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Who would've been in your ideal Master's Eight?

AndreskX

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Theoretically, you could make the argument that it would've nice if many more members of the Master's Eight were well-known expert trainers in the show rather than just the game champions who received much less characterization in the show. It would've been a nice way to bring back familiar faces from the past series that would give some of the battles more of an emotional hook and/or sense of familiarity to the audience. For example:

Ash
Iris
Tobias
Leon
Cynthia
Kukui
Brandon
Diantha

Who would've been in your ideal Master's Eight lineup?
 
Back before the Masters 8 lineup was fully revealed, I remember thinking Ritchie would have been a cool choice. Obviously for the full circle moment with the Indigo League Conference match, and to serve as "redemption" for the outcome of said battle back then — but it'd also have been interesting to see how he'd progressed as a Trainer compared to Ash in the time since we last saw him.

Thinking back on it now, my wishlist choices might have looked something like this:
Ash, Iris, Leon, Cynthia, Ritchie, Brandon, Tobias, Nemona
because wynaut? Gen 9 didn't get any promotion before the games released.


I also seem to recall Giovanni being a popular surprise candidate during M8 speculation. It feels like even more far-fetched of an idea now than it did then, but I do kinda wonder what that timeline would have been like lol.
 
This seems to be quite the hot topic this year. But idk. I’m just gonna go with:
1. Ash (won Alola league)
2. Alain (won Kalos league + us? Replace him? Nah, I ain’t havin’ that in this house)
3. Virgil (won Unova league, I thought Cameron did but no he didn’t)
4. Tobias (won Sinnoh league, I don’t like him at all… but I feel he deserves a spot since all of the other winners got a spot)
5. Tyson (won Hoenn league, I never saw this, it looks like S1 or something, I’m old-)
6. Jon Dickson (won Johto league, never heard of him)
7. Assunta or whoever won the Kanto league
8. Leon (someone has to fill the last slot)
 
1. Leon-Can't find a better rival for Ash on retrospection than a Charizard user who's always #1.
2. Cynthia-popularity, and she had a good role.
3. Paul-We definitely needed more non-champions who climbed their way like Ash and I think he works well as he could have considerably gotten stronger since Sinnoh, his relationship with Cynthia could be explored. Also, he'd claim to have beaten Tobias off screen to be more menacing.
4. Steven-Hoenn representation and had a good battle with Ash, his monotype makes him stand out, through his personality was non-existant so I'd give him some sassiness and rich boy attitudes.
5. Drasna-Her personality was fun, and some of the things that worked on Iris could be written for her.
6. Alder-Unova rep, he deserves some recognition and has a fun team.
7. Raihan-Adds more Galar rep, and we definitely need to know more about him and his relationship with Leon.
8. Ash-duh

Kicked out, through all of them could be Ultra Class battles
  • Alain-Almost no one liked how he was portrayed and the tournament had more than enough Charizard and dragons.
  • Lance-I feel Ash already represents Kanto and Johto, and his team was boring.
  • Diantha-In her XY battle with Ash she showed she wasn't as strong as she claimed, so I think her being dethroned would be an interesting twist.
  • Iris-Her growth was way too unbelievable and fast, through I appreciate the idea as well as her battle with Cynthia, it could take place on the Ultra Class.
 
I didn't really have a problem with the characters they chose for the Master Class. Having a tournament full of mostly regional Champions was a cool idea and I could understand why they'd want to have every regional Champion from every generation there. My main issues are with Alain and Iris, although for different reason. Bringing back Alain just to further hype up Leon was so incredibly stupid. They could have easily replaced Alain with Alder and had the same effect. While Alain being in the PWC and getting to the Master Class is believable, it just felt so lackluster to bring him back as canon fodder, especially when I'm sure that the writers were aware of infamous the Kalos League finals was. Honestly, Alain being an Ultra Class match would have been so much better. We could have had more time to interact between Ash and Alain. Somehow having Greninja be used in the match just so that it could finally defeat Alain's Charizard would have been an easy way to create hype for that episode too. As much as people hated that Ash lost the Kalos League, Ash Greninja never defeating Mega Charizard X even after it had perfected its power really didn't sit well with fans, so that would be a case where having a one-on-one match would feel more justified in a way.

I can better understand Iris's inclusion more to a degree, even if it was entirely due to her being the current Unova Champion in the games, but I was never a fan of how she made such unbelievable off screen progress. I'd be fine with Raihan taking her place. While he is a Gym Leader, he's arguably the strongest Galar Gym Leader, if only because of how the games mentioned that he'd be strong enough to be a Champion in another region, and we could have expanded on his relationship with Leon too.
 
