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Community POTW #122

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And, as if by magic, the webmaster appeared...
Staff member
Time for the next Pokémon, and as the second part of our 20th anniversary celebration, we're getting another Kanto Pokémon...two in fact


This week, we're focusing on the series' mascot as well as its evolved form. Raichu is obviously the focus but Pikachu can be surprisingly usable. Raichu is even seeing a lot of use in the current VGC metagame


Go nuts


Raichu is a cool Pokemon that a lot of us wanted to be good. It was helped out by the VGC, as Raichu knows many, many moves that help out itself and the team in the Double Battle scenario.

+ Base 110 Speed is very good, and is useful when trying to revenge kill.
+ Fake Out, Encore and Thunder Wave are some of its very useful moves in Double Battles, and is one of the fastest Fake Out users out there.
+ Base 90 Special Attack is decent and, with a Nasty Plot, can increase to dangerous levels.
+ Lightning Rod is also great as an ability as it stops Electric types in their tracks, especially in Double Battles.
+ Part of the most famous evolution line known to Pokemon.

- At 60 / 55 / 80, Raichu's bulk isn't very good.
- Faces competition from other Electric-types in the VGC metagame, such as from Rotom-Wash, who is more reliable, and Thundurus, who has Prankster.
- It doesn't have the best movepool out there.
- Being outsped is also a problem, as it can be easily OHKO'd due it's atrocious frailty.

Static: The opponent has a 30% chance of being induced with paralysis when using an attack, that requires physical contact, against this Pokémon. This is nice, but it requires physical contact, and as its worst stat is Defence, it'll probably only trigger when it falls.
Hidden Ability:
Lightningrod: Electric-type moves are drawn to this Pokémon. Electric-type moves will do no damage and the Pokémon's Special Attack is raised one stage. If the Pokémon is Ground-type, moves are drawn to it, but it gets no boost. This is an amazing ability, as it essentially gives it an immunity and a free boost from Electric-type moves, and they are very common *cough*thunder wave volt switch*cough*.

I'm not gonna Raichu a love song...
Nasty Plot
Focus Blast
Hidden Power Ice / Grass Knot

Item: Life Orb
Timid Nature
Ability: Lightning Rod
EV's: 252 SpA, 252 Spe, 4 HP

There isn't really much for Raichu to use when considering how useful it is in VGC, but even then, it isn't as useful as it was in 2015 since the introduction of legendaries in the metagame. Raichu is still decent in NU, however, as a very fast wallbreaker. Just be careful when trying to deal with Specially Defensive Pokemon, because it.. can't.


Pokemon Ruffian
Raichu - My favorite Pokemon aside from Torterra, I've been getting a lot of use out of him recently. And... he's quite a bit more diverse than you'd expect.
- A buffed Speed stat to 110 allows him to outspeed a ton of Pokemon, now outspeeding the likes of Pokemon like Infernape and Garchomp.
- Base 90 Attack and Special Attack isn't too bad, and with access to Nasty Plot, this thing hits ridiculously hard on the Special Side.
- Not too bad when it comes to Type coverage. Has access to stuff like Signal Beam, Iron Tail, Grass Knot, Brick Break, Dig and Focus Blast.
- Has a lot of useful utility moves like Toxic, Thunder Wave, Electroweb, Nuzzle, Encore and Fake Out.
- A lot of helpful Electric moves. Thunder Punch, Thunder, Thunderbolt, Nuzzle, Charge Beam, Wild Charge, Discharge and it's signature move Volt Tackle.
- This thing is the evolved form of Pikachu - the Pokemon that's treated like a God by the developers. This means ANY events that Pikachu gets, so does Raichu. This includes the likes of Extremespeed, Fly, Endeavor... and SURF.
- Unlike Pikachu, Raichu doesn't need a Light Ball to actually work.
- Do I even need to say it? He's so... freaking...cute.
- Static is a little situational, but can still be the pricked finger for your opponent if it activates. And Lightningrod works well as a safe Electric switch-in and literal Lightningrod in Doubles/Triples.

