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Review JN130: The Finals II: "Toy Around"

Problem is that Lucario going down like this also proves Cynthia's Garchomp is weak compared to the majority of Leons mons.
The problem is once again them having trouble handling Pikachu respectfully but in a balanced manner.

Pikachu is going to be the MVP here which isn’t an issue at all, but because they chose to overemphasize that, Lucario has to underperform. Pikachu arguably got better treatment in the Cynthia battle than Lucario did here. There Pikachu was strategically shutdown rather than given a weak performance. In that case Dragonite and Gengar had to underperform so that both Pikachu and Lucario could shine.

The have to balance all if this without making Leon or Cynthia look weak so there will always be this issue.

I think eventually I’d like to see Pikachu just straight up retire and move more into a coaching role for Ash’s new Pokemon assuming they continue to use him in the show after this. It would allow Pikachu to still journey with Ash but open up a slot that’s always locked to Pikachu every season. Considering a lot of episodes focusing on Pikachu tend to be retreads I think there’s room to try something different.
 
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The problem is once again them having trouble handling Pikachu respectfully but in a balanced manner.

Pikachu is going to be the MVP here which isn’t an issue at all, but because they chose to overemphasize that, Lucario has to underperform. Pikachu arguably got better treatment in the Cynthia battle than Lucario did here. There Pikachu was strategically shutdown rather than given a weak performance. In that case Dragonite and Gengar had to underperform so that both Pikachu and Lucario could shine.
I don't feel Lucario underperformed. It did manage to defeat Mr. Rime, after all.
 
Mr. Rime is a menace, and Dragapult had me on the edge of my seat. Both tough competitors. I gasped when Lucario fainted. I wasn't expecting it to be the second one to go down :cry:

So happy for Dragonite! I hope she gets at least one more K.O. even if it's a tie.

Honestly ready for Pikachu to get back on the battlefield.
 
Wow, just seen the episode and I would never have believed you if you told Mr. Rime was going to be this powerful, but it did some serious damage.
One thing that I've really liked about this battle so far is that none of Leon's Pokemon look like jobbers. They are all really formidable and they've all taken quite a bit to go down. Inteleon would have won if not for Gengar G-Maxing, Mr. Rime did damage to both Sirfetch'd and Lucario, and Dragapult defeated Lucario while damaging Dragonite and Dracovish. I can actually see how ordinary ace trainers can swept by any one of his Pokemon so far.
 
Mr. Rime was cool. It had a very trollish attitude that together with Dragapult's antics made the title of the episode very fitting. It was cathartic to see it lose, through I admit if it had appeared beforehand Ash's desperate use of Mega Lucario would have been more justified.

Dragapult was brutal. Even though Ash managed to counter some of its powers it still had more under their belt. Dragon Tail and similar moves can be infuriating to fight in the games as they make you waste turns and that was portrayed accurately. Dracovish's "powers" could have been a Deus Ex Machina but they didn't beat anyone so I'm cool with them, though I still hope they are a move and not a "limited power up" thing (and before someone says "but Cynthia said it was dragon power" let me remind you of one ocassion where the audience was wrong). Seeing Mega Lucario lose was refreshing.

Nice to see the battle keeping its quality! The animation wasn't as great but it was still full of twists and turns that kept me hooked. I really enjoy that it keeps you thinking that Ash has the upper hand, until Leon pulls something crazy but still belieable in terms of their Pokemon's powers. It keeps things grounded but enjoyable.
 
This is a great second part to Ash vs Leon and was a lot better than the first part. The animation is great here, I loved the battle choreography and the strategies Ash used here. The first episode was more introduction than a battle, this episode is when the battle gets good and I mean REALLY good. I also did enjoy a lot of the cameos here, like from the champions or Bea. Those were really nice. Don't have much to say here other than this episode was awesome.

Score:
9/10, the next two episodes are going to be HYPE.
 
The animation felt a bit more stagnant than the previous episode at times, but the battle overall was still really good nonetheless.

Most choices from both sides seemed pretty logical, there were no "screw-ups" so to speak other than Leon totally ignoring Lucario's ability to read Mr. Rime's movements. I wish he instructed it to change its pace or something for the unpredictability factor. I thought a second "whoops" moment would be Ash not having Dracovish let go of Dragapult, but then I realized he was trying to freeze its Dragon Tail. Even if it failed, it was still a pretty smart move.

By the way, how would Dragon Tail work if it were to summon Pikachu? Would he just start running towards the battlefield? (•ิ_•ิ)
 
Is this the first time in the Pokemon anime where a Mega Evolved Pokemon is recalled in the middle of a battle?
 
