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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day



Raichu #33/90

HS Undaunted

Date Reviewed: Oct. 11, 2010

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.00
Limited: 3.75

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: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Raichu (Undaunted) 

Hello, and welcome to a brand new week of Pojo’s CotD. For a change of pace, I’m going to start each review this week with a question, and today’s is . . .  

How many Raichu (including SP and LV X) do you think there are in the MD-on Modified Format? 

If you answered ‘a lot’ or ‘too many’, I’ll give you that one. If you answered ‘nine’, then you have it spot on. Nine! When we don’t even have a single legal Celebi (until the next set)! Why do they keep giving us Raichu? It’s not as if any of them ever see play. 

There’s a good reason for that too. Almost all Raichu have low HP combined with expensive, high damage attacks . . . and that is not a successful combination. If I am going to invest 3-4 Energy on a Pokémon, I need it to hang around for more than just a turn. 

This Raichu is a bit different though. Yeah, it has the worrying 80 HP and Fighting Weakness, coupled with semi-useful Metal Resistance and handy free retreat. What it doesn’t have are huge, Energy Intensive attacks. Is this a good thing? Well . . . yes and no. 

Yes, because Pain-full Punch gives a good value 30 damage for just one Energy of any Colour. Yes because Spark is another nicely-costed attack, doing 40 damage, plus 20 to a benched Pokémon. 

No, because even though they are bargain-priced, those attacks just aren’t going to do enough damage in Modified to be worth even that small investment. You also don’t have to look very far to find even cheaper attacks that do even more damage (hello Donphan Prime!). 

In Limited, though, it’s a different story. Here Raichu’s damage output is at least adequate, and has the advantage of being relatively fast. Being able to damage the bench is also a big advantage as, in a four-Prize prerelease tournament, Players will usually bench heavily-damaged Pokémon to deny Prizes.

 At least this Raichu got a brief moment to shine . . .  


Modified: 1.75 (underpowered, low HP)
Limited: 4 (very fast and very effective here) 

Combos with . . .  

Prerelease tournaments 


Happy Monday, Pojo readers! Today we are continuing our reviews of the HS Undaunted expansion by reviewing the newest version of a Pokemon that The Pokemon Company loves to print. Today's Card of the Day is Raichu.

Raichu is a Stage 1 Lightning Pokemon. Aside from Luxray GL Lv. X, Lightning types are generally fairly underrepresented in the Pokemon metagame right now. Let's take a look at Raichu's top and bottom stats. 80 HP is low for a final stage Pokemon, definitely putting a dent into Raichu's survivability. Fighting Weakness isn't terrible, but this will make Raichu fall to common Fighting type threats like Donphan and Machamp. Metal Resistance is handy against Dialga and any other random Metal types you may run into, like Steelix or Scizor Prime. Finally, free retreat is the best a Pokemon can have.

Raichu, like many other Pokemon in the HGSS expansions, has two attacks. The first, Pain-full Punch, does a vanilla 30 damage for a single Colorless Energy. 30 for 1 is fine as an early game attack, but keep in mind that Raichu SF can do 30 for free (even though it can only do so every other turn). It isn't something you'd want to use as a primary attack, though.

The second attack, Spark, does 40 damage for [LC] and 20 damage to one of your opponent's Benched Pokemon. Having the ability to spread is really nice, but the damage output is low and there are generally better options.

Modified: 1/5 In this format, things typically need either very good supporting options, powerful attacks, or some combination of the two. Sadly, this Raichu has neither. If you really want to use a Raichu, I'd use either Raichu HGSS, SF, and the Lv. X.

Limited: 2.5/5 Not bad here. 30 for 1 is good in Limited, and having the ability to spread is also nice. Just keep it away from Hitmonlee and Gliscor!