Cons (As much as I love him, even I know these.)
- Raichu is frail. ....REALLY frail. Even 85 Special Defense isn't going to help with Base 60 HP and Base 55 Defense. Almost any time you use it (unless you're some sort of wizard,) Earthquake will END IT.
- Some of the unique moves from Pikachu... are from events. So if you're trying to have something like Surf.... have fun trying to get it legitimately.


Wandering Battler
Pulverizing Pikachu

Pikachu is the very definition of Glass Cannon. Light Ball increases Pikachu's offense to terrifying levels, but does nothing about its horrid 35/50/50 defenses, leaving Pikachu vulnerable to being picked off by anything with priority or that is faster than it. Threats like Ninjask, Normalize Delcatty, Flareon, Floatzel, Pawniard, Rapidash, etc. can all come on a free switch and maim or OHKO pikachu with the appropriate move. Note that a free switch is necessary; Thunderbolt with OHKO most of them or take away at least 70% of the others health. Furthermore, pokémon with impressive natural bulky that can weather one of Pikachu's attacks can easily strike back with a OHKO, but note this is dependent on the kind of set it is running. Golem, and Marowak make good checks for Physical Pikachu (though the latter detests Knock Off), while Regice and Cryogonal (can't switch in) can handle special sets. Speaking of Knock Off, messing with Pikachu's Item is a good way of mitigating its Threat. Knock Off, Switcheroo, Trick, gimmicky Magician, etc. all deprive Pikachu of its precious Light Ball and turns it into soon to be KOd weight.

Rending Raichu
Raichu is a different can of worms from Pikachu. While calling Raichu a Glass Cannon wouldn't be wrong per se, it is nowhere near as bad as Pikachu in this regard. Raichu's offensive presence is nowhere near that of Light Ball Pikachu's, and thus is reliant of setting up. Putting pressure on Raichu so that it can't setup (or become priority revenge kill Fodder) is helpful. Pokémon that resist Raichu's stab are good candidates. Roselia, Gogoat, Golem and Camerupt all resist Raichu's STAB and can weather a coverage move before KOing back. Golem get's special mention due to Sturdy; if it can come in with Sturdy unbroken, it is near guaranteed to get a KO on Raichu. Regice is another good option, though Focus Blast stings and +2 Focus Blast will KO if Regice has any residual damage. Dusclops and Dusknoir are in a similar boat with Regice, unable to stop a +2 Raichu, but otherwise able to manage it with their impressive bulk. Like with Pikachu, priority is another good option, due to Raichu's very high speed, though don't expect to nab OHKOs at full health. Normalize Delcatty, Floatzel, Flareon, and Pawniard can all take a big chunk out of Raichu with their priority moves. Ninjask again get's a special mention, being one of the few Pokémon that can outspeed Raichu and able to reliably KO it (Electrode outspeeds as well, but can't do anything besides boom).

With both Pikachu and Raichu, they are hopeless outclassed in more inclusive tiers; there are better Electric types that can do their job, and more pokémon that can take them down with ease... Unless we are talking about Pikachu's position as mascot. That is unassailable.


Well-Known Member
Pikachu and Raichu. I love double features like this. Let's begin...

Pikachu's Stats:
-HP - Terrible-bordering-Awful - Base 35 does little favor for an Electric Type, but you aren't fully evolved either. The fact that I'm analyzing a NFE Pokémon should be taken with a grain of Shoal Salt when it comes to the Stat descriptions.
-Attack - Bad-bordering-Mediocre - Base 55 is usable after a Light Ball boost. Especially when paired with things like Volt Tackle/Thunderpunch, Iron Tail/Meteor Mash, Icicle Crash, Flying Press, Knock Off, etc.
-Defense - Awful - Base 40 means Ground-Type Move users MUST be dealt with ASAP.
-Sp.Atk - Bad - Base 50 Sp.Atk is also usable after Light Ball and access to things like Grass Knot, Surf, Signal Beam, Draining Kiss, and Hidden Power in addition to the usual STAB Moves.
-Sp.Def - Bad - Let's face it, most of the time you'll rely on either not taking a hit in the first place or facing opponents with low Base Stats when using Pikachu, so Base 50 Sp.Def is mostly moot.
-Speed - Good (non-Trick Room) - Base 90 this early in the evolution line is pretty sweet. Only Voltorb, Elekid, and Electabuzz are faster when it comes to NFE Electric Types.

