Raikou

Type Tier
Electric OU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Stat
HP
90
383
Atk
85
268
Def
75
248
SpA
115
328
SpD
100
298
Spe
115
328
  • Overused

Overview

Lions and Tigers and Raikou, oh my! With blistering base 115 Speed and Special Attack, great special bulk, Roar, and only one weakness, Raikou has the qualities most phazers and tanks wish they had. This combination of factors allows Raikou to come in on a slew of special attackers and either tank them with a blazing fast RestTalk combo or phaze them with Roar. Speaking of Roar, Raikou is one of the most dependable phazers in OU. Unlike many of its phazing brethren, Raikou has both significant offensive prowess in Thunder as well as amazing Speed. With Spikes support, Raikou can become a true terror. Good base 90 HP and 100 Special Defense give Raikou some serious special bulk, but its low Defense is a bit of a drag, especially with a weakness to the ubiquitous Earthquake. Raikou's movepool is shallow, and it can do little to the most common Pokemon in OU—Snorlax. However, beyond these few issues, Raikou is easily one of the most dependable Pokemon in OU and will shine as a member of any team.

Name Item

Phazer

Leftovers
Moveset
~ Thunder / Thunderbolt
~ Roar
~ Reflect / Hidden Power Ice / Hidden Power Water
~ Rest

When it comes to dependable phazers, it doesn't get much better than Raikou. This set will stop numerous special attackers and setup sweepers such as Growth Vaporeon, Zapdos, Gengar, Suicune, and Growth Jolteon. Raikou will also serve as an effective check to any Misdreavus trying to Perish trap. While Roar phazes opponents and racks up entry hazard damage, Raikou can also threaten opponents with STAB Thunder. It can choose between both Thunder and Thunderbolt. Thunder has extra power and a 30% paralysis chance, while Thunderbolt is more accurate and has more PP. Reflect will halve the damage from physical sweepers such as Snorlax, Marowak, and Heracross, making it easier to switch out to a counter. Reflect will also greatly benefit Snorlax trying to set up Belly Drum, but without Hidden Power, Raikou will be unable to threaten Exeggutor or Ground-types. Hidden Power Ice and Water are both options over Reflect if Raikou needs the extra coverage. Rest is in the fourth slot to keep Raikou alive once its health has become dangerously low. Status from opponents, especially paralysis, will still be a pain, and without Sleep Talk, Raikou will be forced to either switch out or wait for the sleep from rest to end. Raikou's Rest is incredibly fast and with its superior bulk opponents will often fail to KO or significantly damage Raikou as it regains its health before they can attack.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item

RestTalk

Leftovers
Moveset
~ Thunderbolt / Thunder
~ Hidden Power Ice / Hidden Power Water
~ Rest
~ Sleep Talk

With its excellent base 115 Speed, Raikou is the second fastest Pokemon in OU behind Jolteon. This means that Raikou will almost always have a chance to hammer the opponent before they can fire back. Incredibly fast recovery in Rest and the ability to continue attacking opponents with Thunder once asleep make Raikou a potent tank. Rather than phazing common special threats such as Zapdos, Gengar, Growth Vaporeon, and Exeggutor this set aims to abuse Raikou's great tanking ability. This Raikou set will also prevent Skarmory, Starmie, and Suicune from phazing, or Rapid Spinning in Starmie's case. Switching into this set can be deadly as Raikou can hit the opponent very hard twice before they can even move. The difference between using Thunder or Thunderbolt comes down to the classic argument of accuracy versus raw power. Thunderbolt will provide more consistency but Thunder will provide the power necessary to muscle through opposing tanks such as Zapdos. The paralysis chance from Thunder is beneficial in general, but its low accuracy and PP are a pain, especially in longer matches. Hidden Power Ice and Water are both great options for this set. Hidden Power Ice provides super effective coverage against Exeggutor, Ground-types, and Dragonite. However, Hidden Power Water will hit certain Ground-types such as Steelix and Rhydon much harder. One side note regarding Hidden Power Water—the IV drop from using Water over Ice will cause many moves to KO Raikou more often and more quickly than if it used Hidden Power Ice. For example, with Hidden Power Water, Raikou will almost always be OHKOed by Gengar's Explosion, while Tyranitar's Rock Slide will go from a 4HKO to a 3HKO.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Raikou has one of the most shallow movepools in the game and offers little in the way of alternative options to the sets listed above. However, there are a few other options Raikou can utilize if need be. Crunch on the RestTalk is a more effective way to damage opposing Raikou and Exeggutor, and the possiblity of a Special Defense drop will also come in handy versus opponents with large special bulk. However, STAB Thunder, even when resisted, is stronger than a neutral Crunch. Considering Thunder's high paralysis chance, Crunch is usually not worth dropping Hidden Power for Raikou match-ups. Hidden Power Grass over Hidden Power Ice or Water will give Quagsire a nasty surprise if it should come in on Raikou. Rhydon and Marowak are also covered by Hidden Power Grass. However, losing out on the super effective coverage from Hidden Power Ice against Nidoking and Exeggutor is less than preferable. Toxic is a possibility to wear down Snorlax and any walls that switch in. However, Thunder is often powerful enough to render Toxic unnecessary; giving up Reflect, and thereby leaving Raikou totally and completely walled by Nidoking and Steelix, is usually not worth the trouble of adding Toxic, either.

Checks and Counters

Raikou easily checks a large swath of the metagame, but some opponents will flip the tables on the electric tiger. Snorlax is the defining member of OU and threatens nearly everything that tries to come in, including Raikou. Even if Raikou has Reflect, Snorlax will still be able to set up with Curse or paralyze Raikou with Body Slam. As such, Raikou will almost always be forced to switch out of Snorlax, giving the latter an extra turn to either set up, attack, or switch to another teammate. With its wonderful Electric immunity, Quagsire is an excellent Raikou check as long as the latter doesn't pack Hidden Power Grass. Quagsire easily threatens with Earthquake and can set up with Belly Drum as Raikou switches in fear of being severely damaged. Rhydon and Marowak can come in on a predicted Thunder and threaten Raikou with a super effective Earthquake. However, both will need to be wary of switching in on Hidden Power. Steelix also makes a good check to Raikou as long as it doesn't use Hidden Power Water. Even if Raikou has Reflect up, Steelix can phaze with Roar, potentially racking up Spikes damage. Jolteon resists Thunder and can use RestTalk Raikou as an opportunity to set up Agility or Substitute, then Baton Pass to a Ground-type such as Marowak or Rhydon that can come in and fire away with STAB Earthquake. However, Jolteon won't be able to set up against phazing Raikou at all, and it especially won't like the 30% paralysis chance from Thunder. Blissey also deserves a mention as a check because of its ridiculous Special Defense and HP, as it can also use Light Screen to completely neuter Raikou and go for the freeze with Ice Beam.