Strategy with a Smile! (Japanese: 決戦！ヒカリ対ハルカ！！Decisive Match! Hikari VS Haruka!!) is the 79th episode of the Diamond & Pearl series, and the 545th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on May 15, 2008 and in the United States on October 11, 2008.
It's the semifinal round of the Wallace Cup and Dawn's Piplup is battling hard against Kyle's Crawdaunt. Dawn breaks out one of her trusted strategies—using Whirlpool to envelop an opponent—but that doesn't do much against Crawdaunt, who hits back with Surf. However, Kyle and his Crawdaunt get a big surprise when Piplup's spinning Bide move knocks Crawdaunt out of the competition. Dawn's creative strategy earns her a spot in the finals and an awkward post-match interview with Jessie, now in full TV star mode as Jessilina.
The other semifinal match pits May against Zoey, and both Coordinators have opted to use their reliable Pokémon: May uses Beautifly, while Zoey goes with Glameow. Zoey looks like she's on her way to an early lead with some gorgeous moves by Glameow, but May has plenty of Contest experience on her side. Beautifly catches Glameow by surprise with its new move, Aerial Ace, and May is declared the winner when time runs out.
After seeing May's performance, Dawn feels a little nervous going into the final battle. She sticks with Piplup while May brings in Glaceon, making its first Contest battle appearance since it evolved from an Eevee. Once again, Dawn is banking on a strong Whirlpool and creative spinning moves to help her win; Glaceon is a tough opponent, and Dawn realizes she can't hold back against an opponent as tough as May. It's a close battle to the finish, but when time runs out, Dawn is the winner! As May returns to Johto and Zoey resumes her own journey, Dawn happily rejoins her friends on the road to Pastoria City and Ash's next Gym battle.
After the collision between Bubble Beam and Sludge Bomb, Dawn orders Piplup to go in the water. Kyle sends Crawdaunt into the water as well. As Piplup and Crawdaunt charge towards each other, Dawn tells Piplup to use Whirlpool which takes Crawdaunt by surprise and costs Kyle points. Kyle counters telling Crawdaunt to use Surf which crashes down on Piplup and sends it backwards. Crawdaunt smoothly lands with Dawn to think of what to do next. Kyle tells Crawdaunt to use Dark Pulse which comes towards Piplup. Dawn tells Piplup to dodge and it spins in between the two Dark Pulses. Then she orders Piplup to use Bide. While spinning, Piplup starts to glow white, then purple from the attack. Not wanting any surprises to happen, Kyle orders a Crabhammer from Crawdaunt. Crawdaunt jumps in the air about to strike Piplup, but Dawn tells Piplup to release and purple light is shot at Crawdaunt. Crawdaunt gets hit, costing Kyle a lot of points. As the attack is finished, Crawdaunt falls in the water, Piplup lands, and time runs out. The screen is shown and Dawn wins the round. Afterwards, Jessie interviews Dawn about her win, but then tries to take all the attention, again.
Next up is May and Zoey. May sends out Beautifly and Zoey sends out Glameow. May starts off telling Beautifly to use Silver Wind which hits Glameow effectively. Glameow takes the hit for a while before Zoey tells Glameow to jump. May orders Beautifly to use Psychic but Zoey tells Glameow to dodge and use Shadow Claw. May tells Beautifly to dodge which Beautifly does gracefully. However, Zoey anticipated that tells Glameow to hit the water. Rising water surrounds Beautifly leaving May undecided want to do next. Ash and co. comment on May and Zoey's battle so far. Zoey orders Glameow to use Shock Wave which bounces on the water and hits Beautifly. Ash and co. comment on Zoey's combinations. After the attack makes contact, the water is zapped away with a sparking Beautifly flying backwards. Beautifly shrugs off the electric charge and May comments, in her head, how good a Coordinator Zoey is. Glameow jumps out the water sparkling with an electrical charge glaring at Beautifly. Wallace makes a statement on the battle along with Jessie, James, and Meowth. Zoey commands an Iron Tail but May counters telling Beautifly to use Silver Wind on the water. Glameow charges through the towering water with Beautifly slyly coming from behind it. May tells Beautifly to use Psychic which sends Glameow backwards. May then tells Beautifly to use Morning Sun and Beautifly raises up and starts to glow blindingly. After a while, the glow disperses and Dawn comments on how beautiful it looked. May tells Beautifly to use Aerial Ace and Zoey tells Glameow to use Shadow Claw. The two Pokémon charge at each other over the water and collide resulting in an explosion. Time runs out and May and Zoey look up to see who is the victor. May wins the round.
Dawn gets nervous about the finals and subconsciously squeezes Piplup. Ash and Brock calm down Dawn, and Zoey comes behind and tells Dawn good luck in her next match. Dawn is clearly still nervous, but knows she's done amazing to make it this far and vows to do her best. Jessie interviews May, but once again, tries to bring all the attention upon her. Ash, Brock and Zoey watch the final from the stands, with Pikachu, Buneary, Pachirisu and Ambipom cheerleading and Buizel also watching his former Trainer battle. In support of May are Max, Norman and Caroline watching from Petalburg City while Drew, Harley and Solidad watch from Ecruteak City in Johto. Meanwhile, in support of Dawn, Johanna watches from her home in Twinleaf Town while Kenny watches from a Pokémon Center. Dawn and May exchange words and good luck backstage, both promising to give it their all before leaving to report to their sides. With the battle about to begin, Wallace gives some encouraging words and Marian begins the battle.