Raichu's Stats:
-HP - Mediocre - Base 60 isn't too bad for an Electric Type. A big boost over Pikachu's by comparison.
-Attack - Good - Base 90 is a nice boost over Pikachu's Base 55, but not enough to put it ahead of a Pikachu holding Light Ball.
-Defense - Bad-bordering-Mediocre - Base 55 is a wee bit better than Pikachu (unless Pikachu decides to forego Light Ball for Eviolite, which is pretty much useless with those low defenses). It still hates Ground-Type Move users about as much as Pikachu.
-Sp.Atk - Good - Base 90 is still a good boost over Pikachu's Base 50 before Light Ball's multiplier, but remember that Light Ball can be replaced with something else upon evolution to give Raichu better footing in battle (Choice Items, Focus Sash, etc.).
-Sp.Def - Average - Base 80.
-Speed - Great-bordering-Godly (non-Trick Room) - Base 110 really sets Raichu apart from Pikachu. Pikachu really needs Light Ball for its offense, so it can't use Choice Scarf to amp up its Speed...but Raichu can...

-Static - I hate seeing low Defense Pokémon with Contact-based Abilities. Plus, Static won't work against Limber Ability or Electric-Type Pokémon.
-Lightningrod (Hidden, Available) - Now THIS is a good Ability that allows you to switch in safely on a good prediction. Draws Electric Moves towards you, your Sp.Atk is buffed upon taking those Moves, and you don't take damage from them either.

Overall, Pikachu and Raichu are really useful Electric Types. They're not the greatest Electric Types, but only Eelektross can play the Physical/Special split better among Electric Types. However, their lack of Defense makes taking out Ground-Type Move users a high priority. Barring Icicle Crash, Surf, Grass Knot, and Hidden Power, Ground Types are a huge threat, especially if their name rhymes with "bug trio."


Mawile w/ Fire Blast
Normalize Delcatty
Why is delcatty being mentioned? Especially with normalize?
Did it get a boost to all its stats or something that I didn't know about?

Raichu - Life Orb
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Focus Blast
- Nasty Plot

Raichu's speed is one of it's most important assets, surmounting pikachu's most detrimental weakness in it's 90 base speed. Though still outsped by zebstrika, floatzel, purugly, and ninjask just to name credible pokemon, it still usually finds itself the fastest pokemon on the screen. This speed gives it the ability to become a late game sweeper as with the above pokemon eliminated and some of it's walls weakened can finish off a team pretty easily. This makes things like entry hazards, wall-breakers, and volturners your most important teammate options. Raichu's main weakness would be it's terrible bulk which lets it get picked off by priority and competition from zebstrika, which is faster and has access to both overheat and sap sipper, with the former being remedied with intelligent play either through volturns to get initiative or forcing switches and raichu carves itself a decent niche through nasty plot and surf to be considered over other electric types.

Other moves:
Nuzzle - Because paralysis is dumb.
Encore - To help with setting up.
Discharge - Read Nuzzle.
Signal beam - If psychics just bother you.
Fake out - Because hitting a pokemon for a free 10% is important.
Thunder - Because you're not playing pokemon unless you miss your moves.


Strong Winds
Staff member
Super Mod
Challenge accepted.

I'll try and get a Pikachu working for UK Nationals now :p

Come on, you can at least use Raichu who's actually really good.

But yeah on that note, Raichu is actually solid in VGC, I know some people thought it was trash at first but now it's won a UK regional and nearly won a second. Zap Plate Volt Tackle OHKOs Kyogre which is neat, and Fake Out + Feint makes Rayquaza and Xerneas god-like.


