On their way to the White Ruins, Ash, Iris, and Cilan meet a wayward Mareep and an Ampharos who’s trying to get it back to its flock—without much luck. They soon meet a girl named Ellie, who brings them to Floccesy Ranch, where her grandfather raises the Pokémon. Ampharos is the guardian of the Mareep flock, but it lacks confidence, and the Mareep don’t pay much attention to its directions.
Ellie says she’s been trying to teach Ampharos a more powerful move, ThunderPunch, to give it a bit more authority, but it hasn’t been going well. Iris remembers that her Dragonite knows ThunderPunch and asks it to be Ampharos’s coach! Dragonite is reluctant at first but quickly warms to the task, showing a surprising degree of patience when Ampharos just isn’t getting it.
The Team Rocket trio are lurking nearby as usual, plotting to steal the Mareep to power their Pikachu-catching machine. They lure a few away with an electric beam, and when Ellie realizes they’re missing, our heroes go with her to look. But they quickly run into a dense fogbank and have to give up the search—until Ampharos uses its light to cut through the fog, revealing Team Rocket and the missing Mareep! The battle begins, and Ampharos finally masters ThunderPunch, sending Jessie, James, and Meowth blasting off again.
Now that Ampharos has proven itself and rescued the Mareep, they’ve started to respect it, and Ellie’s grandfather decides Ampharos is a proper guardian after all. Knowing the ranch is in good hands, our heroes resume their journey to the White Ruins!