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SPOILERS: Masters Eight Discussion/Speculation Thread

A clip that's popped up on youtube a few times recently reminded me of Johto, where we have a Charizard having a "scary face" contest with Totodile that ends with it trying to suck it's gut up and falling backwards cartoonishly and losing the battle.
Weird to see how things have become.
Indeed. It's no secret that I heavily dislike modern Charizard portrayals, not just because I personally find them heavily dissonant with Charizard's actual strength in the games, since I personally almost never have issues defeating those things at all (to give an example, in my battle against Leon the Pokemon that gave me the most trouble was his Haxorus of all things: I was outright forced to Dynamax early because of that thing. On the other hand, my non-Dynamax Boltund actually managed to survive a G-Max Wildfire and then Thunder Fang'd Gigantamax Charizard to death), but also and especially because it's really stripped the species of personality, which in the past could actually be quite varied and interesting: aside from it being subjected to comical slapstic and defeats like in the battle against Ash's Totodile, I also remember a Chronicles episode that starred a very timid and weak Charizard that had to overcome a very serious phobia to save its trainer, something that we'll most likely never see again because a Charizard being shown in any vulnerable position (outside perhaps it taking a huge beating in a fight only to pull a comeback win afterwards) would be tantamount to sacrilege. So now every Charizard we see nowadays has no personality outside of just... being the strongest. And that's a huge shame imo.

But when Obi Wan fought Vader in Episode III he won.
True, but keep in mind that unlike Obi Wan, Greninja never managed to get the high ground :p
 
As a non-Journeys watcher (I just never watched it really, I guess?), the only ones that I've been interested in are: the appearance of my namesake Lisia, and a potential rematch with Alain. When I was reading the Japanese press release about this for my article here, I got excited when I read Alain was in it, and a little surprised he wasn't the Kalos champion! I'm excited to see the results~
 
Indeed. It's no secret that I heavily dislike modern Charizard portrayals, not just because I personally find them heavily dissonant with Charizard's actual strength in the games, since I personally almost never have issues defeating those things at all (to give an example, in my battle against Leon the Pokemon that gave me the most trouble was his Haxorus of all things: I was outright forced to Dynamax early because of that thing. On the other hand, my non-Dynamax Boltund actually managed to survive a G-Max Wildfire and then Thunder Fang'd Gigantamax Charizard to death), but also and especially because it's really stripped the species of personality, which in the past could actually be quite varied and interesting: aside from it being subjected to comical slapstic and defeats like in the battle against Ash's Totodile, I also remember a Chronicles episode that starred a very timid and weak Charizard that had to overcome a very serious phobia to save its trainer, something that we'll most likely never see again because a Charizard being shown in any vulnerable position (outside perhaps it taking a huge beating in a fight only to pull a comeback win afterwards) would be tantamount to sacrilege. So now every Charizard we see nowadays has no personality outside of just... being the strongest. And that's a huge shame imo.
Ash’s Charizard is definitely the biggest reason why Charizard is my favorite Pokémon. When I was a kid, episodes like “Volcanic Panic”, “Charizard Chills”, and “Charizard’s Burning Ambition” were among my favorites. I really liked how they portrayed Charizard as something that percieved itself to be strong, but still had a lot of flaws. As you mentioned, Charizard is pretty easy to deal with in the games, and “Charizard’s Burning Ambition” portraying Ash’s Charizard as still having much to learn was really fasinating. Just because it was Ash’s strongest Pokémon, that doesn’t mean that it was strong itself. Combined with Charizard gaining Ash’s trust in “Charizard Chills”, this showed that getting Charizard to be as strong as he was in episodes like AG135 and BW116 took a lot of effort.

Ash’s Charizard is my favorite character in the Pokémon anime, and I like how the writers portrayed Charizard to look strong, yet not actually be strong and had to hone its skills to take names. Alain’s and Leon’s Charizard being largely unstoppable powerhouses in comparison just feels like it contradicts how Ash’s Charizard was portrayed. Perhaps it’s because Alain and Leon are more experienced trainers than when Ash first got his Charizard, but even so, I always saw Charizard as a flawed character. A character that has flaws and needs to learn to overcome them is always satisfying to see, and Ash’s Charizard was the epitome of that. Charizard will always be my favorite Pokémon, and Ash’s Charizard played a major role in that.
 
Ash’s Charizard is my favorite character in the Pokémon anime, and I like how the writers portrayed Charizard to look strong, yet not actually be strong and had to hone its skills to take names. Alain’s and Leon’s Charizard being largely unstoppable powerhouses in comparison just feels like it contradicts how Ash’s Charizard was portrayed.
And it's not just contradictory, but it also makes all the development Ash's Charizard went through feel rather pointless: like you said, guy had to work his tail off to get to the level of power he's currently at only for these upstart Charizards to swoop in and just be inherently borderline invincible seemingly by nature. It retroactively creates the question of "if being a Charizard is enough for someone to be overpowered these days, then why did Ash's have to go through all the crap he did to be strong in the first place?"
 
I have to admit that Alain being in the Masters 8 actually scares me a little because it might mean that Ash won't defeat Leon after all, since it would be very unlike the anime to let two Charizards get KO'd what with how much they've been worshipping the species these past several years. Granted, maybe they'll let Ash use other reserves besides Greninja, and if he does and Charizard is among them they can actually let both Leon and Alain lose now that the Charizard species gets to preserve its reputation as The Strongest Pokemon Ever™ due to the winner of the PWC also using one.
Which could completely be averted if they let Ash bring back his Charizard to defeat another Charizard.

Either way, Charizard wins.
 
