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SM043

16 bytes removed, 24 July
Plot: Unnecessary IMO
Kukui proceeds to explain how in Kanto, a [[Pokémon Trainer]] can travel from Gym to Gym to challenge Gym Leaders, and, if victorious against one, will earn that Gym's respective [[Badge]]. To demonstrate, Misty and Brock introduce their respective Gym Badges, the {{badge|Cascade}} and the {{badge|Boulder}}. {{an|Kiawe}} asks Ash if he collected all the Badges in Kanto, which Ash confirms. However, Misty and Brock remind him that [[EP005|he]] [[EP007|got]] their Badges out of pity, causing his classmates to look at him questioningly. To avoid answering, Ash takes a few steps back and changes the subject, mentioning how Trainers with eight Badges are allowed to challenge the [[Pokémon League]]. With the embarrassing question avoided, Ash steps back forward and explains that the Pokémon League is a [[Pokémon League Conference|battle tournament]] full of strong Trainers. When Kukui asks who wants to battle Brock or Misty, everybody raises their hands. With everybody throwing suggestions who they want to battle, Misty decides to organize [[Multi Battle]]s, allowing them all to have battles against them. First, {{an|Mallow}} and {{an|Lana}} team up against Misty, with {{TP|Mallow|Steenee}} and {{TP|Lana|Popplio}} facing Psyduck. As {{Rotom}} starts recording the battle, Mallow kicks things off with {{m|Magical Leaf}}, which successfully hits Psyduck. Lana continues by having Popplio use {{m|Bubble Beam}}, which also hits. Misty counterattacks by having Psyduck use {{m|Water Gun}}, but Popplio creates a balloon, which absorbs the Water-type move. Popplio the launches the balloon at Psyduck, who gets trapped inside the water-filled bubble. Misty mentions that her Psyduck is strong when in a pinch and orders a {{m|Confusion}}, but nothing happened. Ash, unsurprised, explains how Misty's Psyduck is a bit slow. Mallow has Steenee use Magical Leaf again, which bursts the balloon and causes Psyduck to fall on its head. Misty, knowing that the ensuing headache will allow Psyduck to unleash its hidden {{t|Psychic}} potential, isn't worried at all. And indeed, Psyduck then proceeds to hurl Steenee and Popplio into the air with Confusion. However, before anything else can happen, Misty tells Psyduck to bring Steenee and Popplio back down, and Kukui declares the battle being over. As Misty compliments Mallow and Lana, Psyduck finally registers the impact on its head, flailing in pain. While Rotom and Mallow sweatdrop, both Lana and Misty admire Psyduck's cuteness, with Misty even proceeding to hug it.
 
Next up are [[Sophocles's Togedemaru]] and {{an|Lillie}}'s {{alo|Vulpix}}, [[Snowy]], against [[Brock's Geodude]]. {{an|Sophocles}} starts the battle with a {{m|Zing Zap}}, which however, much to Sophocles's shock, is completely ineffective against the Rock Pokémon. Brock explains that while {{alo|Geodude}} may be a Rock/{{t|Electric}} type, Kantonian Geodude is Rock/{{t|Ground}}, making Electric attacks useless against it. While Sophocles feels embarrassed for having forgotten about [[regional variant]]s, Lillie has Snowy attack with {{m|Powder Snow}}. However, Geodude uses {{m|Gyro Ball}}, deflecting the attack. Sophocles is surprised to see Gyro Ball being used as a defensive move, and Brock explains that a "certain challenger of his" taught him how to battle like that, looking at Ash in the stands. Kukui then comments how these battles demonstrate the fact that a Pokémon's [[type]], [[move]]s, and the way it's raised can create infinite new ways to battle. Sophocles admits that knowing the opponent is important to avoid making mistakes like the one he just did. With Kiawe and Ash's turn coming up, Kiawe requests to have a serious battle against Brock, while Ash wants to have a similar battle with Misty. Pleased by this unexpected turn, Kukui tells them to not hold back.
 
The first serious battle takes place between Brock and Kiawe, with Misty working as the [[Battle judge|referee]]. She declares that the battle will be one-on-one, with the battle being over once one side's Pokémon is [[Fainting|unable to battle]]. Declaring his confidence in his battling skills, Kiawe sends out {{TP|Kiawe|Turtonator}}, while Brock sends out his own partner, {{TP|Brock|Steelix}}. While Rotom gives Steelix's [[Pokédex]] entry, Sophocles deduces that as a {{t|Fire}} type, Turtonator has an advantage over its {{type|Steel}} opponent. However, Lillie reminds him that Steelix is also a Ground type, making the odds fifty-fifty typewise. Kiawe begins the battle with {{m|Flamethrower}}, which makes direct contact. However, Brock has Steelix use Gyro Ball, repeating his [[Counter Shield|deflecting tactic]] from before with Geodude to repel the flames. He then has Steelix use {{m|Bind}}, but even when binded, Turtonator is able to use {{m|Shell Trap}}, causing Steelix to be blasted away from it. Kiawe then has Turtonator use {{m|Dragon Tail}}, but Steelix avoids the attack with {{m|Dig}}, seconds later launching its own counterattack against the Blast Turtle Pokémon. Knowing that dragging the battle on won't do them any good, Kiawe decides to use his [[Z-Move]] to finish the battle immediately. Brock, however, having heard of Z-Moves, decides to go all out himself as well, pulling off his shirt and revealing a necklace with a [[Key Stone]] on it. He taps the stone, causing it and the [[Steelixite]] on Steelix's forehead to glow and making Steelix [[Mega Evolution|Mega Evolve]] into Mega Steelix, shocking Kiawe. In the stands, Kukui explains to Ash's classmates that Mega Evolution is a phenomenon triggered by the bonds between a Pokémon and its Trainer, allowing it to power up mid-battle. Brock tells Kiawe to show him his Z-Move, which he starts performing immediately. With the poses done, the Z-Powered Turtonator fires its {{m|Inferno Overdrive}} at Steelix, resulting in a huge explosion. However, as the smoke clears, Steelix is still standing, much to everybody's shock. Brock comments that the Z-Move certainly did its number on Steelix, but wasn't quite enough to finish the job. He then orders a {{m|Stone Edge}} from Steelix, and while Kiawe tries to counter it with Dragon Tail, the move still hits, causing Turtonator to faint and Kiawe lose the battle. Ash's classmates are shocked that Kiawe lost and marvel at the power of a Gym Leader. As Steelix returns to its normal form, Kukui explains that Mega-Evolved Pokémon return back to their normal states once the battle is over. Brock [[recall]]s Steelix and puts his shirt back on as Kiawe comforts Turtonator, only to be attacked by his {{TP|Kiawe|Marowak}}, who's angry at them for losing.
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