Ever since his first adventures in the world of Pokémon, Ash Ketchum has been one of the best-known and most popular anime characters. The adventures that he and his Pikachu, along with their friends, have had are known around the world and fans of the anime series still patiently wait for each new episode. And while Pokémon is much more than just the fights, one of the most interesting and thrilling parts of the anime are Ash’s battles against the Gym leaders in each of the regions and his final participation in the region’s Pokémon League.
Although Ash always managed to collect all the badges and generally had a lot of success in the league format, he actually had little to no success in the actual finals. In today’s article, we are going to discuss Ash’s victory in the Alola League, i.e., his first official victory in a region’s Pokémon League. Want to know all the details? Keep reading!
Adapting well to the Alolan format, Ash indeed won his first-ever Pokémon League competition, being crowned as Alola’s champion. He defeated Gladion in the final match.
Today’s article is going to focus on Ash’s journey to the Alola League finals and his ultimate victory. We are going to examine how exactly Ash achieved his first-ever Pokémon League victory and what impact that victory had. Enjoy!
How did Ash reach the Alola League final?
The Alola Islands are, like the whole region, very specific. The game version of the Alola League system was quite different from the anime one, although neither systems had an actual Gym-based Pokémon League format like the previous regions. In the games, the player had to challenge and defeat the Alolan Elite Four, which consisted of four trainers like the previous Elite Fours. But, as there are no Gyms in Alola, the player had to fight and defeat the four Island Kahunas of each major Alolan island before getting the chance to battle the Elite Four.
In the anime, though, even that system was not used, although the island challenges remained and Ash did battle each Island Kahuna during his adventures but that wasn’t really connected to the Alolan League competition, which the anime renamed as the Manalo Conference. The Manalo Conference, founded by Professor Kukui, started off with a grand 151-trainer Battle Royal.
For those of you who are not familiar with the concept, a Battle Royal is a game mechanism introduced in Pokémon Sun and Moon, where four trainers fought each other simultaneously, each trainer battling against all the others at the same time. The anime modified the concept to include a total of 151 trainers.
In the Manalo Conference, the preliminary round Battle Royal started off with a total of 151 trainers and was fought until a total of 16 trainers were left. The best 16 out of the 151 advanced to the actual tournament’s first round. This was completely different from any previous region’s League system and here is what it looked like:
Ash, of course, survived the preliminary round and advanced to the tournament. The first round and the quarterfinals were fought in a one-on-one single battle system, with the opponents being determined randomly by a computer. The semifinals was a two-on-two single battle, while the finals was a three-on-three single battle. The winner was crowned champion and got the opportunity for a full-on exhibition match against the Masked Royal, actually Professor Kukui. Here is Ash’s road to the finals:
|Round||Opponent||Pokémon Used (Ash)||Episodes Fought|
|First Round||Faba||Meltan||“Battling Besties!” (1069)|
|Quarterfinals||Hau||Rowlet||“Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Strategy!” (1071)|
“Battling on the Wing!” (1072)
|“Getting Down to The Ire!” (1075)|
“The Wisdom Not to Run!” (1076)
|“Final Rivals!” (1077)|
“Enter the Champion!” (1078)
Now, let us examine Ash’s path to the finals of the Alola League.
Ash’s first-round match was against Faba, a strong Psychic-type user, and his Hypno. Wanting to win the league, Faba had cheated the previous night as he spied on Ash’s team wanting to see his weakest Pokémon. Judging it to be Meltan, he ordered Hypno to use his abilities to draw Meltan out on the battlefield, much to Ash’s surprise, thinking that he would surely win. Meltan tries to attack, but Hypno successfully avoids the attacks.
Faba orders Hypno to use Hypnosis on Meltan and while Ash orders his Pokémon not to look, Meltan happily jumps and latches on the Hypno’s pendulum, melting it with its body. By the time Hypno shook it off, the pendulum was rendered unusable. Ash used the moment and ordered Meltan to attack, which was enough to defeat Hypno; Faba protested, but Ash was ultimately declared the winner.
Ash faced Hau in an intense quarterfinals battle, where Ash’s Rowlet fought Hau’s Decidueye. Rowlet was an underdog in this match and Decidueye had several advantages to its side. The two exchanged Grass-type moves, until Ash finally used his Z-Move but it was not very successful. Self-confident, Hau had Decidueye use his Ghost-type moves and his Z-move to defeat Rowlet, but Rowlet used its cloak to evade the attack, tricking everyone on the field.
Decidueye continued to fight and at one point, Rowlet was down on the floor, not moving. Hau was, at that moment, declared the winner by one judge, but the other corrected him, pointing out that Rowlet was merely – asleep. Ash ordered his Rowlet to wake up and finish the battle. After another trick, Rowlet got the chance to launch a direct attack at Decidueye, which was enough for Ash to win and advance to the semifinals.
Guzma, the evil leader of Team Skull, was Ash’s semifinal opponent and it’s redundant to even mention that Guzma’s victory might have caused more problems than him just defeating Ash. For his first Pokémon, Guzma sent out Scizor, while Ash sent out Torracat. In a *ick move, Guzma used U-Turn and returned Scizor, sending out his Golisopod. Still, Torracat managed to hold its own against Golisopod and forced the Bug Pokémon to do an Emergency Exist, which brought back Scizor to the field. But Scizor was instantly hit with Torracat’s strong attack and fainted immediately, resulting in Golisopod’s quick return to the field.