Pokémon Fan
Pikachu is the most well known Pokémon. and it is cute too! :) Also, the Pokémon who appeared in every Pokémon episodes, since it is Ash's. It is an honor. It also has good speed of 90.

My moveset for Pikachu:

- Volt Tackle/Thunderpunch/Wild Charge
- Iron Tail/Dig
- Grass Knot
- Thunder Wave

Item: Light Ball (of course!)

Well, Volt Tackle is it's main STAB move, ans is powerful. but is difficult to get. If you can't get it, try Thunderpunch, since it does not have recoil, or Wild charge, which is a weaker version of Volt Tackle. Also, i chose a Physical electric move, coz Pikachu has a slighly higher Attack stat.
Iron Tail is for hitting Fairy, rock and Ice types hard, and it reminds me of Ash's Pikachus, but its accuracy is risky. You could try Dig instead for hitting Rock, Fire, Poison and Steel types very hard, so i think Dig is better for this slot most of the time.
I like Grass Knot, coz a psceial move is needed to diversify, and hurts Water, Ground and Rock types very hard, especially the heavier ones like Golem or Onix, who have high Defence stats.
Thunder Wave is a good move for Paralysing opponents, especially if you think that Pikcahu is about to faint or cant hit hard enough. The are also options for this moveslot below....

Other options:

Surf is very good, but is very rare. It could be used to hit rock and Fire types very hard.
Fly is a weird option, and a rare one too. How Pikachu can fly anyway??? but it be be usefull to hit Grass, Bug and Fighting types very hard, especially it give a turn to protect itseulf most of the time the first turn, and is useful in a Double Battle.
Extremespeed is a very good possibility, but it is very rare and hard to get...
Quick Attack is a weaker version of Extremespeed, but the priority is good, especially in a close fight where your foe has 1 HP remains and is faster... Since Extremespped is very rare and you want priority, the Quick Attack is the only possiblity.
Thunderbolt can be considered if you want a special Electric move, and since Ash's Pikchu use it most of the time against TR, it is hard to imagine Pikachu without Thunderbolt, and is very good move in general.
Charm is a good move you get as a Pichu, and can reduce AtK stat a lot and could replace Thunder Wave, since it can't hit Ground type Pokémon, and most Ground type Pokémon and high ATK stat, so it can be good to use as a Last resort option. but remeber if you have a Pikachu form an event with a very rare move, you can't get Charm...


Well-Known Member
You could try Dig instead for hitting Rock, Fire, Poison and Steel types very hard, so i think Dig is better for this slot most of the time.

Dig should never be used, it's just bad. Barring the fact that it allows a Levitate user or something a free switch-in, Earthquake can still hit you when you use Dig, so that's effectively condemning your Pikachu to faint.

On the subject of VGC though, there's not a whole lot of reason to use Pikachu. True it hits harder than Raichu, but that base 20 speed difference is significant, given it allows Raichu to outspeed the myriad of base 90's (i.e., Kyogre). All the power in the world means nothing if you're too slow and frail to get to use it, as our old friend Rampardos has shown us. As nifty of a novelty that Pikachu is, it's just that; a novelty, a gimmick, and all around junk. You might get a hard hit out of it, but if you don't KO your target, or worse, if your target outspeeds you, you won't live to do a second attack. I mean, even most resisted attacks 2HKO Pikachu, and some can still 1HKO it as well.


Wandering Battler
Why is delcatty being mentioned? Especially with normalize?
Did it get a boost to all its stats or something that I didn't know about?

Because Pikachu and Raichu are in the same tier as Delcatty. Its not that it is especially good, but it has access to STAB Fake Out and Sucker Punch for Priority options which are useful for taking down Pikachu and Raichu unscathed.

