Houndoom

Houndoom, The Dark Pokémon. If you are burned by it's flame, the pain from it will never subside. When other Pokémon hear it's cry they shiver and go back to their nests. It flame it shoots out is a result of toxins burning in it's body. In a pack, the one with horns raked sharply to the back has the leader role. It is decided by fighting among themselves.

Battle Moveset

A Good Moveset for Houndoom would have to be this:

Attacks:

Flamethrower
Will-o-Wisp
Crunch / Pursuit / Substitute / Hidden Power [Grass]
Crunch / Pursuit / Substitute / Hidden Power [Grass]

Items Attached:

Leftovers

Preferred Trait:

Flash Fire.

Preferred Nature:

Modest / Timid.

Strategy Using Houndoom

While the usual stance on Fire types is that they're a 'weak' type Houndoom is one of the few that has the quality to allow it's use in OU. It has a very good special attack stat, decent speed and access to two special STABs, clearly making it suitable to become a special sweeper. Even though it has a handful physical weaknesses most physical Pokémon will be weary about switching into Houndoom since it has Will-o-Wisp.

The final two moves are usually the main variation you'll see in Houndoom, some people like to use Crunch for it's power but Pursuit has the same strength if it catches something switching out, giving it a fair chance to grab a surprise KO. Some people will also run both on Houndoom to cover both areas. Substitute is an obvious choice, it blocks status attacks, gives Houndoom a buffer against surprises and allows you to scout what your opponent has next. HP Grass does decently against Water types who switch in and can cause some major problems for Swampert but against most of the common 'bulky water' Pokémon it'll only do a little more damage than Crunch would.

EV Corner:

EVs: 80 HP / 176 Spd / 252 SAtk
Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk)

270 speed is the bare minimum that Houndoom should have, although Houndoom specialises in hit-and-run offence it'll need speed. 270 outruns the common Adamant Heracross as well as outrunning any Salac Sweepers with their speed at 264. 285 (236 Speed EVs) is another milestone to shoot for when using a Modest Houndoom.

EVs: 68 HP / 188 Spd / 252 SAtk
Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)

Timid Houndoom, mainly used to get to 300 Speed to get a surprise jump on Pokémon like Salamence or Slaking.

Other Optional Moves

Taunt, Spite, Beat Up, Charm, Counter, Fire Blast, Hidden Power [Ice], Roar, Solarbeam. Taunt is a handy move on Houndoom, makes some Pokémon pay if they try to stall against it. In a similar way Spite does the same, while Taunt prevents them from using something like Recover while Spite will let them use it but waste their PP (especially useful against a Blissey using Softboiled). Beat Up can do good damage against low defence Pokémon (mainly Blissey though) if you have plenty of physical hard-hitters in your team. Counter can catch something by surprise but with no quick means to regain HP it'd probably be better to just avoid the hit in the first place. Fire Blast is an option over Flamethrower, it comes down to power vs. accuracy. HP Ice can surprise Dragons, Salamence and Flygon in particular. Surprise Roars can usually mess with your opponent, especially if a set of Spikes have been laid down, but it doesn't have move-slots to waste on situational attacks. Solarbeam is worth a mention if you're going to use Houndoom in Ubers but don't use Sunny Day-Flamethrower-Solarbeam like many new players fall into the trap of trying, in theory it's a good idea but in practice it fails most of the time, Houndoom is hit-and-run and to make Sunny Day worthwhile you'd need to be in play for several turns.

Strategy Against Houndoom

Bulky waters are the top choice, even when faced with Hidden Power Grass/Electric they usually shrug off the damage provided they don't have a 4x weakness to the attack. Milotic in particular can mess with Houndoom since it can benefit from receiving a Will-o-Wisp burn. Pokémon with guts also benefit from Will-o-Wisp since the effect of Guts wipes out the half attack effect. Blissey and Snorlax can wall Houndoom but the latter wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of Will-o-Wisp. If you can predict correctly many common sweepers do well against it, Salamence for example will force (Modest) Houndoom to switch if it switched into a Flamethrower. As with most hit-and-run Pokémon a set of Spikes will cause Houndoom a lot of problems and hitting it with a surprise attack (like Earthquake or Focus Punch) will usually get a KO.

Contest Moveset

A good Contest Moveset for Houndoom would have to be this for the Cool Contest best with Lonely, Adament, Naughty or Brave Nature:

Attacks:

Hyper Beam
Sunny Day
Solar Beam
Double Team

Items Attached:

Red Scarf

Strategy Using Houndoom

If you do the attacks in this following order you should have very few problems; 1st - Sunny day, 2nd - Solarbeam, 3rd - Double team, 4th - Solarbeam, 5th - Hyper beam

Locations in Games

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald

Trade from EFRLGXD (RS) Evolve Houndour (E)

Colosseum & XD

Realgam Tower (Col.) Evolve Houndour (XD)

Fire Red/Leaf Green

Evolve Houndour

Animé Appearences

Houndoom has had a few Animé Appearences. First it helped Togepi get back to Misty when it became lost after a battle with Team Rocket. After that the Iron Masked Marauder had one and used it to try and get Celebi. After that Harrison used it to catch a Sneasel AND to battle Ash in the Silver Conference.And finally Team Magma use it as one of their henchman Pokémon. May also battled one in the Pacifidlog Contest with her Skitty.

Episode 182: Houndoom's Special Delivery!
Episode 205: The Screen Actor's Guilt!
Movie 4: Celebi - Voice Of The Forest!
Episode 261: Entei At Your Own Risk!
Episode 267: Pop Goes The Sneasel!
Episode 273: Playing With Fire!
Episode 274: Johto Photo Finish!
Episode 278: A Ruin With A View!
Episode 303: A Three Team Scheme!
Episode 392: Mean With Envy!
Episode 393: Pacifidlog Jam!
Special 20: The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon!

 
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