The initial impetus of Pokemon came from the catch-phrase, “Gotta Catch ‘Em All.” Catching as many Pokemon possible and consequently completing the Pokedex, became a common goal for trainers in the core series.
But Ash’s primary objective was never to capture every Pokemon in the world. He wanted to be a Pokemon Master – a concept that remains unclear to this day among Pokemon fans. Nobody really knows what does it actually mean to become a Pokemon Master.
Ash has been to 8 regions so far, and honestly, his journey over the past 24 years has been a trip. We’ve seen him win, love, conquer; we’ve seen him grow up without aging, and being the one constant in a series that seems to have no end.
While I can’t say much about his final goal, I do have some thoughts on his current one. Does the current Alolan Champion have what it takes to defeat Leon and become a World Champion?
Will Ash Defeat Leon? Will Ash Become the New Monarch?
Ash will defeat Leon. But whether or not it’s in the context of the Pokemon World Coronation (PWC), depends on what precisely the vague Pokemon Master title means, and if the franchise wants to indeed move on from Ash in Gen 9.
The entire season has been hyping up the rematch between Leon and Ash. Defeating Leon has been Ash’s overarching goal since Sword and Shield began.
If Ash doesn’t fulfil a goal that he sets for himself, he will lose credibility as MC. And this, of course, cannot happen, since Ash is the face of Pokemon.
The fandom pretty much lost it when Ash was defeated by Tobias and Alain, despite being more than capable of winning. Ash is now more experienced than he ever was, with an uber amped up roster; so it does make sense for him to be able to beat Leon.
When Leon and Raihan are congratulating each other after their battle, Ash literally interrupts a conversation between these two top Trainers, and tells Leon that he will eventually beat him to take his place as Number #1.
Ash says, “I’m the only one who can beat Leon and become the strongest Pokemon trainer!” I mean, it’s pretty evident that the creators are foreshadowing Ash’s victory. Unless that’s just what they want us to think.
To defeat Leon in the World Coronation Series and snatch the title of Monarch, Ash would have to face old foes he has lost to before, like Cynthia, and new ones he hasn’t faced, like Raihan.
Even if Ash defeats everyone else, he’s going to have a hard time beating the unrivaled Monarch Leon in the structure of the PWC. I know we all want to see Ash’s Pikachu beat Leon’s Charizard, and there’s a good chance that might happen, just not in the PWC Finals.
Ash could also beat Leon in a match that’s not counted in the PWC. But I have to say, this would be quite anti-climactic, given that Ash’s journey in Pokemon Journeys has been all about winning the World Coronation Series.
What will Ash’s Team be Against Leon?
Currently, Ash has a solid team with Gigantamax Pikachu, Mega Lucario, the ultimate Ghost-type Gengar, the fossil Pokemon Dracovish, the Galarian Sirfetch’d, and the Gen 1’s strongest Pokemon, Dragonite.
But Ash might need a little extra power given how strong the series is building Leon up to be. This is assuming that we get a 6v6 like the original, and not a 3v3, or worse, a 1v1. If it’s the latter, there’s no discussion, because it’s gotta be Pikachu vs. Charizard.
If it’s a 3v3 and Ash only uses his current Galarian Pokemon, I think he might go for Dragonite, Dracovish, and Pika. If we get a 6v6, which I think we should, Ash’s ultimate team should have some of his older Pokemon as well as a Legendary.
The thing is, the series is called Sword and Shield, which refers to the mascot Legendaries, Zacian and Zamazenta. Ash has never caught a Legendary Pokemon. It would be seriously amazing if Ash captured one of them and used it on his team during his battle with Leon.
Obviously, Pikachu would have to deal the most damage, but having a Legendary on there would definitely up his game. Ash getting a Legendary isn’t too farfetched either, what with Goh catching Suicine.
So, if it’s a 6v6, Ash’s team should have: Pikachu, Gengar, Charizard, Dragonite, Dracovish, and Lucario.
Ps…As much as I want Charizard to be replaced by Zacian, it seems unlikely.
Additionally, we must remember that Leon isn’t the only opponent in Sword and Shield. Now that we know Cynthia is coming back, we need to see Ash use some of his older “Oak’d up” ‘mons to defeat her.
If we get a rematch with Paul and Alain, I’m confident Ash can slam them with his Pokemon who’ve spent years training and getting stronger. How about Ash-Greninja? Infernape? Bulbasaur? They’d definitely show his all-time rivals who’s boss.
I wouldn’t be mad if Ash busts out Sceptile, Lycanroc, or hell, even Snorlax to battle with him in Galar. It’s also confirmed that Ash is getting a Rillaboom/Grookey. He can use it in a fight with Raihan, along with Mimey, so he’ll have a type advantage against Raihan’s Dragon dominated team.
Also, if Ash doesn’t use Charizard in his fight with Leon, he should definitely use him against Raihan’s Duraludon. How cool would it be if Ash learns how to control that Dynamax band and can Gigantamax his Charizard? Then Raihan would lose, just like he did with Leon.
Should Ash Defeat Leon?
This is a tough one. The fanboy in me is shouting “YES!”, but rationally speaking, I could make multiple arguments stating otherwise. For one, Ash shouldn’t defeat Leon because that way, his quest remains unfinished, and he can rightfully retain his position in the Pokemon franchise.
If Ash defeats Leon, there are very few ways that he can logically sustain the narrative. Unless there’s a plot twist that gives us something more major than the PWC, like something that ties Ash to Gen 9’s Arceus plotline.
Another way it would make sense, is if the meaning of Pokemon Master turns out to be something more than just “the strongest Trainer in the world.”
It could mean something along the lines of “master,” as in, “guru,” which would enable Ash to stay on in a teacher position, where Trainers look up to him and seek to be like him, not because of his strength per say, but because of his relationship with Pokemon.
I will be thrilled if Ash defeats Leon. I will be thrilled if Ash doesn’t defeat Leon.
Ash will remain a Champion no matter what. At the risk of sounding sappy, whether or not he becomes the Pokemon Master, Ash will always be the master of the Pokemon franchise, and our hearts.
That being said, I can’t wait for the final showdown!
Pokémon was first released in 1996 and is set up in a world where humans catch monsters and store them in pocket-sized poke-balls.
They are creatures with an affinity to certain elements and some superhuman abilities related to that element.
Revolving around a teenage boy Ash Ketchum, Pokémon takes us through his journey to becoming the most accomplished Pokémon trainer the world has ever seen.Originally Written By Epic Dope