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SM077

23 bytes added, 16 July
Plot
Accompanied by [[Nanu]], [[Acerola]] enters the empty [[Ruins of Abundance]] and leaves an offering of {{Berries}}. Later, {{Ash}}, with the [[Rockium Z]] equipped to his [[Z-Ring]], challenges Nanu to a [[Island challenge|grand trial]] {{pkmn|battle}}. At the battlefield, Acerola wishes Ash luck as she takes her position as referee. It is then revealed that in order for Ash to clear the [[Ula'ula Island]] grand trial, he must defeat three of Nanu's Pokémon with only one of his. Ash turns his attention to {{AP|Lycanroc}}, who accepts the battle conditions. Despite Nanu's scrutiny of his challenger, Ash claims that Lycanroc wants revenge and is motivated.
[[File:SM077 Ash VS Nanu.png|thumb|left|230px|Ash versus Nanu]]
Nanu calls out his {{p|Krookodile}}, but Lycanroc remains unfazed by its opponent's {{a|Intimidate}} ability[[Ability]]. Acerola calls for the match to begin. Nanu starts off with a {{m|Mud-Slap}}, which Lycanroc avoids only to fall into a {{m|Sand Tomb}}. Krookodile launches another Mud-Slap, and Lycanroc's eyes turn red after its fur is dirtied. Much to Ash's relief, his Pokémon simply jumps out of the Sand Tomb and its eyes return to normal. Lycanroc shakes off the mud as Ash boasts that they will win today. Nanu dares him to prove his words in battle. Ash goes to call for an {{m|Accelerock}}, but remembers Krookodile used {{m|Counter}} to defeat Lycanroc [[SM074|last time]]. He opts for a {{m|Rock Throw}} instead, which Krookodile destroys with its tail. Ash repeats the [[move]], but Krookodile uses the same tactic to defend itself. Nanu realizes that Ash is attempting to avoid close-range combat and has Krookodile approach with {{m|Crunch}}. Lycanroc dodges and launches another Rock Throw, however the attack is again swatted away by Krookodile's tail. Nanu claims the battle is getting boring and calls Ash gutless for his fear of Krookodile's Counter. He reminds Ash that a Pokemon battle is meant to be an exchange of power. Lycanroc also shares these sentiments, so Ash calls for an Accelerock. Krookodile goes to use Counter, but is struck by Lycanroc's blinding speed before it has the chance, much to Nanu's surprise. Krookodile is overwhelmed by Lycanroc’s follow-up Rock Throw and is defeated. Ash thanks Nanu for his sharp words, which motivated him to want to fight. Nanu states that lying can be a good strategy and that he planned to lure Ash into a Counter situation. Ash is left disturbed by Nanu's admission as Acerola calls for her uncle's next Pokémon.
 
Nanu sends out his {{p|Sableye}} and starts the match off with a {{m|Shadow Ball}}. Lycanroc's Rock Throw cancels out the attack. Sableye follows up with a {{m|Shadow Sneak}} which inflicts some damage on Lycanroc. Ash calls for a {{m|Bite}}, however it collides with Sableye's {{m|Shadow Claw}}. Before Lycanroc can attack, Sableye freezes it in place with {{m|Mean Look}}. Ash calls for an attack, but Lycanroc is unable to move. Its Bite is just out of reach while Sableye dishes out several Shadow Claws. After a Shadow Sneak hits, Lycanroc returns to its red-eyed form and goes onto evade another onslaught of Shadow Claws. Nanu takes a moment to inform Ash that Lycanroc seems much stronger when angry, but Ash fears his Pokémon will not listen to his instructions. The aside causes Ash to think, so he has Lycanroc unleash a {{m|Stone Edge}} which defeats Sableye. Nanu recalls his Pokémon, and is a little surprised by Lycanroc's new move. Amongst the congratulations, Ash notices that Lycanroc is panting heavily from exhaustion. {{DL|Guardian deities (anime)|Tapu Bulu}} flies overhead and delivers a much needed [[Sitrus Berry]]. Acerola asks if the item can be used and Nanu replies that he cannot argue with the [[{{an|Guardian deities|Island Guardian]]}}. Lycanroc chews the berry and is ready for the third and final round of the Grandgrand Trialtrial.
 
Nanu's {{alo|Persian}} is sent out. Its {{m|Power Gem}} strikes Lycanroc down, but Persian takes a hit from Lycanroc's Stone Edge. Nanu takes another swipe at Ash, noting that Lycanroc could perform better without its {{pkmn|Trainer}}. While Ash is angered by Nanu's inflammatory comments, Persian lands a {{m|Dark Pulse}} on Lycanroc. The attacks hits its mark, and Rotom quickly realizes that this is another distraction tactic. Lycanroc shakes off the attack, but after another two Dark Pulses it again enters its red eyed state. Nanu admits he is trying to make Lycanroc lose control and earn himself the victory. Ash calls for Lycanroc to calm down, while Nanu continues to call Ash a worthless Trainer. Nanu sees another opportunity as Ash is again enraged, and Persian strikes Lycanroc with a {{m|Night Slash}}. Nanu argues that he is a {{type|Dark}} [[Type expert|specialist]] and defends his so-called unfair tactics. As Persian is about to finish Lycanroc off, Ash call for his Pokémon to calm down. Lycanroc suddenly turns on Ash and knocks him to the ground.
 
Ash gazes into Lycanroc's red eyes and realizes that it is a sign that it grew in power, and was not blinded by rage. He apologizes for not noticing Lycanroc's control over its power and for becoming distracted by Nanu's comments. Lycanroc nudges Ash and accepts the apology, which allows the match to resume. Lycanroc dodges several Night Slashes and responds with a new move, Counter. Nanu is amused by the development and resorts to using his Z-Crystal. He activates its power and has Persian perform {{m|Black Hole Eclipse}}. However, Ash replies with a Z-Move of his own and has Lycanroc unleash a {{m|Continental Crush}}. The large mound of rock is consumed by the black hole, and the two attacks cancel each other out. Lycanroc follows up with Accelrock, and Persian is defeated. Acerola officially calls the match, with Ash winning the Grandgrand Trialtrial.
 
Nanu congratulates his opponent and pulls out a [[Darkinium Z]]. Though he quickly retracts his offering, and notes that Ash isn't the type of guy that would use it. Instead he gives Ash a different Z-Crystal, a [[Lycanium Z]]. Ash is amazed as Nanu explains that the Z-Crystal is exclusive to Lycanroc. A sudden ring of a cow bell causes the group to look up, and it is Tapu Bulu who drops another Sitrus Berry to Lycanroc.
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