Raichu, The Mouse Pokémon. When its electricity builds, its muscles are stimulated, and it becomes more aggressive than usual. It can loose 100,000-volt bursts of electricity, instantly downing foes several times its size. If the electrical sacs become excessively charged, Raichu plants its tail in the ground and discharges. Scorched patches of ground will be found near this Pokémon's nest. This Pokémon exudes a weak electrical charge from all over its body that makes it take on a slight glow in darkness. Raichu plants its tail in the ground to discharge electricity.
First of all. HAPPY 20TH BIRTHDAY POKEMON!!!!!!
Now onto our poor underrated friend Raichu. Not in terms of competitive usability mind you, no, I mean in terms of popularity. Usually it's the pre-evolutions what that get overshadowed by the evolutions, and usually for good reason. But this? It's all backwards. Raichu has, since the dawn of its creation, been forever cursed to live in the shadow of its vastly overhyped, yet admittedly cute, pre-evolution Pikachu. It makes no sense to me. Raichu is way cooler looking not to mention drastically outspeeds it now and has more raw power and potential despite Game Freak's best efforts to make Pikachu viable. In my opinion Raichu should always have been their poster Pokémon.
Static: The opponent has a 30% chance of being induced with paralysis when using an attack, that requires physical contact, against this Pokémon. This is nice, but it requires physical contact, and as its worst stat is Defense, it'll probably only trigger when it falls.
I'm Not Gonna Raichu A Love Song
Pretty simple stuff here. Nasty Plot greatly increases Raichu's natural raw power and allows it to break through bulkier teams. Thunderbolt is always Raichu's STAB move of choice with its good power and no drawbacks at all. Focus Blast gives Raichu a good coverage option and is worth taking despite its low accuracy , while lastly you have Hidden Power Ice to dish out respectable damage to those darn Grass-types and Ground-type pests.
-Raichu also has access to its evolution line's signature Volt Tackle technique.
VGC, Double & Triple Battle Options
- Volt Tackle
Lightningrod is preferred to shut down Thunder Wave, though Static isn't terrible (but still inferior) since most people will predict Lightningrod, and at least you may get a free paralysis as you go down since Raichu can't take a physical hit anyway. Nuzzle for speed control and 25% chance of full paralysis. Raichu's Fake Out is one of the fastest in the game (only Weavile or a rare post-mega Lopunny are faster relevant threats) and most importantly, faster than M-Kang's. Feint goes great with Fake Out when you predict a double Protect against your Fake Out, and can be crucial in breaking Protects that try to stall out your speed control, or Quick Guards trying to Protect a primal or Xerneas from a Brave Bird, Bullet Punch, or Extreme Speed. Volt Tackle is incredibly strong against some top restricted legends:
Raichu is a different can of worms from Pikachu. While calling Raichu a Glass Cannon wouldn't be wrong per se, it is nowhere near as bad as Pikachu in this regard. Raichu's offensive presence is nowhere near that of Light Ball Pikachu's, and thus is reliant of setting up. Putting pressure on Raichu so that it can't setup (or become priority revenge kill Fodder) is helpful. Pokémon that resist Raichu's stab are good candidates. Roselia, Gogoat, Golem and Camerupt all resist Raichu's STAB and can weather a coverage move before KOing back. Golem get's special mention due to Sturdy; if it can come in with Sturdy unbroken, it is near guaranteed to get a KO on Raichu. Regice is another good option, though Focus Blast stings and +2 Focus Blast will KO if Regice has any residual damage. Dusclops and Dusknoir are in a similar boat with Regice, unable to stop a +2 Raichu, but otherwise able to manage it with their impressive bulk. Like with Pikachu, priority is another good option, due to Raichu's very high speed, though don't expect to nab OHKOs at full health. Normalize Delcatty, Floatzel, Flareon, and Pawniard can all take a big chunk out of Raichu with their priority moves. Ninjask again get's a special mention, being one of the few Pokémon that can outspeed Raichu and able to reliably KO it (Electrode outspeeds as well, but can't do anything besides boom).
And without further ado we have our ole friend Pikachu. The most iconic and arguably the cutest mon in all of Pokemon. Sadly that's about all it has going for it these days. You just can't make Pikachu viable competitively. Game Freak has tried several times. They gave it a signature item that doubles its offenses. They gave it an exceptionally powerful signature move. They gave it Surf, as well as a bunch of other unique moves with this whole costume thing. The gave it Extreme Speed. They even gave it a slight boost to its defense (which is putting lipstick on a pig more than anything). Nothing has worked. Unless they do something absurd like make the Light Ball double all of its other stats too, there's just no reason to put Pikachu on your team anymore.
Static: The opponent has a 30% chance of being induced with paralysis when using an attack, that requires physical contact, against this Pokémon. I hate seeing low Defense Pokémon with Contact-based Abilities. Plus, Static won't work against Limber Ability or Electric-Type Pokémon.
Light Em Up
Not super different from Raichu, but this set comes with more of a focus given to going out all with your attacks and pivoting with Volt Switch rather than trying to set up. Which is why I highly recommend you try to hunt down a Surfing Pikachu if you have your heart set on using Pika on your team because it's almost never going to have the opportunity to set up on anything due to being even frailer than Raichu. Plus it just gives you amazing coverage for your all out attack. The only downside is you're stuck with Static as an ability.
If you're unable to find one with Surf though go with Nasty Plot instead and get one with Lightning Rod too. It's a way better ability for Pikachu, and we were only using a Static one because we had no choice anyway.
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