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SPOILERS: Masters Eight Discussion/Speculation Thread

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Greninja was the biggest disappointment and failed as an ACE. He lost all battles against the main rival. ALL OF THEM.
Alain was Ash's main rival?When?How?
I don't think that loss needed any redemption. Ash won the battle as a whole, and that knockout came from a Frontier Brain Pokémon. The strongest Frontier Brain, even.
When you go from sweeping half of a main rival's team at the league,to outlasting a legendary bird and then losing to a mere Dusclops who was an appetizer before the main course (Regice) you definetely need a big win to make up for it.It's last win on screen was against that Articuno and ever since it hasn't been able to get another big win.The whole purpose of Charizard was to train it's a** off at Charicific Valley get stronger,learn new moves and eventually return back to Ash to help him in tough battles.This formula worked better w/ Charizard than it did with Pikachu,Infernape and Sceptile.

If the writers continued this formula post BW it would still be considered Ash's strongest pokemon.It instead was left at Professor Oak's Ranch where it will forever be stagnent in it's training.There'd be no need for a Greninja if Ash decided to bring his Charizard along for the ride in Kalos and Mega Evolve it.Charizard would then do what "Ash-Greninja" couldn't do and that's defeat Alain's MCX.

Charizard's Progression (How it should've went)
Vs Magmar -> Vs Poliwrath -> Vs Dragonair -> Vs Blastoise -> Vs Articuno -> Vs Regice -> Vs Latios -> Vs Reshiram -> Vs MCX
 
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swampertus

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Alain was Ash's main rival?When?How?

And who was in Kalos? Sawyer? It was Alain even if he was introduced later on.

KANTO/JOHTO - Gary (win with Charizard)
HOENN - there was no main rival
SINNOH - Paul (win with Infernape)
UNOVA - Trip (win with Pikachu)
KALOS - Alain (loss/loss/loss ...Greninja...Duh)
ALOLA - Gladion (win with Lycanroc), Kukui (win with Torracat/Pikachu)
 
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And who was in Kalos? Sawyer? It was Alain even if he was introduced later on.

KANTO/JOHTO - Gary (win with Charizard)
HOENN - there was no main rival
SINNOH - Paul (win with Infernape)
UNOVA - Trip (win with Pikachu)
KALOS - Alain (loss/loss/loss ...Greninja...Duh)
ALOLA - Gladion (win with Lycanroc), Kukui (win with Torracat/Pikachu)
How can Alain count as a Main Rival if he doesn't share the same goal and has no real conflict with Ash?To me he's more of a league rival.

I think Sawyer could count as a main rival too.
Sawyer has more of a case for being Ash's Main Rival than Alain does because at least they're fighting for the same goal. But Sawyer is more of a student than a rival to me.

The guy literally took notes from Ash and you could say he idolized him. Tierno and Trevor were also rivals to Ash but no one talks about them.

Pikachu's rivalry was with Tapu Koko, not Kului.
That rivalry pales in comparison to Pikachu vs Paul's Electivire
 
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Electivire's main rival was Infernape. Pikachu just happened to fight it twice or so.
Yeah the people who say that always go back to their 1 on 1 fight at the sinnoh league but it felt more personal w/ Pikachu when it was an Elekid/Electabuzz.Didn't see it w/ Chimchar but they did have 2 intense battles with each other (Acuity)(League).
 

Daren

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Honestly it felt to me like Electivire was going to be Pikachu's rival before they decided everything had to revolve around Infernape.

But getting to the question at hand: the discussion about how the battles will go is obviously tricky to guess at to me much since we still don't even know for sure the sizes (I'm in the 3/3/6 club with maybe Greninja returning, much as I'd prefer larger ones+other reserves). I still feel fairly confident about Ash vs Cynthia, fairly confident about him facing Alain, and Iris Vs Lance strikes me as a good guess.

Feeling sorry for the person just here to lose to Leon in round 1 though.
 

