How would differences in move choices affect the Sinnoh league semi-final battle between Ash and Tobias?

Please note; some of Ash's Pokémon will seem a lot more powerful than in the anime. This is because I believe that Ash and the Pokémon he used in this battle were severely short changed, particularly Heracross, Gible (who here has evolved as he should have) and Sceptile (despite his win over Darkrai)

Also note; not one single aspect of the Pokémon franchise belongs to me; not Ash, not Tobias, not Pikachu, Sceptile, Torkoal, Swellow, Darkrai… you get the idea.

It all belongs to Nintendo, Game Freak, Satoshi Tajiri and lots and lots of others, but not me… sadly.

Ash versus Tobias: Redone

Round 1: Heracross versus Darkrai

"This Sinnoh league semi-final battle is about to get underway" cried the announcer "Which Pokémon will they choose?"

Without a word Tobias threw out a Pokéball. The terrifying nightmare Pokémon Darkrai appeared in a flash of white light, a single tear dropping from its eye.

Up in the crowd, Dawn raised her Pokédex to find out about the Pokémon.

Darkrai, the Pitch-Black Pokémon. Darkrai can cause people and Pokémon to have nightmares.

"This'll be a tough battle." remarked Brock.

"No need to worry." said Dawn, clenching her fist "Ash spent a long time planning for this fight."

"Hey Ash" Barry yelled "If you don't wanna get fined, you better not lose this!"

"He's starting with Darkrai." muttered Ash to himself, before grabbing a Pokéball of his own.

"Heracross, I choose you!"

In another flash of white light, the stag beetle-like Pokémon appeared.

"Heracroh" it growled.

"Wow, Ash is starting off with Heracross." remarked Dawn.

"It's a powerful choice." commented Brock "Let's hope it pays off."

"Both trainers are ready." said the referee "On the signal, begin."

The referee raised both flags, signaling the start of battle.

Wasting no time, Ash ordered the first attack.

"Heracross, Focus Blast!"

"Heraa!" cried the dark-blue Pokémon, putting its arms close together and creating a glowing blue sphere of energy between them.

"Darkrai, Ice Beam!" Tobias called out to his Pokémon.

A freezing orb appeared between Darkrai's hands, and the black colored Pokémon launched beam of ice cold energy at Heracross.

At the same time, Heracross unleashed Focus Blast, and the two attacks smashed together in an explosion.

"Those were high energy attacks!" cried the announcer, as the crowds in the stadium went wild.

The light from the initial impact faded, and smoke swirled around both Pokémon. Taking advantage of this, Ash called for another Focus Blast.

Before the smoke could clear, a second glowing sphere slammed into Darkrai, causing super-effective damage.

The smoke cleared and, upon seeing Darkrai still conscious, Ash wasted no time in calling for another attack.

"Use Horn Attack."

The gigantic horn on Heracross' head glowed white, and Heracross took flight, aiming for a direct physical hit upon Darkrai.

Unafraid, Tobias called his next move.

"Darkrai: Shadow Claw."

Darkrai's hand became shrouded in an eerie purple glow. It swung this at Heracross, connecting with the still glowing horn.

Both Pokémon pushed against each other for a few moments in a test of physical strength before Ash decided to counter.

"Heracross, Focus Punch."

The right arm of Heracross became surrounded in a frightening reddish-brown glow, which Heracross drove into Darkrai's side before backing off to a safer distance.

Still unfazed, Tobias called another move.

"Darkrai; Dark Void."

A black orb with a purple glow formed in Darkrai's hand, and it threw the orb at Heracross.

"Dodge it then use Focus Blast."

Heracross flew out of the way of Dark Void, and began to form another glowing orb.

"Ice Beam." commanded Tobias.

Just as before, the two attacks collided, and the area became shrouded in smoke.

Before Ash could respond, another Dark Void attack soared through the smoke and struck Heracross.

The orb of darkness engulfed the bug/fighting type Pokémon for a few moments before fading, and allowing Heracross to drop to the ground.

"Heracross has fallen asleep due to Dark Void." yelled the over-excited commentator.

"Oh, this looks bad." said a panicking Barry.

"Maybe," said Brock "But don't forget, Ash and Heracross have a trick for this kind of situation."

