Raikou - Movesets & Best Build for Ranked Battle | Pokemon Sword and Shield

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Pokemon - Raikou banner.png
This is a strategy guide for using Raikou in competitive play for the games Pokemon Sword and Shield. Read on for tips on the best Nature, EV spreads, Movesets, and Held Items to use with Raikou, as well as its strengths and weak points.

Raikou - Related Guides
Pokemon SWSH - Raikou Evolution and LearnsetEvolution and Learnset Pokemon SWSH - Raikou Best BuildBuild for Ranked Battle

Basic Information for Raikou

Types and Abilities

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Pokemon Sword and Shield - Electric Type
Abilities
Pressure The Pokemon raises the foe's PP usage.
Inner Focus (Hidden) The Pokemon is protected from flinching.

Raikou Weaknesses and Resistances

Type
Takes 4x damage
-
Takes 2x damage
Pokemon Ground Image
Takes 0.5x damage
Pokemon Electric Image Pokemon Flying Image Pokemon Steel Image
Takes 1/4x damage
-
Takes 0x damage
-

What is Type Effectiveness?

Base Stats

HP Attack Defense Sp. Atk Sp. Def Speed
90 85 75 115 100 115

Best Nature for Raikou

Best Natures
Timid
(+Spd, -Atk)

Singles Movesets for Raikou

Attacker Moveset & Best Build

Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread Sp. Def 4 / Sp.Atk 252 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 165 / Def 95 / Sp.Atk 167 / Sp.Def 121 / Spd 183
Ability Pressure
Inner Focus
Held Item Choice Specs or Life Orb
Moveset Extrasensory
Thunderbolt
Volt Switch
Scald

An offensive build for Raikou that capitalizes on its high Special Attack stat. Extrasensory and Scald gives you coverage against numerous Pokemon types. Thunderbolt provides a great STAB move while Volt Switch is a utility move that will get you out of sticky situations.

Other Viable Moves

Discharge A stronger STAB move compared to Thunderbolt and Volt Switch. Use this if you want to apply paralysis.0
Aura Sphere A good coverage move that can replace Extrasensory. Be wary of the low accuracy.
Shadow Ball A niche move that you can use instead of Scald, allowing Raikou to hit Ghost and Psychic-types.

Calm Mind Sweeper Moveset & Best Build

Calm Mind Sweeper Raikou.png

Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread Def 4 / Sp.Atk 252 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 165 / Def 96 / Sp.Atk 167 / Sp.Def 120 / Spd 183
Ability Pressure
Inner Focus
Held Item Leftovers
Moveset Calm Mind
Thunderbolt
Aura Sphere
Scald

Raikou's great speed and special attack, as well as good coverage moves, make it an effective and speedy setup sweeper with Calm Mind.

About Raikou's Moves

Calm Mind boosts Raikou's Special Attack and Special Defense by one stage. Thunderbolt is its main STAB move, while Aura Sphere gives it great neutral coverage - hitting Rock, Steel, Ice, Dark, and Normal-type Pokemon for super effective damage.

Scald is its last move, and while not particularly powerful, allows Raikou to hit Ground-types that are immune to Raikou's Electric-type STAB.

About Raikou's EV Spread

We're using a basic special attacking EV spread for this Raikou. Full investment in Speed and Special attack ensures it hits as hard as possible, especially after a few Calm Mind boosts. The remaining EVs are placed in Defense since we're already boosting Raikou's Special Defense with Calm Mind.

About Raikou's Ability

Raikou can use either of its abilities for this build. With Pressure, the opposing Pokemon loses 2 PP instead of 1 when facing off against Raikou.

With Inner Focus, Raikou is immune to getting flinched by moves such as Fake Out. This is ability is more useful if using Raikou as a lead, ensuring it can set up Calm Mind even if the opposing lead decides to use a flinching move.

About Raikou's Held Item

We're giving Raikou Leftovers for this build. Calm Mind users in general are easily whittled down by residual damage, such as poison or with Hail or Sandstorm, so residual healing helps boost its survivability.

Other Viable Moves

Weather Ball Can replace Scald if running Raikou in a Rain Team. This move becomes a 100 Base Power Water-type move when in rain.
Extrasensory A niche move that you can use instead of Scald, allowing Raikou to hit Grass-types with a secondary Poison typing like Amoonguss.
Shadow Ball A niche move that you can use instead of Scald, allowing Raikou to hit Ghost and Psychic-types.

