Torkoal was found under attack by a bunch of Steel Pokémon in the valley. When Ash arrived to rescue it, it ran off but eventually followed Ash's instructions and defeated the Steel Pokémon.
It is an emotional and sensitive Pokémon which has been known to burst into tears, and blow smoke out of its nostrils, when happy. Torkoal hasn't been in many gym battles but is used in standard battles on many occasions and proves it's strength in those battles.
Torkoal's first gym battle was against Norman in Balance of Power. Ash chose Torkoal to battle Norman's Slakoth after Pikachu was called back and defeated it with a single Flamethrower, but went on to be defeated by a powerful Slash attack from Norman's Vigoroth.
Torkoal was one of the Pokemon that Ash used during the Hoenn league championships. It's only actual victory during the tournament was against Tyson's Shiftry.
After the Hoenn League, Ash decided to give it some time off at Professor Oak's Laboratory. He later used Torkoal to battle Brandon's Registeel. Although Torkoal had type advantage and had learned the powerful Heat Wave attack, Registeel was too powerful and although Torkoal exhausted the legendary Pokemon it lost the battle. Torkoal was also used against Tobias' Darkrai but was defeated with one attack.
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|Flamethrower +||All Torkoal, No Play|
|Overheat||All Torkoal, No Play|
|Iron Defense||Manectric Charge|
|Body Slam||Pearls Are a Spoink's Best Friend|
|+ indicates this Pokémon used this move recently.*|
- indicates this Pokémon normally can't use this move.
- Torkoal is Ash's only -type Pokémon to not be a starter.
- Torkoal is the only Pokémon Ash caught in Hoenn that isn't capable of evolving.
- Torkoal was the 30th Pokémon species Ash ever owned, counting Haunter, Larvitar, and Raticate.