Here's how I think it's going to go, assuming it's a bracketed tournament.
The initial four battles will be Diantha vs Alain (Alain wins), Leon vs Lance (Leon wins), Cynthia vs Steven (Cynthia wins), and Iris vs Ash (Ash wins)
The next battles will be Leon vs Cynthia (Leon wins) and Ash vs Alain (Ash wins).
The final battle will be Ash vs Leon, which I have no idea how it will go.
 
Just thought about something, that might be potentially important for a potential match-up.

Iris vs Lance

Earlier on in the series, they showed Iris battling Clair. We know from experience Clair is a real threat. What if that battle set Iris up to become the Unova champion and enter the PWC, because she lost to her. This might mean M8 match-up is between Iris and Lance, where she defeats Lance in order to show progression growth on-screen, especially since Clair has said that Lance is stronger than she is (If i recall correctly).
 
There's no hype for an Ash vs Alain rematch. There's a difference between what fans want to see and what the series itself is trying to hype up. There is no build-up at all for an Ash vs Alain rematch, and even if it happens, it would be hollow and unable to live up to their Kalos League battle.
Greninja showed up, and it's evident that Ash knows exactly where to find him. Ash mentioned that he and Greninja managed to make it to the finals of the Kalos League Lumiose tournament, with Alain in the background. In the next episode, the announcer mentioned that Alain is the winner of the Kalos League Lumiose tournament, which makes it clear to newcomers that Ash and Greninja lost that battle.

I expect Ash to explain to Goh why beating Alain is so important to him.
 
What I don't like about Alain's battle is that in the Kalos league at least it was a full battle, so that PWC manages to not only make the stakes lower than before but also fails to show all of Alain's team. For all we know he could have had a lot of new Pokémon, but we're only going to be able to see a few of them. I don't think it's right to have Ash and Alain go from a very high stakes 6 Vs. 6 battle to a mere 3. Vs. 3 one, especially since the PWC is meant to be a rank above the regional leagues. Again, what is the point of everything being 3 Vs. 3 or less? I guarantee we get a two-parter in there, somehow. Why waste a two-parter on 3 Vs. 3 fight?

If the SOLE reason for all fights being 3 Vs. 3 is because of animation limitations, make it 4 Vs. 4 instead. That way each rank has trainers fight with one more Pokémon. Normal is 1, Great is 2, Ultra is 3 and Master is 4. It's pointless to have both Ultra and Master cups have the same amount of Pokémon, since it just means we have Ultra twice, but this time with Champions.
Ash already defeated the rest of Alain's team, so really all that's needed for fans is for Charizard to get defeated.
Ash’s Charizard is definitely the biggest reason why Charizard is my favorite Pokémon. When I was a kid, episodes like “Volcanic Panic”, “Charizard Chills”, and “Charizard’s Burning Ambition” were among my favorites. I really liked how they portrayed Charizard as something that percieved itself to be strong, but still had a lot of flaws. As you mentioned, Charizard is pretty easy to deal with in the games, and “Charizard’s Burning Ambition” portraying Ash’s Charizard as still having much to learn was really fasinating. Just because it was Ash’s strongest Pokémon, that doesn’t mean that it was strong itself. Combined with Charizard gaining Ash’s trust in “Charizard Chills”, this showed that getting Charizard to be as strong as he was in episodes like AG135 and BW116 took a lot of effort.

Ash’s Charizard is my favorite character in the Pokémon anime, and I like how the writers portrayed Charizard to look strong, yet not actually be strong and had to hone its skills to take names. Alain’s and Leon’s Charizard being largely unstoppable powerhouses in comparison just feels like it contradicts how Ash’s Charizard was portrayed. Perhaps it’s because Alain and Leon are more experienced trainers than when Ash first got his Charizard, but even so, I always saw Charizard as a flawed character. A character that has flaws and needs to learn to overcome them is always satisfying to see, and Ash’s Charizard was the epitome of that. Charizard will always be my favorite Pokémon, and Ash’s Charizard played a major role in that.
Ash's Charizard is a major contributing factor to why Charizard as a species has become a fan favorite.
 
I could really see Ash's Charizard defeating Alain's MCX if it continued it's training at Charicific Valley while in MCY form.

Charicific Valley = Hyperbolic Time Chamber

Charizard's Progression
Magmar -> Poliwrath -> Dragonair -> Blastoise -> Articuno -> Regice -> Reshiram -> MCX
 
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I am a little salty over Alder neglection. In terms of distinct personality, he was among my favorite champions. I get that Iris is there to promote Unova due to sequels, but I think an episode revolving around Iris and Alder’s battle in the PWC to determine who makes it to the Top 8 would be a good episode. Heck, since we are giving chance to game characters, Benga could debut in this episode watching Alder battle as well. I wish the writers had thought it out.
 
Here's how I think it's going to go, assuming it's a bracketed tournament.
The initial four battles will be Diantha vs Alain (Alain wins), Leon vs Lance (Leon wins), Cynthia vs Steven (Cynthia wins), and Iris vs Ash (Ash wins)
The next battles will be Leon vs Cynthia (Leon wins) and Ash vs Alain (Ash wins).
The final battle will be Ash vs Leon, which I have no idea how it will go.
Ash not battling Cynthia is very unlikely. She has the most build up this series and the DP connection. It's the one match besides Leon which is 100% likely
 
FSTUxAracAEqdTb

Ash vs Lance confirmed
 
Huh... so then either this is round robin or either Alain or Cynthia is getting the shaft.

(Side note I wonder if this is just for the image or if Ash will actually have all three gimmicks equipped for these battles)
 
Side side note: If the Master's Eight really is a tournament and Ash battles three people is it safe say each gimmick will get one use? Gmax Gengar in one battle Mega Lucario in another and then Pikachu Z Move i'm too lazy too look up the name of in a third (Not necessarily that order)
 
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