Ash may not have beaten the Hoen Pokemon League. He and May set their sights on Kanto to qualify for the Battle Frontier and Kanto Grand Contest. I’ve picked out every significant event, such as Pokemon evolutions, contests, and battles, for this Pokemon Battle Frontier guide. As an O.G. Pokemon fan, I’ve seen Ash travel all across the Pokemon world and seen him win and lose battles.
I’m a big fan of the Pokemon Battle Frontier Season as it takes the group back to Kanto and pits Ash against some of the most brutal trainers and Pokemon he has ever fought. Seeing many third-generation Pokemon in the Kanto region is excellent, giving the show a much-needed breath of fresh air. Moreover, the season has very little filler, with events feeling impactful and consequential.
Bottom Line-Up Front
Fresh from the defeat of the Ever Grande League, Ash decides to challenge the Battle Frontier in Kanto. With a new goal, Ash and May must battle harder than ever against some of the most challenging battles. The Battle Frontier is an excellent season of Pokemon, as I felt that the season perfectly captured the post-game content and atmosphere of the Battle Frontier in Pokemon Emerald and Platinum.
In the end:
- Ash defeats the Battle Frontier and travels to Sinnoh with Pikachu and Aipom.
- May travels to Johto on her own to participate in the Pokemon Contests.
- Brock returns to Pewter City but joins Ash later in Sinnoh.
Guts Symbol – “Wheel of Frontier“
Closing Advanced Battle with Ash’s first Battle Frontier victory, Battle Frontier is jam-packed with high-level Pokemon battles. In the “Wheel of Fortune” episode, Ash must fight Greta, a Fighting-type Pokemon master.
Greta admits she admires Chuck and Brawly, and Ash feels confident that he will win as he’s beaten this gym leader. Brock tries to ground Ash, but I understand why Ash would feel this way. Unexpectedly Ash sends in his Growvyle and Snorlax. Most trainers would avoid a pick as Ash’s Normal-type Snorlax is at a considerable type matchup disadvantage.
Growyle’s Super Speed Isn’t Enough
The match starts, and it’s Growvyle versus Hairyama, a pretty interesting fight if you ask me. Greta immediately goes in for the kill with Arm Thrust, but Growvyle’s agility is super fast as it jumps in to attack with Bullet Seed. However, the attack has little effect when Hairyama protects itself with Arm Thrust.
It sounds like cheating to me. Growvyle does a great job of avoiding Hairyama’s attacks. However, just like the Mountain and Oberyn in Game of Thrones, it only takes one hit to get through before Growvyle is smashed into the ground.
Growvyle isn’t so easily knocked out, though, and Ash uses its superior speed to fire off a quick attack followed by a Leaf Blade to deal significant damage. However, Hairyama strikes back, and it’s all over. A Focus Punch launches Growvyle into the ceiling. Tumbling down to the ground, Growvyle is knocked, leaving Snorlax left.
Don’t Mess with Snorlax
The fight just turned into a sumo wrestle. Hairyama gives Snorlax no quarter, but Ash orders Snorlax to use Protect. Hairyama strikes Snorlax quickly, but Snorlax just stands there, absorbing the hits into his big belly. Ash keeps calling Snorlax to Protect, but an attack gets through.
Feeling confident, he looks to end the fight with a Focus Punch, but Snorlax dodges at the last second, and Hairyama hits the ground hurting it significantly. Ash quickly follows up with an Ice Punch that freezes and knocks Hairyama out!
Medicham is sent out and carries out an array of attacks at Snorlax. It’s Snorlax’s turn to be frozen as Greta orders Medicham to launch a barrage of Ice Punches into Snorlax. Frozen in a tomb of ice, Ash orders Snorlax to use Rest as Snorlax recovers, and Medicham chips away at the ice hell-bent on finishing him off.
However, Snorlax awakes in the nick of time and orders Snorlax to use Hyper Beam on the ground. This catapults Snorlax into the air. Snorlax, whose mass is now akin to a rail gun projectile, is plummeting towards the ground, striking Medicham with a Body Slam knocking it out on impact and ending the match.
Tactics Symbol – “Tactics Theatrics!!”
If you’re a fan of the Pokemon games, then you’re probably expecting a spooky and reserved episode. However, that’s far from what you’ll get in “Tactics Theatrics!!” The episode starts with the trio arriving at the Battle Dome, and the paparazzi are everywhere.
