- "Ash's Infernape and Aaron's Empoleon seemed all too ready to prove which of them is the best Sinnoh starter final form. Hold onto your hats, ladies and gentlemen. From what we've seen before with these two Pokemon, we're about to witness the most epic altercation between two of Sinnoh's starter Pokemon. Fire vs. Water!"—The commentator ending the chapter on a high note
The Sinnoh League conference has reached its grand finals. It's Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town, riding high off his victory against Paul, versus Aaron Shadow, who's looking to make it two titles in a row. The battle kicks off with Gliscor and Lucario and wastes little getting more intense. It ends with Lucario's willpower allowing him to beat Gliscor's Counter-Shield. Then, it's Staraptor's turn to steal the show, who knocks out Lucario and Skarmory and kicks around Empoleon. Aaron, however, regains control in the way only a strategist can. The battles rages.
This chapter contains examples of:
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Aaron once again demonstrates his tactician credentials. He comes up with the perfect counter to Staraptor using a heavily disadvantaged Empoleon, right losing his supposedly better counter in Skarmory, and improvising on one of Ash's own moves in a small amount of time.
- Adapted Out: Tobias and Darkrai are nowhere to be found. Aaron essentially replaces him as Ash's final opponent for the Sinnoh conference. Considering how contentious a character Tobias is, how awesome the battle between Ash and Aaron is, and this makes it the farthest Ash has gotten in a conference, it's for the better.
- Cliffhanger: The chapter ends with Ash's Infernape and Aaron's Empoleon about to face off.
- Dog Fight: Staraptor and Skarmory show off their power in an amazing aerial battle that goes all over the place.
- Final Boss: Aaron is the last obstacle of Ash's Sinnoh journey.
- Heroic Willpower: How else did Staraptor overcome the odds?
- Improv Fu: Empoleon's "Aqueduct" move was created literally on the fly, with the underground Flare Blitz Ash used against Paul as the basis.
- Not The Face: Empoleon is angered when Staraptor ends Close Combat with two talons to its face.
- Shout-Out: Lucario's Aura-Double Team seems lifted straight from Super Smash Bros..
- The Spock: Aaron is a man of logic and can't comprehend how Staraptor beat his Skarmory.
- Super Senses: Lucario uses Aura to pinpoint Gliscor in the middle of a Counter-Shield.
- Underdogs Never Lose:
- Aaron's Skarmory is a queen of the skies with, according to her, four or five years of experience and gives Staraptor absolute hell. Not to mention, she has total type advantage. Aaron used her specifically to shut down Staraptor. Naturally, Staraptor wills its way to victory.
- On the other hand, Aaron's Empoleon doesn't match up as well. Guess who's the one who ultimately took down Ash's Staraptor?