Gonna Raichu an Article!


Hello PokeBeach members, It is Elbow! You might remember me from my last article about everything Aromatisse; you can check out that article here. This time I am going to write about another Stage 1 with 90 HP that has recently caught my attention. If you hadn’t figured it out from the title already, I am going to be talking about Raichu; specifically the XY base Raichu.

Why is Raichu so good now?

Raichu had a lot of potential going for it when it was printed. For one, it is a Stage 1 with an attack that does 20x damage per Pokemon on the Bench. This attack can be used with two Colorless Energy, which is awesome because of a card called Double Colorless Energy. This negates the two Energy requirement and allows you to attack at once. Raichu was also printed in the same set as Muscle Band, which turns Circle Circuit from a max of 100 damage to 120 damage! Raichu’s notable evolution, Pikachu even had pretty good attacks for a Basic, being able to Paralyze and also a possible thirty damage made Raichu somewhat playable. 

Raichu got more attention when it was paired with the Zubat, Golbat, and Crobat pyramid. Golbat and Crobat do twenty and thirty more damage respectively to any of your opponent’s Pokemon once placed down. This helped Raichu to hit the magic “180” number at the time and could finally stand a chance against most decks. Still, Landorus-EXGarbodor, and Lucario-EX kept Raichu in check for awhile. Once the rotation occurred, the deck lost Free Flight Zubat and gained this worst Zubat. Even with Landorus-EX out of the picture, people were somewhat discouraged to play the deck until Roaring Skies came out.

Roaring Skies brought basically the two new essential cards to any Raichu deck: Sky Field and Shaymin-EX. Skyfield opens the Bench to allow both players to not have just five benched Pokemon, but eight! This maxes out Raichu’s damage to 180 with Muscle Band, and that does not include Golbat and Crobat damage! Shaymin-EX gives Raichu the draw support it badly needed by allowing the player to draw up to six once played down. With an awesome attack that works with Double Colorless Energy, Raichu’s staple, and three new Bench spots from Skyfield, Shaymin-EX becomes a very important addition to the deck. Roaring Skies brought essential cards such as Trainers' Mail which allowed players to dig through their decks faster. Also, Roaring Skies helped out Raichu to defend against most against Mega Pokemon. Since Spirit Links were introduced in Phantom Forces, Pokemon above the 180 HP threshold were possible and playable. Primal Groudon-EX, Primal Kyogre-EX, M Manectric-EX, and M Rayquaza-EX (with Altaria) were all Pokemon Raichu had trouble with OHKOing. Now, it is very likely that Raichu will do 180-240 damage in one sweep. This is when Raichu got good.

Raichu has shown a consistent record in City Championships. The Charizard Lounge has posed results for the past few years, and their results this year proved this for Raichu / Bats. It was the sixth most popularly winning deck, with eleven wins and 42 spots (accounted for) in Top 4. This accounts for roughly five percent of the meta of all US tournaments, which proves its dominance in this format. This article will highlight the ins and outs of Raichu variants, how it performs against many popular decks, and will showcase some lists that I have personally tested and some I used in tournaments.


Raichu / Crobat / Bronzong

This variant uses Bronzong Ability to attach Metal Energy from the discard to a Raichu on the Bench to power up an attacker in one turn or to set up Energy for another turn. This is great against Aegislash-EX because Raichu cannot attack with special Energy, but two Metal Energy do go through Mighty Shield. Bronzong also helps if your opponent runs hammer types of cards, such as Xerosic, Crushing Hammer, Enhanced Hammer, Team Flare Grunt, and Crawdaunt. If your opponent knows that getting rid of all of your Double Colorless Energy essentially means you lose, he or she will be inclined to use any if not all cards listed above (if they run them in their decks). With Bronzong, you get these Energy back on your turn, free from Energy disruption, and can attack immediately if you have two Bronzong down. Here’s a list I tested:


Pokemon (26)

