Raikou, The Thunder Pokémon. A Pokémon that races across the land while barking a cry that sounds like crashing thunder. The rain clouds it carries let it fire thunderbolts at will. They say that it descended with lightning. It can fire thunderbolts from the rain clouds on its back. It embodies the speed of lightning. Its roars send shock waves shuddering through the air and ground as if lightning bolts were crashing down.


Raikou has been one of my favourite Pokémon since I started playing competitive back in 3rd gen. In R/S/E it was an amazing user of Substitute, combining it with Calm Mind to give you massive sweeping potential. In 4th gen, it is used much more offensively, which is interesting as it lets you directly compare how a Pokémon was used in the previous version. Anyway, Raikou is awesome. It may not be as much of a beast now as it once was, but it is still an amazing Pokémon with great sweeping stats, an okay movepool but enough to work with, and a great offensive type. Also, it looks pretty awesome.


Pressure: the foe uses 2pp for each attack instead of just 1. Although a great ability in general, on Raikou it is sublime, especially on the SubCM set where the opponent may have to use multiple attacks to break Raikou's Substitute.

Move Sets

Get rid of Rob Green and sub Raikou in, he is a true keeper

- Thunderbolt
- Calm Mind
- Substitute
- Hidden Power [Grass] / Hidden Power [Ice]
Item Attached: Leftovers
Ability: Pressure
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 124 HP / 116 SAtk / 52 SDef / 216 Spd
Timid Nature (+Atk, -Spd)

Who would have thought the world cup and Pokémon could be combined? Oh yeah, hello R/S/E, nice to see you. Raikou was the man in R/S/E with this set, and it still holds up today as being powerful. Just don't expect an easy ride. Thunderbolt is going to be on every set, and it is obvious why. Strong, reliable, and a great move in general, Thunderbolt is the best move Raikou has access to. Calm Mind is what gives Raikou its power, think of it like Raikou's spinach. It works on both an offensive and defensive level, it is awesome. Substitute protects Raikou as it sets up, and also lets it stall Pressure, which is always a good thing. Your Hidden Power choice depends on what you want Raikou to be able to beat, and what you will let the rest of the team handle. Hidden Power [Ice] beats down the Dragons, where as Hidden Power [Grass] rips into Swampert.

In Soviet Russia, sabertooth tigers hunt you!

- Calm Mind
- Thunderbolt
- Shadow Ball
- Aura Sphere / Hidden Power [Grass]
Item Attached: Life Orb
Ability: Pressure
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 4 HP/252 SAtk/252 Spd
Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) /Rash (For Aura Sphere)

Life Orb Raikou is a public menace. The sabertooth version of a mugger. Calm Mind boosts you up to massive power, giving you major sweeping ability. Thunderbolt is... yeah, Raikou's best move by far. Shadow Ball takes care of would-be counters for Raikou, such as Rotom-a and Celebi. Aura Sphere handles Tyranitar, hits Blissey hard, and is a great move in general. It is one of the special moves Raikou has been given, and Europe will be getting it later in the year. Japan already have it. Hidden Power [Grass] is for Swampert. The problem with Aura Sphere is that Raikou has to be Rash in order to use it, which is a real issue.

This link explains everything you need to know about the set.

- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Grass] / Hidden Power [Ice]
- Shadow Ball
- Signal Beam / Sleep Talk / Aura Sphere
Item Attached: Choice Specs
Ability: Pressure
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)/Rash (For Aura Sphere)

Thunderbolt. Hidden Power [Grass] for Swampert, Hidden Power [Ice] for Gliscor and Flygon. Shadow Ball hurts Rotom-a and Celebi. Signal Beam only hits Tyranitar and Celebi, but it is at another special attack at least. Sleep Talk lets Raikou... take sleep, but it isn't too useful. Aura Sphere is useful though. Very useful. Beats Tyranitar and Blissey down and gets great coverage with Shadow Ball. Again, the Rash problem with Aura Sphere really takes away from the awesomeness of the move.

EVs and Nature:

Get rid of Rob Green and sub Raikou in, he is a true keeper
The Speed outruns all base base 110s, regardless of EVs and nature, as maxing Speed to draw with base 115s is useless due to there being only two base 115s in OU, one of which is Azelf and is used as a lead 90% of the time, the other being Starmie who is set up bait regardless, not to mention it is beneficial to be slower than Starmie.

In Soviet Russia, sabertooth tigers hunt you!
Pure offence, no reason to do anything else. Speed and Special Attack, go.

This link explains everything you need to know about the set.
Just go max Speed, max Special Attack.

Other Options

Charge Beam, Discharge, Reflect, Hidden Power [Fighting]
Charge Beam is an alternative to Calm Mind, although nowhere near as reliable.
Discharge can replace Thunderbolt if you want the 30% paralysis chance. However, not as strong, so not really worth it, in my opinion.
Reflect covers Raikou's sub par Defence stat, but Substitute also covers it by protecting against any attack.
Hidden Power [Fighting] can be used in place of Aura Sphere, in case you hate the idea of a Rash Raikou.

Countering Raikou

Blissey is an amazing counter to Raikou, and has been since... G/S/C. Ground types are also incredible counters, but they have to watch out for Hidden Power [Grass] and [Ice], especially if they are Gliscor, Flygon or Swampert. Tyranitar is an amazing counter also, due to the Special Defence increase that sandstorm provides. Sandstorm also really messes Raikou up as it takes away its Leftovers. Raikou needs whatever bulk it can get, and that really ruins it. Abomasnow is a good counter as it resists pretty much every move Raikou has, and hail ruins Raikou in the same way that sandstorm does. Celebi is a great counter also. Really, if you resist or are immune to Thunderbolt and you can hit Raikou with a strong neutral attack, you should do fine.

Locations in Games


Trade from CFRLG


Snagged from Cipher Admin Ein in Cipher Lab (Col) Trade from FRLG (XD)

Fire Red/Leaf Green

Roaming Kanto (If Squirtle Chosen)


Trade from FRLGHGSS


Roaming Johto

Animé Appearences

Raikou has had a few Animé Appearences. First, Togepi saw one after it was seperated from Misty. Later, Jimmy & Marina protected one against Team Rocket. Then, in Oblivia, Red Eye tried to awaken it. Finally, an alternate coloured Raikou was attacked by Zoroark in Crown City

Episode 182: Howl of the Houndoom!
Episode 229: For Ho-Oh the Bells Toll
The Legend of Thunder
Arceus & The Jewel of Life
Episode 605: Three Sides to Every Story
Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs (2)
Phantom Champion Zoroark