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The episode begins with some waves crashing against a seawall of a small port city. The scene then cuts to the streets near the ocean where Ash is in about to start a very heated battle. Ash is using Torkoal while his opponent is using a Scizor. The trainer starts off by telling Scizor to metal claw on Torkoal, but Ash counters by having Torkoal launch a flamethrower. Scizor dodges efficiently and lands on the ground. It remains there for all of a second before pushing itself back into the air. Ash's friends are impressed with its quick dodging abilities and skill.
Ash's opponent then orders his Scizor to use hyper beam. The crimson Pokemon opens both its claws and launches two sets of beams that travel towards Torkoal. Ash has Torkoal withdraw into its shell and the attack just bounces off. Ash gives some sort of peace sign to his friends who seem a little embarrassed by his overconfidence. The opponent tells Scizor to strike with metal claw and its claws begin to glow. Ash thinks fast and tells Torkoal to launch an overheat. The large flame is fired and Scizor is struck hard; causing shock to its trainer. Ash smirks as Scizor falls to the ground unable to carry on.
Brock raises his hand exclaiming that Ash is the winner as Scizor is unfit to battle any longer. Ash thanks Torkoal and then recalls it into its Pokeball. The trainer approaches and compliments Ash on his great battling skills. Ash does the same and then the two trainers shake hands. A man sporting a pirate-like outfit is leaning against a wall nearby and listening in on this. It is Drake, the Dragon Master of the Elite 4.
Meanwhile, somewhere in the city, Jessie is busily sweeping away inside a small restaurant. James, dressed as a waiter, walks by and begins to yell at Jessie. James wonders why they have taken a part time job at this stupid restaurant and Jessie informs him that they need the cash if they want to continue their campaign against the twerps. Meowth comes out of the kitchen sporting a chef's outfit and wonders what the commotion is. Jessie begins to recall simpler times where they didn't have a care in the world about money and twerps. James agrees and looks to his Chimecho hovering near him for comfort. The three begin to look out at the quaint sea when suddenly the door comes crashing open.
Drake walks in with a very serious face. Jessie welcomes him to the restaurant but explains that the regular staff has taken the day off. Drake says he'll take a seat anyway and walks to a nearby table. James approaches and Drake orders some hot milk with a small amount of sugar. Team Rocket is confused by this and Drake states that it better taste as good as the regular chef's does. Team Rocket is very intimidated by him and reassure him that it will be out of this world.
Ash and co are now walking through the streets when they come upon the restaurant. May is excited and wants to take a break there for lunch. The group agrees and they all sit down at one of the outdoor tables. May mentions how great the battle was earlier and Max decides to add to it. He explains that Torkoal was at a type advantage and so Ash had a better chance of winning. Ash declares that he would of won regardless of the type advantage and Brock tells him not to be so overconfident. Ash says he can beat any trainer that challenges him and Max seems a bit unsure.
James approaches to take their order with Chimecho at his side. He notices who they are and suddenly becomes very nervous. The group doesn't seem to recognize him and ask what is wrong. James assures them that he's all right and that he has to check on something in the kitchen. Before they can reply, James rushes off back inside the restaurant. Inside, Drake takes a sip of his hot milk and then notices Ash and co outside.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Jessie seems shocked that the twerps are there. James is in agreement. Jessie then suggests that they use this time to snatch Pikachu again. Meowth cuts in, saying that they have to do it without the intimidating man out there noticing. Jessie and James wonders why and Meowth has a vision of the three of them rushing to nab Pikachu only to be socked sky high by Drake. Jessie and James decide it's not the best of times to do it and seem nervous.
Outside, Ash and co have recently received some orange juice. May is in love with it and Brock asks her about her next contest. May explains that she plans on training with her Pokemon for it very soon. Suddenly, Drake interrupts her saying that it is very important for a coordinator to pick the right partner Pokemon to use during the contest. May thanks him and Max suddenly recognizes this man as Drake, one of the best battlers in the Elite 4. Everyone is shocked and Drake seems amused that they have heard of him.
