73 Masters!? Battle Roads with Empoleon/Accelgor

Hey there SixPrizes! This past Sunday was the first of 3 Battle Roads I plan on attending this Battle Roads season. Originally, I was thinking I would save my reports as a triple report at the end. However, I think I’ve learned my lesson from my last article, that sometimes splitting things up over multiple articles is more digestable than cramming everything into one big article.

We fit 100 players total into and around this store for Battle Roads.

The tournament took place in Surrey BC, which is essentially Vancouver BC, site of Worlds 2013. As such, interest in the TCG around our area has gone way, way up. I remember the first Battle Roads I went to last season in August was around 28 Masters. But on Sunday September 9th, 73 Masters flooded the Central Surrey Shopping Centre to play the Pokémon TCG.

Well, as per usual, we in Victoria took the 7 AM ferry over to Vancouver, and pulled in pretty early. The Victoria crew this time around consisted of our usual Masters and Junior (now Senior), joined by the Seniors World Champion (getting his first taste of Masters), a couple new masters, and a couple friends who hadn’t played in a while. What’s more is that this first Battle Roads I decided to run a pet deck of mine I’d been perfecting and toying with since early June.

In HS-on format, I built myself a Vileplume UD/Sunflora HS/Accelgor DEX/Chandelure NVI deck before Chandy became cool. I never jumped on the Mew bandwagon (though I would say Mew was probably better overall), but I came up with the deck myself, and had a pretty competent build by the end.

Entering BLW-on, Empoleon/Accelgor was my new pet-deck, and I was pretty satisfied with both my list, and the synergy of the concept as a whole. I knew that I would be running Empoleon/Accelgor at my first Battle Roads this year back in June, and I followed through with that. Here’s the list I took the Battle Roads:

Pokémon – 20

4 Piplup DEX

2 Prinplup DEX

4 Empoleon DEX

3 Shelmet NVI

2 Accelgor DEX

3 Emolga DRX

2 Mew-EX

Trainers – 30

4 N

4 Cheren

2 Professor Juniper

2 Random Receiver


4 Pokémon Communication

4 Pokémon Catcher

4 Rare Candy

3 Switch

2 Super Rod

1 Level Ball

Energy – 10

6 W

4 Double Colorless

Yes my pet… Go forth and claim the Battle Roads.

There were a few late additions and changes I made to the deck from what I’d been testing. First and foremost, I took my own advice and decided I just needed consistency, and the power to change the flow of a matchup. This led to me going with a pure build (no techs or Blend Energies etc…) and the addition of a 4th Pokémon Catcher. This 4th Catcher was by far the best addition to the deck I could have made, giving me the ability to Deck and Cover what I wanted, when I wanted, as many times as I needed.

The great thing about Accelgor + Catcher is that against a deck like Darkrai/Hydreigon, you can easily choose the 6 Prizes you take by Catchering appropriate Deck and Cover targets when you want. 2 Darkrais and 2 non-EX prizes is all it takes, which is easy enough to come by.

If you did know about this deck concept from me before, and are curious about some of the changes, and why I might have posted/run one list and not the other, then feel free to ask in the comments below.

So, without further ado, tournament report:

Round 1 – Simon with Garbodor/Terrakion/Zebstrika

Holy crap was this game amazing. When he started Blitzle I was quivering in my boots. Zebstrika’s Disconnect will 1HKO my Piplups and Prinplups, while 2HKOing my Empoleons, and it all starts as early as T2. Then when he benched a Garbodor, things got serious. He was going for the ultimate lock, and my deck was probably the most vulnerable deck out there to be downed by it.

Disconnect for 80 is a scary thought.

I supported my lower draw Supporter count using Diving Draw, which Garbodor robbed me of. And then Zebstrika… 80 damage is a respectable amount to deal while Item locking your opponent. I managed to KO the first Zebstrika using a combination of Deck and Cover and a Prinplup Razor Wing for 20 damage. Simon benched Terrakions in response, which I made short work of. However, though I lead the prize exchange, he was never too far behind.

