For die-hard Pokémon fans there will always be countless bitter debates raging on until the end of time.
Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle? Mew or Mewto?
And of course, we can’t forget: Pikachu or Raichu?
For me it will always be Raichu. He’s bigger, beefier, and he has that ‘come at me bro‘ attitude that a Trainer needs on their team.
So for those of you who are bad-ass enough to favour Raichu over his cutesy little predecessor, here are 26 facts about a white-hot electrifying Pokémon.
Raichu is most commonly known to be Pokémon #26 in the Kanto Pokédex, also known as the first ever Pokédex. However it is #23 in the Johto Pokédex, #164 in the Hoenn Pokédex, #105 in the Sinnoh Pokédex, and #037 in the Central Kalos Pokédex.
In the Pokémon games Raichu can learn up to 62 moves. Until recently Raichu could only learn 59 moves, being able to learn one new move in Pokémon X & Y, and two new moves in Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire.
Breaking it down even more Raichu can learn 2 moves from HMs, 34 from TMs, 3 from levelling up as a Pichu, 17 from levelling up as a Pikachu, 11 from tutoring, and 16 egg moves that come from hours of selective Pokémon breeding.
If a Pikachu is ever exposed to a Thunderstone then it will make it evolve into a Raichu. As the lowest level a Pikachu can be is Level 2, a Trainer could theoretically have a Level 2 Raichu. If a Trainer did have a Level 2 Raichu then this Pokémon wouldn’t be able to learn any moves through levelling up, only through tutoring, HMs, and TMs.
In the games, Raichu has a base-stat total of 475, sharing this total with 13 other Pokémon including Golem, Rhydon and Spiritomb – made infamous by Sinnoh’s champion Cynthia.
Raichu’s main stats are split with 90 stat points in both Physical and Special Attack, and 100 points in Speed. This makes Raichu a ‘sweeper’, which is a Pokémon that is quick and deals a large amount of damage but is easily defeated due to its weak defenses. Due to the 90/90 split over the different attack stats, Raichu is a Pokémon that can be trained in either attack type, meaning it is a Pokémon whose move set can be moulded to suit the type of Trainer.
Raichu’s most common Pokémon ability is Static. Static’s effect means that if a Pokémon hits a Raichu with a Physical Attack move, it has a 30% chance of being paralyzed. Also, Raichu’s Static ability means that if it is first in the party then the game – where possible – will force an encounter with an Electric-type wild Pokémon.
Raichu also has a secondary, ‘Hidden’ ability, which is Lightning Rod. This ability gives the Pokémon with it immunity to Electric-type moves, and when hit with an Electric-type move the Pokémon’s Special Attack stat will raise by one level.
In the Pokémon world there are 15 different Egg Groups which determine which Pokémon are able to interbreed. Raichu belongs to the two different Egg Groups Field and Fairy. Although there are hundreds of Pokémon that are in either the Field or Fairy Egg Groups, there are only four other Pokémon besides Pikachu and Raichu that belong to both the Field and Fairy Egg Groups.
To breed a Raichu, a Trainer must first hatch a Pichu, and to hatch a Pichu egg it takes between 5,355 – 5,609 in-game steps!
Raichu has a hatch ratio of 50% female Raichus and 50% male Raichus.
In-game Raichu levels up at a Medium-Fast levelling rate.
Raichu can grow to be 2 feet 7 inches (or 0.8 meters) tall, and can weigh up to 66.1 pounds (or 30 kilos).
The most famous Raichu in the animé series is Lt. Surge’s Raichu. Surge is the trainer of the Vermillion City’s Electric Gym in the Kanto region. During Ash’s first battle at the gym, Surge mocked Ash for not evolving his Pikachu, before him and his Raichu brutally defeated Ash and Pikachu. Ash and Pikachu eventually defeated Surge and Raichu earning the respect of both the Trainer and the Pokémon. Surge’s Raichu also made a cameo in the Pokémon Origins mini-series.
In the Pokémon animé series and games there are Shiny versions of Pokémon that often look different to their regular counterparts. A Shiny Raichu sports a more brown-orange colored coat, with a silvery tail and ears rather than being all yellow. In a Pokémon game the chances of finding a Shiny Pokémon in the wild are 1 in 8,192 – and I have a Shiny Raichu in my Pokémon arsenal!
Raichu is a Mouse Pokémon, and it shares this group with Pikachu, Rattata, Raticate, Sandshrew, and Sandslash.
Raichu’s name is a combination of the two Japanese words Rai 雷 (thunder), and Chūchū チューチュー (the sound of squeaking).
However the name Raichu is also a reference to Raiju, the lightning-beast companion to the Shinto God of Lightning Raijin (on whom the Mortal Kombat character Raiden is based on). Raiju takes many forms, including that of a cat, fox, weasel, or wolf wrapped in lightning. However, this is odd as Raichu’s appearance is loosely based on…
A kangaroo rat. That’s where Raichu’s long legs and tail come from.
Raichu’s FireRed Pokédex entry references a documentary-film made by Thomas Edison in 1903 called Electrocuting an Elephant, by saying “Careless contact [with a charged Raichu] can cause even an Indian elephant to faint.”
According to multiple Pokédex entries, Raichu can discharge up to 100,000 volts of electricity. But in Raichu’s Pokédex entry in Pokémon Stadium, it states Raichu can only discharge 10,000 volts. However, this is most likely an error of translation, because 100,000 as read in Japanese is literally ‘ten ten-thousands’.
Speaking of Raichu’s Pokédex entries; Raichu features in every regional Pokédex except for the Unova Pokédex.
In Pokémon Yellow the starter Pokémon is a Pikachu, obviously. However, that Pikachu cannot be evolved in reference to Ash Ketchum‘s Pikachu from the animé. So the only way to obtain a Raichu in Pokémon Yellow is to trade one from Red or Blue, or to trade a Pikachu from Red or Blue and evolve it with a Thunderstone.
Raichu has featured on 37 different Pokémon cards since it first debuted in the Base Set of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
Out of the 37 Pokémon cards featuring Raichu, 14 have been shiny cards or had shiny variations. Speaking of shiny Raichu cards…
Back in the late 1990s, Wizards of the Coast were printing a batch of Pre-Release Jungle Clefable cards, when a rogue card sheet of Raichus made its way into the printer. This resulted in one of the rarest ever Pokémon cards being created. Wizards of the Coast denied the existence of Pre-Release Raichu cards for years, until one of their staff released an image of the card in 2006. Estimated by Wizards to be only 8 in circulation, this card is often hailed as ‘The Holy Grail of Pokémon Cards’, with one of them being worth up to and over $10,000! So get checking all your old Pokémon cards people – you may be sitting on a small fortune!