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Is Ash's Journeys team now just his outright 6 strongest Pokemon?

TheNewGuy

Well-Known Member
I know it's absolute sacrilege to suggest, and in my heart Zard/Sceptile/Infernape/Greninja etc are his strongest, but the weight of evidence here is getting to be kind of worryingly strong.

1) Ash is using the JN team and only the JN team in the biggest tournament of his life. Unlike other regions, he's travelled back home a lot and had plenty of chances to use the reserves but has chosen not to do so.

2) They have, and are going to have, some of the greatest feats. Even the less featured two Pokemon, Sirfetchd and Dracovish, have beaten E4 and/or Champion-level Pokémon. And they are going to be beating a lot more in the next few weeks. Infernape was beaten soundly by Flint not long before the league, for instance.

I'm not saying this is true, but I think it is worth asking the question - and without doubt, all 5 of them absolutely belong in the top tier of his Pokemon just by virtue of the strength of trainer Ash is now battling and beating. If the top tier before was Greninja, Sceptile, Charizard, Infernape and Pikachu then all 5 of his JN Pokemon have to belong in that bracket almost by default. The question I guess is whether those Pokemon would be able to do what his JN team are doing. I'd say yes, but still, it's worth asking about.
 

Panky..

Nobody
No. As shown with Infernape and Greninja, his reserves have been scaled just as much as his current team has been to his current skill level. And unlike his JN team (excluding Pikachu), which have abused off-screen training and tell-don't-show storytelling, his reserves (at least the aces) have had sufficient on-screen showings of their feats that makes it believable that they can be scaled to Champion tier.
 

TheNewGuy

Well-Known Member
Yeah in fairness I forgot about Greninja kicking lumps out of Lucario, though Lucario significantly powered up by the end of that episode (and theoretically never actually lost the battle).

I don't buy that the others have scaled up to stay ahead of them, though - because it elevates Ash to virtual godlike status

I agree on some of the "tell don't show" stuff (but recent episodes have helped that) but poor storytelling and power levels are two different conversations imo.
 

DankOverlord

Komodo Dragons Rule!
Probably not.

Latest episodes have shown that everyone is more or less equals with the Aces of each region being the strongest of them all
 

Zweilous

The gum you like is Go-ing to come back in style
I think they're about equal with past aces. They just adjusted the power scaling. Because if we kept the old system, where the Elite Four are untouchable gods, Ash would absolutely never get this far and the story wouldn't go anywhere. If the best old Pokemon came back, they'd likely be scaled to match them.

EDIT: I see PokemonBattleFanatic agrees with me. We clearly share the burning rage and passion for Ash's great cast of Pokemon.
 
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DayQuil95

Well-Known Member
Yeah in fairness I forgot about Greninja kicking lumps out of Lucario, though Lucario significantly powered up by the end of that episode (and theoretically never actually lost the battle).

I don't buy that the others have scaled up to stay ahead of them, though - because it elevates Ash to virtual godlike status

I agree on some of the "tell don't show" stuff (but recent episodes have helped that) but poor storytelling and power levels are two different conversations imo.
That's the thing about Ash, at full power he's at a theoretical godlike power with his aces, but Ash isn't about power or focusing solely on winning, he's about proving that he can win even at a theoretical disadvantage, because he sees Pokemon as more of companions and friends that he will find more about and strengthen bonds than machines of war that he will use to sweep through everything easily, and this is why it took so long for him to win a league, while the likes of Red just stick to their strongest team in order to massacre everything on their way, Ash is about meeting new friends and powering them up to the next levels, had he always went at full power, he would have won Hoenn, give Tobias a harder fight, win Unova, win Kalos, win Alola even easier than he already did, and would have cut clean right through the PWC.

And it makes sense for them to be this strong, because he's willing to accept help in training them, and they're willing to train each other so they can grow stronger together once they're at Oak's, it's as simple as this:

1. Charizard would have never grown as strong as he did had he only trained alongside the rookie Ash back in Johto, but Ash was enough of a person to accept help and have him train for a greater sake. And even if Charizard had grown strong with Ash, it would be at the cost of the other Pokemon of his team.

2. The experience with Charizard caused Ash to learn how to raise aces and stronger more efficient Pokemon, like Sceptile and Infernape, with each newer ace developing faster than the other thanks to Ash's growing experience, you can see this by Sceptile only fully evolving by the Battle Frontier, while Infernape was fully evolved by the 8th gym, and Greninja was already at a power surpassing Mega Evolution before the 8th gym, the next step was logically Journeys, with Lucario already being that monster he is.

3. Thanks to the training Ash gives to these newer Pokemon of his, it gets easier for them to train alongside his older Pokemon while in Oak's lab, which causes them to get at a similar power level as they train together, shown multiple times by Bulbasaur being so strong by Battle Frontier, Infernape in Journeys, and his reserves scaling in strength to newer Pokemon with greater fetas constantly.

