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The Climb to Be the Very Best! (サトシ(たい)ダンデ!最強(さいきょう)への(みち)!!, Satoshi Tai Dande! Saikyou e no Michi!!, Ash Against Leon! The Path to Power!!) is the 13th episode of Pokémon Journeys: The Series.


Following the match at the World Coronation Series, a Drednaw ends up Dynamaxing in the stadium! Ash and Goh confront it but then Ash's Pikachu gets shrouded in a red light…?!

Episode plot

As the Gigantamax Drednaw enters the stadium Team Rocket continues to flee from the giant Pokémon, while Ash and Goh head outside to confront it along with their Pokémon. Once outside the stadium, the boys try to get Drednaw to calm itself down as wrecks the stadium with the people inside. However, when it attacks the boys, they are left with no choice but to battle it. Ash states that they'll battle it to get its attention and to lure it away from the stadium. Goh questions whether they even take handle a Gigantamax Pokémon, Ash admits he doesn't know, but it's worth trying anyway. Ash tells Goh to stay back, but the latter refuses as he wants to help battle Drednaw, and they agree and prepare a battle. Ash orders his Pikachu to use Thunderbolt, which does nothing to Drednaw. Goh tells Scorbunny to use Double Kick but ends up with the same result. Drednaw dives in and attacks, to which Pikachu counters with Electroweb, only for Drednaw to break out of it.


UK- GIGANTAMAX Pikachu - Pokémon Journeys - Official Clip

Pikachu Gigantamaxing.

As the boys run away from Drednaw, the giant Pokémon hits a hidden den which causes Pikachu to Dynamax as well. The boys are completely shocked to see Pikachu having Gigantamaxed in front of them. As the Gigantamax Drednaw continue to attack, Ash orders Pikachu to use Quick Attack. However, due to his massive size, Pikachu can't properly use Quick Attack and gets hit by Drednaw's G-Max Stonesurge, causing him to land on the stadium, sending the people into a panic. Knowing that the people are still inside, Ash then has Pikachu use Iron Tail. Pikachu grabs his tail prepare for attack. Leon appears and sees Pikachu Gigantamaxed. Pikachu uses Iron Tail on the ground, causing the attack to transform into Max Steelspike. Ash praises Pikachu, which gets Leon's attention as he sees Ash battling without a Dynamax Band. Drednaw prepares a Rock-type Max Move: Max Rockfall, which worries Ash and Goh. Leon calls to the boys and tells Ash to have his Pikachu use G-Max Volt Crash. As Drednaw launches its Max Move, Ash commands his Pikachu to use G-Max Volt Crash, causing Pikachu's G-Max Move to cancel out Drednaw's attack and sends the giant Pokémon flying off and slamming into the ground and return to normal size. Pikachu triumphs over his victory as he returns to normal size too. Team Rocket seizes the opportunity to capture Drednaw and to go find it.


UK- Ash daydreaming about battling Leon - Pokémon Journeys - Official Clip

Ash daydreaming about battling Leon.

Leon arrives to check on the boys' safety, with them assuring Leon they're alright. Ash thanks Leon for his help, with the latter thanking the former and his friends help with Drednaw. After introducing themselves, Ash asks Leon to have a battle with him. A worker from the stadium arrives and blames Ash and Goh Pokémon, thinking they were behind the incident. However, Leon assures the man that they were the heroes that stopped Drednaw. As the man apologizes for the misunderstanding, Leon winks at Ash, knowing he has them covered. The next day at the Pokémon Center, the boys and their Pokémon are having a little snack of Galar's famous scones. Goh notices Ash is acting a bit off, until he spots a Pokémon eating some of the scones. Goh looks up the Pokémon on his phone, revealing it to be a Skwovet and catches the Pokémon with success. Goh is happy that he caught his second Galar Pokémon, but still sees Ash spacing out and asks the latter what's troubling him.

Ash tells Goh that he keeps thinking of Leon and Lance's battle the other day. Goh knows that Ash wants to battle Leon, so he tells him that he can participate in the Pokémon World Championships in order to do that. He explains to Ash that he needs to sign up and battle his way through different ranks. The ranks are positioned based on the trainer's record and performances and the top eight ranked trainers are called the "Master Class". At the end of each season, the eight trainers fight in a tournament and the Winner will become the Champion. Ash is excited about this and plans to enter the competition to battle Leon, but Goh warns him it's not going to be easy. He then tells him that the participating Trainers are separated into four classes, based on their win/loss ratios and battling performances. All new competitors start in the first class, which is the Normal Class, the competitors that are in ranks 999 to 99 will compete in the Super Class, the next rank is the Hyper Class in which the competitors ranked 99 to 9 compete, and the top eight trainers are in the Master Class as mentioned before. Leon is positioned at the very top, so Ash needs to battle through the ranks if he wants to have a chance to challenge Leon.

