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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Beat Up, Counter, Flame Charge, Flamethrower, Foul Play, Heat Wave, Hidden Power, Payback, Shadow Ball, Sludge Bomb, Solarbeam, Sunny Day, Taunt, Will-O-Wisp
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.
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.
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
Black 2/White 2:
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