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SPOILERS: Masters Eight Discussion/Speculation Thread

Ash vs Steven is certainly a surprise matchup... at least until I remembered that Steven was in the Top 3. I guess Ash potentially defeating the three strongest trainers in the world takes priority over narrative payoffs (a rematch with Alain) and even foreshadowing (Ash facing Lance is something that was being constantly teased, but then again, the anime has already used misdirection like this a lot in the past with Journeys being arguably the worst offender, so maybe we should've seen this one coming). I do think it's a shame that Ash won't be facing Alain after all, but I'm not too upset about it either, since beating Alain in a rematch is something that had its own fair share of problems anyway (such as Greninja being the one most fans would've wanted to do so, but if Greninja gets to return then so should other reserves, and that reduces the Journeys team's already sparse focus).

In light of how the matchups turned out, I can't say we can predict how they're gonna go seeing the amount of curveballs we've been thrown. That said, it's probably safe to say that Leon will beat Alain, Ash will beat Steven, and Cynthia will beat Iris: if Ash is facing the Top 3 first, then it logically follows that he faces the Top 2 in the next round. Plus, he and Iris already battled before, so there's not much of a point in a rematch. Leon also has to make it past Alain if Ash is gonna eventually face him. Lance vs Diantha is the only matchup that could go either way, but I'd personally prefer it if Diantha were the one to win, if only because Leon already fought and beat Lance, so it might be better if he defeated a different Champion before facing Ash.

All this predicting aside, at least we can appreciate the Pokemon being showcased, especially since several of them are species that haven't had meaningful screentime in years:

  • Leon and Alain are using Rillaboom and Chesnaught respectively. Seeing the most neglected members of their respective Starter trios getting used by two of the strongest Pokemon Trainers in the world is one hell of a bone throw. Heck, I'm pretty sure Chesnaught didn't do anything of note back in XY besides being a POTD in a single filler episode, so this goes a long way in redeeming it. Now if only someone would pull out a surprise Typhlosion... Also, it's just sweet how Alain is using a Chesnaught likely in honor of Mairin's Chespie.
  • Looks like Lance will be using a Hydreigon and Diantha an Aurorus. The only major role Hydreigon had in BW was under the command of an annoying idiot responsible for the worst League loss in history, so I'm really glad that it's finally getting spotlight with a trainer that's actually worthy and deserving of such a beast. Aurorus meanwhile is another old Pokemon being seen for the first time in a while, and I'm pretty sure it, like Chesnaught, only had one major episode in all of XY. Bonus: looks like the writers didn't forget about Lance's Dragonite after all XD
  • Finally, we have Steven using a Cradily, a Fossil Pokemon that has been out of the spotlight even longer than Aurorus. Not to mention, I don't think we ever even saw one of these participate in a battle, so I'm really excited to see how it performs.

Guys, idk about anyone, but seeing all these Pokemon in action is a real treat. It makes me even sadder that these battles will likely be 3v3, because 6v6s would've allowed for even more neglected Pokemon getting potential shots at spotlight. That said, if the fights are 3v3, it seems like Lance is the only person whose lineup for the first round is confirmed (seems like he'll be using Dragonite, Hydreigon, and the Red Gyarados. And even that last one might not be the case, because if he beats Diantha he's still got a chance of using Gyarados in the second round): Leon is using Rillaboom and Charizard, Alain is using Chesnaught and Charizard, Diantha is using Aurorus and Gardevoir, Cynthia is using Milotic and Garchomp, Iris was only shown using Haxorus, and Ash will be using Gengar and Pikachu. Everyone's third Pokemon (and in Iris's case two other Pokemon) is a huge tossup, though I can imagine Diantha using either Tyrantrum or Goodra seeing how she's facing Lance.

But... But... how can Aurorus survive outside the cold?
 
Okay, last thing on Steven because maybe I wasn't clear enough. I understand the theory Ash is facing him because he's #3 and they want Ash to go #3 ->#2 ->#1. But how did they come to decide to make Steven #3 when he's a much less compelling match-up compared to Alain, Lance, and even Diantha?
 
