Ash Ketchum’s 10 Best Gym Wins

With his cunning intellect and maturity, Ash Ketchum has had some great Gym wins in Pokémon.

Fans of the Pokémon anime series will always have mixed opinions on Ash Ketchum and his capabilities as a trainer. He has had his fair share of disappointments, from embarrassing defeats in Gyms and the Pokémon League to other missed opportunities. However, he has also shown incredible tenacity and maturity in particular situations and battles.

It may have taken him until the Gen VII Sun & Moon series of the anime to win his first Pokémon League, but he has collected stacks of Gym Badges that prove his capabilities. Some of his wins in Gym battles have been lucky or rather disappointing. Yet, there have also been several instances of him showing cunning intellect and maturity with his strategies and application.

10 His Decimation Of Wattson Cannot Be Ignored Despite Its Luck And Absurdity

Ash’s victory over the Mauville City Gym Leader in Hoenn is one of the most shocking Gym battles of the entire anime. It is also one of the worst battles for its build-up, subsequent ease in victory for the challenger, and the nature of Ash’s win. Pikachu becomes supercharged after destroying a mechanical Raikou, and it takes this power into the Gym battle with Wattson.

Pikachu tears through Wattson’s Voltorb, Magnemite, and Magneton with relative ease, surprising everyone. Wattson gets an ounce of redemption by winning their later rematch, but it doesn’t scratch this defeat from the record. Ash’s Gym challenges are almost always hard-fought battles, but this is an outlier and the quickest he has ever beaten a Gym Leader.

Ash Reignites The Fire Within Volkner And Is Rewarded With An Exciting Battle

Electric-type Gym Leaders don’t always put on a good show in the anime, but Sunyshore’s Volkner certainly does. He takes Ash to the limit during their World Coronation Series match in Pokémon Journeys, but they also battled during Ash’s Sinnoh Campaign.

The Eighth Wonder Of The Sinnoh World shows their battle after Ash and Flint try to reignite Volkner’s passion for battling. Ash’s Torterra and Volkner’s Jolteon are knocked out with no reply, but their other Pokémon all excel in this battle. Electivire and Pikachu look good, but the final clash between Luxray and Infernape is where things really heat up. Infernape manages to gain control of its Blaze ability, making for an intense exchange and finale.

An Inventive Application Of Dawn’s Contest Move Helps Ash To Overcome Fantina

Ash’s official rematch with Fantina, the charismatic Ghost-type specialist, is mainly remembered for the introduction of Ash’s Counter Shield strategy. Having struggled with Fantina’s Pokémon utilizing Hypnosis in their initial bout, Ash draws inspiration from Dawn’s training in devising the move.

Buizel executes the move to perfection against Fantina’s Gengar, but Ash has to adapt when the Gym Leader figures out how to penetrate it. It is a strategically intriguing contest that allows Buizel and Chimchar to shine, even if Pikachu disappoints on this occasion.

Ash’s Charizard Steps Up To Vanquish Blaine’s Magmar

Ash’s rematch victory over the Fire-type riddle-loving Blaine is regarded as one of the more memorable Gym battles of Ash’s entire Pokémon journey. Not only is it redemption for his dismal display in their first bout, but it is the first real chance to see Charizard fight.

Charizard’s disobedience is a real issue for Ash throughout his Kanto journey, but it puts the attitude to one side when it deems Magmar a worthy opponent. Charizard shows its battling potential and gives Ash hope that he might be gaining his Pokémon’s trust, but it only proves to be a temporary fix. Regardless, Charizard’s victory over Magmar is exciting, albeit relatively short.

The Unique Bout Against Juan Is The Perfect Preparation For The Hoenn League

Ash’s Gym battle against Sootopolis Gym Leader Juan will always be remembered for its unique structure. This is a concept that many fans wish would be utilized more often in Pokémon. Their 5-on-5 battle consists of a double battle held in a large swimming pool, followed by 1-on-1 bouts on a battlefield. The winner is decided when either trainer is left with no more Pokémon.

It is a true test for Ash in preparation for the Ever Grande Conference, one that he passes with flying colors. Pikachu and Corphish triumph in the double battle, with them both also picking up singles victories over Milotic and Luvdisc respectively. Swellow and Grovyle also feature in an impressive warm-up for the Hoenn League.

Wulfric Tests Ash To The Point That Prepares Him For The Kalos League

Ash’s rematch against Wulfric is a hugely defining moment for his entire Kalos campaign. Not only is the Snowbelle Gym Ash’s eighth and final stop before heading to the Kalos League, but it also sees his Pokémon shine in the process.

Pikachu is able to overcome the surprising challenge of Bergmite, while the Avalugg that previously tore through Ash’s team is taken out by Talonflame. Even Ash’s connection with Greninja holds up on this occasion, as it’s enough to knock out Wulfric’s Mega Abomasnow. This is an impressive rematch improvement, but also one of Ash’s best performances in general.

Pikachu Digs Deep And Overcomes Korrina’s Mega Lucario

Ash and Korrina have had plenty of battles spanning their friendship with varying results each time. Ash may lose the initial battle to Korrina’s Lucario, but by the time they have their official Gym battle, they are both fired up. From here, an entertaining exchange ensued.

By this point, Lucario has learned to control its state when utilizing Mega Evolution, making it even more formidable than before. It takes out Hawlucha and Talonflame after they have eliminated Mienfoo and Machoke. This sets up an intense final face-off between Pikachu and Mega Lucario, with Pikachu pulling off the upset with a huge victory.

Clemont And Ash Have An Electrifying Gym Battle

Ash’s Kalos traveling companion, Clemont, is revealed to be the Electric-type Gym Leader of Lumiose City. It is always implied that Clemont is a capable trainer, and this simply adds to the anticipation leading up to his inevitable Gym battle with Ash.

Their ensuing clash doesn’t disappoint. Pikachu and Hawlucha manage to get past the very different approaches from Clemont’s Bunnelby and Heliolisk respectively, but his Luxray changes the game. It takes Ash’s Goodra coming into its own to put a stop to Luxray’s rampage. The battle is intense but still feels like a friendly competition with two friends putting it all out there.

Ash’s Battle With Clair Has So Many Moving Parts Making It One Of The Best

Ash’s battle with the Blackthorn Gym Leader Clair is one of the best of Pokémon, and certainly one of the most satisfying. Ash sees how dangerous Clair’s Kingdra can be in their initial interrupted battle, so he changes his approach going into the rematch.

Snorlax tires out Kingdra and picks up the win before falling to Clair’s Gyarados. Pikachu then picks up a win over Gyarados. The final face-off is between Dragonair and the returning Charizard. Not only is Dragonair versus Charizard an exciting back-and-forth, but it helps to make Charizard look strong just in time for the Johto League.

The Double Battle Against Olympia Is Intense And Compelling

There are plenty of entertaining Gym battles throughout Ash’s Kalos campaign, but his double battle with Olympia is among the best. Double battles aren’t always clean and fluid in the anime, but this one has it all. It is given considerable time to present Olympia as a formidable opponent, with a hard-fought resolution and eventual victory for Ash.

Frogadier and Talonflame join forces against the two Meowstic belonging to the Anistar Gym Leader. They have to deal with Future Sight, both opponents utilizing their abilities and plenty of tricky moves. However, with help from Ash’s Pikachu counting and advising on when to move to avoid Future Sight, the teamwork eventually pays off with an exceptional victory.

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