The Dragon Master's Path! (Japanese: ドラゴンマスターへの道！キバゴVSクリムガン！！The Road to Become a Dragon Master! Kibago VS Crimgan!!) is the 27th episode of the Best Wishes series, and the 684th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on April 14, 2011 and first aired in the United States on August 6, 2011.
Getting in a little training on their way to the Nimbasa City Gym, Ash and his friends are surprised to come across what appears to be a very angry Druddigon. Its Trainer, Emmy, soon comes looking for her missing Dragon-type Pokémon. Druddigon looks dangerous, but Iris isn’t afraid—she reminds everyone that she grew up in a village where people and Dragon-type Pokémon live together as friends. Emmy confesses to Iris that she’s a brand-new Trainer, and asks if Iris can teach her more about Dragon-types. Iris suggests that Emmy and Druddigon have a battle, and of course, Ash volunteers to be their opponent!
Meanwhile, Team Rocket has a plan to catch Druddigon, Axew, and—as always—Pikachu. Jessie and James interrupt Ash and Emmy’s battle with an attack of their own, and manage to snag the three Pokémon with heavy ropes—but a well-timed Dragon Claw from Druddigon sets Pikachu free. Team Rocket’s ship takes off with Druddigon and Axew. Working together, the two Dragon-types manage to break out of their cage and escape!
Team Rocket’s Woobat and Yamask are hot on their trail, but Iris is also tracking the two, using her natural instincts. They all catch up at the same time, and the battle to rescue the stolen Pokémon is on! In the midst of the scuffle, Druddigon learns Draco Meteor, and Axew finally figures out how to control its powerful Dragon Rage attack. Accepting temporary defeat, Team Rocket makes a hasty exit, and Emmy decides she’s ready to go on her journey with Druddigon!
Our heroes bid a fond farewell to Emmy and Druddigon, as Ash and Iris renew their determination to become a Pokémon Master and a Dragon Master!
Another battle between Ash's Scraggy and Iris's Axew begins. Scraggy easily dodges a Scratch attack, and counters with Headbutt. Axew winces while holding his head until Iris commands him to use Dragon Rage. Though, as usual, Axew bites down on the ball of energy and causes an explosion. Cilan remarks that Axew's "Dragon Sneeze" still has its unusual taste, which angers Iris denying Axew's attack as a sneeze. Ash reassures Axew's potential to be a powerful Pokémon, and Iris remarks that Dragon-typePokémon are difficult to train and require patience as she picks Axew up and embraces him with a hug. Just when Ash recalls Scraggy to his Poké Ball, some nearby bushes begin to rustle and a sudden powerful Flamethrower shoots out of them, nearly hitting Ash and Cilan. A Druddigon then emerges from the bushes much to Iris's joy. Ash then scans the Cave Pokémon with his Pokédex as Iris praises it due to her love of the type. Druddigon then begins to charge a Focus Blast as Ash commands Pikachu to counter with Electro Ball. The two attacks then cancel each other out and Ash prepares to battle the Druddigon when suddenly a girl steps out in between the two Pokémon, seemingly relieved to have found Druddigon. It then turns and runs from her, and Iris notices a cord wrapped around its ankle as it flees. The girl and Iris chase after Druddigon ahead of Ash and Cilan who follow behind.
Iris then arrives at a small mountain side littered with caves. The others quickly catch up to her, and she then asks Axew to find Druddigon among the caves. Axew climbs up the mountain to a high cave facing towards the sun. Axew then runs out of the cave and into Iris's hair when the enraged Druddigon storms out of the cave and lands in front of Iris. Iris then attempts to reassure the Druddigon that she is going to help it when it lets out a loud roar and then winces. She puts her hand on its snout then kneels down and untangles the cord from its ankle. With the agitated Druddigon now calmed, Iris reveals to the others that the cord was causing the Druddigon intense pain, explaining why it was so angered. Druddigon's Trainer contemplates how such a thing could have made its way around Druddigon's ankle, when she suddenly realized she has yet to introduce herself. She then thanks Iris for helping her Druddigon and introduces herself as Emmy. Iris and the others then introduce themselves, and Emmy compliments Iris on her ability to find Druddigon among the caves. Iris then explains that because Druddigon's body temperature lowers when it stops moving, it was likely to go where the sun would be shining on it. Ash too is impressed by Iris's knowledge of Dragon types, and Iris boasts that it comes naturally from being raised in the Village of Dragons.
In the distance, Team Rocket is spying on Druddigon and the others, revealing that they had attempted to capture the Cave Pokémon once before, but it had sliced through their wire and escaped. However they refuse to let it go, and make plans to capture Pikachu and Axew as a bonus. Pikachu and Axew are then seen playing with Druddigon while Iris reminds Ash about her hometown and how the citizens were very close to the wild Pokémon, and takes a keen interest in the Dragon Masters that lived there. Cilan then informs Ash that Dragon Masters are highly skilled Trainers that are able to synchronize their hearts with those of Dragon-type Pokémon, greatly increasing their power. Iris then bashfully admits that becoming a Dragon Master is her goal in life, and Emmy understands how she knew so much about Druddigon. She then requests that Iris teach her how to adapt and work together with Druddigon, as she has only just begun her journey as a Pokémon Trainer. She explains that her father gave her Druddigon, and that it's difficult having a Dragon type as a first Pokémon with no prior knowledge on how to train Pokémon. Iris then agrees to help Emmy out and suggests they practice battling to get to know Druddigon. Ash then offers to be Emmy's opponent and the trio take their places in an opening.
