- 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 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Houndour stands out as one of the hardest Pokemon to switch into in Little Cup, with outstanding offensive stats and a great typing. It can check several of the biggest threats in the metagame with Sucker Punch, and its base 80 Special Attack is among the highest in the tier. However, Houndour is exceptionally frail, having been cursed with meager 45 / 30 / 50 defenses. It also needs a Life Orb to function effectively and is susceptible to common priority attacks including Mach Punch and Fake Out, reducing its lifespan dramatically. Nevertheless, Houndour is an excellent utility Pokemon in Little Cup, so long as you keep it away from its own checks.
This is by far Houndour's most effective set. STAB Sucker Punch is the key move, giving Houndour the ability to check top metagame threats such as Misdreavus, Abra, and Drilbur. Sucker Punch is tied with ExtremeSpeed as the most powerful priority in the game, and its useful Dark typing hits most major threats hard. Crunch is a much more reliable STAB attack, as it does not require the opponent to attack; Pokemon such as Staryu and Ponyta will often attempt to switch into Fire Blast only to be KOed by a Crunch and Sucker Punch in rapid succession. Fire Blast is Houndour's most powerful attack against physically bulky Pokemon, such as Hippopotas, and will OHKO SubRoost Murkrow 62.5% of the time after Stealth Rock damage. Protect is a filler move, defending against Fake Out from Mienfoo and Croagunk as well as letting Houndour scout priority attacks. However, Substitute can also be useful, as it lets Houndour capitalize upon its ability to force switches.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Foremost amongst Houndour's alternative options is a mostly special set; however, Sucker Punch is Houndour's main draw, and many other Pokemon in the metagame are far more effective at purely special attacking. An Eviolite can be used to boost Houndour's bulk, but would result in a heavy loss of power, stopping Houndour from reliably 2HKOing Staryu or OHKOing Mienfoo with the appropriate moves. A Nasty Plot set is very powerful, but Houndour is horrendously frail and the set lacks any priority attacks, causing it to be easily revenge killed by anything faster. Flamethrower can be used over Fire Blast or Protect, as you will be gambling less on a potential miss, but the drop in power or the loss of scouting ability are both very noticeable. Super Fang is another option for dealing 50% damage to Pokemon such as Munchlax and Tentacool that would otherwise shrug off Houndour's attacks. Rest is an option for Houndour as well; Early Bird provides a buffer against sleep, meaning that Rest will only make it vulnerable for one turn. However, Houndour is still incredibly frail and will often take an inordinate amount of damage in that one free turn.
Checks and Counters
Houndour has very few hard counters on account of its superlative offensive stats and high Base Power attacks. However, Porygon makes an excellent counter, as it can Trace Flash Fire to be immune to Fire Blast and is only 3HKOed 4% of the time by Crunch. Houndour can run Early Bird purely to get around Trace Porygon, however, so keep that in mind. Lileep is never 2HKOed by Houndour in sand and can KO back with AncientPower or simply stall it out with Recover. Bad luck can ruin Houndour at the worst times, as missing a single Fire Blast will often get Houndour KOed.
It is far easier to check and revenge kill Houndour than to counter it. Faster Pokemon resistant to Sucker Punch, such as Murkrow, can KO Houndour, but can't switch into its attacks. Scraggy, Mienfoo, and Croagunk can take a resisted hit from Houndour and KO in return with super effective Fighting-type attacks. Munchlax can switch in on Fire Blast and KO with Return or Earthquake, but can be 2HKOed by Crunch after Stealth Rock damage; Staryu, Tentacool, and Chinchou are in the same boat, being 2HKOed by Crunch and Sucker Punch after Stealth Rock damage. Flash Fire Ponyta gets a boost from Fire Blast and will always KO with Wild Charge after Stealth Rock and one turn of Life Orb recoil. Defensive Omanyte and Tirtouga are often 2HKOed after entry hazard damage, but they can swiftly KO back and can take a Fire Blast followed by Crunch. Drilbur and Sandshrew can take a Sucker Punch—just barely, in Drilbur's case—and KO with Earthquake. In a pinch, Hippopotas can take a Fire Blast and KO with Earthquake. Misdreavus can also beat Houndour with a little prediction to avoid Sucker Punch.