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competitive pikachu

let me start off by saying, i know pikachu isnt all that great for competitive battling...but i just love the damn little thing and i wanted to see if i could come up with one that would do ok. so here is what i have so far im by no means a pro at this so any help would be appreciated.
pokemon black
pikachu @ light ball
timid nature
252 in speed and sp. attack remaining in hp
volt switch
grass knot
The thing with Pikachu is: it's pitiful. The only thing it has going for it is Light Ball, but a simple Knock Off or the ever-present Trick will just completely screw it over. It doesn't help that the slightest poke from priority will kill it, and base 90 speed just isn't enough to really cut it in the metagame when you can only hope to put a major dent in something at best. Pikachu is outclassed by almost every other Electric-type.

Pikachu can Sub/Punch, hitting some specially defensive walls hard with the right investment into Attack; it can Encore things, Sub, then Focus Punch. Volt Switch just pisses the opponent off, but good luck hitting something with it. With Encore/Substitute, Pika can Nasty Plot to boost its Special Attack to some impressive levels, but again: its Speed lets it down. HP Ice can put the hurt on some counters for him, and Volt Tackle can do some damage-but Pikachu's low 35 base HP means that he'll be gone in the blink of an eye.

If you run mixed, put max out Speed and split between Attack and Special Attack. Full Special means full Speed and Sp.Atk. Timid on Full Special, and Hasty or Naive for Mixed.

Pikachu's not going give good results, but if you're lucky, you might score a KO.
Nope. None at all. Which means you're either going to have to import a Pikachu with it over to Black, or just choose a different move/moveset.
Volt Switch is quite handy - I'd keep it, tbh. I'd drop Toxic like the plague - it's typically a move reserved for things that can stall things and let the Toxic wear them down, and Pikachu is the complete opposite of that. Pikachu can also get Agility to remedy its Speed if you feel like it might help. With your current set-up, I'd go for:

Pikachu@Light Ball
252 SpA, 252 Spe, 4 HP/Def/SpD(it really doesn't matter, it's so frail :/ )
-Thunderbolt/Discharge(because the Paralysis chance is very, very nice)
-Volt Switch/Surf/HP Ice
-Agility/Nasty Plot

You can pick whichever of those moves you like. You can have three attacks and Encore/Sub/Agil/NP, or two attacks, Encore/Sub, and the boost of your choice. Surf will require importing Pikachu. While normally it's not good to have two attacks of the same type unless you have a really good reason, with Agility or Nasty Plot, Volt Switch will help get Pikachu out of a nasty situation. HP Ice or Surf are good coverage moves, with HP Ice being something you only really need to breed to get the IVs right(or you can just catch a hella amount of Pikachu).

However, there are online battle simulators such as Smogon and Pokemon Online- they take only a few minutes to set a team up, and it's much easier than breeding, training, importing, etc. A lot of battles, tournaments, and team-tests are done this way nowadays. I highly recommend looking into it if it'll make it any easier for you.


Expert FPS Player
Staff member
This is currently the best Pikachu set in competitive use:

Pikachu @ Light Ball
252 Sp.Atk/252 Speed/6 HP (depends)

- Thunderbolt
- HP Ice/Grass Knot
- Encore/Focus Punch
- Substitute

Discharge is not an option for STAB and nor is Volt Switch, Pikachu needs to kill his opponents as quickly as possible. The key to the set is to use Substitute when you think your opponent will switch and then go to town on them with either Encore whatever move they use to lock them down (switch out if they attack your Sub after this) or whichever attack you feel will do the most damage. If you do run Focus Punch, put some EVs into Attack as well from your Sp.Attack.

Finally, your HP EVs do matter - your HP must not end up divisible by 4 otherwise you'll only have enough HP to use Substitute 3 times.