Raichu - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle | Pokemon Sword and Shield

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Raichu - Movesets and Counters.png

This is a strategy guide for using Raichu 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 Raichu, as well as its strengths and weak points.

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

Basic Information for Raichu

Types and Abilities

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Pokemon Sword and Shield - Electric Type
Abilities
Static Contact with the Pokemon may cause paralysis.
Lightning Rod (Hidden) Draws in all Electric-type moves to up Special Attack.

Type Defenses

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
60 90 55 90 80 110

Best Nature for Raichu

Best Natures
Timid
(+Spd, -Atk)

What are Natures?

Singles Movesets for Raichu

Nasty Plot Sweeper Moveset & Best Build

Nasty Plot Sweeper Raichu.png

Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 4 / Sp.Atk 252 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 136 / Def 75 / Sp.Atk 142 / Sp.Def 101 / Spd 178
Ability Lightning Rod
Held Item Focus Sash
Life Orb
Moveset Nasty Plot
Thunderbolt
Surf
Grass Knot

Raichu has a niche in the current metagame as a fast Nasty Plot sweeper for teams that are in need of Electric-type coverage. It's Lightning Rod Ability also lets it fill the role of a pseudo-offensive pivot for offensive rain teams that need an Electric-type immunity.

About Raichu's Moves

Nasty Plot is Raichu's boosting move, increasing its Special Attack by 2 stages. Since Raichu is very frail, it's best used when you predict a switch such facing an opposing Electric-type Pokemon.

Thunderbolt is its main STAB move and is a strong, reliable Electric-type STAB that still hits reasonably well even without a Nasty Plot boost.

It's last two moves are for coverage. Surf hits Ground-types that are immune to Thunderbolt, as well as Fire-types like Heat Rotom.

Grass Knot allows Raichu to hit dual Water/Ground types, and is very effective against heavier defensive Pokemon such as Quagsire, Swampert, and Gastrodon.

About Raichu's EV Spread

We're using a simple special attacking EV spread for this Raichu, with full investment in Special Attack and Speed and 4 HP EVs to round off its meager bulk.

About Raichu's Ability

Lightning Rod is Raichu's best Ability, giving it immunity to Electric-type moves and boosting its Special Attack by 1 stage.

This move also draws all Electric-type moves to Raichu in Doubles.

About Raichu's Held Item

Raichu has two options for held item.

Focus Sash ensures it can get at least one Nasty Plot and allows it to function as a lead.

Life Orb boosts the power of Raichu's moves by 30% at the cost of some recoil damage.

Other Viable Moves

Thunder A stronger alternative to Thunderbolt but has less accuracy. It's best used in Rain Dance teams.
Volt Switch Can replace Surf or Grass Knot and allows Raichu to pivot from the battle.
Thunder Wave Can replace Surf or Grass Knot and allows Raichu to support its team by spreading Paralysis.

Doubles Movesets for Raichu

Lead Doubles Support Moveset & Best Build

Lead Doubles Support Raichu.png

Nature Timid (+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread Sp.Atk 252 / Sp.Def 4 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 135 / Def 75 / Sp.Atk 142 / Sp.Def 101 / Spd 178
Ability Lightning Rod
Held Item Focus Sash
Moveset Fake Out
Helping Hand
Electroweb
Flail

Raichu's great Speed stat and access to very useful support moves make it a great lead support that can still hit reasonably hard in the Doubles Metagame.

About Raichu's Moves

Fake Out is Raichu's scouting move and provides great early match utility, allowing you to interrupt opposing Pokemon and potentially break their Focus Sash or Sturdy.

Helping Hand is Raichu's main way of supporting its teammate, boosting the power of their next move by 50%.

Electroweb is this build's main STAB move, hitting both opposing Pokemon and lowering their Speed stat by one stage.

It's last move is Flail and works well with Focus Sash. With 1 HP remaining, this move has a Base Power of 200 and hits very hard even with an Attack hindering nature.

About Raichu's EV Spread

We're using a simple special attacking EV spread for this Raichu, with full investment in Special Attack and Speed and 4 Sp.Def EVs to round off its meager bulk.

About Raichu's Held Item

Focus Sash ensures that Raichu can use Helping Hand or Electroweb at least one during the second turn of the battle.

Other Viable Moves

Thunderbolt A stronger Electric-type STAB but only hits one target in Doubles.
Rising Voltage A stronger Electric-type STAB move that's best used when Raichu is partnered with a Pokemon like Tapu Koko.
Reversal Has the same effect as Flail but is resisted by more types, such as Psychic, Fairy, and Flying.
Volt Switch Can replace Flail and allows Raichu to pivot from the battle.

How to Use Raichu Effectively

A Fast Support Pokemon in Doubles

Raichu has a niche in the Doubles Metagame as a fast lead support Pokemon. Access to Fake Out and Helping Hand allow it to interrupt and scout opposing teams and support its teammate by boosting its moves.

