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DP185 : Working on a Right Move!
Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl
DP187 : A Real Rival Rouser!
Familiarity Breeds Strategy!
DP186   EP652
Rival Decisive Battle! Satoshi VS Shinji!!
First broadcast
Japan August 5, 2010
United States December 18, 2010
English themes
Opening We Will Carry On!
Japanese themes
Opening 「サイコー・エブリディ!」(BAND VERSION)
Ending 君の胸にLaLaLa
Animation Team Kato
Screenplay 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
Storyboard 金崎貴臣 Takaomi Kanasaki
Assistant director うえだしげる Shigeru Ueda
Animation director 緒方厚 Atsushi Ogata
No additional credits are available at this time.

Familiarity Breeds Strategy! (Japanese: ライバル決戦!サトシ対シンジ!! Rival Decisive Battle! Satoshi VS Shinji!!) is the 186th episode of Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl, and the 652nd episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on August 5, 2010 and in the United States on December 18, 2010.

Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.


The first quarterfinal battle of the Sinnoh League at Lily Of The Valley Island has Ash pitted against his rival Paul. This round is a full battle, with each side using a full party of six Pokémon. As Ash switches out his first three Pokémon—Pikachu, Infernape, and Staraptor—there’s something quite familiar about it to Paul. In fact, Ash appears to be using the same Pokémon team he used in their first full battle at Lake Acuity! Paul begins the battle with Aggron, then Gastrodon, and brings his Drapion out after the first two are quickly defeated.

Watching the battle on television, Paul’s brother Reggie notices that Paul is well aware of Ash’s strategies. Reggie is convinced that Paul allowed Ash to take the first two wins as part of his overall plan!

After Ash switches Staraptor out for Buizel, Drapion catches Buizel in its pincer tail! We leave the scene with Ash screaming at Buizel to “get out of there!”—and as the action gets more and more intense, we have no choice but to wonder how this incredible match will ultimately play out!


Determined to settle their long-standing rivalry once and for all, Ash and Paul are set to face off in the first quarterfinals showdown of the Lily of the Valley Conference. Ash decides to begin with Pikachu, and Paul orders out his first Pokémon, Aggron.

Prior to the match, Ash gets some last-minute training with Gliscor, who recently returned from its training session with Air Battle Master McCann. Gliscor practices Giga Impact in a session against Dawn's Mamoswine while Barry watches on. Reflecting on his Full Battle against Paul at Lake Acuity, Ash remarks that Paul takes everything he has learned in battle and uses it to his advantage. Barry claims Ash does the same thing, but Ash replies that he still needs to look at everything he has been through while on his journey. Barry asks if he figured it out, but Ash says that he will just have to wait until the battle, much to Barry's frustration.

Meanwhile, Paul talks to his older brother Reggie via videophone about his upcoming battle with Ash. Dawn enters the Pokémon Center lobby looking for her friends, but she quickly ducks out of sight. Reggie regrets not being able to be there, but Paul understands that he cannot just drop his work responsibilities. Reggie asks Paul if he wants to reconsider which Pokémon he'll be taking into the match, but Paul confirms he's satisfied with his lineup. Reggie notes how glad he is that Paul met Ash, as he knows that no other trainer has influenced his brother as much. Reggie then advises Paul to not underestimate Ash but to power through the battle and win. Paul thanks Reggie and ends the call, then discovers Dawn eavesdropping. As they walk outside, Paul confesses his main problem with Ash - his talk about bringing out a Pokémon's inner strength and how any Pokémon has the potential to be strong reminds him a lot of Reggie. Dawn points out to Paul that Ash and Reggie are different people. Everyone soon meets outside. Paul then prepares to leave, but abruptly stops when Dawn utters Cynthia's quote back at Amity Square, "When every life meets another life, something will be born". She is left wondering what that "something" might be but hopes the quarterfinals might shed some light. Paul tells Ash that he will see him on the battlefield to which Ash agrees.

Returning to the present, Paul begins by having Aggron use Metal Claw, and Ash has Pikachu counter with Iron Tail. Though the two Steel-type moves cancel each other out. Paul then tells Aggron to use Metal Sound, a high-frequency that lowers Pikachu’s special defense. Ash instructs Pikachu to use Thunderbolt to stop Aggron's attack, and Pikachu manages to pull it off, stopping Aggron as well as causing a little damage. Pikachu then uses Volt Tackle, speeding towards Aggron. Paul counters with Aggron's Flash Cannon, hitting Pikachu and sending him flying, rolling back onto his feet. Ash knows Pikachu is struggling and decides to substitute him with Infernape. Cynthia recognizes Infernape as the Chimchar she once battled, while Team Rocket is excited to see Infernape battle, having had a soft spot for him since the Hearthome City Tag Battle Competition. Paul tells Aggron to use Double-Edge while Ash tells Infernape to counter with Flare Blitz. The two powerful and dangerous attacks collide, and Infernape suffers from the recoil. However, Aggron has the Rock Head Ability, which cancels out recoil damage. Luckily for Ash, Aggron ends up with a burn from Infernape's Flare Blitz. Ash then instructs Infernape to use Mach Punch, and Paul orders Aggron to use Flash Cannon, but Infernape lands the fast Mach Punch before Aggron can fire, sending it flying into the wall behind Paul and crushing the surface on impact. The dust clears to reveal Aggron unable to battle, giving Ash the lead.