One particularly amazing play Simon made to put himself right back in the game was to give up all his attached L Energy to catcher and KO my last Empoleon with Lightning Crash (for Weakness). This lead to a series of N’s played by the both of us, where we N’d each other to 1 card MULTIPLE times. I honestly think N was played 4-5 times during this exchange. I was looking for an Energy and so was he. In the end, I managed to get a Cheren, and an Energy off of the Cheren for game.

Probably the best game all day, which is amazing because Simon’s deck went 1-6 on the day. It just goes to show that TCG is unpredictable sometimes, and “random fringe deck A” can give you a boatload of trouble. Looking forward to our next match Simon!

P.S. As a fun note, our game was epic and attracted quite a crowd watching from the sidelines, since both decks were rogue and everyone wanted to know what was going on. I remember thinking “great, now the surprise is over at Round 1.” But in the end, I think the deck continued to surprise everyone deep into the tournament.

Win 1-0

Round 2 – Gavin with FluffyChomp

The fluffiest card in the format.

Well… FluffyChomp is probably the most auto-win matchup for this deck. But 4 Switch does a lot to change that provided they run it. Gavin did not, and his Switch was prized the whole game as well (I think he took 1 Prize). I started well, and kinda just ran through with Deck and Cover, looping everything in his deck.

Win 2-0

Round 3 – Myo with FluffyChomp

After hearing that FluffyChomp had done pretty poorly in the first week of Battle Roads, I was surprised to run into 2 in a row. This game was way tougher though. Myo got off to a pretty good start, and I think I started rather slow in this one. What’s more is that Myo had Switches, and used a couple to great effect to prevent my comeback from mounting quickly.

However, I was able to KO his Garchomps eventually through steady use of Deck and Cover followed by Attack Command. Eventually, he ran out of Garchomps (since he had 3 Altarias up, and his starting Emolga), and I prioritized KOing the Gibles to prevent future Garchomps. After I KO’d all his attackers, I just cleaned up and mounted my comeback.

Win 3-0

Round 4 – Robert with Terrakion/Mewtwo

Rock Tumble + Pump Up Smash could spell trouble for Empoleon. Luckily Accelgor is awesome.

This game was one I would never have expected to be difficult. Accelgor hits Terrakion and his EX for weakness, and essentially 1HKOs Terrakion NVI through Poison (if they don’t switch). And my Mew-EX’s were available to answer his Mewtwos. Overall, I’d never had a tough game in testing this matchup, but Robert gave me one.

All he did was load Energy onto his Mewtwo and start whacking into my setup. I only needed a Mew-EX to either Attack Command him, or X Ball for the KO. But blimey, I could not get one! I was using Cheren + 2 Diving Draws, and then more Diving Draws, and after 3 turns without getting any out to my Mew-EX, I just KO’d Mewtwo by whacking into it with Empoleon and took the 3HKO using Attack Commands.

That pretty much denied him of any Energy being set up though, and I was able to sweep through easily afterward.

Win 4-0

Round 5 – Dylan with Darkrai/Hydreigon

Well, this game was simple. I N’d on my first turn and had a respectable setup, and my N killed his hand (he also Junk Hunted the first turn, which I got to shuffle back). So, off of a lucky N which completely killed his hand for the rest of the important part of the game, I just took prize after prize, and set to Deck and Cover looping his Darkrai.

You don’t need Switch… honest!

However, to pull the loop off properly, I needed to use Mew on his Eviolited Darkrai. I looked at our prizes, (I had 3 left, he still had 6), and just kept up my loop until Time was called (he Max Potion’d etc… to prevent Darkrai from being KO’d). At time, he still needed to take 3 Prizes to even tie me, and he only had 2 turns, so he scooped.

Win 5-0

At this point, myself and my friend were the only two X-0’s left. Everyone had been downpaired and lost, meaning that in a 7-round Swiss, we would be deciding who was to be the last undefeated player, before the tournament actually finished. It was also great, since this was my friend’s first tournament since he decided to pick up the TCG officially, and here he was, 5-0.

Round 6 – Rushan with Garbodor/Terrakion/Mewtwo

This game I started with a Piplup active to his Trubbish. I think I went first this game, and had a Switch and Water energy in hand. Part of me really wanted to try and get a Mew-EX on my first turn and try to Fury Attack for the donk, but unfortunately the opportunity never presented itself. Nonetheless, I KO’d his Trubbishes before he could get his Garbodors up, and Accelgor makes mincemeat out of Terrakions. I got out ahead, and Rushan never really had room to catch up.

