Ash was sent by Professor Oak to Johto to deliver the GS Ball to Kurt for study and found Azalea Town suffering through a drought. Ash accidentally stepped on the tail of a local Slowpoke, and he was chased by an angry mob, but Kurt disguised him and his friends in Slowpoke costumes and saved them. Kurt lives in Azalea Town, a town that considered Slowpoke sacred for their mythical abilities to cause rainfall. Ash and his friends met him while investigating the Slowpoke Well because he heard strange noises coming from within. It turned out that Team Rocket was trying to steal the Slowpoke. Ash helped recover the Slowpoke and defeated Team Rocket. Later, Kurt received the GS Ball. Ash wanted to see if Kurt would make him special Poké Balls. Kurt gave Ash, Brock, and Misty each a Fast Ball as thanks for helping them. Ash and his friends gathered Apricorns and Kurt made Ash and Misty Lure Balls, and made Brock a Heavy Ball.