Bringing Accelgor Back to Expanded

Hello everyone! I’ve been playing a bit of Expanded recently, and it’s been awhile since I’ve discussed the format. It feels like Standard is a bit worn out, and to me, Expanded is way more fun.

I’ve been messing around with Accelgor a lot, which is a card that veterans will be familiar with. Accelgor is an interesting Stage 1 Pokemon that deals 50 damage that leaves the Defending Pokemon Paralyzed and Poisoned. However, it shuffles itself back into the deck with its attack, so you have to get it into play every turn. The key to playing Accelgor is to have some sort of consistent draw engine that allows you to find Shelmet, Accelgor, and Double Colorless Energy every single turn so that you can leave your opponent’s Pokemon Paralyzed over and over. Accelgor also relies on a disruptive partner. Otherwise, opponents can use a variety of Trainer cards to escape the Paralyzed lock. Finally, Accelgor is also paired with Dusknoir. Dusknoir moves damage counters around while opponents remain Paralyzed. This is so that opponents cannot get any free attacks if Accelgor KO’s their Active Pokemon. With Dusknoir, you keep their Active Pokemon alive while moving the damage around and leaving it Paralyzed every single turn.

The end result is a grand puzzle of a deck that has a lot of moving pieces. However, the payoff is a crazy lock that leaves opponents unable to play the game. It’s like a more fun and interactive version of a Control deck. Control with extra steps, if you will. Fortunately, the Expanded format has a vast cardpool to pick from. I’ve had my choice of cards from the past 11 years to make Accelgor as consistent as possible, and I’m excited to share the results with you today. To watch me build and test these decks in real time, feel free to check out my stream and ask any questions at

Here is the first Accelgor variant I have for you today:

Accelgor with Kabutops

Pokemon (20)

3x Kabutops (TEU #78)3x Kabuto (TEU #77)2x Accelgor (DEX #11)3x Shelmet (PLB #7)2x Octillery (BKT #33)2x Remoraid (BKT #32)1x Dusknoir (BCR #63)1x Dusclops (SWSH4 #70)1x Duskull (COE #83)1x Ditto Prism Star (LOT #154)1x Marowak (FAC #37)

Trainers (36)

4x Professor Juniper (DEX #98)3x N (DEX #96)1x Gladion (CRI #109)4x Level Ball (SWSH5 #129)4x Ultra Ball (FLF #99)4x Trainers' Mail (RSK #92)4x Stadium Nav (UNM #208)4x Float Stone (BKT #137)2x Rescue Stretcher (GUR #130)1x Unidentified Fossil (ULP #134)1x Computer Search (BCR #137)4x Pokémon Research Lab (UNM #205)

Energy (4)

4x Double Colorless Energy (SHL #69)
One interesting Pokemon in this list is Kabutops, which does not allow your opponent to play Supporters while it’s in the Active Spot. This means that when we leave the opponent’s Active Pokemon Paralyzed with Accelgor, they cannot use Guzma to escape. In Expanded, the primary switching methods are Guzma and Float Stone. This deck shuts down both of those, rendering opponents immobile. Some decks also play one copy of Escape Rope, but they cannot play draw Supporters to find more cards. Even Escape Rope lets you simply promote a backup Kabutops. If the opponent KO’s one Kabutops and you have another, it’s no big deal at all. The point is that it’s either impossible or extremely difficult to escape the lock once it’s established. Surprisingly, the deck is actually very consistent despite its various moving pieces.

A common question is why use Kabutops over Stoutland, which has an identical Ability but isn’t a fossil evolution. Interestingly, the Pokémon Research Lab engine is actually much faster and more consistent at setting up multiple Stage-2 Pokemon. It’s also easier to burn excess pieces with cards like Stadium Nav. The main benefits are having consistent turn 2 Kabutops while going first, and having easy access to a second Kabutops.

That brings me to my next point. Nearly every competitive deck in Expanded wants to go first. The Supporter and attack restrictions hurt real bad in Expanded, as who strikes first wins. This deck takes advantage of that as a deck that operates well when going first. This deck has no real benefit to going second, but can still do what it wants on turn 1 when going first. This works out, as most opponents will choose second, and you will choose first, resulting in going first almost every time. With high counts of Trainers' Mail, Stadium Nav, and Pokemon Research Lab, this deck aims to play a turn 1 Research Lab to get two Kabuto into play, guaranteeing a turn 2 Kabutops. Opponents will only have one turn to use Supporters!

Kabutops Line and One Unidentified Fossil

We are trying to set up two Kabutops. Although only one Kabutops is needed in the lock, sometimes you may whiff an attack in the early game, or your opponent may luck into a switching out like Escape Rope. Three Kabuto makes it likely to get two out on turn 1 via the Pokemon Research Lab, and the three Kabutops makes it somewhat consistent to find. In case one Kabuto is KO’d early in the game, we play one Unidentified Fossil so that we can still get that backup Kabutops. A single copy of an Item may seem inconsistent, but this deck burns through cards quite fast. You’ll always run into an Unidentified Fossil at some point, and as soon as you do, you can begin setting up another Kabutops. I originally played two Unidentified Fossil, but found that to be unnecessarily excessive. Furthermore, if the Unidentified Fossil ends up being unneeded, you can freely discard it from play. This also makes it easy to thin out of the hand and deck.

One Marowak

This is a good inclusion as tech for troublesome cards. In particular, Marowak helps against Shadow Rider Calyrex V‘s Shadow Mist, Vikavolt V‘s Paralyzing Bolt, Umbreon and Darkrai-GX ‘s Dark Moon GX, Noivern-GX‘s Distort, and more. You’ll run into these attacks every so often in Expanded, so it’s nice to have an answer as opposed to automatically folding. Playing one copy of Cubone is a consideration, as the only way to evolve into Marowak is via Ditto Prism Star. Although Ditto Prism Star is a bit frail, it is somewhat protected by Accelgor and Kabutops.

One Ditto Prism Star

Aside from being our way into Marowak in specific matchups, Ditto Prism Star mostly functions as the fourth Shelmet or second Unidentified Fossil, depending on the situation. It can even be Duskull if multiple pieces are Prized! For example, if Dusknoir and Duskull are prized, Gladion can get Dusknoir, and Ditto Prism Star can be Duskull. Although Ditto Prism Star is frail and sometimes feels worse than the corresponding Basic Pokemon, it has a huge amount of utility in this deck!

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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