252+ Atk Life Orb Normalize Delcatty Fake Out vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Raichu: 97-114 (37.1 - 43.6%) -- guaranteed 3HKO

252+ Atk Life Orb Normalize Delcatty Sucker Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Raichu: 192-227 (73.5 - 86.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Again, I am not saying Delcatty is any good and any set with it is pure gimmick. I am saying it is feasible for a Delcatty to Revenge kill a Raichu (and by extension a Pikachu) without taking any damage from the 'Chu and with no setup required by team mates.
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Well-Known Member
Little disappointed at the VGC sections the past few weeks (Florges and Umbreon get sections, but Mewtwo doesn't?? lol), so I'll throw in a Raichu set that has been very good, and variations of it have had success in tournaments so far. I absolutely agree with Psynergy and KillerDraco about Pikachu in VGC. All forms of it are terrible, with the main reason being its speed tier as already mentioned.

Raichu (F) @ Zap Plate
Ability: Lightningrod
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Volt Tackle
- Fake Out
- Nuzzle
- Feint

Lightningrod is preferred to shut down Thunder Wave, though Static isn't terrible (but still inferior) since most people will predict Lightningrod, and at least you may get a free paralysis as you go down since Raichu can't take a physical hit anyway. Nuzzle for speed control and 25% chance of full paralysis. Raichu's Fake Out is one of the fastest in the game (only Weavile or a rare post-mega Lopunny are faster relevant threats) and most importantly, faster than M-Kang's. Feint goes great with Fake Out when you predict a double Protect against your Fake Out, and can be crucial in breaking Protects that try to stall out your speed control, or Quick Guards trying to Protect a primal or Xerneas from a Brave Bird, Bullet Punch, or Extreme Speed. Volt Tackle is incredibly strong against some top restricted legends:

252 Atk Zap Plate Raichu Volt Tackle vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Primal Kyogre: 210-248 (101.4 - 119.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 Atk Zap Plate Raichu Volt Tackle vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Yveltal: 204-240 (100.9 - 118.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO

-you REALLY have to watch out for Sucker Punch though: 0- Atk Life Orb Dark Aura Yveltal Sucker Punch vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Raichu: 142-168 (104.4 - 123.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO

252 Atk Zap Plate Raichu Volt Tackle vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Ho-Oh: 210-248 (98.5 - 116.4%) -- 87.5% chance to OHKO (can be a big help to Groudon teams that have trouble with Ho-oh)

Other options: Light Screen, Protect (best move in VGC!), Encore (VGC15 throw-back), Knock Off, Volt Switch (gaining control over the weather war can never be under-estimated in VGC16!), Helping Hand
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Missingno. Master

Poison-type Trainer
I'll Have To Raichu Up For That
Raichu@Focus Sash
Timid nature
Lightning Rod
252 Sp. Atk/252 Speed/4 HP
~Nasty Plot
~Focus Blast/Signal Beam/Grass Knot
~Focus Blast/Signal Beam/Grass Knot

Oh, Raichu. Poor, poor Raichu. Not in terms of competitive usability, no, I mean in terms of popularity. Usually it's the pre-evolutions what that get overshadowed by the evolutions, and usually for good reason. But this? It's all backwards. Raichu has, since Generation Freaking I, been forever cursed to live in the shadow of its vastly overhyped, yet admittedly cute, pre-evolution. But yes, on to this- this is pretty standard stuff. Nasty Plot to boost Special Attack, Thunderbolt for STAB, and the final two moves you can pretty much pick from that selection there. They all got their uses.

Item helps Raichu survive the setup turn. Ability makes Electric moves an even safer switch-in than usual and also has potential for another Sp. Atk boost.

A Shocking Experience
Raichu@Life Orb
Timid nature
Lightning Rod
252 Sp. Atk/252 Speed/4 HP
~Focus Blast
~Signal Beam
~Grass Knot

Don't want to bother with Nasty Plot, let Raichu's respectable Special Attack speak for itself? There's a set for that, and that set is here and now. This saves you the trouble of narrowing down the coverage moves to two, at the cost of Nasty Plot. Instead, the assistance comes in the form of the Life Orb.

