Houndoom

Houndoom, The Dark Pokémon. The flames it breathes when angry contain toxins. If they cause a burn, it will hurt forever.Long ago, people imagined its eerie howls to be the call of the grim reaper. If you are burned by the flames it shoots from its mouth, the pain will never go away. Upon hearing its eerie howls, other Pokémon get the shivers and head straight back to their nests.

Overview

Houndoom seems a little underwhelming for the UU tier, as it only has average Attacking and Speed stats. However, its unique typing and its ability gives it the niche of being able to easily switch in and revenge kill Pokemon such as Chandelure and Victini. Its STAB moves also deal with several other threats in the tier, such as Heracross, Cofagrigus, Roserade, Mismagius, Froslass, and so forth. It also makes for a decent mixed attacker with its 90 / 110 attacking stats and a decent STAB movepool to go with them, but otherwise Houndoom's movepool is rather lacking. Its defenses also leave a lot to be desired, as well as its weakness to Stealth Rock and also being hit by other hazards wears it down quickly. Overall, Houndoom is a situational counter to many Pokemon, albeit a frail one.

Abilities

Early Bird: Reduces the amount of turns spent sleeping, a decent ability but is extremely situational and doesn't help much overall, besides paling in comparison to Flash Fire.
Flash Fire: When hit by a Fire move, instead of taking damage Houndoom receives a 50% boost to its Fire attacks, a very useful ability as it allows to switch on Fire type attackers like Chandelure, Victini, Darmanitan, etc and not worry about taking damage.
Unnerve: Prevents the opponent from using its held berries, almost more situational than Early Bird and even less useful on Houndoom. .

Movesets

Impending Houndoom

-Fire Blast
-Sucker Punch
-Pursuit
-Crunch / Hidden Power [Grass]
Item Attached: Life Orb
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SAtk / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature (+Spe, -Def)

This set is probably the most common that is seen on Houndoom, and is the best out of its potential mixed sets. Fire Blast gets a STAB boost making it hit like a truck, and takes out anything that is weak to it. Sucker Punch is STAB priority that's useful for non-Choice Chandelures and Victinis who attempt to hit Houndoom with a coverage move, while also providing Houndoom with a way to both revenge kill as well as mess with the opponent's head on whether or not it is going to use Pursuit or Sucker Punch. Pursuit is useful for the other half of the mindgame, as well as trapping Pokemon like Choiced Chandelure and Victini and hitting them for significant damage as they switch out, possibly KOing them. The last option is whether you want a powerful and reliable Dark STAB or if you want more coverage.

Doctor Victor von Houndoom

-Nasty Plot
-Dark Pulse
-Fire Blast
-Hidden Power [Grass] / Hidden Power [Fighting]
Item Attached: Life Orb
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 252 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)

This set, unlike the prior, focuses entirely on Houndoom's Special Attack. Nasty Plot boosts Houndoom's power to enormous levels, allowing it to hit opponents extremely hard. Dark Pulse and Fire Blast are used for powerful STAB and each hit different threats for Super Effective damage (and can even OHKO some Pokemon that they hit neutrally). The option in Hidden Powers is dependent on what you need to hit. HP Grass hits Water and Rock types like Blastoise, Suicune, and Rhyperior for significant damage, while HP Fighting hits Sharpedo, Porygon2, Snorlax, and other Houndoom (Sharpedo and Houndoom being the only Pokemon in UU that resist both Fire and Dark.

Like a Dog Out of Hell

-Dark Pulse
-Fire Blast / Overheat
-Hidden Power [Grass] / Hidden Power [Fighting]
-Pursuit
Item Attached: Choice Scarf
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SAtk / 252 Spe
Mild Nature (+SAtk, -Def) or Hasty Nature (+Spe, -Def)

This set is more of a gimmicky set to be honest, as it uses its surprise factor to get KOs on Pokemon that are normally faster, one of the more significant being Choice Scarf Heracross. Dark Pulse and Fire Blast serve the same functions as they do on the Nasty Plot set, providing powerful and reliable STAB moves that can hit a variety of threats. Overheat is an option over Fire Blast however, as it provides massive damage and due to this being a Choice set, will usually result in Houndoom having to switch out after one move anyhow, meaning the -2 Special Attack drop from Overheat won't be too hard to work around. The option between the Hidden Powers is the same as well, each hitting its own set of Pokemon. The last slot goes to Pursuit mainly because it can be used to revenge kill escaping Pokemon that are either weak to Pursuit or are damaged enough that when they switch they get KOd. This set also requires a bit more prediction than the other two, as the Choice Scarf limits your options of what you can do after that first move. The choice between natures depends on whether you want Houndoom to hit harder or be able to outspeed more threats.

