| Lost Leader Strategy!
Lost Leader Strategy! (Japanese: ルカリオ！怒りのはどうだん！！ Lucario! Wave Bomb of Anger!!) is the 66th episode of Diamond & Pearl series, and the 532nd episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on February 7, 2008, and in the United States on July 19, 2008.
|Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.|
Just as they reach Veilstone City, Ash and his friends spot a nearby commotion and track it down to the source: Gym Leader Maylene and her Lucario, locked in an intense sparring session! Pikachu and Piplup see Paul's Electabuzz and get in a fight, which is sorted out with the help of Maylene and Paul's pleasant older brother, Reggie, who's taking care of Paul's Pokémon. Something strange is afoot, however: Maylene is cornered by both Lucario and the Gym's students, and she refuses to accept Ash's Gym challenge. The truth is that ever since she was rudely defeated by Paul, she's lost all confidence in herself as a Gym Leader.
When Maylene runs off, Dawn follows her to have a candid one-on-one conversation about her doubts and fears. This encourages Maylene to open up about her own misgivings. Team Rocket spoils the moment by showing up and offering Lucario the chance to join their team instead, but Lucario isn't interested. After Lucario blasts Team Rocket, Dawn reminds Maylene that Lucario still wants to battle together. And now, when Dawn challenges Maylene to a battle, Maylene uncertainly accepts.
Back at Reggie's place, Reggie—an experienced Pokémon breeder—wants to see Ash in action, so he challenges Ash to a friendly match. Dawn and Maylene return just in time to watch as Ash's Turtwig gets the better of Reggie's Bibarel, although Reggie's Swalot then defeats Ash's Staravia. Reggie then brings out his Staraptor, which demonstrates the Brave Bird move while battling against Pikachu. Pikachu wins the round, and Reggie offers to help Ash teach Brave Bird to Staravia. But just as Reggie asks Maylene if she might be interested in battling Ash after all, Dawn steps in and puts her foot down: she's going to have a Gym Battle with Maylene first!
Ash and his friends are excited as they spot Veilstone City. Their excitement is cut short when a blue sphere of energy flies towards them. They ducked and noticed multiple spheres coming from one spot, Ash identifying them as Aura Spheres. They head to the source, Pikachu and Piplup leading. A blast destroys a portion of a fence, which the group uses as an observation point. Inside, Pokémon watch as a pink-haired woman dodges an oncoming Lucario. Ash, having encountered a Lucario before, is thrilled to see it and checks his Pokédex as Lucario battles the woman. She dodges the Pokémon’s attacks and even kicks an Aura Sphere back to Lucario, the Pokémon standing aside and dodging the attack. Ash is awed while Brock fills Dawn in on what Aura Spheres are and how they’re connected to aura. Lucario prepares a Bone Rush, which the woman anticipates, somersaulting and dodging multiple strikes. The Bone Rush eventually fades mid-strike as Dawn notices the battling being too intense for training.
Suddenly, an electric attack strikes near Ash and his friends, tossing Piplup facedown onto the field as Pikachu defends Piplup. An Electabuzz comes out from behind a tree snickering, Pikachu shocked at who the adversary is, apparently recognizing it. Ash and his friends notice as Piplup rushes towards Electabuzz, Pikachu following. Piplup headbutts Electabuzz right in the chest, but it repulses the Penguin Pokémon, making it crash into Pikachu. Both Pikachu and Piplup are angry and get into a hand-to-hand brawl with Electabuzz. While attempting to stop the fight, Ash and his friends wind up getting shocked. The woman and Lucario stop sparring and notice the situation, Lucario launching an Aura Sphere into the fiasco, stopping the battle and dazing the Pokémon. She rushes up to them and apologizes for Lucario’s rough action, but Lucario shrugs it off. A purple-haired man comes up to help, identifying Maylene, who in turn identifies him as Reggie. Electabuzz tries to sneak away, but Reggie catches the Pokémon, Electabuzz turning around and laughing sheepishly. Ash suggests that maybe the Electabuzz is Paul’s, which Pikachu confirms. Maylene and Reggie take note of the comment and Reggie identifies Pikachu as one that can use Volt Tackle. He formally introduces himself and mentions that he is Paul’s older brother, surprising Ash and his friends, as well as confirming that the Electabuzz is indeed Paul’s and that he leaves some of his Pokémon with Reggie to train since he's a breeder. After formal introductions, Ash brings up his goal for a Gym battle and asks if Paul has already won a Badge in Veilstone. Reggie mentions that Paul defeated Maylene, pointing her as the Gym Leader. Ash formally asks for a Gym battle, but she declines, which causes Lucario to blast her with an Aura Sphere. Reggie explains why Lucario is upset at Maylene for wanting to give up and is simply trying to help her out. Team Rocket eavesdrops nearby and plans to steal the powerful Lucario.