Leon
Cynthia
Steven
Diantha
Lance
Alain
Ash
Paul
-----------------------------------
I'd replace Iris with Paul, I didn't think Iris was anywhere close to Paul back when BW was still airing new episodes. Even in Journeys where she became Unova Champion I still have Paul over her. Iris is a champion the same way Toppo is a God of Destruction,lowest on the totem pole. I always thought of Alder as one of if not THE weakest champion, the fact that Iris somehow beat him off screen just shows it. Her Haxorus lost to Ash's Dragonite, the same Dragonite that Paul's Garchomp defeated prior to the M8 tournament starting.

Unlike many of Ash's rivals, Paul doesn't rely solely on one powerhouse, he has a huge roster of powerful pokemon at this point and that includes the ones he used in that training battle against Ash in Journeys. Torterra is his first ever pokemon but it was rarely shown on screen during DP, you could say Electivire was his "signature pokemon" but at some point Paul decided to leave it with his brother Reggie, these examples prove that Paul frequently rotates his lineup depending on who he's battling.

Iris has Haxorus,Excadrill,Dragonite and Emolga? Paul would take advantage of the fact that she uses 2 Dragon-types. Neither one of them use a gimmick so that means there isn't an enormous gap like some people claim. Paul is easily the smarter and more skilled trainer that isn't even up for debate. I honestly believe his Torterra/Electivire matches her Haxorus.

Paul got strong through natural progression, traveling through 4 different regions, capturing the strongest species of pokemon in the wild and putting them through rigorous training for long periods of time. Versus Iris slacking off in her training in BW and magically becoming Unova Champion within 2 series prior to Journeys. Accoring to some people Iris becoming Unova Champion grants her a higher level of power than Paul despite Paul reaching a much higher level than he did in DP and also working much harder than Iris ever did in BW plus all the experience he had collecting gym badges and competing in leagues.
 
1. Leon-Can't find a better rival for Ash on retrospection than a Charizard user who's always #1.
True that. ^^ And also, duh.
2. Cynthia-popularity, and she had a good role.
I figured that would be why. Plus the Cynthia battle was one of my personal favorite Journeys battles. Also, duh.
3. Paul-We definitely needed more non-champions who climbed their way like Ash and I think he works well as he could have considerably gotten stronger since Sinnoh, his relationship with Cynthia could be explored. Also, he'd claim to have beaten Tobias off screen to be more menacing.
4. Steven-Hoenn representation and had a good battle with Ash, his monotype makes him stand out, through his personality was non-existant so I'd give him some sassiness and rich boy attitudes.
Kinda like Kaiba or something
5. Drasna-Her personality was fun, and some of the things that worked on Iris could be written for her.
6. Alder-Unova rep, he deserves some recognition and has a fun team.
You’re not the first person to think that lol
7. Raihan-Adds more Galar rep, and we definitely need to know more about him and his relationship with Leon.
8. Ash-duh
I’m not sure Raihan was in the anime or not.
Kicked out, through all of them could be Ultra Class battles
  • Alain-Almost no one liked how he was portrayed and the tournament had more than enough Charizard and dragons.
And neither did Mairin.
  • Lance-I feel Ash already represents Kanto and Johto, and his team was boring.
  • Diantha-In her XY battle with Ash she showed she wasn't as strong as she claimed, so I think her being dethroned would be an interesting twist.
She didn’t even Mega Evolve her Gardevoir in their last battle if I remember correctly.
  • Iris-Her growth was way too unbelievable and fast, through I appreciate the idea as well as her battle with Cynthia, it could take place on the Ultra Class.
Yeah, you got that right. The Cynthia v. Iris battle is also one of my personal favorites but I agree on this a lot.
 
Idk about a full on roster of 8 but some of the standout candidates we've seen before include

-Drake, the champion of the Orange Crew
-AJ, one of the first opponents Ash ever fought
-Giovanni, a chance for the self-proclaimed world's strongest trainer to live up to it. Would give him an actual end-series STORY as well.
-Molly Hale, (who would inexplicably be Ash's age now and nobody would address this), now a trainer in her own right. Could be used as a chance to show off Ursaluna as well since we see her with a Teddiursa at the end of the movie
-Pyramid King Brandon, the strongest of the Frontier Brains at least if the anime is any indication


Wild cards who would have made their first appearance:
-Nemona, introducing Paldea
-Wally, very popular character who never appeared
-Janine, not for the top 8 but in the runup to it
 
I'm in the camp that thinks the roster was actually really good as it is. The idea of the tournament consisting of the regional Champions is great and makes perfect sense for Ash's grand finale tournament. It's only the execution that was a massive letdown.

