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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



- Dark Explorers

Date Reviewed:
Aug. 12, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.50
Limited: 3.75

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

#9 Accelgor (Dark Explorers) 

In a format which has been dominated by huge EX Basics, this unassuming 90 HP Stage 1 managed to stay in the competitive scene for pretty much as long as in was in rotation. That is an achievement in itself and I applaud Accelgor for bringing something different to the game. At the same time . . . boy could this card be annoying! 

The reason for Accelgor’s success? It was able to abuse Paralysis: easily the single best Status Condition out there. If you could use Deck and Cover every turn (Mew EX helped out with that), and stop your opponent from being able to move their active Pokémon out of the active slot, you had a fantastic lock going that would cause nothing but frustration for an opponent. Early on, Accelgor was partnered with Vileplume UD to stop an opponent using Switch to get out of trouble. Later it was used with Gothitelle EPO (in a deck that won US Nationals, no less!), and more recently it was put with Trevenant XY. Dusknoir BCR also proved to be a great partner, allowing you to move damage around and ensure that your lock was never broken by KOing the active. 

Only the relative slowness and combo-dependency of the deck, together with the availability of Keldeo EX, kept it in check in the early days. Later on, Virizion EX made Accelgor decks a whole lot less attractive because it could give immunity to Status Conditions. Thus, Accelgor faded out of the picture towards the end, though it remained a Pokémon that you wouldn’t want to run into with an unprepared deck. 

I don’t see Accelgor being more of a force in Extended than it is right now, thanks to the presence of Virizion. Mind you, if people sleep on it, it could still pop up as a nasty surprise from time to time. 


Overall impact: 4

Extended: 3 


Welcome back guys, today's card is the #9 spot in our Top 10 Cards Lost to Rotation! You've heard me mention him before in a couple of reviews, and now he's back to say adios to Modified. That's right, it's Accelgor, a key part of the F.A.D. deck mentioned only last week!

Assuming you haven't read that review, let's go over what makes Accelgor an integral part of a F.A.D. deck; first off, the letters stand for "Flygon Accelgor Dusknoir," referencing the three main Pokemon in the Deck. Flygon (BCR) has the Ability Sand Slammer, which hits all the opponent's Pokemon for 10 damage between turns while Flygon is Active; Dusknoir (BCR) then has Sinister Hand, which can move damage counters around on the opponent's Pokemon. So how does Accelgor fit into this combination of Abilities, considering he lacks one?

I don't think we need to dwell on it too long. Accelgor has only two attacks, the first of which is Hammer In, a vanilla 1-Energy attack for 20 damage. Obviously not what we're looking for here. Naturally, the star piece on Accelgor that made him integral to the F.A.D. deck is Deck and Cover, a 2-Colorless Energy strike that dealt 50 damage, Paralyzed, AND Poisoned the Active Pokemon, all the while returning Accelgor and all cards attached to him back to your deck.

Now you might be thinking, "How does returning Accelgor to the deck make things better?" And you'd be right to think that; Accelgor going back to the deck just adds more cards to sift through (usually 4-5, depending on if you've got a Tool attached). So how does the F.A.D. deck take advantage of it? By sending out a replacement to the Active slot, and that replacement is easily Flygon.

Basically, Accelgor hits with Deck and Cover, dealing a hefty chunk of damage and inflicting 2 crippling status ailments. Then he goes back to the deck, leaving the Active slot open for a Benched Pokemon to come in. Flygon goes Active, AND THEN YOUR TURN ENDS! Which means before your opponent's turn has even begun, Flygon is already out dealing an extra 10 damage to every Pokemon he's got! And assuming Flygon sticks around long enough to keep that Sand Slammer going for another pass between turns, Dusknoir will be ready to KO anyone he can!

Accelgor made the Flygon-Dusknoir relationship work wonderfully and constructed an entirely different kind of deck from what we've seen. He's an interesting Pokemon with a powerful and devastating strike that brought about much pain and strife to anyone who thought they could deal with him. Now Accelgor does have a great partner in Flygon, but there may be other Pokemon in the future that Accelgor has an affinity with, and since Deck and Cover only costs 2 Colorless Energy, he'll be able to splash right into any deck that needs a partner like him!

...well, at least in the Expanded format.