Doubles Movesets for Raikou

Rising Voltage Doubles Sweeper Moveset & Best Build

Rising Voltage Doubles Sweeper Raikou.png

Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread Def 4 / Sp.Atk 252 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 165 / Def 96 / Sp.Atk 167 / Sp.Def 120 / Spd 183
Ability Inner Focus
Held Item Choice Specs
Moveset Rising Voltage
Volt Switch
Aura Sphere
Scald

Raikou is an effective lead in Doubles, especially if it gets Electric Terrain support from the likes of Tapu Koko or Pincurchin.

About Raikou's Moves

Rising Voltage is Raikou's strongest move. When Electric Terrain is present, it becomes a 140 Base Power Electric-type attack that hits both targets in Doubles. Volt Switch is secondary STAB move, and allows Raikou to quickly pivot from the battle and to its teammates.

It's last two moves are for coverage. Aura Sphere gives it great neutral coverage, while Scald allows Raikou to threaten Ground-types that are immune to Rising Voltage. The latter also has a nice 30% chance to inflict a burn.

About Raikou's EV Spread

We're using a basic special attacking EV spread for this Raikou. Full investment in Speed and Special attack ensures it hits as hard as possible. The remaining EVs are placed in Defense to round off its bulk.

About Raikou's Ability

We're using Inner Focus for this build. This protects Raikou from Fake Out, which is very common in Doubles, and allows it to function as an effective lead.

About Raikou's Held Item

Choice Specs boosts the power of Raikou's special moves by 50%, but restricts it to using only the initial move it used for the turn.

Other Viable Moves

Weather Ball Can replace Scald if running Raikou in a Rain Team. This move becomes a 100 Base Power Water-type move when in rain.
Extrasensory A niche move that you can use instead of Scald, allowing Raikou to hit Grass-types with a secondary Poison typing like Amoonguss.
Shadow Ball A niche move that you can use instead of Scald, allowing Raikou to hit Ghost and Psychic-types.

How to Use Raikou Effectively

A Fast Setup Sweeper

Raikou faces stiff competition from faster and stronger Electric-types, so it's important to use it in a different role so that it isn't outclassed.

As one of the fastest Calm Mind setup sweepers in the metagame, it has a niche as a lead setup sweeper. Unlike other leads, you can send it out agains in the late stages of the battle - essentially using it as a late-game cleaner.

How to Build a Team with Raikou

Raikou has a small niche in singles as a lead setup sweeper. It truly shines in Doubles where it can fire off Specs boosted Rising Voltage to threaten the opposing team.

Lead Doubles Sweeper

Raikou is an effective lead sweeper in doubles. Thanks to Volt Switch, it can also function as an offensive pivot. The Thunder Pokemon, however, is reliant on Electric Terrain support. and is best used in a dedicated Electric Terrain team or partnered with a fellow lead that can Dynamax and setup the terrain with Max Lightning.

Counters for Raikou

Raikou
Weakness Pokemon Ground Image

Counter it With a Special Wall

Even with several Calm Mind boosts, Raikou can't hope to knock out certain Special Walls. These walls will often force Raikou to switch or risk getting inflicted by debilitating status moves.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Pokemon SWSH - Blissey ImageBlissey Ranking: ★★★★★
・Takes little damage from Raikou's attacks thanks to its massive HP and Special Defense
・Can whittle down Raikou's HP with Seismic Toss, forcing it to switch

Moveset & Best Build for Blissey
Pokemon SWSH - Ferrothorn ImageFerrothorn Ranking: ★★★★
・Resists Raikou's STAB moves and can survive an Aura Sphere
・Can outstall Raikou with Leech Seed and Protect, forcing it to switch

Moveset & Best Build for Ferrothron
Pokemon SWSH - Clefable ImageClefable Ranking: ★★★★
・Specially Defensive variants can withstand Raikou's attacks
・Ignores Raikou's Calm Mind boosts with Unaware, forcing it to switch

Moveset & Best Build for Clefable

Related Links

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Best Builds for Ranked Battle

All Competitive Builds for Ranked Battle

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