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JN123 : Bewitch, Battle, and Bewilder!
Pokémon Journeys: The Series
JN125 : Whittle While You Work!
Valor: A Strategic Part of Battling!
JN124   EP1209
セミファイナルⅢ 「武勇」
The Semifinals III: "Valor"
First broadcast
Japan September 9, 2022
United States June 23, 2023
English themes
Opening With You
Japanese themes
Opening 1・2・3
Ending バツグンタイプ
Animation Team Kato
Screenplay 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
Storyboard 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
Assistant director 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
Animation directors 岩根雅明 Masaaki Iwane
志村泉 Izumi Shimura
Additional credits

Valor: A Strategic Part of Battling! (Japanese: セミファイナルⅢ 「武勇」 The Semifinals III: "Valor") is the 124th episode of Pokémon Journeys: The Series, and the 1,209th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on September 9, 2022, in Canada on February 11, 2023, in South Africa on March 7, 2023, in the United Kingdom on April 6, 2023, in Australia on April 28, 2023, and in the United States on June 23, 2023.

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


The Masters Eight Tournament battle between Ash and Cynthia is underway, and Ash has three Pokémon left, while Cynthia has four. After switching her Pokémon repeatedly to gain the advantage, Cynthia calls Garchomp to the field, while Ash calls on Dracovish. Cynthia soon switches to Roserade, and it’s defeated by Dracovish, but Dracovish ends up poisoned. Refusing to retreat, Dracovish goes up against Cynthia’s Milotic. The two Pokémon clash, but Milotic wins, and Ash’s Sirfetch’d is up next. Overcoming hazards on the battlefield, Sirfetch’d defeats Milotic but falls to Garchomp. Now Ash is down to his final Pokémon, Lucario, and Cynthia switches out Garchomp for Togekiss—who starts to Dynamax!


The Masters Eight Tournament semifinals battle between Ash and Cynthia continues, with the former having three Pokémon remaining and the latter having four. Ash's fourth Pokémon is Dracovish, and Cynthia sends out her fifth Pokémon, Garchomp, causing Ash to wonder if she will Mega Evolve. Dracovish goes in for an Ice Fang, but Garchomp dodges and lashes it with Dragon Claw, dealing super-effective damage on the Fossil Pokémon. Garchomp follows up with Stealth Rock, before Cynthia substitutes her for Roserade, whose burn from Gengar's earlier Will-O-Wisp has been healed thanks to its Ability, Natural Cure. Despite this, Dracovish is able to withstand Roserade's Poison Jab and strike back with a Fishious Rend, though it ends up getting poisoned. Nonetheless, Dracovish's poison status gives it the anger, determination, and power to push through Roserade's Leaf Storm with Dragon Rush, knocking Roserade out.

Ash wants to recall Dracovish at this point due to the damage it is taking from poison, but, at Dracovish's insistence, allows it to stay in the battle. Cynthia sends out her sixth Pokémon, Milotic, whom Dracovish charges toward with Dragon Rush. Milotic uses Disarming Voice to keep Dracovish at bay, before employing the same tactic it used against Iris's Dragonite and coiling around Dracovish to use a close-range Iron Head. Dracovish, however, strikes back with Fishious Rend, and the attacks collide to create a big explosion. Although Milotic has taken visible damage, Dracovish ends up going down.

Ash recalls Dracovish and sends out Sirfetch'd, who immediately takes damage from Garchomp's Stealth Rock. Ash suddenly gets an idea and has Sirfetch'd use Brutal Swing with its shield to eliminate the levitating stones, greatly impressing Goh, Hop, Leon, Diantha, and Cynthia. Milotic attacks with a Hydro Pump, but Sirfetch'd is able to dodge the attack by jumping into the air, retrieving its shield in the process. Sirfetch'd and Milotic both proceed to charge at each other as Milotic uses Iron Head. However, Sirfetch'd uses its shield to block Milotic's attack, before landing a flurry of Fury Cutters that pushes Milotic back. Milotic's next attack is Disarming Voice, but Sirfetch'd manages to endure it and blitz Milotic with Meteor Assault, taking it down.

Cynthia recalls Milotic and commends Ash on his cleverness at getting rid of the trap of stones created by Stealth Rock, before sending Garchomp back out and again forcing Ash to consider the possibility of Garchomp Mega Evolving. Sirfetch'd charges once more with Fury Cutter, knocking away a Scale Shot along the way, before clashing against Garchomp's Dragon Claw. Sirfetch'd ends up getting knocked back, but is able to avert a second Dragon Claw by using Detect. Sirfetch'd goes in for a Meteor Assault, and Garchomp uses Draco Meteor in response, both of which successfully land. Both Pokémon take heavy damage and, as the smoke clears, enter a standoff. Garchomp eventually stumbles, but remains conscious, while Sirfetch'd faints standing up, refusing to fall down, even in defeat.

Ash recalls Sirfetch'd as Cynthia calls Garchomp back. Ash sends out his final Pokémon, Lucario, and Cynthia sends Togekiss back out. In the stands, Goh's Cinderace suddenly pops out of its Poké Ball to cheer on its friend. Lucario starts off with Bullet Punch, and Togekiss tries to stop it in its tracks with Air Slash, but Lucario is able to push through it and land its attack on Togekiss. Togekiss is still standing, however, as Lucario charges an Aura Sphere. Togekiss beats it to the punch with another Air Slash, not only dealing a good amount of damage, but also negating Lucario's Aura Sphere, seemingly making it flinch. Togekiss uses yet another Air Slash, but Lucario uses Bullet Punch to neutralize the attack, resisting flinching thanks to its strong willpower. After a brief moment of silence, Cynthia surprises the entire Wyndon Stadium by recalling Togekiss and Dynamaxing it, revealing that she has no intention of Mega Evolving Garchomp. Ash readies his Key Stone, and Lucario prepares to take on Dynamax Togekiss as the battle approaches its climax.

Major events

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


Pokémon debuts





The "After the story" artwork for this episode


Dub edits

In other languages

JN123 : Bewitch, Battle, and Bewilder!
Pokémon Journeys: The Series
JN125 : Whittle While You Work!
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.