Crossing the Battle Line
Dawn has challenged Maylene, the Veilstone Gym Leader, to a battle that's scheduled for the next day. This gives both Dawn and Ash time to train—Ash and Reggie, Paul's older brother, are helping Staravia learn the Brave Bird move. Ash makes himself a moving target to help Staravia improve its concentration, a selfless move that surprises Paul's Electabuzz. That night, after all the training is done, Dawn discusses her Gym challenge jitters with Ash and Brock.
The following morning, the challenge begins: a three-on-three battle! Maylene starts with her Meditite and Dawn is so nervous she almost freezes, but Ash's cheering gets her back into the game. Dawn chooses Buneary; she's unused to this style of battling, but she can also use Contest-style moves to cover for her weaknesses. However, Maylene and her Pokémon move in perfect sync, and Buneary is no match for their power.
Dawn sends out Ambipom next, hoping to draw on the battle experience it gained with Ash. Ambipom defeats Meditite but falls to Maylene's next Pokémon, Lucario, which packs a powerful Bone Rush attack. Now Dawn has to rely on her trusty Piplup, surrounding Lucario with Whirlpool to try and get the upper hand. Lucario still comes out the victor, but the battle leaves both Dawn and Maylene excited about the battles to come. Now that Maylene is ready to resume her Gym Leader duties, it's time for Ash to finish teaching Brave Bird to Staravia so he can challenge Maylene himself...