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.
+ A buffed Speed stat to 110 allows him to outspeed a ton of Pokemon, now outspeeding the likes of Pokemon like Infernape and Garchomp.
+ Base 90 Attack and Special Attack isn't too bad, and with access to Nasty Plot, this thing hits ridiculously hard on the Special Side.
+ Not too bad when it comes to Type coverage. Has access to stuff like Signal Beam, Iron Tail, Grass Knot, Brick Break, Dig and Focus Blast.
+ Has a lot of useful utility moves like Toxic, Thunder Wave, Electroweb, Nuzzle, Encore and Fake Out.
+ A lot of helpful Electric moves. Thunder Punch, Thunder, Thunderbolt, Nuzzle, Charge Beam, Wild Charge, Discharge and it's signature move Volt Tackle.
+ This thing is the evolved form of Pikachu - the Pokemon that's treated like a God by the developers. This means ANY events that Pikachu gets, so does Raichu. This includes the likes of Extremespeed, Fly, Endeavor... and SURF.
+ Unlike Pikachu, Raichu doesn't need a Light Ball to actually work.

- Raichu is frail. ....REALLY frail. Even 85 Special Defense isn't going to help with Base 60 HP and Base 55 Defense. Almost any time you use it (unless you're some sort of wizard,) Earthquake will END IT.
- Some of the unique moves from Pikachu... are from events. So if you're trying to have something like Surf.... have fun trying to get it legitimately.


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.
Hidden Ability:
Lightningrod: Electric-type moves are drawn to this Pokémon. Electric-type moves will do no damage and the Pokémon's Special Attack is raised one stage. If the Pokémon is Ground-type, moves are drawn to it, but it gets no boost. This is an amazing ability, as it essentially gives it an immunity and a free boost from Electric-type moves, and they are very common *cough*thunder wave volt switch*cough*.


I'm Not Gonna Raichu A Love Song

-Nasty Plot
-Focus Blast
-Hidden Power Ice
Item Attached: Life Orb
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 SpA, 252 Spe, 4 HP
Timid Nature

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.

Other Options

-Raichu also has access to its evolution line's signature Volt Tackle technique.
-Surf is a good move to give to Raichu if you have the good fortune to get a Surfing Pikachu, but you'll be forced to carry Static as an ability and you won't have access to Nasty Plot either.
-There's also Fake Out, which can be useful if you can fit it in.
-Signal Beam and Grass Knot aren't bad alternate coverage moves.
-Thunder is a good option if you're using Raichu on a rain team for some reason, but you're way safer with Thunderbolt otherwise.
-Substitute + Focus Punch is fun to play with if you want to try to something different.

VGC, Double & Triple Battle Options

The Zapper

- Volt Tackle
- Fake Out
- Nuzzle
- Feint
Item Attached: Zap Plate
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Timid Nature

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:

Countering Raichu

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).

Pre-Evolution Corner - Special Pikachu Edition


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.
+ Exclusive item in Light Ball that doubles its offensive stats
+ Wide variety of exclusive moves

- Needs Light Ball to even stand a prayer of doing anything
- Outclassed by Raichu and most electric types all across the board


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.
Hidden Ability:
Lightningrod: Electric-type moves are drawn to this Pokémon. Electric-type moves will do no damage and the Pokémon's Special Attack is raised one stage. If the Pokémon is Ground-type, moves are drawn to it, but it gets no boost. Now THIS is a good Ability that allows you to switch in safely on a good prediction. Draws Electric Moves towards you, your Sp.Atk is buffed upon taking those Moves, and you don't take damage from them either.

Light Em Up

-Volt Switch
-Hidden Power Ice
Item Attached: Light Ball
Ability: Static / Lightning Rod
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 SpA, 252 Spe, 4 HP
Timid Nature

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.

Locations in Games

Evolve Pikachu

Evolve Pikachu

Trade from Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald/FireRed/LeafGreen

Evolve Pikachu

Evolve Pikachu

Transfer from Generation IV

Black 2/White 2:
Transfer from Generation IV

Evolve Pikachu

Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Evolve Pikachu

Animé Appearences

Raichu has made a few appearances in the anime. Most notably, various trainers have had it to rival Pikachu such as Lt. Surge.

# -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
868 Good Friends, Great Training! Enter Wartortle and Raichu! Sliggoo Does its Best!! Pics
929 Valuable Experience for All! Mega Sceptile VS Raichu! I Received Some EXP!! Pics
930 Analysis Versus Passion! Semifinal Full Battle! Ash VS Sawyer!! Pics
956 Racing to a Big Event! The Great Alola Pancake Race! Pics
985 Alola, Kanto An Alola! in Kanto! Brock & Misty! Pics
998 The Professors' New Adventure! Thank You, Solgaleo! You are Our Nebby!! Pics
999 Let Sleeping Pokémon Lie! A Strong Sleeper: Komala's Secret Pics
1015 Sours for the Sweet! Ta-Dough! Burn with Passion, Mallow's Family! Pics
1027 The Shape of Love to Come! The Shape of Family: Poipole's Feelings! Pics
1029 I Choose Paradise! I Choose Here! The Pokémon Steam Paradise!! Pics
1045 Alola, Alola! An Alola! in Alola! Brock and Misty! Pics
1072 Battle Royal 151 Brawl! Battle Royal 151!! Pics
1073 Battling Besties! Mallow & Lana! A Fully Powered Battle of Friendship!! Pics
1074 The Battlefield of Truth and Love! Jessie VS James! A Battlefield of Love and Truth!! Pics
1081 Final Rivals! The Finals! The Ultimate Rival Showdown!! Pics
1087 From Z to Shining Z! The Greatest Z in Alola! Tapu Koko VS Pikachu! Pics
1107 Destination: Coronation! Ash Joins In! The Pokémon World Coronation Series!! Pics
1124 Gotta Catch a What?! I Got Pikachu Pics
1126 The New Old Gang of Mine I Am Back! Nice to See You, Alola! Pics
1140 Trials of a Budding Master! The Great Farfetch'd Trial! Pics
1142 Healing the Healer! Getting a Legend?! Search for Suicune, the Guardian Deity of Water!! Pics
1149 Beyond Chivalry... Aiming to be a Leek Master! Aim to Become Leek Master! Stay With Me, Chivalry!! Pics
1151 Not Too Close for Comfort! Woebegone Drizzile! Pics
1156 Sleuths for Truth! Pikachu the Suspect!? Pics
1159 Take My Thief! Please! Please Get Morpeko!! Pics
1162 Grabbing the Brass Ring! Commander Pikachu! Head Forth, Falinks!! Pics
1183 TBC The Heracross Loss and the Pinsir in Love Pics