Numero Uno Articuno (初陣！バトルファクトリー！！（前編） The First Battle! The Battle Factory! (Part One)) is the 44th episode of Pokémon: Advanced Battle.
After getting lost on the way to Ash's first Battle Frontier battle, the gang gets the rare chance of seeing a wild Articuno in flight. Once he and his friends get to the battle facility, Ash meets the Frontier Brain he will have to defeat to earn his first Frontier Symbol.
The day comes to an end, while Max tries to find the Battle Factory on PokéNav. Brock tells they must have taken a wrong turn, while Max tries to convince they must be near. Later, however, they did not find the Battle Factory, and the night is here. Max apologizes himself, so Brock makes a spot for the night. Ash is unamused and wants to get to the battle. May calms him down, pointing at the moon. Soon, they find snow around them, even if it is warm for this time of year. They spot something flying - it is the Legendary Snow Bird Pokémon, Articuno. They do hear a plane nearby - it simply flies near Articuno.
The engine rattles and the gang becomes dirty by the smoke. After that, they don't see the plane nor Articuno. Team Rocket saw this, too, and plan to go to the Battle Factory to catch the Pokémon inside. Meowth thinks Articuno would cool down the boss during hot days. Team Rocket is tempted to catch it, but James reminds them it is a Legendary Pokémon, a one hard to catch. James rallies Jessie and Meowth, so they plan to capture Articuno, Pikachu and the other Pokémon in Battle Factory. Later, the gang encounters the Pokémon Center. Inside, Brock flirts with Nurse Joy, as always, so Max pulls his ear. Ash asks if Nurse Joy knows where Battle Factory is, but Joy tells them to rest first, as tomorrow she'll tell them the location.
Next day, the gang is out of the Center and Joy is about to give the directions. However, Scott tells her he can take them there. Ash greets him and Brock, May and Max introduce themselves to him. Later, Scott drives them (quite fast) in his car, making them dizzy, but he kept his promise - they are at the Battle Factory. Soon they hear something rattling - it is a machine, which almost overdrove the gang. To stop it, Ash sends Grovyle, May her Combusken and Brock his Mudkip. Grovyle uses Bullet Seed, Combusken Fire Spin and Mudkip Water Gun. The machine stops and the man comes out. The man tells it is his finest project, even if it is malfunctioning - a steam-powered machine he constructed. Another man comes, saying if Noland (the man from the machine) played with the machine again.
Noland introduces Sergio, his apprentice. Noland introduces himself as the man in charge of the Battle Factory - a Factory Head, one of the Frontier Brains. Ash would like to start the battle immediately, so Noland accepts the challenge. Team Rocket spot them, planning to take some parts as well. Sergio calls some Pokémon for the Pokéblocks, so Munchlax comes out to eat the Pokéblocks. May tries to stop it, but Sergio tells he has enough to feed them. Noland tells Ash that he can choose which Pokémon he can battle, so he sees which Pokémon he can battle, but has a difficult choice. Munchlax goes off with more Pokéblocks, so May and Max go to get it. Meowth thinks they need to capture all of the Pokémon, but James thinks greed is what causes their plans to fail. Meowth tells him he has a plan.
May and Max go inside a building. Though very dark, they see Munchlax, as well as the plane they saw yesterday. They see some snow coming, as well as Articuno behind Munchlax. Noland admits he flew yesterday with the Articuno. May and Max are impressed by Noland's skills, but Noland tells them Articuno is his friend. He flew a plane and the Articuno appeared next to him. However, it was hurt and fell, so Noland flew to help it, allowing it to get on the roof of the plane before they landed, and it healed soon after. Max wants to see it fly, so Noland agrees - Max takes Pikachu as well to see it flying. Articuno and the plane go up an down, having good time. Ash comes, saying he had to make a phone call. However, Team Rocket appears, so Ash calls Pikachu, but remembers it is on the plane.
Ash goes to send Grovyle, but Team Rocket take his Poké Ball. Next, they take the Battle Factory's Pokémon and fly off, but Noland flies, tackling his plane with theirs. Their plane crashes and Articuno flies down, catching the plane and sending it "flying", as well as using Ice Beam to blast them off. At the end of the day, Ash decides to battle Articuno. He also chooses to battle it with his Charizard. He called Liza to get Charizard from the Valley. So, Ash has to wait for his battle.
- The episode's English title is a play on "numero uno" (number one), and Articuno (part of which is originated from the word "uno"), also as a rhyme.
- Featured Pokémon: Machoke, Gardevoir, Poochyena, Sudowoodo
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