Pokémon Journeys has revealed the matchups for the first round of the Masters Eight. All thats left is to see whos advancing and whos going home.
After weeks of speculation Pokémon Journeys has finally announced the firstround matchups for the Masters Eight Tournament in the World Coronation Series. The competition is sure to be fierce as the eight participants consist of the winner of the Lumiose Conference in Kalos and all seven Regional Champions from Kanto to Galar. Ash Ketchums goal throughout the Journeys anime has been to battle against Leon the reigning Monarch of the WCS. However the eternallytenyearold trainer from Pallet Town will have to win the two hardest battles of his life just to get to a matchup against Leon.
The Masters Eight Tournament will be an eightperson bracket consisting of three rounds of single elimination. Based on trailers for the upcoming battles the matches will be at least 2v2 but possibly 3v3. As soon as all of a trainers Pokémon are unable to battle they will be eliminated from the World Coronation Series. A standard eightperson brackets matchups would usually be based on seeding but considering that would pit Leon 1st seed against Ash 8th seed in the first round the pairings have instead been decided at random so the series can avoid having the marquee matchup right off the bat. Lets take a look at each firstround matchup and discuss who could should or probably will emerge victorious.
Leon the Monarch vs Alain the Mega Evolution Specialist
Itll be a battle of Charizards between Leon the Galar Region Champion and reigning Monarch of the WCS and Alain the winner of the Lumiose Conference in Kalos. Alain is the only participant in the Masters Eight whos not a Regional Champion and Leon has never lost an official battle so this match looks pretty bleak for Alain. While his Mega Charizard X is a force of nature Leons not the reigning Monarch for nothing.
Many fans will be disappointed that this pairing means a rematch between Ash and Alain is off the table but its for the best to avoid the repetitiveness of Ash having to face two Charizard trainers in three battles when much of the field consists of trainers Ash hasnt battled before. Gigantamax Charizard vs Mega Charizard X would be a fight for the ages if Journeys goes that route but Alains tenure in the Masters Eight is going to be short regardless.
Lance the Dragon Master vs Diantha the Movie Star
The Kanto/Johto Champion Lance will be taking on the Kalos Champion Diantha in the only firstround matchup that could go either way. On paper Lance should get clapped in this battle considering hes a Dragon user and Dianthas signature Pokémon is a Mega Gardevoir – a dreaded member of the criminally overpowered Fairy Type. Fortunately for Lance the Pokémon anime has never been beholden to Typing and he wouldnt be much of a Champion if he couldnt overcome a Type disadvantage.
Trailers have shown Diantha also using an Aurorus an Ice/Rock Type during this battle meaning the Kalos Champion will go by the books when it comes to slaying Dragons. Judging by the bracket the winner of this battle faces the winner of Leon vs Alain – unless the secondround matchups are also decided randomly and itd be more interesting to see Leon battle Diantha considering the anime already showed him beating Lance in the previous WCS Finals.
Cynthia the GOAT vs Iris the Doomed
Cynthia the Sinnoh Champion will be battling Iris the Unova Champion in whats easily the first rounds most lopsided battle. No one becomes a Regional Champion by being a pushover and Iris is no exception but Cynthias simply on another level – even more so now that trailers have confirmed she can Mega Evolve her Garchomp. Iris only became a Champion relatively recently while Cynthia has stood peerless from her introduction until Leons debut.
No doubt Iris and her signature Haxorus will get some good licks in during their battle against Sinnohs Champion but if theres a universe where Cynthia could ever lose to Iris its certainly not this one. It also doesnt help that Iris has already battled Ash during the WCS and – assuming the secondround matchups arent randomly chosen the winner of this battle faces the winner of Ash vs Steven – so avoiding repetitiveness could also be a part of Iriss inevitable defeat at the scythes of Cynthias Mega Garchomp.
The final battle of the first round will be between Hoenns Champion Steven and Alolas firstever Champion Ash. Steven is one of the tougher matchups Ash couldve gotten considering his Journeys team has only one Pokémon Gengar thats capable of dealing supereffective damage to a Mega Metagross. This will be Ashs firstever official battle against a Regional Champion and Steven is the third seed behind only Cynthia and Leon in the Masters Eight.
Stevens Steel and Rock Pokémon are hard to damage while Ashs heaviest hitter Dragonite wont be any use against Steel Types and is weak to Rock. For once Ash actually has the writing staff on his side considering the whole point of Journeys is for Ash to battle Leon so its highly unlikely he will get bounced from the Masters Eight in the first round even if Steven certainly should be able to defeat a tenyearold.