Survival of the Striaton Gym! (Japanese: デントＶＳ氷の挑戦者！サンヨウジムの危機！！Dent VS the Ice Challenger! The Crisis of Sanyou Gym!!) is the 140th episode of the Best Wishes series, and the 797th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on September 12, 2013 and in the United States on November 23, 2013.
As our heroes’ ship arrives at Paladin Island, Cilan is surprised to learn that his brothers Chili and Cress are on their way to the island as well. While Ash, Iris, and Cilan wait for them to arrive, they are approached by an Abomasnow. Cilan’s Pansage offers some of its berries to the towering Pokémon—and it responds by attacking! Its Trainer, an arrogant woman named Morana, scolds our heroes for getting too close to her Abomasnow, and it turns out she’s the reason Chili and Cress are coming to the island.
They tell Cilan that Morana challenged them at the Striaton Gym, with an unusual request: if she won, she wanted them to turn over the entire Gym to her! Chili’s hot temper got the better of him, and he agreed to the challenge. The battles didn’t go well for the brothers, though—Morana’s Mamoswine overcame a type disadvantage to defeat Chili’s Pansear, and then her Glalie took down Cress’s Panpour in short order. Now, she’s here to challenge Cilan, the third Gym Leader brother, to complete her victory and claim the Striaton Gym for herself!
Iris advises Cilan to use Crustle in the battle, since its Rock-type moves are strong against the Ice-type Pokémon Morana seems to favor. But he’s determined to defend his Gym with his dearest partner, Pansage. To justify that decision, he offers an eloquent account of their history together, including their travels with Ash and Iris. And soon, it’s Battle Time!
Morana sends out her Abomasnow as expected, and of course Cilan brings out Pansage. After a few attacks, Cilan offers a critical evaluation of Morana’s partnership with her Abomasnow—it lacks warmth and caring, so the two of them aren’t as effective a team as they could be. He talks about how important it is for a Trainer to connect with a Pokémon’s heart, the way he and Pansage have connected. Morana isn’t interested in connecting—she just wants to win, and she interrupts his speech with a devastating attack that leaves Pansage frozen! But the sun’s rays—and Cilan’s voice—can still reach Pansage through the ice, and it breaks free with a powerful SolarBeam. Morana is too stunned to react, and Pansage’s next attack leaves Abomasnow unable to battle. Cilan has won, and the Striaton brothers get to keep their Gym!
As Chili and Cress prepare to head back to Unova, Cilan wonders if he should come with them and get back to being a Gym Leader. But his brothers assure him that everything will be fine—as long as Cilan is enjoying his journey, they want him to keep traveling with Ash and Iris. And that’s just what happens, as their voyage to the Kanto region continues!
While cruising for the next island, Ash and his friends await for Alexa, who tells them that the next island, Paladin Island, is the last island of the Decolore Islands before their arrival at Vermilion City. But then Porter arrives to inform Cilan that he has received a video phone call from his brothers, Chili and Cress. Cilan rushes to take the call, while Alexa asks Iris who Chili and Cress are. Iris answers that Chili and Cress are Cilan's brothers and that all three of them are the Striaton City Gym Leaders. Meanwhile, Chili and Cress tell Cilan that they are waiting for him at Paladin Island, due to a certain problem that is occurring. Cilan tells them they will meet up as soon as they arrive on the island. Finally, our heroes arrive on Paladin Island, and Alexa sends out her Gogoat. However, she realizes that the deadline for the article she has been working on is today, and temporarily leaves the gang.
Cilan then proposes making a picnic since his brothers will be arriving soon, but Iris and Ash volunteer to do the cooking since Cilan is always the one who has to do it. Cilan reluctantly agrees and sends out Pansage to help him search for berries to cook with. Iris and Ash start cooking, but struggle with it. Cilan and Pansage then return with a lot of berries, just when an Abomasnow emerges from the same place. Ash looks up Abomasnow on his Pokédex, and Pansage walks up to Abomasnow and offers it some berries, but Abomasnow just hits him away. Right after, Morana, a narcissistic female Pokémon Trainer hailing from Sinnoh, emerges from behind Abomasnow, and reveals that it is her Pokémon. Not long after, Chili and Cress find the gang and run towards them, but also see Morana, and reveal that they know each other. This makes Cilan wonder what is going on, and Chili explains everything to the gang. A flashback shows Morana at the Straiton Gym requesting a battle which, if conclusive in her victory, will grant her ownership of the Gym. Cress immediately refuses to accept such a ridiculous and high-stakes challenge, but after some provocation from Morana, Chili becomes angry and accepts.