4x Pikachu (XY #42)4x Raichu (XY #43)4x Zubat (PHF #31)3x Golbat (PHF #32)3x Crobat (PHF #33)2x Bronzor (PHF #60)2x Bronzong (PHF #61)3x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)1x Jirachi (PRXY #XY67)

Trainers (27)

4x Professor Sycamore (PHF #101)2x Lysandre (FLF #90)1x AZ (PHF #91)4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)4x Trainers' Mail (RSK #92)4x Ultra Ball (DEX #102)2x Level Ball (AOR #76)1x Sacred Ash (FLF #96)1x Float Stone (PLF #99)4x Sky Field (RSK #89)

Energy (7)

4x Double Colorless Energy (XY #130)3x Metal Energy (BLW #112)

 Card Choices:

(I will not be explaining 4-4 Raichu, 3 Shaymin-EX, 4 Ultra Ball, 4 Professor Sycamore, etc. as those are basic staples of this deck)

  • Crobat: I play this list with an extra Crobat. I tend to notice that even with the sacred ash and extra Zubat that I am missing damage with Crobat. With two, you limit yourself to one being prized or discarded early. In addition, Crobat works well with Bronzong as it is an immediate attacker if you don’t have two Energy available. The third Crobat makes this more viable.
  • 1 Jirachi: I use this in all lists, but I’ll mention it specifically for this deck. Jirachi is amazing, it discards an special Energy from your opponent’s Active Pokemon and that Pokemon can’t attack Jirachi next turn! Jirachi alone has won games, stalled the opponent, stopped a lock, and KO’d the Active. I wanted to mention Jirachi for this list as this deck runs Metal Energy and allows you to use Jirachi’s second attack, for a Metal Energy and colorless Energy puts both Active Pokemon to sleep. This is kind of a last ditch scenario, and I have only used it once, but I can see it being somewhat useful in desperate times.
  • 2 Level Ball: I really do want to run three and four in this deck, but I can’t find room. I have cut one Crobat, one Lysandre, and even one Skyfield, but it seemed like cutting Level Ball cut the least amount of consistency from my deck as the 61st spot. I do notice that with 2 Level Ball I do just fine, but some games I don’t draw it at all. I have won in games without drawing into it, but there were some times where I’d much rather have level ball’ed over ultra ball’ed.
  • 1 AZ: AZ is a very important one-of card in this deck. It can be used to pick up a fully evolved Crobat line, a Shaymin-EX on the Bench that could be a possible Lysandre target, an Actively stuck Bronzong, a Pokemon with a harmful status condition, and/or a damaged Pokemon. While such an amazing card, it is only limited to one spot. I do wish there was room for another spot, even with four VS Seeker.
  • 1 Float Stone. I play this mainly for Bronzong. Three Retreat is really hard to overcome if it is Lysandre’d Active. Usually, AZ does the trick, but if they plan to leave Bronzong up for awhile and snipe Bench Pokemon you have a problem. With one float stone, you are bound to draw it off of Trainers' Mail, Professor Sycamore, or Shaymin-EX. Once you do you slap it down on your Bronzong and carry on with the rest of the game without worrying about the Energy support too much. 
  • 4 Sky Field: I see many variants play three, but the deck really needs four. If you play against Manectric-EX that runs four Rough Seas, how are you going to take an OHKO late game? Four Sky Field is necessary in all variants.
  • 3 Metal Energy : Some lists manage to fit four, and others cut for two. Three Metal Energy is the optimal amount. With two, you risk one prized or never drawn from the deck, which can be devastating against Aegislash-EX without Hex Maniac. With four, you are losing consistency and are drawing Metal Energy as many times as Double Colorless Energy, which is not beneficial in some scenarios. With three, you don’t risk overdrawing it and still can allow for one to be prized or discarded.

60-x Card Choices:

This is a section where I list out what I would add to my deck if there was room and why.

