A Triple Fighting Chance! (Japanese: トバリジム！ルカリオ対ブイゼル！！Tobari Gym! Lucario VS Buoysel!!) is the 68th episode of Diamond & Pearl series, and the 534th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on February 28, 2008 and in the United States on August 2, 2008.
Dawn's Veilstone Gym challenge has restored Gym Leader Maylene's confidence, so Maylene is now ready to accept Ash's own Gym challenge. Their 3-on-3 battle starts with Maylene's Machoke battling Ash's Staravia—Ash is clearly banking on using Staravia's type advantage, but Maylene's Machoke has learned to use its Fighting-type moves for defense as well as offense. Still, Staravia wins the battle without too much fuss and moves on to battle Meditite.
Meditite hits Staravia with Confusion, so Ash switches in Chimchar. Again, it's not long before Meditite hits it with Confusion; Ash brings Staravia back now that its Confusion has worn off. He takes this opportunity to show off Staravia's new move, Brave Bird, which knocks out Meditite. When Lucario steps up to the plate, Ash banks on Brave Bird once more, but Lucario knocks Staravia out with Metal Claw. Ash brings in Chimchar, but even Chimchar's Fire-type moves don't slow Lucario down. Soon Chimchar is unable to battle as well!
Now it's time for a real showdown: Lucario vs. Ash's Buizel, a matchup between two Pokémon who live for battling. Their fight blows the roof off the Gym and that's what makes all the difference—even with its newly learned move, Water Pulse, Buizel is starting to flag until rain begins to fall through the new hole in the ceiling. Now Buizel's Swift Swim Ability kicks in, boosting its speed and keeping it in the game. The two go head-to-head once more: as the dust settles, they both faint, ending the match in a draw. But because Maylene has the right to award a badge if she chooses, she gives Ash the Cobble Badge in honor of a great battle!
After regaining her confidence in a battle with Dawn, Maylene accepts Ash's Gym battle challenge. Ash and Maylene participate in a fierce 3-on-3 fight, while Dawn cheers for them along with her Pokémon. Ash sends out his Staravia to battle against Maylene's Machoke, then the match begins. Ash commands his Staravia to use Quick Attack but Machoke counters it with Brick Break. Ash commands his Staravia to push back, using Whirlwind then following up with an Aerial Ace attack. Machoke easily dodges it, then Maylene commands her Machoke to use Cross Chop, leading Staravia to take a critical hit. Brock points out that Ash wants Staravia to get closer with Aerial Ace. Maylene commands her Machoke to keep using Brick Break which hits Staravia multiple times. Brock hints that Staravia can't afford to take many more hits. Maylene then commands her Machoke to use Seismic Toss as a finishing attack. Ash tells his Staravia to use Quick Attack with intense speed which hits Maylene's Machoke. Staravia then repeats this strategy by using Aerial Ace which leads Machoke to be knocked out.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket plans to poach the Gym's Pokémon by looking at the doors. They find themselves in a relaxation room in which they plan to have a massage first before poaching the Gym's Pokémon. Maylene sends out Meditite, while Ash keeps his Staravia in. Ash commands Staravia to use Quick Attack, but Meditite easily counters it with Detect then uses Meditate to raise its Attack. Staravia uses Aerial Ace again, but Maylene commands her Meditite to use Detect, and then Meditate to raise its Attack power again so it can finish it all in one hit. Ash commands Staravia to ruin their concentration. Maylene commands her Meditite to bounce off the wall and use Drain Punch, which hits Staravia. Ash commands his Staravia to keep going by using Aerial Ace, Meditite but Meditite uses Confusion, which confuses Staravia. Ash calls Staravia back into its Poké Ball. Then Ash calls out Chimchar and commands it to use Scratch, hitting Meditite.
Maylene commands Meditite to keep using Drain Punch so it can absorb Chimchar's energy and heal itself. Ash tells Chimchar to dodge and to keep using Scratch. Maylene commands Meditite to keep using Detect, preventing Chimchar's Scratch from hitting. It works for a bit, but then Meditite's Detect fails and it is hit with Scratch several times. Maylene is impressed by Chimchar's skill. Ash tells Chimchar to use Flamethrower, which hits Meditite, and then to follow up with Flame Wheel. Before the Flame Wheel can hit, Maylene orders Meditite to use Confusion, which leaves Chimchar rolling off in the wrong direction and attacking the nearest wall with Scratch. Ash returns Chimchar into its Poké Ball and sends Staravia back out, with his Confusion healed. Meditite uses Drain Punch but Staravia pushes it back, then attacks with Brave Bird. Maylene orders Meditite to use Confusion, but with no more energy left, the move fails and Staravia knocks out Meditite. Brock says that Brave Bird can be dangerous and that the user can take some damage when using it. Maylene only has one Pokémon left, while Ash stays with Staravia. Maylene sends out Lucario. Ash commands Staravia to use Brave Bird, but as it closes in Lucario counters it with Metal Claw which knocks Staravia out of the battle.
