Raichu

Raichu, The Mouse Pokémon. It turns aggressive if it has too much electricity in its body. It discharges power through its tail. It can loose 100,000-volt bursts of electricity, instantly downing foes several times its size. Its tail discharges electricity into the ground, protecting it from getting shocked. When its electricity builds, its muscles are stimulated, and it becomes more aggressive than usual. If the electric pouches in its cheeks become fully charged, both ears will stand straight up.

Overview

Raichu has always been in the shadow of its pre-evolution Pikachu. While the anime allowed Pikachu to enjoy deity-levels of fame and power poor Raichu scrapped by getting short cameos as background characters and the occasional episodes with Lt. Surge. At least in battle Raichu was able to hold its own, enjoying far superior offenses and defenses than the cute mouse... that is until Gold and Silver introduced the Light Ball item. This item gave Pikachu doubled Special Attack, boosting it so high that it was only surpassed by Mewtwo. Despite being a bit weaker than Pikachu there are still many reasons to use it. Raichu has higher speed, MUCH better defenses and while holding a Life Orb it's only slightly less powerful. Raichu faces a lot of competition from not only its pre-evolution, but also nearly every other Electric type in existence.

Abilities

Static: The opponent has a 30% chance of being induced with PARALYZE when using an attack that requires physical contact against this Pokémon. This is a pretty cool ability. Not that Raichu is built to take hits, but you can leave a lasting impression on that Absol that Sucker Punches you, or the Choice Scarf Emboar that ends your sweep.
Lightningrod: Electric-type moves will do no damage and the Pokémon's SP ATK is raised one stage when hit by one. While Static may be handy sometimes Lightningrod makes you immune to Thunder Wave, which completely rocks. The Special Attack boost is also amazing when attempting a Nasty Plot sweep.

Movesets

I'm not gonna Raichu a love song

- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Focus Blast / Grass Knot
- Nasty Plot
Item Attached: Life Orb
Ability: Lightningrod
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)

There are a lot of specially offensive electrics immune to their own types, but Raichu is one of the only ones to get Nasty Plot. Well unless you want to use Plusle or Minun (but they completely suck). The goal is obviously to Nasty Plot on something, then attempt a sweep. Raichu has a respectable 100 base speed making a sweep actually possible in the lower tiers though you have to remove Sucker Punch Absol and anything holding a Choice Scarf before you do. Thunderbolt does heavy damage to anything that doesn't resist it after a Nasty Plot. Hidden Power Ice beats grass types and Altaria. Focus Blast has great coverage, letting you OHKO Lickilicky, Bastiodon and Regice with Stealth Rock support after a Nasty Plot. Focus Blast has bad accuracy though so try to use it sparingly. Modest is an ok nature, but Timid is suggested as 100 base speed is very fast for NU. Grass Knot is good for hitting Rock and Ground types extremely hard, as most of them are heavy. It also beats the rare Water / Ground types in NU such as Seismitoad. Focus Blast is the better move though... as long as you can deal with missing once in a while.

Weapon of mouse destruction

- Substitute
- Volt Tackle
- Focus Punch
- Grass Knot / Hidden Power [Ice]
Item Attached: Expert Belt / Leftovers
Ability: Static
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SAtk / 252 Spd
Lonely Nature (+Atk, -Def)

Raichu is a force to be reckoned with after a Nasty Plot but it still has trouble with Special Walls, as well as faster Pokemon. This set gives up any hope for a sweep and instead capitalizes on Raichu's talents as a lure. Switch in on a Pokemon that you know will switch out, such as Alomomola or Wartortle and use Substitute. Then, depending on what your opponent switches in use Volt Tackle or Focus Punch. Things that would counter you like Lickilicky are decimated by Focus Punch. Volt Tackle gives Raichu one of the most physically powerful Electric attacks in the game which will tear through pretty much anything that doesn't resist it. Even defensive Altaria is KOed in two hits. Grass Knot can be used to hit Golurk and Golem who could beat you otherwise through immunities and Rock Blast respectively. Hidden Power Ice however gives Raichu the ability to hit grass types harder. Its important to note that Lightningrod and Focus Punch can not be used together as Focus Punch is not a TM in Black and White. Lonely nature helps Focus Punch do as much damage as possible while sacrificing Raichu's already weak defense. Expert Belt helps make the first surprise Focus Punch even more unforgiving but Leftovers can help negate the damage from Substitute and Volt Tackle.

Other Options

Choice Specs / Choice Scarf, Choice Band, Surf, Rain Dance / Thunder, Brick Break, Volt Switch, Fake Out, Signal Beam, Air Balloon and Electro Ball.
Raichu has the stats and movepool to run a Choice Specs or Choice Scarf set. The problem is that there are a lot of other Electric types that do the same thing, but have higher speed and offenses.
Choice Band on the other hand is something Raichu can do better than pretty much every other Electric type. The problem is that besides Volt Tackle its physical movepool is pretty bad. Maybe something like Volt Tackle, Brick Break, Iron Tail and... Quick Attack? Meh, you might as well just use Choice Band Sawk or something.
While not available yet, Surf will probably be released again as it has each other generation in some form. Surf doesn't really hit anything Grass Knot doesn't besides I guess Camerupt so even when it does become available it's not worth using.
Raichu can use Rain Dance / Thunder but its too slow, and is largely outclassed by other Electric types at that. If Surf is available it might be a bit more useful however.
Brick Break smashes Rock types but doesn't require Substitute or risk like Focus Punch does. It also breaks Reflect / Light Screen. Shame its only 75 base power, because that is very weak.
Volt Switch is a lot of fun to scout out your counters and deal some damage to them. It doesn't hit very hard and Raichu is worse at Volt Switch spam than more bulky electrics like Rotom and Luxray.
Though very weak, Fake Out can rack up some damage and even pair with Volt Switch get a few hits for free. Raichu needs all four moveslots though and a weak 40 base power attack isn't going to be pulling its weight like Grass Knot or Volt Tackle would.
Signal Beam eradicates Exeggutor but doesn't really hit anything else.
Air Balloon turns Raichu's weakness into an immunity but the loss of power from Life Orb is huge. Things you would normally beat like Lickilicky now survive and retaliate.
Electro Ball gets a mention just to say you should never use it. If you use Thunder Wave then Electro Ball you will have 150 base power against most things but if you're going to spend two turns for one attack why not Nasty Plot then Thunderbolt and hit for 190 base power?