4. Even from an outside narrative perspective, the writers have constantly shown that they care about the depiction of reserves, as shown by how Charizard was millions of times stronger than any of Ash's Pokemon, save for Pikachu, by the time of Battle Frontier, you could see that the Articuno fight was intended to be something legendary by the time, that only something as strong as Charizard could pull out, so why would they have the reserves get rusty now when they already have a perfectly reasonable explanation for Ash not using them?

So yeah, the writers can get away with an explanation in-universe for Ash not using reserves, because he's about passion more than power, about struggling and growing to newer levels with his teammates, be them old or new, so they can overcome obstacles together. And this will further be proven after the ending of Journeys, once the current team possibly get Oaked, they will begin training with his reserves, and then will balance the power level even further.

You could see this from an in-game perspective as well, where with the years you as a person gets more experienced and better at training and balancing your party, as a child you will probably only have one over levelled starter, but once you grow older and gain more experience, you begin to have a more balanced team that can hold each other up. This is the same with Ash, even if we don't see them, his training methods are obviously improving with the years, and this also applies to his reserves.
 

cricketlaxwolvesbandy

Down here salt is a way of life (I hate The Nuke)
The excuse that Ash can’t use his aces in the Masters 8 because he’d destroy everyone is stupid. It would be fun to see Ash steamroll everyone.
 

SerGoldenhandtheJust

Legends Arceus is a masterpiece & SV will be too!
While they definitely arent THE strongest, they easily would have the best feats of pretty much all the mons so hard to argue against them instead of blatant favouritism
Pikachu is definitely the strongest and if Lucario does beat Garchomp, hes easily the second
And everyone else isnt a joke either
Greninja, Infernape, Charizard, Incineroar, Lycanroc I can atleast see keeping up with them
Sceptile and Krookodile honestly not, they were undoubtedly Ash's strongest in AG and BW but never were shilled like an ace, could easily see Sirfetchd who imo is the weakest JN member outclassing them

Id rank it
Pikachu
M Lucario
Ash-Greninja
Dragonite
Charizard
Infernape
Incineroar
Lycanroc
Gengar
Dracovish
Sirfetchd
Sceptile
and then rest
 

DayQuil95

Well-Known Member
While they definitely arent THE strongest, they easily would have the best feats of pretty much all the mons so hard to argue against them instead of blatant favouritism
Pikachu is definitely the strongest and if Lucario does beat Garchomp, hes easily the second
And everyone else isnt a joke either
Greninja, Infernape, Charizard, Incineroar, Lycanroc I can atleast see keeping up with them
Sceptile and Krookodile honestly not, they were undoubtedly Ash's strongest in AG and BW but never were shilled like an ace, could easily see Sirfetchd who imo is the weakest JN member outclassing them

Id rank it
Pikachu
M Lucario
Ash-Greninja
Dragonite
Charizard
Infernape
Incineroar
Lycanroc
Gengar
Dracovish
Sirfetchd
Sceptile
and then rest
I'd honestly rank Charizard and Infernape above Dragonite. I mean, Dragonite is a beast, and an absolute monster when battling, but:

Charizard - Has a lot more experience than Dragonite, is fiercer in combat, and mixes the combat skills that he possesses more effectively than Dragonite, alongside better avoiding damage than Dragonite. Charizard is Ash's strongest Pokemon without gimmicks imo, and the experience factor should have him higher than Dragonite, even if Dragonite is outright stronger by a bit, think of something like Hulk vs Thanos.

Infernape - Same reasons as Charizard + Blaze being absolutely devastating and being basically a slightly weaker gimmick of himself.

Other than that, excellent ranking. But if I may ask, why is Sceptile so low? He's been consistently portrayed as an absolute powerhouse once he fully evolved, and most of his losses were attributed to him being the first ace that Ash fully trained by himself and his reserves rather than using methods like Charific Valley.
 

JustAStatistic

Super Casual Trainer
They're among his strongest. Regardless of your feelings towards their growth in strength, the members of the JN team are the only ones who have defeated confirmed E4+ level opponents.

I don't think they're alone at the top though. Based on the narrative respect Infernape and Greninja have been given in Journeys, with Infernape shown to be constantly training and seeking stronger opponents and blocking Gengar's misfired attack with little effort + Greninja making base Lucario look pathetic and then mentoring it, it's sort of implied that those two are on about the same level as Gengar and Lucario respectively.

Charizard should theoretically be on Champion level as well, but that's complete headcanon. Journeys hasn't given Ash's Charizard any focus, and the Moltres/Gary episode has the implication that Infernape has surpassed Charizard.

Sceptile I think is implied to be weaker than the JN team. Despite its impressive feat against Darkrai, it hasn't been given any focus or respect after DP (at least Charizard had a notable showing in BW) and Journeys' lab episodes haven't let it stand out in any way.

IMO, the top 8 would be Pikachu + Team JN, Greninja, and Infernape, in no particular order. Charizard and Sceptile would round out the top 10, but they would definitely be below the top 8.
 
