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The Semifinals III: Valor (1213)


The episode was pretty good, obviously with the underdeveloped JN team and animation being solid especially for JN but not reaching the heights of XY, something about a certain fire-haired monkey being missing, it wasn't perfect and perhaps underwhelming for a battle that fans wanted for over a decade. Definitely wasn't expecting Dynamax Togekiss and I feel neutral about the decision, see what it does next week. Garchomp having 3 Dragon type attacks is questionable, but I can give them the benefit of the doubt as Scale Shot showcases an IoA move and resembles Stone Edge's old animation in the anime prior to the change in XY. The sneaky pebbles were a cool addition to Garchomp and could be used next week as its PLA version or how it would usually appear in the anime as an attack. And of course, the duck and fish got their redemption after their questionable Drasna battle and doing poorly in most other battles like Bea and Steven, which was heartwarming to see. I liked how Garchomp clearly faltered after that direct hit with the Meteor Assault - one gripe I had with the otherwise amazing Ash vs Kukui battle was that everyone made such a huge deal about Lycanroc hitting Incineroar with Stone Edge shards, when all the damage seemed to be a little pain done on Incineroar's arm. Anyways, Lucario should have a good chance to shine next week with some damage tacked on to Garchomp, and an entire episode next week should be enough time to prevent a situation like the Raihan battle where we were cheated out of an extended battle with Duraludon, as in the Pokémon who was showcased as being pretty equal to even Leon's Charizard but ended up getting G-Max Aura Sphere'd out of existence.
I got the implication that the reason why she decided to Dynamax Togekiss is because Sirfetch'd dealt a significant blow to her Garchomp and she wanted to make sure the ace she used her gimmick with was at full capacity. Remember Meteor Assault absolutely HURTS just in terms of raw damage and Garchomp clearly took a good brunt of it. After all, if she were to just Mega Evolve an injured Garchomp against a Mega Lucario there's a risk that it could get taken out quickly and then leave Togekiss (who is weak to Lucario's steel typing) at greater risk.

Dynamaxing Togekiss to lay on some serious damage on Lucario first (especially since Togekiss DOES pack moves that can leave a decent amount of hurt on it like Aura Sphere), and then bringing her ace back in to finish the job if Togekiss goes down sounds pretty solid to me.

On a side note: I'm waiting for the twist that her Togekiss is scarfed considering the air slashes she's spamming, lol.


Well-Known Member
Such a hype ep. Valor was defs referring to how Ash’s underdogs would stand up to Cynthia’s mons turn the tables for him. So many great strats from both ends like natural cure, clearing stealth rock, Milotic wrapping Dracovish and I’m glad none of the KOs felt cheap here. Sirfetch’d and Dracovish were the mvps and proved that they deserve to be here. Sirfetch’d in particular was so freaking awesome, I’ve been waiting for ages to see him finallly shine in a well written battle and I’m so happy he did! He’s been my favourite journeys mon for so long. He Glad everyone got a KO here

Ash also felt more more confident and determined to win this time. He wasn’t kidding when he said he’s gonna surprise Cynthia. She was so focused on taking out Pikachu that she underestimated the likes of Sirfetch’d and Dracovish and had to change her strats because of them. That damage Garchomp’s accumulated will pay off big time next ep. I love seeing Sirfetch’d and Lucario basically tag-team it like that, those 2 used to be rivals and it reminds me how Torracat and Lycanroc both battled Incineroar after each other

Overall an awesome ep, great soundtracks and some stunning shots shown throughout. This battle is shaping up to be really good, hope they stick the landing next week


Hylden General.
Best episode of the entire Masters 8 tournament. Dracofish and SirFetch'd were the stars of the Cynthia battle for sure.

Even if I knew Cynthia was about to DMAX Togekiss, I was still hyped. That Anime theme is just so good. Can't wait for the climax.