Golisopod continued with his aggressive style, poisoning Torracat and forcing Ash to return it. It was down to Ash’s last Pokémon and Ash chose Pikachu, despite his friend losing to Golisopod the last time they fought. Their rematch was quite intensive as Golisopod again demonstrated why it defeated Pikachu the first time they fought, but Pikachu managed to win this time, using Golisopod’s attacks against itself. This victory allowed Ash to go to the finals, where he would fight Gladion.
Does Ash win the Alola League?
Ash’s final Alolan battle was against Gladion in a three-on-three battle and it was, without a doubt, the best duel in the league. Both Ash and Gladion gave it their best and we can only agree that, this time, the better trainer won. Now, we shall see how the battle itself evolved.
Gladion’s first choice was Silvally, as Ash called out Melmetal. Ash told his Melmetal that the winner will be the one who strikes first, so his Pokemon takes the initiative and rushes forward. Melmetal turns to attack, hitting Silvally on the second try. Ash calls for another attack, though Silvally counters the attack with an aerial attack and jumps to the side to avoid another hit. Melmetal spins again, so Gladion orders a new counter.
Ash then orderd a Flash Canon, which knocks Silvally to the ground. Gladion opted for a different strategy, with Silvally zigzagging around to confuse Melmetal. The technique worked as intended and Silvally managed to land a strong attack. Gladion then equips Silvally with a Fighting Memory and transforms it into a Fighting type. When Silvally approaches with a Multi-Attack, Melmetal reacts with Flash Cannon. However, Melmetal’s attack misses its mark and is blown away by Silvally’s attack. Melmetal regains his balance and attempts another attack.
Silvally keeps its distance and sends an airstrike on its opponent. Melmetal takes the hit and sends Silvally back with a second hit. Ash commands a Flash Cannon and Melmetal ues it despite his apparent exhaustion. Silvally succeeds with its Multi-Attack first, while Melmetal falls to the ground, defeated.
Ash chooses Pikachu as his next Pokémon. Pikachu rushes forward, though Silvally just tilts its head to one side to avoid the Quick Attack. Ash orders an Iron Tail in quick succession, but Silvally intercepts the attack with its own. Gladion calls for an aerial attack, which Pikachu narrowly evades and performs a Quick Attack to escape its opponent. Silvally cornered it, so Pikachu tried a failed Electric attack. Pikachu throws another electric attack and rushes towards it, using the extra momentum to land an Iron Tail directly on Silvally. The surprise attack knocked Sivally out of the battle and the match was, once more, tied.
Gladion then sends out Lycanroc as his second Pokémon. Ash prepares Pikachu for its Counter, but is shocked when its uses Night Daze, a move Lycanroc cannot learn. Lycanroc rushes in to attack and slices Pikachu’s Electroweb with a Shadow Claw. However, the web only proved to be a distraction when Pikachu unleashed Thunder on Lycanroc. The attack reveals that Lycanroc was only an illusion as Mohn’s Zoroark is fully revealed to everyone.
Gladion calls on his father’s strength to guide him as he orders Zoroark to charge later in the finale. Zoroark uses Night Daze, but Pikachu counters with Thunderbolt. Gladion follows with Shadow Claw and Pikachu uses Iron Tail to block him. Zoroark then uses Shadow Claw and eventually hits its enemy. Pikachu managed to jump upwards in time and dodged another Night Daze, but Zoroark hits it with Shadow Claw as it descended onto the field.
Gladion activated his Z-Power ring so that Zoroark unleashes the Never-Ending Nightmare; the Z-Move plunges the arena into darkness, and a multitude of sinister hands pursue Pikachu. Although a loss seems inevitable, Ash orders Pikachu to counter with its own Z-Move. With Breakneck Blitz, Pikachu crashes through the wall and hits Zoroark. The two Pokémon collide with one another and both faint, leaving Gladion and Ash with only one Pokémon left.
The last battle was Lycanroc versus Lycanroc, a battle through which both Gladion and Ash wanted to settle an old score. The battle was intense as the two Pokémon were of equal strength and each of them dealt one heavy blow after another. Ash’s Lycanroc finally managed to defeat Gladion’s using Counter, knocking its opponent into the wall, after which it fainted. Ash was declared winner and thus won his first Pokémon League in his career.
What episode did Ash win the Alola League in?
The final battle for the Alola League was a two-part event that started in episode 1077, “Final Rivals!” (1077), and ended in the next episode, “Enter the Champion!”, where Ash’s Lycanroc defeated Gladion’s Lycanroc, allowing Ash to claim his first ever Pokémon League title and to become the inaugural winner of the Alolan Pokémon League. This is the episode from the original anime:
What impact did Ash’s victory in the Alola League have?
Well, since Ash left Alola very soon and Pokémon Journeys changed the concept of the show, something we have already talked about in complete Pokemon watch order, this historical moment had no major impact on the anime series. It went down in history as Ash’s first Pokémon League win but it didn’t really have much influence on later events, nor did it influence Ash’s career in any major way, beside proving what we had already known – that Ash is one of the best Pokémon trainers in the whole series!
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!