  • 61st: 1 Level Ball. Most of my Pokemon (outside of Shaymin-EX and Crobat) are ninety HP or less. Level ball really helps get those guys out early and mid-game. A third level ball would definitely help out consistency in the deck.
  • 62nd: 1 Teammates. This card I did not mention yet, but it is usually great in this deck. Most KO’s the opponent takes are on one Prize Pokemon, such as Raichu, Golbat, etc. All of this makes Teammates more viable. Each KO means two of any card in the deck. If you only have a Pikachu, you can get the Raichu and Double Colorless Energy! If you need to retreat and also do damage you can grab Float Stone and Crobat! Teammates can be used a max of five times with VS Seeker and each time it is used is usually extremely beneficial.
  • 63rd: 1 Muscle Band. Sometimes Raichu is ten or twenty short of damage and Muscle Band solves this problem very easily. Specifically, against Lucario-EX, I can go aggressive with Crobat, Energy, and Muscle Band (hitting for 100 damage for Weakness). Muscle band is an easy way to hit numbers, but it is not too crucial as you can usually hit 180.

For those interested in match ups, they will be listed in one major category below. Since this article is all about the same archetype, we can easily compare the decks against popular tier 1 and 2 decks.


Raichu / Crobat / Milotic

This is definitely my favorite version of the Raichu variants in testing. I played it for five out of six of my City Championships that I attended, 3 of which I made Top 16 with (not a huge accomplishment, but worthy enough that I felt like mentioning). The deck uses a similar strategy to the deck above, but with Milotic instead of Bronzong. Milotic gets back any card from the card once after you play it down. How could that possibly be good? Well, you get back ANY card. If you are in dire need of a Double Colorless Energy, a very likely scenario in a Enhanced Hammer heavy format, you get it back just by evolving. Need the Lysandre for the KO, Milotic.  Need whatever from your discard, Milotic. Sure, you only run two, but getting back any card in a limited sixty card list is awesome, especially when it is right to your hand (unlike Bunnelby). With AZ, you have the potential to do this more than two times as well. Milotic can easily turn a bad situation into a playable one just by drawing into it or getting an Ultra Ball. Lastly, because we run Water Energy in this deck, we can attack with Milotic. While not too useful, sixty for a Water Energy and two Colorless Energy, it does make your opponent switch out his or her Active with a Bench Pokemon, which could be game changing. The power or Milotic has made Raichu decks see more play at this year’s City Championship series as well as Bronzong. Here’s this list I used for most of the NJ City Championship Marathon:


Pokemon (25)

4x Pikachu (XY #42)4x Raichu (XY #43)4x Zubat (PHF #31)3x Golbat (PHF #32)2x Crobat (PHF #33)2x Feebas (PRC #43)2x Milotic (PRC #44)3x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)1x Jirachi (PRXY #XY67)

Trainers (29)

4x Professor Sycamore (XY #122)2x Lysandre (FLF #90)1x AZ (PHF #91)1x Teammates (PRC #141)4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)4x Trainers' Mail (RSK #92)4x Ultra Ball (DEX #102)2x Level Ball (AOR #76)2 x Muscle Band (XY #121)1x Sacred Ash (FLF #96)4x Sky Field (RSK #89)

Energy (6)

4x Double Colorless Energy (XY #130)2x Water Energy (BLW #107)

 Card Choices:

  • 2 Crobat: While not ideal, two is all you kind of need for the deck. If discarded, it can easily be gotten from either Sacred Ash or even Milotic if necessary. I do wish there was room for another one though.
  • 2 Muscle Band: Some people tend to play the deck without muscle band, but in my opinion I like muscle band in this deck much more. I like it more because Milotic can get back anything in this deck. If you can get back anything, especially late game, muscle band is really helpful. It saves a spot to evolve a Zubat or a Golbat for something else. Another reason why I like it is that it is compatible with Trainers' Mail. With four of the aforementioned card, it is likely that you’ll see one muscle band in those top four cards of the deck. If you wanted extra damage with another Pokemon, you’d have to get an ultra ball (which discards two cards) or a level ball (same odds). Other people tend to play this deck with -2 Muscle Band and +1 Level Ball and +1 Crobat, but in my opinion those cards are not as useful as I tested with. I always never used all three Level Ball and rarely did I hit three different Crobats in the same game. 
  • 2 Water Energy: Why not three Energy? Well you don’t need it as much in this deck, even without getting it back like Bronzong. You do get back Double Colorless Energy with Milotic, with at least half or more of the time I am using Milotic for anyways. Milotic allows you to have five, six, maybe even seven Double Colorless Energy in a game. You do not need as many basic Energy as your stream of special Energy is not always shot because of Enhanced Hammer, Xerosic, or Team Flare Grunt. You still need a minimum of two Energy because of Aegislash-EX. Because there is no Hex Maniac, the only way around Aegislash-EX is basic Energy and Lysandre.