It's May on one side
and Dawn on the other
Dawn sends out Piplup and May sends out Glaceon for its first Contest Battle since evolving, which surprises Dawn. Dawn starts off telling Piplup to use Bubble Beam. May tells Glaceon to dodge and use Secret Power. Glaceon glows pink and hits Piplup, which seems to be paralyzed for a bit. May then orders Glaceon to use Ice Shard which has Piplup in a spot. Dawn tells Piplup to go in the water and Glaceon looks menacing at it. Piplup jumps out of the water and Dawn orders Piplup to use Whirlpool. Despite the size of it, May isn't phased one bit and orders Glaceon to use Mirror Coat. The two collide but Glaceon pushes it back at Piplup which sends it flying backwards. Piplup recovers fast and Dawn tells it to use Bubble Beam. Glaceon is hit hard and May loses points.
May tells Glaceon to use Shadow Ball but Piplup dodges with its spinning move. May is impressed but sees where Piplup will land. Before Piplup lands, May orders Glaceon to use Secret Power. Dawn tries to have Piplup land before Glaceon hits, but Glaceon is too fast. Piplup is sent spinning into the air, but Dawn uses it against May having Piplup spin gracefully and landing in a pose, which surprised both May and Glaceon. Ash, Brock, and Zoey comment on how well the two are battling. May has Glaceon use Shadow Ball and toss it in the air. Glaceon jumps and flips twice hitting the Shadow Ball with its tail giving it momentum. Dawn has Piplup use Bubble Beam which smashes through the Shadow Ball and hits Glaceon. This surprises May and impresses the judges and Marian.
Dawn tells Piplup to use Peck but May has Glaceon dodge it and use Ice Shard. Dawn counters it by having Piplup block it with Whirlpool. Dawn then has Piplup ride the Whirlpool which gets everyone's attention and applause. May tells Glaceon to use Shadow Ball and Dawn has Piplup dodge. The Shadow Ball hits the Whirlpool and becomes a huge splash of water. Dawn has Piplup use Bubble Beam and Piplup comes through the water and uses Bubble Beam. Glaceon is hit hard, again, and May tells it to use Shadow Ball. Dawn responds by using Peck. When then two attacks hit, the Shadow Ball becomes a wall of purple energy which distracts Dawn and Piplup. May tells Glaceon to use Ice Shard which hits Piplup hard. Dawn and May comment on how well the both of them are doing but won't give up. Dawn has Piplup use Whirlpool and May responds with Mirror Coat. Glaceon stands up to it for a while and eventually Glaceon and Piplup both get hit as a result. The two Pokémon are still standing after being washed back to their places and time runs out. May and Dawn look up to see who won the Cup and the points couldn't be closer... but with just .5 points ahead of May, Dawn has won the Wallace Cup! Dawn is speechless, unable to believe that she won while Glaceon lowers its head, ears, and tail sadly. Ash stands up, excited that Dawn won. May tells Glaceon that it did a good job and Glaceon feels better. She gives Dawn her congratulations and Piplup jumps into Dawn's arms. Dawn begins to cry with happiness and thanks her partner, telling him that he was the one who earned their victory.
Soon, it's time for the presentation. Wallace gives his congratulations to Dawn, telling her she is a very talented Coordinator before awarding her the Aqua Ribbon. Dawn, who still can't believe she won, thanks him as she receives her second ContestRibbon towards the Grand Festival. The entire audience applauds for Dawn, she does her pose and Piplup, Buneary, Pachirisu, and Ambipom jump up to celebrate her win. Wallace then gives his farewells and has Milotic use Hydro Pump in the air creating a geyser creating a glittery effect, bringing the Wallace Cup to a close.
With the Wallace Cup over, everyone is saying their goodbyes as May prepares to head back to Johto. Dawn tells May that she'd forgotten what it felt like to be in the final round of a Contest and to feel at one with her Pokémon, and May tells her friend that she next time they battle she'll be the one that wins. She then wishes Ash and Zoey luck in their endeavors, and they wish her luck in her upcoming Johto Contests. Soon the boat and May are leaving, and May waves and says goodbye to her friends and everyone responds by waving back. Dawn happily waves her newfound friend and fellow Coordinator goodbye, now with her losing streak broken, an amazing victory under her belt and her Contest confidence fully restored.
When Zoey tells the gang that May is doing an interview, she says he's doing an interview. This was fixed in later airings.
Wallace says the next Wallace Cup is taking place in Sinnoh in the same arena, but it actually takes place in Johto. In Goodbye, Junior Cup - Hello Adventure! Dawn heads to the Johto region to compete in the Wallace Cup.