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SPOILERS: Masters Eight Discussion/Speculation Thread

Sai

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The posters don't make it seem like those particular characters are battling each other anymore. Granted we could get a Cynthia/Iris match eventually, but I seriously doubt this magazine would get to spoil the matches months before they air on TV. And none of the other characters look like they're facing one another.

I assume they only showed Dracovish with Ash over say Pikachu because they were showing dragon Pokémon together. You would assume it would be Lucario if they wanted to show his ace.
 

Rath

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I don't see any point in Ash battling Diantha, it wouldn't feel satisfying since up until now, she's had nothing but cameos.

And I get why people want a rematch with Alain, but that's exactly why I'm not interested in it; it would feel too much like the writers trying to fix a "mistake", and pandering to people who can't move on from something that happened six years ago. Just own it and move on instead of trying "fix" the past.
 

Ghost Diplocaulus

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What is even the point of Ash fighting Lance? Are the writers SO obsessed with ASH FIGHTING KANTO CHAMP that they failed to see the stakes with a Lance Vs. Iris fight? Again, what's the point? Iris wants to be the best DRAGON trainer, so she goes up against Alain instead of Lance... and the fact she's going to lose round 1 makes her either on-par with Lance or worse than him! Even STEVEN STONE would have made more sense for Ash to fight.
To be fair, Lance is really more of a Flying-type specialist than a Dragon-type specialist. He just has a bit of an identity crisis :p

Jokes aside, though, I agree that Iris vs Lance would've been a far more interesting matchup than Ash vs Lance. Especially because having that one means we won't get either Cynthia vs Ash or Alain vs Ash, which were both rather highly anticipated matchups. At least by me.
 

Blob

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To be fair, Lance is really more of a Flying-type specialist than a Dragon-type specialist. He just has a bit of an identity crisis :p

Jokes aside, though, I agree that Iris vs Lance would've been a far more interesting matchup than Ash vs Lance. Especially because having that one means we won't get either Cynthia vs Ash or Alain vs Ash, which were both rather highly anticipated matchups. At least by me.
Steven Stone has an identity crisis too in the games, since he uses mostly Rock Types.

Right? I REALLY hope the promotional material wasn't spoiling the battles.
 

Rath

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Cynthia may not be a Dragon-type specialist per say, but she does have an affinity for them. A battle with Cynthia would be just as if not more meaningful for Iris's character as one with Lance, given their battle in BW.
 

Ghost Diplocaulus

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Steven Stone has an identity crisis too in the games, since he uses mostly Rock Types.
Actually, Steven's case isn't quite as egregious as Lance's: his Champion Team is half Rock-types (the Hoenn Fossils and Aggron), one Ground-type (Claydol), and the other half of it is Steel-types (Skarmory, Aggron again, and Metagross). So yeah, maybe it's only half a team, which is arguably too low to count Steven as a Steel specialist, but at least the Steels and Rocks are even whereas Lance's most "classic" teams tend to have the Flying-types vastly outnumbering the Dragons... which are composed of three Dragonites XD
 

Daren

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Honestly I would actually love it if Lance really does just use three Dragonite in a battle. ;)
(He may not have a very creative team but it's very annoying to fight all those high stat Dragonite if you don't have an Ice-type fact enough to go before them and 1 hit KO which I believe is a lot harder in HGSS without stat experience and badge boosts. Non Ice types with ice moves often fail to get a KO in my experience).

You know it seems like almost everyone I've seen seems pretty sure Diantha isn't making it past round one. Ironically I think she's actually got the highest level round one champion team in the games.
 

Blob

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Actually, Steven's case isn't quite as egregious as Lance's: his Champion Team is half Rock-types (the Hoenn Fossils and Aggron), one Ground-type (Claydol), and the other half of it is Steel-types (Skarmory, Aggron again, and Metagross). So yeah, maybe it's only half a team, which is arguably too low to count Steven as a Steel specialist, but at least the Steels and Rocks are even whereas Lance's most "classic" teams tend to have the Flying-types vastly outnumbering the Dragons... which are composed of three Dragonites XD
In B2W2, Steven's team was much less Steel-focused. For some reason he had Archeops and an Excadrill. He also had more Rock types than Steel types because he still had Aggron, but no Skarmory (or Claydol).
 

