- Oct 12, 2014
- Reaction score
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?