Maylene gets up after Lucario’s attack as a group of Black Belts meets her, displeased at her complaints. Reggie mentions that despite being well respected as a battler, her short reign as Gym Leader is causing her to have doubts about her fighting abilities. Maylene continues to plead as Lucario launches another Aura Sphere, which Maylene blocks without looking. Reggie confronts her, asking if what Paul said upset her. Ash asks what happened, and Reggie fills Ash in regarding what happened in Paul's battle against Maylene.
The Veilstone Gym is a Fighting-type Gym, and therefore Paul brought Flying-type Pokémon to use type advantage. Reggie explains that Paul's Murkrow had recently evolved into a Honchkrow which took out Maylene’s Meditite and Machoke in no time. When Maylene then brought out Lucario, Paul used a Magmar as Lucario is part Steel-type it was defeated just as quickly by Magmar's Fire-type moves. Maylene acknowledges her poor performance and lack of sync with her Pokémon and says that what Paul said after she gave him his Badge was true. Ash asks what Paul said.
"You're the weakest. The weakest leader I ever fought, and this lightweight Badge is just like you."
Reggie admits that Paul always had a cruel streak, but Maylene is upset at the memory and runs off, Lucario starting to follow but stopping. Reggie offers to console Maylene and apologizes to Ash about the situation. Brock suggests to find another Gym for the time being but Dawn steps forward and offers to talk to Maylene instead. Lucario leads Dawn and Piplup to the location as Ash wonders what her plan is.
Maylene tries to meditate near a river as she senses Lucario. However, seeing Dawn gets her attention. Back at Reggie's home, he feeds Pikachu and Chimchar while talking to Ash and Brock about Maylene's doubts about being a Gym Leader, something Brock is familiar with. Dawn talks with Maylene about her similar feelings, having suffered two previous Contest letdowns recently which have led to her taking a break from contests for a while. While Piplup exercises and swims, both continue to share their similar doubts, how Dawn may tie down Ash's progress and Maylene letting down Lucario. Team Rocket, eavesdropping the whole time, reveal themselves and recite their motto, wanting Lucario. Maylene gets ready to battle, as with Lucario.
Meanwhile, Reggie pets Chimchar, remembering it as Paul’s former. Reggie asks how Ash tolerates Paul’s rivalry and brutal training tactics, which angers him and wanting to be one with his Pokémon. Reggie looks forward to a battle between Ash and Paul. While Team Rocket tries to sway Lucario to join, the Pokémon simply prepares a Bone Rush and sends them flying. Maylene thanks Lucario as Dawn realizes Lucario only wants to battle. Dawn asks for a battle with Maylene as she agrees, Lucario also pleased.
Meanwhile, Reggie asks Ash to battle, wanting to evaluate him as a rival. Ash plans a three-on-three battle, similar to the one Ash and Paul had, and Ash and his Pokémon rush out. Reggie notes Chimchar is far happier now that it ever was with Paul as Brock notices that on top of the fireplace mantle are a complete collection of framed Badges from Kanto, Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh and six of the seven symbols from the Kanto Battle Frontier. The Frontier Symbols frame is notably missing Brandon's Brave Symbol. Brock thinks they're Paul’s, but they're actually Reggie’s. Dawn and Maylene arrive in time to watch the battle begin. Ash brings out Gligar, which comes down on Ash's head. Ash asks Gligar to watch. Ash summons Turtwig as the first as Reggie summons Bibarel. Turtwig fires Energy Ball, but Bibarel uses Super Fang to negate the attack before using Secret Power to consume Turtwig. Due to the grassy field, the effect puts Turtwig to sleep. Bibarel sends Turtwig flying with Take Down, but it wakes Turtwig. Bibarel charges with Super Fang, but Turtwig dodges and uses Razor Leaf. Ash mentions his inspiration from Gardenia's Turtwig as Turtwig prepares Energy Ball. Bibarel fires Ice Beam, but Turtwig jumps to dodge and fires Energy Ball, knocking out Bibarel.
Reggie recalls Bibarel while Turtwig happily latches onto Ash's arm. Ash gets the first win as Dawn mentions his consistent training for Energy Ball. Lucario notices Maylene watching Ash’s battle skill intently. Reggie summons Swalot as Ash recalls Turtwig, checking his Pokédex before sending out Staravia. Staravia launches Quick Attack, but Swalot absorbs it and uses Stockpile, gaining size and power. Ash repeats Quick Attack, and Swalot repeats Stockpile. Brock notices the pattern and predicts the outcome. Staravia switches to Aerial Ace, but Swalot uses Spit Up to unleash the energy, striking Staravia. Swalot returns to normal size as Staravia recovers and uses Aerial Ace. Swalot shoots the Starling Pokémon down with Sludge Bomb, and Ash catches Staravia from the fall, giving the win to Reggie.