Broseph08

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Personally, I think I'd prefer Ash vs. Alain the more I think about it because I fear the alternative would be Alain beating Steven in the first round which rubs me the wrong way. Also, I want to see Leon vs. Steven

Unfortunately, I still do think it will be Ash vs. Lance but we shall see
 

PokeFan2005

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Potential leak, take it with a grain of salt though

FStoYHVaUAA42vf
these are just predictions
 

A Wild Luxray

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I hope its just predictions. I think it would be absolutely insulting for the writers to include Alain and never have Ash be the one to defeat him after their horrible decision in the Kalos League. Also, I really think the Project Mew conclusion and wrapping up Goh's story will happen before the Masters 8.
 

cricketlaxwolvesbandy

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Tbf the best chance to have Ash beat Alain was in the Kalos League Finals because it’s the final round. If Ash beats Alain here I’ll be just be a footnote in Ashs journey and not have any relative importance because everyone will remember Ash vs Leon instead because it’s the final battle.
Also with how hyped up Ash-Greninja is I see it to be the next Poke Jesus and thus mastered Ash Greninja should be unbeatable and be able to defeat Arceus.
 

Broseph08

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They really did miss their chance in Kalos IMO. Ash should have beat Alain and then challenged Diantha and lost. Would still show he has work to do but shown great progression. It'll still be cool if it got its revenge but it will def be overshadowed by the Leon fight. Despite all my misgivings of Journeys so far, I do think they will nail the Ash vs. Leon fight. They've been hyping it up for a while and I have a strong feeling it will deliver. It's the other matches I am pretty skeptical of honestly.

But I'm also of the belief that Ash should have fought Paul in the finals in DP and then he would have challenged and lost to Cynthia so I've been pushing that agenda for a while.
 
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They really did miss their chance in Kalos IMO. Ash should have beat Alain and then challenged Diantha and lost. Would still show he has work to do but shown great progression. It'll still be cool if it got its revenge but it will def be overshadowed by the Leon fight. Despite all my misgivings of Journeys so far, I do think they will nail the Ash vs. Leon fight. They've been hyping it up for a while and I have a strong feeling it will deliver. It's the other matches I am pretty skeptical of honestly.

But I'm also of the belief that Ash should have fought Paul in the finals in DP and then he would have challenged and lost to Cynthia so I've been pushing that agenda for a while.

Having similar opinion.

This aspect does work the best in Journeys/PWC, unfortunately. So far, Anime has been quite conservative with Ash's power level and achievements, to the point of pulling out Tobias in Sinnoh and that defeat in Kalos League Finals. Both resonate till this day.
It was somehow clumsy, not very fan-loved. But it was reasonably consistent. Even with Unova slump - I think the problem wasn't with Ash not improving his last result, but HOW it was all handled with his incompetency, only being overshadowed at the end by even greater stupidity from Cameron.

Now there is a little bit mess here we must live with. I was thinking about it, and unfortunately both ways how to fit it in have been impossible.

So the Ash's power level and progression could be reasonably maintained if

A. Journeys were only about Galar (this was at least theoretically possible)
Although Galar does not have Elite Four in classical sense, they had possibility to stick to have only league there. You could still leave Ash's infatuation with Leon, his desire to challenge him. Hell, you could still have Leon be introduced as the most powerful trainer in the world, undefeated by squaring off with Lance. The difference would be that Ash would be aiming to enter only Galar league and edge off all trainers in Galar to challenge Champion Leon. Still works, it is reasonable achievement after Kalos and Alola. But he does not have to enter competition where he has to defeat this bunch of other region's Elite Fours and Champion's, whom he has not been able even to challenge before (by winning some established league).

B. Re-doing history (obviously impossible, but just as projection - how should his previous results should be handled, so Journeys as it is as series, could fit in and seem like reasonable competence and achievement-progression)
So just as point of discussion, I think these results with Anime being more daring and giving Ash more achievements could make Journeys - meaning PWC in particular - feel "natural".

Indigo Plateau (Kanto) - TOP16 is OK, this could stand
Orange Leauge - Winning (remains)
Silver Conference (Johto) - TOP 4 (instead of TOP 8) - still could lose to Harrison in narrow fight and Harrison's Blaziken not being able to help him win finals
Ever Grande Conference (Hoenn) - Runner-up - still losing to Tyson, but spicing it up by it being narrow loss in finals (using only Hoenn team + Pikachu)
Kanto Battle Frontier - defeating all brains (as it was)
Lily of the Valley Conference (Sinnoh) - Winner (by defeating Paul in finals) then defeating 3 of 4 Elite Four, losing to Flint and failing to make his way to Cynthia - this would mark great progression, finally winning league, since he had almost all his Pokémon there, with reserves also defeating some Elite Four (Sceptile getting big win here contrary to Darkrai), but still having that sting of loss against Flint. Even last episode works better with Ash watching Cynthia vs Flint in TV and dreaming to be there one day.
Vertress Conference (Unova) - TOP4 - regressing is OK, but handling it with more grace making Ash still competent enough to deal with Cameron and loosing to Virgil in semi-finals
Lumios Conference (Kalos) - Winner (Ash-Greninja prevails in finals) and defeating all Elite Four (calling some reserves to help with that), but losing closely do Diantha - we would have progression, still the sting of loss (but against Champion)
Manalo Conferece (Alola) - Winner (everything may remain here, competition maybe less impressive than in Kalos, but more laid back atmosphere in region and Ash is using only region-specific team as he really was, similar to Hoenn)