60-x Card Choices:

  • 61st: 1 Float Stone: I think the deck really needs this card. While everything only has two or less retreat, it is not fun to discard a Double Colorless Energy to attack. When an opponent stalls by using Lysandre on a Milotic, my only hopes are to draw the one AZ in the deck, hope it is in the discard with VS Seeker, or retreat manually. If it was still a Feebas it wouldn’t be as big of a deal assuming I had a basic Energy attached or in hand, but dropping a Double Colorless Energy is killer. Even with Shaymin-EX and Jirachi, I’ve had times where I had to discard a special Energy to attack. While Milotic saves it, I’d rather not have to always use Milotic for Energy.
  • 62nd: 1 Crobat: I did mention above why Crobat is not as important as muscle band, but it is still Crobat. If one is prized I am out of luck, and if it is in the discard, I have to hope to draw Sacred Ash (which is usually pretty bad early game) or a Milotic (which is pretty much a wasteful Milotic in my opinion). If there was a third Crobat, I could spare one, knowing the other two are decked, and still do fine with the game as I don’t mind getting it back mid to late game with Sacred Ash.
  • Honerable Mention: Battle Compressor: I have seen a few lists play this, and it seems somewhat interesting. You can drop Supporters for VS Seeker and also an important card for Milotic, like Double Colorless Energy or Sky Field for a clutch play. If you have room for battle compressor, I think you should have room for another Level Ball or something more valuable than discarding where you ideally want most of your support on the Bench.


Raichu / Crobat / Yveltal

This is another popular Raichu variant that took over City Championships for the first few weeks. It uses “baby” Yveltal to power up a benched Pikachu or Raichu whilst putting damage on the Active. If your opponent takes a KO on the Active, they are ignoring a bigger threat of Raichu on the Bench waiting for a KO. Because you are setting up for next turn, even if your opponent uses Lysandre on the Pokemon you were setting up, you still run Double Colorless Energy to immediately attack. Yveltal also uses the advantage of Resistance against fighting decks like Lucario-EX/ Bats or Mienshao. Here’s a sample list I would use:


Pokemon (25)

4x Pikachu (XY #42)4x Raichu (XY #43)4x Zubat (PHF #31)3x Golbat (PHF #32)2x Crobat (PHF #33)3x Yveltal (XY #78)1x Yveltal-EX (XY #79)3x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)1x Jirachi (PRXY #XY67)

Trainers (27)

4x Professor Sycamore (XY #122)2x Lysandre (FLF #90)1x AZ (PHF #91)1x Teammates (PRC #160)4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)4x Trainers' Mail (RSK #92)4x Ultra Ball (DEX #102)2x Level Ball (AOR #76)1x Sacred Ash (FLF #96)4x Sky Field (RSK #89)

Energy (8)

4x Double Colorless Energy (XY #130)4x Darkness Energy (BLW #111)

Card Choices:

