| Caution: Icy Battle Conditions!
Caution: Icy Battle Conditions! (Japanese: セッカジム戦！氷のバトルフィールド！！ Sekka Gym Battle! Ice Battlefield!!) is the 79th episode of the Best Wishes series, and the 736th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on May 17, 2012 and in the United States on September 15, 2012.
|Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.|
Arriving in Icirrus City, our heroes are awed and amazed at the Icirrus City Gym—the battlefield is solid ice! After welcoming them, Brycen accepts Ash’s challenge and the two Trainers begin a three-on-three match. Brycen starts with his Vanillish, and Ash picks Krokorok.
When the battle starts to go downhill for the challenger, he switches Krokorok out for Scraggy, who’s participating in its first Gym battle! Scraggy has trouble on the icy battlefield at first, but thanks to its newfound aim with Focus Blast—plus its favorite move, Headbutt—Vanillish is defeated.
Then Brycen brings out his Cryogonal, whose speed proves to be Scraggy’s undoing. Next up is Ash’s Pignite, and this is when Ash’s unique battling strategy starts to appear: he has Pignite aim its attacks at the center of the rapidly spinning Cryogonal so it can’t deflect them! Pignite defeats Cryogonal, only to lose to the star of Brycen’s team: the fearsome Beartic.
It’s down to one Pokémon left on each side, and Ash brings out a slightly weary, but always determined, Krokorok. The combination of Beartic’s strength and Brycen’s brilliant strategies seems invincible, until Ash remembers a strategy Bianca used with her Emboar back at the Clubsplosion. He has Krokorok use Stone Edge, and when Beartic deflects the stones, Krokorok grabs them and counterattacks! Beartic is defeated, and Ash wins his seventh badge: the Freeze Badge!
Following Brycen’s advice, Ash decides to head to Opelucid City to battle for his eighth Unova Gym badge, which will qualify him for the Unova League!
Ash and his friends have arrived in Icirrus City for Ash's Gym battle with Brycen, the Gym Leader. Ash's Krokorok is showing off its punching skills as the gang looks on. Ash says he looks good, but Iris notes that Brycen's Beartic is a fierce battler. Cilan looks forward to the match and Ash exclaims that they should all go to the Icirrus Gym now.
The group arrives at the Gym, a bunker-like building near the forest. The massive metal doors of the Gym slide apart and release a chilling cloud of cold air. Everyone but Iris and Axew immediately go inside and begin shivering from the cold. Iris came prepared, however, thanks to Nurse Joy's tip that the Icirrus Gym is an Ice-type Gym. She is wearing full winter clothing and Axew has a scarf and a cap in the style of a chullo. Ash says that his battle is going to heat up the Gym in no time.
Ash, Pikachu, and Krokorok run through a doorway and suddenly slip and fall on the icy Gym floor. The rest of the group appears and they all see that the battlefield is an ice rink with ice formations jutting out of the floor and stands surrounding it. Brycen's voice greets them from afar as a spotlight is turned on, revealing the Gym Leader at the other end of the stands. Brycen asks Ash what he thinks of the icy battlefield and the challenges he will face as a lone Trainer. Ash replies that he has his Pokémon with him, an answer that pleases Brycen. The Gym Leader officially accepts Ash's challenge, and the battle is underway.
The battle judge, also Brycen's student, cordially offers his services to Ash, who returns the honors. The judge asks if his sifu, Brycen, is ready, which he is. The judge explains the rules and then declares the three-on-three battle now underway. Ash decides to use Krokorok first, a choice Brycen questions since the Pokémon is partly Ground-type and therefore weak against the Ice type. Ash, betting on Krokorok's spirit, keep his choice. Brycen says that it will take more than spirit to defeat his Ice types and releases his Vanillish with a battle cry. Ash scans the Pokémon on his Pokédex.
Eager to finish this quickly, he calls for Krokorok to use Crunch. Brycen quickly orders Astonish, which connects first and causes Krokorok to flinch and fall to the ground. Brycen says that his strategy is to control the battle in ways his opponent does not expect. Ash is surprised, which Brycen says is a sign that he already lost. Krokorok uses Stone Edge and Vanillish uses Icicle Spear. Both sets of projectiles meet in the middle and create a cloud, but one icicle makes it through and hits Krokorok in the chest. Vanillish follows up with Blizzard, which Krokorok tries to avoid with Dig. However, the ice takes too long to Dig through, and Krokorok's lower body becomes frozen. As Krokorok is trying to break the ice encasing half of its body, Vanillish lands a Mirror Shot that knocks it backward and breaks the ice. Frustrated, Ash returns Krokorok to his Poké Ball, which Brycen says is nothing to be ashamed of.