Win 6-0

So here I was, only X-0 left, and yet I had to defend my undefeated streak against someone else who already lost just to win 1st. It felt weird, but in order to guarantee me 1st, I suppose I knew I needed to go 7-0 from the start anyway, so I sat down across from my opponent and…

Round 7 – Jason with Darkrai/Hydreigon

Vomiting pixie dust since 2012.

Start terribly. I started with Mew-EX, since I had a Shelmet in hand and ample Supporters to get myself a T2 Accelgor to shuffle Mew back and set myself up. I had Pokémon Communication in hand, so I grabbed myself an Emolga, attached a DCE to Mew and Called for Family. Then, I can’t remember exactly why, but things just never got rolling. I think I just kept fishing for the Accelgor to get Mew out of the active slot, but never managed to get one, resorting to Call for Family again.

Jason then threw down a Sigilyph DRX in my face, forcing my Mew to retreat. He then benched a Mewtwo, and I couldn’t prevent it from taking my Mew since I just couldn’t get Mew off the field. Later, he actually used Psydrive to KO an Empoleon with 30 damage from a Darkrai snipe, which left me with only one real possibility for getting myself back into the game.

I Super Rod’ed my Mew-EX back into deck, and grabbed it using Pokémon Communication. However, in order to Attack Command for KO, I needed one more Pokémon on the field (which I was actually embarrassed to find out only after I initiated this combo, due to an Eviolite I somehow forgot).

Well… I had one Diving Draw, and it didn’t get me a basic Pokémon, so I hit Mewtwo for 160 damage, he Max Potioned, and then it KO’d my Mew-EX. I couldn’t prevent him from taking another prize next turn, so that was the end of my win streak.

Loss 6-1

So at the end of the day, I placed 2nd overall, and Rushan placed 3rd which was a pretty good showing. Our friend circle actually placed pretty well overall as well, taking multiple spots in Top 16 (considering we only brought 11 people, that’s not too shabby). Still, 73 Masters. Crazy day.

The Deck

Ninjas. They’re destined for greatness.

I suppose I should discuss the deck in question though. Empoleon/Accelgor was a deck that I think a lot of people were surprised about when I was playing it this Battle Roads. Well… here’s the basic idea.

Set yourself up with at least 2 Piplups on the first turn, hopefully a Shelmet or two as well. Get yourself Empoleons quickly, and Accelgors/Mews will follow. From there, just Deck and Cover the crap out of your opponent, and force them to burn their switches. If you can weather the storm, then you should find yourself coming out on top.

Probably my biggest piece of advice for anyone trying this deck out, is that you need to be very conscious of your deck’s contents, and also very conservative with how you play with key resources like your 3 Switch. I would love 4 Switch, but it’s often not necessary. However, you simply can’t just discard your 4th Catcher or your 3rd Switch because it doesn’t seem like it’s immediately useful.

When playing such a slow-playing, calculating deck, you need to have all your resources available when you want to call upon them. Luckily, you also draw like mad, so it’s very possible to find yourself with 10+ card hands, more than capable of whatever you need to do.

I’ll keep this article short and sweet, but if you are interested in some more discussion on the deck, you can feel free to check it out at our blog TCG with Hats! So hopefully that’s given everyone a small look into the deck. Thanks for all the great games everyone! It’s awesome to see so much interest in Pokémon spring up, and I’m looking forward to playing again next Sunday!


~Crawdaunt out

Reader Interactions

31 replies

  1. Milko Mino

    I lime ur deck, i have a empoleon/paralize but diferent build, i hope u win other tournaments, and talk about it XD

  2. Dan W

    I’d love to go to a BR that big…
    Good job on the 2nd place with that many masters!
    It was a very nice read!

  3. Tom Filbey

    I can see how you did so well, not a single eel opponent. You played all your good matchups, dang lucky!:P Good job though!