Blob

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I don't see any point in Ash battling Diantha, it wouldn't feel satisfying since up until now, she's had nothing but cameos.

And I get why people want a rematch with Alain, but that's exactly why I'm not interested in it; it would feel too much like the writers trying to fix a "mistake", and pandering to people who can't move on from something that happened six years ago. Just own it and move on instead of trying "fix" the past.
It's why I think Alain should have had the fight against Ash pre-tournament instead of Paul. That way even if Alain DID still make it to Master's 8, Ash could fight more champions, since Alain would have already been beaten.

Ash Vs. Steven would have been interesting, but I doubt that will happen.
 

puddleths

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Honestly I would actually love it if Lance really does just use three Dragonite in a battle. ;)
(He may not have a very creative team but it's very annoying to fight all those high stat Dragonite if you don't have an Ice-type fact enough to go before them and 1 hit KO which I believe is a lot harder in HGSS without stat experience and badge boosts. Non Ice types with ice moves often fail to get a KO in my experience).

You know it seems like almost everyone I've seen seems pretty sure Diantha isn't making it past round one. Ironically I think she's actually got the highest level round one champion team in the games.
She's the easiest champion in-game to beat, and I don't think it's particularly close. FR/LG are easy games, but your rival puts up something resembling a fight. Diantha's team is garbage, even compared to Lance's triple Dragonites. If we are equating this tournament to the games, the toughest competitors, for my money, would be Cynthia... and Iris.
 

Ghost Diplocaulus

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Honestly I would actually love it if Lance really does just use three Dragonite in a battle. ;)
It would be pretty funny, but let's face it, it's almost definitely not gonna happen since the anime has basically never had any trainers use species repeats, with the closest it's ever gotten to that being Morty, Norman, and Virgil all using every member of the Gastly, Slakoth, and Eevee lines respectively (and honestly, Virgil's case kinda hardly counts anyway due to the Eeveelutions ironically making for a very type-varied and versatile team all by themselves). So I think it's pretty safe to say that Lance would be far more likely to have a Dratini and a Dragonair in place of two of his Dragonites even if the writers wanted to be as faithful to his team as possible XD

You know it seems like almost everyone I've seen seems pretty sure Diantha isn't making it past round one. Ironically I think she's actually got the highest level round one champion team in the games.
I do agree with that consensus, but in my case it's just because she feels "expendable" in a way compared to other participants: Alain brings the possibility of the Kalos League loss being redeemed, Cynthia has been teased hevily as an opponent for Ash for a while on top of her Generation being currently relevant due to the DP remakes and Legends Arceus, Lance being the Kanto Champion has ties with Ash's region of origin, and Leon is self-explanatory. For what's worth, Steven is also expendable for the exact same reasons as Diantha. Though Diantha being generally thought of as the weakest and easiest Champion certainly plays a part.

In B2W2, Steven's team was much less Steel-focused. For some reason he had Archeops and an Excadrill. He also had more Rock types than Steel types because he still had Aggron, but no Skarmory (or Claydol).
Excadrill is a Steel-type, though.
 

Rath

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You know it seems like almost everyone I've seen seems pretty sure Diantha isn't making it past round one. Ironically I think she's actually got the highest level round one champion team in the games.
She does, but it's balanced out by the fact that most of her Pokemon aren't very good. Leon has similar levels, but Pokemon with high stats and good movesets.

And in the context of the anime, the reason Diantha and Steven aren't expected to make it past the first round is pretty simple. Compared to the other Champions, all Diantha and Steven have are cameos. They're basically just roster filler.

And Diantha's Gardevoir's performance against Ash-Greninja didn't help matters
 

Daren

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She does, but it's balanced out by the fact that most of her Pokemon aren't very good. Leon has similar levels, but Pokemon with high stats and good movesets.

