The first quarterfinal battle of the Sinnoh League at Lily Of The Valley Island has Ash pitted against his rival Paul. This round is a full battle, with each side using a full party of six Pokémon. As Ash switches out his first three Pokémon—Pikachu, Infernape, and Staraptor—there’s something quite familiar about it to Paul. In fact, Ash appears to be using the same Pokémon team he used in their first full battle at Lake Acuity! Paul begins the battle with Aggron, then Gastrodon, and brings his Drapion out after the first two are quickly defeated.
Watching the battle on television, Paul’s brother Reggie notices that Paul is well aware of Ash’s strategies. Reggie is convinced that Paul allowed Ash to take the first two wins as part of his overall plan!
After Ash switches Staraptor out for Buizel, Drapion catches Buizel in its pincer tail! We leave the scene with Ash screaming at Buizel to “get out of there!”—and as the action gets more and more intense, we have no choice but to wonder how this incredible match will ultimately play out!