Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Strategy! (ジュナイパーを攻略せよ！ Overcome Decidueye!) is the 40th episode of Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon - Ultra Legends.
Ash and Rowlet are training before their battle against Island Kahuna Hala's grandson Hau in the second stage of the knockout round. And when Toucannon and Trumbeak show up, Ash and Rowlet learn to use the move Feather Dance. Will Rowlet, who's at a disadvantage against Hau's Decidueye, be able to use Feather Dance as its trump card?
A Wingull visits Toucannon's nest, and tells Toucannon about Rowlet, who wants to fight against Decidueye. Pikipek and Trumbeak gather, as Wingull speaks of Rowlet's determination to train. Thus, the Toucannon and the rest fly off, as Wingull bids them farewell. Elsewhere, Ash has Pikachu use Iron Tail against Rowlet, who fails to dodge the attack. Ash is concerned about Rowlet, who gives a thumbs up that he's fine. Rotom has doubts about Rowlet, but Ash is confident that Rowlet can do it. Ash's friends visit him, noting he's up early. Ash explains that Rowlet woke him up, which surprises the group, while Rotom describes that Rowlet has been fired up ever since last evening. Ash explains they are going to face Hau again, this time in the stadium, which excites him and Rowelt. Kiawe feels that Rowlet is at an disadvantage, since it only won the last battle because Decidueye was a Dartrix back then. Despite his friends advising that Torracat would be a better choice, Ash decides to have Rowlet confront Decidueye.
Sophocles senses that Ash has a secret plan. Ash denies, but points out Rowlet is really determined to fight, and trusts him. He reminds this is why they are training, and shows Kiawe Rowlet, who has fire in his eyes. Kiawe understands, and urges Rowlet to do his best. As Rowlet flies off, Ash's friends remind him he does not have much time left before the battle. Ash is determined to train, and so is Rotom. Lillie wishes she could stay and help Ash train, but has to watch Gladion's battle. Mallow understands that she has to support her brother. Ash is a bit displeased that he won't see the match, but reminds this is more important, so he lets everyone see that match. Ash's friends wish him good luck, and leave, while Ash goes to resume the training. Jessie, however, in the waiting room, reminds James that he defeated her by coincidence. She tells James to win, or else, while Meowth reminds him about the goal. Thus, Jessie gives James the Z-Ring to support his battle.
At the battlefield, Gladion arrives with his Lycanroc, while Lillie and the rest support him. Kukui wonders what kind of a battle will this be, while Lusamine hopes Gladion to do his best, to which Burnet thinks she's worrying too much. Lusamine denies this, but Burnet states it's natural for her to worry about her children. Faba and Wicke support Burnet, as they are definitively certain that Gladion will win. Jamexio's resume states that he's a fierce warrior that conquered many Gyms. Meowth asks Jessie when did that happen, to which she believes that such strong words could frighten his opponent. James goes to the battlefield, and prepares his Mareanie. Mareanie goes to hug James, who stops her, and states this is no time for him to be wobbling from poison. He claims for Team Rocket's sake, they need to win this fight, but in truth, he also wants to battle Masked Royal. Mareanie nods, as she wants to support James' dream. As they come to the battlefield, Jessie cheers for them, but Meowth states she's overexcited. With Hapu's order, the battle starts.
Mareanie uses Sludge Bomb, to which Lycanroc dodges. James, as well as Jessie, are disappointed that the attack failed. Ash, during his training, has Rowlet use Razor Leaf, while Pikachu uses Iron Tail to deflect the attack. Rowlet goes to collide with Pikachu, but ends up bashing himself on the floor. Ash visits Rowlet, who has fallen asleep. Ash and Rotom wonder how will Rowlet fight if it could fall asleep, and Rotom thinks it could learn a new move as a counter-strategy. Ash sees that could be the solution, and urges Rowlet to learn a new move. Suddenly, feathers fall on the ground, as the group is visited by Pikipek, Trumbeak and Toucannon. Rowlet wakes up, and is glad to see his old friends. Ash is glad to see them, too, while Rowlet describes it will have to fight a Decidueye, but has no strategy. Thus, Decidueye and Trumbeak get into positions, and the latter uses Bullet Seed on the former, who defends itself with Feather Dance. Ash is amazed, while Rotom describes that Toucannon will teach Feather Dance to Rowlet, to withstand Decidueye's attacks.
