Evolving Strategies! (Japanese: フルバトル！シンジＶＳサトシ！！-後編- Full Battle! Shinji VS Satoshi!! -Part 2-) is the 132nd episode of Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl, and the 598th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on June 18, 2009 and in the United States on November 14, 2009.
The Lake Acuity showdown between Ash and Paul continues with a face-off between Pikachu and Magmortar! Pikachu lands the first attack, only to be burned by Magmortar’s Flame Body Ability. The longer the battle lasts, the worse it will be for Pikachu. Ash soon switches Pikachu out for Buizel, but Paul switches in Ursaring before Buizel can use its type advantage against Magmortar. Even after Ursaring powers up with Bulk Up, Ash isn’t worried; he’s confident in Buizel’s fighting ability and countershield technique. Ash changes his mind after seeing Ursaring in action, but Buizel wants to keep battling. Ash agrees, which is a mistake: Ursaring’s next hit knocks Buizel out of the match!
Staraptor is up next for Ash but when it gets into close combat with Ursaring, Ursaring hammers it to the ground. Paul switches to Electabuzz so Ash sends in Chimchar, but it’s another decoy move: Electabuzz sets up Light Screen to protect Paul’s next Pokémon, Torterra. Thanks to Light Screen, Torterra has less to fear from Chimchar’s Fire-type attacks, so Ash figures Gliscor should finish the job. Alas, Torterra simply uses Frenzy Plant to defeat Gliscor. Pikachu volunteers to battle next and this triggers another switch by Paul, who brings back Ursaring. Although Pikachu’s Static Ability paralyzes Ursaring, it uses the Guts Ability to power through the paralysis and smash Pikachu into Lake Acuity. Now Ash only has Chimchar left!
Ash’s Chimchar is eager to show its stuff. After its Flamethrower knocks out Ursaring, Chimchar is so psyched that it evolves into Monferno and picks up a new move: Mach Punch! Paul brings in Electabuzz, who has the defensive moves to keep Monferno’s attacks at bay. Monferno burns with the will to win, but it all comes down to Monferno’s Mach Punch versus Electabuzz’s Thunder Punch. When the smoke clears, Monferno faints, so Paul wins the match. Ash is quietly devastated; what can he do now, after being crushed by his rival...?
Ash and Paul continue their Full Battle, with both sides having one Pokémon down. Pikachu faces off against Paul's Magmortar. Ash warns Pikachu not to let his guard down, and Dawn, who is on the sidelines with Brock, Reggie and her Piplup (as well as Jessie, James and Meowth in disguise manning the scoreboard), looks up Magmortar in her Pokédex. Dawn wonders why Paul did not counter with a Ground-type Pokémon, but Brock suggests that it wouldn't have mattered because Ash could simply switch with Buizel at any time. Reggie adds that Paul is thinking about more than just type advantages, and as the battle continues, they would find out why he chose Magmortar as his fifth Pokémon.
Ash orders Pikachu to use Quick Attack, which successfully connects. However, after Pikachu lands, his body suddenly goes up in flames. Dawn wonders how this could have happened since Magmortar hasn’t done anything, and Brock explains that Magmortar has the Flame Body Ability, which has a chance of burning an opponent if it makes physical contact. His now clear plan a success, Paul smiles, and Ash asks Pikachu if he can continue, and Pikachu, desperate to help defeat Paul, agrees. Ash thanks Pikachu and commands a Thunderbolt, and Paul responds by ordering a Flamethrower. Both attacks collide, causing a massive explosion. Ash then has Pikachu go in for a Volt Tackle, and Paul commands Magmortar to use Rock Tomb. Magmortar continues firing Rock Tomb attacks in Pikachu’s path, stopping his Volt Tackle cold before he takes even more damage from his burn. Paul then commands Magmortar to use Smog, and Magmortar releases a poisonous cloud that heads straight towards Pikachu. Ash commands Pikachu to use the Thunderbolt Counter Shield technique that they mastered for the Gym battle against Fantina, and Pikachu pulls it off and successfully repels the Smog, which surprises Paul and amazes Team Rocket. Reggie is impressed by the move and Brock explains that Ash developed it as a means to both attack and defend at the same time. Pikachu is then damaged by his burn again, and Reggie then notes that the longer this battle drags on, the more disadvantageous it becomes for Pikachu. Paul orders Magmortar to use Flamethrower, and Ash tells Pikachu to jump and use Iron Tail from above. Pikachu jumps out of the Flamethrower's path and successfully strikes Magmortar across the head with Iron Tail, but he subsequently takes more burn damage after landing. Ash then decides to recall Pikachu for some rest after battling so hard.
