A Triple Fighting Chance
Dawn's Veilstone Gym challenge has restored Gym Leader Maylene's confidence, so Maylene is now ready to accept Ash's own Gym challenge. Their 3-on-3 battle starts with Maylene's Machoke battling Ash's Staravia—Ash is clearly banking on using Staravia's type advantage, but Maylene's Machoke has learned to use its Fighting-type moves for defense as well as offense. Still, Staravia wins the battle without too much fuss and moves on to battle Meditite.
Meditite hits Staravia with Confusion, so Ash switches in Chimchar. Again, it's not long before Meditite hits it with Confusion; Ash brings Staravia back now that its Confusion has worn off. He takes this opportunity to show off Staravia's new move, Brave Bird, which knocks out Meditite. When Lucario steps up to the plate, Ash banks on Brave Bird once more, but Lucario knocks Staravia out with Metal Claw. Ash brings in Chimchar, but even Chimchar's Fire-type moves don't slow Lucario down. Soon Chimchar is unable to battle as well!
Now it's time for a real showdown: Lucario vs. Ash's Buizel, a matchup between two Pokémon who live for battling. Their fight blows the roof off the Gym and that's what makes all the difference—even with its newly learned move, Water Pulse, Buizel is starting to flag until rain begins to fall through the new hole in the ceiling. Now Buizel's Swift Swim Ability kicks in, boosting its speed and keeping it in the game. The two go head-to-head once more: as the dust settles, they both faint, ending the match in a draw. But because Maylene has the right to award a badge if she chooses, she gives Ash the Cobble Badge in honor of a great battle!