Quality Control Raikou 0/2

*Make CM the first set

What's new: The set order has been swapped, the overview has been changed, and other notable changes are in green
Raikou is a great Calm Mind sweeper thanks to its high speed, meaning it has few faster revenge killers, and good coverage moves like Scald and Shadow Ball to pound the tier's Electric resists. Raikou is a great offensive check to one of the tier's best setup sweepers, Togekiss, and it can also find opportunities against the common Milotic and Crobat. Raikou's speed also allows it to offensively check Pokemon like Tornadus, Mimikyu, and Sigilyph. Raikou has a niche as an Electric-type pivot because it both checks Togekiss solidly and is fast outspeeding the likes of Sigilyph, Heracross, and Tornadus. Heavy-Duty Boots make it difficult to wear down passively, letting it use Volt Switch with great freedom, and its useful coverage keeps many Pokemon from confidently switching into it.

However, pivot Raikou is often overshadowed by other Electric-type pivots such as Heliolisk, Rotom-C, and Xurkitree; they're not stuffed by Gastrodon and Seismitoad due to Grass-type attacks, making them better pivots, in Heliolisk's case due to U-turn too. Rotom-C and Heliolisk's typings and ability also give them greater defensive utility outside of Togekiss, while Xurkitree is a more capable wallbreaker. Raikou's biggest problem is its glaring inability to hit Gastrodon, Seismitoad and Flygon very hard; the best it can do is use Scald to try burn Flygon or Toxic, so they hold it off well early-game. Its attacks are generally a bit weak, so it often relies on teammates to actually break through bulky Pokemon like Registeel and Assault Vest Reuniclus, and its defensive typing isn't good for much beyond switching into Togekiss; this means it's hesitant to take strong attacks.

name: Calm Mind
move 1: Calm Mind
move 2: Thunderbolt
move 3: Scald / Aura Sphere
move 4: Shadow Ball / Aura Sphere
item: Leftovers / Heavy-Duty Boots
ability: Inner Focus
nature: Timid
evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
ivs: 0 Atk


Calm Mind Raikou is a fearsome sweeper that outpaces the majority of the metagame and keeps Togekiss at bay. Scald covers most Ground-types, threatening to burn Flygon and being super effective on Nidoqueen, Rhyperior, and Steelix. Aura Sphere hits Guzzlord which Raikou is otherwise walled by, and pressures other Steel- and Dark-types more like Registeel, Stakataka, and Umbreon. Shadow Ball rips past the Celebi and Dhelmise that could otherwise check or counter Raikou. Leftovers creates more chances to boost, but Heavy-Duty Boots can save Raikou more HP short term if your team lacks entry hazard control and fears Stealth Rock + Spikes. Inner Focus stops flinches from Choice Scarf Togekiss's Air Slash.

Calm Mind Raikou is good at sweeping teams once its Ground-type and special wall checks are dealt with. Physical wallbreakers like Heracross and Swords Dance Incineroar pressure special walls like Guzzlord and Registeel, and Grass-types cover Gastrodon and Seismitoad. Steel- and Rock-types like Metagross, Rhyperior, and Stakataka work as extra answers to Flying-types and can use Toxic on Gastrodon and Seismitoad switching in. Entry hazard removers like Crobat, Tsareena, Starmie, and Dhelmise help Leftovers sets accrue enough HP to be worthwhile.

name: Offensive Pivot
move 1: Volt Switch
move 2: Thunderbolt
move 3: Scald
move 4: Toxic
item: Heavy-Duty Boots
ability: Inner Focus
nature: Timid
evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
ivs: 0 Atk


Raikou's combined speed and ability to check solidly Togekiss give it a niche over the tier's other Electric-type pivots like Heliolisk, Rotom-C, and Xurkitree. Volt Switch and Thunderbolt are staples for Electric-type pivots. Scald covers most Ground-types, threatening to burn Flygon and being super effective on Nidoqueen, Rhyperior, and Steelix. Toxic is the only way for Raikou to significantly impact Gastrodon and Seismitoad switch-ins; if teammates can hit Gastrodon and Seismitoad with Toxic or Knock Off, the last moveslot can be Aura Sphere, Shadow Ball, or Extrasensory for specific Grass- or Dark-type checks like Guzzlord, Celebi, or Roserade. Inner Focus prevents flinches from Choice Scarf Togekiss's Air Slash.

