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Honchkrow

Honchkrow, The Big Boss Pokémon. A single cry from this nocturnal Pokémon, and more than a hundred of its Murkrow cronies will assemble. If its Murkrow cronies fail to catch food for it, or if it feels they have betrayed it, it will hunt them down wherever they are and punish them. It will absolutely not forgive failure from or betrayal by its goons. It has no choice in this if it wants to maintain the order of the flock. Its goons take care of most of the fighting for it. The only time it dirties its own hands is in delivering a final blow to finish off an opponent.

Overview

Murkrow was one of the handful of pokemon to gain a new evolution in DPP and Honchkrow helps round out Mukrows rougher edges, namely by increasing its power. Honchkrow is a powerhouse being a dangerous wall breaker with its massive 125 Attack and 105 Special Attack. This power is cemented with Honchkrow's impressive movepool with access to STAB Sucker Punch and Pursuit, furthering how flexible Honchkrow can be as well as make it a more threatening wall breaker as it can “trap” threats with a Pursuit, almost matching Tyranitar's power down a couple tiers. However, Honchkrow continues to suffer from most of Murkrow's problems, namely its poor defenses making Honchkrow easy to revenge kill, as well as middling Speed.
Positives
-Offensive Pressure - Honchkrow brings immense pressure from its offensive stats and ability in Moxie. Honchkrow sits 5 base power behind Salamence on both the physical and special and being a few tiers lower in viability, this is big power to bring along. This in combination with Honchkrow's strong movepool allows it to pressure everything around its power level bar Diancie.
-Movepool - On top of this Honchkrow has a massive movepool on both sides of the spectrum, having powerful STAB moves such as Sucker Punch, Dark Pulse, and Brave Bird while having good coverage in Steel Wing, Heat Wave, and Superpower. Finally, Honchkrow has good utility with moves such as Pursuit, Thunder Wave, and Nasty Plot.

Negatives
-Defenses - Honchkrow's defenses are terrible with 52 in both. This means Honchkrow will have a hard time finding room to get into the fight and then stay on the field as even resisted attacks will hurt a fair amount. This is compounded by Honchkrow's weakness to Stealth Rock which will dwindle its already low health pool.
-Speed - Honchkrow's also in a really odd Speed tier, as it outpaces a lot of defensive threats but most offensive threats outpace Honchkrow, meaning it can be easy to revenge kill. In combination with Honchkrow's bad defenses, this a major problem to deal with, even with Sucker Punch to try and work around the Speed issue.

Abilities

Insomnia - Prevents Sleep - Insomnia is a good ability as it allows for more switch-in opportunities, but when there's the option of Moxie, Insomnia loses a lot of its usefulness.
Moxie - Raises Attack by 1 stage after KOing a Pokemon - Moxie is an amazing ability on any wall breaking Pokemon as it can spiral a simple sack by the opponent into a sweep, or secure 2HKOs on Pokemon that normally are safe.
Super Luck - Critical Hit rate is increased by 1 stage - Similar to Insomnia in that it's inferior to Moxie. Super Luck is worse than Insomnia due to the reliance of luck though, and it also demands that a Scope Lens is used in order to really make it worth using.

Movesets

Life Orb Attacker

-Sucker Punch
-Brave Bird
-Pursuit
-Superpower
Item Attached: Life Orb
Ability: Moxie
EVs and Nature:
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature

Brave Bird is the primary STAB move muscling through a large part of the lower tier metagame, or at least removing large amounts of health. Sucker Punch is the primary Dark STAB giving Honchkrow a way to answer both faster threats and clean up kills on choice locked threats. Pursuit makes a home as a tech choice to trap in threats and hurt things trying to get out. Superpower is there to round out coverage to help deal with threats such as Steelix and Rhydon that can give Honchkrow a headache.

Other Options and Partners

Heat Wave - Not as good as it used to be, Heat Wave is still nice to hit Steel threats that Honchkrow has to use Superpower or Sucker Punch to deal with. While not always worth giving up the coverage, it's still a solid move.
Steel Wing - While forcing you to give up Superpower's coverage or the utility of Pursuit, Steel Wing allows Honchkrow to easily deal with Diancie, the only Pokemon Honchkrow will see that resists both its STAB moves and can easily KO back.

Hazard Support - With Honchkrow's low base defense and typing hazard support is really nice to have to help increase Honchkrow's low survivability. However, Honchkrow also really likes hazards from your team as Spikes and Stealth Rock can help secure KOes or 2HKOes key targets. For this role, Roserade is a solid choice with its good typing that synergizes with Honchkrow and offers access to Poison Spikes if desired.
Kommo-o - With Honchkrow's strong wall breaking ability, sweepers such as Kommo-o work well with Honchkrow. Kommo-o is nice as it shares some similar threats with Honchkrow such as Diancie so having them weakened is really nice. Kommo-o can also bring in faster Psychics that Honchkrow gets an easy switch into.
Zoroark - Sharing many similar counters, Zoroark is a strong partner as it often hits on the other attacking side with a Nasty Plot set. This allows Zoroark to bait in and beat some of the the Pokemon that would wall Honchkrow or at least slow it down.

VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options

With Doubles being the land of the Fairies, Honchkrow does not have the prowess to make a lasting impression on the format. The crow is further hindered by his low base Speed stat, though access to priority moves helps alleviate that somewhat. It is not recommended for competitive use, so proceed with caution.

The Krow

- Brave Bird
- Sucker Punch
- Superpower
- Pursuit / Protect / Tailwind
Item Attached: Life Orb
Ability: Moxie
EVs and Nature:
252 Atk / 252 Spe / 4 Def
Adamant Nature

Brave Bird functions as a potent STAB option for Honchkrow, possibly scoring mayor damage if he is not under the influence of Intimidate. Sucker Punch offers a form of priority that is reliant on the opponent using a damaging move, however the attack has lost prominence with the existence of Tapu Lele and Psychic Terrain which effectively nullifies all forms of priority moves. Superpower strikes Steel-type Pokemon such as Ferrothorn for high amounts of damage, though it immediately drops Honchkrow's attack power while simultaneously making it more frail against physical moves. Pursuit can be option if it intends on catching a Pokemon switching out. Protect increases longevity, and eases prediction. Life Orb increases damage output, but it comes at a cost of recoil which worsens when used in tandem with Brave Bird. Alternatively, Honchkrow can provide speed control via Tailwind which increases speed by one stage.

Other Options & Team Ideas

- A special set consisting of Heat Wave, Dark Pulse, and Icy Wind could be considered if it was not for its inferior Special Attack stat.
- Allies that provide speed control are welcomed such as Kyurem Black's Icy Wind.

Countering Honchkrow

Priority - With its low base Speed, Honchkrow is weak to strong priority users. Faster priority users can get around Honchkrow's own priority due to Sucker Punches mechanics work. Slower Priority users also have an edge as Honchkrow users might not go for Sucker Punch favoring more damage.
Faster Pokemon - While more frail Pokemon don't want to take a Sucker Punch, anything that can outspeed Honchrkow will threaten it due to its awful bulk. Fighting-types or even just anything with decent physical bulky can put some pressure on Honchkrow and threaten to OHKO, though things can get tricky if Honchkrow has gained a Moxie boost.
Diancie - Diancie's typing allows it to counter both of Honchkrow's STAB moves and force it to either run Steel Wing, which is bad coverage outside Diancie, or lean on Superpower to muscle through it over a longer game. Diancie can also easily KO Honchkrow or set hazards up on Honchkrow without much concern, which makes it a liability for the team in that matchup.

Locations in Games

Red/Blue/Yellow:
Not in game

Gold/Silver/Crystal:
Not in game

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Not in game

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Not in game

Colosseum/XD:
Not in game

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Evolve Murkrow (Diamond)
Trade from Diamond/HeartGold/SoulSilver (Pearl/Platinum)

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Evolve Murkrow

Black/White:
Abundant Shrine (Black)
Trade from Black/Black 2/White 2 (White)

Black 2/White 2:
Evolve Murkrow

X/Y:
Evolve Murkrow

Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Evolve Murkrow

Sun/Moon:
Evolve Murkrow

Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
Poké Pelago

Animé Appearences

Honchkrow has made a few appearances in the anime. In most of these, it was under the control of Ash's rival, Paul.

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
M10 The Rise of Darkrai Dialga VS Palkia VS Darkrai Pics
534 Lost Leader Strategy! Lucario & The Aura Sphere of Rage! Pics
M11 Giratina & The Sky Warrior Giratina & The Bouquet of the Sky - Shaymin Pics
568 Aiding the Enemy Turtwig, Grotle...& Torterra! Pics
569 Barry's Busting Out All Over! Rival Trainer Jun Appears! Pics
586 Pursuing a Lofty Goal PokéRinger! Big Decisive Sky Battle!! Pics
599 Pedal to the Mettle Full Battle! Paul VS Ash! (Part One) Pics
600 Evolving Strategies Full Battle! Paul VS Ash! (Part Two) Pics
601 Uncrushing Defeat Uxie's Shadow! Pics
609 Challenging A Towering Figure! Tower Tycoon! That Man, Palmer! Pics
656 Battling a Thaw in Relations Rival Battle Conclusion! Ash VS Paul! Pics
796 Mystery on a Deserted Island! The Mystery of the Treasure! Adventure on an Uninhabited Island!! Pics
880 A Relay in the Sky! The Pokémon Sky Rally Challenge! Fly, Noibat!! Pics
912 Master Class Choices! The Master Class Trial! What Will You Do, Serena!? Pics
915 Master Class is in Session! The Master Class Begins! A Maidens' Fight Where Sparks Fly!! Pics

 
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