The only spot I would swap out is Alain because he clearly had no business there other than false hype and there were far better options for his character even if they cared about his return. As for who would take his spot:
  • Paul has to be my #1 pick for his role as Ash's mirror and Cynthia's prediction about them winning their way to the Champion League. Obviously the PWC is technically something different, but seeing them both competing with Champions would be the perfect tribute to that knowing they'd both reached their way to the top.
  • Brandon or Palmer would be cool for Frontier Brain representation, the former especially since he was such an important character beforehand. Since the anime's Gen III Battle Frontier is in Kanto, he could effectively serve as the Kanto rep too.
  • Kukui if the anime wanted an Alola rep, since he was the de facto Champion-esque figure before Ash came around. He's probably the shakiest option since Ash is meant to be the Champion, but he'd still fit in there alright.
All that's assuming the writing is vastly different and properly respects all the characters involved, though. Like I said, it's not the roster that I don't like, only the execution.
 
The only spot I would swap out is Alain because he clearly had no business there other than false hype and there were far better options for his character even if they cared about his return.
Actually, the reason why he came back was because his Japanese VA (Kensho Ono iirc) and Chloe’s Japanese VA (Kana Hanazawa) got married. At least, that’s what I think was the reason.
 
Actually, the reason why he came back was because his Japanese VA (Kensho Ono iirc) and Chloe’s Japanese VA (Kana Hanazawa) got married. At least, that’s what I think was the reason.
I'm sure that probably made it easier for Alain to come back, but that still wouldn't be a good in-universe justification for his inclusion in the tournament. They could have easily brought back Alain as an Ultra Class opponent if they really wanted to use the character again. If all they wanted was to use Alain as canon fodder to hype up Leon, then they had so many better options instead of using a character fans really wanted to see Ash defeat.
 
Honestly it's tough.
I'm happy with the regional champions taking most of the slots but whoever goes against Leon in round one is basically just here to be a jobber, so I'm stuck between finding someone who it makes sense getting there and is unpopular enough to ruffle as few feathers as possible when they get dominated.
Off the top of my head I just can't think of anyone perfect, so....maybe keep Raihan in and let Leon take him out.
 
Honestly it's tough.
I'm happy with the regional champions taking most of the slots but whoever goes against Leon in round one is basically just here to be a jobber, so I'm stuck between finding someone who it makes sense getting there and is unpopular enough to ruffle as few feathers as possible when they get dominated.
Off the top of my head I just can't think of anyone perfect, so....maybe keep Raihan in and let Leon take him out.
Maybe have Tobias as the jobber to go down against Leon in Round 1?
 
Maybe have Tobias as the jobber to go down against Leon in Round 1?
I think that would have been worse in a lot of ways. I think that Leon defeating Tobias would have been an overkill way to hype him up, even if it was just Charizard vs. Darkrai. Alain himself was pretty overpowered, but not to the degree Tobias was, if only because we did see him lose once and he didn't have Legendary Pokemon on his team. Alain was more than a character than Tobias, which admittedly doesn't say much, but he did have a following during XY, so bringing him back would have been provided more fanserivce than bringing Tobias back.

I think it also would have made Ash defeating Leon a bit harder to swallow. I think some fans already felt that way, but Leon defeating the Sinnoh League roadblock that was Tobias would have made it harder to believe that Ash could defeat him. It might have made the victory feel more unbelievable rather than satisfying for some fans. I think using Raihan or Alder as the first round jobber to hype up Leon would have made more sense and wouldn't have been an overblown way to do so.
 
I think that would have been worse in a lot of ways. I think that Leon defeating Tobias would have been an overkill way to hype him up, even if it was just Charizard vs. Darkrai. Alain himself was pretty overpowered, but not to the degree Tobias was, if only because we did see him lose once and he didn't have Legendary Pokemon on his team. Alain was more than a character than Tobias, which admittedly doesn't say much, but he did have a following during XY, so bringing him back would have been provided more fanserivce than bringing Tobias back.

