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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Raichu   

- XY

Date Reviewed:
March 5, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.00
Limited: 4.50

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Raichu (XY) 

Do the Wave is one of the best known attacks in Pokémon TCG history. Partly because of its awesomely goofy name, but mainly because of how powerful it was back in the very early days of the game with Wigglytuff Jungle. Pokémon have made a couple of fairly recent attempts to revive it with Cinccino BLW and Zoroark DEX’s Brutal Bash, but it hasn’t really made much of an impact. Raichu XY represents another attempt to resurrect this iconic attack, and this time they might just have succeeded. 

This time around, it’s called Circle Circuit, costs two Colourless Energy, and does 20 damage times the number of Pokémon you have in play. It’s easily paid for with a Double Colourless Energy, but even so, why would it be any more viable than the previous efforts? The key lies in Raichu’s Typing. The massive HP inflation that we have seen over the years meant that it was relatively difficult for Cinccino and Zoroark to score OHKOs, as Colourless and Dark Types did not hit much (or anything) for Weakness. Raichu, on the other hand, has two very popular EX Pokémon in his sights in the shape of Lugia and the new, obscenely powerful, Yveltal. Both of these Pokémon are one-shot by Raichu if you have five Pokémon on the field. Slap on a Silver Bangle or a Muscle Band and you don’t even need that many, and because it isn’t an EX itself, Raichu can achieve a very advantageous Prize trade for you. 

Like the Dugtrio we reviewed last week, Raichu isn’t capable of getting the job done on his own. He’s a weak Stage 1 with an expensive second attack that you won’t really want to use. He really belongs in decks as a tech against those big EXs, or as part of an anti-metagame strategy which always aims to hit for Weakness. Dugtrio is an obvious partner for him, along with the Leafeon and Flareon from Plasma Freeze. 

Would such a deck be competitive? Potentially, but it depends on your ability to read the metagame. Like all 4-Corners/counter style decks, it really has no answer to anything even slightly outside of its Type coverage such as Emboar /Rayquaza, Trevenant XY, or Fairy decks. In a very narrowly defined metagame, it could be a good choice, but in a more varied environment, a couple of unlucky pairings will ruin your chances. 

Rating 

Modified: 3 (cheap attack that targets a key Weakness at the moment)

Limited: 4.5 (DCE is in the set, so go for it) 


HEZ
Intro to
Unlimited 150
Raichu.

Standard.
For such a popular Pokémon, Raichu hasn’t had many good cards… it tends to just discard all of its own energy then die.  OK, so the new Raichu can do that but you should never be using Thunder Bolt, it’s all about Double Colorless Energy and Circle Circuit! For just 1 special energy card you can be putting out 100 damage a turn with a full bench!
This is very similar to Zoroark (Dark Explorers) who did see a little play for a while but power-creep proved to be too much for the Stage 1, even with a Basic that evolves itself via Ascension.
Raichu doesn’t even have the benefits of being a Dark Pokémon or have a Basic that evolves itself, its strength comes in being used as a tech against Lighting weak Pokémon. The one thing it has over Zoroark is that it doesn’t care what type your benched Pokémon are so you can activate Circle Circuit in any deck. If there’s lots of Lightning weak Pokémon in your local meta such as Tornadus EX or Lugia EX you can slip a Raichu into your deck to counter it.

Unlimited 150.
I think it’s finally happened, we’ve hit critical mass on playable Raichu cards, a Raichu deck might be playable now! Filling your bench is never a problem in this format, in fact it tends to fill too fast! Churning out 100 damage a turn should be pretty easy, if there was just an Ascension Pikachu then Raichu could spread the same sort of terror as Zoroark does.
The main reason you play Raichu in this format is for Raichu LV.X and this new addition is a fine thing to level it up from. Raichu LV.Xs Ability allows it to attack twice the turn it levels up, meaning you can snipe for 80 and hit the active for 100 all at once. Building around Raichu LV.X means setting up KOs turns in advance then taking out 2 Pokémon at once, suddenly crippling your opponent giving it an interesting play style.

Ratings.
Standard: 3
Unlimited 150: 4


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