There’s been talk for quite awhile in the Partner Battles Facebook group of “Deck and Cover” Accelgor being a potent partner. This is due to the rule that puts your Partner back into the Partner Zone instead of moving to a hidden zone – when you use “Deck and Cover”, Accelgor would go to the Partner Zone, Shelmet and all Energy would get shuffled into the deck & you’d leave your opponent Poisoned and Paralyzed. Ideally, you could do this every turn.
High Energy Cost?
The initial problem that I saw with this strategy is the Energy required to pull this off turn-after-turn. You’d somehow need to attach (or simulate) 2 Energy per turn. Traditionally, this Accelgor was played with 4 DCE to allow a single-attachment attack, but we’re restricted to 1 DCE, 1 Double Rainbow and maybe a Boost Energy in our entire 100 card deck and very few tutors.
So I went searching for the answer attached to a Pokemon as a Power/Ability and I found the Wild Growth power, which treats every Grass Energy as double Grass. Both Sceptile (Great Encounters) and Meganium (Neo Genesis) had the ability, though their other versions didn’t offer much to the deck strategy. However, Shining Legends introduced a Venusaur with a similar ability (Jungle Totem) and Venusaur’s other versions offered benefits to the deck.
With access to the Jungle Totem ability, we only need a single Grass attachment to use Deck and Cover each turn. Now we’re talking!
If our Active Accelgor is being removed from play each turn, we need to pivot into another Pokemon. This could be another Shelmet that we plan to evolve into, but that leaves it vulnerable if the opponent has a way to shake-off the Paralysis. Ideally, we pivot into something that will make it hard to remove the Paralysis – perhaps a Trainer Lock Pokemon.
One such Pokemon being Vileplume-ex (Hidden Legends); when it is your active Pokemon, your opponent can’t play Trainer cards (except Supporters) from their hand. This is a pretty powerful one-sided Trainer Lock but leaves our benched Shelmets vulnerable to Lysandre and Guzma. A more powerful Trainer Lock is Vileplume (Undaunted), which locks out all Trainers for both players. This Vileplume protects our Shelmets pretty decisively and no longer needs to be the Active Pokemon to be in-effect, so we want to have a different pivot.
Babies (Igglybuff, Cleffa) are probably the best pivots at this point, given they still require a coin flip if your opponent removes the Paralysis and have free retreat.
Tutoring Under Trainer Lock
Now that we have Energy, benched Shelmet protection and pivots figured out, we need a way to ensure a Shelmet and Grass Energy each turn while under our own Trainer Lock. Another Venusaur comes in handy to find a Shelmet; the Dark Explorers Venusaur allows us to search for a Pokemon once per turn and put it in our hand. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a consistent way to get an Energy every turn, so we’ll just have to draw amazingly.
Building a Bench
We need an extra Shelmet, 2 Venusaur, Vileplume & a baby Pokemon on our bench, so we’ve completely filled up our bench space. Even if a Pokemon could be found that searched an energy each turn, we’d have to replace the baby Pokemon with it and make ourselves very susceptible to our opponent evolving out of the Paralysis.
This setup also takes a lot of effort to put together 3 different Stage 2 Pokemon, even with Forest of Giant Plants/Broken Time Space. It might take so long that the deck might just get run over before putting all the pieces together.
Nail in the Coffin?
Potentially the biggest “nail in the coffin” to this deck is that only 4 Shelmet exist in the game. Theoretically, the deck can function with only those four (allowing for 2 to become prized), but it feels really fragile. With Crimson Invasion, we seem to be getting a 5th Shelmet but I still don’t think it’s enough.
To put it into perspective, my Sylveon-GX deck runs 10-12 Eevee to almost guarantee one on turn 1 – if I somehow don’t start with one. And even though this deck wouldn’t want to bench any Shelmets until the bench setup was nearing completion, it wasn’t doing much until that point. The opponent would have free reign to snipe whatever part of the combo was furthest along.
I’d love to see someone take this concept further but I’ve hit my limit.