While the Trumbeak and Pikipek leave, Ash resumes the training, which interests Rowlet. At the same time, James' Mareanie is badly wounded from the battle. While Jessie and Meowth see this is bad, James urges Mareanie to withstand. Lycanroc uses Swords Dance, while James takes the opportunity to use his Z-Ring, passing the Z-Power to Mareanie. Mareanie uses Black Hole Eclipse, which surprises Gladion that Mareanie managed to do this, while backed into a corner. He remarks that Mareanie and Jamexio must really trust each other, but he won't lose, either. Gladion also passes the Z-Power to Lycanroc, having it use Continental Crush Z-Move, causing the two Z-Moves to collide. Nanu notices this is the same tactic that Ash made during their Grand Trial. James is displeased, while Lycanroc uses Stone Edge, which defeats Mareanie. Gladion smiles, as he won the battle. Faba and Wicke are pleased, as Gladion won the battle, as they felt he would. Lusamine and Burnet spin around, as do Lillie and Mallow, to see Gladion having won. Suddenly, Lillie stops, as she feels embarrassed to show her excitement, but Lana claims she and Snowy should feel happy.
Sophocles and Kiawe look around, as they don't see Ash, who should be up next. James walks with Mareanie out of the stadium, and confronts Jessie, who reminds her he had to win or else. James gasps, and bows down as he apologizes. However, Jessie gives him a can, since she wants to make this an exception, while Meowth states they found another way to conquer the region; Jessie states Team Rocket looks up to the future, rather than the past. James cheers up, and has Mareanie keep trying, who gloms James and poisons him. During Ash's training, Toucannon uses Bullet Seed on Rowlet, who attempts to use Feather Dance, but fails. Rowlet is knocked away, while Ash hopes they would've gotten the hang of this by now. Rotom returns to Ash, stating that Gladion won. Ash is pleased, but is reminded he is up next. Ash sees he is right, and just as he goes to the stadium, the Trumbeak and Pikipek arrive. They place a cloak on Rowlet, making him resemble a Decidueye. Toucannon nods at Rowlet, who is ready to battle. Ash runs off with his Pokémon, while Toucannon and the rest fly off.
Ash's friends wonder where is he, and believe he just got caught up in his training. They become displeased, but remember that Rotom should be with him to remind him about the battle. Kukui is concerned, too. Hau and Decidueye go to the waiting room to visit Ash, but do not see him. As Hau wonders if Ash overslept, the latter comes to the hall. Ash and Hau greet each other, and the latter is amused to see Rowlet dressed as Decidueye. Hau addresses Ash, stating he wants to be stronger, even than his grandfather, and is why he wants to battle against Ash. Hau admits that he was always aiming to pass Hala's Grand Trial, and when he did that, he realized that wasn't his ultimate goal. Ash nods, and swears he won't lose, and will win the whole championship. Hau smiles, seeing Ash's determination, as well as Rowlet, who is eager to battle. Suddenly, Hau and Ash are asked to go to the battlefield. The two boys are concerned, and as Hau runs off, Ash sends his Torracat, Lycanroc and Meltan to cheer them on. Rotom promises they'll cheer him on, while Ash and Rowlet go to the battlefield.
Upon seeing Ash at the battlefield, Kukui is relieved. Nanu comments he was expecting that Ash wouldn't arrive, while his friends are pleased. Mallow notices Rowlet's cloak, which amazes Lana to see a Decidowlet. Kiawe asks Rotom how did the training go, to which Rotom is unsure. With Toucannon and the rest watching, as well as the Island Kahunas, Nanu has the match start. Decidueye fires Razor Leaf, which Rowlet dodges, and retaliates with Seed Bomb. Decidueye's Leaf Blade reflects the Seed Bomb, as Hau shows they have gotten stronger. Ash expected this, and uses his Z-Ring to Z-Power Rowlet up. His friends are surprised that Ash is using a Z-Move so early. Rowlet uses Bloom Doom, to which Decidueye flies off to evade the attack. Ash gasps, while Hau expected this, since he analyzed Ash's moves. Thus, Decidueye fires Spirit Shackle, which binds Rowlet. In addition, Hau uses the Z-Ring, having it use the special Sinister Arrow Raid Z-Move.
Decidueye swoops down, causing its quills to rain down on Rowlet. After the smoke clears, only Rowlet's cloak remains, for Rowlet escaped the attack. Hau admits he didn't anticipate this tactic, and swears they won't escape his next move. While Rowlet is displeased that its cloak got thrashed, the Pikipek and Trumbeak are pleased that it served its purpose.
While the battle rages on, the Pikipek extend their wings to cheer for Rowlet. Toucannon and Trumbeak are taken aback, and the Pikipek force them to do the same.
- "Who's That Pokémon?": Pikipek (JA), Wingull (EN)
- The host of this episode was Rotom and the question was "Who was Rowlet's special training partner in today's episode?" The answer is Toucannon (green), the other choices that were given in that episode were Decidueye (blue), Faba (red), and Tapu Bulu (yellow).
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