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Community POTW #118


And, as if by magic, the webmaster appeared...
Staff member
Next week is Pokémon Day, the 26th anniversary of Pokémon and so this week we have a special. We're covering the evolution of the franchise's mascot and Pokémon #026, Raichu, and its Alolan Form!


Go nuts!

Divine Retribution

Putting the class in class warfare
It is a shame that Signal Beam and Hidden Power have been removed, as Raichu's special movepool leaves mych to be desired.
I mean, outside of STABs it's got Surf, Grass Knot, and Focus Blast, which give it pretty good coverage overall. It's in a much better spot than most other Electric-types at least in terms of movepool; it's its stats that leave a lot to be desired. If only the Light Ball worked for Raichu too...

Sceptile Leaf Blade

Nighttime Guardian
Signal Beam was a horrible move in general anyway, Bug is just awful as coverage. U-Turn is the exception and even then only because it's used mostly to switch the user out rather than to inflict significant damage. And Signal Beam having poor base power didn't help much either. I'd say losing Stoked Sparksurfer and the Electric Terrain nerf were bigger losses to Raichu than losing Signal Beam, I've literally never seen anyone run it on Raichu.

Raichu @ Focus Sash
Ability: Surge Surfer
Modest nature
252 Sp.Atk, 252 Speed, 4 Def
- Rising Voltage
- Thunderbolt / Volt Switch
- Psyshock
- Fake Out

Timid nature is optional to outspeed +1 Pheromosa on Electric Terrain, but little else. Timid was much more viable in gen 7 as it helped it reach several thresholds for Electro Ball (like the 150 BP threshold on most Incineroar even if they have a little bit of speed investment and the 120 BP threshold on uninvested Kyogre), Modest is largely fine without Electro Ball as Rising Voltage hits nearly the same base power as Electro Ball but more reliably (and Modest Rising Voltage hits slightly harder than Timid 150 BP Electro Ball). Thunderbolt for when Electric Terrain is not active, Psyshock to get specially defensive foes like Goodra, and Fake Out because it's just a great move in doubles. Volt Switch is also a great move, good to use on it to get it out especially if Electric Terrain is gone and you need to get Tapu Koko back in to set it up.

Tapu Koko is an obvious partner to set up Electric Terrain. Alolan Raichu is underwhelming without Electric Terrain active, its ridiculous speed on it is a huge part of what makes it so effective, outspeeding virtually anything (well over 300 speed at level 50 is huge) and hitting hard with that Electric Terrain boost on Rising Voltage to eliminate targets before they can make a counterattack. Hydreigon is also a good partner, it can easily switch in on most Ground or Ghost hits aimed at Raichu and can also easily clean up most Ghost types. Tsareena is also interesting. It switches in easily on Ground moves and can also work well next to it, cleaning up special walls, ground types, blocking enemy priority, and being a nuisance to stuff like Excadrill and Tyranitar, threatening them with High Jump Kick. You could also use something that stops Trick Room, like Imprison + Trick Room Dusclops.
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Wandering Battler
Raichu, the Luigi of Pokémon. Seriously, Pikachu is the mega-Star getting all of Gamefreak's and the general population's love, while Raichu has to settle itself with Pikachu's scraps. That being said, Pikachu's scraps are something that other Pokémon would kill for. Raichu has a shockingly wide movepool, both with reliable Grass and Water coverage, which is a rarity on Electric types post Hidden Power's removal and a wide variety of support moves that give it niche's in a wide variety of formats. Base 110 Speed is nothing too shabby either and works well with Raichu's support sets.

Sadly that is where the good news ends. Raichu is as frail as you would expect a mouse to be, and its Offense is subpar without boosting with Nasty Plot, for which Raichu lacks the bulk and resistances to find a chance to do so. Additionally, Raichu is wholly outclassed by Raikou who has similar coverage, superior bulk and attack, Whimsicott outclasses it in support capabilities thanks to Prankster and superior typing, and Regieleki who has far superior Speed and Electrical power. However, Raichu's unique blend of traits ensures that it maintains a niche all to its own.

Lightning Tag Team
: Lightning Rod
Item: Focus Sash
-Fake Out
-Volt Switch
Nature: Timid (+SPE, -ATK)
EVs: 252 HP / 4 DEF / 252 SPE

Raichu still makes an excellent doubles pick thanks to its neat support capabilities. Fake Out is a fantastic disruption tool, and thanks to Raichu's high speed over other common fake out users like Rillaboom and Incineroar, has a good chance of going off. This also pairs well with Encore -opponent used Fake Out last turn? Trap them in with Encore. Also works with other setup moves like Flying types with Tailwind, Screens from a variety of Pokémon, Protect, etc. Encore is brutal and timed correctly can shutdown an opponent for several turns or force them to switch out of what could otherwise be a favorable match up. Nuzzle is a unique boon to the Pikaclones, being a reliable Thunder Wave that isn't blocked by Taunt and provides excellent speed control as a result. Volt Switch rounds out the set, acting as a "slow" pivot, able to punish predicted switches or just to get Raichu the heck out of dodge while ensuring it has some damaging capability if it is the last Pokémon standing.

Lightning Rod is how Raichu stands out from its competitors. Electric weak picks like Kyogre, Tornadus, Yveltal, and Charizard can all stop worrying about Regieleki with Raichu on the scene, as the protection provided is invaluable in keeping your heavy hitters up. Also combos well with Encore -lock your opponent into an Electric attack and watch them squirm.

Other Options
Feint -Protect is the best move in VGC, and this breaks it. Also nice priority for picking off targets who are hanging on by a Focus Sash.
Endeavor -excellent support option, especially given Raichu's poor HP, but Event locked, so if you don't have the event Pokémon, not an option (may also not be legal for current formats -not sure).


Well-Known Member
Good Coverage Moves:
  • Surf, Grass Knot- Ground
  • Rollout (transfer only)- Bug
  • Draining Kiss, Focus Blast, Disarming Voice- Dark