Raichu

Type Tier
Electric UU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Stat
HP
60
323
Atk
90
278
Def
55
208
SpA
90
278
SpD
80
258
Spe
100
298
  • Overused

Overview

Raichu's Speed, along with Rain Dance, lets it become a very good middle-to-late-game threat, where incurring 60-70% with a Surf looks a lot better than it did when everything was at full health. A Grass-type works excellently alongside Raichu to help buffer Earthquake, along with the fact that Fire-types won't be at full strength if you use Rain Dance. While once BL in tiers, it has sunk more towards UU as time progressed due to the strengthening of teams and Raichu not matching up well to the new standards: there was a time where Miltank was more popular than Blissey; that was Raichu's prime in GSC. Raichu is simply too fragile to be considered for today's OU play. At the same time, however, it isn't quite the run of the mill useless Pokémon. It isn't very difficult to use, and since it is valuable early in the game to paralyze, in the middle to inflict doses of damage as well as setting up Rain Dance, and late-game to sweep away entire teams of crippled and paralyzed Pokémon. It is a viable, although often neglected, Pokémon.

Name Item

Rain Dance

Leftovers / Miracle Berry
Moveset
~ Thunder
~ Surf
~ Rain Dance
~ Substitute / Thunder Wave

Raichu takes advantage of its best assets with this set. Rain Dance comes natural to it as it is one of two (along with Lanturn) who can take advantage of both the perfect accuracy of Thunder along with Surf, due to Thunder being boosted by STAB and thus all the more powerful. Surf will take out many of Raichu's natural enemies, including every Ground Pokémon that's not named Quagsire. Substitute is great when a Pokémon with Earthquake switches in because, along with Leftovers, it will only cost you around 13% of your total health to get a cheap hit in on whatever switched in. If paralyzing Pokémon with certain accuracy is a need, then Thunder Wave makes a good fourth move. Miracle Berry can be used to protect Raichu from opposing status effects while spreading paralysis with Thunder Wave.

Name Item

Thunder Wave

Miracle Berry
Moveset
~ Thunderbolt
~ Surf
~ Thunder Wave
~ Seismic Toss

This is a conservative set which is effective. While it sacrifices the power gained by having Thunder and Rain Dance, it requires no set up and Seismic Toss has proven to be useful on occasion for finishing off weak Pokémon who otherwise have very little to fear from Raichu, such as Grass-types. This set won't prove as useful in desperate situations like the Rain Dance set will, but it is very reliable and you know what you are getting coming into a battle, unlike the other set.

Name Item

Support

Leftovers
Moveset
~ Charm
~ Encore
~ Hidden Power Water / Reflect / Light Screen
~ Thunderbolt

Encore Raichu is the perfect counter to the hordes of Curse-using Pokémon that plague GSC. The idea here is simple; switch in on something as it uses Curse and then use Encore. If they try to keep using Curse until their Encore wears off, then you can just use Charm to lower their Attack stat faster than they can raise it. It also helps stop Mean Look + Perish Song users, as you can just switch it in on the Mean Look and then use Encore to trap them in that move.

Hidden Power Water (Surf + Encore is an illegal move combination) is a useful secondary attack to have, as it can take care of Ground-types such as Rhydon or Donphan after having Encored their Rest, Sleep Talk, or Curse. Using Reflect or Light Screen is also an option to support the rest of your team; however, both moves are fairly common on many other Pokémon, so use them only if you don't have screen coverage elsewhere. Thunderbolt is Raichu's most reliable STAB attack and helps to pick off weakened enemies.

Other Options

While Raichu's movepool is somewhat limited, the few alternatives it does possess can prove vastly useful. Raichu can make use of Endure and Reversal thanks to its good Attack stat, something other special attackers lack. With good Speed and the ability to spread paralysis, it could cause some problems late-game. If improving your Defense is more your thing than lowering their Attack, Reflect helps out Raichu and any other team members who may be soft defensively. Hidden Power Ice can be used for Grass-types if you choose not to go the Seismic Toss route, as it gives Raichu a special-based attack that is super effective on them rather than fixed damage.

Checks and Counters

Anything that is faster than Raichu can prove to be a mess to handle, due to its 298 Speed being its most valuable weapon. Ground-types, while suffering from Raichu's Surf, will be able to KO Raichu in one hit if it doesn't have Charm or Reflect—even then it will only buy Raichu an extra turn. Most of its weaknesses come from simple type-based match-ups that are difficult for it to overcome. The most important thing to remember about Raichu is don't be a hero; if it isn't faster and can't kill the opposing Pokémon, make sure the game is in hand before committing to an attack. If a strong Pokémon survives Raichu's attack, that will be the last of it for the battle.