Raikou is a self-sufficient pivot that covers Togekiss and creates openings for all sorts of wallbreaker teammates. Grass-types like Roserade and Celebi cover Gastrodon and Seismitoad, Raikou's biggest problems. A switch-in to Choice Scarf Flygon like Togekiss, Bronzong, or Vileplume will often help, though any Ground-immune Pokemon goes a long way in limiting it. Psychic-types like Reuniclus and Gardevoir can take advantage of non-Extrasensory Raikou's Poison-type switch-ins, Roserade and Vileplume.

Other Options

Protect on Calm Mind Raikou scouts the intentions of choice-locked Pokemon such as Flygon and Rotom-C, blocks Golisopod's First Impression, and accumulates Leftovers recovery, but lacks room for coverage. Substitute + Calm Mind punishes passive defensive cores and helps play around Choice Scarf Flygon but also lacks room for coverage. Shuca Berry is an option for Calm Mind Raikou on highly offensive teams where the longevity of Heavy-Duty Boots won't be missed as much; Shuca Berry helps Raikou set up on or beat weakened Ground-types like Nidoqueen, Steelix, and Choice Scarf Flygon. Aura Sphere on pivot Raikou puts the most immediate pressure on Steel- and Dark-types like Stakataka, Registeel, and Guzzlord; their low Speed, Volt Switch vulnerability, and Guzzlord's Toxic vulnerability make this less important on average. Weather Ball makes Raikou a much bigger threat on weather teams; hail gives it coverage for Dragon-, Ground-, and Grass-types in one move, rain gives it stronger Water-type coverage, and sun lets it hit Steel- and Grass-types with a single attack.

Checks and Counters

**Certain Ground-types**: Ground-types that aren't weak to Scald are the safest early-game switch-ins to Raikou. Seismitoad and Gastrodon are immune to Scald and wall Raikou easily. Quagsire similarly doesn't fear much from Raikou's coverage moves and can't be overpowered by Calm Mind due to Unaware. Choiced Flygon forces out Raikou but fears Scald burns. Dragon Dance Flygon uses Raikou to set up and can even shrug off a Scald burn with Lum Berry. Flygon that carry Roost can take repeated coverage moves for longer, but can still be overpowered by Calm Mind-boosted attacks if they're burned. Nidoqueen and Steelix scare Raikou out, but Scald 2HKOes the former and 3HKOes the latter.

**Special Walls**: Pokemon with a lot of special bulk, including Registeel, Umbreon, Assault Vest Reuniclus, and Snorlax can take Raikou's attacks for a long time and immediately hinder it in return with Toxic or an attack; though, Pivot Raikou can just use Volt Switch the turn after they switch in and Calm Mind Raikou beats most Umbreon sets, those without Toxic. Guzzlord walls Calm Mind sets lacking in Aura Sphere and it can take a few Aura Sphere to boot. However, pivot Raikou's Toxic is ruinous to Guzzlord which often lacks recovery outside Leftovers.

**Grass-types**: Celebi, Roserade, and Vileplume switch solidly into anything pivot Raikou can throw at them, while Tsareena and Dhelmise fear a Scald burn, and Rotom-C fears Toxic. Calm Mind Raikou can be soft checked by Dhelmise, Tsareena, and Decidueye, however they take significant damage from boosted Shadow Ball and fear Scald burn.

**Revenge Killers**: Raikou's average bulk and lack of resistances make it easy for most faster Pokemon to take out once weakened. Physical Choice Scarf users such as Flygon and Heracross deal massive damage. Life Orb Aerodactyl outspeeds and OHKOes Raikou via Earthquake fairly usually. Noivern and Salazzle are faster but struggle against Calm Mind boosts. Golisopod's First Impression also does the trick.

- Written by: [[CryoGyro, 331519], [Yourwelcomethanku, 541847]]
- Quality checked by: [[zizalith, 410251], [phantom, 180300], [qc3, id], [qc4, id]]
- Grammar checked by: [[Adeleine, 517429], [gp2,id]]
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