I think it also would have made Ash defeating Leon a bit harder to swallow. I think some fans already felt that way, but Leon defeating the Sinnoh League roadblock that was Tobias would have made it harder to believe that Ash could defeat him. It might have made the victory feel more unbelievable rather than satisfying for some fans. I think using Raihan or Alder as the first round jobber to hype up Leon would have made more sense and wouldn't have been an overblown way to do so.
To be fair, Tobias mostly likely lost to Cynthia in the aftermath of the Sinnoh League arc, since he isn't seen as Sinnoh champion at any time in the future series. Plus, Ash was able to take out Tobias's Darkrai with a few Pokemon left to spare, and this is the same Ash that lost 3-0 to an Elite Four member only a few dozen episodes prior. So Tobias isn't invincible. I think it'd only take a few lines of exposition (i.e. "Tobias fought valiantly against Cynthia, but lost narrowly") for Leon defeating Tobias to make sense while still making Leon a huge threat.
 
To be fair, Tobias mostly likely lost to Cynthia in the aftermath of the Sinnoh League arc, since he isn't seen as Sinnoh champion at any time in the future series. Plus, Ash was able to take out Tobias's Darkrai with a few Pokemon left to spare, and this is the same Ash that lost 3-0 to an Elite Four member only a few dozen episodes prior. So Tobias isn't invincible. I think it'd only take a few lines of exposition (i.e. "Tobias fought valiantly against Cynthia, but lost narrowly") for Leon defeating Tobias to make sense while still making Leon a huge threat.
There's no way Tobias would have become the new Sinnoh Champion though. There was no indication that he was going into the Champion League after winning the Sinnoh League and even if he had, Cynthia obviously was going to be the Sinnoh Champion in her future appearances. She's way too popular for them to replace her with an anime only character. Unless she was replaced in the games like what happened to Steven and Alder, there's no way that they'd have someone different for the Sinnoh regional Champion.

Considering that we only saw two of Tobias' Pokemon and they were both Legendary Pokemon, it's hard to say that he wasn't presented as this unstoppable force. Sure, Ash defeated his Darkari and being the only one to do so really makes him the honorary runner up for the Sinnoh League in my book, but Tobias still came off as a pretty broken overpowered trainer. I don't think a couple of lines of exposition would have been enough to make Leon defeating Tobias not feel like overkill. They used both Alain and Diantha to hype Leon and even then people would argue that they tried too hard to make him look like a huge threat, especially after he defeated Diantha. Using Tobias, the first really controversial opponent that defeated Ash in a League, to hype up Leon still would have been bad. I don't think people would have been as upset about Ash not getting to battle Tobias like they did with Alain, but the Kalos League defeat was more recent by comparison and Alain was more of a fan favorite character. It would have felt like they were trying way too hard to hype up Leon and his Charizard by defeating a Legendary Pokemon like that and I think it would have been pretty bad.
 
Are people really suggesting characters like Richie or A.J. being among the strongest trainers in the world? Lol, c'mon now.

The only realistic alternative to Alan is maybe someone like Wallace or Alder being there as they were former champions.
 
Are people really suggesting characters like Richie or A.J. being among the strongest trainers in the world? Lol, c'mon now.

The only realistic alternative to Alan is maybe someone like Wallace or Alder being there as they were former champions.
tbh... i wouldn't sleep on Tyson and imo, if Nando would have focused on gyms only, he could have easily reached semi's if he didn't face Ash first round, so don't sleep on Nando either imo.
 
I could see Tobias replacing Alain in the Masters 8, he more than likely has a full team of legendary pokemon and 99% of the time only needed to use Darkrai to win all 8 badges and win the entire Sinnoh League. He would've been even more OP if he came back in Journeys.

Harrison had a decent team but his biggest standout was his Blaziken, I imagine if he were to compete he'd go as far Ultra Class, Mega Evolving that Blaziken would do the trick. Tyson is the complete opposite, he has a more balanced team but doesn't have a clear cut ace at least in my opinion.

His Meowth won him the battle against Ash but it was at full health when Tyson brought it out and it barely managed to defeat Pikachu who at the time I didn't have as Ash's strongest during the Hoenn League. Other members of Tyson's team did just as much if not more than Meowth in terms of contribution.
 
Tyson has the interesting distinction of being the first league kicker who won the whole thing, but also the first one Ash could very likely have beaten if he weren't handicapping himself.
It's a bizarre dynamic. He could have been an interesting Ultra-class or so but I can't really see him making Master 8; his main distinction is something a decent number of people do every year.
 
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