Countless journalists swarm Ash and ask him about the upcoming fight with Tucker. Ash enters the battle dome to a sea of fans and spectators, but they’re not for him.
Tucker comes flying down, and the crowd goes wild. It’s revealed that the match will be a double battle, and Tucker sends in an Arcanine and a Swampert. Ash sends in Corphish and Swellow, hoping to capitalize on their typings. As the match starts, Tucker proves that he’s no facade.
Swampert and Arcanine work as a team defending each other from attacks. Ash tries to use Double Team, but it proves ineffective; next, he tries to use Swellow to outspeed Arcanine with Aerial-Ace, but Arcanine is just too fast for Swellow.
The crowd applauds and watches Tucker’s Pokemon in awe as Swampert helplessly beats Corphish. The situation is dire; if Ash keeps it up, he will lose. He realizes that Tucker’s Pokemon are an incredible team working to defend each other, as both Pokemon counter their weaknesses.
Corphish and Swellow Dream Team
At this point, Ash’s biggest mistake is that he’s in a single-battle mindset. Each time he attacks, he focuses on one Pokemon and fails to react to Tucker’s move synergy.
It looks like the battle is over when Swampert and Arcanine combine water and fire to trap Corphish and Swellow, dealing massive damage. However, it’s not over yet, and Ash mixes up his tactics. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a flying lobster! Ash orders Corphish to jump on the back of Swellow, now basically a turret.
Arcanine charges up a Fire Blast, but Corphish atop Swellow extinguishes it in an explosion of mist. Arcanine and Swampert stay vigilant but fail to dodge Swellow and Corphish as they swoop in for the final blow knocking them both out simultaneously. Not so fancy now, are you, Tucker?
Luck Symbol – “Queen of the Serpentine!”
The gang greets Lucy and her sisters, but a chance of a match is quickly blown over, just like Brock’s love life when he tries to flirt with Lucy. Lucy’s sisters declare that the Battle Pike is closed for the day. However, Brock works his Charm, and Lucy falls for him and grants Ash a battle.
Donphan VS Serviper
In probably the strangest battle and strategy yet, Lucy uses no defensive moves, carelessly taking hits. The match starts with Lucy sending out Serviper and Ash sending out Donphan. Scott is surprised that Phanpy has evolved and thinks Donphan is an excellent choice against Serviper due to its Ground typing. Ash wastes no time getting stuck in and orders Donphan to Take Down Serviper. However, Lucy counters it with a Poison Tail.
Lucy orders Serviper to Bite, but Donphan uses Defense Curl followed by a Rollout. A failed Hyper Beam later looks like Donphan is taking a few hits. Despite this, Donphan closes in on Serviper with another Rollout but is engulfed with a Flamethrower. Unphased, Donphan keeps rolling and uses the fire to deal extra damage to the serviper.
Lady Luck and the Milotic
Next, Lucy sends out a Milotic and launches a Water Pulse knocking Donphan out. Ash retaliates by sending out Pikachu to deal with the Water-type Pokemon. Honestly, everything about this battle is odd, as Serviper could have stood a much better chance if it had fought more defensively.
Not to mention the arena’s small pool of water that can barely hold Milotic. It gets weirder, though, when Ash orders Pikachu to fire a Thunderbolt, and Lucy just stands there and lets her Milotic get hit by a bolt of lightning before ordering Milotic to attack with a Hydro Pump. She gains no advantage from letting Milotic get hit.
The Hydro Pump is a direct hit, and one of Lucy’s sisters states that Lucy doesn’t waste time with defense. I thought this was funny a brief minute ago. Brock explains that it won’t be easy for Pikachu if Milotic has defensive moves. Lucy will need a bit of luck from that Luck Symbol if she wants to win this fight.
Lady Luck Runs Out
I may eat my words, though, as Frontier Brain Lucy fights back with Hydro Pump, Iron Tail, and Twister to deal some severe damage to Pikachu.
It looks like Pikachu is in trouble. However, a Volt Tackle hits hard and paralyzes Milotic. Wasting no time, Ash sends Pikachu to attack again, but Milotic strikes back with Facade, an attack that doubles in power if a status effect afflicts the user.
It seems like the odds have turned in Lucy’s favor until Ash has an idea. He orders Pikachu to Thunderbolt itself, and everyone is left wondering what the hell is going on. Milotic fires out a Twister, and Pikachu dives into the vortex; it begins to spin and accelerate towards Milotic. Pikachu uses Milotic’s power against it, knocking it out in one decisive attack.