Item and Ability both serve to power up Raichu.

Raichu@Liechi Berry
Jolly nature
Lightning Rod
252 Attack/252 Speed/4 HP
~Focus Punch
~Thunder Punch
~Knock Off

Raichu's got some respectable Attack as well, so this is a pretty good set for it. The ideal scenario is, switch it in on a Choice-locked Electric move, Substitute on the switch, and let fly the Focus Punches! Thunder Punch is for STAB, and Knock Off is just all-around good.

Item powers up Raichu when its HP gets low (an inevitability with Substitute usage), Ability can incite switches under the right circumstances.

Other options:
*There is one benefit to Raichu being the evolved form of the series mascot- namely, access to all the event-exclusive moves they lavish upon Pikachu. Except the Cosplay Pikachu stuff. But anyway, yeah- Surf is a good move to give to Raichu if you got the good fortune to get a Surfing Pikachu. Just bear in mind that it's illegal with Nasty Plot because some people don't think.
*Raichu also has access to its evolution line's signature Volt Tackle technique, though I wouldn't advise it on the same set as Substitute, personally.
*There's also Fake Out, which can be useful if you can fit it in.
*And if your need priority, Raichu's got Quick Attack and Feint to choose from.
*There's also Endeavor. Outside of the horribly gimmicky F.E.A.R. strategy, I fail to see the use for this, but apparently I'm among the minority here, because so many people seemed to actually want the Endeavor Pikachu from the Pikachu Cup.

*Static: Raichu has a 30% chance to paralyze any opponent that hits it with a contact move (provided it actually can be paralyzed in the first place, of course). Not a bad Ability in and of itself, but Raichu has no business taking hits in the first place. Besides which, Raichu's got a better option in...
*Lightning Rod: Raichu's Hidden Ability. Raichu draws in all enemy Electric attacks in double and triple battles, and is also immune to them, gaining a one-stage boost to Special Attack instead of taking the attack's effects. This is what you want on your Raichu. Even if you don't give a Raticate's *** about Special Attack, this is the Ability of choice for Raichu.

Raichu's Speed is decent, and better than it was in previous generations, but it's not foolproof. Sticky Web/Tailwind support is hard to argue with.

Anything with Infiltrator or a sound-based move can bypass Substitute. Crobat in particular switches in on Focus Punch with impunity, outspeeds, and gets that Cross Poison right on past that Substitute. And if you don't predict Dugtrio and have something ready for it when it switches in, Raichu's as good as done.

I really like Raichu. It's a shame Pikachu overshadows it so thoroughly.

Pre-Evolution Corner:

Pre-Evolution Corner: Special Pikachu Edition
Pikachu@Light Ball
Timid nature
Lightning Rod
252 Sp. Atk/252 Speed/4 HP
~Grass Knot
~Signal Beam
~Nasty Plot/Surf

Sigh... Yeah, OK, let's do this. Thunderbolt is STAB. Grass Knot and Signal Beam are the coverage this thing is dealt. Nasty Plot is on the off chance you get the opportunity to set up. If you got it, then Surf can replace Nasty Plot. Actually not bad when used right, it's finding the right situation in which to use it that's the hard part.

Item and Ability power up Pikachu.

Substichu Mini
Pikachu@Light Ball
Jolly nature
Lightning Rod
252 Attack/252 Speed/4 HP
~Focus Punch
~Thunder Punch
~Knock Off/Icicle Crash

This look familiar? Yeah, it's the Raichu SubPunch set, devolved, given a Light Ball, and with the added option for Icicle Crash because this is something the Cosplay Pikachu could conceivably pull off. While we have it, anyway- the implication's clear enough that it's not making it out of OR/AS, like the Spiky-Eared Pichu before it. Next thing we need is some kind of special variant Raichu, is what I think. But anyway, yeah, this all pretty much was covered earlier.

Item powers up Pikachu, Ability can incite switches under the right circumstances.