Here's why it's a disappointment:

1. Limited to 3 Vs. 3 fights, making it basically the same as Ultra.
2. No Round Robin, meaning the outcomes are super predictable and basic.
3. No Ash Vs. Alain rematch that we deserved.
4. No Iris Vs. Lance round, making Iris' goal of being the best Dragon trainer completely worthless.
5. Iris will likely get knocked out before Lance, making her worse than him be tournament standards. Again, making her goal worthless.
6. No callback to the time Iris spent with Lance's cousin; Clair. Would have been nice if we saw Iris try to fight Lance even outside of the M8.
7. None of Ash's older Pokémon will be used. The 3 Vs. 3 thing honestly feels like an excuse to exclude Ash's reserves.
8. Instead of trainers using their best Pokémon and fighting with their all, it seems more like a downplayed mini tournament from the BW days. The lack of 6 Vs. 6 fights doesn't help. The only trainers we'll even SEE use more than 3 Pokémon will be: Diantha/Lance, Leon, Ash and Cynthia.
9. The whole tournament can be summed up in just 3 episodes if they only focus on Ash. I hope none of the episodes are two-parters, since it's pretty pointless to have a two-parter for a 3 Vs. 3 fight.
10. I guarantee once the M8 is over, Ash will lose to the first Level 5 Sprigatito he sees.
 
But... But... how can Aurorus survive outside the cold?
tbh, I really don't mind that retcon, since to me Amaura/Aurorus being so ridiculously dependent on the cold that they'll straight up perish in a matter of minutes just never made any sense, since we've seen pretty much every other Ice-type (including ones heavily implied to just be straight up made of ice like Cryogonal and the Vanillite line) exisisting in lukewarm climates without issue, so I always found it more than a little strange for Amaura and Aurorus to require constant cold when no other Ice-type has ever been shown to be that needy.

But if you don't like the idea of a retcon... well, do remember that this is a Champion's Aurorus who's probably far tougher and more well-trained than average for its species. This even has precedent: remember all the way back in to OS with that one Sandshrew that had been trained to withstand water? This would be the same principle.
 
Okay, last thing on Steven because maybe I wasn't clear enough. I understand the theory Ash is facing him because he's #3 and they want Ash to go #3 ->#2 ->#1. But how did they come to decide to make Steven #3 when he's a much less compelling match-up compared to Alain, Lance, and even Diantha?
Honestly, sometimes writers really do just want to do something that nobody expects--I've done it myself. It could be as simple as that.
 
You couldn't post this in any of the threads instead of making a new one? Half of this is just petty complaining because you didn't get what you wanted.

They don't have to have Iris battle Lance, she and Cynthia have history. The first rounds are 3 on 3, Leon will certainly be 6 on 6 and we don't know about the semi-finals.
 
Okay, last thing on Steven because maybe I wasn't clear enough. I understand the theory Ash is facing him because he's #3 and they want Ash to go #3 ->#2 ->#1. But how did they come to decide to make Steven #3 when he's a much less compelling match-up compared to Alain, Lance, and even Diantha?

Simple answer : popularity, Steven is the 3rd most popular champion in Japan (very close to Leon for 2nd) and sometimes they just want viewers to watch their show you know.

Cynthia is technically more popular than Leon but they just couldn't put Cynthia 1st and Leon 2nd for huge narrative reasons and Galar bias so they just switched instead.

So yeah they just made their top 3 ranking by popularity , nothing too complicated.
 
Certainly not off to a good start. This is supposed to be the grand stage of Ash’s goal of the series and I’m feeling no real hype to this because I couldn’t care less about these round 1 match ups because they just feel like something they drew out of a hat to decide when instead they could have had massive fan service value. Further disappointing, which extends to this tournament as a whole is that this is supposed to be the biggest competition Ash has taken part of in an anniversary series yet the writers couldn’t be bothered with making use of Ash’s reserves, the ultimate fanservice for such a well traveled trainer yet due to some Herculean leap in logic that us mere mortals could never hope to understand, the writers chose to treat Ash’s team as an island as if this were any basic series that was taking place in a single region. At any rate, unless this picks up, only thing I look forward to is when Journeys is over so we can reshuffle the deck and draw a new hand.
 
