The Pokemon Go September Research Breakthrough reward has been revealed and it is none other than Alolan Raichu.
The dual electric and psychic-type will feature from Tuesday, September 1 to Thursday, October 1 at 1pm PDT. This means you'll be able to encounter the mouse Pokemon upon earning seven Field Research stamps.
As usual with Research Breakthrough rewards, its Shiny form could also appear, although unlikely. Depending on how many stamps you had completed going into September, you'll be able to encounter Alolan Raichu a maximum of five times.
Alolan Raichu's strength lies in its attack more than its minimal defensive attributes. This means it would be better served in PvE than PvP.
However, with a max CP of 2,286, it is far too soft to cause any real harm in Raid Battles. Unfortunately, in five-star Raids, Raichu can't last long enough to make the most of its attacking prowess.
Alolan Raichu's stats are as follows:
- Attack: 201 (223 of 827)
- Defense: 154 (320 of 827)
- Stamina: 155 (459 of 827)
What about GO Battle League?
Raichu's stat distribution isn't ideal for GO Battle League. Those who have played their fair share of PvP will know that the game favors Pokemon with bulk, something that it doesn't have.
Its max CP of 2,286 only makes it viable in Great League. Raichu's lack of defense and inability to reach even the Ultra League render it unusable in both of the top leagues. Even at Great League, it's going to cost you some Protect Shields to get the most out of it.
In comparison to 'normal' Raichu, Alolan Raichu offers a couple more resistances in fighting and psychic. This comes at the expense of vulnerability to bug, dark, and ghost.
Interestingly it has three Fast Moves to choose from, all of which are electric. All of them have higher energy generation than damage. Objectively, Volt Switch is the best of these with 3 DPT and 4 EPT.
It looks like there's a debate when it comes to Alolan Raichu's Charge Moves but in reality, it's a pretty simple decision. Raichu has some fantastic options available and thankfully it only cost 10,000 Stardust and 25 Candy to enable a second.
Psychic is seemingly a must for coverage reasons and serves as a great damage-dealing move, dealing 90 damage for 55 energy. However, the supposed debate comes between the fast generating Thunder Punch and Wild Charge. The latter has a huge DPE of 2.22 and only costs 5 energy more, which is why Wild Charge is the obvious decision.
If your Alolan Raichu can survive long enough against its foe to get these moves charged up, you can certainly deal a lot of damage. It won't be changing the GO Battle League meta anytime soon, but you may be able to catch some trainers off guard.