We rejoin the action in the second round of the Nimbasa Pokémon Club Battle. Georgia and her Pawniard appear to have the upper hand against Ash and his Snivy—but with a couple of well-placed attacks, Snivy pulls off an impressive upset, and Ash is into the semi-finals!
Next up, it’s Cilan’s Stunfisk versus Luke’s Larvesta! At first, the filmmaker is nervous about going up against a Gym Leader, but when he confesses his fears, Cilan just can’t help offering his usual long-winded advice. Luke puts that advice to good use, defeating Cilan and advancing to the next round!
Up next, it’s Stephan and his new Pokémon Sawk against Iris and her Emolga. Powerful and unrelenting, Sawk puts up a furious battle, aggressively attacking again and again! Iris responds by asking Emolga to send in a barrage of Attracts, and eventually Sawk is overwhelmed and paralyzed. One final Volt Switch finishes things off, and Iris moves on!
The matchups are set for the top four: it’ll be Iris versus Luke and Ash against Dino in the semi-finals, which are sure to be exciting!
Georgia's Pawniard leaps into the air and rushes down for a Guillotine attack. However, Snivy manages to recover and uses Leaf Blade on Pawniard's head, cancelling the Guillotine and sending Pawniard tumbling down. Much to Pawniard and Georgia's horror, Pawniard's extended arms pierce the ground and she is stuck in a handstand position, unable to defend herself. Ash orders a Leaf Storm and Snivy's attack smashes into Pawniard, ripping her free of the ground and knocking her out. The referee rules Pawniard out of the match and Freddy O'Martian and Don George commend Ash on turning around the match. Ash is the first competitor to move on to the semifinals, and he raises Snivy into the air in glee, thanking her for a great battle. Georgia grumpily recalls Pawniard and rebukes Ash's compliments, saying that she only lost because the field was bad, so he should thank the field for the great match, not her. She storms off and Iris, watching nearby, comments that anyone who blames the field for their loss is clearly a kid. Georgia storms over and Iris dryly compliments her hearing. Georgia claims that the loss didn't count because Snivy wasn't a Dragon-type. Iris says that it's a poor excuse and the two stare each other down. Stephan complains that the two's rivalry is getting old, but Cilan notes that worst enemies can become the best of friends.
Next, the second match sees Dino's Tranquill easily defeating Antonio's Cottonee and moving on to the next round. Afterwards, Don George announces a short pause between battles.
Ash sets a plate of food out for Snivy while Stephan compliments Ash's battle, only for Ash to thank him with the wrong name. Snivy highly enjoys the food, which Cilan explains that he added extra vegetables to give Snivy a huge energy boost. Burgundy enters, weeping dramatically about how Snivy has been forced to eat food prepared by a Connoisseur with absolutely no taste. Annoyed, Snivy uses Vine Whip to beat her away, and Burgundy runs off from the searing pain. Stephan asks Cilan if he can give him a variant recipe, which Cilan confirms but once again mispronouncing his name. Meanwhile, Bianca is looking for again Zorua, when she comes across Georgia talking to Luke's camera about how she believes Iris will win the tournament with her super-powerful and super-well trained Pokémon. However, the real Georgia comes storming over and Zorua transforms back and dodges Bianca, who crashes into Georgia, thinking she is Zorua. Iris leaps up in front of the camera telling Luke to stop filming - Zorua had been mouthing words while Iris said them. Iris rounds on Bianca and Georgia, complaining that things had been going so well, but Georgia rebukes her for making just a dumb amateur video. The two bicker until they realise Luke is still filming them. Luke sheepishly explains that he is recording a true rivalry for his Club Battle documentary.
Everyone’s attention returns to the Club Battle competition when the music begins to play. With Luke up next, he asks Ash to record his and Cilan's battle. Ash gasps at the thought. Out on the battlefield, Cilan politely asks Luke to go easy, but Luke isn't feeling very well at the thought of battling a Gym Leader. Cilan tells him to relax and to approach it like he's filming a movie: imagine the finished product and then make a plan. Luke seems bewildered that Cilan can imagine so much while Burgundy curses him as an arrogant dork. Cilan tells Luke to savor every moment of the battle while thinking of the moment where he tastes victory. Luke confidently asserts that he can do it. The commentator asks Don George whether it was wise of Cilan to give Luke advice, which Don George shrugs off as routine for a Gym Leader. The battle begins as Cilan sends out his Stunfisk, which Luke counters with Larvesta. Ash drops the camera on Pikachu's back while he scans Larvesta with his Pokédex, the weight almost crushing Pikachu until Ash realizes. Luke explains that Larvesta is his special effects master, but Cilan says the tactics will be different in battle. Cilan opens up with a declaration that it is evaluation time, which infuriates Burgundy and exasperates Iris. Georgia asks Burgundy why she listens so hard if she doesn't care, while Stephan says Cilan is having fun.
