Alolan Raichu Competitive Battling Moveset

Overview
Out of all the various 1st Generation Pokemon to receive an Alolan Form, Raichu clearly received, competitively speaking, one of the best that were given. Alolan Raichu has speed to kill, with a movepool that sees it being able to further boost its somewhat lacking offensive abilities. If built properly, Alolan Raichu can be a nightmare to go up against in battle.

Positives

+Dual Typing: For competitive sake, the best Pokemon usually have dual typing. Since Alolan Raichu is both an Electric and Psychic Type Pokemon, it receives an extra STAB in addition to more coverage.

+Speed Stat: In its Alolan Form, Raichu keeps its Base Speed Stat of 110. Though a few Pokemon still outspeed it, this is still a very high statistic.

+Ability: Surge Surfer is a great ability, especially when you have Tapu Koko or an Electric Terrain User on you team, as it doubles Alolan Raichu's already impressive Speed Stat.

+Special Attack: Even though its Special Attack is still quite pedestrian, Alolan Raichu received a 5 Point Boost to this Stat compared to its Regular Form.

Negatives
-Defenses: Much like its Regular Form, Alolan Raichu is quite frail in its defenses. Seriously, it isn't that hard to OHKO this thing.

-More Weaknesses: A Dual Typing is great in the fact that its gives a Pokemon more coverages in battle, but it also means said Pokemon is also weak to more moves. And since Alolan Raichu is already extremely frail, this actually hurts it as much as it helps it.


Abilities
Surge Surfer: Doubles Alolan Raichu's Speed when Electric Terrain is activated on the battlefield. This is a great ability, as it allows you not to have to completely invest in Alolan Raichu's Speed Stat should you pair it with the right Pokemon.


Recommend Movesets
Choice Specs Moveset
- Thunderbolt
- Psychic / Psyshock
- Focus Blast
- Grass Knot
Item Attached: Choice Specs
Ability: Surge Surfer
Nature: Timid / Modest
EVs: 252 SpAtk / 4 SpDef / 252 Speed

Here is one of the more commonly used Alola Raichu Movesets, one that maximizes its offensive power. If you have an Electric Terrain Setter on your team to pair with Alolan Raichu, then definitely go with Modest Nature. If not, then go with Timid Nature to give Alolan Raichu more Speed. This moveset is pretty straightforward: hit as hard as humanly possible, switching out when necessary (since you'll be stuck using the same move with Choice Specs). Psychic has more power to it, but Psyshock wrecks foes like Chansey or Blissey.

Electric Terrain Moveset
- Electro Ball
- Psychic / Psyshock
- Focus Blast
- Grass Knot
Item Attached: Choice Specs / Life Orb
Ability: Surge Surfer
Nature: Modest
EVs: 252 SpAtk / 4 SpDef / 252 Speed

This moveset is basically identical to the first, except that it's based around pairing Alolan Raichu with a Electric Terrain Setter/User like Tapu Koko. Because of Electric Terrain, Alolan Raichu's Speed will double. Because of this, Electro Ball hits opposing Pokemon extremely hard since Alolan Raichu's Speed is crazy high. From there, it's basically the same mindset as the first moveset: hit as hard as humanly possible. Choices Specs have more power to them, but the Life Orb allows Raichu to use more than one move without having to switch out.

Z Crystal Moveset
- Thunderbolt
- Psychic / Psyshock
- Focus Blast
- Grass Knot
Item Attached: Aloraichium Z / Psychium Z
Ability: Surge Surfer
Nature: Timid / Modest
EVs: 252 SpAtk / 4 SpDef / 252 Speed

Again, this moveset is practically identical to the first; however, it takes advantage of either Alolan Raichu's Exclusive Z Crystal or that of the Psychium Z Crystal. Basically, both of these items give Alolan Raichu one free nuke against opposing Pokemon, almost ensuring a free OHKO. It is recommended to use an Electric Terrain User to pair with Alola Raichu for this moveset, as it will then allow you to maximizes Alolan Raichu's Special Attack (since you won't have the extra power of an item like the Choice Specs). If not, then definitely go with Timid Nature (but you'll be lacking even more power).

