An evolution of the most recognizable Pokémon on the planet, Raichu can be found in numerous early TCG sets and expansions. Here’s a rundown with the best Raichu Pokémon cards to collect.
It might not be as popular as its famous predecessor, but Raichu is still one of the more recognizable Pokémon from the original set of 151. The final form of Pichu, it evolves from Pikachu when exposed to a Thunder Stone.
In fact, Raichu has featured heavily in the anime, the games, and the TCG, even if Ash’s Pikachu continually refused to evolve.
Raichu is featured on a variety of valuable early cards, so we’ve listed five of the best options to collect below.
The Best Raichu Cards
Here are five of the best Raichu cards ever. We came up with the list by focusing on values, rarity, and the year of release.
5. 2005 Pokemon EX Emerald Raichu #97 (eBay)
By 2005, the hobby had started to slow down rapidly. Fewer cards were being printed, even if collectors had realized that they would still sell for a pretty penny. The EX Emerald collection was the ninth overall TCG expansion, and it features a valuable Raichu ex seen above. (Pokémon-ex are variants that come with different movesets.)
There are only 21 PSA 10 graded copies at the current time of writing. That’s likely due to the border design, which chips easily.
4. 2000 Pokemon Team Rocket Holo 1st Edition Dark Raichu #83 (eBay)
Dark Raichu is found in the 2000 Pokémon Team Rocket collection. As you might have guessed, Dark versions of Pokémon come with altered movesets, and the artwork shows Raichu on the attack with a holo background.
I remember Team Rocket sets being released, and how popular Pokémon cards were at the time. Given the high print runs, we’d look at 1st Edition versions, rather than later prints.
1st Edition copies will sell for a premium, and can be identified thanks to a stamp below the artwork on the left-hand side.
3. 2002 Pokemon Neo Destiny Shining Raichu #11 (eBay)
Another interesting variant, Shining Raichu can be found in the 2002 Neo Destiny collection. It’s now over 20 years old, with a price tag of roughly $1,000 for a PSA 10 version. There are 236 Gem Mint copies, so it’s not the rarest card to make the list.
Shining Pokémon are a color variation of the normal version. Raichu is gold, rather than the orange seen above. (The gold/orange palette was later swapped from Gen 3 onwards, so a normal Raichu is a golden yellow, and shiny versions are now orange.)
2. 2002 Pokemon Legendary Collection Reverse Foil Dark Raichu #7 (eBay)
The 2002 Legendary Collection is where you’ll find the next card in this list. Dark Raichu makes another appearance, this time with a reverse foil design that causes the Pokemon to seem like it’s popping out of the borders. The foil finish makes it tough to locate in pristine condition, leading to high sale prices for flawless copies.
If the shiny design is too much, the Legendary Collection also contains a non-holo version of the card which can be found for a fraction of the price.
1. 1999 Pokemon Base Set Shadowless 1st Edition Holo Raichu #14 (eBay)
1999 1st Edition Shadowless Pokemon cards are highly collectible. The set helped to kick off the collecting craze before the turn of the millennium.
If you’re looking for the most valuable, prestigious Raichu card ever created, this has to be it. You’ll be able to see the original orange design.
Once again, be aware of the 1st Edition stamp, as well as a shadowless patch to the right of the artwork along the border. Later prints are a more affordable option.
Are Raichu Cards Worth Collecting?
It’s difficult to say, but we think Raichu deserves a place on the list of the best Pokémon cards from the original collection. It’s the evolved form of the franchise mascot, with a selection of unique variations. At the current time of writing, the last PSA 10 sale for a 1999 Pokemon Base Set Shadowless 1st Edition Holo Raichu was for $9,577. With a pop of 87, we think it has a great chance of hitting the five-figure mark, sooner rather than later.
Top Raichu Cards: Final Thoughts
The best Raichu cards are going to be found in classic sets released over two decades ago. They’re also likely to be graded, given the large market for fake versions and the high prices seen for pristine copies.
It’s hard to beat the 1999 collection, but there are multiple options to choose from, including Dark and Shining versions.