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
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
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
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
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.