  • 3 Yveltal and 1 Yveltal-EX: The three Yveltal are for starting and for late game. Yveltal helps set up Energy onto a benched Raichu for next turn. Yveltal also is great late game when you need to do small amounts of damage, while still attaching Energy) for KO’s and can do that with just one Energy opposed to the two energy needed for Shaymin-EX. Yveltal-EX is mainly for Lucario-EX, but is an awesome tech. It waits until either you manually attach or Oblivion Wing a Darkness Energy onto itself and then next turn you can hit with eighty plus damage with Evil Ball or ninety from Y-cyclone. Lastly, all four of these new additions are all basic Pokemon that add onto Raichu’s additional damage. 
  • 1 Teammates: Like the Milotic variant, you need a teammates in this deck. Even though Yveltal is more of a wall than Raichu, it tends to be KO’d quicker than Raichu (as it is Active just as often and many times your opponent does not always have a Lysandre). And Teammates is always a good card in these decks to get just the two cards you were looking for.
  • 4 Darkness Energy: This is the only Raichu variant where you need four Energy. It is necessary to attack with Yveltal and Yveltal-EX and you need to get it in the discard. With all of the cards to search up your deck, it is not too hard to get one in the discard and in hand to attach to Yveltal on turn 1. It also makes it harder to do this is one is prized, and unlike other decks, having one prized is bad as getting Darkness Energy in the hand and in the discard is a crucial part of your strategy.

60-x Card Choices:

  • 61st: 1 Battle Compressor: I would even try to fit in two, but battle compressor is pretty useful in this deck. You don’t have to worry about VS Seeker as you can get what you want in the discard as well as the Darkness Energy you need for the turn 1 Yveltal attack. You can also drop cards you don’t need, like (late game) Sky Field and Ultra Ball.
  • 62nd: 1 Float Stone: I would really like to add one of these as well. Yveltal and Yveltal-EX both have two Retreat Cost. While this is negligible by AZ and Double Colorless Energy, it would be better to not waste those resources (more specifically VS seeker for AZ) when you need them for attacking and set up.

Raichu / Crobat / Regirock

This may seem like an unheard of variant, but it has a lot going for it. Regirock can hit EXs for 120 damage with just a Fighting Energy and a Double Colorless Energy. A turn one now has more possibilities as you can play a fighting Energy to Regirock and sets you up for an Unyielding Rock or Circle Circuit depending on the situation. With Weakness, you KO all Lightning-type EXs, and with a Muscle Band you are OHKOing Shaymin-EX. Regardless, 120 damage to an EX Pokemon is still a solid damage amount as it is perfect for two-shot KO as well. Regirock is an awesome contrast to Raichu; Lightning-type Pokemon usually are weak to fighting. Where it might have struggled from being one-shot from Weakness, Regirock comes in and helps Raichu in fighting match ups. Lastly, considering how easy it is to switch a few Energy to fighting type and stage one lines to Regirock, there is much more room in this deck to work with card choices. Here’s a list I used in one City Championship this season:

Pokemon (24)

4x Pikachu (XY #42)4x Raichu (XY #43)4x Zubat (PHF #31)3x Golbat (PHF #32)3x Crobat (PHF #33)2x Regirock (AOR #40)3x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)1x Jirachi (PRXY #XY67)

Trainers (29)

4x Professor Sycamore (XY #122)2x Lysandre (FLF #90)1x AZ (PHF #91)4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)4x Trainers' Mail (RSK #92)4x Ultra Ball (DEX #102)2x Level Ball (AOR #76)2x Muscle Band (XY #121)1x Switch (BLW #104)1x Sacred Ash (FLF #96)4x Sky Field (RSK #89)

Energy (7)

4x Double Colorless Energy (XY #130)3x Fighting Energy (XY #137)

Card Choices:

  • 2 Regirock: I put in two for a few reasons. If you have three, you tend to start with it…like a lot. I had three Regirock at one time, and started with it at least a third or fourth of my games. Regirock is honestly the worst start for this deck, and keeping it down to two means you’ll draw into it and likely both won’t be prized. 
  • 1 Switch 0 Float Stone: I don’t use float in here as you need Muscle Band more often. While you only run two Muscle Band, if you attach it you can’t retreat the Active Pokemon and will have to either rely on manually retreating or AZ. Basically, for the reason I run 2 Regirock is the reason why I run one Switch. If I do start with it in the Active, I should be able to get out of that spot by turn 2 by digging through the deck with Shaymin-EX and Trainers' Mail. Switch can also stop repetitive Lysandre stalls without having to overuse VS Seeker for AZ.