Other options:
*You can convert the SubPunch set into a straight-up attacking set with Pikachu Belle- give it Wild Charge and Brick Break, and have both Knock Off and Icicle Crash.
*Volt Tackle is an option, just not with what I said in the previous thing because Cosplay Pikachu doesn't get Volt Tackle.

*Static: Pikachu has a 30% chance to paralyze any opponent that hits it with a contact move (provided it actually can be paralyzed in the first place, of course). Not a bad Ability in and of itself, but Pikachu has the defenses of a wet paper bag.
*Lightning Rod: Pikachu's Hidden Ability, and the one and only Ability of the Cosplay Pikachu. If you're actually gonna use Pikachu, you might as well give it the best Ability its kind can have, which this happens to be. Draws in Electric moves, nullifies effects, Special Attack boost, we've been here before, you know the drill. If you want to use Pikachu, this is the Ability to go with.

Geez, where do I begin? Smashpassers. Tailwind. Sticky Web support. Stealth Rock, Spikes, Toxic Spikes support. I'm not listing possible options, I am listing all the things you are going to need if your Pikachu wants to stand a chance out there. The Light Ball only takes it so far.

Just play normally. If you're competent at battling, odds are your team is already well-equipped to deal with Pikachu.

For all the flak I've given it, I actually kinda like Pikachu. I seriously do get the appeal, it's very cute, I love it, and whenever I play Yellow I generally do keep the starter Pikachu on the team, but all the same, there's such a thing as overdoing it.

Prediction for next week:
Just your friendly reminder that ben gay defeated Lady Bug in SPL 6 with a Pikachu-Belle, lol.

But for real, I just don't think it can be done. You just can't make Pikachu good. Game Freak has tried several times. They gave it a signature item that doubles its offenses. They gave it an exceptionally powerful signature move. They gave it Surf, as well as a bunch of other unique moves with this whole costume thing. The gave it Extreme Speed. They even gave it a slight boost to its defense (which is putting lipstick on a pig more than anything). Nothing has worked. Unless you do something absurd like make the Light Ball double all of its other stats too, there's just nothing that you can do to make Pikachu a good choice.

At least Raichu is solid in PU and okay in NU. That speed boost did it some good, and it has some unique boosting and coverage options that most Electric-types only dream of having. A Life Orb-boosted Raichi isn't much weaker than a Light Ball-boosted Pikachu, and the extra speed is too good to give up. Not to mention the better bulk. Always go with Raichu unless you're playing Middle Cup or something.


Pre-Pre-Evolution corner:

I think with all the talk of Pikachu being unviable, it is also worth noting that Pichu is somewhat a standout in little cup. Pichu is able to be outsped and OHKO'd by threats such as Doduo and Kabutops. Its lacklustre base 60 speed, adequate 40 attack, lack of light ball boost and terrible base 15 defence makes Pichu a uniquely terrible electric type defensively that cannot actually guarantee OHKO's with supereffective adamant choice banded hits.

252+ Atk Choice Band Pichu Volt Tackle vs. 116 HP / 196 Def Eviolite Kabuto: 20-26 (95.2 - 123.8%) -- 75% chance to OHKO
It also stands out as it is capable of using nasty plot the instant before something OHKOs it with just about any attack. Still your best bet would be to give Pichu encore, nasty plot and thunderbolt and hope something tries to set up and hope your opponent doesn't know about priority moves.
Little Cup Pichu
'Chu gotta be kidding me

Item: Focus Sash
Ability: Static
-Nasty plot
- thunderbolt
- grass knot/ HP Ice/HP Grass
EVs: 196 speed, 36 hp, 236 sp.atk

All Pichus are outsped by Mienfoo, drilbur and onix and they can take hits from them like cheap lightbulbs take hits from sledgehammers. However at 16 speed, at least this one won't have the humiliation of being outsped by horsea and spoink every time and it might not be outsped and OHKO'd by Cranidos as these are speed ties. This Pichu is also fast enough to encore darumaka or timburr if they aren't scarfed, or would be if they hadn't just owned you with one hit. But if you live with the sash you might lock them into the move that ends you. In little cup Id recommend HP grass over grass knot as pokemon tend to be, well, little, and there isn't much taht weighs over 50 KG in LC that won't go down to a hp grass and resists thunderbolt anyway.
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Lost in the Waves
A quick glance at Smogon's LC threads show Pichu's not viable. Don't bother with it.


