Defying the odds and overcoming difficult obstacles is a major part of Ash Ketchum’s philosophy in the Pokemon lively. His fighting style supports his conviction, and he’s never afraid to use a Pokémon that seems weaker than his opponent. His Pokémon frequently challenge their evolved forms, exceeding everyone’s expectations when they win.

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These impressive victories are further proof of the power of Ash’s Pokémon in their current forms and vindicate his desire not to evolve them. Over time, other trainers have accomplished similar feats, revealing that their Pokémon is so much more than meets the eye.

ten Ash’s Snivy uses his lure to surprise and defeat Trip’s serve

Snivy and Servine from Pokemon

In “A Rival Battle For Club Champ”, Ash used Snivy in his 5-on-5 battle with Trip, pitting Snivy against Trip’s Servine. Snivy initially battled against Servine, but soon found a way to beat his evolved form. By playing on the opposite sexes, Ash used Attract to gain a solid advantage and secure a surprising victory.

Although Snivy lost the battle against Trip’s Frillish in the last match, Ash still had a mini win to look back on. Regardless of his subsequent defeat, Snivy’s victory over Servine was an accomplishment worth celebrating.

9 Misty’s Poliwhirl Scores Victory Against Poliwrath

Misty's Poliwhirl Pokemon

In the episode “Hook, Line, and Stinker”, Misty and her Poliwhirl developed a rivalry against a trainer named Andreas and his Poliwrath during a Seaking catching competition. Both trainers caught Seakings that weighed the same, meaning the competition had to be decided in combat.

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Poliwhirl was originally afraid of Poliwrath, but with encouragement from his friends, Poliwhirl achieved an impressive victory. By defeating her evolved form, Poliwhirl made Misty victorious in both battle and primary competition.

8 Ash’s Fletchling is able to defeat Talonflame of Moria after evolving into Fletchinder

Fletchling, Pokemon

Ash’s Flying-type Pokémon have always been fiery fighters that find themselves used early in battles to wear down their opponents. In the X and Y series of the anime, Fletchling becomes an established member of Ash’s team even before evolving and in “Battles In The Sky”, he must face the final form of his evolution line, Talonflame.

Fletchling first had to earn Talonflame’s respect by rescuing him from Team Rocket. During the battle, however, Fletchling defied the odds and evolved into Fletchinder. Using Flame Charge to increase his speed, Fletchinder scored the most unlikely of victories.

7 Dawn’s Piplup defeats Kenny’s Prinplup to earn Dawn her first contest ribbon

Piplup shoots water

In the Diamond & Pearl series, Dawn is proud to keep her trusty Piplup, in her original form, both for her adorableness, but also to showcase her talent and tenacity. As Dawn’s Starter Pokémon, Piplup has its fair share of wins and losses, but its gains seem even more impressive since it’s in its Piplup form.

When Dawn faced her childhood friend Kenny in the Floaroma Contest Finals, the final fight was Piplup against her evolved form Prinplup. Using Whirlpool to disrupt his opponent’s flow, Piplup emerged victorious on multiple counts, earning Dawn her first ribbon.

6 A vengeful Tepig is able to overcome the embar of its former owner by evolving into Pignite

Ash Frees Tepig

Like some other Fire-type Starter Pokémon from the anime, Tepig was once shown to have had an abusive trainer who abandoned him. Under the ownership of his new trainer Ash, Tepig reunited with his old trainer. After being verbally assaulted again by Shamus, a double battle ensued pitting Tepig and Snivy against Shamus’ Emboar and Heatmor.

Although initially terrified, Tepig was inspired by Snivy’s encouragement and sacrifice. Tepig then evolved into Pignite and destroyed both of its evolved forms, Emboar and Heatmor, at the same time.

5 With clever switching, Ash’s Buizel overcomes Crasher Wake’s Floatzel for the win

Anime Pokemon Ash's Buizel Water Attack

Things looked bleak in Ash’s Pastoria City Gym’s battle against Water-type specialist Crasher Wake. Pokemon Buizel and Ash’s Pikachu continued their argument from earlier in the day, risking disaster and defeat for the team. However, when Pikachu and Buizel challenged Crasher Wake’s Floatzel, the two regained their team spirit.

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Thanks to Ash’s smart switches, they brought the momentum back in Ash’s favor. Using quick moves and staying hidden, Buizel launched a surprise attack, defeated his much larger evolved form of Floatzel, and claimed victory.

4 Ash’s Rockruff defeats Olivia’s Lycanroc even after knocking out his own partner Rowlet

Ash versus Olivia Rockruff and Rowlet taking on Probopass and Lycanroc

Ash’s Lycanroc is known for earning Ash his long-awaited first victory in the Pokémon League at the Manalo Conference. His fiery fighting spirit came from the experience he gained when he was a Rockruff. During one of his first battles for Ash, Rockruff teamed up with Rowlet to take on Olivia’s Lycanroc and Probopass in a double battle.

As Rowlet defeated Probopass, Rockruff accidentally knocked Rowlet out. As guilt and rage threatened to undo him, Rockruff channeled that rage and used it to defeat Olivia’s Lycanroc. Rowlet’s tenacity earned Ash the Grand Trial victory and a Rockium Z.

3 Ash’s Rowlet dresses part of his league showdown with Hau’s Decidueye & Wins

Hau vs. Ash in Pokemon

Rowlet is a great example of a Pokémon that has its own personality, but is still an important member of the team. His habit of eating and sleeping, even during important battles, made Rowlet a fan favorite from the start. The Pokemon made an even bigger mark when Ash faced off against Hau in “No Stone Unturned”.

In this battle, Rowlet was pitted against Hau’s evolved Rowlet, Dartrix. After an initial defeat, Ash’s Rowlet learned to use Seed Bomb by swallowing an Everstone, an effective attack that cost him the ability to evolve. Rowlet then defeated Dartrix in a rematch and again at the Manalo Conference – defeating Dartrix even after he became a Decidueye.

2 Pikachu won in rematches against Raichu owned by both Lt. Surge and Sho

pikachu vs raichu from pokemon

Be with him from the start. Ash’s Pikachu has encountered all kinds of Pokémon. One type that Pikachu has faced many times is its evolved form, Raichu. Twice, Pikachu lost to a Raichu owned by Lt. Surge and one owned by Sho, a Pikachu line enthusiast. Using revised strategies, Pikachu earned redemption by winning subsequent rematches.

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Pikachu initially feared Raichu, whose size and conventional power were greater than Pikachu’s. Since then, Pikachu has grown to appreciate its own speed and alternate moves. When Ash faced a Raichu in a double battle with Tierno in Kalos, Pikachu and Goodra worked together and scored another impressive victory.

1 Torracat’s intensity helps him earn a hard-fought win over Kukui’s Incineroar

Ash's Torracat vs. Kukui's Incineroar, Pokemon

Throughout the Sun Moon anime series, the Masked Royal has been described as an inspirational heroic figure for much of the Alola region. He developed a reputation for easily winning battle royales, thanks to his powerful Incineroar. After Ash’s victory at Manalo’s conference, the Masked Royal was revealed to be Professor Kukui in disguise.

This discovery led to a 6-on-6 exhibition match between Ash and Kukui. With the battle underway, Ash’s Torracat has been chosen to fight against its evolved form, Incineroar. The fiery Torracat persevered and overcame his intimidating opponent, evolving after his victory.

NEXT: 10 Most Powerful Pokemon Ash Has Faced In League Battles, Ranked

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