A Real Rival Rouser! (Japanese: 激闘フルバトル！サトシ対シンジ！！Intense Fighting Full Battle! Satoshi VS Shinji!!) is the 187th episode of the Diamond & Pearl series, and the 653rd episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on August 12, 2010 and in the United States on January 8, 2011.
The Sinnoh League quarterfinal battle between rivals Ash and Paul is turning out to be one for the ages! Ash still has all six of his Pokémon, while Paul’s Aggron and Gastrodon have been eliminated. But the tide begins to turn at this point as Paul’s true strategy begins to emerge: to predict and counter whatever Ash does! Paul’s Drapion sets up a nasty trap with Toxic Spikes and, mere moments later, a dazzling tactical display renders Ash’s Buizel, Staraptor, and Torterra unable to battle.
Next, Ash’s Gliscor comes in against Paul’s amazingly fast Ninjask. When Gliscor hits the ground and takes a lot of damage from Toxic Spikes, Ash switches it out in favor of Infernape—and this is where some creative strategizing on Ash’s part begins to erode Paul’s strategy, as an underground Flare Blitz burns off the Toxic Spikes!
After his Ninjask is eliminated, Paul brings out his Froslass, while Ash calls on Pikachu. Although Froslass is powerful and its evasion skills are impressive, Pikachu’s tenacity rules the bout, and Froslass is eliminated!
When Paul again calls on Drapion, Ash gets Gliscor back into the battle. Although Gliscor is still feeling the effects of previous battling, the magnificent training it received from the Air Battle Master is evident. We leave the action just as Gliscor is diving directly into Drapion’s Pin Missile! How will this incredible battle end?
The battle between Ash and Paul continues from where it left off, with Buizel locked in Drapion's tail. When Buizel tries to use Sonic Boom with his free tail, Drapion just grabs it with a free arm, rendering it useless. Ash instructs Buizel to puff up the life preserver object on his neck and then let the air out in an instant. After freeing himself, Buizel uses Water Gun to lift himself into the air, away from Drapion. With Buizel still in the air, Drapion uses Toxic Spikes, littering the field with them and poisoning Buizel. Then, Drapion uses Pin Missile to finish off Buizel, thus leaving Ash with five Pokémon.
Ash then sends out Staraptor to battle Drapion next. Drapion uses Pin Missile, which Staraptor effectively dodges with its high speed. It then comes down with an Aerial Ace, which Drapion manages to dodge at the last second, and captures Staraptor like it did with Buizel. Drapion uses Cross Poison on the trapped Staraptor, and then Drapion throws Staraptor onto the ground, poisoning it with the remnants of Toxic Spikes, thus knocking out Staraptor.
Ash then sends out Torterra next, and Torterra feels the effect of the Toxic Spikes instantaneously. Drapion uses Cross Poison on Torterra, and Torterra sends Drapion away with Energy Ball. Ash quickly attacks again with Leaf Storm, hitting Drapion again. Paul instructs Drapion to use Pin Missile to counter the Leaf Storm, which end up neutralizing each other. Torterra comes out of the smoke with a Rock Climb, but is grabbed by Drapion when he is just about to attack and uses Poison Fang on Torterra. Torterra uses Synthesis to gain back some energy and Drapion comes to attack with Pin Missile, again, hitting Torterra and knocking it out, leaving Ash with three Pokémon. Paul asks Ash if he's planning to send out Gliscor next, to which Ash responds that Paul is correct. Paul recalls Drapion as he tells Ash that he already knows all the Pokémon that Ash will be using because he purposely let him take out his Aggron, and Gastrodon so he could be certain of Ash's strategy and exactly which Pokémon he'd use. Paul then says that ever since he kept Drapion on the field, he had been able to predict every one of Ash's moves, but much to his shock, Ash is still willing to continue. Ash states there is nobody like Paul and he states that is why he is not losing to him that easily.
Ash sends out Gliscor and Paul sends out his fourth Pokémon, Ninjask, which uses Agility right from the start. Ash tells Gliscor to use its newest attack, Stone Edge. However it is easily dodged by Ninjask, still using Agility (Its Ability Speed Boost was also helping it move faster too as Brock noticed). Ninjask comes in with a quick Fury Cutter, hitting Gliscor countless times. While falling, Gliscor regains lift and tries to use Fire Fang on Ninjask, but is unsuccessful and Gliscor falls into the field and gains the effect from the Toxic Spikes Drapion had left. Ash recalls Gliscor and sends out Infernape, who also gets poisoned from the Toxic Spikes. Ash realizes that he's at a major disadvantage while Toxic Spikes are active and tells Infernape to use Dig and leave Paul and Ninjask wondering where it is. Infernape uses Flare Blitz underground, illuminating the entire field in a bright red, alleviating the Toxic Spikes, and also damaging Ninjask. Paul tells Ninjask to use Giga Drain and begins to sap energy from Infernape. At this point everyone notices that Ninjask is not moving as fast as it originally was shown to be. Brock guesses that the damage from Flare Blitz must have canceled Speed Boost out for the time being. As Ninjask drains away its energy, Infernape scrutinizes Ninjask's movements carefully and lands a successful Mach Punch, knocking out Ninjask. Ash and Paul are now tied with three Pokémon each that are able to battle and Ash, knowing Infernape is starting to get tired, recalls it for some rest.