Ash takes the type advantage against Magmortar and sends out Buizel. Ash starts by ordering an Aqua Jet, which hits Magmortar on the chest and sends it reeling back. Buizel then follows up with Water Pulse and sends a wave of water towards Magmortar. However, Paul orders Rock Tomb, and Magmortar creates a shield of rocks to protect itself from the Water Pulse. However, Ash knows that this will stand no chance against a Water-type attack, and orders Buizel to use Aqua Jet. Water Pulse smashes through the rocks, but Buizel halts his Aqua Jet to find Magmortar is nowhere to be seen. Paul commands Smog, and Buizel looks up to see a now airborne Magmortar execute the move, which hits Buizel and poisons him, causing him to reel in pain. Brock realizes that Rock Tomb was used to keep Buizel from seeing what Magmortar was up to. Magmortar lands and Paul recalls it, surprising Ash and Buizel.
Paul then sends out his sixth Pokémon, Ursaring, and Ash orders Buizel to use Water Gun. Paul is prepared for this and orders Ursaring to use Hammer Arm, which successfully counters the attack and surprises Ash. Paul then orders Bulk Up, which increases Ursaring's attack and defense. Although Ash knows what Bulk Up does, he believes Buizel can handle it and has him go in for an Aqua Jet, before Paul orders Ursaring to use Slash. Ursaring, with its buffed power and resistance, powers through Aqua Jet and hits Buizel hard with Slash. Ursaring then uses Focus Blast, and Ash responds by having Buizel use an Aqua Jet Counter Shield, which creates a typhoon of water upon which Focus Blast backfires onto Ursaring. Thinking he is impressing Paul, Ash brags that Pikachu isn’t the only one of his Pokémon capable of using the Counter Shield technique, although Paul is nonchalant to reply. Ash then orders a Sonic Boom, and Paul tells Ursaring to use Hammer Arm. Ursaring runs through the Sonic Boom and lands a direct hit on Buizel, smashing him into the ground. At this point, Ash is ready to recall Buizel, but Buizel insists he is fine to stay in, so Ash allows him to. This turns out to be his undoing because when Buizel is ordered to use Aqua Jet, the attack is halted by a dead-on Focus Blast, which takes Buizel out of the battle. Dawn feels very sorry for Buizel, but Reggie says that Ash’s poor judgment caused his downfall once again, as Buizel would not have been eliminated if he had recalled him when he was planning to.
Ash then sends out Staraptor and has him go in for an Aerial Ace. Paul orders Ursaring to counter with Hammer Arm, but Staraptor dodges and scores a clean hit with Aerial Ace. Paul then orders Focus Blast, which hits Staraptor in mid-air, although he manages to shake it off. Ash then orders Staraptor to use Close Combat, but Ursaring's Slash attack stops him cold. Ursaring then Hammer Arms Staraptor into the ground, taking him out of the match. Ash recalls Staraptor and thanks it for all of its hard work. Paul recalls Ursaring and sends out Electabuzz, and Ash sends out his sixth Pokémon, Chimchar. Team Rocket is excited to see Chimchar battle, and he shoots a menacing look at his former Trainer.