And in the context of the anime, the reason Diantha and Steven aren't expected to make it past the first round is pretty simple. Compared to the other Champions, all Diantha and Steven have are cameos. They're basically just roster filler.

And Diantha's Gardevoir's performance against Ash-Greninja didn't help matters
As I recall I beat Diantha only needing two Pokémon to fight so I'm aware of her team's issues; I just find it sort of funny someone who on paper looks like the strongest is actually so easy, and everyone is pretty much expecting the anime to actually go that way for once, too.

*

So, my gut says we'll actually see some amount of the non-Ash battles, though likely not the entire things. Joking aside I really think Ash is going to battle Alain and Cynthia but I'm not sure in which order (were it me I'd put Alain first but there are quite a few legitimate reasons for him to be round two).
If Alain is round two I think I agree with the theory he'll beat Steven in round 1, and if Cynthia is round two I have a gut feeling she might face Diantha.
Also my earlier prediction that Iris will lose in round 1 has changed as I realize they probably won't want Leon Vs Lance again. So I could see Iris beating Lance then losing to Leon in round two.

So crunching it out...I predict one of these two:
Option A
First round:
Ash beats Alain
Iris beats Lance
Leon beats Steven
Cynthia beats Diantha

Second round:
Ash beats Cynthia
Leon beats Iris

Option B
First round:
Ash beats Cynthia
Alain beats Steven
Leon beats Diantha
Iris beats Lance

Second round:
Ash beats Alain
Leon beats Iris

I actually sort of think Ash will defeat Leon but I wouldn't put too strong of odds on it.

Ask me tomorrow and I might feel differently though. ;)

Option A theory: Cynthia is a very popular character and I can easily see them wanting her in the semifinals; they may not want Ash battling Charizard back to back.
Option B theory: Ash vs Alain rematch would generate a lot of hype, especially if you-know-who returns for it; they may not want a Charizard losing in the first round.

Y'know I do find it interesting that Alain is the only full anime OC in the tournament (Ash is arguably a bit shaky but he's an adaptation of Red, if one who has diverged significantly over time). If it were a new character I'd be expecting him to be a league kicker, but I can't see the writers bringing him back to do that again; it'd just be awkward and pointless.
 

Cruxificio

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I don't see any point in Ash battling Diantha, it wouldn't feel satisfying since up until now, she's had nothing but cameos.

And I get why people want a rematch with Alain, but that's exactly why I'm not interested in it; it would feel too much like the writers trying to fix a "mistake", and pandering to people who can't move on from something that happened six years ago. Just own it and move on instead of trying "fix" the past.
When I was making this, it was a toss up between Ash vs Lance or Ash vs Diantha. The reason I chose the latter is specifically because her battling in the series is the least fresh in the audience's minds. Plus I'm more interested in seeing exactly how strong a middling strength-wise Champion like Diantha is compared to Ash, instead of him just facing a top class Champion like Lance or someone ranking above Lance. The audience needs that reference of strength for a gatekeeper Champion like Diantha. And Ash battling her would give Diantha the much needed attention Ash and the audience needs, fleshing out of her team and battle skills. Besides Ash already got some time to shine against Leon, even though he as well was also not fully fleshed out since it was only a 1vs1, seemingly Ace vs Ace battle.
 

Cruxificio

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It's why I think Alain should have had the fight against Ash pre-tournament instead of Paul. That way even if Alain DID still make it to Master's 8, Ash could fight more champions, since Alain would have already been beaten.

Ash Vs. Steven would have been interesting, but I doubt that will happen.
Man I don't know where the hell Paul is. That man is nowhere to be found and that sucks honestly. Paul is such a dog. I love him.

To your other point, since Steven is a top 3 Champion I think it wouldn't do him justice if he didn't make it make past the quarterfinals, especially if he's facing someone lower down in the rankings like Ash or Iris. But if Ash lost to Steven in the first round then that would also prevent the fanservice battle between Ash and Alain later on, which would pretty much upset the majority of the fanbase. The only reasonable way I could see Steven not making it past the first round is with a hard matchup, like with the #2 ranked Champion Cynthia, which is why I would have them face off in the first round with Cynthia winning their close match and moving on.
 

