|A Surface to Air Tag Battle Team!
A Surface to Air Tag Battle Team! (Japanese: 大空と大地のタッグバトル！ The Tag Battle of the Sky and the Earth!) is the 99th episode of Pokémon the Series: Black & White, and the 756th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on October 18, 2012 and in the United States on February 9, 2013.
On the way to Vertress City, site of the upcoming Unova League, our heroes notice a Drilbur and a Braviary who seem to be watching them. Their Trainers—brothers Rocko and Soren—show up soon after and challenge Ash to a Tag Battle! Ash is happy to accept, and decides to pair up with Cilan for a similar land-and-air team of Pansage and Unfezant.
The first move the brothers call for is Drill Wing, which none of our heroes has ever heard of before! It turns out Soren and Rocko are skilled at using double-move attacks—in this case, Drilbur’s Drill Run combined with Braviary’s Wing Attack. It doesn’t take Ash and Cilan long to pick up on this technique, and with some impressive teamwork, they defeat the brothers...who immediately start blaming each other.
Cilan steps in to break up the fight, and wields his Pokémon Connoisseur skills to offer them some advice: each brother is well matched with his own Pokémon, but they need a Water-type Pokémon to round out their land-and-air team. And of course, since Cilan is also a Fishing Connoisseur, he’s happy to give them some lessons on how to catch one. They first hook two feisty Frillish, but can’t agree on a strategy for catching them, so the Frillish get away. Once Soren and Rocko calm down and start working together, they manage to catch a Buizel and a Corphish to add to their team. Now they can boast of being rulers of the land, the air, and the water!
Our heroes say goodbye to the brothers with promises of a Tag Battle rematch if they meet again, and the journey to the Unova League continues!
While walking in the middle of a cornfield, Ash and his friends come across a Drilbur. Then, Pikachu points to a Braviary flying above, which and Cilan suggests could be watching them. They continue to walk, only to be interrupted by laughter. Suddenly, two boys pop out, and challenge Ash and his friends to a Tag Battle Ash then accepts, but Cilan and Iris are reluctant. Cilan asks for the boys to introduce themselves, which they do, stating their names are Soren and Rocko, and that they are brothers. Soren and Rocko claim they are the world's greatest Tag Battlers, even crushing their rivals Subway Bosses Ingo and Emmet. Cilan is astounded by the feat, but the brothers clarify that they actually dreamed of beating the Subway Bosses. After hearing from Cilan that he is a Gym Leader and Ash is a would-be competitor of the Unova League, the brothers decide they want to battle them.
Iris referees the match while Ash and Cilan respectively bring out their Unfezant and Pansage while Soren and Rocko battle with their Braviary and Drilbur. The brothers call for a "Drill Wing" attack, a combination of Braviary's Wing Attack and Drilbur’s Drill Run, which hits it mark. Ash and Cilan call for their own battle combination. Unfezant takes to the sky with Pansage in her claws, quickly turning the match into an aerial battle. Braviary outmanuvers Pansage’s barrage of Bullet Seeds. Next Rocko and Soren call for a "Brave Dig". Cilan realizes the brother's strategy as Drilbur Digs a hole, and Braviary dives underground as well. Braviary soon emerges and knocks Pansage and Unfezant out of the sky with a Brave Bird attack. The brothers follow up with an "Aerial Claw" combination, with Drilbur slashing at Pansage with Metal Claw and Braviary striking with an Aerial Ace.
Soren and Rocko amaze them with their dazzling combination moves, and they get Ash and Cilan cornered. But Ash and Cilan manage to come up with their own unique combination moves, borrowing from their opponent's "Brave Dig" strategy. Pansage Digs underground, and Unfezant follows it inside before striking its foe with a Quick Attack. The brothers are undeterred and call for a "Fury Rock", a combination of Fury Attack and Rock Slide. However, Unfezant flies through the falling rocks and Pansage delivers the finishing blow, a Solar Beam to win the match.
After the loss, the brothers become crestfallen. Cilan evaluates their Pokémon, and comes to the conclusion that they need to catch a Water-type to gain mastery over the third aspect of the nature that comes after land and sky. To do so, Cilan goes with them to a river to fish. First they spot out a male and a female Frillish, but fail to catch either of them because of meaningless bickerings. Then they spot a Corphish and a Buizel, and after a successful "Brave Dig" combination, the brothers throw their Poké Balls. However the catch fails as the Water types emerge once again, so Clan suggests the brother's attack again. After a Drill Wing combination, they taste the fruit of success. Ash and the group congratulate Rocko and Soren on the catches. Soren and Rocko are thrilled, and decide to show off their new Pokémon in a combination showcase. Soren has his Buizel and Braviary perform Aqua Jet and Brave Bird for a "Jet Brave" attack, while Rocko performs a "Bubble Drill" combo. The group soon part ways with the brothers on good terms.
After parting ways, Cilan, Ash, and Iris come upon a wild Swanna and a Palpitoad, and Cilan is dismayed to realize that they would have been the ultimate perfect match, one being Water and Flying, the other Water and Ground. Ash and Iris reassure him that Soren and Rocko seemed happy with their new Pokémon so Cilan decides things did work out well after all.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
TV episode debuts
- Professor Oak's Pokémon Live Caster: Foongus
- Cilan breaks the fourth wall twice during the episode by pushing the split-screens featuring Soren and Rocko apart from each other.
- Ash owns a Pokémon from both of the Water-type species that Soren and Rocko caught: Buizel and Corphish.
- In the Brazilian Portuguese dub, Aerial Ace is referred to as both Golpe Aéreo and Ás dos Ares. Future episodes would retain the latter as the preferred version.
- Iris narrates the preview for the next episode.
- Ash's Unfezant took damage from Drilbur's Drill Run, even though Flying-type Pokémon are supposed to be immune to Ground-type attacks.
In other languages
|Dutch||Een koppelgevecht team ter land en in de lucht!|
|European French||L'équipe terre - ciel des combats en double !|
|German||Ein Zweiermatch-Team voller Überraschungen!|
|Greek||Μιά Ομάδα Μάχης Ζευγαριών Εδάφους Αέρους!|
|Italian||Lotta multipla tra cielo e terra!|
|Korean||창공과 대지의 태그배틀!|
|Norwegian||Et bakke- til lufttagkampteam!|
|Polish||Specjaliści od Dwuwalk!*|
Mistrzowie od Dwuwalk!*
|Portuguese||Brazil||Batalhas de Duplas Entre o Céu e a Terra!|
|Portugal||Uma equipa de Combate Tag água-terra-ar!|
|Russian||Советы для братьев-бойцов!|
|Spanish||Latin America||¡Introducción al equipo de Batalla Doble aérea y terrestre!|
|Spain||¡Equipo de batalla de dobles tierra aire!|
|Swedish||Ett heltäckande tag-stridsteam!*|
Ett flygande tag-stridsteam!*
|Vietnamese||Trận đấu đuổi bắt trên không và dưới mặt đất|
|This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.|