Chimchar’s first move is Flamethrower, but Electabuzz uses Protect to evade any damage. Paul then has Electabuzz put up another Light Screen, before immediately recalling it. While Jessie, James, and Meowth complain about the constant switching of Pokémon creating more work for them, Brock is surprised at how Electabuzz is able to use Protect and then move right into Light Screen. Reggie believes that Paul used Protect to cover Electabuzz, then Light Screen to cover his next Pokémon. Paul sends out Torterra, which confuses Ash since Torterra, being a partial Grass-type, has a disadvantage against Chimchar, but he carries on.
Ash orders Chimchar to use Flame Wheel, but Torterra counters with Stone Edge. Ash has Chimchar immediately dodge the Stone Edge by changing the direction of the Flame Wheel, but Paul orders Torterra to change the direction of the stones, allowing them to follow Chimchar, amazing Ash, Dawn and Brock. Chimchar cannot outrun the stones and therefore suffers a super-effective hit. Ash has Chimchar use Flamethrower, but Electabuzz’s Light Screen protects Torterra and Flamethrower only does half damage. Brock knows this battle is getting really hard for Ash, and Reggie adds that Chimchar is in a difficult position; long-range attacks will be neutered by Light Screen, while close-range attacks will be neutered by Stone Edge. Realizing that Chimchar won't be able to defeat Torterra like this, Ash recalls him, making Jessie complain loudly about the extra work that Ash is giving them by repeatedly switching Pokémon.
Ash sends out Gliscor against Torterra again, and has it go in for an X-Scissor. However, Paul isn't messing around with Gliscor this time and has Torterra use Frenzy Plant, this time hitting Gliscor dead on and immediately taking it out of the battle. Ash recalls Gliscor and attributes its loss to the fact that Torterra was Paul's first Pokémon, therefore making it the strongest member of his team. Pikachu suddenly requests to go up against Torterra, but Ash is hesitant since Pikachu would have a major type disadvantage. Pikachu insists on going in anyway, and, realizing he can use his speed and Iron Tail to gain the advantage, Ash agrees and sends him in. But to their surprise, Paul immediately recalls Torterra.
Paul sends out Ursaring again, leaving Ash unsure of what to do. He then starts to figure out Paul’s true battling style: his Pokémon are all aware of his expectations and know exactly what they must do to live up to them. Pikachu reminds Ash that he has the first move, and Ash orders Quick Attack, while Paul orders Hammer Arm. Pikachu hits with Quick Attack, but Ursaring's Hammer Arm knocks the wind out of him and sends him flying in the air, sending Dawn into a panic. Despite the powerful blow, Pikachu recovers and is commanded by Ash to go in for an Iron Tail. Paul orders Ursaring to counter with Focus Blast, but to his surprise, Ursaring ends up with paralysis from Pikachu's Static Ability, keeping it from using any moves. This allows Pikachu’s Iron Tail to score a clean hit, although he subsequently takes even more burn damage from Magmortar’s Flame Body earlier in the battle. Just then, Ursaring's eyes begin to glow red, and Paul gets a satisfied look on his face, while Ash gets a concerned look on his. Reggie notes that Ursaring's Guts Ability has been activated by its paralysis, revealing the reason why Paul substituted Torterra for it. Pikachu looks up to see Ursaring glowing red and screaming with rage, its enhanced power pouring out. Paul commands Hammer Arm, while Ash orders Pikachu to counter with a massive Thunderbolt. It works for a few seconds, but Ursaring powers through it and hits Pikachu with Hammer Arm hard enough to heave him into Lake Acuity, where after disappearing under the water, he lets out a huge burst of electricity. Ash runs into the lake worried sick for his partner, and Ursaring lets out a loud battle cry. Brock then explains that Guts raises attack power when the user is infected with paralysis and other status conditions. Dawn and Piplup are very worried about Pikachu, and even Paul casts a glance towards the lake where Ash is looking. Pikachu emerges from the water, seemingly okay, but all of the damage he endured from Magmortar and Ursaring was just too much, and he faints into his Trainer’s arms. Team Rocket is shocked that not even Pikachu could manage to stand up to any of Paul’s Pokémon, and also at how strong Ursaring is. Ash carries Pikachu to the sidelines and tells him to rest up. In dire straits, Ash acknowledges that Paul has all but one of his entire team remaining, while he only has one of his. But he also acknowledges that Paul’s Pokémon have all taken damage at this point, and he still has a chance.
