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|This article is about an episode of the Pokémon anime that has not been dubbed into English. As such, its coverage may contain romanized Japanese names, rather than dub names.|
(Japanese: ダイマックスバトル！最強王者ダンデ！！ Daimax Battle! Dande, The Greatest of Them All!!) is the 12th episode of the new series, and the 1,097th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on February 9, 2020 and is scheduled to air in the United States on June 12, 2020.
|Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.|
At the Cerise Laboratory, Professor Cerise hands Ash and Goh each a ticket to the Pokémon World Championships finals. Ash is confused, until Ren and Chrysa explain that like there are Leagues around the world and each of them has a regional Champion, Pokémon World Championships are where the World Champion is decided. And given that these are the finals, that means the winner will officially be the strongest Trainer in the world. Ash is fired up to go see it, and Professor Cerise says that it takes place in Galar, teasing that the stadium where the battle where the battle takes place is sure to be full of surprises.
Now aboard a plane to Galar, Ash can't wait to get there. But no sooner has the plane entered Galarian airspace, that the lights inside the plane suddenly go out. As a stewardess tries to keep the passengers calm, Ash and Pikachu look out the window, sensing something coming closer. And soon enough, a giant Pokémon flies past the plane, its form obscured by the clouds. In response to its presence, Pikachu tail sparks a little. As the Pokémon flies away and its silhouette disappears from view, the lights turn back on. Both Ash and Goh are excited, as this only proves that Galar still holds many unsolved mysteries.
The plane soon lands in Galar, and a short bus ride later, Ash and Goh arrive in their destination in Wyndon. Ash asks where the stadium is, and Goh informs him that they're right in front of it. Ash looks around, confused, until Goh directs his head upwards, and Ash is completely blown away by the sheer size of Wyndon Stadium. Goh is excited to go catch some Galar Pokémon, but Ash, jumping to the bits to see the match, drags Goh with him to the stadium. As the two take their seats, they're noticed by Team Rocket, who are sitting a few rows above them. However, unlike usually, they're not after Pikachu this time, having instead been assigned by Giovanni to capture Galar's growing Pokémon, having even received a Rotom Phone for this purpose.
The lights in the stadium turn off and a colorful light show starts as the announcer welcomes the audience to the finals of the Pokémon World Championships. The top eight Trainers certified by the Pokémon Battle Commission, known as the "Masters Eight", have participated in a fierce tournament, and now, only two finalists remain to compete for the title of World Champion. The first finalist is Lance, a member of the Kanto Elite Four, the winner of the Driftveil City Pokémon World Tournament, an active member of the Pokémon G-Men, and an expert Dragon-type user. His opponent is Leon, Galar's undefeated Champion and superstar, who once defeated 100 challengers from all over the world. The referee, Dan, enters the field on his Aegislash and explains the rules: each side uses one Pokémon, and the battle is over when one side's Pokémon is unable to battle. Lance says that he's seen Leon's skills in his previous battles and expected him to get this far. Leon, in turn, talks how the audience can be a bit cruel, as they want nothing more than to see one of them lose. But he loves pushing through that fear to seize another victory. He says that his invincibility is the result of him learning from every battle he takes part in or sees. Lance declares that words are unnecessary, as it's time to battle and see which one of them is the stronger one.
Both Leon and Lance send out their Pokémon. Leon's choice is his ace, Charizard, while Lance sends out the Red Gyarados, much to Goh and Ash's excitement. Dan gives the signal to start the battle, and Leon makes the first move, ordering a Flamethrower. Lance counters by ordering Gyarados to use Hyper Beam. The two attacks clash, until Gyarados's attack finally overpowers the Flamethrower, but Charizard successfully evades the attack. While Gyarados is recharging, Leon takes the opportunity and tells Charizard to attack with Air Slash, but Lance, well aware of Hyper Beam's drawback, has Gyarados smack some rocks off of the battlefield to block the move. Leon orders another Flamethrower, but instead of blocking or dodging it, Lance orders Gyarados to use Dragon Dance, increasing its Attack power and Speed, at the cost of the Flamethrower making a direct hit. Lance orders Gyarados to use Aqua Tail, and the super effective move scores a direct hit, knocking Charizard to the ground. Goh realizes that Lance knew that since Flamethrower was not very effective on Gyarados, it was worth to take the hit while increasing Gyarados's power and speed.
Lance orders Gyarados to use Ice Fang repeatedly. Thanks to the boosts provided by Dragon Dance, Gyarados is able to rapidly attack Charizard multiple times in succession, dealing notable damage. Leon disrupts the rapid fire attack by having Charizard use Fire Spin, trapping Gyarados in a vortex of fire. Lance has Gyarados put out the flames with Aqua Tail, before resuming the Ice Fang assault. However, Leon then reveals his secret trump card and has Charizard use Thunder Punch, interrupting Gyarados's attack and inflicting great damage on the Atrocious Pokémon. Leon orders more Thunder Punches, but Gyarados blocks them all with Aqua Tails.
Both Leon and Lance are determined to keep the battle going and recall their Pokémon in preparation for their next moves. Lance activates the Dynamax Band on his wrist, causing Gyarados's Poké Ball to grow giant, before throwing it and sending out his now-Dynamaxed Gyarados. Ash and Goh are astounded to see Dynamaxing being used in Galarian Pokémon battles, and understand that this is what Professor Cerise had meant with the stadium being "full of surprises". Team Rocket is also excited to witness Dynamaxing with their own eyes. Leon responds to Lance's move by Gigantamaxing his Charizard, making the match a Dynamax battle.