This does not change THAT much, but especially in Sinnoh and Kalos, erases egregious defeats that were to soon in tournament and gives Ash more experience and actual wins against Elite Four, so that his current position in Masters 8 is natural progression, ready to defeat some Champions.

But since neither really happened, we are stuck with the best we got. So we will probably be seeing defeating Cynthia or Lance, and along that maybe rectifying loss to Alain, all of it in a hurry and somehow to be cheapened by main goal Leon.
Yep, I am not ecstatic about it either, those matches alone deserve proper spotlight and would be better served with more narrative room to breathe.
But hopefully, they will try to make the best out of the situation anyway.

I am cautiously optimistic. :bulbaWave:
 
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But I'm also of the belief that Ash should have fought Paul in the finals in DP and then he would have challenged and lost to Cynthia so I've been pushing that agenda for a while.
I agree as well that Ash & Paul should've faced each other in the finals seeing how they were 2 of the strongest trainers in the Sinnoh League that had the same amount of experience under their belt.It was the perfect time to end Ash's story.
  • Ash encountered all of the E4 members during his journey in Sinnoh
  • Him and Paul both met the Champion Cynthia in the same episode
  • Ash's regional team was stronger than ever at the time
  • He improved his skills as a trainer
  • He used his reserves at the league
Paul pushed him harder than any rival did before or after DP which caused Ash to think outside the box and formulate strategies and train his pokemon more often.The Tobias character was a result in not being able to go the usual route of having a Harrison/Tyson type of trainer show up at the league and defeat Ash considering Paul was not only stronger than his previous rival Gary but also those league rivals he lost to in the past.

So this forced the writers to create a trainer who had nothing but legendary pokemon to stop Ash from winning at all costs.Had they allowed Ash to win he'd have the opportunity to face Cynthia and BW could have a new protagonist starting his/her journey with Trip as their main rival.
 

Broseph08

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I agree as well that Ash & Paul should've faced each other in the finals seeing how they were 2 of the strongest trainers in the Sinnoh League that had the same amount of experience under their belt.It was the perfect time to end Ash's story.
  • Ash encountered all of the E4 members during his journey in Sinnoh
  • Him and Paul both met the Champion Cynthia in the same episode
  • Ash's regional team was stronger than ever at the time
  • He improved his skills as a trainer
  • He used his reserves at the league
Paul pushed him harder than any rival did before or after DP which caused Ash to think outside the box and formulate strategies and train his pokemon more often.The Tobias character was a result in not being able to go the usual route of having a Harrison/Tyson type of trainer show up at the league and defeat Ash considering Paul was not only stronger than his previous rival Gary but also those league rivals he lost to in the past.

So this forced the writers to create a trainer who had nothing but legendary pokemon to stop Ash from winning at all costs.Had they allowed Ash to win he'd have the opportunity to face Cynthia and BW could have a new protagonist starting his/her journey with Trip as their main rival.
I don't even think Ash needed to leave the show. And honestly, I don't think it would have been believable for him to take down Cynthia at that point in the show. The Elite 4 and her especially were shown to be significantly stronger than Ash and Paul that season. But I do think battling her and maybe taking down 1 or 2 Pokémon would have been a satisfying and solid showing for Ash. They kinda did with Tobias but he was such a halfass character that no one liked it whereas Cynthia was well established as a powerhouse so Ash getting destroyed while still putting up a respectable fight would have shown he had a lot of work to do despite his growth
 

CharizardFan7

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I hope its just predictions. I think it would be absolutely insulting for the writers to include Alain and never have Ash be the one to defeat him after their horrible decision in the Kalos League. Also, I really think the Project Mew conclusion and wrapping up Goh's story will happen before the Masters 8.
Agreed. This is the perfect opportunity for them to make up for the Kalos League fiasco. Nice call BTW, I too think the Project Mew conclusion will happen before the Masters 8 (at least before it finishes.)
 
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