Modified: N/A (good night sweet prince)

Expanded: 3/5 (another unique Pokemon with another unique attack, once again defining an entire deck type)

Limited: 3.5/5 (he's much trickier to play here, but with the right Pokemon to go Active, he can make a nice disruptive impact)

Arora Notealus: Accelgor looks like he's doing that dance move from the 70s, where the guy points a hand up to the sky and stuff. What'd they call that again? Reach for the stars? I dunno.

Next Time: I'M ON A BRIDGE, AAAAAAND GOING NOWHERE, AAAAAND...I forgot where I was going with that parody.


The number nine key card we’ll lose to the September 3rd rotation to BCR-On is… Accelgor (BW: Dark Explorers 11/108)!  So what does our favorite “sort-of” ninja Pokémon bring to the table that we’ll miss?  Some vicious and surprisingly successful lock decks. 

Normally I cover Abilities and/or attacks after the rest of the card, but this card’s second attack is pretty key here: Deck and Cover.  Besides being an awesome name, the attack offers automatic Poison and Paralysis plus 50 points of damage, all for [CC].  Both bonus and drawback, the attack sends the user flying into the deck, along with all cards attached… and that has proven very important.  This allows Accelgor to soft-lock the opponent’s Active Pokémon, and there are a couple well known dance partners we’ll cover later that go along with that, though I’ll mention now that the deck loves to spam Double Colorless Energy over and over again (as it keeps going back to the deck along with Accelgor).  The first attack, Hammer In, costs [G], hits for 20 and will almost never matter: many Accelgor decks I have encountered (granted, its the PTCGO) run few if any Energy outside of Double Colorless Energy (it does keep going back to the deck, after all) and may not run any source of [G] Energy… and if they do it is almost certainly for something more important.  Hammer In is pretty weak for a non-Evolving Stage 1, but that was probably on purpose (imagine if it was also good!). 

Being a Grass-Type is roughly average; the support available to them hasn’t led to anything and doesn’t do much for Accelgor due to its method of use, and for that matter hitting for Weakness isn’t a huge deal either (and sometimes can even backfire).  Being a Stage 1 is probably the main intrinsic balancing mechanism for the card; it just wouldn’t work well enough as a Stage 2 and it would work too well as a Basic.  90 HP ended up being perfect for this format; it is the most a Pokémon can have while being Level Ball compliant.  Its Fire Weakness is dangerous, but thanks to Deck and Cover it often won’t matter.  Similarly, the lack of Resistance is even less significant for the same reason.  The free Retreat Cost is pretty important; you can promote it after a KO without worrying about it already being prepped to attack. 

Even both currently legal Shelmet are a bit better than being pure filler.  Your choices are BW: Dark Explorers 10/108 and BW: Plasma Blast 7/101.  Shelmet are pretty slow in the video games, granting it a hefty Retreat Cost of three… which would be a bad thing except it makes Shelmet a legal Heavy Ball target, and one of the partners we often see used with Accelgor is Dusknoir (BW: Boundaries Crossed 63/149; BW: Plasma Blast 63/149) which is also a legal target… and due to how the deck works it isn’t unheard of to run multiple copies of Heavy Ball, Level Ball and Ultra Ball… and Shelmet is also small enough for Level Ball to snag, so all three can do the job.  Otherwise its another “placeholder” kind of Pokémon.  The two only differ in terms of attacks, and I would favor BW: Plasma Blast 7/101 due Yawn, its first attack: for [C] you afflict the opponent with Sleep.  You don’t ever want to have to attack with Shelmet, so  if you must then potential stalling is decent and as mentioned earlier, there is a good chance you won’t even be able to use the other attack (on either this card, or the other version). 

Helping with the lock is usually Dusknoir, used so that you never actually KO what you’re attacking, just keeping it stuck in the Active slot; Trevenant (XY 55/146) and before that Gothitelle (BW: Emerging Powers 47/98; BW: Legendary Treasures 72/113) to block an opponent’s Items and cut off the option of using Switch or Escape Rope or Scoop Up Cyclone to break the lock; Flygon (BW: Boundaries Crossed 99/149) is used because of its Ability which places damage counters on each of your opponent’s Pokémon between turns and probably some more obscure options I just don’t know.  Also Dusknoir is used alongside either of the other two, but rarely on its own.  Supplementing Accelgor in attacking has been Mew-EX; its low HP doesn’t matter as it hides in the deck right away, and being a Basic it is easier to prep; you just need to keep an Accelgor on the Bench for versatile to copy.  