Inside, Team Rocket watches from the window and are now more intimidated then ever. They decide that it would be very bad to go through with the plan at this moment. Drake turns to Ash and mentions that he watched his battle earlier today. He compliments Ash on his battling skills; adding in that Ash's timing in matches is amazing. Ash is honored and then introduces himself as his friends do the same. Drake then offers the group an invitation to his boat which they all accept right away. Suddenly, Jessie appears from nowhere saying how lovely it would be to go on his boat. Everyone is a little embarrassed by her self-invitation, and James is shocked. He grabs her and pulls her down. James wonders what the heck she is doing and she explains that it'll be the perfect time to snatch Pikachu. James thinks it's a bad idea but Meowth interrupts. He explains that they'll have an entire ocean to use as an escape and Drake will be powerless to stop them.
Ash asks what they are whispering about and they jump up exclaiming that they are just really excited about going on a boat. (Everyone still thinks they are waiters, not Team Rocket.) Drake doesn't seem to like this idea, but after some begging, he agrees but only because he enjoyed the hot milk. Team Rocket thanks him and breathe a sight of relief. Drake leads everyone to the docks where he waits staring out to sea. Everyone seems very excited to see his boat. Suddenly, from the ocean, a huge pirate ship heads to port. Its sails stand tall and it shines magnificently. Everyone is shocked by its beauty. A man with green hair waves to the group from the ship. He is the only one not wearing pirate-like clothing. Drake turns to Max and explains that that person is his top student.
The group boards the ship and the crew says their hellos. Brock is in awe at the size of the sails. Max then cuts in, pleading with Drake to show off some of his Pokemon. Ash wants to see them too, but to his surprise, Drake is more interested in having a match with the young teen. Ash is shocked at first, but he quickly accepts. Max and Brock are not so sure about this and Brock tells Ash to rethink his decision. Ash seems confident though which Drake picks up on. He tells his crew to prepare the ship for the battle as Team Rocket realize the chance to nab Pikachu is at hand.
Drake and Ash each take a side of the deck and one of the crewman acts as ref. He signals for the match to start and Ash's friends wish him luck/ Drake starts things off by sending out a Shelgon. Ash responds by sending out Pikachu. He seems confident that Pikachu's speed will give it a major advantage over the slow Shelgon. Pikachu starts things off with a thunderbolt which scores a direct hit. Everyone is excited, but Brock points out that Drake doesn't seem nervous in the least. Pikachu starts up another thunderbolt, but Drake orders Shelgon to close the gap between it and Pikachu with double-edge. As the thunderbolt heads towards it, Shelgon begins to glow and runs towards Pikachu. May and James make some comments about the match as this goes on, and then a comment that James looks familiar makes him nervous, but May still doesn't know who he is.
Ash has Pikachu leap out of the way of the double-edge as Drake watches with a steady disposition. Ash's friends are wondering how Drake plans to make a hit, but his student remarks that Drake finds a way to exploit weaknesses. Ash knows that thunderbolt does not do enough damage, and so he has Pikachu rush at Shelgon with iron tail. Ash's friends realize the mistake by the way Drake remains calm. They yell for him to call it off but it's too late. When it comes into close range, Shelgon launches a dragon breath to blow the Pokemon back. Drake then orders a dragon claw and the shell Pokemon's hand glows. It strikes Pikachu hard and sends it straight into the deck. Pikachu is no longer to battle and the crewman ref declares Shelgon the winner.
Everyone is completely shocked at the turn around of the match. Pikachu was faring so well, but it just ended with one wrong move. Ash picks up his injured Pokemon and apologizes to it. He then begins to stare at the calm Drake. Max and Brock are in awe at how strong Drake and his Pokemon are and the student agrees. He explains that Drake knew Ash would try a close range attack sooner or later, and when that happened, Pikachu's speed would be of no use. In this sense, he remarks that Drake's strength comes from the fact that he finds his opponents weakness and exploits it. Ash's friends are in awe by this and decide to see what happens next.
