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Finally, the day of the full battle between Ash and Paul is here! The episode begins with Ash and Paul choosing their first Pokémon. As Ash chooses Pikachu, Paul sends out his tough-looking Aggron. Dawn, Brock, Barry as well as Champion Cynthia, are waiting for the battle between the two rivals to begin with excitement.
Before the battle begins though, we get to see Ash's Gliscor using its Giga Impact move against Dawn's Mamoswine, exhibiting its strength. Ash comments on how successful Gliscor's training with the Air Battle Master was, with both Brock and Barry being impressed by it. Ash recalls how strong Paul was during their last battle, commenting however that he has also gotten much stronger. On the next morning, Dawn has already dressed Piplup in a cheerleading uniform, and excited as she is, decides to show Ash. In the meanwhile, Paul is talking to his brother Reggie on the phone, who tells him that he is happy that Ash is Paul's opponent, and encourages him for the battle. Dawn, who was listening to them secretly, follows Paul outside, who tells her that his brother is just like Ash; they both believe in the friendship between them and their Pokémon. Dawn however reminds him that Ash is not Reggie; Ash is Ash. They then meet Ash, Brock and Barry. The latter is very impatient and wants the battle to commence as soon as possible. Paul then tells Ash that he will be waiting at the battlefield.
Back to the battlefield, the heated rival battle begins. Paul orders his Aggron to use Metal Claw, as Ash tells Pikachu to counter it with Iron Tail. The two moves are equally powerful though. As Paul tells Aggron to use Metal Sound, Pikachu manages to attack Aggron directly with a powerful Thunderbolt. Ash then tells Pikachu to use Volt Tackle, which Aggron however successfully manages to intercept, using Flash Cannon. Pikachu is hurt, so Ash tells it to return, and sends out Infernape, which Cynthia recognises as the Chimchar Paul used in their battle. She seems to be impressed with how it managed to evolve. Ash encourages Infernape, telling it to show Paul its real power. As Paul orders Aggron to attack with Double Edge, Ash orders Infernape to counter it with Flare Blitz. After the two Pokémon collide, Aggron seems to be relatively unscratched, while Infernape is faced with recoil damage. However, Aggron was burnt from Infernape's Flare Blitz. Ash quickly orders Infernape to finish it using Mach Punch, which strikes before Aggron can properly attack with Flash Cannon. Aggron is knocked out, and Team Rocket, as well as everyone else cheers for Ash. Barry seems a bit upset that his idol trainer, Paul, has already lost a Pokémon, however Brock says that it's too early to know who will win the battle.
As Paul sends out his East Sea Gastrodon, Ash replaces Infernape, who has a type disadvantage with respect to Gastrodon, with Staraptor. Paul begins to suspect that Ash is going to use the same Pokémon like he did before, during their last battle. He commands Gastrodon to use Muddy Water, which temporarily it cannot do because Staraptor attacks with Quick Attack. It finally succeeds in doing so though, setting up something very similar to a Counter Shield, which is a strategy he learned from his and Ash's last battle. Ash is shocked at first, but nevertheless he orders Staraptor to use Aerial Ace to dive towards Gastrodon and attack, however Paul tells his Pokémon to jump and use Body Slam. Gastrodon succeeds in doing so, and traps Staraptor on the ground with its body. Staraptor cannot move, and all seems to be over when Gastrodon is about to use Water Pulse to attack. However Ash has an idea; he tells Staraptor to use Close Combat on the ground, which succeeds in letting Staraptor escape and avoid getting hit by the incoming from above Water Pulse. In the meantime however, Gastrodon manages to land an Ice Beam attack on Staraptor. Staraptor looks tired, hence Ash replaces it with Buizel. Paul scolds his rival for using the same Pokémon as last time, but Ash comments on how this is about the feelings he shares with his Pokémon. Buizel dodges Gastrodon's Ice Beam with Aqua Jet. The Ice type move freezes the Aqua Jet, allowing Buizel to attack Gastrodon and send it flying in the air. Before Gastrodon can repeat its Body Slam strategy however, Ash tells Buizel to finish it off using Ice Punch, which it successfully manages to do. Paul's second Pokémon is unable to continue. Ash congratulates Buizel for its effort, while Barry goes crazy with the idea that Paul has lost yet another Pokémon.
Paul sends out his third Pokémon, his fierce Drapion. Paul tells Drapion to attack using Pin Missile, which Buizel successfully blocks using its Counter Shield. Furthermore, Buizel succeeds in dodging Drapion's Cross Poison attack, and it attacks with Sonicboom from behind, which Drapion blocks with its tail. The Poison and Dark Type Pokémon catches Buizel off guard, grabbing it with its tail and turning its head, ready to attack. The episode ends with Ash desperately telling Buizel to escape…
Thanks to Slowking for writing this for us
654: Familiarity Breeds Strategy!
654: Rival Decisive Battle! Ash VS Paul!
Ash begins his quarter final match against Paul