- 30% chance to paralyze when struck by a contact move.
- When hit with an Electric-type move, Special Attack is boosted by one stage. All Electric-type attacks are drawn to this Pokemon.
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
While Pikachu has never been a stellar Pokemon competitively, make no mistake: Pikachu is an incredibly powerful offensive threat. When utilizing its signature item Light Ball, its offensive stats rival those of Rayquaza and Deoxys. Combined with a sufficient movepool and good speed, it might be difficult to see why Pikachu is such a rare sight in the standard NU metagame. However, after a second look at its base stats, Pikachu's main downfall should be fairly obvious: its bulk is absolutely pathetic, being even lower than the likes of Haunter or Kadabra. While Pikachu can mitigate its fraility somewhat with Substitute, Encore, and its new Dream World ability, Lightningrod, its second downfall isn't as easy to overlook. The very Light Ball that makes Pikachu viable is also what makes it so limited; as Pikachu needs its Light Ball to not be complete dead weight, it is unable to use any other item, including Life Orb and all Choice items. Thus, Pikachu might not hit as hard as you might think it would: traditional powerhouses greatly depend on the boosts these items provide while Pikachu has to do without. Successfully using Pikachu will require massive amounts of team support and top-level prediction.
Pikachu's absolutely pathetic defenses make a Substitute set its best option. Thanks to its good speed, immunity to Electric-type attacks (including Thunder Wave), and access to Encore, Pikachu can find plenty of opportunities to set up a free Substitute. Substitute is an amazing move for Pikachu overall, as it not only eases prediction, but also allows Pikachu to dodge priority attacks while it hits the opposing Pokemon hard. Thunderbolt is Pikachu's main STAB move and is equivalent in power to a Thunderbolt from Life Orb Zapdos. Hidden Power Ice provides Pikachu with ever-reliable BoltBeam coverage, allowing it to get around Grass- and Dragon-types that would normally wall it. Encore is chosen in the final slot to give Pikachu a much easier time setting up Substitutes; by Encoring an Electric-type attack or a support move, such as Eelektross's Thunderbolt or Regirock's Stealth Rock, Pikachu can set up for free and begin pummeling the opponent with powerful attacks. However, Pikachu can forgo the use of Encore for a Substitute + 3 attacks set, using Grass Knot to OHKO Seismitoad and 2HKO specially defensive Regirock. Grass Knot also hits Camerupt harder than any other move on this set.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Nasty Plot allows Pikachu to boost its already great Special Attack and go for a sweep. After a single Nasty Plot, Pikachu's Special Attack hits an astonishing 796. Pikachu can find opportunities to set up Nasty Plots by utilizing Substitute or Encore. Unfortunately Pikachu can only fit either Substitute or Encore on this set, not both. Each has their own merits and while Encore is arguably easier to use, Substitute is the primary slash as it prevents Pikachu from being revenge killed by faster Pokemon or slammed by priority, and also allows it to more reliably deal with Sucker Punch mindgames from Skuntank and Cacturne. Thunderbolt and Hidden Power Ice provide BoltBeam coverage as always, allowing Pikachu to hit the majority of Pokemon in the NU tier for insane damage after a boost, bar Unaware Quagsire.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Static is an inferior ability to Lightningrod, but it might have to be used in order to give Pikachu access to moves that are incompatible with its Dream World ability, such as Focus Punch. Volt Switch is a fantastic move for scouting, but it's generally better used by Choice users, such as Rotom-S and Raichu. Knock Off is a great move, especially with all of the Eviolite Pokemon that are popular in NU, but Pikachu generally doesn't have room for it. An Agility set can work, but Pikachu's power isn't as amazing as it might first seem, and Pikachu risks being OHKOed or statused by anything it can't immediately OHKO. A physical set with Volt Tackle, Pikachu's most powerful attack, sounds decent on paper, but Pikachu isn't going to last long, as it will quickly kill itself with that awful base 35 HP stat. Other options for a physical set include Brick Break, Fake Out, and ExtremeSpeed. Note that ExtremeSpeed isn't legal with Lightningrod.
Checks and Counters
Pikachu is afraid of anything faster than it with a powerful STAB attack, such as Swellow or Choice Scarf users, including Braviary and Sawk. Priority users, particularly Gurdurr and Linoone, can really hurt Pikachu if it isn't behind a Substitute. Sucker Punch is also a threat, but it's not usually a reliable way to kill Pikachu, as most tend to hide behind Substitutes or Encores. Due to its massive Special Defense, Probopass doesn't really care about an unboosted Pikachu's attacks, except for the rare Hidden Power Ground, and it can 2HKO Pikachu with Power Gem. Camerupt is in a similar situation, but both Pokemon must be wary of being Encored into the likes of Stealth Rock or Thunder Wave. Seismitoad also completely walls any Pikachu that is not running Grass Knot.