60-x Card Choices:

  • 61st: 1 Level Ball: With no real extra source to get back Pokemon outside of Sacred Ash, getting out what you need turn 1 is really important. Three Level ball insures you get out the two to three each of Pikachu and Zubat so you can get a perfect turn 2.
  • 62nd: 1 Teammates: In this deck, it there tends to be a lot of easy KO’s on your side and Teammates takes advantage of this. In addition, Regirock is sometimes used as a wall when you want to set up. While they think they are just getting rid of a small problem, Teammates takes advantage of a KO and turns it in your favor.
  • 63rd: 1 Cassius: While this card is not mentioned in other decks, it is because it is situational. Cassius, like AZ, is used for Regirock, Shaymin-EX, the Crobat line, and any damaged / status-afflicted Pokemon. Cassius also saves all cards attached to that Pokemon as well, so Double Colorless Energy, Muscle Band, and / or Fighting Energy is saved. Lastly, Cassius can save you from decking if played in the end game. Although, sometimes its benefit is not as great as AZ. AZ brings it right to the hand, and if you have a larger deck, it makes what you threw back in harder to find.



Manectric-EX / Bats: 60/40

This tend to be an even match for most of the decks. While you do ‘beat’ Manectric-EX on the Prize trade, they equal it out with bat damage, taking about one to two Prizes a turn. Regirock does improve the match greatly even with Flash Energy. If they can’t get it out, it is a OHKO, and even if they do it does 120 damage, 140 with Muscle Band, and most likely over 170 damage with the addition of Golbat and Crobat damage. One problem I used to do against this deck was to unnecessarily play Pokemon (in any variant) over the damage cap. This is unnecessary and unforgiving once they swap a Sky Field for a Parallel City, limiting a huge Bench of eight to a small three. If you use Milotic correctly and quickly, you should be able to use Sacred Ash to get all of those Pokemon back in those situations. Teammates is also very useful as your opponent is getting a KO once a turn, meaning you can search for two of anything. If needed to, you can get many free KO’s off benched Shaymin-EX and the Crobat line.

Night March: 90/10

This is a very easy match for most variants. Yveltal OHKO’s Joltik and Pumpkaboo and the Stadium war is not to important as Raichu OHKO’s Shaymin-EX and Milotic without Sky field. Also Bats takes free Prizes off benched Joltiks and Pumpkaboos. If they run Enhanced Hammer you get it back Energy in all versions except Regirock. This should be an easy win for you.

Entei / Charizard-EX: 70/30

This is usually a favorable match up for the Raichu deck. Entei only does max of seventy damage with his first attack with two Muscle Band, which is just short of a Raichu OHKO. Its second attack damages it, which is sometimes crucial to KO’s. Entei does run Assault Vest which can reduce up to eighty damage when attacked by a Pokemon with a special Energy. In the Yveltal and Bronzong variants, you can easily avoid this by getting up Raichus with basic Energy in one to two turns (which is hard for Entei decks as they can’t Blacksmith and Lysandre in the same turn). Bats also avoid the effect going right though and doing damage directly. This means that originally, you have to do 210 with two Assault Vest attached, but after bat damage it could be anywhere from a very likely 140-180, which is an easy number to hit.

Vespiqueen: 60/40

This deck tends to do poorly against Raichu. Combee only has 40 HP and is wrecked from bat damage. Vespiquen is also pretty meh as both players OHKO each other except that they can’t win after all four Vespiquens are KO’d whereas we can. You also have to watch out for your Shaymin-EX as they are easy two-prize targets, but as long as they play some type of Stadium you should be able to discard or Sky Return them (or use AZ). Teammates is another good play against this deck as there are constant KO’s and plenty of things you can get off a free two-card Computer Search. Yveltal, Bronzong, and Milotic all get Energy back and make sure you never really run out. Yveltal can take KO’s on Combees as well.