Stunfisk opens with its new move, Scald, hitting Larvesta dead on. Don George explains that the Water-type move should badly damage the Fire-type Larvesta. However, the Torch Pokémon is unscathed and defiantly flares up. Cilan compliments the strength and resolve, while Luke orders a String Shot, which encases Stunfisk completely. Cilan counters with Thunder Shock, which Larvesta sidesteps and hits Stunfisk hard with Bug Buzz. Larvesta then fires a Flamethrower, which Cilan allows to hit Stunfisk, much to everyone's bewilderment. When the flames clear, as intended by Cilan, Stunfisk is free of the String Shot, much to the shock of Luke and Larvesta. Luke says that battles aren't as easy as he thought, to which Cilan replies that a simple mistake can have long-lasting results. He explains that Larvesta is a beautiful and powerful Pokémon, with enough strength to withstand a Water attack. Luke blushes embarrassed, but Cilan then explains that Larvesta has a limited view of the battlefield, which he saw when Larvesta sidestepped to dodge Thunder Shock. Luke demands to know what Cilan expects as Larvesta is not fully evolved, but Cilan rebukes him that a good Trainer should imagine all of their Pokémon in a variety of settings, and that is the traits of a Gym Leader. Stunfisk then leaps into the air, showing that it has learned how to fly, much to Ash's and Luke's amazement. Cilan orders another Scald, which Larvesta counters by wrapping itself in a cocoon of its own String Shot. Stunfisk lands on the ground and uses Mud Bomb, sending Larvesta flying. Larvesta uses its flames to shred itself out of the String Shot and keeps itself airborne with its flames, like a jetpack. It then fires a Flamethrower, roasting Stunfisk and knocking it out. Luke and Larvesta celebrate and Cilan compliments him on an intriguing battle, which Luke says is thanks to Cilan's advice. The two shake hands and Luke says he never imagined he'd make it that far. Afterwards, Luke checks to see if Ash caught the match on video, only to find the camera is missing. Fortunately, Pikachu is still holding the camera.
Stephan is very excited for his next battle, and leaps the barrier to jump into the arena, ignoring Iris's calls that they haven't been called out yet. She leaps and runs after him, with the match quickly getting underway. Iris sends out Emolga, while Stephan chooses his new Sawk, which Ash scans on his Pokédex. Sawk rises up and moves into a prepared stance. Iris explains gently to Emolga that she can't use Volt Switch to substitute Pokémon and they will have fun together. Emolga excitedly agrees and Stephan asks if they are ready. He says battles are about hard work and not holding back, even if Iris is a girl. Emolga launches an Attract, but Sawk counters with Close Combat, kicking and punching all the hearts away. Iris and Emolga are bewildered, and Stephan explains that Sawk, as an all-male Pokémon, undergoes intensive training to be prepared for gender-specific moves like Attract. Cilan explains that Iris will have to rely on battling skills instead of Attract, and even Georgia comments that the battle is getting interesting.
Sawk uses Bulk Up, then smashes through Hidden Power while charging forward. Stephan orders Double Kick, the first of which Emolga dodges, but Sawk swings around and connects on the second. Emolga strikes back with a Hidden Power, but Sawk recovers quickly. Stephan asks Iris whether Emolga can use any Flying-type moves, and Iris blanches, answering Stephan's question. Confident that Emolga cannot win, he orders a Close Combat, hitting Emolga hard. However, just as it appears Emolga is on the ropes, Sawk is paralyzed thanks to Emolga's Static Ability. Sawk can still attack, and lands a Double Kick, hitting Emolga hard twice. Emolga crashes to the ground again, while Iris tries to think of a way to beat Sawk. Realizing a strategy, Iris orders Attract, which Sawk counters with Close Combat. Emolga unleashes a barrage of Attracts, and Sawk blocks all of them with Close Combat. Just as Iris had planned, suddenly Sawk's muscles lock up. Iris orders a Volt Switch, taking down Sawk in a single hit and winning her the round. As Ash and Cilan cheer, Georgia calls it dumb luck and Burgundy mutters in agreement. Stephan recalls Sawk and thanks Iris for a great battle, asking her to win the semi-finals for him. Iris thanks him, getting his name wrong once again.
Freddy O'Martian announces the semi-finals - Dino against Ash, and Luke versus Iris. Ash and Pikachu assert that they will make it all the way. Luke is feeling very nervous, and Cilan tells him to have faith. Iris asks why she doesn't get any faith, to which Georgia replies that she has faith - which she will fall on her pudgy little face. Burgundy sneers that she is indifferent to the victor, until Zorua jumps on her head while running away from Bianca. Burgundy explodes, hoping that they all lose. Soon, Ash and Dino step out onto the battlefield, with their respective selections, Palpitoad and Darumaka, staring down the competition.