Ash sends out his final Pokémon, Chimchar, and Paul leaves Ursaring in. Chimchar uses Flame Wheel, but Ursaring knocks him back with Slash. Ash then tells Chimchar to use Flamethrower, which scores a direct hit, and Ash then has Chimchar use Dig. Paul commands Ursaring to use Hammer Arm on the ground like the last time these two Pokémon battled, but this time, Chimchar emerges from the ground before Ursaring can pull it off, and causes it even more damage. Chimchar is then commanded to use another Flamethrower, which hits Ursaring dead-on and finally brings it down. Ash congratulates Chimchar for winning, which makes the Chimp Pokémon dance with joy. Jessie, James, and Meowth cry with joy at seeing Chimchar do so well.
Ash approaches Chimchar and praises him, before telling him to keep up the good work and turn the match around. Chimchar nods his head in agreement and then starts to evolve. Everyone watches in amazement as Chimchar undergoes the evolution and becomes Monferno. Ash is overjoyed at having a new Pokémon, and Dawn looks up Monferno in the Pokédex. Reggie notes that Monferno has risen to Ash's call by evolving and now having new power and abilities at his disposal; Monferno demonstrates this by rapidly swinging his fists, which start glowing; Monferno then swings one last time and sends a gust of wind at Paul, who stands unflinching. Ash realizes that, as well as evolving, Monferno has also learned Mach Punch. Paul sends out Electabuzz, who is initially surprised to see that Chimchar has evolved, but is still more than ready to battle its former teammate, a sentiment with which Monferno agrees. Reggie continues that while Chimchar didn't fit with Paul's training style, he was a perfect match for Ash's, and Monferno's evolution is proof of just how important compatibility between a Pokémon and its Trainer is. Also, Ash and Paul's rivalry was never about who is right or wrong; it is all about their feelings of pride as Pokémon Trainers, and this battle will have a resounding effect on them in the long run. This is why Reggie suggested that they have a Full Battle; to give both them and their Pokémon the opportunity to grow stronger.
The battle starts back up as Ash commands Monferno to use his newly-learned Mach Punch, and Monferno speeds towards Electabuzz and socks it square in the gut, sending it hurtling back and crashing into a rock, causing Dawn to comment on Monferno’s amazing new speed. Paul orders Electabuzz to use Thunder, which hits Monferno and makes him scream in pain. Ash responds to this by having Monferno use Flame Wheel. However, Paul has Electabuzz use Protect, sending Monferno flying back. Monferno tries for a Flamethrower, but Electabuzz dodges and goes in for a Thunder Punch. Monferno dodges it in mid-air and uses Dig when he lands, and when Electabuzz lands, it suffers a blow to the chin when Monferno resurfaces. Ash commands another Flame Wheel, and Electabuzz responds with Thunder. Ash has Monferno use Counter Shield with Flamethrower, and as a result, the Thunder is deflected, allowing Flame Wheel to score a direct hit. Reggie is impressed by how Ash is using the momentum shift to shut Paul down at every opportunity, forcing the latter solely on the defense. Ash orders another Mach Punch, but Electabuzz uses Protect, not only causing Monferno’s move to fail, but also leaving him vulnerable to a powerful Thunder that critically damages him to the point of being on all fours. Ash senses something bad and tells Monferno to use Flamethrower, but as he sees Monferno can't launch the attack, he then realizes that he has been paralyzed by Thunder. Knowing Monferno is now at his limit, Paul and Electabuzz smile in confidence, but the former’s expression turns into a surprised one when Monferno’s tail flame starts to burn more fiercely. Dawn asks if Monferno has activated Blaze; however, Reggie explains that it isn't Blaze, but rather Monferno’s determination not to lose manifesting in his flame. Ash is delighted that Monferno is not willing to give up no matter what, and tells him to use Mach Punch, while Paul commands Electabuzz to use Thunder Punch. The two Pokémon run toward each other full of fury, and both attacks connect at the same time, causing a massive explosion in the middle of the battlefield. When the smoke clears, Monferno and Electabuzz stare each other down for a few seconds. While Electabuzz is very weak, it smiles, knowing Monferno has taken far more damage; it is proven right as Monferno collapses to the ground, to Ash's horror. Olivier rules Monferno as being unable to battle, which means Paul has won the match, while Ash, having only managed to defeat two of Paul's Pokémon, has suffered his worst loss ever.
