Ash's Lycanroc (Japanese: サトシのルガルガンSatoshi's Lugarugan) is the second Pokémon that Ash obtained in the Alolaregion, and his forty-eighth overall. Before being caught by Ash, it lived together with Professor Kukui, although it was never officially Kukui's Pokémon.
Under Professor Kukui's care
As a Rockruff, with Ash
Lycanroc, as a Rockruff, was a wild Pokémon that one day stumbled across Professor Kukui's house. It was starving and left confused from another Pokémon's Teeter Dance. Professor Kukui gave it some Pokémon food, which made Rockruff decide to stay at Kukui's house. From then on, Rockruff lived with Kukui, although he never caught it in a Poké Ball.
Rockruff first appeared in The Guardian's Challenge!, where it had dinner and played with Ash and Pikachu. It was later seen the following day with Professor Kukui, watching the welcoming party Ash's classmates had prepared for him. Kukui had planned to battle Ash and Pikachu with Rockruff, but the party was interrupted by Tapu Koko, who challenged Ash to a battle instead.
In Rocking Clawmark Hill!, Rockruff came home injured, causing Ash and Professor Kukui to investigate the reason behind its injuries. This led them to Clawmark Hill, where they discovered that Rockruff had been fighting with other wild Pokémon, including a Magmar. With Ash's help, Rockruff was able to master Rock Throw, which helped it defeat Magmar. At the end of the episode, Professor Kukui encouraged Ash to catch Rockruff after seeing the bond the two had developed.
In A Guardian Rematch!, Lycanroc, as a Rockruff, was used in its first official battle, in which it faced Hiroki and his Mudbray. During the battle, Rockruff performed Breakneck Blitz for the first time, which was able to defeat Mudbray.
In A Glaring Rivalry!, Rockruff was seen training with Ash's Rowlet and Litten. Later, it witnessed its evolved form Lycanroc winning a battle against a Blastoise, which greatly impressed it. Ash later used Rockruff in his battle against Gladion in which it battled Lycanroc. Rockruff got quickly overwhelmed by Lycanroc's great speed and fierce moves, but was still able to battle. The battle was then interrupted by Team Rocket, who captured Pikachu and Lycanroc.
A Unique Evolution
In SM036, Rockruff was used in the Akala Island grand trial alongside Rowlet, battling Olivia's Lycanroc and Probopass. Despite their opponents giving them tough times with their combination tactics, Rowlet eventually managed to defeat Probopass with Bloom Doom. Unfortunately, Rockruff, who was acting aggressively, was so desperate to battle Lycanroc by itself that it impulsively used Bite against Rowlet, accidentally knocking it out. Despite this setback, Ash encouraged Rockruff to use its fighting spirit, allowing it to outspeed and defeat Lycanroc, earning Ash a Rockium Z. Professor Kukui and Olivia then revealed to Ash that Rockruff's behavior was a sign that it was going to evolve soon.
Lycanroc and Ash
In SM037, Rockruff went off by itself to train, after thinking back to its aggression during Olivia's grand trial. While training, it encountered Tapu Lele, who challenged it to a battle. Rockruff was no match for the guardian deity, however, and was easily beaten. When Ash found Rockruff, he tried to stop it from running away again, but failed. The next day, Rockruff was walking on a cliffside when it got startled by a Fearow, causing it to fall down into a river. The injured Puppy Pokémon was later found by Olivia and Gladion's Lycanroc, who brought it to the Ruins of Life, where Tapu Lele resided. When Ash, Professor Kukui, and Olivia arrived at the ruins, Tapu Lele used Draining Kiss to drain Ash and the two Lycanroc's energy, which it then used to heal Rockruff's wounds. Afterwards, Rockruff went to the edge of a cliff and began to howl as the setting sun turned green. It then evolved into Dusk Form Lycanroc, after which it got happily embraced by its Trainer.
Personality and characteristics
Lycanroc is a playful, affectionate Pokémon that gets along well with both Ash and its previous caretaker, Professor Kukui. The first night Ash stayed with the Professor, Rockruff, Pikachu, and Ash were quickly able to befriend each other. As a Rockruff, like other members of its species, it likes to greet and show affection to others by rubbing up against them with the rocks on its neck, although it doesn't seem to be aware that it stings the recipient.
Although Rockruff lived with Professor Kukui before being caught by Ash, it was actually a wild Pokémon that Professor Kukui was taking care of. When Ash revealed this to his classmates at the Pokémon School, his Rotom Pokédex added that Rockruff readily bond with humans even if they are not captured by a Trainer.
Though generally friendly, Rockruff is prone to becoming hotheaded when faced with a challenge it wishes to overcome despite what risks it might project itself to. During Olivia's Grand Trial, Rockruff was uncharacteristically aggressive towards others, doing things like biting Ash multiple times, trying to rile up Olivia's Lycanroc and knocking out Rowlet when it attempted to lift it up into the air. The latter incident caused Rockruff to snap back into reality after noticing what it had done and become remorseful. Following her defeat, Olivia pointed out to Ash that Rockruff's temperament was a sign that it was about to evolve. After its evolution, Lycanroc calmed down and returned to its playful and fun personality.
Rockruff first appeared in PASM04 under the ownership of Professor Kukui. It was first used to battle Sun's En at the Iki Town festival tournament. Initially, Rockruff had the advantage over En due to Sun lacking the motivation to battle. Once Sun was given the proper motivation, he and En easily defeated Rockruff, forcing Kukui to switch for Munchlax.
A † shows that the move was used recently, unless all moves fit this case or there are fewer than five known moves.
In the TCG
Ash's Rockruff is featured in the TCG as of one Ash's Pokémon. The following is a list of cards featuring Rockruff.
Rockruff Cards listed with a blue background are only legal to use in the current Expanded format. Cards listed with a silver background are legal to use in both the current Standard and Expanded formats.