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Review XY120: Eisetsu Gym Battle! Battlefield of Ice!!

WatcherMark

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So here's a basic run-down of the episode...

- The gang arrive in Eisetsu City all kitted out in winter clothes... maybe Satoshi has been keeping in touch with Hikari's mom.
- They decide to head straight to the gym... amazingly, despite Satoshi's bad luck in heading straight to the gym despite having not met the leader in the past, the place is open.
- The gang ask for entry (this is similar to the one in Miare Gym) and five Kachikoru pop up, a surprise since there was no indication they'd be debuting in the episode. Anyway, after the appearance for appearances sake (guess the writers couldn't be bothered to give them their own episode) and standard Dex scanning the gang get in.
- Urup is waiting for challenges, and quickly accepts. I'm pretty sure this is 3vs3 but my connection was bad and I didn't see a VS screen.
- First Pokemon is Yukinooh, while Satoshi sends out Luchabull. Yukinooh has Snow Warning and creates hail, something Satoshi will have to contend with for the whole match (guess we're going by Generation V rules).
- Luchabull, despite the hail, actually manages to make quick work of Yukinooh and it quickly goes down. Satoshi is off to a good start.
- Crebase is next out. Luchabull manages to get in a couple of hits, however it turns out Crebase has Ice Body so the hail is constantly helping it recover. Stone Edge and Gyro Ball knock Luchabull out.
- Next out is Fiarrow and Satoshi, as usual, goes for Flame Charge. They manage to hit and weaken Crebase, only for it to pull out a new move (I'm pretty sure it's Avalanche, but I can't speak Japanese). Fiarrow goes down.
- Satoshi, knowing Pikachu's Iron Tail has the advantage and with his experience against Viola's ice battlefield decides to send in... Gekkouga. Seriously Satoshi, some might complain it gets overused but this was one battle where the mouse would have really helped (ironic the only time Satoshi has used Pikachu in an ice-type Gym Battle was before he learned Iron Tail and went up against a part-ground type nonetheless).
- Gekkouga gets beaten around a bit, then begins the Synchro Evolution. Thankfully there don't seem to be any problems this time, but Crebase still manages to stand up against the attacks. Gekkouga is knocked out, and Satoshi loses. Urup has some hard words for Satoshi, it sounds like.
- The gang return to the Pokemon Center, and Gekkouga is seen receiving treatment... guess Luchabull and Fiarrow will just have to suffer with their injuries then?
- Shota leaves. He and Satoshi part on good terms, although Shota has an inner monologue after he goes.
- Satoshi is miserable at how badly he lost despite the lead he got by knocking out Yukinooh straight away. He decides to go for a wander in the forest alone, even leaving Pikachu behind.
- The episode ends with Satoshi sitting in the forest depressed.
 

Necrozma

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Another thing to add: Bonnie is the one who came up with the name 'Ash-Greninja'.
 

Dogasu

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I'm going to ignore the Satoshi-Gekkouga story that I'm soooooo completely over at this point and instead focus on how Satoshi brought a fully-evolved Fire-Type to an Ice-Type Gym and yet somehow wasn't able to use it to KO a single pokemon with it.
 

Misty-Moo

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I'm going to ignore the Satoshi-Gekkouga story that I'm soooooo completely over at this point and instead focus on how Satoshi brought a fully-evolved Fire-Type to an Ice-Type Gym and yet somehow wasn't able to use it to KO a single pokemon with it.
Because -
DSffN.jpg

Looks like whoever posted that theory about these episodes was spot on - Ash loses the first time, goes on a voyage of self-discovery in Winding Woods, comes back and wins
 

lavandula

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But to be fair... nitrocharge doesn't really do a thing to Avalugg.
I don't think even Flare Blitz would do much to an Avalugg.
This thing has insane physical defense.
 
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Alola

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Talonflame was pitiful here; I think this "battle" ranks even lower than it's fight against Grant's Tyrunt. Also, this episode made me realize how glaringly physically oriented Ash's team is as of now. Some special moves would have done Avalugg in real quick.

Also, Ash's foul mood the entire fight obviously foreshadowed his loss (and yes, I know episode titles have been released and all). This episode would have been more respectable if Ash fought Wulfric with his usual earnest, like he did with Viola, and then still proceed to lose.
 

Silktree

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Also, this episode made me realize how glaringly physically oriented Ash's team is as of now. Some special moves would have done Avalugg in real quick.
Has the anime ever made a distinction between physical and special moves?
 

Alola

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Has the anime ever made a distinction between physical and special moves?
Yes, in regards to physical moves making physical contact and triggering contact-based abilities while special moves do not. I'm sure there are other inexplicit examples throughout the hundreds of episodes.
 