Paul sends out his next Pokémon, Froslass. Knowing he's going up against in Ice-type Pokémon, Ash decides to send in Pikachu. Paul starts things off by having Froslass use Hail, and a thick cold mist soon surrounds the entire battlefield. Froslass begins fading in and out of view, preventing Pikachu from following her movements. Brock explains that Froslass's Ability, Snow Cloak has come into effect. Pikachu tries to get an idea on where Froslass is but to no avail, and things become more urgent when Pikachu starts to take damage from the Hail. Ash commands a Thunderbolt and Pikachu tries to hit Froslass, however, the Hail severely restricts the attack and it doesn't even get close to its target. Paul commands Froslass to use Ice Shard, which scores a direct hit against Pikachu. As Thunderbolt isn't working, Ash tells Pikachu to use Volt Tackle, however he passes right through Froslass without even hitting her. Froslass uses Ice Shard and Ash tells Pikachu to watch out and to use Iron Tail, destroying the Ice Shard and elevating Pikachu into the air. He uses Iron Tail again and finally lands an attack on Froslass, sending her flying into the ground suffering major damage from the super-effective hit. Hail finally subsides, leaving Froslass with nowhere to hide. Paul orders an Ice Beam which hits Pikachu encasing him in ice. Paul tells Froslass to use Ice Shard again, but Pikachu is one step ahead and uses Volt Tackle to escape the ice and hit Froslass before she can even release the Ice Shard. Pikachu suffers recoil from the attack, but it turns out to be worth it as Froslass is left unable to battle, thus leaving Paul with just two Pokémon. Ash knows this battle took a lot out of Pikachu and recalls him back to the sidelines. Although Dawn and Barry are happy that Ash is winning again, Brock reminds her that not only does Paul still have two Pokémon but one of them hasn't battled yet.
Paul sends Drapion back out and Ash calls on Gliscor again, encouraging it to show Paul what it learned from McCann. Drapion uses Pin Missile to start things off and Gliscor quickly dodges the attack. Gliscor uses Stone Edge and Drapion uses Cross Poison to neutralize the attack, leaving behind a large smoke cloud which Gliscor shields itself in. Ash then tells Gliscor to use Giga Impact, and Gliscor emerges only to power up and fly back into the cloud. Drapion gets ready to attack, not knowing where Gliscor will come from. Gliscor appears and Paul commands Poison Fang, as Giga Impact scores a direct hit. Drapion turns around to counterattack... only to be shocked that Gliscor isn't there. Paul and Drapion then find that Gliscor used the momentum from the attack to quickly throw itself back into the sky, safe from attack while it recharges from using Giga Impact. Reggie, who was watching the battle on TV, remarks that Paul's predictions have been crushed and he can no longer predict Ash's strategies. Paul realizes he allowed himself to be distracted by Stone Edge and has Drapion use Pin Missile. Gliscor uses its special training to dodge the attack quickly and expertly. It then powers up X-Scissor and flies towards Drapion at which point the episode concludes, with both Ash and Paul ready to give it their all as the battle enters its final stages.
The effect of Toxic Spikes is shown differently in this episode to how it works in the games. While in the games Toxic Spikes will poison any Pokémon sent into battle (with the exception of Flying-, Steel-, Poison-type, and Levitating Pokémon), it is shown to poison any Pokémon that touches the ground affected by Toxic Spikes, regardless of type, in this episode. The exception is Poison-type Pokémon, as Brock mentioned that Ash needed one because they are immune to and can remove the effect.
This episode also shows that Toxic Spikes could be removed without the aid of Rapid Spin, Defog, or a Poison-type Pokémon. With some improvisation, Infernape incinerated the field with Flare Blitz while underground, once again ignoring game mechanics and effectively removing its effect.
When Torterra's icon on the scoreboard changes to represent its defeat, the silhouette appears to be completely covering the icon's background. However, in every later scene in which the icon is shown, a small part of the background can be seen. This same error is present in the next episode.
When Ash is thinking about how to deal with Drapion's Toxic Spikes, Infernape's tail is missing.