"to sea, or not to sea" ~Melodramatic Sailor
- Has an extraordinary Speed stat in comparisons to the rest of the tier, allowing it to outspeed many common Pokemon.
- Immune to its own typing, leaving it a relatively safe switch in to Electric-type Pokemon that outclass it. This also allows Raichu to force Volt Switch users to be more hesitant about using that move, hindering VoltTurn cores. (Weirdly phrased, gonna fix when thinking straight.)
- Is a potent user of Volt Switch which allows it to keep up offensive momentum.
- Is weak to priority, hindering its ability to sweep through opposing teams.
- Has to rely on a boosting item or a set up to be able to clean up games.
- Has only mediocre attacking stats in comparison to higher tier threats.
Encore + 3 Attacks
name: Encore + Attacks
move 1: Encore
move 2: Thunderbolt / Volt Switch
move 3: Focus Blast
move 4: Grass Knot
item: Life Orb
evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
- Encore allows for Raichu to prevent certain Pokemon from setting up, such as Barbaracle and Carracosta. It also ensures that Raichu can deal damage to a Pokemon regardless of the scenario.
- Thunderbolt is a hard hitting STAB move that is designed to truck through opposing Pokemon, though Volt Switch can be used in its place to keep up offensive momentum in situations where Thunderbolt would be more detrimental to carry.
- Focus Blast is a powerful move that can nail bulky Normal- and Steel- types such as Lickilicky and Bastiodon.
- Grass Knot allows for Raichu to decimate Ground- and Rock- type Pokemon such as Golem, as well as nail Pokemon such as Barbaracle and Carracosta.
- Raichu packs 252 Special Attack EVs to ensure the hits it delivers have a lasting impact, dealing great damage to many Pokemon that do not resist its movepool entirely.
- 252 Speed EVs coupled with a Timid nature leaves Raichu nearly never outsped by a large variety of Pokemon, allowing it to keep up offensive pressure on the opposing team.
- Life Orb also significantly increases the damage output of Raichu, allowing it to tear holes in opposing teams.
- It's best to use Encore in optimal situations, such as when a Pokemon is in the midst of setting up. This prevents them from further setting up while allowing for Raichu to fire off a free attack.
- Asides from preventing set up, Raichu is also used to whittle down opposing Pokemon to make way for another Pokemon to clean through them late game.
- Raichu is quite frail and easily decimated by Ground-type attacks, so having a safe switch in to such attacks is extremely helpful. For a more offensive team designed to keep momentum going, having Ninjask is great as it gives Raichu a safe switch in to Ground-type Attacks while Ninjask can U-turn out back into Raichu to avoid getting nailed by a Flying-type attack.
- Having a Pokemon to take advantage of an opposing Pokemon being Encored is beneficial. It is preferable to have a Pokemon that sets up while the opposing Pokemon is either unable to do any damage or to only be able to deal pitiful portions of damage. Such Pokemon could be Barbaracle or Carracosta.
name: Nasty Plot
move 1: Thunderbolt
move 2: Substitute / Encore
move 3: Nasty Plot
move 4: Grass Knot / Focus Blast
item: Leftovers / Life Orb
evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
- Thunderbolt is the most powerful 100% accurate STAB move Raichu gets, allowing it to deal massive amounts of damage to opposing Pokemon once it sets up Nasty Plots.
- Substitute is to allow for easier setting up for Raichu, as well as avoiding priority moves, Raichu is lacking in physical Defense.
- Encore allows for Raichu to incapacitate Pokemon that attempt to set up while making it easier for Raichu to set up.
- Nasty Plot is the main purpose of this set, boosting Raichu's already high 90 base Special Attack to extraordinary levels, allowing it to break through a good deal of Pokemon.
- Grass Knot is a move better suited for dealing with Pokemon such as Golem that would otherwise wall Raichu.
- Alternatively, Focus Blast can be used to nail defensive Normal-types such as Lickilicky, having over a 50% chance of OHKOing after a single Nasty Plot as well as still covering Pokemon such as Golem, which is always OHKOed before Raichu can set up.
- Leftovers allow for more residual recovery which is beneficial due to the self inflicted Substitute damage, however one can opt for a Life Orb to utilize Raichu as a mid- to late-game sweeper.
- 252 Speed EVs allow for Raichu to be one of the fastest Pokemon in the tier with a Timid nature.
- 252 Special Attack EVs allow for Raichu to tear through teams once it has began setting up Nasty Plot.
- Raichu is best used as a mid- to late-game sweeper or cleaner, as it requires having the opposing walls being whittled down before it can be truly effective.
- Raichu requires some outside assistance in whittling down both walls and priority users as it has subpar Defenses, leaving it susceptible to all priority attacks, save Vacuum Wave.
- Only switch Raichu in when safely, such as on a slow Volt Switch or U-turn, and attempt to set up a Substitute as early as possible.
- Alternatively, taking advantage of Choice locked Pokemon can allow for Raichu to get up a Substitute and proceed to set up, so take note of when a Pokemon is Choice locked into a move resisted by Raichu. Such Pokemon that are easily taken advantage of by Raichu are Choice Scarf Rotom-F, as it is easy to switch into on a previously chosen Thunderbolt or anticipated Volt Switch.
- Raichu appreciates a relatively safe switch-in to Ground-type attacks, so most Flying-type Pokemon or Pokemon with Levitate are nice teammates to Raichu.
- Seeing as Raichu either has little passive recovery or none, hazards can be quite detrimental to it. Having a Rapid Spin or Defog user greatly benefits the cleaning capabilities of Raichu. Mantine works great in this role, being able to switch in on Ground-type attacks easily, remove hazards, and proceed to switch back into Raichu if it needs to avoid an Electric-type attack. However, if you must opt for a Rapid Spinner as to not remove your own hazards, Avalugg is the only truly viable user. The only downside is that they both share a weakness to the same type and Raichu can offer no support for Avalugg.
