He first appeared in Two Degrees of Seperation!, although he only made a brief appearance at the ending of that episode; he was fully introduced in the next episode, When Pokémon Worlds Collide!, where he challenged Ash to a three-on-three battle. After the battle resulted in a tie, Paul released one of the three Starly he caught, writing it off as weak, and walked off. He later appeared in Different Strokes for Different Blokes, in which he defeated Ash in a Single Battle after meeting him along the way when exploring Bewilder Forest. He caught his Ursaring in the forest. During the episode, he insulted Ash and especially his Turtwig by calling it pathetic, sparking their rivalry. At this point, Ash realized Paul's strategy of disregarding Pokémon and then releasing them if they did not meet his expectations. He also commented that he would not lose to Paul again.
Paul did not appear again until Top-Down Training!, where he audaciously challenged the Sinnoh LeagueChampionCynthia to a Full Battle. After his first four Pokémon were easily defeated by Cynthia's Garchomp, he surrendered. He briefly appeared in A Maze-ing Race!. He was then a participant in the Hearthome City Tag Battle Competition, in which he was partnered with his rival Ash. Despite winning the quarter-final match, he was very disappointed with his Chimchar and released it, which Ash quickly claimed. Eventually, Paul and Ash managed to win the tournament. Paul then revealed how he captured Chimchar: one day, he ran across it and saw it activating its BlazeAbility to counter a horde of Zangoose that were violently attacking it. Paul was highly impressed and decided to catch Chimchar, but never while it was in his possession did it manage to recreate that powerful Blaze. After winning the tournament, he wrote off the tournament as nothing more than an opportunity to boost his battling skills, giving his Soothe Bell prize to Ash.
Paul and Ash
He also captured his Gliscor in Riding the Winds of Change!. Paul then appeared in Pika and Goliath!, where he watched Pikachu battle Sho's Raichu. After watching Pikachu lose to Raichu, he approached Ash and said Pikachu needed to evolve to even come close to being an equal to Raichu. Later on, he witnessed Pikachu defeat Raichu in Ash's rematch against Sho.
His next appearance was in Chim - Charred!, where he battled Ash after engaging in an argument over Ash's true skills as a Trainer. After using his Gliscor to defeat Ash's Gligar with relative ease, he then put his Ursaring against Chimchar. Chimchar had the lower hand for much of the battle, but it was able to easily defeat Ursaring after it activated Blaze. The battle was cancelled when Chimchar's Blaze couldn't be controlled since it was activated out of resentment and a determination to defeat Paul. Paul was impressed as the Blaze appeared much more powerful than the Blaze that drove him to initially capture Chimchar in the first place.
In his next appearance, A Pyramiding Rage!, much was revealed about Paul's motivation as a Pokémon Trainer and his character. When his older brother Reggie was a traveling Pokémon Trainer challenging the Battle Frontier, he had lost to Brandon. The way Reggie handled the loss is what caused Paul to become a callous person and to be so adamant about strength in battle. Instead of bearing the shame of his loss to Brandon, Reggie moved on with his life and put the loss behind him. Paul found this to be unacceptable, and he became disappointed of his brother. He challenged Brandon to a Full Battle in hopes that he would be able to do what his brother never could. However, Paul lost to Brandon without being able to knock out any of Brandon's Pokémon. Brandon said that this loss was because Paul was unable to control his emotions.
Following Reggie's suggestion in A Pyramiding Rage!, Paul battled Ash in a Full Battle in Pedal to the Mettle! and Evolving Strategies!. Here, he showed his true colors in battle and, despite Ash's Chimchar evolving into Monferno and three of Ash's Pokémon using the Counter Shield strategy, Paul won the match easily with only two of his Pokémon fainting, one of which defeated half of Ash's team nearly single-handedly. He had his Pokémon use a broad variety of strategies, which he kept up his sleeve until this battle, such as tempting Ash to send his Staraptor up against his Torterra so he could attack it with Stone Edge, Electabuzz using Light Screen to aid its comrades, using his Ursaring against Ash's Pikachu so as to activate its Guts Ability, and his Magmortar using Rock Tomb to protect itself against Water-type attacks. As a result, his strategy of completely overwhelming and outsmarting Ash with his more powerful Pokémon team succeeded with excellent results.
Paul reappeared in Fighting Ire with Fire!, where he encountered Ash for the first time since their Full Battle. He also met his admirer Barry for the first time; however, Paul wasn't impressed by him and refused his offer for a battle, suggesting he battle Ash instead since he was denying all challenges to go into serious training. He later watched the battle between Ash's Monferno and Barry's Empoleon and when Pikachu, Piplup and Empoleon were nearly crushed by one of Team Rocket's damaged mechas, he saved the three with the help of his Electabuzz. He then witnessed Monferno evolving into Infernape, who then saved Electabuzz and the other Pokémon from getting crushed. Paul was impressed by Infernape, and gained a little respect for Ash at how well he had raised it. When asked by Ash if they could have another Full Battle, Paul confirmed they would in the Sinnoh League, and that Reggie was looking forward to seeing it.
