- "Throughout all of my battles, including this one, I try my best to analyze my opposition's abilities and skills. I deduce the best possible approaches and counters so that I can proficiently battle. I train my Pokemon so that they can utilize the various strategies to answer their opponents. It sounds tedious, but as you can see, it works. That's what a strategist does. But, above all that only works if I stay calm. A mad mind is a clouded one. No one is able to think properly when they let adversity claim them. My Pokemon and I are able to execute our strategies because we don't get mad when things don't go as planned! We stay levelheaded!"—Aaron, explaining his philosophy to a distressed Ash
Infernape and Empoleon face off. Both sides hit each other with all they have, their trainers reflecting their resolve in their commands and actions. The whole crowd gets into it as well. It comes down to Blaze and Torrent showdown and ends in a Double Knockout. After a short break to give everyone time to collect themselves, the battle resumes with either trainer on even footing. Yet, Aaron proceeds to gain commanding lead with the surprise power of his newly evolve Bastiodon, leaving Ash shaken. Aaron lectures him, and this manages to bring Ash's spirits up, even in the face of grim odds. This battle is rapidly reaching its climax.
This chapter contains example of:
- Crazy-Prepared: Aaron analyzed Ash's tactics before and during this battle. He crafted the Shock Wave Shield to address almost all of Bastiodon's weaknesses. His Empoleon pulls out all the stops in its fight with Infernape, including using excess water in an attempt to shut down Blaze. Face it, Aaron Shadow might as well be the Most Triumphant Example of The Strategist.
- Determinator: Ash is down to only Pikachu against Bastiodon and two others. Is he going to give up? Not a chance.
- Double Knockout: Ash's Infernape and Aaron's Empoleon stalemate after a hard-fought battle on both ends.
- Fire/Water Juxtaposition: Infernape is the final evolved form of Sinnoh's Fire-type starter while Empoleon is that of the Water-type one. Fire and water clash repeatedly during their duel and use their best moves against each other. Even better, their elements reflect their trainer's personalities.Commentator: But now it seems even! I can say for sure that the two Pokemon out there now represent the most outstanding properties of their trainers. Aaron's Empoleon, just like water, representing the flowing and collected mind that Aaron possesses. Ash's Infernape, just like fire, representing the compassionate and undying will of fire inside Ash's heart.
- Logical Weakness: Bastiodon is heavy and lacks mobility. Based on their performance in the Sunyshore City Contest against Ian, and with the nature of its newfound evolution in mind, Aaron devised the Shock Wave Shield to protect Bastiodon against Fragile Speedsters and Lightning Bruisers and if it somehow gains air.
- Make Sure He's Dead: Aaron's Magneton suggests he K.O. Infernape for good while it's down. After all, the referee never declared Infernape unable to battle.
- Mentor Archetype: Hinted all throughout the story but reaches a head when Aaron lectures Ash before the final phase of their battle.
- Precision F-Strike: Aaron mutters his first and only line of profanity when he realizes how badly he screwed up. It's "crap," by the way.
- Sphere of Power: Bastiodon's Shock Wave Shield surrounds it in a 'globe' of yellow electricity from the ring that encloses Bastiodon. Electricity moves around in this 'globe,' forming three intersecting ellipses. Basically, it's a bug zapper for anyone other than Bastiodon.
- Stone Wall: Bastiodon's nature as this is referenced in one of Aaron's explanations. It proves him absolutely right.Aaron: A Bastiodon's statistics say that it's defensive, so what kind of Steel-type trainer would I be if I just let those capabilities go to waste? The Shock Wave Shield is a strategy that lets Bastiodon endure tougher attacks and assaults. You could say it's a protective barrier.
- Super Strength: Your biggest clue Bastiodon is a total beast now? A single Iron Head sends Torterra flying and flat on its back.
- Took a Level in Badass: Remember that apathetic, rather lazy Shieldon Aaron owned? It's a Bastiodon now, and it creams Ash's Torterra and Buizel in a Curb-Stomp Battle apiece.
- Turns Red: Infernape's Blaze and Empoleon's Torrent.
- Worst. Whatever. Ever!: Aaron berates himself for forgetting about the underground Flare Blitz, and right after making a move based on it no less, with the following: "Worst Brain lapse Ever."