Draw a Card Issue #1: Accelgor DEX11 – via Pokemon Australia
Hello, Pokémon Australia! For those who don’t know who I am, my name is Kaiwen Kuan, and I am a Pokemon TCG player from Victoria. I currently play in the senior division; I’ve had marginal success this season, with my highest point being when I won the 2013 National Championships, but this article is not about that! Today, I’ll be sharing my thoughts and comments on a card that I really like, which also played a significant part in the winning Masters Division deck at the United States and Norway National Championships this year. That card is Accelgor from Dark Explorers.
First, let’s look at Accelgor. It evolves from Shelmet, is a Grass-type, has 90HP, two attacks, free retreat, and a weakness to Fire. Its 90HP makes him an easy Level Ball target, which is versatile. His free retreat can be very helpful in many situations, such as when you need to promote a Pokémon to retreat after your active Pokémon is knocked out. His weakness to Fire is not very important, as Fire-types in this format are extremely sub-par. His first attack, Hammer In, does 20 damage for one Grass Energy, which is plainly not good. His second attack, Deck and Cover, does 50 damage, automatically paralyses and poisons the opposing Pokémon for two Colourless Energy, and you shuffle Accelgor and all cards attached to it back into the deck. This is where Accelgor shines!
Paralysis is a very annoying side effect to deal with, and the only direct answers to this is either a Keldeo + Float Stone or Dark Energy (if playing Darkrai EX), Switch or Escape Rope or Audino. However, there are problems with this specific paralysis lock if played on its own; cards like Switch and the less likely Escape Rope are being played in strong tier 1-1.5 decks, such as Thundurus/Deoxys/Kyurem or Garbodor, so the paralysis lock can be broken. Being in such a fast format, one turn without the lock can mean the difference between a win and a loss. The other problem is Accelgor shuffling itself back into the deck with all cards attached. Because of this, you must continuously set up Shelmets to evolve into Accelgor to keep the lock going. The final problem is Keldeo EX running rampant in the format, with all three tier one decks (Darkrai EX/Absol, Thundurus/Deoxys/Kyurem and Blastoise/Keldeo/Black Kyurem EX) having the ability to tech the card.
However, two cards in the format can fix two out of these three problems: Gothitelle from Emerging Powers and Mew EX from Dragons Exalted. Gothitelle doesn’t allow your opponent to play any item cards while it is in the active spot, so when in combination with Float Stone, you can free retreat to an Accelgor, use Deck and Cover, and then promote the Gothitelle to stop Switch or Escape Rope from being played. Furthermore, Mew EX’s ‘Versatile’ ability allows it to copy Accelgor’s attack. With Mew EX being a Basic card, it is much easier to continuously stream it than relying on a Stage 1 to set up every turn. Unfortunately, Keldeo EX is a card that is very popular, and two copies of this in any deck with a Float Stone or Dark Energy can completely break your paralysis lock. Audino is also an interesting tech players can run, even though the card isn’t very popular. When Audino is discarded, it clears the paralysis and poison PLUS it also heals 10 damage from the Pokémon. Fortunately, Audino is not a widely played tech, and players who play Accelgor usually don’t account for it.
Accelgor has seen a resounding success in the past year. At the end of last season, it made an appearance in the Mew Prime/Vileplume/Chandelure/Accelgor/Darkrai EX deck that took two spots in the top 16 at the 2012 World Championships. This season, Gothitelle/Accelgor/Mew EX/Musharna/Dusknoir won Norway and the United States National Championships in the Masters Division.
Overall, with Accelgor’s success in the game, as well as being a card that is unique and can provide a strong, hard-to-get-out-of lock, and also because I am a real advocate for the card, I will rate it 4/5.
Thanks for reading, everyone! If anyone wants a specific card to be reviewed, reply to this post or message me on Facebook, and maybe your card will be picked for the week!