Wrapping up what is actually in the deck, it seems fairly common for more general support cards like Electrode (BW: Plasma Freeze 33/116) and/or Jirachi-EX to be present to help with the difficulty of set-up: both are also Level Ball legal targets.  The deck’s main weakness is its complexity; whiffing on a piece of the combo, suffering due to sluggish set-up and vulnerability to Item or Ability lock.  There is also an issue as certain decks are good at breaking the soft lock to begin with due to blocking (or effectively treating) Special Conditions, or simply changing out their Active. 

So these decks are going to no longer be a concern for Standard once it becomes BCR-On; more traditional “porter” decks will attempt to fill the void, but it just won’t be the same: Accelgor decks were odd in that if your deck wasn’t naturally strong against them, most could only spare a card or two as a counter because you needed the room for more valuable choices.  Indeed said one or two cards usually were there for general usage more than to counter the lock.  It wasn’t a deck that was “everywhere”, save perhaps when it was still all new and shiney and everyone wanted to try one of the few successful multiple Evolution decks.  In fact, it still is one of said few.  The fact that it seems inevitable that the deck’s set-up will periodically collapse under its own weight and that a single misplay can easily cost you the game (you won’t be playing on “autopilot”) more so than many other popular strategies likely contributed to that. 

In Expanded, I believe Accelgor decks will endure, with the mixed blessing being the heightened competition.  If the format ends up being diverse (relatively speaking), it is usually too hard to prepare for “everything” and thus just like now decks won’t have room to run additional counters (just what is already present in a deck’s build naturally).  If the dominant decks of yesteryear, today and tomorrow crowd out everything else (and the lowest performing of each other) then space will still be precious preparing counters for them, and not Accelgor.  Just like now, though, there will be some match-ups that are terrible, beyond being “uphill battles”. 

On the highly unlikely chance you’re playing in a Limited event with BW: Dark Explorers packs, this is a very good pull.  Hammer In might actually prove somewhat useful, because you can probably risk swinging with it before following up with Deck and Cover.  This will “erase” an attack by your opponent and give your deck extra stamina.  Even if you can’t get that extra hit in (for example because nothing else in the deck besides Shelmet needs Grass Energy so you don’t run anyway), then the combination of 50 points of damage, Paralysis and Poison is still great.  Your opponent isn’t likely to have any answer to it.  Just remember you aren’t going to be spamming this trick.  Mostly skip it if you’ve got more reliable tricks (Shelmet has to show up at the right time for this to even be an option) and be careful not to forget you need a Bench to avoid losing due to Deck and Cover (also a risk elsewhere, but more problematic here).  Both with a +39 deck (one Pokémon plus 39 non-Basic Pokémon cards so you have to start with said Pokémon) or just excellent pulls, you may legitimately leave this out. 


Modified (NXD-On): 3.5/5 - While it was the focus of the deck, the main thing that it has done better than other porter decks was hiding in the deck (instead of on the Bench or in the hand) while being reasonable to re-ready.  The deck very much relies on the strength of other cards; Accelgor is pretty weak without said support. 

Modified (BCR-On): N/A - As per the point of the list. 

Expanded (BW-On): 3.5/5 - The new Sparkling Robe Pokémon Tool blocks Special Conditions, but due to Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113) Accelgor decks are already likely to run multiple Startling Megaphone, so I don’t think that, the influx of Fighting support, or anything added by extending back to Black & White will really alter this card’s performance. 

Limited: 4/5 - Only skip it if you’re running a +39 deck or get so much fantastic other stuff that its not worth the risk of working in Accelgor.  Don’t forget that despite the high rating, its often just going to be filler; such is the nature of Limited. 

Summary: Accelgor decks have been a feature of the game for about two years now (I don’t quite remember when it racked up enough high profile wins to be considered “legit”), and it will be missed.  Sometimes cheerfully, if you favor decks unusually vulnerable to it.  I believe it will still play a role in Expanded, but we’ll have to wait and see if that’s a good prediction or one of those I’d like to forget.

Chicago, IL

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