Arriving in Icirrus City, our heroes are awed and amazed at the Icirrus City Gym—the battlefield is solid ice! After welcoming them, Brycen accepts Ash’s challenge and the two Trainers begin a three-on-three match. Brycen starts with his Vanillish, and Ash picks Krokorok.
When the battle starts to go downhill for the challenger, he switches Krokorok out for Scraggy, who’s participating in its first Gym battle! Scraggy has trouble on the icy battlefield at first, but thanks to its newfound aim with Focus Blast—plus its favorite move, Headbutt—Vanillish is defeated.
Then Brycen brings out his Cryogonal, whose speed proves to be Scraggy’s undoing. Next up is Ash’s Pignite, and this is when Ash’s unique battling strategy starts to appear: he has Pignite aim its attacks at the center of the rapidly spinning Cryogonal so it can’t deflect them! Pignite defeats Cryogonal, only to lose to the star of Brycen’s team: the fearsome Beartic.
It’s down to one Pokémon left on each side, and Ash brings out a slightly weary, but always determined, Krokorok. The combination of Beartic’s strength and Brycen’s brilliant strategies seems invincible, until Ash remembers a strategy Bianca used with her Emboar back at the Clubsplosion. He has Krokorok use Stone Edge, and when Beartic deflects the stones, Krokorok grabs them and counterattacks! Beartic is defeated, and Ash wins his seventh badge: the Freeze Badge!
Following Brycen’s advice, Ash decides to head to Opelucid City to battle for his eighth Unova Gym badge, which will qualify him for the Unova League!