Being a long-time Pikachu fan, the prospect of playing my most beloved Pokémon in a new competitive deck with a new card from Shining legends excited me greatly. Raichu GX has bags of potential and here is a deck list to get you started with everyone's favourite electric mouse and his evolution!
Since the card was revealed, many have been pondering about the best partners for Raichu GX and how best to accelerate energy to him to increase the damage of his main attack Powerful Spark, which does 20 plus 20 more damage for all electric energy attached to your Pokémon.
I will be focusing on the Magnezone (Breakthrough) version for this report, but some people have also been having success using Electrode from Evolutions and Max Elixirs for some fast electric energy output.
One of the biggest things that you notice missing from my list is Magneton, the Stage 1 component of Magnezone. From doing some brief testing I've found that if you Brigette for Magnemite on Turn 1, you'll have a high chance to find Magnezone and Rare Candy on your next turn as you run a full count of both of them. Some might prefer to drop to 3 Magnezone's and add a Magneton but its down to personal play style.
I also run two copies of the Raikou from Breakthrough. His Shining Body makes him harder to take down and he's a great Pokémon to stick out in the active and do some decent damage before he gets knocked out.
You also have the option to run a couple copies of Raikou from Shining Legends which is a great starting Pokémon and accelerate your energy count for stronger Raichu GX attackers later on in the game.
Lastly for the Pokémon I've added a one-off of Tapu Koko GX. As well as having the potential to surprise your opponent and take a quick knock-out with his GX attack, you also have a free retreat if your active Pokémon is paralysed or stuck with a high retreat cost.
One thing to note is that I've used the 60HP Nuzzle Pikachu in this list, at the time of writing I didn't have the 70HP Cereal/McDonalds/Pin Collection promo Pikachu available, you'll definitely want to use those if you can get hold of them as that extra 10HP can make a huge difference when being attacked by Pokemon like Volcanion and Garbodor.
In terms of the trainer and supporter cards for the deck, there aren't any massive surprises here. I'm loving the feel of two Energy Retrieval's so far as a quick way to bring energy back then attach them straight away thanks to Magnezone.
What are Raichu GX's advantages in the current meta? The obvious one is being able to hit Ho-Oh GX for weakness, although there has been a small decline of Ho-Oh GX-based fire decks in favour of more traditional Volcanion EX decks in recent weeks.
Raichu GX and Raikou's resistance to metal is also super important as Metagross GX decks are still as popular as ever and they are unable to one-shot you unless you've used Raichu GX's Thunder attack first AND they need both a Choice Band and Professor Kukui to one-shot you.
Gardevoir GX isn't a bad matchup for Raichu GX as you are able to spread your energy around the board and can attack with only two lightning's attached, although it will be tough to get the 230 damage required to one-hit KO a Gardevoir GX before they are able to knock you out.
This list is specifically made for the short Standard format between Shining Legends being legal for tournament play (20th October) and the start of the London International Championships (November 17th).
With Crimson Invasion being legal for play, I'd be more considering the Electrode/Max Elixir build of Raichu GX as Counter Energy and Counter Catcher (cards that only work when you are behind on prizes) will be an awesome inclusion for the deck.
I hope you enjoyed this brief look at a Raichu GX list that I feel has some potential going forward, and could be a sleeper deck for the International Championships. Let me know what you think, I'd love to see your Raichu GX list and how you'd approach the potential of this awesome card!
If you enjoyed reading this article as much I loved writing it, please do check out my PlaySkape Games YouTube Channel where I do event reports, unboxings, PSA returns and more, as well as my Facebook Page where I post regular updates and photos from my travels, as well as the latest and exciting Pokémon TCG news! Until next time Pokémon trainers!
Stephen Kent ~ PlaySkape Games