The sun starts to set on Lake Acuity, as Paul returns Electabuzz to its Poké Ball and Ash cradles his badly injured Monferno in his arms, telling him that he did a great job. Reggie congratulates Paul on his win, and Paul actually smiles, acknowledging that it was indeed a spectacular battle. Paul promises to send Reggie his Pokémon, and bids farewell to him and Olivier before leaving. As for Ash, he is left devastated by this landslide defeat, almost in tears, knowing he was far outclassed by his rival. Ash holds his Monferno, with his future in the Sinnoh League and as a Trainer left in serious doubt.
- Ash's Chimchar evolves into Monferno and learns Mach Punch.
- Ash and Paul's Full Battle ends in Paul's victory.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline.
- This is the 600th episode of the anime, if Holiday Hi-Jynx and Snow Way Out! are counted.
- All three of the Pokémon Ash used in his battle against Fantina in Shield with a Twist! used Counter Shield in this episode.
- Music from Pokémon Heroes: Latios and Latias, Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, and The Rise of Darkrai is used in this episode.
- Dawn narrates the preview for the next episode.
- This is the first episode where Ash loses a Full Battle and his opponent has more than one Pokémon remaining on their team. In this case, Paul had four Pokémon remaining at the end of the battle.
- This is the first time Ash had two evolved forms of starter Pokémon from the same region in the same stage of evolution on hand. They would both reach their final forms later on.
- In fact, it also became the first time he ever had two starters from the same region evolve.
- The same thing will happen 50 episodes later, with his Johto region starters.
- In fact, it also became the first time he ever had two starters from the same region evolve.
- This is the third time that one of Ash's Pokémon has evolved against Paul, with Chimchar evolving into Monferno. The first two were Turtwig evolving into Grotle, and Staravia evolving into Staraptor.
- Between this episode and the previous one, this battle features the most substitutions in the anime, with a total of 12 across both Trainers.
- Team Rocket doesn't blast off or recite their motto in this episode.
- In the European Portuguese dub, while explaining Flame Body, Brock specifies that there is a 30% chance of the attacker becoming burned after making direct contact with Magmortar. This piece of information was directly taken from the games, as it is not present in the English dub.
- When Ursaring uses Hammer Arm to counter Buizel's Water Gun attack, Ursaring's nose is tan instead of black for a few frames.
- In this episode, Ursaring's Guts Ability activates after being paralyzed. However, in A Pyramiding Rage!, just four episodes prior, Ursaring was paralyzed by a Zap Cannon blast from Brandon's Regice, and Guts didn't activate.
- When Ursaring is defeated, its icon on the scoreboard shows its mouth slightly open, although its mouth is closed in every other scene in which the icon is shown.
- For a split-second, after Chimchar evolves into Monferno, his eyes are blue, then revert to their normal black coloration.
- In the Polish dub, when Ursaring battles Staraptor, Paul orders Ursaring to use Hammer Arm for the second time instead of Focus Blast.
In other languages
|Dutch||Evolueer de strategieën!|
|European French||Stratégies et évolution !|
|German||Ein Strategisches Feuerwerk!|
|Italian||Strategie in Evoluzione!|
|Korean||풀배틀! 진철 VS 지우 제2부|
|Portugal||Estratégias de Evolução!|
|Spanish||Latin America||Estrategias evolucionadas|
|This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.|