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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Raichu  #83/90

HS Undaunted

Date Reviewed: August 13, 2010

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.00
Limited: 3.00

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

Combos With:

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia
Raichu (HS Undaunted)
We finish our rollercoaster week with Raichu Prime, whom I quite happen to like.
We have been present with a bunch of glass-cannon Raichus in recent times (Raichu SF, Raichu PA, Riachu HGSS) who deal massive damage for high discard and have low HP as a balance measeure, which has seen them become quite popular with rogue deck builders. This one follows the same mould, but power creep gives it a bit more of an advantage.
We get 100 HP (nice for a Raichu) with fighting weakness and 1 retreat (metal resistance is nice as an afterthought but negligible in play). Expected for a Prime, and not disappointing even though it is too fragile to take Donphan or Machamp on head-to-head. Other heavy hitters will grind it to dust, but chances are you'll be able to play this fast enough to take more than 1 prize befre your opponent takes you down.
Now the abilities. We get Voltage Increase, which sucks 1 lightning energy off another of your Pokemon and attaches it to Raichu as often as you like during your turn. Basically what Wash Out does for Blastoise, with lightning energy instead (so use it to come from behind and switch up your Raichus). Then you get Mega Thunderbolt which does exactly what it says on the tin. You Opponent's active gets a real buzz out of life with 120 damage for LLC, and the payoff is discarding all energy attached to Raichu. Obviously, you will use one of the many retreival options available to get your energy back and attack again (something lightning pokemon have been historically very good for) until Raichu bites the dust.
This is a well understood model used by many fire and Lightning Pokemon cards as well as countless decks, so I know someone will try it. Will they become top tournament level? Probably not, but they will take their fair share of cities tournaments and local league wins, so beware. A pity Electovire SW is going away, it would be just the card to use with this Raichu.
Modified: 3 (to weak to survive a substantial hit or a fighting type attacker, but will justify it's cost against any other Pokemon)
Limited: 3 (It will survive longer but attack slower, handle with care)
Combos with: don't actually know yet.

Raichu Prime review:
Raichus in general have always had a rough time hanging out with the more competitive decks that exist in its format.  Heavy hitters for hefty costs with a weakness to fairly popular pokemon, and this one is no different.
100 HP actually isn't that good, and here's why.  There's a frightening trend that I've been noticing with recent playable pokemon that may make this number seem a lot smaller than it really is.  Although the number of playable pokemon from these newer sets is fairly few compared to the D/P/PT days, these same pokemon are wielding higher and higher attack power, along with the return of EX-like HP (perhaps slightly higher, too) without the 2-prize downside (barring LEGENDS).  The Leafeon reviewed earlier this week can hit for 110 (this includes the poison tick from UL Roserade) for one energy (two energy if you count the Rainbow Energy used to trigger UL Roserade's power) easy, and that's un-EB'd (Expert Belt),  Donphan Prime and Kingdra Prime do a phenomenal 60 for one F energy without EB, and now Umbreon Prime's appearance allows the entry of another 100+ hitter (again, un-EB'd, but that does include max Eeveelutions with a single special Darkness Energy).  The list goes on and on, so while 100 HP may seem fairly decent for a heavy hitting stage 1 pokemon, it's really not, and if this trend continues, it'll be even worse for the electric rat.  This is just another glass cannon pokemon ripe for the opponent to take as a prize, so this card will need to hit fast and hard to really work, as it already has a lot of competition to go against.
As for the bottom stats...  Fighting weakness is annoying expected from Raichu.  With Machamp bound to gain popularity in the next format with Unown G's dissappearence and the still tried and true Donphan Prime, this will spell P-R-I-Z-E for your opponent, so pack those Sunnyshore City Gym stadiums in your deck as you would any electric-based deck.  Metal resistance is better than no resistance, especially with some Dialga G-based decks out there.  And finally, the Retreat Cost of one is always a welcome sign when you're considering any pokemon for a deck.
Now for the more appealing part.  Voltage Increase is an intriguing power that essentially mimics UL Blastoise's Wash Out power, only in this case exclusive to electric energies.  No good for energy acceleration, but phenomenal for energy manipulation, and that's never a bad thing.  This is especially important after using Raichu Prime's nuke attack (we'll get to that later).  Of course, any Poke-Power has their downsides.  However in this case, it's immune to one form of power disruption: Powerspray, which is only useful against "Once per turn" powers, so if you face an SP deck, you can breathe easy knowing that Powersrpay won't ruin your day.  PT Ampharos and Glaceon Lv X are currently the only pokemon in a MD-and-on format that will laugh at your attempt to use this power, and considering that neither are used on a highly competitive level, that's a good thing.  Just don't forget about them, either, as both are tried choices in rogue decks and league play.  There's also something else that Undaunted brought that will become a rather big factor; UD Umbreon's Moonlight Fang, which prevent Umbreon from being damaged by pokemon with any Poke-Powers and/or Poke-Bodies.  Be very cautious with this.  If you want a way around Umbreon, I suggest the HGSS Raichu over this one, as it has no power to give Umbreon a reason to wall.
120 damage...  That's a number that any player loves to see on an attack, but for older players, this will send up a red flag.  Attacks this strong usually have a steep downside that usually kills most cards of this class.  Raichu Prime is no different, as it's on thin ice with this one.  Costing two lightning and a colorless (sorry, no DCE), this Thunderbolt does 120 damage and forces you to discard all energy cards attached to it, a trait that usually kills most other cards.  Even with a SF Magnezone's Super Conductivity helping power it back up after a nuke, you need to have TWO of them on your bench and burn your energy attachment for the turn just to attack again.  Can you say Powerspray, Chilly Breath, or Damage Bind?  Yeah, I did, too.  It might have been a LITTLE better if it was Retreat Cost free.
But hold on.  Before you put Raichu Prime away, there's one more thing to consider.  What about the Raichu Lv X that SF gave us?  Remember that Primes are NOT considered "Pokemon Prime."  Prime is not a name.  It's just a rarity, meaning that it still retrains it's normal name, "Raichu" and thus filling the conditions needed for a potential Level Up.  Is this one a good choice to do that with?  Well...  Not really...  In many ways, the HGSS Raichu is far superior than this Prime for Level-Ups, but if you want to try it, it is a nice and surprising way around any UD Umbreon because of the Lv X's sniping attack.
Overall, despite an intriguing power and 120 damage attack, the HGSS Raichu shines over this dude for a couple of reasons.
1. It's Thunderbolt is a far more affordable discard cost due to just being cheaper.  I'd settle for 100 damage for discarding two lightning energies any day over losing 3 energies for 120 damage.  At least it'd be much easier to power up again.  The Raichu Prime, unless you for some reason wish to dedicate two bench spaces to stage 2 SF Magnezones on your bench, is going to have a "dead turn" where it can't do anything, meaning you need to bench it, which brings me to reason number two...
2. Free Retreat Cost allows the HGSS Raichu to fall back and preserve itself for another semi-nuke should it be needed later.  It's true that Raichu Lv X has no retreat Cost, but it's not wise to burn a Lv X to overcome a pokemon's weakness when another pokemon can do the job better solo.
Moditified: 2.25  Don't get me wrong here.  It's still a fairly decent card that at the very least can be slipped into a Raichu deck, but is has some serious issues that greatly limits its use, and until this issue is resolved, HGSS Raichu will shine over this one.  Sorry.
Limited: 3.5  Stage 1?  100 HP?  3 energies?  120 damage?  Yes plz.  Just know that it will have its "dead turns."  It's a glass cannon that can take a few taps, but even one tap too many will finally shatter it.

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