A Full-Strength Battle Surprise! (ライバル対決！サトシVSショータ！！ Rival Showdown! Ash VS Sawyer!!) is the 26th episode of Pokémon the Series: XYZ.
Battling against a trainer and Scizor, Ash has Greninja use Double Team to evade the attack. Scizor banishes the illusions using Bullet Punch, but Greninja defeats it with Aerial Ace. The trainer calls Scizor back, complimenting Ash and Greninja for their powerful moves. Ash thanks the trainer and believes he is ready for Snowbelle City's Gym, promising to get his next Badge. Just then, the heroes encounter Sawyer. The heroes and Sawyer have a talk, where Sawyer mentions having won his last badge in Snowbelle City's Gym. Sawyer shows his eight badges, impressing the heroes, as Ash mentions that he still have seven. Sawyer admits he was feeling frustrated when he saw how much Ash got badges, so he trained hard to catch up. Ash promises to catch up as well, by winning in Snowbelle City's Gym.
Sawyer mentions the Gym's specialty is Ice-types, so Ash decides to use Greninja, who has an advantage. Serena reminds Ash he did battle Diantha, surprising Sawyer Ash fought the Champion. Bonnie confirms this, while Ash feels he and Greninja managed to become as one during the battle. Sawyer wonders if it was like their last battle; Ash denies this, feeling this was "more right", while Bonnie recalls Greninja had a large Water Shuriken on its back and its head turned "spiky". Ash offers a chance to Sawyer to witness such an event, though Sawyer asks for a three-on-three battle, wishing to see how he and Ash advanced this far. Elsewhere, Officer Jenny, her Manectric and some citizens are walking in the forest to investigate something. Suddenly, they hear a strange noise, which stops a bit. Just then, some wild Pokémon run off, as some roots start spreading out to the group. The group runs off, though Officer Jenny turns around and saves a Skiploom, who was also fleeing from the roots. Manectric starts emitting electricity, stopping the roots.
In fact, this was an experiment conducted by Xerosic and his team. Xerosic is told none of the green Cells are damaged and the result was much more than they anticipated, pleasing Xerosic. Xerosic reports this to Lysandre, who allows Xerosic to continue the experiment. After logging off, Lysandre comes to Z-2, claiming its turn to act will wait, then leaves. Z-2, through telepathy, talks to Squishy, who tries to reply. However, Bonnie interrupts it, seeing Squishy is worried for someone else. Bonnie reminds it she and her friends are always with it and sings a song to cheer Squishy up. Before the battle, Clemont puts the bands on Ash and Greninja, explaining to Sawyer they are to measure their battle pulses. For his first Pokémon, Sawyer sends Doublade, while Ash sends Noivern. Both trainers are impressed their Pokémon evolved prior.
Noivern starts with Acrobatics, but is stopped by Doublade's Iron Defense. Noivern repeats its attack and so does Doublade. Doublade spins around and retaliates with Slash, hitting Noivern and repelling dust around. Doublade attempts to use Night Slash, but Noivern is gone. Noivern managed to use its echolocation and dodge the attack, then uses Dragon Claw to hit Doublade, sending it in air. Using Acrobatics, Noivern defeats Doublade. Sawyer calls Doublade back, wondering how Noivern could dodge the attack when the field was dusty and learns Noivern could use sound waves to track its opponent. Sawyer is impressed and writes this experience in his notebook. For his next Pokémon, Sawyer sends Clawitzer. Clawitzer uses Crabhammer, but Noivern dodges the attack and hits it with Boomburst. Clawitzer uses Heal Pulse, healing itself, while Clemont is certain due to Mega Launcher's ability, Clawitzer healed itself even more than it would without that ability. Noivern charges to use Dragon Claw, but Clawitzer fires Dragon Pulse, knocking down and defeating Noivern. Clemont points out all aura and pulse moves are powered up as well.
Ash calls Noivern back and sends Hawlucha. Hawlucha dodges Clawitzer's Dragon Pulse attack and hits it with High Jump Kick. Clawitzer fires Dragon Pulse, but Hawlucha evades the attack. Ash has Hawlucha use Flying Press on its pincers. Since Sawyer knew Ash would try to do that, Clawitzer uses Dragon Pulse on the ground to launch itself in mid-air. Hawlucha jumps and tries to use another Flying Press on Clawitzer, who manages to freeze Hawlucha with Ice Beam and defeat him. Ash calls Hawlucha back, admitting he did not expect an attack like Ice Beam. Sawyer confirms he taught Clawitzer the move to battle against Grass-type Pokémon, which Clawitzer is weak against. Serena and Clemont see Sawyer has learned a lot from his adventures, which allowed him to obtain the last badge. Ash also sees Sawyer battles with a style he barely recognizes and sends Greninja in the battle.
Clawitzer launches Dragon Pulse, but Greninja evades the attack. Ash starts wondering what Sawyer could do next, while Clemont notices Ash's pulse has changed. Clawitzer launches Ice Beam, but Greninja uses Cut to deflect the move and defeat Clawitzer. Clemont, however, sees the pulses are somewhat different than during the battle with Diantha. Without further ado, Sawyer swaps Clawitzer with Sceptile. Sawyer promises to do his best, but knows well even if Sawyer did win eight badges, Ash is a much tougher opponent. Sawyer plans on defeating Ash, to show how much he has grown. Sceptile uses Leaf Blade and clashes with Greninja's Aerial Ace. Sceptile uses Bullet Seed, which is countered by Greninja's Water Shuriken. Sceptile strikes with Leaf Blade, though Greninja dodges and uses Double Team. Sceptile repeats its attack, banishing the illusions and nearly hitting Greninja close-up. Greninja uses Cut, but Sceptile jumps back, dodging the move and repelling Greninja with Leaf Storm. Greninja stands up, while Ash is certain one can only learn some things about a person through a battle. Ash sees well Sawyer has grown up a lot, which shows in his battle style. Sawyer, however, knows well using type advantages and optimal moves make a lot of difference in battle, which he learned from Ash.
Greninja circles around Sceptile and uses Aerial Ace, but Sceptile dodges the attack and slams Greninja with its tail. With their feelings as one, Ash syncs with Greninja, who speeds up. However, nothing happens, surprising everyone, making Ash shocked how can he trigger this power. Taking advantage, Sceptile uses Leaf Storm, tossing Greninja around and defeating it with Leaf Blade. Ash rushes to Greninja, while Sawyer is astounded he and Sceptile defeated Ash and Greninja. Bonnie is sad for this defeat, but Clemont reminds her keeping a winning streak is difficult, though Serena remarks Sawyer got really strong this time. Ash calls Greninja back, while Pikachu wonders about Ash, who winks, seeing Sawyer got him this time. Ash turns to Sawyer, admitting Sawyer's power surprised him this time, which makes the latte proud. Later on, Ash returns the band to Clemont, seeing brooding over the defeat won't achieve anything, but promises to Sawyer next time, the battle will be different. Since the heroes are going to Snowbelle City, Sawyer decides to accompany them, to see how Ash will battle.
The next day, the heroes, along with Sawyer, dressed in winter clothes, come to a snowy landscape, from where they can see Snowbelle City.
- "Pokémon Quiz:" Doublade (JP)
- "Who's That Pokémon?:" Doublade (US)
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