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Raichu (HS Undaunted)
This is a fresh take on an old standard. So far we have the Stormfront, Platinum: Arceus and HeartGold/SoulSilver versions with the Prime from Undaunted and the Lv X from Stormfront in Modified which are all based on discarding lots of energy to hit for around 100 damage. A lot of versions long since rotated out have done the same thing, but this one is different.
This Raichu gets 80 HP (most get 90 or 100, so not a good thing) with Fighting weakness (Machamp and Donphan could OHKO Raichu pretty easily without weakness, but still not a good thing)), Metal resistance (not brilliant, but resistance is never a bad thing) and free retreat.
Now, like most recent incarnations, we get 2 attacks, and, unlike most recent incarnations, both are low-damage cheap shots. The amusingly named Pain-full Punch deals 30 damage for C, which on a Stage 1 is somewhere between good-but-not-good-enough and great, depending on the ability and/or second attack of the card. A brilliant but expensive attack or excellent search/draw Pokepower makes a cheap first attack a big bonus (all other options make a cheap first attack only a small plus but not enough to make the card playable).
Sadly, Raichu's second attack does not help the card reach the ranks of the playable. Spark is an old satndard, which deals a little damage to an active Pokemon and even less damage to a Benched Pokemon. This time around it costs LC for 40 damage with a 20 damage snipe, which is great value-for-energy (even considering resistance), but the lack of damage means that anyone who wants to play a Raichu deck is going to skip right over this card.
In the end, the reson the old Raichus from Base set and Fossil never got played is because a lack of damage combined with low HP, and this latest edition follows on in that sad tradition.
Modified: 2.5 (it is cheap and a nicely built card, but the damage output is not even close to competitive)
Limited: 4 (here Raichu has a chance to shine, starting quick and hitting multiple targets with very few Fighting types to stand in the way. If you can run multiple copies you will own the prerelease!)


10/11/10: Raichu(Undaunted)
Yeah, yeah, it's Monday. Struggle out of bed, go to school, do your homework, eat your vegetables, and I'll try to review Pokemon cards for your benefit as painlessly as possible.
Today's card, Raichu, isn't helping out on the 'painless' part, however; as the card states, Raichu is trying to be rather 'Pain-full.” Which brings me to my next tangent: Why is it called Pain-full instead of 'painful'? I think they were going for some sort of pun, but it doesn't really make sense when the pun has the exact same meaning of the original word. This is unfortunate, because puns are awesome and more cards need pun-based attack names.
By the way, the card itself isn't very playable. It's got cheap attacks that do fairly decent damage, (And really, 1L for 40 and bench damage is good value. Just not 'playable' value.) and I think it's the first Raichu in a while that can attack without discarding energy(Raichu SV doesn't count, because it's bad, and I said so), AND it can be leveled up via Raichu Lv. X, but it just doesn't do enough damage to be really successful.
But, as with all cheap attackers(with free retreat, no less), this card is pretty good in Limited. Did I say good? I mean really good. Besides the solid attacks and the free retreat cost, it's an uncommon, and it resists Metal, and there might be a few Metal-types that people would play in a second's notice. Just a few, though.
Modified: 2.25/5
Limited: 3.75/5
Combos with: none


D’awwww… it’s so cute! 


I mean we open our week with Raichu, an Uncommon from Undaunted.  Our big-small mouse is just that: an 80 HP Stage 1 (a bit low) with a doubling Fighting Weakness (matters because it saves Donphan Prime two copies of Plus Power), Metal Resistance -20 (a welcome addition), and a free Retreat Cost (the best possible).  Even with the Resistance and Retreat Cost, it’ll take something special for this card to see play.  Pain-full Punch, its first attack, isn’t special enough: it’s a straightforward 30 damage for (C) Energy.  As this is a Stage 2 Pokémon that can’t further Evolve, that is low-to-average in terms of performance (though a bit better than what many actual cards would have).  The next attack, Spark, fairs a bit worse.  Spark isn’t a bad attack: (LC) does 40 points of damage to the Defending Pokémon and another 20 points of damage to one of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon (your choice).  In terms of Energy paid, that is actually a decent deal, but then you remember this is a Stage 1 Evolution card and the end of the line: decent doesn’t cut it. 

To explain what I mean, let me tell you how this card could have gone: Spark costs (CC), even if that necessitates dropping the base damage to 30 points.  This allows Double Colorless Energy to provide a quick hit, and leaves room for a killer Poké-Power, Poké-Body, or another attack. 

At least in Limited play, it has some nice options: while you’ll have to watch the Weakness and will only rarely enjoy the Resistance, the lower damage has less HP to drain, making the attacks more effective.  Second, Bench damage is more important in this format, where retreating an injured Pokémon is a common method of Prize denial and players will often build their real attacker on their Bench.  Lastly, the ability to theoretically be run sans Lightning Energy and still have an attack, or more practically splash just a few Lightning Energy into another color deck and have access to both attacks. 


Modified: 1.75/5 

Limited: 3.5/5 

Art: 4/5 

I am still selling my former collectables on eBay.  I’ve had a lot of hobbies over the years, so at various times I’ll have comic books, manga, action figures, and video games on the auction block.  You can take a look at what’s up for bids here.  Just a reminder, Pojo is in no way responsible for any transactions and was merely kind enough to let me mention the auctions here. ;) 

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