    • Mark Hanson  → Tom

      Yeah… I go into that on my blog in a bit more detail. I don’t actually live in Vancouver so it was a bit of faith in my presupposition, but I figured there wouldn’t be too many Eel variants around, and that the ones that were would falter against decks like Hydreigon/Darkrai and Garbodor (and perhaps Garchomp/Altaria).

        • Mark Hanson  → khen

          I would argue that the Darkrai/Hydreigon matchup favours D/H slightly, as does the Garbodor matchup (especially with appropriate support pokemon), and that Garchomp/Altaria’s consistency can swing an otherwise 50/50 matchup in favour of Garchomp/Altaria.

        • khen luu  → Mark

          i dont know what zekeel variants you play against, but with zekrom ex, registeel ex, raikou ex and regular zekrom, there’s just so much a zekeel player can do to even have less than 50/50 match-ups. zekrom ex OHKO hydreigon. registeel ex can spreads to setup ko’s. now even the regular zekrom can OHKO
          hydreigon or zekrom ex OHKO darkrai. Garbodor can be tricky, but with catcher and raikou, i dont see that as a problem. even if it’s garbodor/ terrakion/ etc.
          Garchomp/Altaria i agree 50/50 at best! seeing how u only have one attacker (and maybe a tech terrakion), an average player should know to target alteria cutting off all damage boosts. now u have a deck with one type attacker maxing out at 100 damage. (:/ ).

        • Mark Hanson  → khen

          I’m not really implying ZekEels can’t win any of those matchups. Quite the contrary. But if that’s your opinion, alright. I have mine, and we’ve both got our playtesting that justifies our positions.

        • khen luu  → Mark

          battle road results justify my playtesting…just want to put it out there.

        • Mark Hanson  → khen

          Current tallies:
          13 Darkrai/Hydreigon
          10 Zeels
          9 RayEels
          3 Empoleon (which can not win if Eels are winning pretty much)
          1 Registeel/Mewtwo/Eels

          I would argue that Darkrai/Hydreigon is seeing the best success (marginally), and that the success of eel decks can at least somewhat be attributed as a byproduct of over-representation (as Eel decks easily transition over to BW-on, and were extremely popular in HS-on). However, as I mentioned in my response to Tom up there, there are a variety of factors to consider in determining the strength of matchups.

          However, just as you rely on your own experience to determine what you feel the matchups are, so do I. Our opinions differ, and I respect that and encourage it! I am by no means asserting I’m correct. But I do discourage anyone from looking at matchups at this stage in metagame development and thinking that anyone has the definite right answer.

        • Tom Filbey  → Mark

          I’ve played against most decks out there, have played in 4 BR so far this season, and I can almost assure you all the match ups mentioned, are in favor of eels. I’m currently 4 for 6 against Dark Dragons, only loosing because three tynamos being prized and drawing dead for 8 turns until i finally lost.

          I’ve have zero problem with Garbodor decks. I have’t lost to a terrakion-garbidor variant as of yet.

          Same with garchomp-alitaria, I haven’t lost to it yet. Eels just is more consistent then garchomp, especially returning fire with zekrom ex and regular zekrom.

          I will emphasize this again: the only games I lost during BR were because of bad luck, dead drawing supporters. In my mind, eels is probably BDIF.

        • Mark Hanson  → Tom

          Fair enough, but I have my reasons and my own analysis of the matchups. I’m not necessarily correct, but that is what my testing has shown me to be the case. With such a subjective topic, a definite right answer is often muddied by locality and varying levels of play. So rather than assume a lot about the areas where darkrai/hydreigon won, or the areas where zeels won, I will instead rely on my own analysis which I know to be the most accurate information I can rely on at this time.

          Additionally, the caliber of player and the caliber of the list you play against are something you can not control in events like BR, making analysis of individual BR matches somewhat meaningless unless they are against known-skilled opponents, in which case the fact that they were at BR is superfluous.

        • Micah Smyth  → Tom

          Yes, you may be right but luck is just a much a part of the format as skill. You may be the most skilled player then lose worlds due to a bad hand, so don’t write these decks off yet.

    • Mark Hanson  → Eric

      I was using 2 for the majority of my testing, and wanted room for the 4th Catcher. In practice, I really didn’t want to lose the consistency that a 2nd Level Ball provided my search, but Level Ball #2 ultimately got the cut, and I think the deck is better for it.