Nasty Plot Moveset
- Nasty Plot
- Thunderbolt
- Psychic / Psyshock
- Focus Blast
Item Attached: Life Orb
Ability: Surge Surfer
Nature: Timid
EVs: 252 SpAtk / 4 SpDef / 252 Speed

This moveset is extremely risky due to the fact that Alolan Raichu is extremely frail against opposing attacks, but it actually holds the most power of all the movesets listed. The plan for this moveset begins with safely switching or coming in against a Pokemon that won't immediately knock out Aloan Raichu. If the opponent switches, this will be even better as it would allow Alolan Raichu to get off a free Nasty Plot. From there, the plan is to sweep with the sheer power Alolan Raichu now holds.

Surf Moveset
- Surf
- Thunderbolt
- Psychic / Psyshock
- Volt Switch
Item Attached: Choice Specs / Life Orb
Ability: Surge Surfer
Nature: Timid / Modest
EVs: 252 SpAtk / 4 SpDef / 252 Speed

Much like other movesets, this one is virtually the same as the first listed, except for the fact it includes the Event Exclusive Move of Surf. With Surf, Alolan Raichu no longer needs either Focus Blast or Grass Knot to deal with pesky Ground and Rock Types. This then allows Aloan Raichu to also have the fourth move of Volt Switch, which works perfectly at scouting opposing teams (especially when pair with the Choice Specs).

Z Celebrate Moveset
- Celebrate
- Thunderbolt
- Psychic / Psyshock
- Surf
Item Attached: Normalium Z
Ability: Surge Surfer
Nature: Modest
EVs: 100 HP / 252 SpAtk / 156 Speed

Much like the Nasty Plot Moveset, Z Celebrate takes Alolan Raichu to a whole new level. Sure, it's risky to run since Alolan Raichu is so darn frail, but if you can successfully pull it off, not too many Pokemon can withstand the power Alolan Raichu will have. Since Z Celebrate will boost all of Alolan Raichu's Stats by one stage, you don't need to invest all that much in its speed for it to outspeed virtually every other Pokemon (that hasn't had its speed buffed). If you run this moveset with a paired Electric Terrain Setter/User, you actually won't need to invest in speed at all. After Z Celebrate has been completed, all you really have to do is sweep with the amazing moves Alolan Raichu has been given.

Physical Attacker Moveset
- Celebrate
- Knock Off
- Fly / Brick Break
- Volt Tackle
Item Attached: Normalium Z
Ability: Surge Surfer
Nature: Adamant
EVs: 100 HP / 252 Atk / 156 Speed

You should really never run Alolan Raichu with a Physical Moveset, but if you're looking to go against the grain, this is basically the only Physical Moveset worth using. It's basically the same as the aforementioned Z Celebrate Moveset, except it focuses on Alolan Raichu's Physical Power. Choice Band or Life Orb could be subbed instead of Normalium Z so you can have an extra move slot to replace Celebrate, but they have far more disadvantages than this moveset. Fly is preferred if you're looking to defeat Grass and Fighting Type Pokemon, while Brick Break does better against Rock Types.


Counters
Knock Off Users: If you aren't running a Z Crystal with Alolan Raichu, Knock Off can do serious damage to it. Certain Pokemon, like Alolan Muk, can even OHKO it with just one Knock Off.

Chansey: If you don't run Alolan Raichu with Psyshock (or the extremely odd Physical Moveset), there is literally no way for it to defeat Chansey. There just isn't.

Earthquake Users: If an opposing Pokemon can withstand just one of Alolan Raichu's attacks before sending off an Earthquake, Alolan Raichu is toast. Because of this, Ground Types with the Sturdy Ability work well against Alolan Raichu.

Pursuit Users: If you can trick a player into switching out their Alolan Raichu with a certain Pokemon of your own and said Pokemon has the move of Pursuit, Alolan Raichu will take serious damage (if it doesn't get knocked out) while trying to escape the battle.