Because Unoragon is literally a newly discovered species so no one can identify a potential signature move?
Counterpoint: Everyone already being well aware of Fishious Rend and its bonus effect despite how little it's been used in this series so far. Heck, Ash already knew the move existed and asked Dracovish to use it before he even knew that Dracovish could've used it in the first place.

If whatever Dracovish did in this episode is an actual move, then I feel like someone would've tried pointing it out as such, regardless of whether it's a never-before-seen move or a preexisting one like Psychic Fangs. As it stands, the only hint we've received was from Cynthia theorizing that this was a result of Dracovish's internal dragon energy being awakened after taking Dragapult's attack. I have no idea how this explanation = Psychic Fangs, of all things. It honestly seems like people are grasping at straws just because the attack looks red/pinkish.

Dracovish's "powers" could have been a Deus Ex Machina but they didn't beat anyone so I'm cool with them, though I still hope they are a move and not a "limited power up" thing (and before someone says "but Cynthia said it was dragon power" let me remind you of one ocassion where the audience was wrong). Seeing Mega Lucario lose was refreshing.
In Rowlet's case, we as the audience have already been explicitly told that the move is Feather Dance, so I don't think the comparison is apt here. The in-universe audience being "inaccurate" in that battle was ok, because the actual viewers already knew what was going on.
 
Counterpoint: Everyone already being well aware of Fishious Rend and its bonus effect despite how little it's been used in this series so far. Heck, Ash already knew the move existed and asked Dracovish to use it before he even knew that Dracovish could've used it in the first place.
That’s fair.
If whatever Dracovish did in this episode is an actual move, then I feel like someone would've tried pointing it out as such, regardless of whether it's a never-before-seen move or a preexisting one like Psychic Fangs. As it stands, the only hint we've received was from Cynthia theorizing that this was a result of Dracovish's internal dragon energy being awakened after taking Dragapult's attack.
I do agree with this. If it were Psychic Fangs it’d be said outright since that move would be documented in-universe. I think Dracovish might have absorbed some of the energy from the Dreepy missile leading to something like this. Or maybe, since Dracovish is supposed to be mismatched parts of two Pokémon pieced together, the pink spikes are a part of an innate ability of the “Draco”-half of the Pokémon, which it cannot utilise fully and didn’t show up till now because it’s missing half of its body which is replaced by another Pokémon half.
 
I do agree with this. If it were Psychic Fangs it’d be said outright since that move would be documented in-universe. I think Dracovish might have absorbed some of the energy from the Dreepy missile leading to something like this. Or maybe, since Dracovish is supposed to be mismatched parts of two Pokémon pieced together, the pink spikes are a part of an innate ability of the “Draco”-half of the Pokémon, which it cannot utilise fully and didn’t show up till now because it’s missing half of its body which is replaced by another Pokémon half.
Yeah, I'm also of the belief that this is just an innate physiological ability that Dracovish has access to, similar to stuff like Inteleon's enhanced eyes and Mega Metagross's predictive evasion (pulling from more recent examples). It does feel a bit like a deus ex machina, since this seemingly came out of nowhere, unlike most other stuff that's usually referenced in the Pokedex, at least. But I'm mostly ok with it, since this ability doesn't really seem that powerful, and can be countered the same way most of Dracovish's other attacks can be countered: by staying as far away from it as possible. And even being caught in it isn't the end of the world, as Dragapult has shown in this battle.
 
Counterpoint: Everyone already being well aware of Fishious Rend and its bonus effect despite how little it's been used in this series so far. Heck, Ash already knew the move existed and asked Dracovish to use it before he even knew that Dracovish could've used it in the first place.
To be fair, signature moves in Pokemon have a bit of a habit of not staying signature moves for long, so for all we know Fishious Rend could end up getting wider distribution in Gen 9, thus retroactively explaining how its existence is common knowledge in the anime ;)

Jokes aside, I do agree that whatever Dracovish used isn't a "proper" move, though it does look very much like one. I think that if it had been animated as the spikes simply extending instead of them glowing and getting that spiky red aura it'd be more clear that this is an innate ability unique to Dracovish's biology, kinda like Inteleon's gliding membrane for example.
 
It's pretty much the same as what Ash did with Valerie back in XY. It a very Ash-like strategy.
How does that make it any better? The only "Ash-like strategy" that was really good and mad sense was Countershield. Many of his other "crazy tactics" were nonsense if you ask me. We're back at the point where the only explanation is "Because Holy Ash does it, it must be good although it defies all logic"

There are clearly moves that interact with terrains. The anime has established clever manipulation of the battlefield using moves is always on the card. Since OS.
Yes, you're right. They interact with the terrain, with the whole terrain and not just with a small layer of ice on that terrain. So, Psychic Terrain cshouldn't be destroyed by just destroying said layer of ice.

