- Reduces sleep time.
- Grants immunity to Fire-type moves and increases the power of Fire-type moves by 50% when hit by a Fire-type move.
- Prevents the foe from consuming its held Berry item.
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Although it might seem like it doesn't pack enough power, Houndoom is still a viable Pokemon to use in the tier. Its unique typing and its amazing ability in the form of Flash Fire provide Houndoom with an amazing offensive STAB combination, and gives it the ability to resist or be immune to Chandelure's and Victini's STAB moves and proceed to either trap them with Pursuit or strike first with Sucker Punch. It also has access to stat boosting moves such as Nasty Plot, which doubles Houndoom's Special Attack in a pinch, making it a force to be reckoned with. It also has decent offensive stats: 90 / 110 / 95 is a gift for Houndoom, giving it a bit more unpredictability due to the ability of going mixed or purely specially offensive. 95 base Speed is a benchmark that guarantees Houndoom will outspeed Heracross, Chandelure, Roserade, and Nidoking, threatening them all with its STAB moves, although it gets outpaced by the common base 100 Speed Pokemon running around in the tier, such as Shaymin, Zapdos, and Flygon. It also has access to priority moves such as Sucker Punch, meaning it can stand up to powerful threats and strike before them or score a quick revenge kill. However, Houndoom has a very limited and effective movepool, almost reduced to its STAB moves. Moreover, it is extremely frail, thus going down easily to a super effective move. In addition, Houndoom is weak to the most common types present in the tier. Despite its flaws, with the correct support, Houndoom can still punch holes in the opponent's team if they don't pack a safe check.
While Houndoom doesn't have a stellar Attack stat, it's still perfectly capable of function as a powerful mixed attacker. Being immune to Psychic-type moves is a huge bonus for Houndoom and this set makes use of that factor. With Pursuit in its arsenal, Houndoom becomes the ultimate threat to Chandelure and Psychic-types, such as Azelf, Meloetta, Xatu, Mew, and Victini, trapping them when they think they can safely switch out. However, we all know that Pursuit is not that strong if the opponent decides to stay in. That's where Sucker Punch kicks in: it not only fixes Houndoom's middling Speed, but also creates an intense mindgame alongside Pursuit where mispredicting will end up badly for the opponent. Fire Blast is Houndoom's best option as a Fire-type STAB move and hits very hard, even without heavy investment, taking out threats such as Heracross and Roserade. Crunch is a more consistent Dark-type attack when compared to Pursuit and Sucker Punch which eases prediction, whereas Hidden Power Grass hits bulky Water-types, such as Suicune, Blastoise, and Milotic, for super effective damage and destroys Rhyperior and Swampert, who are both taking close to nothing from any of Houndoom's other attacks.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Houndoom's unique STAB combination of Fire and Dark has valuable offensive options on the special side. For this reason, Houndoom is a threatening Nasty Plot user. With this move, Houndoom reaches 638 Special Attack at +2, which means it's going to hit hard no matter what. Fire Blast is Houndoom's Fire-type move of choice. Dark Pulse is Houndoom's strongest Dark-type move and it also gives a 20% chance of flinching your opponent. Both moves combined provide Houndoom with a very good offensive coverage, only resisted by opposing Houndoom and Sharpedo. Hidden Power Fighting strikes both resisters, Porygon2, and Snorlax hard, whereas Hidden Power Grass is there for bulky Water-types such as Suicune, Blastoise, and Milotic plus hitting Rhyperior on the spot.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Choice Scarf Houndoom has a niche in the metagame, outspeeding Heracross, the most common Pokemon in the tier, and outpaces every Pokemon not running a Choice Scarf and hits them with its unique STAB combination. A Sunny Day set alongside SolarBeam can also be used to increase Houndoom's Fire-type power while having a superior option to deal with Water-types. Flame Charge increases Houndoom's Speed by one stage, fixing its middling Speed problem. However, that is going to take a slot on its moveset, meaning Houndoom will lose some offensive coverage in the process. Will-O-Wisp has a certain surprise factor, burning the opponent when they expect an offensive move. Magic Coat is even more uncommon and its main use is to bounce back entry hazards and status inflicting moves, both very threatening to Houndoom. Foul Play is a powerful Dark-type physical move that can be used over Crunch, but it relies on the opponent's Attack stat, so Crunch is generally better. A combination of Rest with its ability Early Bird is Houndoom's only way of recovering its health, but Houndoom will often be unable to take any hits in the first place.
Checks and Counters
Bulky Water-types are and always will be Houndoom's worst nightmare. Pokemon such as Suicune, Blastoise, and Milotic can all take one hit and retaliate with a super effective Water-type move. Snorlax is a very viable choice to deal with Houndoom; it resists Houndoom's Fire-type STAB thanks to its Thick Fat ability and takes close to nothing from Houndoom's other moves, all the while dealing massive amounts of damage with Body Slam or straight knock Houndoom out with Earthquake. Porygon2 can trace Houndoom's Flash Fire to make its Fire-type STAB moves useless and then it can proceed to take Dark Pulses and either inflict status on Houndoom or go for a more offensive approach in the form of Tri Attack or Discharge. Hitmontop can take most of Houndoom's attacks and strike back with Close Combat, or "outspeed" and OHKO with Mach Punch. Azumarill can wash away Houndoom with an Aqua Jet. Arcanine can also sponge any of Houndoom's Fire-type moves and pose a threat with both Close Combat and ExtremeSpeed. Due to Houndoom's middling Speed, it is very vulnerable to revenge killing. Faster Pokemon or Choice Scarf users like Flygon, Mienshao, and Darmanitan can OHKO Houndoom with Earthquake, Hi Jump Kick, and Superpower, respectively.