Ash then calls out Scraggy for his first Gym battle. From the stands, Iris voices her support for Scraggy and Cilan says the battle is becoming interesting, while Brycen notes the wise choice of a Fighting-type. Scraggy uses Hi Jump Kick, but Vanillish swiftly dodges to the side, making Scraggy crash into an ice formation and hurt itself. It picks itself back up and uses Headbutt, but Vanillish dodges again and Scraggy nearly slips upon landing. Observing, Iris and Axew complain that Vanillish keeps changing its battle strategy. Cilan elaborates that it was an all-out attack against Krokorok, but seems to be just floating in the air and dodging against Scraggy. Brycen orders Vanillish to use Icicle Spear, but Ash tells Scraggy to be defensive. Scraggy lifts its loose skin and blocks all the incoming icicles. Vanillish whips up a Blizzard while Scraggy begins to form a Focus Blast. Scraggy throws the Focus Blast, but its aim appears to be off yet again. Brycen remarks about its aim, but suddenly the blast returns and hits Vanillish in the back. Iris and Cilan commend the successful blow, but Brycen dismisses it as luck. Ash calls for Headbutt, which knocks out Vanillish. Iris says that Scraggy has become strong and tells Axew that he can too.
Brycen returns his fainted Pokémon and releases his second, Cryogonal, with another battle cry. Ash scans this new Pokémon on his Pokédex as well. He starts off with Headbutt, but Cryogonal's Rapid Spin catches Scraggy and flings it away after a short ride on the spin cycle. Cryogonal continues spinning in the air and proceeds to hit Scraggy twice. Scraggy uses Focus Blast, but it veers left and breaks the top off of an ice formation. Brycen says that Ash’s luck has run out and tells Cryogonal to use Aurora Beam. Scraggy raises its loose skin in defense, but still takes damage and is knocked out. Ash thanks Scraggy for his work, and Scraggy replies with a Headbutt. Ash reassures him that they will win and returns Scraggy to his Poké Ball.
Ash reveals his third choice, Pignite, and orders him to use Flame Charge. Cryogonal defends with Reflect, cutting the damage in half. Pignite then uses Flamethrower, which barely glances against Cryogonal as it Rapid Spins into Pignite. Cilan says that Cryogonal can deflect attacks and take minimal damage while it is using Rapid Spin. Cryogonal uses Frost Breath, which appears to do little to Pignite, but then goes into Rapid Spin again. Ash rethinks his strategy and tells Pignite to use Fire Pledge and aim it at Cryogonal's center. Pillars of fire erupt from the ground and hit Cryogonal's underside, knocking it out. Ash celebrates while his friends praise his good performance in the battle.
Brycen returns Cryogonal and calls out Beartic as his third and final Pokémon. Brycen says that he has been shown the bonds between Ash and his Pokémon, but that now is the time to show his own. Ash is ready and tells Pignite to use Flame Charge. Beartic uses Brine and extinguishes Pignite's attack. Before its opponent can get back up, Beartic uses Icicle Crash and lands a direct hit. Pignite struggles to his feet, but Beartic launches itself with arms spread wide and wallops him with two hits from Aerial Ace, knocking Pignite out. Ash is utterly shocked by the quick loss and Beartic's use of Aerial Ace. Meanwhile, Iris and Cilan reason that Beartic's Brine and Aerial Ace are to counter two of its weaknesses, Fire and Fighting, respectively. Ash returns Pignite and thanks him.
Pikachu cries out with concern, but Ash reassures him that Krokorok will win it for them. Ash brings Krokorok back into the fight, but Cilan notes that it must still be damaged from its earlier battle with Vanillish. Ash figures that Krokorok has been waiting for the battle all along, which the Pokémon confirms. The final match begins as Krokorok uses Stone Edge, but Beartic's Icicle Spear lands in front of it with the icicles acting like a defensive wall. The stones strike the icicle wall instead of Beartic. Some of the stones even ricochet back at Krokorok, but he hastily dodges them all. Krokorok takes the initiative again and uses Crunch, but Beartic counters with Ice Punch. After a brief moment with Krokorok's mouth Crunched over Beartic's Ice Punch, there is a small explosion and Krokorok's snout becomes frozen.
