Ironically, despite Cynthia going full power with her switches and and trying to bewilder Ash, I felt Ash struggled more against Steven. The battles ranged from decent to above average (so this is already in the upper tiers of JN battles). Dragonite vs Spiritomb and Pikachu vs Gastrodon were my least favorite of the lot, favorite was Pikachu vs Spiritomb. I also see that Gengar got the same heart attack syndrome as Aggron, looking fine and then collapsing.
It was a decent start to this 3 parter but the next two episodes will really need to knock it out of the park for me to put this episode in the top 5 of all time (and to wash away all the previous JN negativity)