Raichu

Static
30% chance to paralyze when struck by a contact move.
Lightningrod
When hit with an Electric-type move, Special Attack is boosted by one stage. All Electric-type attacks are drawn to this Pokemon.
Type Tier
Electric NU
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
60
- 135 167 -
Atk
90
99 110 142 156
Def
55
67 75 107 117
SpA
90
99 110 142 156
SpD
80
90 100 132 145
Spe
100
108 120 152 167

Overview

Raichu may not be the best Pokemon in the VGC metagame, but it's still a Pokemon to consider. This generation, Raichu received a new addition to its arsenal from the Dream World: Lightningrod.This ability grants Raichu an immunity to Electric-type moves, as well as a Special Attack boost when hit by them. Additionally, Raichu still has the tools it has always had: a wide movepool, excellent Speed, and good Special Attack. Lightningrod makes Raichu an excellent choice to use on any rain team, as it can draw away all Electric-type attacks aimed at its Water-type teammates and obtain the aforementioned Special Attack boost. However, Raichu's terrible defenses allow most powerful neutral attacks to strike it down. If it weren't for Lightningrod and Encore, Raichu would be outclassed by other Electric-types such as Zapdos. All in all, Raichu can serve as a useful counter to rain teams, an option to use on your own rain teams, as well as a powerful special attacker on an offensive team.

Name Item Ability Nature

Special Attacker

Focus Sash Lightningrod Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Thunderbolt / Discharge
~ Fake Out
~ Hidden Power Ice / Focus Blast
~ Protect / Encore
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

This set utilizes Raichu's high Special Attack, good Speed, and decent movepool to turn it into a hard-hitting special attacker. Thunderbolt is Raichu's most reliable STAB move, hitting almost every Pokemon that doesn't resist it for good damage. Another option for a STAB move is Discharge; the 30% paralysis chance that Discharge provides can be very helpful. However, as Discharge hits all Pokemon on the field instead of just one, it should only be used if Raichu's teammates are immune to Electric-type attacks. Fake Out is more of a support move, meant to be used on turn one to flinch the opponent; this helps Raichu to break Focus Sashes and take down threats immediately with the combined help of a teammate. Hidden Power Ice hits Dragon-types that resist Raichu's STAB move, such as Latios and Haxorus, for super effective damage; it also provides coverage against Ground-types that threaten Raichu, such as Garchomp. Focus Blast is an alternative coverage move that allows Raichu to hit Rock- and Ice-types such as Tyranitar and Abomasnow for super effective damage. The choice between Hidden Power Ice and Focus Blast depends on the type of Pokemon your team has trouble with. Protect allows Raichu to avoid Fake Out from faster Pokemon on turn one and is also useful for scouting purposes. Encore is also a viable choice for the fourth moveslot, however; it forces a Pokemon into using the move it used last, and is thus useful against Pokemon that set up Trick Room or Tailwind.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Although being being locked into one attack is unfavorable, Choice Scarf and Choice Specs are also options to consider; a Choice set consisting of Thunderbolt, Focus Blast, Hidden Power Ice, and Grass Knot can be effective. Using Nasty Plot and Agility in conjunction with Focus Sash is somewhat viable, allowing Raichu to obtain a power or Speed boost while surviving an attack, then hit back on the next turn. Since Raichu's Attack stat and physical movepool aren't too shabby, a physical set consisting of Volt Tackle, Return, Iron Tail, and Brick Break is a possibility as well. A SubPunch set with two other physical moves—most notably Volt Tackle and Iron Tail—is another powerful set; however, this is illegal with Lightningrod. A set with Substitute and three attacks can be used to block status, but Raichu isn't drastically affected by any type of status, and status isn't too common anyway. Grass Knot or Hidden Power Grass can be used over Focus Blast or Hidden Power Ice, respectively, to hit Gastrodon hard. Even though it is somewhat of a gimmick, Magnet Rise can also be used to turn Raichu's lone Ground-type weakness into an immunity.

Checks and Counters

Thanks to its good special bulk, Gastrodon can take any hit Raichu throws at it and strike back with a super effective Earth Power. However, Gastrodon should be wary of Hidden Power Grass and Grass Knot, as they do heavy damage; on the other hand, Rindo Berry, which is one of Gastrodon's most commonly held items, solves this problem. Strong, faster Fake Out users such as Weavile can break Raichu's Focus Sash and flinch it on turn one, KOing it the next turn with a powerful STAB attack. Terrakion is also a pretty good check to Raichu; it outspeeds Raichu and OHKOes it with Close Combat. Lanturn is immune to Raichu's STAB thanks to Volt Absorb, resists Hidden Power Ice, takes little damage from Focus Blast, and can hit Raichu hard with a STAB Surf. Tyranitar walls any Raichu that doesn't carry Focus Blast quite well; sandstorm breaks Raichu's Focus Sash and also provides Tyranitar with a Special Defense boost. Similarly, Abomasnow can take down Raichu easily with a powerful STAB move thanks to Snow Warning. Since Garchomp usually carries Yache Berry, it can take any hit from Raichu and KO it with a STAB Earthquake. In general, physical attackers which are faster or bulky enough to take a hit can easily take it down, as Raichu's Defense stat is horrendous.