Making Battles in the Sand! (サトシとゴウ、
Ash hasn't been himself during an official match since the battle with Bea. Meanwhile, an unusually large sandstorm has taken place at Mauville City in the Hoenn region. Ash and Goh set off to investigate whether or not if the sandstorm was the work of a Pokémon or not. Ash and Goh challenge the Pokémon at the eye of the storm who is none other than the Mystic Pokémon, Flygon and they begin to battle it. As Ash is at the mercy of Flygon's speed, Goh comes up with a surprising strategy.
Ash, Riolu, and Pikachu are all jogging together as a form of training after their battle with Bea. Hearing their training, Goh and Raboot decide to join in on the activity. Ash suddenly receives an alert from his Rotom Phone, notifying him that an opponent for the World Coronation Series, a boy standing not too far from them, is nearby. A Rotom Drone flies down over the two, announcing the battle. Ash sends forward Riolu while the opposing Trainer sends out Octillery. The opposing Octillery reminds Ash of Bea's Grapploct, so he reminds Riolu to keep its distance during the battle. Riolu starts off with Vacuum Wave, but Octillery easily dodges the attack and uses Psybeam, confusing Riolu. While Riolu is confused, Octillery uses Wrap to constraint Riolu before finishing the battle with Octazooka, sending Riolu flying back to Ash. Ash rushes to Riolu's side, disappointed by his loss and drop in ranking, though he quickly becomes excited by receiving another battle notification.
Ash once again sends forward Riolu while the opposing female Trainer sends out Tentacruel. Tentacruel uses Bubble Beam but Riolu quickly dodges the attack and fires Vacuum Wave after dodging. Riolu eventually gets too close to Tentacruel and is easily swatted away from one of its tentacles. Tentacruel then uses Bind, wrapping up Riolu, before finishing the battle with Poison Sting. After the battle, Ash's ranking drops from the Great Class to the Normal Class, leaving him defeated and seriously dissapointed.
In Mauville City in the Hoenn region, a large sandstorm has kicked up in the middle of a road, leaving many people to wonder how it got there or what's inside it. A song begins to emit from the sandstorm, hypnotizing the onlookers and making them walk into the whirling sand. The news of the sandstorm and mysterious song eventually reach Cerise Laboratory, puzzling Professor Cerise, Chrysa, and Ren. Chrysa suggests it may be the work of some unknown Pokémon, leaving Goh excited and offering to go investigate the strange phenomenon. Goh calls over Ash, though he is still broken by his triple loss and drop in rank. Goh attempts to encourage Ash though he is still left feeling defeated.
Ash and Goh arrive in Hoenn, seeing the sandstorm still there and the town largely buried in sand. Ash quickly pulls himself together as the two suddenly hear the haunting song from the sandstorm. Goh senses that there are people inside of the storm, so the boys and their Pokémon put on Go-Goggles and head into the sandstorm. They all makes it through the strong winds and eventually make it to the calm eye of the storm, hearing the distant calls of people. The boys rush over to find three people stuck inside of a large sand pit with a Trapinch inside of it. Goh uses his Pokédex to identify Trapinch, learning that they have strong jaws and dig holes to catch prey. Goh decides to catch the Pokémon, so he throws a Poké Ball only for Trapinch to gulp up sand and spit it at the Ball, sending it back. Goh then throws a curve ball Poké Ball, catching Trapinch and saving the three people before they head out of the storm. Ash and Goh continue to hear the song and travel further.
As the boys go further, they are suddenly confronted by a Vibrava. Goh attempts to catch it, but his Poké Ball misses and Vibrava begins to beat its wings, causing a headache-inducing sound. Goh throws a curve ball Poké Ball, but it misses Vibrava. Suddenly, Raboot kicks the Poké Ball as it flies by, sending it back and catching Vibrava. Goh begins to realize that both Trapinch and Vibrava have both been in the sandstorm and infers that their final evolution could be in the storm as well. Suddenly, a burst from the sand appears and a Flygon flies out.
Goh identifies Flygon with his Pokédex, learning that they create sandstorms to hide in. He realizes that Flygon was the reason for the sandstorm and the haunting song was created from Flygon's wings. Goh throws a Poké Ball at Flygon, but it simply bounces off, with him realizing that they must battle it first. Goh sends forward Sobble while Ash sends Pikachu to battle. Pikachu attempts to use Thunderbolt, but Flygon is unaffected with Goh reminding Ash that Flygon is a Ground-type Pokémon. Ash calls back Pikachu and Riolu swaps in to use Vacuum Wave, though the attacks are ineffective due to Flygon using Sandstorm to protect itself from the attack. However, Sobble repeatedly uses Water Gun on the sandstorm, eventually breaking through and hitting Flygon. Sobble continues to use Water Gun as Riolu uses Vacuum Wave, fitting Flygon with a barrage of attacks. Flygon digs into the sand and swims through it using Dragon Rush. It eventually appears, attack Sobble and sending it crashing down. Before Sobble can cry, Goh grabs out a Poké Ball and returns them. Riolu uses Vacuum Wave on the sand, attempting to hit Flygon, though this is ineffective. Ash attempts to come up with a strategy to defeat Flygon, but he can't shake off the thought of his consecutive losses to Bea, Octillery, and Tentacruel from earlier. Eventually, Flygon comes through, hitting Riolu and Ash with its Dragon Rush attack. Ash, feeling completely broken and powerless to do something, leaves Goh to battle Flygon on his own while Raboot uses Double Kick to attack. Raboot carefully listens to Flygon, jumping out of the way from its attacks and using Ember twice, though these attacks miss Flygon. Flygon responds with Draco Meteor, sending meteors across the field as Raboot dodges them. Ash begins to doubt Goh's strategy before Goh orders Raboot to hop across the meteors to get close to Flygon. Raboot eventually gets above Flygon and uses Ember on one of the falling meteors, creating a flurry of fiery rocks that strike Flygon to the ground. Goh throws a Poké Ball towards Flygon and finally catches it, making the sandstorm around Mauville City fade away.
Ash is surprised by Goh's technique, but Goh reveals that he actually learned the technique from watching Ash battle. He wanted to use Ember, a move he and Raboot worked hard on, so he decided to use it uniquely in battle. Ash, inspired by Goh's technique, decides that he will continue to train on until he fights Leon.
- Who's That Pokémon?: Trapinch
- During his battle against Flygon, Goh used the same strategy Ash used in his Gym Battle against Grant.
- Although Sand Tomb was mentioned in the Japanese title, it wasn't executed in the episode.
- While Ash, Goh and their Pokémon's Go-Goggles are based on the redesign from Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Mauville City appears similar to the one in Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald.
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