Beartic may just finish it off with Brine, but Krokorok uses its tail to jump up and dodge the super-effective move. Krokorok leaps onto an ice formation, jumps even higher into the air, and manages to break the ice immobilizing its jaws. From its strategic location up high in the air, Krokorok uses Stone Edge successfully on Beartic. The super-effective hit excites Iris, but Cilan reminds her that it is not over yet and Krokorok must be tired by now. Krokorok Digs into the ice and hits Beartic from below. Beartic quickly grabs Krokorok by the tail, spins it around, and throws it at an ice formation. The impact crumbles the ice to pieces as Iris and Cilan look on in amazement. Krokorok explodes out of the pile of ice and looks as confident as ever. After seeing this, Ash tells Brycen that Krokorok will not give up because it knows that Beartic is strong and wants to be strong too. Because of this, Ash and Krokorok will not lose. Brycen urges Ash to use that passion to try to defeat him, and Beartic responds with a mighty roar.
Ash is thinking of a plan when he sees a chunk of ice that looks like a stone from Stone Edge, helping him come up with a plan, making everyone else wonder about it. Krokorok uses Stone Edge and Beartic defends with Icicle Spear, as before. However, Ash tells Krokorok to jump up and grab the stones that ricocheted into the air. Krokorok leaps from an ice formation and grasps two sharp stones in each of its claws. Cilan remembers this tactic from Bianca's battle with her Emboar in the Clubsplosion. Beartic counterattacks with Aerial Ace, launching from the ground with its arms spread wide, aiming right at Krokorok. The two Pokémon strike in midair and land on opposite sides of the battlefield. Eventually, Beartic succumbs to the damage and collapses. The battle judge declares Beartic unable to battle and proclaims Ash to be the victor.
Ash and Pikachu shout with joy, but Krokorok has no energy left to celebrate. Brycen congratulates Ash on his victory and gives special mention to Krokorok's finishing blow. Ash receives the Freeze Badge and is now just one Badge away from the Unova League. Brycen then asks him what his final Gym of choice will be, but Ash doesn't know. Brycen recommends the Opelucid City Gym since it is nearby and has a powerful Gym Leader, which would be perfect for Ash. Iris and Axew perk up at the mention. Ash agrees and sets the Opelucid Gym as his new destination, but his friend and her Pokémon silently express uneasiness.
- Ash and his friends arrive in Icirrus City.
- Ash battles Brycen and wins, earning the Freeze Badge.
- Ash learns that the next Gym is located in Opelucid City and decides to head there.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- Professor Oak's Pokémon Live Caster: Joltik
- Look Look☆Here replaced Seven-colored Arch as the Japanese ending theme.
- Cilan says that Scraggy’s victory over Vanillish "should give it a big boost", possibly referencing Scraggy’s Ability, Moxie, which boosts Attack when an opponent is defeated.
- In the English dub, Rival Destinies is used as background music in this episode.
- Cilan narrates the preview for the next episode.
- As of this episode, Ash's entire Unova team has now participated in at least one Gym battle.
- When Scraggy is celebrating for blocking Vanillish's Icicle Spear, the scale on his head is yellow instead of red.
In other languages
|Danish||Advarsel: Kampen kan være iskold!|
|Dutch||Pas op: IJzige Gevechtsomstandigheden!|
|Finnish||Varoitus: jäisiä otteluolosuhteita!|
|German||Vorsicht: Der Kampf wird rutschig!|
|Greek||Προσοχή: Παγωμένες Συνθήκες Μάχης!|
|Italian||Attenzione: pericolo ghiaccio!|
|Korean||설화체육관 시합! 얼음 경기장|
|Norwegian||Advarsel – isete kampforhold!|
|Polish||Chłodne zaproszenie do bitwy|
|Portuguese||Brazil||Muita Atenção: As Condições para a Batalha no Gelo!|
|Portugal||Atenção: Combate em Condições de Gelo!|
|Russian||Внимание: ледяная битва!|
|Spanish||Latin America||¡Peligro: condiciones de hielo en la batalla!|
|Spain||¡Precaución: Gélidas condiciones de combate!|
|Swedish||Akta: Isiga stridsförhållanden!|
|Vietnamese||Nhà thi đấu Sekka! Trận đấu trên băng|
|This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.|