A one-on-one battle then begins between Morana and Chili. Chili sends out Pansear, and Morana sends out Mamoswine. Chili then becomes excited since Pansear's Fire-type moves will be super effective, and commands Fire Punch. Morana commands Mamoswine to counter with Ice Fang, and Mamoswine overpowers Pansear. Mamoswine then uses Double Hit, and Pansear attempts to counter with Flame Charge, but to no avail, as Mamoswine overpowers him again. Mamoswine then uses Ice Beam and lands a direct hit, knocking Pansear out. Morana rants about how easy that victory was, and then challenges Cress next. Cress, forced to accept due to Chili's loss, chooses Panpour and Morana chooses Glalie. Panpour is commanded by Cress to use Scratch, and Glalie is commanded by Morana to use Headbutt. Glalie's move prevails and smashes Panpour into the ground. However, Panpour recovers and uses Water Gun, but Glalie uses Water Pulse, once again prevailing over Panpour's move and causing even more damage. Glalie then uses Sheer Cold, knocking Panpour out. Morana once again starts ranting since she easily won both battles, and is ready to take her rightful place as the new Gym Leader. However, Cress and Chili inform Morana that she cannot yet take over the Gym as she still has to defeat Cilan. Morana agrees to this and allows Cress and Chili to continue running the Gym until she does so.
The scene switches back to the present, and now fully aware of the situation, Cilan agrees to battle Morana in order to protect the Straiton Gym from falling into her hands. Morana then recalls her Abomasnow and tells Cilan to meet her at the lighthouse in one hour. After Morana leaves, Ash asks Cilan which of his Pokémon he will use to battle Morana, and Cilan says "I think you know the answer to that", implying Pansage. Chili and Cress then send out Pansear and Panpour so they can reunite with Pansage. Chili and Cress then inform Cilan that Morana used Ice-types against both of them in their battles, and that she will most likely do the same when battling Cilan, putting Pansage at a type disadvantage. However, Cilan states that Pansage has been with him since the very start of his journey and longer than any of his other Pokémon, and there is no one else with which he would rather do this job. Cilan also says that he should not be overconfident and will need to rely on everything he has learned (especially from Iris and Ash) while on his journey. Everyone encourages Cilan to do his best in his battle, and he promises that he will emerge victorious.
The gang goes to the lighthouse and Morana appears. The battle starts, and Morana sends out her Abomasnow, just as expected. Abomasnow's ability, Snow Warning, immediately makes it start to hail. Directly after, both Pokémon use Bullet Seed, and Abomasnow's overpowers Pansage's. However, Pansage dodges the incoming seeds and uses Dig, eventually resurfacing behind Abomasnow and hitting it. However, Abomasnow fires back with Strength, and Pansage takes damage as well. Cilan then commands Pansage to use Solar Beam, and Morana commands Abomasnow to counter with Blizzard. Cilan then commences his famous "Evaluation Time", and touches upon both Abomasnow's good points and bad points. Morana appears nonchalant toward his words and attempts to resume the battle, but Cilan then starts reminiscing about the many battles he has seen throughout his time on his journey, as well as his time growing up and as a Gym Leader. Cilan then states that one cannot truly enjoy victory without actually being close to their Pokémon. Morana expresses nothing but boredom toward Cilan's words and has Abomasnow use Sheer Cold, but Pansage dodges with Dig again. Abomasnow prepares to fire Blizzard into the hole, but Pansage stops it cold with Bullet Seed, then resurfaces behind Abomasnow and prepares to use Rock Tomb. However, Abomasnow beats him to the punch and uses another Blizzard, freezing him. Morana then commands Abomasnow to finish Pansage off with Strength, and Ash, Iris, Chili, and Cress worry that Morana will win. However, knowledgeable Cilan is well aware that both his voice and the sun's rays can permeate through the ice in which Pansage is trapped, so he commands Solar Beam, which stops Abomasnow's Strength attack cold and sends it flying back. Pansage then uses a final Rock Tomb attack, causing Abomasnow super effective damage and knocking it out.
Cilan has won the battle and successfully secured the Straiton Gym for both him and his brothers, making the entire gang congratulate him. Morana, however, appears shocked and disappointed at her loss. After being congratulated by Cilan for winning, Pansage walks over to Abomasnow and again offers it some of the fruit from his head. Unlike before, Abomasnow accepts Pansage's offer and eats the fruit, loving it. Morana then recalls Abomasnow and assures Cilan that she will be the victor next time they battle, and subsequently leaves. Day turns to evening, and the gang meets up with Alexa at the pier, who failed to complete the article that was due. Cress and Chili bid farewell to Cilan, but Cilan reveals that he is debating continuing on with Iris and Ash and going back to the Straiton Gym with his brothers. Cilan is not sure what to do, but Chili and Cress inform him that they will work as hard as they can to defend the Gym from challengers like Morana, and that Cilan should continue on his journey since he has been enjoying and benefiting from it so much. Cilan agrees, and they all shake on it, and Pansage, Pansear and Panpour do the same. Cress and Chili then wave goodbye to Ash, Iris and Cilan who are cruising for Vermilion City.