Reggie compliments Ash’s Staravia and offers to demonstrate a move. Reggie summons Staraptor, stunning Staravia as Ash checks his Pokédex while knowing that is Staravia's evolved form. Ash has Staravia watch as Pikachu takes the lead. Pikachu fires Thunderbolt as Staraptor dodges and charges with Brave Bird. Pikachu tries to spin-dodge past, but Staraptor extends its wing and strikes Pikachu, knocking it down and hitting with the full attack. Staraptor flies away as sparks emit from both Pokémon taking damage. Staraptor charges with Steel Wing as Pikachu uses Iron Tail to jump and dodge. Pikachu comes down with Volt Tackle as Staraptor uses Wing Attack to counter. Both attacks land and Pikachu lands, shaken but standing. Staraptor took the full hit and hits the ground, unable to battle. Ash wins the match. Reggie recalls Staraptor as the two Trainers thank each other. Ash knows that Brave Bird was the move demonstrated, and Reggie offers to teach it to Staravia, which Ash and Staravia agree to. Reggie asks Maylene to reconsider the match between her and Ash, but Dawn objects as she asked for a Gym Battle first, shocking everyone else. The episode ends as Dawn prepares for her first ever Gym Battle, which may hopefully help both Maylene and Dawn regain their shattered confidence.
- Ash and his friends arrive in Veilstone City and meet Maylene, the local Gym Leader.
- Ash meets Reggie, Paul's brother and a Pokémon Breeder who takes care of Paul's additional Pokémon; one of them being Electabuzz.
- Ash defeats Reggie in a 3-on-3 Battle.
- Reggie reveals some events that happened to Paul.
- Reggie promises to help Ash to teach his Staravia to use Brave Bird.
- Dawn decides to battle Maylene to rebuild Maylene's confidence.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
TV episode debuts
- Pikachu (Ash's)
- Meowth (Team Rocket)
- Piplup (Dawn's)
- Wobbuffet (Jessie's)
- Staravia (Ash's)
- Turtwig (Ash's)
- Chimchar (Ash's)
- Gligar (Ash's)
- Electabuzz (Paul's)
- Magmar (Paul's, new; flashback)
- Honchkrow (Paul's, newly evolved; flashback; debut)
- Machoke (Maylene's, flashback)
- Meditite (Maylene's, flashback)
- Lucario (Maylene's, debut)
- Swalot (Reggie's)
- Bibarel (Reggie's)
- Staraptor (Reggie's)
- Professor Oak's lecture: Ambipom
- Together, Pokémon Symphonic Medley, and By Your Side ~Hikari's Theme~ as background music, are used in this episode.
- Dawn narrates the preview for the next episode.
- Rachael Lillis (previously the voice of Misty and Jessie among others when the show was dubbed by 4Kids) returns to the series in this episode as the voice of Maylene, making her the first main cast member to return to the series since the voice change.
- The Lucario of Lucario and the Mystery of Mew is referenced by Ash's enthusiasm on seeing Maylene's Lucario, Ash knowing some things about it, such as its name and its move, and Jessie offering a bar of chocolate to it.
- This episode first aired in Japan one week after the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which features Lucario as an unlockable playable character. Something similar happened with Mega Revelations!, which aired in the dub four days before the release of the Furious Fists TCG expansion, which featured Mega Lucario and Korrina as a Supporter card.
- While Electabuzz was attempting to flee from Reggie after the fight, it is sneaking over the tree, but at the next scene it is sneaking behind the tree, closer to the fence.
- While Dawn is talking to Maylene near a river, Lucario is seen behind her in one scene, and in the next frame he is gone. After that, Lucario reappears behind Maylene.
In other languages
|Czech||Strategie ztracené trenérky|
|Danish||Ledelsesstrategi på lavpunkt!|
|Dutch||Strategie van een lijdende leider!|
|European French||Une championne en proie au doute!|
|German||Erfolg ist ein hartes Geschäft!|
|Italian||Strategia da Capopalestra perduta!|
|Portuguese||Brazil||Animando uma Líder Derrotada!|
|Portugal||A Estratégia do Líder Vencido!|
|Romanian||Un Șef de Arenă cu Probleme|
|Russian||Стратегия проигравшего лидера|
|Spanish||Latin America||¡La estrategia del líder perdido!|
|Spain||Estrategia de Líder Derrotado|
|This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.|