Double & Triple Battle Options

Not very much. It can be part of a Discharge / Lightningrod combo but that is useless compared to Discharge combos like Garchomp + Thundurus. Keep Raichu in your PC when you need someone for a Double or Triple battle. Widespread Earthquakes does the yellow rat no favors either.

Partners

Raichu excels in breaking down walls so Pokemon that enjoy the opposing special walls being crippled or fainted are good choices. Exeggutor has good type synergy with Raichu and can keep up the pressure with Sleep Powder + Leaf Storm. Rotom Fan form can Volt Switch freely if Raichu eliminates annoying Golem and Golurks. Kadabra can take a team down almost single handed if Lickilicky is KOed. Pokemon that have U-turn and Volt Switch are good partners as they can get Raikou switched into the battlefield without taking a hit, which is important as the rat's defenses are bad.

Countering Raichu

On paper not much. Without Focus Blast a bunch of things do well. Bastiodon, Lickilicky, Regice, Regirock, and Cradily all stop Raichu cold. Without Grass Knot Raichu has more trouble with Seismitoad, but no one really uses him. Gardevoir has trace to copy Lightningrod making it immune to Thunderbolt. Keep in mind most of the traditional Nasty Plot Raichu counters fall immediately to the Sub Puncher. Basically any Pokemon faster than Raichu can revenge kill it as its defenses are terrible. The list of Pokemon that can beat Raichu despite not switching in safely is pretty large. Cinccino, Absol, Sawk, Braviary, Emboar, Swellow, Cacturne, Kadabra, Floatzel, Serperior and Skuntank all revenge kill Raichu. It doesn't hit very hard without a Nasty Plot so most of the time you can just KO it as it tries to set up, or switch something faster in that can survive a random Thunderbolt. Just be aware that Raichu is more of a wall breaker than a sweeper. It will cut holes in your team so another Pokemon can sweep.

Locations in Games

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Evolve Pikachu.

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Evolve Pikachu

Colosseum/XD:
Trade from Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald/FireRed/LeafGreen

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Evolve Pikachu.

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Evolve Pikachu.

Black/White:
Evolve Pikachu
Transfer from other games

Black 2/White 2:
Evolve Pikachu
Transfer from other games

Animé Appearences

Raichu has made a few appearances. In its appearances, it is mostly seen as a rival to Ash's Pikachu and was used by Lt. Surge and Volkner

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
14 Electric Shock Showdown Electric Battle! Vermillion Gym Pics
28 Pokémon Fashion Flash Vulpix! Breeder Battle Pics
40 The Battling Eevee Brothers Four Eevee Brothers Pics
P1 Pikachu's Vacation Pikachu's Summer Vacation Pics
71 Lights, Camera, Quacktion! Pokémon: The Movie Pics
75 Bad to the Bone Marowak's Bone Club Pics
92 Stage Fight Dance! Pokémon Showboat! Pics
M2 The Power of One Revelation Lugia Pics
110 Pokémon Double Trouble Tag Match! The Last Gym! Pics
141 Mild'n Wooley Mareep Meadow's Girl!! Pics
148 Tricks Of The Trade Wobbuffet and the Pokémon Exchange! Pics
171 Beauty and the Breeder Sayonara Vulpix! Beauty Contest! Pics
C1 Legend of Thunder Raikou! Legend of Thunder! Pics
244 As Clear As Crystal Zapdos and the Crystal! Secret of the Lake! Pics
367 Lessons in Lilycove! Pokémon Contest! Lilycove Tournament! Pics
399 Deceit And Assist! Fierce Fighting! Grand Festival! (2)! Pics
492 Cooking up a Great Story! Showdown! Ash VS Pikachu! Pics
542 Pika and Goliath Pikachu! Raichu! The Road to Evolution! Pics
556 Camping It Up The Pokémon Summer School Offer Pics
617 Sticking With You Know Who Pikachu & Piplup Keep Away! Pics
632 Piplup, Up and Away Piplup Becomes Separated! Pics
633 Flint Sparks the Fire! Elite Four Flint and Gym Leader Volkner! Pics
634 The Fleeing Tower of Sunyshore! Takeoff! Sunyshore Tower!! Pics
M13 Zoroark - Master of Illusions Phantom Champion Zoroark Pics
804 Kalos, Where Dreams and Adventures Begin! We've Come to Kalos Region! Dreams and Adventures Begin! Pics
815 To Catch a Pokémon Smuggler! Catch the Pokémon Buyer! Operation: Spewpa Disguise!! Pics

 
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