Paul's only concern in his Pokémon is of their strength in battle. He strongly dislikes weak Pokémon and has a tendency of releasing them if they do not meet his expectations. To this effect, Paul always checks new captures with his Pokédex to learn what moves they know and trains the Pokémon he keeps harshly to make them strong. He feels that bonding with Pokémon would only turn them into slackers. He has a habit of scolding his Pokémon for losing to opponents he feels they could have beaten, especially Chimchar. He has also demonstrated similar behavior to Azumarill, Honchkrow and Ursaring.
Paul can be very callous and even brutal, especially in battle. As a result, he has been shown to display very little emotion other than an occasional rough smile when dealing with Ash. He has also been shown to have a certain degree of athleticism, as seen in Different Strokes for Different Blokes when he and Chimchar were able to downwardly scale a cliff of a waterfall near Bewilder Forest by swinging and leaping from rocks and branches. His catchphrase when calling out Pokémon is "<Pokémon>, standby for battle!".
As revealed in Lost Leader Strategy!, Paul occasionally gives some of his Pokémon to his brother Reggie for temporary training and caretaking. He disagrees with his brother for giving up on being a Pokémon Trainer after failing to get the Brave Symbol from Brandon and feels his brother's approach and view on this to be wrong.
Paul originally felt that Ash was a weak Trainer when they first met, as shown by the capture of Starly when he questioned Ash about how strong Starly was. Ash's very different attitude towards Pokémon also provided much fuel to their rivalry. Despite that, Paul barely recognized Ash as a serious Trainer and a rival, often ignoring his speeches about loving Pokémon. However, Paul's first hint of respect for Ash was shown in A Pyramiding Rage!, when he was very surprised to hear that Ash had won his own Brave Symbol from Brandon in Pokémon battle. After a long, tough battle in Sinnoh's Pokémon League Conference, Paul ended up losing to Ash, and in doing so, gained respect for him and ended their bitter rivalry.
Although Paul found most of the Pokémon in Ash's party at the time to be weak, he had shown a particular interest in his Pikachu, as shown in A Gruff Act To Follow!. Paul was also angered by how Ash "contradicts" himself by criticizing Paul's training methods and then using similar ones, such as entering the Wallace Cup, despite Ash's motivations being clearly different than Paul's.
Paul appears to feel indifference to Dawn, showing that he didn't even bother to remember her name in A Gruff Act to Follow. However, he talks to her about Ash in Familiarity Breeds Strategy!, confessing his main problem with Ash is his talk about bringing out a Pokémon's inner strength through his bond with them and how any Pokémon has the potential to be strong reminds him a lot of Reggie. Paul shows mild respect as well as distaste towards Brock, probably because Brock supports Ash's view on Pokémon. Paul does show respect for his elders, such as Professor Rowan, Cynthia, Nurse Joy and Brandon. While he respects Professor Rowan and Nurse Joy for their wisdom and positions, he only respects Cynthia and Brandon for their abilities as Trainers. He is shown to have no respect for Gym Leaders who he feels are weak. For example, he was shown to respect Roark whom he judged to be a worthy opponent in the end, but he was openly rude and mean to Maylene.
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As a result of Paul's selective team creation, his active team is composed of Pokémon that he deems to be powerful. Whilst the captures of Ursaring and Gliscor were shown in Different Strokes for Different Blokes and Riding the Winds of Change!, respectively, and Ninjask's was revealed in a flashback during Glory Blaze!, his team has for the most part been caught off-screen. Several other Pokémon in his possession were caught onscreen but later released.
This listing is of Paul's Pokémon as of the most recent Japanese episode and the ones used for the lastFullBattle against Ash:
Paul's Ninjask was caught shortly before Paul met Chimchar, as shown in a flashback in Glory Blaze!. It did not appear again until it was used as Paul's fourth Pokémon against Ash in the Lily of the Valley Conference, where it went up against Gliscor. Taking advantage of its superior speed, it managed to cause substantial damage, while not taking in a single hit. Gliscor was then recalled in favor of Infernape, who eliminated Ninjask with the blast wave from an UndergroundFlare Blitz and a successful Mach Punch.
In Familiarity Breeds Strategy! it was shown to have evolved into Aggron. As Paul's first Pokémon, it went up Against Pikachu in the Lily of the Valley Conference match against Ash. With about even strength, Ash made the decision to switch to Infernape. After being successfully burned by Flare Blitz, it was knocked out by an exceedingly powerful Mach Punch. It was one of the two Pokémon used by Paul to uncover Ash's strategy, the other being Gastrodon.