Certainly not off to a good start. This is supposed to be the grand stage of Ash’s goal of the series and I’m feeling no real hype to this because I couldn’t care less about these round 1 match ups because they just feel like something they drew out of a hat to decide when instead they could have had massive fan service value.
Ash is battling the top 3 ranked characters, Steven, Cynthia and Leon.

Alan is thrown to the wolves, but Iris/Cynthia also makes sense and follows up their development from BW. Lance/Diantha is just by default the last two characters paired.
 
Certainly not off to a good start. This is supposed to be the grand stage of Ash’s goal of the series and I’m feeling no real hype to this because I couldn’t care less about these round 1 match ups because they just feel like something they drew out of a hat to decide when instead they could have had massive fan service value. Further disappointing, which extends to this tournament as a whole is that this is supposed to be the biggest competition Ash has taken part of in an anniversary series yet the writers couldn’t be bothered with making use of Ash’s reserves, the ultimate fanservice for such a well traveled trainer yet due to some Herculean leap in logic that us mere mortals could never hope to understand, the writers chose to treat Ash’s team as an island as if this were any basic series that was taking place in a single region. At any rate, unless this picks up, only thing I look forward to is when Journeys is over so we can reshuffle the deck and draw a new hand.
I feel the same, JN leaves a lot to be desired!
 
posted in the spoilers thread but then realized this isn't really a spoiler anymore whoops

Guys, idk about anyone, but seeing all these Pokemon in action is a real treat. It makes me even sadder that these battles will likely be 3v3, because 6v6s would've allowed for even more neglected Pokemon getting potential shots at spotlight.
Yeah, this honestly makes me a little sad. I understand they don't want battles/plots to take too long but this tournament was set up to be a really big thing - seeing the full teams everyone brought over in one battle, and having to conquer them, would have been great. Like others, I was also hoping to see some of Ash's old reserves used and some maybe even evolving (would love to see Bayleef become Meganium one day).
 
You know what i just realized.

Every single one of the Masters Eight members has a Psuedo legendary in its possesion, except for Diantha (But she has a Goodra in the games).
Alain has Metagross and Tyranitar (I hope Alain uses Tyranitar instead of Metagross because Steven already uses one).
Lance is using Hydreigon and Dragonite.
Cynthia is using Garchomp and most likely also Kommo-o (If it doesn't get a battle, them giving her Kommo-o was pointless).
Steven is using Metagross.
No doubt Leon is gonna use Dragapult
Iris is using Dragonite
Ash is using Dragonite

So that leaves out Salamence and Goodra for now.
 
While it seems pretty confirmed that the R1 matches will be 3v3, I'm actually leaning towards R2 being 6v6. My reason being that it will only consist of two battles, one of them being an unimportant match between Leon and Lance/Diantha, which will most likely be heavily abridged if the Alain battle is any indication. That leaves Ash vs Cynthia as basically the only substance in R2, and for that to remain a 3v3 would make the whole thing fly by alarming fast, and make for a pretty meager second round compared to the first.

Even the Alola league was successful in making it feel like the stakes were raised each round, so I don't think that's something they'll drop the ball on here. Essentially, I think they're kind of forced to make Ash vs Cynthia a longer battle in order to make up for the fact nothing else is really happening in R2, and to avoid it being a fraction of the length of R1.
 
But... But... how can Aurorus survive outside the cold?
I'm assuming this is sarcasm, but even with GD's rationalization aside, the species naturally produces air that's –240 degrees Fahrenheit from its body. So, no need to worry about the practicality of usage regarding the Tundra Pokémon. :enzap:
 
Please note: The thread is from 7 months ago.
Please take the age of this thread into consideration in writing your reply. Depending on what exactly you wanted to say, you may want to consider if it would be better to post a new thread instead.
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