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SerGoldenhandtheJust

Legends Arceus is a masterpiece & SV will be too!
I'd honestly rank Charizard and Infernape above Dragonite. I mean, Dragonite is a beast, and an absolute monster when battling, but:

Charizard - Has a lot more experience than Dragonite, is fiercer in combat, and mixes the combat skills that he possesses more effectively than Dragonite, alongside better avoiding damage than Dragonite. Charizard is Ash's strongest Pokemon without gimmicks imo, and the experience factor should have him higher than Dragonite, even if Dragonite is outright stronger by a bit, think of something like Hulk vs Thanos.

Infernape - Same reasons as Charizard + Blaze being absolutely devastating and being basically a slightly weaker gimmick of himself.

Other than that, excellent ranking. But if I may ask, why is Sceptile so low? He's been consistently portrayed as an absolute powerhouse once he fully evolved, and most of his losses were attributed to him being the first ace that Ash fully trained by himself and his reserves rather than using methods like Charific Valley.
Yeah Dragonite and Charizard/Infernape could go either way, but I expect Dragonite to perform well in Masters 8 so that automatically should push him above

As for Sceptile, I kindaaaa feel he's overrated. I mean he wasnt treated like an ace in AG necessairly, it wasnt until BF its strength was established with its arc of losing powers and regaining them and then beating Spencer. Thats a great feat but pales in comparison to Dracovish taking out Angrynite and Drasna's Noivern + whatever it accomplishes in Masters 8, same with Sirfetchd and Gengar
Now before you bring up Darkrai, I really dont think Sceptile alone should be given the credit for that tbh, considering he only landed like 1-2 leaf blades on him, with gible and heracross putting in their fair share of work as well. I can see why people would disagree though
 

Lord Godwin

The Lord of Darkness
Yeah Dragonite and Charizard/Infernape could go either way, but I expect Dragonite to perform well in Masters 8 so that automatically should push him above

As for Sceptile, I kindaaaa feel he's overrated. I mean he wasnt treated like an ace in AG necessairly, it wasnt until BF its strength was established with its arc of losing powers and regaining them and then beating Spencer. Thats a great feat but pales in comparison to Dracovish taking out Angrynite and Drasna's Noivern + whatever it accomplishes in Masters 8, same with Sirfetchd and Gengar
Now before you bring up Darkrai, I really dont think Sceptile alone should be given the credit for that tbh, considering he only landed like 1-2 leaf blades on him, with gible and heracross putting in their fair share of work as well. I can see why people would disagree though
Sceptile almost defeated Regirock and have the final blow to Darkrai.

I see an argument it being above Infernape as outside beating half od Paul's Team including Electivire he did not have a similar fest.

But maybe it's only me.
 

SerGoldenhandtheJust

Legends Arceus is a masterpiece & SV will be too!
Sceptile almost defeated Regirock and have the final blow to Darkrai.

I see an argument it being above Infernape as outside beating half od Paul's Team including Electivire he did not have a similar fest.

But maybe it's only me.
The Regirock battle to me didnt seem close, Torkoal honestly seemed more closer to beating Registeel then Sceptile against Regirock
Infernape narratively was treated as an ace throughout DP, as you mentioned his feats against Paul and also Volkner, and then how he's portrayed in JN.
 

GLTSRY

Unova Ace Oshawott
Yeah Dragonite and Charizard/Infernape could go either way, but I expect Dragonite to perform well in Masters 8 so that automatically should push him above

As for Sceptile, I kindaaaa feel he's overrated. I mean he wasnt treated like an ace in AG necessairly, it wasnt until BF its strength was established with its arc of losing powers and regaining them and then beating Spencer. Thats a great feat but pales in comparison to Dracovish taking out Angrynite and Drasna's Noivern + whatever it accomplishes in Masters 8, same with Sirfetchd and Gengar
Now before you bring up Darkrai, I really dont think Sceptile alone should be given the credit for that tbh, considering he only landed like 1-2 leaf blades on him, with gible and heracross putting in their fair share of work as well. I can see why people would disagree though
I mean Darkrai healed himself after taking the Megahorn and I doubt that Gible’s Rock Smash did anything, but yeah, he wasn’t handled that well. The writers made him a punching bag for the entirety of AG and then tried to undo the damage done with the battles against Spencer and Tobias, so I can see why some people are skeptical about him.

Like you said, the JN mons definitely have the better, or at least more consistent, feats.
 

Ishiftyounot

The Meme Supreme
Plot wise the pokemon will be as strong as the writers want them, logic wise they have the better feats so yeah they are the strongest.
I think this is the answer - scaling is dumb in this series (and in general) because the writers will make whatever Pokemon they want seem strong and capable of beating whoever without major regard for previous battles. There's no real consistency. It's been an "issue" (if you consider it as such) since long before I even started watching the series. Honestly it's better to just enjoy the battles for what they are and try and focus less on "should they be capable of this?" which sucks for people who want justification for x Pokemon's strength, but what can you do?
 

Yce288

Grass type FTW
The writers dont want Ash's JN team to be overshadowed by his old Pokemon.
if some of you watch Yu-Gi-Oh ARC-V then you should understand because when characters from past series were brought back, the ARC-V original characters were overshaowed by them.
 
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