Yveltal / Zoroark / Gallade (YZG): 50/50

This tends to be a harder match than most people believe. While you do take the Prize advantage off Yveltal-EX, you do not get that off Zoroark. Zoroark basically one-shots anything on your field, so don’t prepare only one benched Pikachu or Raichu. Nothing is necessarily hard to one-shot, but they have a lot of Pokemon that are doing damage, so don’t forget about every possible move they can do nor should you forget about how many Shaymin-EX you have in play (easy Prizes). The 150 HP Gallade is also a major threat. Outside of one-shotting anything on my field (except Crobat), Gallade can also rearrange the top five cards of the deck to get what they want. This is just as bad as Zoroark and should be this deck’s main priority to knock out first. Luckily, Gallade is weak to Psychic, so a Crobat with Muscle Band plus fifty damage (off maybe a Golbat/Crobat damage or from a Yveltal) is a KO. If they run Energy denial, you get it back with all decks besides Regirock.

Mega Rayquaza-EX: 80/20

Worth mentioning, but basically all versions beat this deck. If the deck runs Altaria then use a turn for a Lysandre or just OHKO all of the Shaymin-EX on the Bench. If the opponent runs Aegislash-EX and goes agro with it, then also Lysandre Rayquaza-EX, M Rayquaza-EX, or Shaymin-EX on the Bench. If they go the Hex Maniac route, you have a bit of a problem, but they can’t logistically do that turn after turn and churn out OHKO’s.

Lucario-EX / Bats: 40/60

This is one of the variant’s worst matchups. First off, Lucario-EX and Landorus OHKO’s whatever Active Pokemon you have up turn one (unless if it is Shaymin-EX), so they take a free Prize. You have to set up a constant stream of Pikachus and Zubats or they will one-shot you with Weakness and bats. They also usually run two Enhanced Hammer, which complicates the game from your end. You do have a few ways around this. Crobat has Weakness on Lucario-EX and Resistance -20 to fighting, meaning its attack does 100 damage with a Muscle Band if Lucario-EX is Active. This usually is unexpected by my opponents and usually can’t retaliate without expecting a Raichu ready to go next turn or a two-shot from a Crobat. While it is not unwinnable, you have to allow for a Prize or two to be taken before you start going anywhere.

Metal Dragons (Tyrantrum-EX, Giratina-EX, Aegislash-EX, and Zoroark): 20/80

This is easily this deck’s one definite autoloss. It is very hard to win against a stream of constant annoying EXs. Giratina-EX stops you from putting down special Energy, tools and Stadiums. This means no Double Colorless Energy nor Sky Field, which are MAJOR keys to your deck. Aegislash-EX stops Pokemon with special Energy to attack it. And Zoroark does more damage per Pokemon on your Bench. All of those Pokemon working together makes it extremely hard to win. Sure, you can Lysandre around some of it, but they can do that as well to your own Shaymin-EX. Giratina-EX is the worst as you have to either rely on attacking with a Crobat or Yveltal for a prior turn (which will likely result in a Lysandre to the benched Pikachu I likely would have attached a Darkness Energy to). My only real solution is to hope that you can Lysandre and KO a Tyrantrum-EX as your opponent fails to find an AZ, Zoroark, or Float Stone. No variant is particular better than the others as they all have major faults against Metal decks.

Mega Manectric-EX: 65/35

This is generally an easy match up. While they do KO anything on your field, you only need a full Bench and fifty additional damage with bats or Muscle Band to seal the deal. M Manectric-EX does have the benefit utilizing Rough Seas. This limits your Bench and heals thirty from their Lightning-types. This makes sure that if are not sure where to put bat damage that it does not go onto a benched Manectric-EX for ‘later’. This is a problem with the Yveltal variant; Yveltal ‘sets-up’ thirty damage on the Active while it gets healed and then KO’s back. Another problem is Articuno, but is also not a huge threat. Sure it takes two Prizes off a KO, but it takes one to two turns and luck after it is in play to actually be pulled off. It is a threat and would try to kill it over M Manectric-EX if it is mid to end game. Make sure you also account for their Shaymin-EX as they will likely play two of them and gives you four Prizes that you’ll probably take for the game.