- While having hazards on your side of the field is detrimental to Raichu, having Stealth Rocks and other hazards on the opponents side is greatly beneficial, whittling down special walls to the point where Raichu can finish them off after a few Nasty Plots.
name: All-out Attacker
move 1: Thunderbolt / Thunder
move 2: Volt Switch
move 3: Focus Blast
move 4: Hidden Power Ice
item: Choice Specs / Life Orb
evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
- Thunderbolt is a powerful STAB move with perfect accuracy, though Thunder has additional power at the expense of 30% accuracy. The main preference that goes behind this moveslot is dependent on the power for accuracy exchange you want.
- Volt Switch is a great STAB move that allows for Raichu to keep up offensive momentum.
- Focus Blast is a great move that allows Raichu to nail Steel-, Rock-, and Normal-types for immense damage, namely Bastiodon and Lickilicky. Focus Blast can also help Raichu deal with Rotom-F and Piloswine, which otherwise wall it with ease.
- Grass Knot allows for Raichu to deal with Golem relatively easily, alongside other heavier Ground-type Pokemon such as Whiscash.
- Having 252 EVs in Speed helps Raichu utilize its absurdly high Speed stat, leaving it nearly unrivaled in terms of being one of the faster Pokemon in the tier. Having a Timid nature only further boosts this already absurd Speed stat.
- 252 EVs in Special Attack alongside Choice Specs allow for Raichu to hit hard and leave lasting marks in opposing Pokemon. Alternatively, a Life Orb can be run as it still allows Raichu to hit hard without being locked into a move.
- Lightningrod is essentially the only viable ability for Raichu, as it grants Raichu an immunity alongside a chance to boost Special Attack, something that can be devastating for a Choice locked Pokemon.
- Raichu is easy to play around once it is locked into a move, so plan accordingly before acting rash with move choice. Don't use Electric-type moves when Pokemon such as Camerupt or Golem are around, and avoid using Focus Blast when Ghost-types such as Drifblim and Gourgeist are around.
- Raichu is easily revenge killed by priority attacks, so attempt to remove priority attacking Pokemon before using Raichu as a form of wallbreaker.
- Attempt to whittle special walls down before sending in Raichu, as even with Choice Specs, Raichu isn't the hardest hitting Pokemon in the tier, and requires certain assistance to be of much use.
- Raichu truly appreciates having a Ground-type attack switch in, due to its mediocre physical Defense and inability to take a decently strong Earthquake. In that respect, Mantine and Pelipper can play a defensive assisting role, being able to potentially burn faster Pokemon or those with access to priority. If you want to pair Raichu with a more offensive Pokemon that appreciates an Electric-type move switch in, Life Orb Swanna can help keep up an offensive core alongside Raichu.
- A physically attacking Pokemon that appreciates having opposing walls whittled down, such as Barbaracle or Sneasel work nicely with Raichu, being able to cover each others walls. However, they all share a same Ground-type weakness, which can pose an issue.
- Forming a more offensive core, having other U-turn and Volt Switch users help keep up momentum for your team while whittling down opposing Pokemon. Pokemon such as Scyther and Rotom-F, respectively, aide in this core with both being fast Pokemon that can dish damage out in conjunction with Raichu.
- Having hazards aides in wearing down opposing Pokemon, something especially beneficial in a VoltTurn core as it limits switching on the opposing team. Quilladin and Roselia are both competent Spikes stackers that can also function as defensive walls for Raichu to Volt Switch in to. Quilladin is a more solid Spikes setter, as it can provide Raichu with a Ground-type resist.
- Raichu has an Attack stat equal to its Special Attack stat, giving it the option of running a fully physical set, consisting of moves such as Volt Tackle, Brick Break, Body Slam, Extreme Speed, Iron Tail, and Knock Off.
- In place of a Choice item, you can bluff it by using an Expert Belt, amplifying the amount of damage you can deal since Raichu has a vast movepool.
- Raichu can run a mixed Choice Scarf set with Volt Tackle, Volt Switch, Knock Off, and Grass Knot to catch opponents off guard, as well as deal heavy damage.
- Raichu also has access to Surf to help it deal with Camerupt easily, which can be beneficial in instances.
Checks & Counters
**Priority**: Raichu is extremely frail on the physical side, leaving it susceptible to all priority moves asides from Vacuum Wave. This is extremely detrimental as many Pokemon carry some form of priority.
**Bulky Grass-types**: Bulky Pokemon such as Roselia and Gourgeist can easily wall Raichu and proceed to whittle it down to the point where it is either disposed of by the aforementioned Pokemon, or whittled down to the point where it is easily revenge killed. Other Pokemon such as Calm Mind Serperior are able to set up in its face and eat up any of the hits with ease.
**Bulky Ground-types**: Supposing Raichu doesn't have Nasty Plot, Golem is able to live every hit Raichu throws at it, save Focus Blast, and retaliate immensely with a STAB Earthquake. Not only that, but Golem has Sucker Punch which always 2HKOes Raichu, while Raichu cannot break through Golem's Sturdy with hazards or prior damage. Other Pokemon that can essentially do the same are Marowak and Camerupt. Both are able to easily live any hit from Raichu and proceed to retaliate with a powerful STAB attack to OHKO it.
**Offensive Pokemon**: Faster or Choice Scarf Pokemon such as Scyther and Haunter can outspeed Raichu and deal massive amounts of damage to it, if not OHKO it. Alternatively, bulky Pokemon such as Piloswine can tank a hit from Raichu and retaliate accordingly.