A Riveting Rivalry! (ライバル決戦！サトシゲッコウガVSメガジュカイン！！ Decisive Rival Battle! Ash Greninja VS Mega Sceptile!!) is the 35th episode of Pokémon the Series: XYZ.
The semi-final match between Ash and Sawyer continues seesawing back and forth. It’s precisely because the two have fought each other so many times before that it has turned into a battle on such an advanced level between two who know each other like the back of their own hand. Through this battle, the two remember their days of friendly rivalry. Their last battle against each other has finally arrived, and they both give each other their absolute all!
Continuing the Full Battle, Aegislash has cut the trees into pieces using Sacred Sword. Bonnie is startled why would Sawyer do that, but Tierno knows that is a part of his strategy, but Trevor isn't convinced this is just to improve his field of vision. While Sycamore sees Sawyer is has an interesting strategy, Diantha wonders what will Sawyer do against Pikachu. Alain watches as Pikachu uses Iron Tail, but fails, due to Aegislash's King's Shield. With Aegislash in Shield Form, Pikachu's attack decreases. Ash notes if Pikachu continues attacking, the weaker he becomes. Clemont sees Ash cannot have Pikachu attack recklessly. Aegislash uses Sacred Sword and hits Pikachu, who tried to leap away. Tierno thinks Sawyer wants to slow Pikachu down, for the fallen trees make Pikachu harder to move around, while Aegislash is floating. Aegislash continues attacking with Sacred Sword and hits Pikachu, despite the latter trying to avoid the former's attack.
Pikachu uses Thunderbolt and just as Aegislash uses King's Shield, Ash notices how Aegislash unseats itself into the scabbard. Ash states to Pikachu he has a plan and believes they can pull it out. Sawyer notices Ash's determined face, seeing he is planning something. Pikachu uses Iron Tail, chopping pieces of wood in air. Aegislash uses Fury Cutter, but Pikachu bounces from log to log and dodges the attack. Aegislash cuts the logs and seeing Pikachu is about to attack, it uses King's Shield. Just before it uses the move, Pikachu throws a piece of wood in the shield, causing Aegislash to get stuck and unable to use the move. By using Thunderbolt, Pikachu immediately defeats Aegislash. Ash and Pikachu are glad they won this battle, and as Bonnie cheers for them, Clemont sees this is Ash's typical victory. As Sawyer calls Aegislash back, Pikachu comes to Ash after defeating two of Sawyer's Pokémon. The battlefield changes, due to Sawyer having three fainted Pokémon. Sawyer is amazed, since even if someone would thought of a strategy to block Aegislash's King's Shield, they'd need skill and timing to pull it out. Ash points out that Pikachu has managed to do it. Sawyer realizes Ash's strength comes from the bond with Pikachu and wants Ash to show more. Ash promises, as the battlefield changes into badlands.
Ash sends Noivern and Sawyer his Salamence, who evolved from Shelgon. Noivern starts with Boomburst, and despite Salamence trying to dodge the attack, it gets hit. Noivern uses Dragon Claw and clashes with Salamence's Dragon Rush. After Noivern took the hit, Salamence launches Incinerate, which Noivern swiftly dodges. However, being close to Salamence, Noivern gets wounded by its Dragon Tail. Clemont sees Salamence lured Noivern closer to itself with Incinerate. Salamence repeats Incinerate attack, which Noivern evades and uses Boomburst to counter the attack. Noivern uses Acrobatics, while Sawyer recalls Noivern can sense its opponent, even if the vision is bad; thus, Salamence uses Protect in the last moment. It uses Dragon Rush, while Noivern repeats its attack. After the collision, both Pokémon have fainted. Sawyer and Ash call them back and send Slurpuff and Goodra. Ash encourages Goodra to do its best, knowing it didn't battle for a long time. Sawyer becomes alerted, knowing he has no info on Goodra.
