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Pokemon of the Week DP: Ho-oh

by Ninjomewtwo

Ho-oh

Sets

CB Sweeper

Item Held
Choice Band
Nature
Adamant (+Attack, -Special Attack) / Jolly (+Speed, –

Special Attack)

Effort Points
252 Attack – 252 Speed – 6 Special Defense

A Fire-type Pokémon with a better Attack than Special Attack is

rare, and taking into account that the Uber metagame is really Special-

based, Ho-oh can really trouble a lot of those legendary Pokémon. Sacred

Fire is all such a Pokémon needs. High base power and a great side effect,

leaving the target with a burn 50% of the time. Physical sweepers like

Groudon and Rayquaza that may predict the Fire-type move will have to think

again before switching in as their offensive capabilities may be cut down

to half. Earthquake takes care of Pokémon resisting Sacred Fire, more

importantly Heatran, which is OHKOed and the common Water-types Kyogre and

Palkia which are 2HKOed. Now, while Punishment may not seem like a good

move with its base power of 60, it can really take down some huge threats.

Any stat-boosting Pokémon will be afraid of it after using its move and

with the grand majority of stat-uppers being Psychic-type, this move

becomes a real menace. Nasty Plot/Swords Dance Mew, Calm Mind Mewtwo, Calm

Mind Latios and Latias, Cosmic Power Deoxys are a few examples of what

Pokémon this move is supposed to hit. Finally, Return is mostly a filler

since Ho-oh’s physical movepool isn’t something to brag about. However, it

still manages to 2HKO quite a few Ubers that don’t resist it.

The EP spread is just the straightforward spread for your standard

Choice Band sweeper. Adamant vs. Jolly depends on what you are afraid of.

Adamant lets you tie with other neutral natured, base 90 Speed Ubers. Jolly

makes you outrun Rayquaza, which rarely goes for max Speed, however it

needs just one Dragon Dance to outrun Ho-oh. Generally, Adamant nature is

recommended.

Calm Mind Sweeper

Item Held
Leftovers
Nature
Calm (+Special Defense, -Attack)
Effort Points
252 Special Defense – 248 HP – 10 Speed

Special based Ho-oh can also be a pain. Since most Ubers are

Special based as well, after a Calm Mind or two this bird will be

impossible to take down. Of course, its Special Attack is also boosted

along with its sky-high Special Defense, allowing it to sweep with its

STABed Flamethrower. Thunder can be used to deal with Kyogre since it will

change the weather. However, Hidden Power Ice is a better alternative as it

takes care of the Lati twins, Giratina and Rayquaza. Of course, getting a

good Ho-oh with Hidden Power Ice is a pretty hard task, so Thunder will be

your option for an in-game Ho-oh. Roost is obviously here to make sure that

Ho-oh lasts in the battle, as well as for dropping its 4x weakness to Rock

during that turn.

Choice Specs Sweeper

Item Held
Choice Specs
Nature
Modest (+Special Attack, -Attack)
Effort Points
252 Special Attack – 252 Speed – 6 Special

Defense

Should a Special based Ho-oh be needed while you don’t feel

comfortable with Calm Mind, a Choice Specs set can always be used. Of

course, the power of this set is kind of low when compared to the Choice

Band one, but its ability to hit more opponents is quite important. Fire

Blast is the suggested Fire-type move for this set due to its base power,

but Flamethrower is an option for accuracy purposes. Shadow ball takes care

of the wide variety of Psychic-type Ubers while Thunder deals with Kyogre.

In the last slot, you can go with Hidden Power Ice for defeating Rayquaza

or Earth Power for defeating Heatran.

Defensive Phoenix

Item Held
Leftovers
Nature
Careful (+Special Defense, -Special Attack)
Effort Points
252 Special Defense – 248 HP – 10 Speed

Physical sweepers will be met with a burn from Sacred Fire

(hopefully), while Special ones will be paralyzed by Thunder Wave, while

seeing their power being reduced by Light Screen. That way, you can prepare

an easy, late-game sweep with the rest of your team after having crippled

most members of your opponent’s team. Roost is here as it should be in any

defensive minded set.

Toxistaller

Item Held
Leftovers
Nature
Careful (+Special Defense, -Special Attack)
Effort Points
252 Special Defense – 248 HP – 10 Speed

Same set with the previous one, but with Toxic this time. After

poisoning them, stall as much as you can with Light Screen and Roost as

Pressure eats their PP turn by turn. Sacred Fire takes care of Physical

sweepers again as well as Steel-types, immune to Toxic.

Other Possible Options

One would expect that an Uber has so many options that it doesn’t know what

to use. However, Ho-oh is one of the few Ubers that lack a fantastic

movepool. Whirlwind is one of its other

options, allowing it to phaze opponents as well as to spread

paralysis/poison. Reflect can boost its

average Defense. Overheat is an option on

the Choice Specs set if you plan on switching out after every hit. Rest and Sleep

Talk are also on Ho-oh’s movepool and are worth consideration if you

are afraid of Toxic users.

Counters

It’s not really hard to understand that Kyogre is the best counter to Ho-oh, even if it

carries Thunder. It can change the weather to rain, dropping Fire’s power

while hitting with its mighty Surf or even mightier Water Spout. Palkia also works similarly, resisting Fire,

being neutral to Electric and having Surf to hit Ho-oh.

Rayquaza, Latios and Latias are all resistant to Fire and Electric,

and immune to Ground too, making their switch into Ho-oh pretty easy.

However, all of them stopped by Hidden Power Ice using Ho-oh versions while

Latios and Latias are stopped by Shadow Ball as well. Of course, if the

latter two carry Calm Mind, they can minimize damage and beat Ho-oh, though

a boosted Punishment will destroy them. Heatran can switch into anything but

Earthquake/Earth Power and it can even receive a Flash Fire boost.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any good moves to threaten Ho-oh. Same goes

for Giratina, which is afraid of Hidden

Power Ice and Shadow Ball.

Finally, if you want to have an easier job dealing with Ho-oh, Stealth

Rock can chip off a nice 50% of its HP as it switches in.

Opinion & Notes

In D/P, the legendary phoenix got what it desperately needed. Its signature

move, Sacred Fire, turned Physical now, allowing it to wreak some real

havoc with its wonderful 50% chance of leaving the opponent with a burn. On

the other hand, Stealth Rock arrived as well, completely ruining its day.

Hence, Ho-oh isn’t the most common Pokémon in Ubers, though its not bad at

all. Nevertheless, Ho-oh is definitely worth a spot in a team as it’s one

of the few Pokémon that can do the job of Physical sweeper and a Special

wall which can threaten even Physical sweepers.

Note that Earth Power is available

to Ho-oh only via Platinum’s move tutor.

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