Evolving Strategies! (フルバトル！シンジVSサトシ！！（
Ash warns Pikachu not to let his guard down. Reggie knows that Paul knows that Ash would change his Pokémon if he used a Ground-type against Pikachu, so sticks with Magmortar. Pikachu starts with Quick Attack, pushing Magmortar away. Pikachu is burnt, as Magmortar's Flame Body caused damage. Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, which collides with Flamethrower. Pikachu charges with Volt Tackle, but is stopped by several Rock Tomb moves and gets still burnt. Magmortar uses Smog, but Pikachu spins and uses Thunderbolt, which deflects Smog in a fashion like Ash's battle with Fantina.
Magmortar uses Flamethrower, though Pikachu jumps and hits it with Iron Tail. Seeing how he still takes burning damage, Ash calls Pikachu back and sends Buizel. Buizel uses Aqua Jet, hurting Magmortar and continues with Water Pulse. Magmortar uses Rock Tomb for protection, which gets destroyed by Water Pulse. Buizel uses Aqua Jet, but Magmortar is not present anymore. Magmortar uses Smog, affecting Buizel. Paul calls Magmortar back and sends Ursaring. Buizel uses Water Gun, which Ursaring negates with Hammer Arm. Ursaring uses Bulk Up to strengthen itself. Buizel uses Aqua Jet, wounding Ursaring, though Ursaring still manages to slash Buizel. Ursaring uses Focus Blast, but Buizel spins and uses Aqua Jet to deflect the attack back to Ursaring.
Buizel attacks with Sonic Boom and even if Ursaring is hit, it still charges and hits Buizel with Hammer Arm. Ash goes to call Buizel back, but it gives a signal it is good. Buizel charges with Aqua Jet, but gets defeated by Focus Blast. Ash calls it back and sends Staraptor. Staraptor uses Aerial Ace, dodging Ursaring's Hammer Arm and hitting it. Ursaring manages to hit him with Focus Blast. Ursaring slashes Staraptor, preventing his Close Combat and defeats him with Hammer Arm. Ash calls Staraptor and Paul his Ursaring back. Paul sends Electabuzz and Ash his Chimchar.
Chimchar uses Flamethrower, which gets countered by Protect. Electabuzz uses Light Screen for additional protection, then is called back. Paul sends Torterra, so Chimchar uses Flame Wheel. Torterra uses Stone Edge, so Chimchar evades, though Torterra changes the attack direction and hits Chimchar. Chimchar uses Flamethrower, which gets countered by Light Screen. Ash calls Chimchar back, making Team Rocket very tired with all the button pushing. Ash sends Gliscor, who uses X-Scissor, but gets pushed away and defeated with Frenzy Plant. Ash calls Gliscor back and despite the disadvantage he knows, sends Pikachu.
Paul calls Torterra back and sends Ursaring. Pikachu starts with Quick Attack, which hits Ursaring, but gets blown away by Hammer Arm. Pikachu uses Iron Tail and Ursaring goes to use Focus Blast, but Pikachu's Static Ability causes it to be paralyzed. Pikachu manages to hit him with Iron Tail, but takes damage as it is still burned. Ursaring becomes very angry, as its Ability, Guts, is activated. Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, which hits Ursaring, but not enough. Ursaring tosses him into the lake. Pikachu comes out of the lake, but falls as he is defeated.
Ash puts Pikachu near himself to watch the rest of the battle. Ash sees he has Chimchar left, but knows all of Paul's Pokémon took much damage. Ash sends Chimchar, who uses Flame Wheel. Ursaring pushes him away by slashing, although Chimchar uses Flamethrower on it. Chimchar digs and attacks Ursaring before it used Hammer Arm on the ground. With a Flamethrower, the mighty giant is defeated and Chimchar wins. Even Team Rocket is proud to see Chimchar won. Paul calls Ursaring and goes to send another Pokémon. Ash thanks Chimchar and wants to win with him against Paul. Heartened by this, Chimchar evolves into Monferno and displays Mach Punch.
Paul sends Electabuzz. Monferno uses Mach Punch, which hits Electabuzz, sending it to a rock. Electabuzz uses Thunder, pushing Monferno away, getting it paralyzed. Monferno uses Flame Wheel, which gets deflected by Protect. Monferno attacks using Flamethrower, however Electabuzz jumps and uses Thunder Punch, but misses. Monferno digs and manages to hit Electabuzz. Electabuzz uses Thunder against Flame Wheel, but Monferno spins and uses Flamethrower as well to protect itself. Electabuzz gets hit by Flame Wheel. Monferno uses Mach Punch, which gets deflected by Protect. Electabuzz uses Thunder, hitting Monferno in a moment.
Monferno goes to use Flamethrower, but it is paralyzed. Monferno's Ability, Blaze, is activated. They collide using Thunder Punch and Mach Punch, causing an explosion. When smoke clears, Monferno falls defeated. Ash goes to Monferno and thanks it for this battle. Paul is pleased by this victory and tells Reggie that he will send his Pokémon to him and goes away. Ash watches as Paul goes away victorious while Ash has been completely devastated by his humiliating defeat with Ash knowing that Paul also outclassed him.
The episode ends with Ash holding his injured Monferno with both his future as a Pokemon Trainer and also in the Sinnoh League having been left in serious doubt in the aftermath of Ash losing to Paul.
- This is the 600th episode of the main anime if Holiday Hi-Jynx and Snow Way Out! are counted.
- All three of the Pokémon Ash used in his battle against Fantina in Shield with a Twist! used Counter Shield in this episode.
- This episode uses Hoenn's Victory Road music as background music.
- The preview for the next episode is narrated by Dawn.
- This is the first episode where Ash loses a Full Battle and his opponent has more than one Pokémon remaining on their team - in this case, Paul had four Pokémon remaining at the end of the battle.
- This is the first time Ash had two evolved forms of starter Pokémon from the same region in the same stage of evolution on hand. They would both reach their final forms later on.
- In fact, it also became the first time he ever had two starters from the same region evolve, as every other time only one starter evolved to a higher level than its base form. The same thing will happen 50 episodes later with his Johto region starters.
- This is the third time that one of Ash's Pokémon has evolved against Paul, with Chimchar evolving into Monferno. The first two were Turtwig evolving into Grotle, and Staravia evolving into Staraptor.
- Team Rocket does not blast off or recite their motto in this episode.
- For a split second after Chimchar evolved into Monferno, its eyes were blue then went back to black.
- When Ash sends out Gliscor against Torterra, he comments that Torterra is protected with Light Screen. However, this is irrelevant as Gliscor doesn't know any Special attacks.
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