Drake explains to Ash about his mistake of coming in to close. He then changes things up by releasing an Altaria. Ash looks up at the sails and then sends out Grovyle. Max is shocked that Ash would use a grass type against a flying type, but Drake's student interjects. He explains that Ash is actually using his head. He tells the group that Ash knows Altaria has the advantage of using the sky, but Ash can also use Grovyle's acrobatic climbing ability to keep with Altaria by jumping on the sails. Ash's friends are shocked that he thought of this and turn back to the match.
Ash has Grovyle climb the sails up to where Altaria is flying. He orders a bullet seed, but the calm Drake tells Altaria to dodge. It hides behind one of the wooden poles holding the sails and the seeds just bounce off. Brock mentions that though Ash had a good strategy, Drake is also using the battlefield to his advantage. Ash orders Grovyle to use leaf blade and it hops onto the sails and around the pole. To its surprise, Altaria is not there! Drake orders a take down and Altaria smashes into Grovyle from the sky above. Grovlye grabs onto the sails to stop it from falling, but a dragon breath from Altaria knocks it off. Grovyle lands hard on the deck and everyone gasps. Drake tells Ash that he must be in the right mind set for the match. If he is, he'll be able to exploit the weakness of his opponent and not show too much overconfidence. Ash takes this information in and the match starts up again.
Drake tells Altaria to use sky attack and it begins to dive down with flames covering its body. Ash thinks fast and has Grovyle dodge with quick attack. It then comes down for a leaf blade but Altaria dodges with agility. Now above Grovyle, Altaria launches a massive solar beam sending the reptilian Pokemon through two barrels and into a wall. It hits the deck unable to battle and the ref declares Altaria the winner. Ash runs to his Pokemon, but Drake picks it up before he reaches it. Drake tells Ash that Grovyle should be taken to the Pokemon Center and he agrees. After recalling it, Ash puts his head down in shame.
Drake places a hand on Ash's shoulder and tells the teen that he battled very well. He tells Ash that he has a great ability to think of quick escapes, and Ash thanks him. Drake then mentions that all Ash has to do is use that quick thinking to find his opponent's weakness, and he'll have no trouble winning. He then offers the group an invitation for dinner on his ship and they all happily accept. May holds a recovered Pikachu in her hands next to Jessie and James. Jessie places some rubber gloves on and then James offers May a glass of orange juice. She accepts it but as she reaches for it, Jessie snatches the mouse Pokemon and the three Team Members book it to the edge of the boat. They jump overboard where their balloon is waiting and float up. They say their motto as usual; taking off the waiter disguises as they do.
Drake is enraged that they would even try to steal a Pokemon. He tosses up a Pokeball releasing a strong Salamence; shocking everyone. It uses dragon claw on the frightened Team Rocket's balloon causing Pikachu to fall onto the dragon's back. Drake then orders a flamethrower; frying the Rockets and sending them blasting off again. Everyone is shocked by the Salamence's strength and May looks it up in the Pokedex. Ash knows that this is the real power of an Elite 4 trainer.
That evening, Ash and co enjoy a stew on deck with Drake and his crew. May and Max exclaim how good it is and Drake seems amused. Drake then begins to explain to Ash that battles have their wins and loses. He remarks that with each loss a trainer grows and can learn to cover weaknesses for future battles and also exploit opponents'. He then tells Ash to not worry about winning or losing and just keep on battling stronger and stronger opponents. That way, his overconfidence will not get the better of him and he can focus more on the battle at hand. Ash thanks Drake and tells him that he will keep that in mind when battling. He then tells Pikachu that they should work on that and it agrees. Now with new advice from a great Elite 4 trainer, Ash can once again resume his quest to dominate the Hoenn League...
Thanks To GoldenNoctowl For Writing this for us
378: Vanity Affair!
378: Seaman! Enter The Elite 4 Drake!
Ash Battles the Elite 4 Member Drake