A Fast but Frail Special Attacker

Raichu's great Speed stat and access to Nasty Plot make it a great setup sweeper, but often requires effective team support due to its fraility. It's a glass cannon at best, but when given the chance, can provide the team with powerful Electric-type coverage.

How to Build a Team with Raichu

Raichu is a relatively difficult Pokemon to fit into a team due to its rather limited utility outside of its immunity to Electric-type moves. Despite this, it can provide great coverage with the right support and team building.

Use it as a Lead Support Pokemon in Doubles

Raichu faces some competition as a lead Pokemon in Doubles from true support Pokemon that boasts greater bulk and redirection support, such as Amoonguss and Indeedee (Female).

To differentiate Raichu from other support Pokemon, it's best used as a jack-of-all-trades type of support Pokemon - scouting with Fake Out, boosting with Helping Hand, and providing speed control with Electroweb.

Example Lead Support + Balanced Doubles Team

Lead Support Setup Sweeper
Pokemon SWSH - Raichu ImageRaichu Pokemon SWSH - Galarian Zapdos ImageGalarian Zapdos
Redirection Support Special Sweeper
Pokemon SWSH - Indeedee (Female) ImageIndeedee (Female) Pokemon SWSH - Alakazam ImageAlakazam

Setup sweepers like Galarian Zapdos appreciate Pokemon like Raichu that can provide Fake Out support. With an interrupt from Fake Out, Galarian Zapdos can safely set up with Bulk Up and then Dynamax on the next turn.

Raichu also redirects Electric-type moves directed at Galarian Zapdos, preventing it from getting KO'd in the early game.

The rest of the team provides backup support and coverage. Indeedee (Female) and Alakazam synergize well with each other as the former sets up Psychic Terrain that will boost the latter's Expanding Force.

How to Build a Doubles Team

Use it as a Pivot in an Offensive Team

Raichu has a place in offensive-oriented teams as a pseudo-pivot - essentially functioning as a switch in to cover its team's Electric-type weakness.

Example Build Team

Lead Belly Drum/Dynamax Offensive Pivot Special Sweeper
Pokemon SWSH - Azumarill ImageAzumarill Pokemon SWSH - Raichu ImageRaichu Pokemon SWSH - Galarian Moltres ImageGalarian Moltres

Raichu serves as this team's offensive pivot, supporting both Azumarill and Galarian Moltres by switching into Electric-type moves they're weak to. By switching into an Electric-type move, Raichu can then boost its Special Attack with Nasty Plot.

Galarian Moltres synergizes well with Raichu as it provides the Mouse Pokemon with a key immunity to Ground-type moves.
How to Build an Offensive Team

Counters for Raichu

Raichu
Weakness Pokemon Ground Image

Outspeed it with a Faster Pokemon

Despite its great Speed stat, there are many Pokemon that easily outspeeds Raichu and can take advantage of its low defenses. When faced with these attackers, Raichu needs to switch out or risk getting KO'd.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Pokemon SWSH - Dragapult ImageDragapult Ranking: ★★★★★
・Outspeeds Raichu and easily KO's with Outrage or Draco Meteor
・Easily KO's Focus Sash variants with Dragon Darts
Moveset & Best Build for Dragapult
Pokemon SWSH - Cinderace ImageCinderace Ranking: ★★★★★
・Outspeeds Raichu and easily KO's with Pyro Ball
・Even if Raichu hangs on with Focus Sash, CInderace can simply use Quick Attack on the next turn
Moveset & Best Build for Cinderace
Pokemon SWSH - Pheromosa ImagePheromosa Ranking: ★★★★
・Outspeeds Raichu and easily KO's with Close Combat
・Can beat Focus Sash variants if Triple Axel hits three times
Moveset & Best Build for Pheromosa

Check it with a Ground-type in Doubles

In the Doubles Battle Format, where Raichu's movepool is more limited, it struggles against Ground-type Pokemon and will always need to switch out or risk getting KO'd. It has an especially difficult time facing Ground-type support Pokemon that can shrug off a Fake Out and retaliate on the next turn.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Pokemon SWSH - Palossand ImagePalossand Ranking: ★★★★★
・Completely walls Raichu as it's immune to Fake Out, Electroweb, and Flail
・Can burn Raichu with Scorching Sands or KO it with Earth Power
Moveset & Best Build for Palossand
Pokemon SWSH - Landorus (Therian Forme) ImageLandorus (Therian Forme) Ranking: ★★★★★
・Lowers Fake Out's damage with its Intimidate Ability
・Easily KOs Raichu with Earthquake if it decides to stay in
Moveset & Best Build for Landorus (Therian Forme)
Pokemon SWSH - Swampert ImageSwampert Ranking: ★★★★
・Takes little damage from Fake Out and Immune to Electroweb
・Can use Raichu as setup fodder with Stealth Rock and phase it with Yawn
Moveset & Best Build for Swampert

Related Links

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Best Builds for Ranked Battle

All Competitive Builds for Ranked Battle

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