Lance orders a Max Geyser, but Leon counters by having Charizard use Max Lightning, disrupting the Max Geyser and dealing massive damage of Gyarados. Lance follows up with Max Strike, which Leon counters by telling Charizard to use Max Airstream, which not only pushes Charizard out of the attack's way, but also hits Gyarados, dealing even more damage. Deciding to finish the match, Leon calls out for Charizard's signature G-Max Move, G-Max Wildfire. Lance desperately calls for a Max Guard, which successfully stops the G-Max Move, but Leon's confidence remains unfaltering, and as soon as the Max Guard dissipates, G-Max Wildfire's secondary effect kicks in, engulfing Gyarados in flames to deal additional damage. Having already suffered a lot of damage in the battle, Gyarados is unable to withstand this and faints, reverting to its normal size as a result. Dan makes the official judgement, declaring Gyarados unable to battle and Leon the winner, making him the World Champion. In the stands, Ash and Goh are amazed at Leon's strength.
Lance recalls his defeated Pokémon and smiles at Leon. Leon compliments Lance's Dynamax, and Lance reveals that he had once trained at Galar's Dragon Gym, and had been so influenced by the Gym's uniform and its rich history, that he had based his current outfit on it. He adds that while he lost, he's still happy to have witnessed the rise of a new World Champion. He raises Leon's hand in the air, officially announcing him as the World Champion. As the announcer soon reconfirms this statement, Ash declares that he wants to battle Leon, much to Goh's astonishment.
Outside the stadium, Team Rocket is also feeling excited about the battle they just witnessed, but realize that they must also get back their job of catching Pokémon. Just then, Wobbuffet notices something, and the trio sees a Drednaw emerging from behind a nearby bush. They use their Rotom Phone on it, but it doesn't provide them with much information of it. Still, they figure that since it's a Galar Pokémon, it must be able to grow giant, and they decide to capture it. As such, they call for Team Rocket's Pelipper, who drops them the Rocket Gachat. As has become a custom by now, they use Meowth's coin to vend some Pokémon, but only one Poké Ball comes out. James remembers how the last time they got only one Poké Ball, the Pokémon inside had turned out to be a Wailord. Jessie excitedly throws the Ball, only for just a small Bellsprout to emerge. The trio is dumbstruck, but Jessie nevertheless decides to go with what they have, and calls for a Power Whip. Despite its small size, Bellsprout quickly proves its strength by dealing heavy damage of Drednaw. Jessie tells Bellsprout to keep attacking, but Drednaw dodges the second Power Whip, causing it to hit the ground instead. From the forming cracks, a sudden red light emerges and engulfs Drednaw, causing it to Gigantamax, much to Team Rocket's horror. Jessie tries to throw a Poké Ball at it, but her throw is completely off and the Ball falls to the ground. With Bellsprout being too afraid to attack anymore, the Rocket trio is left with no choice but to flee into the stadium, with Drednaw following them by extending its long neck after them. Drednaw's head pushing through the narrow corridors results in the whole stadium shaking, causing panic inside.
- Ash and Goh travel to Galar again.
- Ash and Goh see a mysterious Pokémon.
- Team Rocket is revealed to have traveled to Galar for the first time and received a Rotom Phone from Giovanni.
- Leon, the Galar League Champion, is introduced.
- Lance is revealed to have obtained a Dynamax Band.
- Leon defeats Lance in the finals of the Pokémon World Championships, becoming the World Champion in the process.
- Ash decides to challenge Leon.
- Team Rocket tries and fails to catch a Drednaw, inadvertently causing it to Gigantamax and start attacking Wyndon Stadium.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- Pikachu (Ash's)
- Meowth (Team Rocket)
- Wobbuffet (Jessie's)
- Mr. Mime (Ash's; Mimey)
- Scorbunny (Goh's)
- Yamper (Chloe's)
- Gyarados (Lance's; Red Gyarados; Dynamax)
- Charizard (Leon's; Gigantamax)
- Pelipper (Team Rocket's)
- Rotom (Team Rocket's; Rotom Phone)
- Bellsprout (Team Rocket's)
- Aegislash (Dan's)
- Eternatus (debut)
- Drednaw (anime; Gigantamax; debut)
- Get Inspired! Let's Solve a Poké Riddle!!: Gyarados
- This episode marks the first appearance of Lance in the anime since The Scuffle of Legends, 721 episodes earlier.
- Both Lance and Leon use many of their lines from the games during the match. Lance uses some of his pre- and post-battle lines from Generation II and Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, while Leon uses some of his pre- and in-battle quotes from Pokémon Sword and Shield.
- This is the first episode since Mind-Boggling Dynamax! where Goh doesn't have a party change.
- This is the first time a sparkling effect has been used for a Shiny Pokémon exiting their Poké Ball since Working on a Right Move!, 446 episodes earlier.
- The announcer refers to the Red Gyarados as the evolved form of the Golden Magikarp. However, while this is normally true, Lance's Gyarados evolved from a regular Magikarp due to one of Team Rocket's experiments.
- Unlike his previous appearances, Lance is referred to as an Elite Four member instead of a Champion, implying he lost his Champion status since his last appearance.
- This marks the earliest introduction of a Champion into a new series.
- The Gym battle theme from Pokémon Sword and Shield is played during Lance and Leon's battle.
- Team Rocket doesn't blast off or recite their motto in this episode.
- Goh, Leon, Ash, Pikachu, and Leon's Gigantamax Charizard narrate the preview for the next episode.
- In the scene where Leon Gigantamaxes his Charizard, his Dynamax Band is facing downwards. In the next shot, however, it is shown to be the other way around.
- Also, Ash's right hand is shown to have six fingers.
- When Team Rocket is exiting the stadium, Meowth is between James and Wobbuffet. However, in the next shot, he is between Jessie and James.