Other Options

Beat Up, Counter, Flame Charge, Flamethrower, Foul Play, Heat Wave, Hidden Power, Payback, Shadow Ball, Sludge Bomb, Solarbeam, Sunny Day, Taunt, Will-O-Wisp
Beat Up is usable in Doubles as it can use it on Pokemon with Justified in order to boost their attack, although Weavile outclasses Houndoom in this regard.
Counter allows Houndoom to return the damage it took and more upon a physically attacking opponent, which can be a good strategy if Houndoom survives the blow.
Flame Charge can boost Houndoom's Speed as well as doing some damage, allowing Houndoom to better sweep and outpace opponents.
Flamethrower is used over Fire Blast in some cases as it has better accuracy, while also having lower power.
Foul Play is gimmicky at best, and can be used to hit potent physical threats but not much else.
Heat Wave is usable in Doubles / Triples, and also falls between Flamethrower and Fire Blast in terms of accuracy and power.
Hidden Power can (as usual) be used for additional coverage on a certain type of threat that you want Houndoom to handle.
Payback is useful for when you're facing a faster opponent that is weak to Dark, but in most other cases Houndoom's other Dark moves will do better.
Shadow Ball can be used for the same coverage as any of Houndoom's Dark moves, but have the detriment of not having the STAB boost.
Sludge Bomb can provide neutral coverage on several Pokemon, as well as having a chance of poisoning the opponent.
Solarbeam can be used in conjunction with Sunny Day in order to hit Bulky Water types hard.
Sunny Day can be used to remove the adverse Hail that is in UU, as well as boost the power of Houndoom's Fire attacks.
Taunt can be used to stop other Pokemon from setting up boosts or hazards on Houndoom, helping it to shut down certain walls.
Will-O-Wisp helps Houndoom to put bulky physical threats like Snorlax out of commission, as the burn will cause steady damage as well as drastically lowering the Attack of the opponent.

Double & Triple Battle Options

Houndoom doesn't really have any aspects that make it less outclassed by Chandelure (at first glance), as it has lower Special Attack, lower Defenses, and less useful resistances, but it does have a few saving graces. First off, it gets Unnerve, allowing it to OHKO threats such as Occa Berry Metagross and Scizor with Fire Blast or Heat Wave, which no other Fire type can boast (at least in Metagross' case). Secondly, it has Sucker Punch, giving it priority that allows it to get past many faster threats. It also received Heat Wave thanks to BW2 tutors, which allows it to inflict damage on multiple threats at once.

Partners

Rapid Spinners such as Blastoise and Hitmontop help Houndoom enormously as its weakness to Stealth Rock really wears it down quickly. Having hazard setters on its side helps Houndoom as well, as it allows it to better late game sweep after most of the Pokemon have received some damage from the hazards.

Countering Houndoom

Bulky Waters are easily the best counter to Houndoom, as it can't do too much to them and most of them OHKO it in return. Pokemon like Blastoise, Azumarill, Suicune, and Milotic can all take at least one hit and wash Houndoom back to the fiery pits from whence it came. Snorlax and Porygon2 are also very good at beating Houndoom, as Snorlax's natural bulk plus its Fire resistance from Thick Fat allow it to absorb most of Houndoom's attacks, while Porygon2 can Trace Flash Fire and become entirely immune to one of Houndoom's STABs, with both being able to do massive damage to / cripple / OHKO Houndoom in return. Faster attackers / Scarfed Pokemon or Pokemon with Super Effective priority can also generally beat Houndoom, so Pokemon such as Mienshao, Flygon, Hitmontop, Darmanitan, and Arcanine all can either take a hit and OHKO, or outspeed and OHKO anyhow.

Locations in Games

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Evolve Houndour (Emerald)
Trade from Emerald/Colosseum/XD (Ruby/Sapphire)

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Trade from Emerald/Colosseum/XD

Colosseum/XD:
Snagged from Cipher Peon Nella in Realgam Tower Colosseum (Colosseum)
Evolve Houndour (XD)

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Trade from Pearl/Platinum/HeartGold/SoulSilver (Diamond)
Routes 214 & 215 (Pearl)
Evolve Houndour (Platinum)

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Safari Zone

Black/White:
Evolve Houndour (White)Trade from White (Black)

Black 2/White 2:
Transfer from Generation IV/Trade with White

Animé Appearences

Houndoom has made a few appearances. Most appearances have been cameos but it has notably been used by Team Magma

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
182 Howl Of The Houndoom Houndoom and Togepi!  
M4 Celebi: Voice of the Forest Celebi: A Timeless Encounter Pics
261 Entei at Your Own Risk Entei and Friends of the Hot Spring! Pics
267 Pop Goes The Sneasel! Sneasel and the Sacred Fire! Pics
273 Playing with Fire!! Blaziken Returns! Battle with Harrison!! Pics
274 Johto Photo Finish To the End of the Full Battle! Each One's Way!! Pics
278 A Ruin With A View Ancient Pokémon and Mysterious Teams! Pics
303 A Three Team Scheme! Team Magma VS Team Aqua! Secret Base Battle! Pics
392 Mean With Envy Disorderly Melee! Pokémon Contest - Pacifidlog Convention! (Part One) Pics
393 Pacifidlog Jam! Disorderly Melee! Pokémon Contest - Pacifidlog Convention! (Part Two) Pics
397 Not Aired Ash & May! Heated Battles In Hoenn! Pics
M8 Lucario & The Mystery of Mew Mew & The Wave-Guiding Hero - Lucario Pics
S20 The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon The Terrifying Mirage Pokémon Pics
456 May, We Harley Drew'd Ya! Begin! Pokémon Contest - Grand Festival! Pics
461 Duels of the Jungle Attack! The Stray Weavile! Pics
630 Playing the Performance Encore Double Battle! VS Plusle & Minun! Pics
633 Flint Sparks the Fire! Elite Four Flint and Gym Leader Volkner! Pics
634 The Fleeing Tower of Sunyshore! Takeoff! Sunyshore Tower!! Pics
M16 Genesect & The Legend Awakened Extremespeed Genesect: Mewtwo Awakens Pics
S35 Pokémon Mega Evolution Special I Strongest Mega Evolution ~Act 1~ Pics

 
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