Silktree

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Yes, in regards to physical moves making physical contact and triggering contact-based abilities while special moves do not. I'm sure there are other inexplicit examples throughout the hundreds of episodes.
Contact moves and physical moves aren't exactly the same thing; six contact moves are actually special, and there are non-contact physical moves.

But I'm more interested to know if it was ever implied that a "tank" could endure physical moves better than special ones.
 

Alola

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Contact moves and physical moves aren't exactly the same thing; six contact moves are actually special, and there are non-contact physical moves.

That's true, but the anime doesn't make that complete distinction between physical and contact. An example is when Ash's Snivy and Trip's Frillish fought and Cursed Body activated-in both the dub and jap. versions, they stated how the ability reacts in response to physical moves rather than contact moves.

But I'm more interested to know if it was ever implied that a "tank" could endure physical moves better than special ones.

Not that I can currently recall. That's just me looking at this from the game's perspective, rightly or wrongly, with Avalugg's very high defense.
 

Litten

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Lol @ Talonflame getting trolled. Those Bergmite were cute though. Now to await the "maybe Wulfric will give Ash a Bergmite" theories.
 

NinjutsuSen

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Avalugg is a tank with 184 base stat on the physical defense wich is twice as high as most ice types. Combine that with hail healing + very high HP Base and the fact that Ash only used physical moves the whole match and gyro Ball as defensive as well as offensive move then it should be pretty clear that it should be strong enough to K.O Ashs speed based team.

If physical or special doesnt matter on Ashs pokemon then Avalugg should also be an abnormal defensive monster in both physical and special defensive.
 
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Gengarzilla

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Yeah, Ash's speedy physical team was never going to beat Avalugg on the first attempt. I saw this coming all along. Now we just gotta see how Ash bounces back.
 

IncineROAR

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But to be fair... nitrocharge doesn't really do a thing to Avalugg.
I don't think even Flare Blitz would do much to an Avalugg.
This thing has insane physical defense.

My Lucario knocked it out in one turn using aura sphere lol. And I didn't even activate mega evolution. Ash has lost gym battles before, so I am not sure why he took this loss so hard.
 

Gengarzilla

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My Lucario knocked it out in one turn using aura sphere lol. And I didn't even activate mega evolution. Ash has lost gym battles before, so I am not sure why he took this loss so hard.
Avalugg can't take any decent special attack, one shotting it with Aura Sphere is hardly something worth bragging about.
He's indeed lost gym battles before but not of this magnitude. No gym leader's beaten him this badly since Roark but at least he actually beat Cranidos then. Not this time.
Even the loss against Lenora doesn't compare. I'd go as far as to say that this is his worst gym battle loss since the Kanto series.
 

Necrozma

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Avalugg can't take any decent special attack, one shotting it with Aura Sphere is hardly something worth bragging about.
He's indeed lost gym battles before but not of this magnitude. No gym leader's beaten him this badly since Roark. Even the loss against Lenora doesn't compare.
I think it's not just about the loss, it's about circumstances as well.

The battle was being watched by his rival, Sawyer, who up until recently had been the inferior one of the two. But now not only did Ash lose to Sawyer, but in front of Sawyer he lost to the man that Sawyer managed to beat. Sawyer is ahead of Ash and it seems like Ash was desperate to win and catch up. During the gym battle Ash did think of Sawyer so it's possible Sawyer's presence had an influence on Ash during the battle.
 

Gengarzilla

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I think it's not just about the loss, it's about circumstances as well.

The battle was being watched by his rival, Sawyer, who up until recently had been the inferior one of the two. But now not only did Ash lose to Sawyer, but in front of Sawyer he lost to the man that Sawyer managed to beat. Sawyer is ahead of Ash and it seems like Ash was desperate to win and catch up. During the gym battle Ash did think of Sawyer so it's possible Sawyer's presence had an influence on Ash during the battle.
Almost forgot he was watching, to be honest. Ouch...

Brainwave Edit: Ooh, this just occurred to me! What happened here parallels Wulfric's X and Y pre-battle quote perfectly: "Depending on which Pokémon you choose and what moves they use, I could be your most challenging opponent yet or I could be a total pushover." He's generally considered a pushover in the games, but he truly was a most challenging opponent for Ash today.
 
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IncineROAR

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Avalugg can't take any decent special attack, one shotting it with Aura Sphere is hardly something worth bragging about.

I was just pointing out how easy of a challenge the gym should have been.

I understand the writers were trying to highlight Ash's story with Greninja, as well as with Sawyer, but for me I guess I'm just frustrated this gym of all gyms had to be the big loser.
 
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