Ash knew that this battle was not lost yet. That trick he and Heracross utilized in battle against Nando and his Kricketune would come in very handy now.

"Heracross Sleep Talk."

Sleep Talk was an unusual move which allowed a sleeping Pokémon to use another of its moves at random, something they would not normally be able to do.

Before anyone could find out what move Heracross had chosen, however, Tobias utilized a deadly move.

"Darkrai, Dream Eater."

Darkrai's eye shone red, and an eerie, semi-transparent copy of itself left its body, sailed across the field and passed through Heracross, ripping through its dream, and absorbing a lot of Heracross' health.

As the eerie specter returned to Darkrai and restored its health, all eyes were on Heracross.

Surprisingly, Heracross had not fainted from the super-effective attack it had just been hit with.

By a stroke of pure luck, Sleep Talk had activated a life-saving move; Endure. Whilst Darkrai's Dream Eater attack had damaged Heracross seriously, Endure all but guarantees that the user will survive any attack and leave it with a bare minimum of health.

Unlike Darkrai with Dream Eater, however, Heracross had no moves with which to regain that lost health, but that did not matter. Ash was determined to make the most of this.

"Sleep Talk again!"

This time Heracross' horn shone white and had a vicious-looking red tint to it.

In the stands, Ash's friends cheered.

"Endure followed by Megahorn." observed Brock "I'll bet Ash is glad he taught Heracross Sleep Talk. That's two perfect moves in a row."

A still sleeping Heracross charged Darkrai and slammed the nightmare Pokémon with its horn, sending the foe hurtling backwards.

"YES!" yelled Ash "Megahorn was super effective."

"Pika." cheered Pikachu, jumping for joy.

Tobias had been stunned when Heracross had survived Darkrai's Dream Eater, but the sight of Darkrai being thrown across the stadium brought him back to his senses.

"Darkrai, Disable."

Several rings of pulsating blue energy shot towards Heracross, preventing its ability to use Megahorn.

"Heracross, Sleep Talk again."

This time Heracross' random move was Focus Blast, and this one slammed into Darkrai without any chance of counter by Tobias.

The force from the impact threw Darkrai across the ground.

Meanwhile Heracross woke up, and Ash pressed his advantage.

"Focus Punch."

Arm taking on the reddish-brown glow once again, Heracross charged at Darkrai.

"Darkrai, Dark Pulse."

A swirling coil of purple and black colored energy rocketed from Darkrai's hands, but its aim was off.

The attack missed Heracross completely, and the stag beetle-like Pokémon struck Darkrai down with Focus Punch.

"Finish it!" yelled Ash "Horn Attack."

Without even giving Darkrai a chance to get up, Heracross slammed its glowing horn into the dark type Pokémon before backing off.

After a few tense moments, the referee raised a green flag "Darkrai is unable to battle. Heracross wins."

As Darkrai's picture on the scoreboard became a silhouette, the crowd went wild.

"I can't believe it!" shouted the match commentator over the din of the crowd "Tobias' Darkrai has been defeated for the first time in this tournament!"

Darkrai returned to the Pokéball in Tobias' hand, and the mysterious trainer regarded Ash carefully.

"No one has beaten my Darkrai before. I must say I found your strategy a little overwhelming."

Ash grinned "Nothing special aside from good training."

"We shall see." remarked Tobias drawing another Pokéball "Try this."

The new Pokémon was yellow, enormous and looked like a bird.

"Zapdos." muttered Ash, before grabbing a Pokéball "Return, Heracross."

Heracross was converted into red energy and vanished inside the Pokéball.

Ash was unsure about what to do against Zapdos. None of the Pokémon that he had with him knew rock or ice-type attacks. Although...

"Swellow, I choose you."

"Swell!" cried the swallow-like Pokémon as it appeared.

End Chapter.

A/N: Well, there you go. The first chapter of this rewrite of the most unfair battle that Ash Ketchum ever faced.

Let me know what you think.

Oh, yeah, and for those keeping track; yes Heracross and Darkrai did both use six moves each - This is a personal thing, as I think that, after so many years, and so many moves available in-game, It's high time we were able to teach our monsters more than four moves...

Anyway, see you next time, when Ash and his Pokemon must face Zapdos (How many of you thought I'd go straight into Latios?)