Be a Good Experience
+TRio encouraging Ash in their tough love way is easily my favorite part of these end of series tournaments. I’m a huge fan of them when they’re encouraging each other without being forced to work together.
+The Oak reserves. Wish they were here battling but glad to see them nonetheless
+Biting Dragon match. Two of my favorite Pokémon ever battling is always cool to see
+Cynthia’s menacing look just to tie into her enigmatic design
+Roserade having Natural Cure. Expected but still a nice touch.
+Dracovish just forcing its way through strong attacks to at least trade off and refusing to return to its Pokéball is always fun to see. I love characters who are just too stubborn that they have to get a hit in. Even TRio acknowledge how based it is
+The music that plays when Dracovish is fighting Milotic is very tense. Fits the mood perfectly
+I like that instead of Milotic being a usual special rank they made Cynthia’s go in close and take advantage of its serpentine body.
+Daimax bravery
+Brutal Swing being used a makeshift Defog/Rapid Spin.
+Acknowledge Sirfetch’d being a Pokémon associated with crits.
+Star Assault is such a cool name.
+Sirfetch’d going down while standing up. Reminds me of Incineroar after defeating Kukui’s. That type of resolve to prove a point is respectable.
+For as forced as this friendship is, it’s cute that they had Cinderace pop out to cheer Lucario on. Wish it and Inteleon were able to watch the entire tournament though.
+That tease with Infernape punching the air lmao

•I love when Cynthia does anything remotely similar to an actual strategy like Stealth Rock or Dream Eater/Hypnosis and people are like “omg she’s just like a competitive player” lmao
•How does Natural Cure work? Like I know what it does but how does the Pokémon going into its ball cure it?
•If only Disarming Voice was that strong lol
•What’s with the constant glowing with Milotic?
•With Meteor Assault’s animation being similar to Retaliate’s and Sirfetch’d’s bromance with Dracovish from the Drasna episode, I like to think that the finishing MA was powered up for Dracovish.
•The fact that they even entertained the idea of Sirfetch’d KO’ing Garchomp was cute.
•”One more Air Slash” while Togekiss sends out at least a dozen

-Stealth Rock is a waste of a move here IMO. Like sure chip damage but it’s minuscule at best. Removing it wouldn’t hurt the battle at all.
-Garchomp’s moveset in general is just a downgrade.
-Boo to Dynamax over Mega Garchomp

Overall a great battle. Sirfetch’d and Dracovish got to show off why they’re the best Pokémon on the team. I wouldn’t say Cynthia was nerfed but it did feel like she wasn’t pushing back as much as she did last week. Not a fan of how they handled Garchomp from its constant switching, Stealth Rock, redundant moveset, and not Mega Evolving. Will give Togekiss the benefit of the doubt but I have not found Dynamax impressive of fun to watch at all during Gen 8 for both the anime and games. Personally thought it was obvious she was going to Dynamax since the preview showed her standing in such an odd way but a shame that people got spoiled. I hope they land strong because I find most of Journeys’s battles to have mediocre endings. 9/10


You are awesome!
Irrelevant as Ash has none. Cynthia may have changed the moveset to fit this battle.
I kinda doubt it lol. Cynthia is no Leon or his Charizard who changes attacks like you change clothes. I just wish somewhat more diversity. Ironically Lucario and Garchomp kinda have the same issue.


Well-Known Member
This really was the best episode of M8 and possibly one of the bwst JN episodes overall.

The animation was super clean. Dracovish vs Roserade felt so fluid. That poison jab felt so imactfull. And that dragon rush through leaf storm was amazing.

Sirfetchd did amazing as well. Meteor asault felt super clean and fluid.

I am so glad that they finally have stopped treating ashy boi like an underdog.

My only complaint is about what could have been with the reserves and all but yeah, this was still a great episode nonetheless.


Kaleido Star FOREVER in my heart <3
Nice episode
Highlights of this ep are diantha commenting on the battle and TR cheering for Ash


Shirona, my beloved...
They tried to replicate the Ash vs Paul battle at the Sinnoh League but couldn't quite get there.
That one of the things I realized when I looked at the SR more deeply.
Swear it feels like if someone thought "Hey, Paul used Toxic Spikes on the his battle with Ash. Let's make Cynthia use Stealth Rock too since that's an entry hazard too. How? When? Who cares just make her do it! People will clap because it is a Paul match reference!".
And in contrast with how Toxic Spikes were a major player during that match instead the Stealth Rocks looks dumber and dumber the more you think about them.

Cynthia wasted a moveslot on Garchomp so now it has a moveset only with Dragon moves. Isn't that oh so very convenient for the dog? What a coincidence!
Cynthia threw Stealth Rock like a bit after the half of the match when the only other two remaining Pokemon of Ash are resistant to them, one resisting it x4 at that too.
Cynthia throwing Stealth Rocks at all against Ash who's not switching his Pokemon around like at all.
The Stealth Rock only affected one single Pokemon at all and then got promptly removed. And sure, the scene looks cool and all, but when you realize the only other Pokemon that could have been affected by them anymore at this point is Lucario it's like "why even bother?".