Slurpuff's Flamethrower collides with Goodra's Ice Beam. Thus, Slurpuff uses Dazzling Gleam, which hits Goodra, but was able to withstand the attack. Goodra uses Bide and takes Slurpuff's Fairy Wind. However, Sawyer also has Slurpuff use Cotton Guard, protecting her from Bide. By using another Flamethrower and Ice Beam, Slurpuff and Goodra collide with each other. Managing to trace Goodra by smelling it through the smoke, Slurpuff uses Fairy Wind to knock Goodra away. Sawyer states Slurpuff can smell its opponents, while Ash sees Slurpuff mimicked Noivern's senses. Slurpuff uses Flamethrower, so Goodra uses Bide. Ash hopes Goodra can endure the attack, while Slurpuff continues using Flamethrower. After a moment, Goodra endured the attack and launches Bide against Slurpuff's Fairy Wind. After both Pokémon exchange blows, they got defeated, resulting in another double knockout. Trevor notes this is a great battle, which makes Bonnie state how her heart may burst from excitement. Sawyer takes a deep breath and sends Sceptile.
Ash sends Pikachu out again, who uses Quick Attack. Sceptile launches Leaf Storm and hits Pikachu away. Pikachu uses Thunderbolt to intercept the attack and hits Sceptile. The latter counters Pikachu's Iron Tail with Leaf Blade and defeats him with Frenzy Plant. While Ash carries Pikachu away to give him a rest, Clemont states that Pikachu did lose a lot of energy from the last battle. For his final Pokémon, Ash sends Greninja. Sawyer is glad to see Greninja out and promises to Ash they will give their best and have no regrets. Greninja fires Water Shuriken, which gets sliced with Sceptile's Dragon Claw. Greninja uses Double Team, whose illusions get banished by Frenzy Plant. Sceptile clashes with Greninja, using Leaf Blade against his Cut. Sawyer is amazed to face Ash, who always has been one step ahead. This time, Sawyer hopes at defeating him and rise even higher. Sawyer is also glad the "real Ash" is back and this will conclude the battle they had near Snowbelle City. Ash, however, felt scared and in a rush, hence why Sawyer managed to overcome and defeat him in the last battle. Raising his fist, Ash sees that is exactly why he has found himself again.
Ash synchronizes with Greninja, who transforms into Ash-Greninja. While Bonnie cheers for them, Sawyer touches his Key Stone and Mega Evolves Sceptile. Mega Sceptile launches Frenzy Plant, which Ash-Greninja dodges and retaliates with Cut to slice through the roots. Ash-Greninja throws Water Shuriken, which is countered by Mega Sceptile's Dragon Claw. Immediately after, Ash-Greninja charges and punches Mega Sceptile with Aerial Ace. Mega Sceptile counterattacks with Leaf Storm, which pushes Ash-Greninja away. Mega Sceptile charges in with Leaf Blade and clashes with Ash-Greninja's Cut. Mega Sceptile repeats its Leaf Storm, which hurts Ash-Greninja and Ash himself. Mega Sceptile uses another Frenzy Plant, but Ash-Greninja runs on the roots and slices them with Cut. Shauna sees Ash-Greninja has trouble coming closer to Mega Sceptile and as Trevor notes how powerful Frenzy Plant is. Bonnie fears Ash may lose, but Serena knows he won't give up. Clemont knows well as long as Ash and his Pokémon are together, they are very powerful. As Ash-Greninja uses Cut on Frenzy Plant, Sycamore sees Ash and Greninja are together as one.
Ash-Greninja dodges Frenzy Plant and uses Double Team. Ash yells this is what he and Greninja have, as Ash-Greninja fires Water Shuriken, which becomes enormous. Sawyer, in desperation, has Mega Sceptile fire Leaf Storm. Water Shuriken slices through Leaf Storm and hits Mega Sceptile, and once the smoke settles down, Mega Sceptile reverts to Sceptile, as it is unable to battle. Thus, Ash wins the battle and advances to the finals, while his friends are cheering for his victory. Bonnie notes how cool they were, while Serena blushes and Clemont sees that is what battles should be about. Ash sits down with Greninja, since both of them are exhausted, but are glad they won. Team Rocket is impressed, thinking their enemy may even win the Kalos League. Sycamore claps for the excellent battle, while Diantha comments she would be happy if there were more trainers like those two, with Sycamore agreeing. Alain smiles and walks away. Sawyer comes to Ash, stating he gave everything he had and holds respect towards him. Ash admits he was also excited to had this battle. Sawyer states he will have more battles and there will be a day he will surpass Ash. Ash promises to battle more as well and won't fall behind. Ash proposes to have another battle one day; Sawyer accepts and shakes hands with Ash.
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