For someone who likes to talk about game mechanics you surely do seem to like to ignore that literally the ONLY chance Cynthia would have against a full health Mega Lucario with a Togekiss and a Garchomp with anywhere near 50% health thanks to Meteor Assault would be to Dynamax Togekiss and use the added bulk to endure moves while hitting Lucario with Max Airstream (which is exactly what she did!) . One steel move and Garchomp is toast.
Why, tell me why do people think they know exactly how much damage Garchomp took from that stupid Star Assault (a move Sirfect'd had just learnt recently), or that she had no chance against Lucario or that Dynamx Togekiss was the only viable option...Why? We actually know zero. Everything else is just fan-made head-canon to justify Ash's and Leon's "glorious" battles.
There has been no such thing like consistency or consistent, predictable power levels in the Anime since Journeys. If they need to support their "holy cow" Ash they'll do it with all kind of cheap tricks, even if that means they'll sacrifice other wonderful and renowned characters...

See, the problem with your “ash-pull” complaints is that I hardly think you’d be rolling your eyes if Cynthia did any of it.
See, there is no problem because Cynthia just wouldn't do such a thing. That's exactly why I idolize her. (If she did it, she wouldn't be such a popular and famous character)
 
Why, tell me why do people think they know exactly how much damage Garchomp took from that stupid Star Assault (a move Sirfect'd had just learnt recently)
Because they are using game logic. Meteor Assault has the same base power as Draco Meteor. Also, how recently the move was learnt doesn’t affect its power in the games. You keep flip-flopping. First, the battle is bad because it didn’t follow game logic, then it’s bad because it didn’t follow anime logic?
Do you even wish to have a sincere debate? Just clarify it so users don’t waste their precious time on a wall.
Psychic Terrain cshouldn't be destroyed by just destroying said layer of ice.
Sirfetch'd didn’t just destroy said layer of ice, it kept slashing the ground even after it was broken. Here you shift goalposts from "No move can interact with the terrain!" to "this isn’t how it should work!".
 
Why, tell me why do people think they know exactly how much damage Garchomp took from that stupid Star Assault (a move Sirfect'd had just learnt recently),
Because the thing is, we do know that it would do a large amount of damage:
252+ Atk Sirfetch’d Meteor Assault vs. 252 HP / 136 Def Garchomp: 252-297 (60 - 70.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

And this is when Garchomp has a defensive stat spread, which it probably does not. Even if Sirfetch’d was a lower level then Garchomp, it would have still done a lot of damage.
 
Because the thing is, we do know that it would do a large amount of damage:
252+ Atk Sirfetch’d Meteor Assault vs. 252 HP / 136 Def Garchomp: 252-297 (60 - 70.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

And this is when Garchomp has a defensive stat spread, which it probably does not. Even if Sirfetch’d was a lower level then Garchomp, it would have still done a lot of damage.
This is not the games, though. This is the anime.
 
Your fanfic is not canon, so the argument is absolutely null and utterly void.
Fine, then give me one, only one, example where Cynthia had to rely on those stupid ash-pull techniques and I'll never argue with you again ;) Take your time but I guarantee you'll find none.
That'S what differentiates great characters from Plot Armor character

Oh btw the term "fanfic" inherently implies that it's not canon, because it'smade by ...fans, as the name tells us ;)

Because they are using game logic
Then please give me an exact calculation according to games logic and please do that from now on for all battles and not just when it fits the argument.
But I'm pretty sure it's hard to do because it's impossible to exactly know Garchomp's level, her HPs and her nature. All that, plus Sirfetchd's unknown attack values, have to be taken into account if you want to calculate the damage by Star Assault.
Again, this is the Anime, not the games. Literally anything is possible (unfortunately...)

First, the battle is bad because it didn’t follow game logic, then it’s bad because it didn’t follow anime logic?
Didn't we agree long ago we can't apply games logic to the Anime ? What I'm doing is apply general logic and common sense to the battles in the Anime, not games logic in particular

Sirfetch'd didn’t just destroy said layer of ice, it kept slashing the ground even after it was broken. Here you shift goalposts from "No move can interact with the terrain!" to "this isn’t how it should work!".
I didn't say that! I only said destroying the layer of ice doesn't destroy Psychic Terrain because the latter affects the whole battlefield, not just the ice and so slashing/destroying it wouldn't help. In my eyes it's just another awkward attempt by the writers to make Ash appear "clever" ans great
 
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