Gym time! We enter the gym, and due to the unstable footing, the reliable Jim Gui tells us to keep our Pokemon in their Pokeballs. Good thing too, because OH MY GOSH THERE'S LAVA. I don't know about the Johto Gym Requirements of this region, but isn't lava a safety hazard in most conditions. What if the gym battles were so harsh that a Pokemon fell into the lava? An Ice type? Or maybe it isn't lava at all. Maybe it's just really red water that evaporates. But that's still a hazard for those who have a Charmeleon or Charizard... Anyway, the Ace Trainers are very difficult to defeat due to the Difficulty Spike. I have been overleveled for a while until I hit this gym, now they are a lot closer in level. After some floating platform puzzles, we encounter the Gym Leader, who is most likely one of the most challenging in the series...
This is without a doubt the most difficult fight we have against a gym leader so far. Due to my lack of Electric type moves, I have to send S.MachoMan against Clair's only new Pokemon, Gyarados. Thanks to Intimidate, my Machoke needs to use two Thunderpunches to defeat it, and takes exactly 80 HP of damage due to two Dragon Rages. Against a Dragonair, Cannonbolt luckily gets a critical hit with Ice Shard. The next Dragonair I have Escargo against, which isn't as lucky and has to deal with parlyzation and a Dragon Pulse before he can Ice Beam it.
Then it's the main threat: The Seahorse of Mystery, the Queen of Kingdras, it's Clair's Kingdra. With a moveset of Smokescreen/Hydro Pump/Dragon Pulse/Hyper Beam, there's no escape. However, I have strategy. Behind the scenes, before the gym fight, I purchased some X Items for this battle. I send Nassie out to Leech Seed, but we miss the first time and it misses with Hyper Beam. After that, my Exeggutor Leech Seed's it successfully and takes a heavy Dragon Pulse, and then another before fainting. I try to send out Carolina and abuse the Leech Seed by Flying, but the Kingdra has the uncanny ability to get critical hits at will, and OHKOs it. Dang. I send out S.MachoMan to Brick Break it, but it does not do enough to make a real difference and is defeated easily. I send Escargo out again to stall for time, though after the Protect a Dragon Pulse destroys it. I also revive S.MachoMan and heal him. In a rather odd move, I go for Kindle, and surprisingly am faster than it, going for a Leer. After falling, I go back to S.MachoMan and put on an X Sp. Defense. After an intense fight with healing, Leech Seeding, and Brick Breaking, with 1 HP left the Leech Seed destroys the dragon.
Oh yeah! We have gotten the badge- Wait what? She's REFUSING to give me the badge?! Why?! We defeated her? What is with this place? Does having a city name of Blackthorn automatically give you the ability to ignore all Pokemon League rules?! Now we have to do some stupid Dragon Challenge? Man, I hate Clair. See this is why I like Jasmine more, she actually gives you the badge, no matter how epic or close the fight is.