Ghost Diplocaulus

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As I recall I beat Diantha only needing two Pokémon to fight so I'm aware of her team's issues; I just find it sort of funny someone who on paper looks like the strongest is actually so easy, and everyone is pretty much expecting the anime to actually go that way for once, too.
The thing about Diantha's team is that apart from her having no real powerhouses aside from her ace (whereas virtually every other Champion besides maybe Blue will have at least one or two Pokemon other than their aces that can give players trouble), it also has a major weakness to Steel, which just so happens to be one of the types of a certain gift Lucario. So yeah, not only does Diantha have no backup for her Gardevoir, but the games that she's Champion of just casually grant the player a near-perfect counter to her team with no strings attached. Another thing that doesn't help Diantha is that her team is also half-weak to Fairy, which back then was a shiny brand-new type that a lot of people would predictably want to try using in their teams.

Option A theory: Cynthia is a very popular character and I can easily see them wanting her in the semifinals; they may not want Ash battling Charizard back to back.
Option B theory: Ash vs Alain rematch would generate a lot of hype, especially if you-know-who returns for it; they may not want a Charizard losing in the first round.
I'm probably being way too optimistic about this, but I get the feeling that having Alain's Charizard losing in the first round won't be much of a concern since we've already seen it win in all but one of its battles in the XY era. The loss can also be mitigated quite a bit if they let it knock out at least one of Ash's Pokemon.
 
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I'm going to cut to the chase. I made this bracket about a week ago. This is my idealized championship progression of the Masters 8 Bracket. These choices and results are made from a character progression standpoint for most if not all of the participating competitors. Let me know what you think. I'm confident this is the best composition of the Masters 8 bracket from a writer's perspective.

Quarter Finals
Leon vs Steven
Ash vs Diantha
Alain vs Lance
Cynthia vs Iris Paul

Semi Finals
Ash vs Alain
Leon vs Cynthia

Finals
Ash vs Leon

Winner
Who knows? It's anybody's guess.

If you want know what the justifications behind the match ups are, just let me know down below in the thread, and I'll explain. If you only want to know the reasoning behind a specific match, let me know that too.
Or

Quarter Finals

Leon vs Steven
Ash vs Diantha
Cynthia vs Lance
Paul vs Alain

Semi Finals
Ash vs Paul
Leon vs Cynthia

Finals
Ash vs Leon
 
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Rath

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Man I don't know where the hell Paul is. That man is nowhere to be found and that sucks honestly. Paul is such a dog. I love him.

To your other point, since Steven is a top 3 Champion I think it wouldn't do him justice if he didn't make it make past the quarterfinals, especially if he's facing someone lower down in the rankings like Ash or Iris. But if Ash lost to Steven in the first round then that would also prevent the fanservice battle between Ash and Alain later on, which would pretty much upset the majority of the fanbase. The only reasonable way I could see Steven not making it past the first round is with a hard matchup, like with the #2 ranked Champion Cynthia, which is why I would have them face off in the first round with Cynthia winning their close match and moving on.
The best round 1 opponent for Steven is Alain
 

Cruxificio

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Or

Quarter Finals
Leon vs Steven
Ash vs Diantha
Cynthia vs Lance
Paul vs Alain

Semi Finals
Ash vs Paul
Leon vs Cynthia

Finals
Ash vs Leon
Ok personally I'd love to see Paul battle Ash again and seen how much he's grown both in character and in battling. But where's the Ash vs Alain fight for the other part of the fanbase? We shouldn't forget about them even if we don't really care about an Ash vs Alain fight. So I would propose if Paul did make it in then Ash vs Alain should happen in QFs with Ash winning and Paul vs Diantha should happen in the QFs with Paul winning. That way both parties would be closer to being happy and satisfied.
 
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