XY Breakpoint

I hope you can all see the potential of Raichu and how it is going to really affect this season. With XY Breakpoint coming out soon, I do want to mention quickly some cards that could effect how Raichu is played:

Slowking – Water – HP100
Stage 1 – Evolves from Slowpoke

Ability: King’s Inspiration
Once during your turn (before your attack), you may flip a coin. If heads, choose an Energy attached to your opponent’s Active Pokemon and move it to one of his or her Benched Pokemon.

[W][C] Psych Up: 40 damage. During your next turn, this Pokemon’s Psych Up attack does 40 more damage.

Weakness: Grass (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 2

Slowking can ruin the deck’s strategy every turn if you are constantly being forced to move an Energy to a Crobat or Milotic. This might force the deck to play Super Scoop Up or Cassius over AZ. I don’t think it is going to be a huge deck, but it is something to look out for.

Zebstrika XY9

Zebstrika – Lightning – HP100
Stage 1 – Evolves from Blitzle

Ability: Zebra Zone
As long as this Pokemon is in play, damage from your [L] Pokemon’s attacks isn’t affected by any effects on your opponent’s Active Pokemon.

[C][C] Take-Down Bolt: 50+ damage. If your opponent’s Active Pokemon has a [F] Resistance, this attack does 60 more damage.

Weakness: Fighting (x2)
Resistance: Metal (-20)
Retreat: 1

I can see Zebstrika being played in the deck. Zebstrika allows you to attack through effects like Aegislash-EXand Klinklang. It also can do 110 to a Fighting Resistant Pokemon (AKA likely a Lightning weak Pokemon) for just a Double Colorless Energy. As it is another Lightning-type, I am not sold yet if I want to put in another of the same type while sacrificing part of the Crobat line or support line.

Garbodor – Psychic – HP100
Stage 1 – Evolves from Trubbish

Ability: Garbotoxin
If this Pokemon has a Pokemon Tool card attached to it, each Pokemon in play, in each player’s hand, and in each player’s discard pile has no Abilities (except Garbotoxin).

[P][C][C][C] Panic Bomb: 60 damage. Your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Poisoned and Confused/

Weakness: Psychic (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 3

This reprint with Float Stone makes the next format really annoying. If this becomes big, which it likely will, then Raichu will need to play Xerosic or Startling Megaphone. This will unforuntely will make the deck clunkier, but is necessary to not autolose another match up.

Delinquent – Trainer


Discard a Stadium card in play. If you do, your opponent chooses 3 cards from his or her hand and discards them.

You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack).

This card can cause some problems for Raichu. While it doesn’t particularly affect the opponent, it discards your Sky Field, including up to three Benched Pokemon, AND three cards from your hand. This could be game changing in some situations. I think as long as you have a VS Seeker and three other cards in your hand you should be fine, but it sucks to have a ‘play’ for next turn only to be shot down.


Time Puzzle – Trainer

You may play 2 Time Puzzle at the same time.

– If you played 1, look at the top 3 cards of your deck and put them back on top of your deck in any order you like.

– If you played 2, choose 2 cards from your discard pile, show them to your opponent, and put them into your hand.

You may play as many Item cards as you like during your turn (before your attack).

This card is somewhat iffy for me. I can obviously see play in it for other decks, but I don’t know how great it will be in Raichu. The card can get back any two cards from your discard, awesome, but what are you going to cut for this? I guess there will be space made for it. In addition, playing one is basically useless as you would do this with Trainers' Mail anyways.


Thank you all for reading my article! Hopefully you learned something about the in’s and out’s of anything and everything “Raichu.”

Also, please comment what you agree or disagree about anything I posted, I love a good debate!