I Tried Out Ash Ketchum’s Dream Team In Competitive Pokemon And It’s Pretty Good

If you’ve been keeping up with our Pokemon coverage recently, you’ll probably already know that Ash Ketchum has finally managed to complete his dream team in season 23 of the iconic series. However, I wasn’t satisfied with the simple fact that these Pokemon are supposed to be good – I needed first-hand proof. And so, I decided to build the exact same team as the one Ash is currently rocking in order to try it out for myself.

At the moment, Ash has a Pikachu, a Dragonite, a Gengar, a Riolu (which will probably become a Lucario pretty soon), a Galarian Farfetch’d, and a Dracovish. At face value, that’s a pretty solid squad – however, there’s so much more to competitive Pokemon than how things might appear at first glance. It’s like chess except all the pieces spit fireballs and punch each other with electromagnetic claws. Also some of them look like this.

Anyway, I put together a team that leans into the strengths of each and every one of Ash’s new Pokemon. For what it’s worth, I don’t particularly like the synergy – Galarian Farfetch’d and Lucario both being Fighting types annoys me, and I’m not quite sure what to be doing with Gigantamax electro mouse when there’s an enemy Genesect doing my nut in. I tried my best, though, and I reckon the results were actually pretty promising.

Here’s a look at the entire team:

Pikachu (Gigantamax)

Item: Light Ball

Ability: Lightning Rod (one person said this should be Static but shhh)

Nature: Lonely

Stats: 252 Atk, 200 SpA, 56 Spd

Moves:

  • Volt Switch
  • Knock Off
  • Surf
  • Extremespeed

Dragonite

Item: Weakness Policy

Ability: Multiscale

Nature: Adamant

Stats: 252 Atk, 4 SpD, 252 Spd

Moves:

  • Dragon Dance
  • Dragon Claw
  • Extremespeed
  • Fire Punch

Gengar

Item: Leftovers

Ability: Cursed Body

Nature: Timid

Stats: 252 SpA, 4 SpD, 252 Spd

Moves:

  • Hex
  • Will-O-Wisp
  • Sludge Wave
  • Taunt

Lucario

Item: Expert Belt

Ability: Justified

Nature: Jolly

Stats: 252 Atk, 4 SpD, 252 Spd

Moves:

  • Bullet Punch
  • Swords Dance
  • Close Combat
  • Meteor Mash

Galarian Farfetch’d

Item: Eviolite

Ability: Scrappy

Nature: Adamant

Stats: 252 HP, 252 Atk, 4 SpD

Moves:

  • Swords Dance
  • Close Combat
  • Brave Bird
  • Final Gambit

Dracovish

Item: Choice Scarf

Ability: Strong Jaw

Nature: Jolly

Stats: 252 Atk, 4 SpD, 252 Spd

Moves:

  • Fishious Rend
  • Outrage
  • Crunch
  • Psychic Fangs

As you can see, this team has absolutely no walls, and only Gengar counts as a status specialist. Due to the lack of synergy, the team is based around tactical immunity switches and high damage output. The stars are Dragonite, who can eat a super-effective attack for massive damage buffs thanks to its Multiscale/Weakness Policy combo, and Dracovish, whose exclusive access to Fishious Rend with Scarf-boosted speed allows it to knock the crap out of anything it deals neutral damage to.

Out of five matches I played with the team, I won three and was only beaten by gimmicks. One player ran an Endeavor Aron, which isn’t too unusual, but I wasn’t aware it also held a Shell Bell. With Gengar being my only status inflictor, there was no way for me to touch the Aron – it constantly used Endeavor to get me down to 1HP, while its own low HP pool thanks to being level 1 allowed its Shell Bell to bring it back to max health time and time again, meaning Sturdy was constantly active. It took out three of my Pokemon, stacking the odds heavily in my opponent’s favour (Sandstorm was also active, meaning my Pokemon who were brought down to 1HP via Endeavor were wiped out before their next move due to residual weather damage). Had I known about the Shell Bell earlier, Dracovish could have easily swept the entire enemy team.

The only other battle I lost was purely down to bad luck. We had gone down to 4v4 and I had a double Dragon Danced Dragonite ready to sweep. The enemy Dragapult critted me with Dragon Darts and was scarfed, allowing it to easily take out my remaining three ‘mons.

The battles I won were much cleaner fights. I beat the first person so quickly that they got really pissy with me in chat after. Another person I beat noticed I was using Ash’s team and got annoyed because my Pikachu was female, which I obviously hadn’t even noticed. They proceeded to correct the gender of every single Pokemon I was using and demanded a rematch after I beat them. My last victory, which meant I ended up going three for two, is fully watchable in the clip below.

Obviously five matches is not the largest sample size in the world, but it did give me a feel for the team. It hasn’t got the best synergy in the world – or at all – but it’s made up of some pretty powerful ‘mons. As I stated earlier, Dragonite and Dracovish make for a pretty mean combo. Even against Fairies, a Dragon Danced, Weakness Policy-boosted Dragonite can hit two and a half times harder than its already monstrous Attack stat. Dracovish is also able to hit anything it outspeeds – which is most Pokemon when it has a Choice Scarf – with double the power thanks to Fishious Rends and Strong Jaw-buffed Crunch and Psychic Fangs. The coverage, damage potential, and speed of these two Pokemon alone are frighteningly good.

This is why I’m going to reiterate something I’ve already written in another article: Ash is going to beat Leon at the end of Pokemon’s Galar arc, and once he does, he’s likely going to pack it in. There’s nothing left for him to do after assembling a team this strong – well, unless the writers decide to have him complete the National Dex, which would not make for particularly riveting television.

As a result of that, it’s likely we’ll see a new protagonist enter the fold in the near future. That idea might seem weird at first, but I think it could be great. Pokemon Twilight Wings was far better than Pokemon Sword and Shield, and genuinely needs to be the gold standard for all Pokemon games going forward. Outside of the games, though, it introduced a protagonist that exemplifies everything a new Pokemon main character needs to be. I’m confident that the series is in good hands, and that Ash will take this tried-and-tested team straight to the top. After that, I reckon he’s earned himself a nice break. I mean, he’s been ten for 24 years. Let the kid celebrate his 11th birthday in peace.

Next: The Nuzlocke Challenge Is The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Classic Pokemon

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Cian Maher is the Lead Features Editor at TheGamer. He’s also had work published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Verge, Vice, Wired, and more. You can find him on Twitter @cianmaher0.

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