Pikachu might actually be a viable Pokemon in competitive play this year thanks to its Gigantamax form. Over the weekend, a team built around Gigantamax Pikachu won the Galar Weekly #4, a tournament hosted by VGC Stats with over 170 players. Ryan Schambers built the team around Gigantamax Pikachu's ability to paralyze opponents using its G-Max Volt Crash attack and partnered the Pokemon with several popular Pokemon in competitive play like Tyranitar, Excadrill, and Togekiss. Gigantamax Pikachu was an unexpected choice, but no one had a counter for the Pokemon's ability to paralyze an entire team with a single attack.
While Pokemon fans mostly notice Gigantamax Pikachu for its similarity to Pikachu's original "chubby" look, the Pokemon also has a potent Gigantamax move - G-Max Volt Crash. This attack deals damage and paralyzes an opponent's entire team...even Pokemon like Excadrill or Mudsdale that wouldn't usually be affected by paralysis-dealing Electric-type attacks. Paralyzing both Pokemon in a single turn is a huge advantage, especially if Pikachu's partner suddenly gains the speed advantage thanks to the paralysis effect and has coverage against any Pokemon that could potentially hurt Pikachu. Plus, G-Max Volt Crash can break through protective moves like Protect and gets around moves like Follow Me by hitting both Pokemon with paralysis effects, so it's an extremely potent move in battle.
It's still a little early to declare Pikachu the new king of competitive Pokemon play, but this tournament definitely opened up a lot of eyes as to Pikachu's potential. Schambers shared a version of his competitive team here, and we're guessing that players will have to start coming up with strategies to counter Gigantamax Pikachu soon.
Are you surprised that Gigantamax Pikachu is so powerful? Let us know in the comment section or find me on Twitter at @CHofferCBus to chat all things Pokemon!