Ash sends out Chimchar again, commanding it to use Flamethrower, but it is easily dodged by Lucario. Ash orders Chimchar to keep using Flamethrower and Maylene commands Lucario to keep dodging, easily done with its excellent speed. Ash, wanting to get closer, commands Chimchar to use Scratch which is dodged by Lucario. Maylene commands her Lucario to use Force Palm, hitting Chimchar. Ash commands Chimchar to use Flame Wheel, a perfect hit with its maximum power. Ash commands Chimchar to use its Flame Wheel again but it misses, paralyzed by Lucario's Force Palm. Lucario attacks Chimchar with Bone Rush which hits Chimchar multiple times. Ash orders Chimchar to use Dig so it can get away. Maylene tells her Lucario to sense Chimchar's Aura so it can detect Chimchar underground, then attack the ground where Chimchar was hiding with Aura Sphere. Chimchar is thrown out of the ground, so Maylene commands Lucario to use Metal Claw which knocks out Chimchar. Ash then chooses his Buizel to battle against Maylene's Lucario. Brock then notices that Croagunk is missing.
Team Rocket finds the Training room and checks it out, hoping they can find Pokémon inside. Instead, they find Croagunk practicing Poison Jab in a pot full of sand. Team Rocket quietly closes the door and leaves to check out more rooms. They're surprised to find Croagunk in front of them, looking eye to eye for a while. Croagunk finishes Team Rocket up with Poison Jab, sending Team Rocket flying off again.
Meanwhile, Buizel uses Water Gun while Lucario counters with Aura Sphere, resulting in an explosion, but Aura Sphere still connects with Buizel. Maylene orders Lucario to use Bone Rush which Buizel dodges. Ash commands Buizel to spin and use Aqua Jet. When Maylene orders Lucario to use Metal Claw, the Aqua Jet surpasses the Metal Claw attack and hits Lucario. Buizel uses Sonic Boom and Lucario uses Bone Rush to defend, spinning it, Lucario then releases several Aura Spheres at Buizel. Buizel defends by using Sonic Boom. Lucario gets in close, and then use Force Palm which hits Buizel. Maylene orders Lucario to finish up with Aura Sphere, maximum power. Buizel, still feeling the effect of Force Palm, manages to learn Water Pulse which surprised Ash and the others. Maylene orders Lucario to use Aura Sphere while Ash commands Buizel to use Water Pulse.
The two raging energy balls result in an explosion, Ash commands Buizel to spin and use Aqua Jet one more time while Maylene orders Lucario to use Force Palm, result in an explosion again, and hurt both Pokémon but both recover and the two Pokémon battle in the air, Lucario using Aura Sphere and Buizel using Water Pulse. The resulting explosion in the air destroys the battle field's roof, exposing the field to the open sky. Both Pokémon was hurt until Maylene's Lucario manage to recover and attack Buizel with Metal Claw, which hit Buizel. The referee thinks that Buizel was unable to battle but before he finishes his sentence, Buizel gets up. Maylene then commands Lucario to use Bone Rush, Ash orders Buizel to dodge but it can't move. When Dawn tells Buizel to dodge, she notices that it has started to rain. Buizel dodges the Bone Rush at the last second, its Speed dramatically increased. Brock recognizes the Ability as Swift Swim, as Buizel manages to dodge all the Bone Rush strikes of Lucario. Ash commands Buizel to spin and use Aqua Jet while Maylene order Lucario to use Force Palm, which Buizel takes some damage from. While Dawn cheers for Buizel, Ash commands Buizel to use Water Pulse, then to spin and use Aqua Jet against Lucario's Force Palm, a combination of Water Pulse and Aqua Jet. The resulting collision leaves both Pokémon unable to battle, and therefore the battle between Maylene and Ash ends in a draw.
After the fierce battle, the referee states that awarding a Gym Badge for a tie depends on the judgment of the Gym Leader. Maylene says that Ash gave her the greatest Gym battle of her life and Maylene's Pokémon agree that it is a good enough reason to award Ash the Cobble Badge.
This is the 50th episode since Ash earned his first SinnohBadge. In Kanto, Ash already had eight Badges by this point, while in Johto, he was going for his fourth Badge. In both Hoenn and Unova, he had four Badges; and in Kalos, he had three Badges.