Honchkrow is the much-needed evolution for his pre-evolved form, Murkrow. With base 125 Attack and strong STAB moves, Honchkrow can be a force to be reckoned with. This, combined with one of the strongest priority moves in the game, Sucker Punch, makes Honchkrow a dangerous offensive threat. However, what holds him back are his nasty Stealth Rock weakness, low defenses, and lack of moves to switch in on. Honchkrow is extremely weak to Scizor, as Bullet Punch OHKOes him after Stealth Rock damage. Furthermore, Honchkrow takes quite a bit of prediction to use, due to the mind games that Sucker Punch causes. However, with proper support, Honchkrow can be a huge threat to the opposing team.
Honchkrow can pull off a very simple yet effective Life Orb set, due to his sheer power and type coverage. STAB Brave Bird hits extremely hard, capable of 2HKOing Swampert. Sucker Punch allows Honchkrow to bypass his low Speed and hit faster Pokémon before they have a chance to strike back. Many faster Pokémon, such as Jolteon and Aerodactyl, have low defenses, meaning Sucker Punch will decimate them. Both Superpower and Heat Wave strike the Pokémon who resist Honchkrow's STAB moves. For example, Superpower hits Tyranitar and Heatran, while Heat Wave prevents Forretress and Skarmory from setting up entry hazards. It also hits Scizor and Metagross, although Scizor can strike first with Bullet Punch and Metagross can survive one Heat Wave and KO Honchkrow back with Meteor Mash.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Due to Honchkrow's wide movepool, a Choice Scarf set can be useful to him. Choice Scarf bypasses Honchkrow's low base Speed and lets him strike potentially first with a quick Brave Bird. However, his Stealth Rock weakness and lack of useful resistances prevents him from switching frequently. Additionally, being locked into Sucker Punch can be dangerous, as it can easily turn Honchkrow into setup fodder.
Honchkrow can also run a Nasty Plot set with Dark Pulse and Heat Wave, along with Superpower to hit Blissey, but Honchkrow's viability is limited by his low Speed and weakness to the omnipresent priority attacks and Choice Scarf users. Honchkrow also has access to both Perish Song and Mean Look, but his low defenses make Perish Trapping unviable.
Checks and Counters
Honchkrow really has problems with opposing Pokémon who resist Sucker Punch and are faster than him. Choice Band Scizor can easily switch into Sucker Punch and OHKO Honchkrow with Bullet Punch after Stealth Rock damage. Jirachi can outspeed Honchkrow and Iron Head for the 2HKO, while Choice Scarf Tyranitar resists Brave Bird, Sucker Punch, and Heat Wave, and can strike Honchkrow back with Stone Edge. Metagross can survive one Heat Wave from Honchkrow and retaliate back with Meteor Mash. Substitute Gengar can force Honchkrow into a Sucker Punch mind-game and strike him from behind a Substitute with Focus Blast.
Honchkrow's biggest enemy is residual damage, though. Stealth Rock, sandstorm, and recoil damage from Brave Bird and Life Orb all significantly decrease Honchkrow's lifespan.