They were genuinely pointless. Completely shoehorned in as a cheap Paul battle reference and to also shoehorn an scene of Ash "outside of the box thinking" (Please ignore how all the KOs Ash got through the episode were by just unga bunga'ing and unga bunga'ing through his opponents attacks he's still totally all about muh surprise because he did that honest.).

The scene of Ash removing them really lacks impacts when you realize how little effect the rocks had on the battle and it just makes Cynthia looks plain dumb with how late she set them up.

An easy fix could have been Cynthia throwing the rocks turn 1, then turn 2 putting Dragonite to sleep and voila. Remember all that stupid "discussion" from last week? Now it doesn't happen at all.
Now Ash has to decide if to bet on Dragonite to wake up then and now or risk switching her out knowing that she'd take big damage from the rocks and will be still asleep too.
Would also explain Ash barely switching at all during the match too since he'd be trying to avoid rocks damage too while also making Cynthia's freedom to switch and constant switching have even MORE impact.

Which is freaking weird because all Cynthia said in the other battle is she wants to reach the top and now she’s explicitly fighting with Ash to feat Leon

Something I find very awkward is that Ash and Cynthia aren’t even happy they’re battling each other. Cynthia quite frankly said she hyped fighting Ash so she can fight Leon. Not be the monarch, fight Leon. And so does Ash.

They literally just consider each other obstacles to fight Leon which is vastly different from him wanting to challenge her in DP
If you'd told people 10, 5 years ago that Ash and Cynthia would finally fight one another and they wouldn't care that they're fighting one another at all because they just wanna fight the next dude they'd call you insane. What a sad timeline we live in indeed.

I kinda doubt it lol. Cynthia is no Leon or his Charizard who changes attacks like you change clothes. I just wish somewhat more diversity. Ironically Lucario and Garchomp kinda have the same issue.
Actually, Gastrodon has a completely different moveset this battle than the one it had during the fight with Iris.
And Garchomp has had Dig, Brick Break and Flamethrower in the past too, for example. Giga Impact too. And most recently it had Sandstorm on PM83 too.


Well-Known Member
now this is a masters 8 battle

  • my main complaint with a lot of the battles in journeys is how stiff some of them are. this was NOT one of those
  • not one pokemon in this battle from either side was a jobber
  • sirfetch'd is my favorite pokemon of ash's current team. it is forever GOATed after it's performance here
  • dracovish put in work
  • stealth rock served its purpose. i legit forgot she set it up lol. when sirfetch'd came out i was like "wtf just happened" for a second
  • loved brutal swing serving as a pseudo-rapid spin
  • togekiss is so smug and i love it. took a barrage of super effective bullet punches and just came out of it smiling lmao
  • cynthia's strategic battle style has been a joy to watch
  • love all the different game mechanics displayed in this battle- status conditions, abilities, entry hazards, combo moves. the only one they maybe missed was meteor assault's recharge turn. but they showed it as taking very long to charge up, so maybe that's what they were going for. instead of sirfetch'd not being able to move after the attack, it can't move before the attack, which works just as well imo
  • love it when team rocket cheers ash on
something that would have made this battle even cooler than it already is, would if sirfetch'd had retaliate. they already set up a bond between him and dracovish. so retaliate would have been perfect since he came out right after dracovish went down

Next ep's preview looks so good!! Cant wait to see Cynthia's play with Dynamax Togekiss, if they go the boosting stats and then baton pass route, I am going to be SO happy!! A boosted dynamax stats Garchomp versus an already damaged Mega Lucario would be hype and would definitely shut up those who say Cynthia nerfed herself by not going for the Mega option!!
that'd be hype asf. max airstream from air slash, max knuckle from aura sphere, max guard from baton pass to stall the last turn. then once the dynamax ends, baton pass to garchomp- basically giving it dragon dance

if that happens, let's just hope lucario learned life dew or drain punch. he'll need it lol


Well-Known Member
I wish they used the same intro music for Garchomp from the Iris battle in this episode. It was clearly being portrayed as an absolute monster and the pinnacle of strength in that episode. Here it was just kinda like oh hey, here's your completely ordinary Garchomp ready to battle lol


Well-Known Member
Would be a little corny doing that twice in a row, especially when the battle isn’t the climax this time
Being corny should be the least of JN's concerns lol Agreed though, it'd be kinda odd since it wasn't the climax of the battle (Edit: It could've been if she just MEd Garchomp and swept the rest of Ash's team o_O)