  4. Phil Materi

    Great job @Crawdaunt! Glad to hear that you did so well at the Battle Roads. I wish I could have been there! I will see you this Sunday, unfortunately I can’t decide what to play though! Lol!

  5. Ziggmiceter

    Wow. Going 6-1 is amazing with that amount of Masters.

  6. Amanda Kovs

    I’m having a really hard time getting a hold of this rotation, and I hate not being able to be as creative as I have been in the past, but I don’t feel soooo bad stealing this idea from you. My two favorite decks have involved Cinccino and Scrafty–two things this deck does together. I whipped it up last night and did some test draws, and was paralyzing every turn after T2. Of course, actually PLAYING somebody will be different, but its consistency alone seems really solid. I love it, and I hope this is the deck I fall in love with! :D

    Thanks for sharing with us, it was a great article. And congrats for doing so well! :)

    • Mark Hanson  → Amanda

      Good luck if you choose to play it this BR season! I can definitely say it’s got solid matchups against everything out there… except perhaps ZekEels. Which is near autolossy, but not quite >.>

  7. Myo Aung

    Hello, It’s Myo Here I know weird right? Lol I just have to say that I’m glad you did well and I was surprised I held my ground for so long against you. Your deck is quite strong but I was wondering why you didn’t try the Accelgor/Gothitelle Build instead? I would have figured that to be stronger.

    • Mark Hanson  → Myo

      So inconsistent. Doesn’t get perfect loops anyways. Doesn’t have a solid backup pokemon to rely on. I just don’t think it’s a very good deck to be honest. I might revisit the idea when Dusknoir comes out (the one with the ability to damage swap your opponent’s pokemon), but for now… it’s a tier 3 deck :|

  8. Chuck Rancor

    I love this deck idea. Always loved Accelgor, but couldn’t get it running with Gothitelle, and always thought Empoleon partnered well. Playing it without Gothitelle is a genius idea to me :p.

    I want to test the deck a little myself, but I have a few questions:
    1) Why 4 comm and 1 lvl ball? Wouldn’t more lvl ball be more favorable?
    2) Is three switch necessary? The only target that can be catchered is Empoelon and it can simply start attacking itself if that happens.

    • Mark Hanson  → Chuck

      1) 4 Comm gets you your Empoleons T2 better than anything else. You need Empoleons to draw everything else. Level Ball more forms an out to a T1 Emolga or just that one instance where you want to grab Accelgor. A lot of the time, 1-2 Comm ends up as diving draw fodder, but it’s there for consistency.
      2) With 2 Switch, you don’t have it when you need it. 3 Switch facilitates a T1 Emolga, prevents a Shelmet from being Catcher-stalled, and an Empoleon from being Catcher-stalled when you don’t want it there. My 3 switch are never discarded. They are always used and always appreciated.
      3) Yup. Sometimes you Deck and Cover with Accelgor, sometimes with Mew. Depends on the matchup, and the point in the matchup. By abusing Diving Draw, you will get your deck thinned out enough that 2 Mew is more than enough to keep your D&C’s going. Also, 4 Communication alleviates the need to search for Mew as well.

      +1? :D

  9. ryan moore

    Great Article.. Love the deck idea so much i ended up running it at my Battle Roads and won with it. Thanks again :)

    • Mark Hanson  → ryan

      Aw no kidding! You were the one who won with it in Kingston? Awesome! It took a couple 1st’s at a couple BR that were reported on TTC, but none on the ‘gym. Thanks for kickin’ ass with my deck! :D

      • ryan moore  → Mark

        I had another battle roads today and ended with 4th : 4-1. My lose was to zekrom eel i put up a decent fight but it really wasnt that close that is pretty much auto loss really. Also i got a secret rare Ray-ray out of the booster packs lol.

        • Mark Hanson  → ryan

          Heh, very nice.

          Just finished my last BR of the fall. Went 4-2 the week before, and went 4-3 this week, losing to a couple really good players in really good games, where the luck just wasn’t on my side. One being a RegistEels variant :P
          Glad to hear you did so well with the deck though! :D

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