Gen 2 Houndoom (OU Revamp) [QC 0/2]

Akir

A true villain!
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PU Leader
[OVERVIEW]

  • Strongest Pursuit in the game!
  • Good neutral coverage for almost the entire metagame with Fire/Dark
  • Good Speed and even better SpAtk for general wallbreaking
  • Sunny Day set also makes for a good wallbreaking set
  • Low defense means that even neutral hits can be a 2HKO
  • Walled by very common Pokemon, like Snorlax and Tyranitar
  • Still a good boy!

[SET 1]
name: Pursuit Trapper
move 1: Fire Blast
move 2: Crunch
move 3: Pursuit
move 4: Roar / Counter
item: Leftovers

[SET COMMENTS]
Set Description
=========

  • Fire Blast is primary STAB, with Crunch providing a desirable 2HKO on Gengar. Crunch also can be excellent coverage for would-be threats like Starmie on the switch-in.
  • Pursuit is the primary reason to use Houndoom, as Houndoom has the strongest Pursuit in the game. This allows Houndoom to trap valuable targets such as Exeggutor, Gengar, and Misdreavus effectively.
  • Roar and Counter are both good choices for the fourth slot, with pros and cons to each.
  • Roar can be used to prevent threats such as Snorlax from using Houndoom as an opportunity for themselves to set up. Roar also can force out a valuable Pursuit target that can then be hit for heavy damage with said Pursuit as they try to rectify the switch. Roar, thanks to its negative priority however, can also leave Houndoom open to retaliation from the target. A Pokemon opting to simply muscle through Houndoom's low defenses can sometimes make Roar a risky decision.
  • Counter is another option for punishing what would normally be a safe attack from Snorlax or Tyranitar, but a Counter used at the wrong time loses all surprise factor and makes Houndoom a true sitting duck against these threats without any other support options.

Team Options
========

  • Houndoom's Pursuit is extremely effective at removing Ghosts and Psychics. That aspect is heavily appreciated by partners such as Snorlax, Machamp, and Firelax, who can struggle against Ghosts and Psychics such as Misdreavus or Exeggutor otherwise. Combined with Houndoom's STAB Fire Blast
  • Pokemon such as Exeggutor, who can switch in on the common Water and Ground attacks thrown at Houndoom, are also appreciated to help buffer Houndoom's low bulk and improve team cohesion.
  • As a wallbreaker, Spikes support is always handy for additional damage to further solidify potential 2HKOs and 3HKOs. This is even moreso the case for Houndoom that are using Roar, as the forced switch rakes up even more Spikes damage. Cloyster and Forretress both excel in setting Spikes, and can even keep Spikes off of Houndoom's side.

[SET 2]
name: SunnyBeam
move 1: Sunny Day
move 2: Fire Blast
move 3: Solarbeam
move 4: Pursuit
item: Leftovers

[SET COMMENTS]
Set Description
=========

  • This set trades some of the utility of the first set for more firepower and an improved matchup against Water-Types to make it a better wallbreaker without giving up Pursuit utility.
  • Sunny day powers up Houndoom's Fire Blast even further, making it an attack that 2HKOs Pokemon that take even neutral damage from the attack. Fire Blast can even do as much as 40% to Snorlax, making Snorlax a potentially shaky switchin where it is a reliable check otherwise. Sunny Day also lowers the accuracy of Thunder, which is a problem for the very popular Electric-Types Zapdos and Raikou.
  • Sunny Day also allows Houndoom to use Solarbeam, allowing it to have an improved matchup against Rock and Water, most noticeably OHKOing Cloyster more often than not and always after Spikes damage.
  • Pursuit remains on the set due to the versatility it gives Houndoom, allowing Houndoom to Pursuit trap key threats. Pursuit still stands as Houndoom's primary niche, and gives Houndoom the ability to contribute to the team outside of having Sunny Day up and wallbreaking. It is important to keep in mind that sometimes the Pursuit damage is more valuable than setting up Sunny Day. However, the loss of Crunch means that the set is less reliable for KOing Gengar.
  • This set does not need to set up Sunny Day in order to function. No sun does mean that Houndoom loses its primary coverage move in Solarbeam effectively entirely and the drop in Fire Blast's power is noticeable. In spite of this, Houndoom's Fire Blast is still strong and its ability to Pursuit Trap is invaluable regardless of Sun. Additionally, due to Houndoom's low defenses and common checks, setting up Sunny Day can be too difficult to do consistently so it is sometimes better to simply attack and wait for a better moment to set up Sun.
Team Options
========