Ash has some trouble trying to understand the whole ranking system, but he figures that winning a lot of battles is what he should do. He is determined by this goal that he quickly eats his scones but he chokes on them instead. Someone hands him some water, and Ash sees that it's Leon. Leon tells him that he will accept Ash's earlier request for a battle which makes Ash very happy and Goh very surprised. Meanwhile, Team Rocket has been looking for Drednaw all night, but to no avail when James suddenly notices a Pokémon biting on Jessie's hair. Meowth uses their Rotom Phone to find out that the Pokémon is a Chewtle, the pre-evolved form of Drednaw. Learning that this Pokémon evolves into the Pokémon they have been looking for, the trio decides to take Chewtle instead to Giovanni.

At Wyndon Stadium, Ash and Leon are preparing for their battle. Dan will act as the referee by Leon's request. Leon hands Ash a Dynamax Band and explains that he should use it to control the Dynamax even though he was able to use Dynamax without it yesterday. He then explains that when a Pokémon Dynamaxes, the names and powers of its type moves also change. Goh continues the explanation, giving examples of some of the changes to Pikachu's moves when he is Dynamaxed: Normal-type moves become Max Strike, Steel-type moves become Max Steelspike, and Electric-type moves become Max Lightning. Since Pikachu is also able to Gigantamax, Leon states that his Electric moves become G-Max Volt Crash instead of Max Lightning, and that Dynamaxing is only triggered by recalling the Pokémon into its Poké Ball and charging it up with the Dynamax Band, using the Pokémon after that. Ash comments that Pikachu hates being in his Poké Ball, but states that they should be able to do so. Ash borrows the Dynamax Band and is amazed by it as he puts it on his wrist.


UK- Ash Battles Leon! - Pokémon Journeys - Official Clip

Ash vs. Leon.

Ash and Leon take their places and send out their Pokémon. Ash chooses Pikachu, while Leon, just as Ash hoped, sends out his Charizard. While Goh states that Pikachu has a type advantage, Leon reminds Ash that he has an unbroken winning streak, which the former is alright with. As Dan starts the battle, Ash makes the first move and orders Pikachu to use Quick Attack, which Charizard counters with Thunder Punch. Pikachu then uses Iron Tail, but Charizard blocks it with Thunder Punch again. Charizard goes to attack and Pikachu tries to counter with Electroweb, but Charizard breaks through it by using another Thunder Punch. Charizard then uses Air Slash which successfully hits Pikachu. Despite this, Pikachu stands strong, and uses Thunderbolt. Charizard counters with Flamethrower, which starts to win over Thunderbolt, leaving Pikachu with only a small space to protect him from the Fire-type move. Ash tells Pikachu to hang there and stay strong.

Seeing Ash's determination, Pikachu starts applying to increase the power in his attack. Ash's Dynamax Band responds to their determination and starts to glow, sending the Dynamax energy into Pikachu and causing him to Gigantamax. As the Gigantamax takes effect, Thunderbolt transforms into G-Max Volt Crash, which overpowers the Flamethrower and hits Charizard, knocking it into the ground. Ash is happy that he succeeded in Gigantamaxing again, which Leon happily responds by recalling and Gigantamaxing his Charizard too. Ash orders Pikachu to use Max Strike, but Charizard easily dodges the attack and uses Max Airstream. Despite Pikachu's struggle, it is thrown back by the wind. Pikachu goes for a Max Steelspike, but since he is struggling to stand up again, Charizard uses Max Lightning before Pikachu can use Max Steelspike. Going all out, Ash orders Pikachu to use G-Max Volt Crash, and Charizard responds with his own G-Max Move, G-Max Wildfire. Both attacks hit the opponent but Charizard endures the Electric attack. G-Max Wildfire's secondary effect takes Pikachu out, who turns back into its normal form and is knocked out. Ash rushes to check on Pikachu while Dan declared Leon the winner. Leon is disappointed about the outcome as his Charizard reverts to its normal size and form.

Ash tends to Pikachu, stating he did his best, as Leon goes to Ash and gives him an Oran Berry to restore Pikachu's strength. Ash thanks Leon for the battle, and Leon says that battles can't be fun unless they are taken serious. Ash wants to return his Dynamax Band to Leon, but the latter tells him to keep it. He tells Ash that he likes young Trainers like him, however, to satisfy Leon, Ash needs to put on more of a show. Leon turns around to leave but Ash requests for another battle with him the next time they meet. Leon accepts his request and promises that their next battle will be an official one in front of an audience. While Ash and Goh leave the stadium, Ash says that he's going to enter the Pokémon World Championships tournament to face Leon again and will defeat him to become closer to his goal to be a Pokémon Master. Goh is happy due to his friend's determination as Ash and Pikachu vow to become stronger to reach their new goal. Ash turns to face to the stadium one more time and imagines himself battling Leon while in front of a huge cheering audience.