Paul's Gastrodon was the second Pokémon used against Ash in the Lily of the Valley Conference, going up against Staraptor. Adapting Ash's tactics from their previous full battle, Gastrodon was shown to be able to easily keep Staraptor off by creating a Counter Shield using Muddy Water. Ash then ordered Staraptor to attack, flying just above the ground, only to be caught by Gastrodon's Body Slam. It then fired Water Pulse directly into the air, planning to dodge the attack descending at an increased speed at the last second. Breaking free by using Close Combat on the ground, Staraptor was then hit by a direct Ice Beam and subsequently substituted with Buizel. It was at this point Paul realized Ash was using the same Pokémon as last time, calling him "pathetic and predictable". As Gastrodon started off with an Ice Beam, Buizel again used his improvised Ice Aqua Jet, sending Gastrodon flying. Going for another Body Slam from the blast, Buizel countered with an Ice Punch, effectively eliminating Gastrodon.
Gastrodon was one of the two Pokémon used by Paul to uncover Ash's strategy, the other being Aggron.
Drapion was the third Pokémon used in the Lily of the Valley Conference match against Ash where it was sent out after Paul had uncovered his strategy. As a result, Drapion was able to successfully eliminate half of Ash's team (Buizel, Staraptor and Torterra). After defeating Torterra, it was recalled, making Drapion the only Pokémon Paul recalled during the entire battle. Throughout the battle, Drapion's Toxic Spikes poisoned most of Ash's team, until Infernape's improvised UndergroundFlare Blitz completely burned them off. Later, Drapion went up against Gliscor and, after a fierce battle, was finally knocked out after being successfully burned by Fire Fang.
It is unknown if this is the same Drapion as the one Paul unsuccessfully tried to catch in Chim-Charred!.
Froslass was the fifth Pokémon used by Paul in his battle against Ash in the Lily of the Valley Conference. Going up against Ash's Pikachu, she successfully contained his Thunderbolt with Hail, while also activating her Snow Cloak ability, allowing her to constantly disappear and reappear during the battle. Frustrated with the single-sided attacks, Ash ordered Pikachu to use Volt Tackle, described by Paul as "pathetic". As Pikachu went charging towards the oncoming Froslass and ended up going through causing no damage, it seemed Ash was in trouble. Froslass then fired Ice Shard to finish the battle, which Pikachu dodged for a successful Iron Tail, also breaking up the Hail. Pikachu was then frozen by a subsequent Ice Beam, while Froslass was preparing another Ice Shard. Breaking free with Volt Tackle, Pikachu finally took Froslass out of the match.
In Veilstone City, Reggie told Ash that Paul's "other Pokémon are here too" which may include his reserves. In Glory Blaze!, Paul mentions that he wanted Chimchar to become the most powerful out of all his Fire-type Pokémon. This could mean he has other Fire-type Pokémon besides Magmortar.
Paul caught Gliscor in Riding the Winds of Change! after hearing of its reputation as a powerful Pokémon, causing a lot of trouble along with its pack of Gligar. While easily standing up against Electabuzz and Weavile, it was finally caught by Paul, while Ash was trying to talk with it.
Hariyama fought against Brandon's Regirock, with Paul bringing it out to utilize its type advantage. It appeared to be very powerful, managing to block Regirock's otherwise deadly Stone Edge with its hands and strike with multiple Arm Thrusts. However, it was caught at close range, stunned with Shock Wave and subsequently taken out by Focus Punch.
Paul's Nidoking fought against Brandon's Registeel. Nidoking also proved to be powerful, and unlike Paul's other Pokémon in the battle, actually put up something of a fight. He even surprised Brandon with his ability to recover so quickly from a Flash Cannon to the face. He hit Registeel directly with all of his attacks, but the Drill Pokémon ultimately didn't manage to cause much damage to the Iron Pokémon and was defeated with a powerful Iron Head.
It is implied that Paul has caught and released many more Pokémon than what has been shown onscreen.
Paul caught these two Starly the same time he caught the final one. Paul released the two once he scanned them on his Pokédex, deeming them too weak for his team, and the fact that they only knew Tackle and Sand-Attack.
Paul caught the final Starly the same time he caught the other two. He decided to keep it once he scanned it on his Pokédex, due to its knowledge of Aerial Ace. It was used against Ash's Starly in their first battle. Despite Paul's Starly winning, Paul decided it was not up to his standards and so it was also released after their battle.
When Paul first saw Chimchar, it was being chased by a group of Zangoose. Paul was impressed with it and added it to his regular team. However, this first impression did not match up to Chimchar's normal abilities and so Paul regularly criticized it for being weak. After losing to Cynthia's Garchomp in Top-Down Training, Paul realized that Chimchar was not fulfilling his expectations. This culminated in the tag battle tournament arc in which he was forced to battle alongside Ash. During a battle against a Zangoose and a Metagross, Chimchar was too scared to make any attack when caught in Zangoose's claws. After the battle, Paul released Chimchar in front of Ash, who then invited it to join him.
Unsatisfied with its loss, Paul gave Azumarill away to a little boy during A Gruff Act to Follow!, claiming it had no potential to improve and there was no point wasting his time on it. This infuriated Ash, pushing their rivalry even further.
Paul was first revealed to the fandom through a CoroCoro scan that showed him alongside Ash and Dawn commanding a Chimchar. However, his name and role were not revealed until the following week and so he received the fan name "Nugai" (a pun derived from "new guy") during that time.