Paul recalls Aggron and sends out Gastrodon. Ash, knowing a Water and Ground-type like Gastrodon has a huge advantage over a Fire-type, calls Infernape back and sends out Staraptor. Gastrodon begins with Muddy Water and Staraptor uses Quick Attack and connects. Surprisingly, Gastrodon continues using Muddy Water, circling its head above its body to create a Counter Shield, a technique adapted from Ash, and clips Staraptor. Ash instructs Staraptor to dive down and use Aerial Ace, though Gastrodon counterattacks with Body Slam, pinning Staraptor to the field with its soft body. Gastrodon uses Water Pulse aimed at the sky, and the move picks up speed as it descends. Ash realizes that Gastrodon will jump away at the last second, giving no time for Staraptor to dodge it. Just when all seems lost, Ash has Staraptor use Close Combat on the battlefield, lifting the Predator Pokémon up, which knocks Gastrodon off and it escapes the Water Pulse. Paul orders Gastrodon to use Ice Beam, bringing the in-flight Staraptor to a screeching halt and crashing onto the field. Ash decides that he will have to recall Staraptor for later and change his strategy.

Ash sends out Buizel. At this point, Paul points out that what Ash is doing is too predictable now. He knows Ash is just trying to get rid of all the frustration his Pokémon felt from that loss back at Lake Acuity into his advantage here which is why he brought them all back for this battle. Ash states he is correct and that this is what all of his Pokémon want. Gastrodon uses Ice Beam again and Buizel approaches with Aqua Jet, turning it into Ice Aqua Jet. The combination narrowly misses its mark as Gastrodon launches into the air and then goes for a Body Slam. Ash thinks quickly and instructs Buizel to meet the attack with Ice Punch, causing Gastrodon to faint.

Ash settles himself, adjusting his cap, and knows that the hard part of the battle has only just begun. At his home in Veilstone City, Reggie watches the broadcast, wondering if Ash has figured out that Paul had planned to sacrifice Aggron and Gastrodon in the beginning all along, and knows that, if not, he will be in trouble. Meanwhile, Paul sends out Drapion and has it use Pin Missile, but Buizel cancels the attack out with a Water Gun Counter Shield. Drapion then uses Cross Poison, which Buizel dodges by sliding behind Drapion. Buizel then launches a Sonic Boom, but Drapion blocks the attack with its tail, before using said tail to reach out and grab Buizel. Drapion then 180s its torso to face the trapped Buizel and prepares to attack. Ash realizes that Drapion has no blind spots, and calls for Buizel to escape Drapion's grasp.

Major events

For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the history page.


Pokémon debuts





Barry's pose


  • In the original Japanese version, when Aggron uses Metal Sound on Pikachu, Brock says that Metal Sound lowers an opponent's Defense, although it actually lowers Special Defense. This was corrected in the dub.
  • When Buizel is preparing his Ice Aqua Jet, his mouth is orange instead of tan.
  • When Buizel is in his Ice Aqua Jet, the two stripes on his back are missing.
  • When Buizel hits Gastrodon with Ice Punch, the lower part of Gastrodon's mouth is green instead of blue.
  • After Gastrodon is knocked out, the middle part of its head is colored the same as the lower half of its body.

Dub edits

  • In the English dub, Ash says his upcoming battle with Paul feels like the battle at Lake Acuity, and that Paul's Pokémon were so strong. In the original Japanese version, he says he is nervous about the battle, and the nervousness is what reminds him of the feelings he felt during the battle at Lake Acuity.
  • In the English dub, Dawn says Piplup looks handsome in its cheerleading outfit. In the original Japanese version, she says Piplup looks cool in the outfit.
  • In the English dub, Paul tells Dawn that he doesn't like Ash, as he always talks about friendship and trust like his brother Reggie always does. In the original Japanese version, Paul says that he used to dislike Ash, showing that he has grown to respect Ash.
  • In the original Japanese version, Ash is heard calling out Infernape to battle. Due to there being no eyecatches, this line is absent from the English dub.
  • In the original Japanese version, when Ash is telling Buizel to get quickly out of Drapion's grasp, there is an echo effect, which is removed in the English dub.

In other languages

DP185 : Working on a Right Move!
Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl
DP187 : A Real Rival Rouser!
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.