Ash and Professor Kukui find the wild Rockruff who lives with them limping home, covered in scratches and burns, completely exhausted. The next night, they follow it to Clawmark Hill, where two Lycanroc keep watch over the wild Pokémon who come together to battle and train. Rockruff battles a fearsome Magmar but is defeated, and Ash offers to help it learn a new move, Rock Throw.
After some serious training with Ash and Pikachu, Rockruff returns to challenge Magmar to a rematch—and this time, it wins! After seeing how well Ash and Rockruff work together, Professor Kukui encourages him to catch it—and both Pikachu and Rockruff enthusiastically agree!