Spirits Symbol – “Ka Boom with a View!”
Ash fights against Maven Frontier Brain of the Battle Palace, but the area is anything but a palace. Maven is an old man. Old he may be, but he has a fighting spirit that would topple even the best Pokemon trainers. The rest of the gang spectate from a hot air balloon.
Lord of the Jungle, King of the Forest
The match is a three-on-three battle Maven starts by sending out a Shiftry, and Ash answers with Sceptile. Maven orders Shiftry to run for the jungle, followed by Maven, Ash, and, Sceptile. Scott thinks it’s cool to see Sceptile and Shiftry battle in their natural habitat, and I agree.
The games have tried to implement this into battling with field effects and terrain; however, I think it still needs some work as the anime, especially the “Ka Boom with a View!” shows this off perfectly in the next scene.
Ash and Maven follow behind Shiftry and Sceptile, shouting commands as both Pokemon run through the jungle. They come across a waterfall, and Shiftry uses the old Double Team trick to confuse Sceptile and follows it up with a Shadow Ball. This knocks Sceptile into a pool of water below, and before it can get out, Shiftry lands a Rock Smash pushing it back under the water.
It looks like Sceptile is down and out until it appears atop the waterfall, to Maven’s astonishment. Ash uses its height advantage and surprises Shiftry with a Pound followed by a quick Leaf Blade.
Return of the Nectar Loving Heracross
Maven applauds Sceptile for climbing the waterfall, catching Shiftry off guard. Maven is my favorite of all the Frontier Brains, as he’s so chill and is just sharing his good vibe energy.
He sends out Venusaur, and Ash recalls Sceptile and sends in Heracross, thinking Maven would have a Venusaur. It’s been a long time since Heracross has had a battle, so it looks primed and ready.
That is until it spots the giant flower on Venusaur’s back and starts chowing down that sugary nectar. Venusaur whips Heracross off in confusion, and Ash apologizes, saying that Heracross likes nectar. Maven laughs and replies saying that if he were a Heracross, he’d do the same.
The ensuing battle is no laughing matter, though, and Heracross goes in for the kill with its Horn Attack, followed by a Fury Attack. Venusaur does well to defend its attacks until Heracross strikes it with a Mega Horn, and it gets launched back into the tree. Maven’s attention is elsewhere, catching fruit as it falls from the tree. He orders Venusaur to use Solar Beam; before Heracross can interrupt, it gets blasted and knocked out.
Good Guy Maven
Ash sends in Swellow, but before the battle starts again, Maven decides to have a mid-battle snack. He throws some fruit over to Ash, Swellow, and Pikachu and sits down. Relaxed and loving life, Maven chows down on his food mid-battle, the absolute mad lad. Ash, Swellow, and Pikachu look at each other in confusion but take a break too.
After the short picnic, the battle resumes, and Ash and Swellow sprint and soar towards the ocean to escape the forest. This is a good idea as the beach will provide a vast open space for Swellow to out-maneuver Venusaur. On the beach, Swellow makes quick work of Venusaur, and Maven sends out Claydoll as his last Pokemon. Swellow gets knocked out, and Sceptile finishes Claydoll off!
Ability Symbol – “Second Time’s the Charm!”
Ash is defeated in his first battle with Anabel, and it’s no surprise what you can do against a telepathic Frontier Brain. Yes, telepathy.
Anabel can talk to her Pokemon through her mind allowing her to give commands and leave Ash guessing what move is coming. In the previous fight, Anabel’s Alakazam single handly takes out Corphish and Tauros, and Pikachu is swiftly dealt with by Metagross.
The second battle goes very differently despite Ash using the same Pokemon. The match starts, and it’s Anabel’s Alakazam versus Corphish. They begin to fight, and Corphish does a great job landing attacks. However, Alakazam blasts it, and Corphish becomes confused. Ash is ready for this and quickly recalls Corphish and throws it back into the fight, curing its confusion. Corphish knocks out Alakazam, and Anabel sends in Metagross, who quickly takes out Corphish.
Ash sends in Tauros next, and the two go head to head, slamming into each other and knocking them out. Anabel is down to Espeon, her best Pokemon, and Ash sends in everyone’s favorite electric mouse. They fight, and Pikachu is launched into the air breaking the lights in the Battle Tower arena.
Ash uses the darkness to his advantage as Anabel’s telepathic commands are useless in the dark. Pikachu wipes Espeon out, winning Ash the Ability Symbol!
