PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
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The title explains most of it.
Rain teams are extremely vulnerable to electric types.
However, in this generation, none of the electric types seem to be menacing.
Would mons like Raichu and Manectric still be viable this season?


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Hello again!

To be honest, Rain Teams aren’t the biggest things in the meta right now.

EDIT: To be honest, I feel like rain could be really good. Kingdra will outspeed Cinderace (watch out for whimsicott tailwind), although I personally would never lead Cinderace into A Kingdra Team, and hurricane will hit Rillaboom and is 101% accurate in rain. There are some common weaknesses in the meta right now, mentioned below.

Lightning Rod is probably unnecessary due to bad electric types like you said, but I’ll try and give a full analysis.

1. Rain Teams in VGC 2020
When the Isle of Armor was released, there were quite a few Politoed+Kingdra Teams. This is still decently popular (Politoed is #29 in usage on Pikalytics ) and really the only rain-focused core right now. This team doesn’t really benefit from lightning rod because Kingdra isn’t even weak to electric type attacks.

Looking at other water types in the meta, the most popular ones are lapras and Gyarados, neither of which really need Politoed as Lapras almost always Dynamaxes and Gyarados doesn’t need rain to sweep. These would appreciate lightning rod more, especially Gyarados. I wouldn’t sah that most people are building teams around Gyarados right now (it’s mostly just a generally good sweeper/max candidate) but people definitely are building teams around lapras (including myself). Usually you’d do something with trick room/tailwind + weakness policy/helping hand/fake tears.

2. Threats to Rain Teams
The standard Rain Team of Politoed + Kingdra isn’t really threatened by electric types, they’d hurt Kingdra but not as much as other rain abusers. The same goes for Rillaboom. Really only Politoed is threatened, and it is mostly used to set rain which usually doesn’t need to be reset due to the fast pace of VGC, so it’s not the biggest deal if it goes down. Kingdra’s main threats are other weather Setters, faster Pokémon +Tailwind, and Togekiss.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, Rain Teams don’t like other weathers at all. Tyranitar and Torkoal are both slower than Politoed (And Pelipper), so they don’t even have to waste a turn switching in. Kingdra really needs rain to shine and it’s not as easy to set.

On to Lapras. Unlike Kingdra, it is hurt by electric/grass types, so redirection could actually be useful. The Team I use has Bouffalant which is very nice to bait a grassy glide / venusaur sleep powder/vine lash. I personally find sap sipper to be better because, again, electric types are uncommon, but against Pokémon like Porygon Z, Magnezone, and even Thunder from opposing lapras, Lightning Rod Could be nice. Note that Duraludon often carry thunderbolt, but Lightning Rod doesn’t work with stalwart.

EDIT: 3. Best Rain Setter
As to why Politoed is used over Pelipper, it’s because it’s much better as a supportive mon. Dynamax Kingdra with life orb would probably have very similar calcs, so you don’t need another Pokémon with the same coverage. Politoed, however, can helping hand, icy wind, perish song, and hypnosis (not recommended) whereas Pelipper only gets tailwind, which is usually unnecessary, and icy wind.All in all, Kingdra can hit everything that Pelipper can, possibly harder because of Helping Hand Politoed.

4. Best Lightning Rod Users
Based on the the threats to rain teams, I think that Alolan Marowak
would be fantastic on a lapras team, especially in trick room. It will redirect electric attacks, can hit Magnezone and Rillaboom super effectively, and is immune to both max lighting and max strike from Porygon Z. (Of course, you have to watch out for dark pulse.) It’s low speed would make it amazing on a trick room lapras team, and although you don’t usually play against electric types, the surprise could give you an advantage to win a Best of One. You’d just have to be very aware of whether or not to set the rain in case of marowak’s flare blitz. I can see raichu + gyarados, as it offers fake out, nuzzle, helping hand, and maybe Manectric for snarl, but I don’t think it’s as good supportively as Raichu.

5. Conclusion
The common Rain Team of Kingdra and Politoed doesn’t really need lightning rod at all, and you don’t really play against electric types that often. However, it can definitely work with other semi-rain teams (Basically, a water type max candidate), especially raichu’s good support Movepool and Aloloan marowaks’s weakness coverage for lapras plus also working well in trick room. Sap sipper is arguably better because of all the Rillaboom, though, but it doesn’t redirect nor have the best users.

Hope I helped!

edited by
Alolan Marowak is the best lightning rod user. It gets a big boost from thick club, and its type and ability combination lets it wall Porygon2, Magnezone, and Toxtricity much better than Raichu can.
From what you've said, it seems as though there aren't any problems with rain teams. The only mention of its weaknesses are tailwind and togekiss, which I am sure Kingdra can take down during dynamax. Yet, why isn't it the 'biggest thing in meta?'
Is it because there is something much better than rain teams (sunny day teams) or is it because rain teams are flawed.

Additionally,  could you tell me why politoed is used over Pelipper? Pelipper seems to me like a deadly rain setter who can efficiently hit for STAB Hurricane and Hydro Pump:
252+ SpA Pelipper Hurricane vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Venusaur: 168-198 (108.3 - 127.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252+ SpA Pelipper Hydro Pump vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Cinderace in Rain: 314-372 (202.5 - 240%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252+ SpA Pelipper Hurricane vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Rillaboom: 222-264 (126.8 - 150.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252+ SpA Pelipper Hydro Pump vs. 248 HP / 8 SpD Torkoal in Rain: 330-390 (187.5 - 221.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252+ SpA Pelipper Hydro Pump vs. 248 HP / 200+ SpD Incineroar in Rain: 204-242 (101.4 - 120.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252+ SpA Pelipper Hydro Pump vs. 176 HP / 76 SpD Solid Rock Rhyperior in Rain: 531-624 (250.4 - 294.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252+ SpA Pelipper Hydro Pump vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Tyranitar in Rain: 252-296 (144 - 169.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO

Not only does Pelipper set rain, but it also kills the entire Meta?!? So why Politeod?
Good questions. I edited the answer instead of commenting because it was getting a bit long :)
I saw your edits too. However, if you see Torkoal/Tyranitar in team preview, what you can do is that you can lead with Pokemon A, then switch out into Pelipper, get Drizzle, Kingdra becomes fast, fire type moves do less damage, and maybe take a bit of chip damage but obliterate their game plan.
I can maybe understand why some people are opting for Politoed now so thanks for that!
PS: Thanks on 3 occasions now! (or was it 4?) You've been a great help in my path to VGC so thank you!
Yup. Of course, your opponent might do this as well... not to mention a lot of people will bring Tyranitar in the back in general. I think that goodra really improves the matchup against sun, and if you wanted you could use superpower for Tyranitar as well, although it wouldn’t be too hard to just slap a fighting type on your team. Another gimmicky thing you could do is rain dance meowstic... it will go after switches but before anything else. Happy to help :)