Ash calls out his Tepig and has it use Tackle, which nails Druddigon in the chest and sends it back. Emmy becomes concerned, but then collects herself and orders Druddigon to use Focus Blast, which Tepig manages to avoid. Ash then orders Tepig to use Flame Charge, and Iris informs Emmy that Druddigon is powerful enough to endure the attack and tells Emmy to have Druddigon block the attack, which she does. With his attack blocked, Tepig is sent tumbling to the ground. As he is trying to regain his footing, Emmy takes this chance to have Druddigon attack him with Dragon Claw, but it is set off when Tepig begins countering with Ember and causes Druddigon to flinch. Emmy then demands that Druddigon continue with Dragon Claw despite the Ember attack. Druddigon manages to knock away the embers with the Dragon Claw attack and land a number of hits on Tepig, knocking him out. Overjoyed in their victory, Druddigon lets out a victorious roar as Emmy thanks Iris for aiding her. Iris then tells Emmy to trust Druddigon, and to be patient with Dragon types, hinting to her Axew. Ash thanks Tepig for his effort and returns him to his Poké Ball, and Cilan recalls Druddigon's known moves as Flamethrower, Dragon Claw, and Focus Blast. Iris asks if Druddigon knows any more moves, and Emmy denies, saying it only knows three moves. Iris and Ash then state that if it learned a new move, it could broaden its abilities in battle.
Suddenly, a Shadow Ball is launched at Druddigon from the cliff side, and a Yamask reveals itself to the group and launches another Shadow Ball at Druddigon. Emmy then orders Druddigon to counter with Flamethrower, until a Woobat swoops in and begins using Gust. The gust attack then sends Axew flying, who crashes into Pikachu and causes both of them to be hurled into the air. They're then lassoed by wires along with Druddigon. Emmy orders Druddigon to use Dragon Claw, but only manages to cut Pikachu loose while it and Axew are dragged off into a large ship. Team Rocket then reveal themselves from the top of the ship and recite their motto. Ash informs Emmy of Team Rocket's ambitions, and Iris vows never to give up on Axew and then chases after Team Rocket's ship. Although she makes a valiant effort, Iris just barely misses their ship before she falls back down to the earth. James and Jessie then explain that they'll raise Axew to become a powerful weapon in Team Rocket's plan to conquer the world. They then flee from the scene having Woobat and Yamask keep the Trainers at bay. Emmy remarks that they can't just give up on Druddigon and Axew, and they set off to follow Team Rocket.
James makes plans to land the ship on a nearby mountain so that they can inform Giovanni of their successful capture, when the ship begins shaking due to Druddigon's rampaging in their cargo bay. Jessie is concerned at the stability of their ship, however James is confident that their ship can handle it. On the ground, Iris, Emmy, Cilan, and Ash are trying their hardest to keep up with Team Rocket's ship, when Iris recalls the day she had received Axew from the elder, referring to him as more than her closest friend. Inspired by her dream to become a Dragon Master, she then kicks it up a notch and begins running at full speed after the ship. Druddigon continues to rampage inside the ship, but collapses from fatigue after putting a large dent in the side of the ship. Axew then tries to help by using Dragon Rage, which causes the ship's engines to fail, sending it plummeting to the ground. With the ship now crashed, Druddigon easily manages to break open the door to their prison, and it and Axew make their escape. Ash suggests they head towards the crash site, but Iris manages to sense that Axew and Druddigon had escaped but were still pursued by Woobat and Yamask. She then makes her way towards the two Dragon types, and when Cilan and Emmy question her reasoning for going in the wrong direction, Ash explains that Iris could sense Axew and Druddigon, and that they should trust her senses.
Druddigon and Axew are then chased off a cliff, and when they land on the rocks below, they're met with Team Rocket once again. Druddigon attempts to attack them with Focus Blast, but it misses its target, and is then countered with Shadow Ball, which is blocked by Druddigon. Woobat then sends Axew flying with Gust, when Iris and the others suddenly appear and announce they are going to take back Axew and Druddigon. Resistant, James commands Yamask to use Shadow Ball. However, before it can finish the attack, Ash has Pikachu shock Yamask and Woobat with Thunderbolt, giving Druddigon and Axew a chance to escape. Axew leaps into Iris's arms as Yamask starts to attack with Night Shade. Druddigon shields its Trainer from the attack, but the attack is powerful enough to cause Druddigon to lose its balance. Furious, Druddigon gets back on its feet and begins to glow an orange color. Overjoyed, Iris informs Emmy that Druddigon has learned how to use Draco Meteor, and how to execute the attack properly. It manages to perform Draco Meteor perfectly and knock out Yamask. Inspired by its newly learned attack, Team Rocket vow to try even harder to catch Druddigon, and Jessie orders Woobat to use Gust. Pikachu manages to knock off its balance with Electro Ball, and Iris tells Axew to use Dragon Rage. This time, the Tusk Pokémon manages to execute a perfect Dragon Rage attack which forces Team Rocket to retreat. Iris is overjoyed with Axew perfecting Dragon Rage and smothers him in a warm embrace while nuzzling him, as Cilan remarks that Axew has ripened his flavor even more with the perfection of Dragon Rage. Ash then congratulates Druddigon on learning Draco Meteor, and Emmy stated that she would travel even more with Druddigon and the two would become even closer which Druddigon responds by nuzzling its head against Emmy's.