“Talking a Good Game!” and Second Time’s the Charm!” are interesting episodes that explore the abilities of humans in the Pokemon world. Something that is rarely addressed in the series.
Brave Symbol – “Pace – The Final Frontier!”
Earning the Brave Symbol is no small feat, as Ash would discover losing to Brandon multiple times. The third time would be different, though, as Ash changes up his team significantly, and my nostalgia senses tingle. Ash gets the band back together with Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Charizard, and Pikachu in “Gathering the Gang of Four.”
Ash, losing to Brandon twice, has another opportunity to win the Brave Symbol and holds nothing back. However, Brandon has changed his strategy to calling for a four-on-four battle. The battle starts, Brandon sends out Dusclops, and Ash sends out Charizard.
It’s great to see Charizard in battle again. However, Ash probably should have saved his best to last as he mistakenly orders Charizard to use Seismic Toss, which is ineffective against Dusclops. Brandon uses this to his advantage and catches Charizard off guard with a Shadow Punch, and Charizard is down for the count!
Bulbasaur the Mighty Onion
Bulbasaur is the true MVP of the match. Using Leach Seed Bulbasaur drains Dusclops health while inflicting a volley from Razor Leaf. Dusclops tries to fight back, but it fails to keep up with Ash’s little onion friend and is defeated. Ash recalls Bulbasaur thinking he will need him for later.
Brandon sends in a Ninjask, and Ash sends in Squirtle. The battle is a spectacle to watch as Squirtle fends off Aerial Ace with Rapid Spin. The two continue to clash, and Squirtle tries to land a hydro Pump, although it fails to hit. The little gangster ain’t done yet, and Skull Bashes Ninjask knocking it out instantly.
Brandon sends in Solrock and decimates Squirtle with a Solar Beam, a move that Ash did not expect. He sends Bulbasaur back in, and the two have a tense battle. With a burst of Razor Leaf, Bulbasaur relentlessly attacks, but Solrock confuses him, and he is thrown into Ash’s arms.
Ash snaps Bulbasaur out of confusion with a short pep talk, and Solrock and Bulbasaur unleash a devastating ray of sunlight at each other, with Solar Beam knocking each other out in the process.
Down to One
Down to one Pokemon each, Ash sends in Pikachu, and Brandon reveals that he has recently caught a Regice. It’s a tough match of legendary Ice-type Pokemon VS a small electric mouse. The round starts, and it’s a scary situation for Ash as Brandon uses Regice’s immense power to turn the arena into a glorified ice rink with deadly ice spikes.
Ash is in trouble as Pikachu struggles to adjust to the new arena, while Regice flourishes in its element. Pikachu lands a few attacks and has dealt decent damage to Regice. However, Regice traps Pikachu between two ice columns, and Brandon uses this time to heal Regice with Rest. With Regice recovered, it goes in for the kill, but Pikachu breaks free and strikes Regice with a Volt Tackle knocking it out.
Ash claims the Brave Symbol and is granted into the Battle Frontier Hall of Fame by Scott. Moreover, Scott asks Ash if he would like to become a Frontier Brain, but Ash explains that he wants to keep adventuring as there are so many people and Pokemon to meet.
The Kanto Grand Contest
Pokemon Battle Frontier not only follows Ash’s daring challenge of the Battle Frontier but also follows May on her quest to win the Kanto Grand Contest. The Contest attracts only the best Contest Coordinators, as participants have to win five ribbons to enter. May wins every single contest bar, the Wisteria Town Contest. However, she is defeated by Solidad in the Kanto Grand Contest but finishes in the top four.
- Silver Town Contest – “Weekend Warrior.”
- Wisteria Town – “Harley Rides Again.”
- Chrysanthemum Island – “Spontaneous Combusken!”
- Gardenia Town – “What I Did for Love!”
- Mulberry City – “Going for Choke!”
- Terracotta Town – “Once More With Reeling!”
The Terracotta Town Contest is my favorite of the season as an unofficial match; it’s just for fun, and Ash and May decide to participate, going head to head for the first time ever in a Pokemon Contest. It’s an excellent way to conclude Ash and May’s Hoen adventure.
May uses Eevee and Combusken against Ash’s Pikachu and Sceptile. It’s a spectacular battle, and I must say May’s Eevee is very cool! Using Shadow Ball. May takes the lead for the first round, which is expected to be the most experienced Contest participant.
