to ping for lethal damage while hiding behind defensive pillowforts to outlast the opponent.

Nekusar, the Mindrazer - the king lich that forms the backbone of this strategy. His deck spells itself out based on his abilities: every time an opponent draws, it force them to draw. With the amount of cards being drawn on a constant basis in Commander, he can be pretty evil. However, he comes down late and is important to the purpose of the deck, so redundancy and protection is crucial.

Replicating Nekusar, the Mindrazer's pain ability early is crucial for success. Cards like Fate Unraveler, Underworld Dreams, Ob Nixilis, the Hate-Twisted achieve the same effect with little effort. These static effects mean the deck is largely sitting back and finding ways to force the opponents to draw.

Slightly less reliable than the abilities above are cards that triggar a similar effect but are conditional, like Kederekt Parasite and Ob Nixilis Reignited, which require some not-to-difficult hoops to be jumped through for the same triggar. They are reliable enough and Kederekt Parasite, particularly, can begin the pain triggars from turn 2.

Not quite the same is Niv-Mizzet, Parun, who hurts for our draws, instead, but considering the deck functions on making all players draw the same amount of cards, it equates to a similar effect, and with the number of instants and sorceries the deck is throwing around, this offers another layer of texture to the deck.

Now that the opponents drawing a card is a negative, we need to find methods of making them drawing as many cards as possible. Obviously, Nekusar, the Mindrazer allows this with his first ability, drawing 1 more card for every player per upkeep, but we need more impactful draws than that to be successful.

Introducing, Wheels! These mainly come in 2 variants...

Draw 7 Wheels

A bunch of cards force all players to discard their hands (more on that later) and draw 7 cards. Attempting to put these in order of power is certainly difficult, but comes with the following thoughts:

  1. Wheel of Fate - costs 2 mana but takes 4 turns to come into effect - luckily this is around the 6 mana mark, just when Nekusar has reached the field. A very strong play that shows confidence in your hand.

  2. Reforge the Soul - costs 5 mana but could cost a mere 2 with its miracle casting cost which, in Commander, has a slightly higher chance of firing.

  3. Time Reversal - fairly bland, but 5 mana for 7+ damage and 7 cards can be worth it, if a slightly sour pill to swallow.

  4. Echo of Eons - more expensive still, at 6 mana but has an incredibly reasonable flashback cost that fuels its longevity.

  5. Magus of the Jar and Magus of the Wheel - creatures that both draw 7 but have to survive to their upkeep. Tricky, signposted, removal targets, all, but sometimes an opponent spending mana on removal leaves their mana tapped out when countering instants and sorceries. Plus, a mere tap (or 2 mana tap) to activate means that upkeep is a near immediate threat.

Draw Equal Wheels

Then, there are a bunch of wheel effects that have less reliable numbers of cards drawn, rarely higher than the 7, sometimes as low as 0, often in a middle range between. However, while these are more inconsistant, they tend to come at a much lower casting cost, so can be used to get some quick damage in whilst still advancing our board state.

  1. Windfall - the purest form of this type of card. It's cheap as chips with a forgiving casting cost and everyone draws the same as whoever discarded the most, meaning there's no sad moments when one player hardly gets hit

  2. Whispering Madness - a bit more expensive to cast but with the upside of being repeatable, sometimes. In truth, the deck doesn't have many obvious creatures to exploit this card... Kess, Dissident Mage, Niv-Mizzet, Parun, and Stormfist Crusader are a little bit evasive, but it certainly isn't key to the card.

  3. Jace's Archivist - Windfall that has to survive to it's upkeep, but then every turn it untaps is a win. Inoquous at first, but quickly draws removal, and that's not a bad thing, either.

  4. Teferi's Puzzle Box - the next step down, these cards force players to draw the same amount of cards that they already had, which is less certain to hit large numbers. The perfect example of this is the puzzle box, that changes the board state permanently for all players. This tends to put a target on you or its head, though.

  5. Molten Psyche - a key card that I always want to see, this sorcery causes additional pain through its metalcraft ability. Not impossible to achieve, but our deck isn't built around artifacts, hence the Great Furnace, Seat of the Synod, and Vault of Whispers in the mana pool

  6. Whirlpool Warrior - a creature, so removable, but doesn't need to tap for its ability, so often just a 4 mana sorcery version of this card.

  7. Incendiary Command - this is a high mana cost version of this card, and in almost every interaction it is only models 2 and 4 in my games. One to replace if they release something to match it

Mini Wheels

Next step down are a bunch of mini wheels that either make all players draw a very limited number of cards (Geier Reach Sanitarium) or reduce the range to target specific players (Cephalid Coliseum and Dack Fayden). The heart of this is Dack Fayden, who doesn't lose us mana. If only all his abilities applied to this deck.

Everybody Draws

Rather than wheeling, we can just give everyone card, which tends to stop players hating your existance. Some, like Kami of the Crescent Moon, Fevered Visions, and Howling Mine make everybody's draw step feel better-ish; others remain under our control like Temple Bell and Mikokoro, Center of the Sea, allowing us some better timing; Prosperity allows us to go huge later in the game; Jace Beleren allows us to continually tick up Jace without the traditional downside; and finally are the cards like Seizan, Perverter of Truth and Stormfist Crusader that give cards with a mini Nekusar effect.

Everybody Hurts

So named because they have little upside for us and little for the opponent. These force a target to draw cards, but we don't get any cards out of it. Luckily, there are positives that mitigate it, beyond just Nekusar's ability. Blue Sun's Zenith can be reused again, in the future, whileNin, the Pain Artist and Damnable Pact hurt the target on top of Nekusar's triggar.

A sadly small section, these cards add additional pain for the ridiculous amount of discarding going on. So far, it's just Liliana's Caress as the queen at only 2 mana and Megrim as a close second. I am looking to expand this, but only at a similar 2/3 mana cost. Hopefully future sets will bring strong options.
Finally are a group of cards that use Nekusar's ability to undo their downsides. Arcane Denial becomes a better Counterspell that players won't want to take advantage of the added draw they would get; Dream Fracture is no longer a duff Cancel but a pain card and a draw card; Baleful Mastery becomes a happy 2 mana exile spell that also hurts the opponent; and, as mentioned above, Jace Beleren never feels bad that we're activating the first ability rather than the second.
Obviously, the huge number of instants and sorceries mean we have no real board presence. To protect us, we deploy Silent Arbiter and Propaganda to discourage attacking us. Also, we keep a healthy number of counterspells in an attempt at keeping Nekusar on the board, the most important of which is Fierce Guardianship for preventing any removal while he is on the board.


Comments View Archive

Top Ranked
  • Achieved #32 position overall 8 years ago
Date added 8 years
Last updated 1 week

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

7 - 0 Mythic Rares

57 - 0 Rares

14 - 0 Uncommons

14 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.02
Tokens C Emblem Dack, C Emblem Nixilis, Treasure, 2/2 U Token Creature Bird
Folders normal, Possible Decks, Combo & "?", izzet, I would tap that, WANT, new, Not So budget decks, funny deck names, Other peoples decks, See all 23
Ignored suggestions
Shared with

Revision 40 See all

1 week ago)

-1 Fierce Guardianship maybe
-1 Mystic Retrieval main
-1 Runehorn Hellkite main
-1 Temple of Deceit main
-1 Temple of Malice main