Well-Known Member
It's been a serebii.net tradition that they do a "pikachu" week for PotW every gen since 4. Been waiting for it ever since X/Y, but it's now up!

My tried-and-true mixed pikachu spread:

Pikachu w/light ball
Lightning rod ability
252 speed/100 attack/156 sp.atk
IVs 30/31/30/31/31/31
Naive nature
Fake out
Hp ice
Brick break

This little guy is a prime example of "four move slot syndrome" -- essentially the nfe equivalent to deoxys attack. Interesting moves also include nasty plot, grass knot, and even disarming voice (the only special fairy-type attack it gets). It's rarely (if ever) seen, but it's the best special attack he's got against both scrafty:
156 SpA Light Ball Pikachu Thunderbolt vs. 248 HP / 240+ SpD Scrafty: 94-112 (28.2 - 33.6%) -- 97.4% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery
156 SpA Light Ball Pikachu Disarming Voice vs. 248 HP / 240+ SpD Scrafty: 112-136 (33.6 - 40.8%) -- 38% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
and hydreigon:
156 SpA Light Ball Pikachu Hidden Power Ice vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Hydreigon: 140-166 (43 - 51%) -- 3.9% chance to 2HKO
156 SpA Light Ball Pikachu Disarming Voice vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Hydreigon: 188-224 (57.8 - 68.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
and all these damage ranges are assuming my pikachu build. but compare those with brick break's ranges assuming the same builds for both pikachu and his targets:
100 Atk Light Ball Pikachu Brick Break vs. 248 HP / 0 Def Scrafty: 140-166 (42 - 49.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
100 Atk Light Ball Pikachu Brick Break vs. 0 HP / 0- Def Hydreigon: 192-226 (59 - 69.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
but these guys are here just to serve as extreme cases.
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Well-Known Member
A quick glance at Smogon's LC threads show Pichu's not viable. Don't bother with it.

Now, now. Let's not reduce the discussion solely to "Smogon says it's bad so it is". That's not to say it isn't bad (because it is), but better to let the people in on why it's bad if don't know.

And in this case, it really has nothing on Chinchou. It's got a few neat gimmicks such as Encore but that's it; Chinchou is bulkier, faster, hits harder, and has better typing which provides a potent secondary STAB and a useful set of resistances along with it. Pichu's just got... nothing. 20/15/35 base defenses are abysmal in the Little Cup, while 40/35 offenses aren't much better. The only stat it has that isn't utter rubbish is speed, and even then at base 60, it's just average. This thing barely tickles things without much offensive presence, while it lacks the bulk to take hits. As a result, it can't set up in an attempt to boost its underwhelming power. On that note...

Little Cup Pichu
'Chu gotta be kidding me

Item: Focus Sash
Ability: Static
-Nasty plot
- thunderbolt
- grass knot/ HP Ice/HP Grass
EVs: 196 speed, 36 hp, 236 sp.atk

Pichu's a terrible Pokemon to try and boost in the LC, due to the aforementioned lack of bulk and speed. It has very few opportunities to set up, and even if it does it's very easily checked due to only hitting 16 speed. If you want a "win condition", you might as well go with a Shell Smasher, since they both hit harder and are harder to revenge kill due to the speed boost. In addition, Grass Knot isn't very reliable in LC due to most Pokemon in the LC being small and light; HP Grass tends to be more reliable, especially against Water types. It just really doesn't have much to differentiate itself in the LC, except maybe Encore, but even then, given it can't take a hit, there's very few opportunities to Encore things as well.
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