However, the Contest is cut short as Team Rocket makes an entrance. Combusken has had enough and evolves into Blaziken to Blaze Kick Team Rocket into oblivion. With this little divergence, the Contest continues, and spectators watch in awe as Sceptile and Blaziken fight.
Evenly matched, both Pokemon wear each other down, and their Overgrow and Blaze abilities take effect, increasing the power of Grass-type and Fire-type moves. Blaziken launches an Overheat and Sceptile Solar Beam. The two moves meet in the middle and go nuclear. It’s revealed in the following episode that Ash and May draw the Contest.
Sinnoh on the Horizon
Sinnoh is on the horizon for Ash as Pokemon: Battle Frontier wraps up. In the concluding episodes, Ash and May contemplate their defeats in “The Unbeatable Lightness of Seeing” and ponder which direction they should take their Pokemon adventure.
Ash considers traveling to Sinnoh, and Harley and Drew suggest she travels to Johto to participate in more contests. However, May rejects this idea and would rather travel with Ash. A pleasant surprise to Ash, Professor Oak appears and hands Ash gifts from Tracey and Misty and a postcard from Gary that ignites his Pokemon passion.
In a change of events, May reveals in the season finale, “Home is Where the Start Is!” that she will travel to Johto alone to find her own battling style. May explains in a previous episode that her battling style is very similar to Ash’s. Brock returns to Pewter City but will be back to join Ash in Sinnoh.
Ash Says Goodbye
Now alone, Ash makes his way back to Pallet Town, where Professor Oak, Tracey, Delia, and Gary surprise Ash with a party. Ash challenges Gary to a battle but loses as usual, and Gary explains that he will travel to Sinnoh to learn more about Pokemon, sparking Ash to do the same.
Ash says farewell to everyone and heads to Sinnoh with Pikachu; well, almost everyone, as Team Rocket is not far behind. Aipom follows shortly after and catches up, Ash brings Aipom with him to Sinnoh, and just like that, Ash completes the game kinda…
Pokemon Battle Frontier Anime Guide: FAQs
Question: What Pokemon Evolve in Pokemon Battle Frontier?
Answer: Many of the gangs Pokemon evolve in Pokemon Battle Frontier, such as:
• Brock’s Mudkip evolves into Marshtomp in “A Chip off the Old Brock.”
• May’s Pokemon Egg hatches into an Eevee in “Time Warp Heals All Wounds.”
• May’s Combusken evolves into Blaziken in “Once More With Reeling!”
• Ash’s Phanpy finally evolves into Donphan in “Reversing the Charges.”
• Ash’s Grovyle evolves into Sceptile in “Odd Pokemon Out!”
Question: What Pokemon Were Acquired in Pokemon Battle Frontier?
Answer: Only a few Pokemon were caught in Pokemon Battle Frontier, likely due to being the last Ruby and Sapphire season in the series, and Brock, May, and Ash’s team had grown and evolved. The gang still obtained the following Pokemon:
James acquired Mime Jr. in “Sweet Baby James.” when it activated one of James’s empty Pokeballs after James called it kind-hearted and thanked it for looking after his Chimecho when it fell ill.
Brock caught a Bonsly in “From Cradle to Save” when Brock and the gang train at a Pokemon Ninja School.
Ash caught an Aipom in “Channeling the Battle Zone” Ash later traded Aipom with Dawn for a Buizel.
Question: Can you Change the Difficulty Level in Pokemon Games?
Answer: A difficulty level is a highly desired feature as many fans believe that the Pokemon games are becoming too easy from Exp, Share spreading to all party members, and being able to switch out your team without using a computer. Currently, only Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 feature a difficulty level that can be accessed from the Unova Link.
No More End-Game Content Left
In conclusion, I highly recommend Pokemon Battle Frontier as it has many fantastic battles. When fighting in the Battle Frontier, I get that end-game or post-game power creep felt in Pokemon Emerald and Platinum. Humbled by the loss of the Hoen League and Grand Contest, Ash and May are given a new challenge to test their capabilities.
I like how the show quickly moves on from the two competitions to two new ones, as Ash and May’s recent defeats mean that the gang of heroes become even closer as they try to support each other in achieving their goals. The show isn’t all serious, however, as there are a ton of laughs along the way.
It’s wicked to see Grovyle finally evolve into Sceptile, becoming one of Ash’s strongest Pokemon, but it’s even sadder when Ash leaves his Pokemon for new adventures in Sinnoh. However, this does make sense. Also, James and Mime Jr. is just the sweetest thing yet! Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this season.
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