  • Even with Sun's increase in power, Houndoom can have a difficult time breaking specially defensive Pokemon such as Blissey. Because of this, partners that can switch into these walls such as Skarmory can help Houndoom by providing an easy switch out of the situation.
  • Houndoom's Speed is above average but can still be outsped by faster threats like Raikou. As such, Houndoom loves Paralysis support from Starmie and Zapdos and other Raikou.
  • The difference between KOing a target with this set in two hits and three hits can sometimes be decided with prior Spikes damage. Teammates like Cloyster and Forretress can reliably set up Spikes and help wear down opponents.
  • Even though this set takes a more offensive focus, Houndoom is stil lable to help support the team. Pursuit can still be reliably used to KO Ghosts and Psychics in the early and mid game, which is a big help for teammates like Machamp. Sunny Day also has a limited utility in patching up weaknesses to Water for teammates like Nidoking.
  • This set is primarily a wallbreaker and less of a win condition. This means that Houndoom will excel is wearing down opponents for sweepers later in the game. Excellent choices for this include Pokemon that love Snorlax and Raikou worn down such as Vaporeon. Other options that appreciate the wallbreaking power and the Pursuit Trapping include Machamp.

[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
=============

  • Houndoom has a large variety of other potential support options. Sleep Talk makes Houndoom into a much stronger switch-in against Jynx and Exeggutor by negating the only option those threats feasibly have against Houndoom: sleep. This move also lets Houndoom work as a general sleep absorber, but a full Resttalk set can have mixed results due to Houndoom's less-than-stellar bulk.
  • Thief can be used to steal Leftovers from the opponent to limit their longevity, but the low power even after STAB makes this option strictly support that is not as attractive as the other listed options.
  • Toxic is another option to wear down common bulky switchins to Houndoom, such as Snorlax, but is only sometimes the subjectively superior choice.
  • HP Grass and Fighting can also be used to hit common switchins such as Suicune or Tyranitar, but in going this route you are usually better off with using Solarbeam in the case of Grass or just using Entei in the case of Fighting.

Checks and Counters
===================

**Specially Defensive Walls**: Pokemon such as Snorlax and even Blissey can consistently soak up any damage that Houndoom throws at them. At absolute best Houndoom can hope to 3HKO Snorlax in the sun and 4HKO usually, which gives Snorlax plenty of opportunities to set up or simply KO Houndoom.

**Water-Types**: Water Pokemon such as Suicune and Vaporeon do not fear Fire Blast or Crunch, and only mildly fear the rare Solarbeam. This allows them to consistently switch into Houndoom and threaten it with their STAB Water attacks. Even Starmie can potentially revenge kill Houndoom with its superior Speed but has to be wary of switching into a potential Crunch.

**Rock-Types**: Tyranitar can switch into a Fire Blast or Crunch with ease and OHKO Houndoom with a STAB Rock Slide. Golem and Rhydon can also threaten Houndoom by resisting Fire Blast and threaten with their STABS as well, but are less comfortable doing so than Tyranitar due to the threat of Grass coverage or chip damage from Crunch.

**Zapdos and Raikou**: Zapdos and Raikou both can outspeed Houndoom and 2HKO with Thunder with the further chance to paralyze, whereas Houndoom can only hope to 3HKO in return. The Sunnybeam set puts this matchup in jeopardy though, as the Sun lowers Thunder's already-shaky accuracy further and the extra damage from Fire Blast makes it a solid 2HKO.

**Bulky Physical Attackers**: Pokemon such as Machamp and Marowak can all take a hit from Houndoom and respond with a crushing OHKO attack such as Cross Chop or Earthquake without even having to set up. All of these Pokemon need to be relatively healthy however, as Houndoom can muscle through if any of these are below 50%.


[CREDITS]
- Written by: [[Akir]]
- Quality checked by: [[, ], [, ]]
- Grammar checked by: [[, ], [, ]]
 
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Diophantine

慈陰
is a Tutor
[SET 2]
name: SunnyBeam
move 1: Sunny Day
move 2: Fire Blast
move 3: Solarbeam
move 4: Pursuit
item: Leftovers

[SET COMMENTS]
Set Description
=========

  • This set trades some of the utility of the first set for more firepower (harhar) and an improved matchup against Water-Types.
  • Sunny Day cuts Water damage in half, effectively eliminating Houndoom's Water weakness.
  • Sunny day also powers up Houndoom's Fire Blast even further, making it an attack that 2HKOs Pokemon that take even neutral damage from the attack. Fire Blast can even do as much as 40% to Snorlax, making Snorlax a potentially shaky switchin where it is a reliable check otherwise.
  • Sunny Day also allows Houndoom to use Solarbeam, allowing it to have an improved matchup against Rock and Water, most noticeably OHKOing Cloyster more often than not and always after Spikes damage.
  • Pursuit remains on the set due to the versatility it gives Houndoom, allowing Houndoom to Pursuit trap key threats. Pursuit still stands as Houndoom's primary niche, and gives Houndoom the ability to contribute to the team outside of having Sunny Day up and wallbreaking. It is important to keep in mind that sometimes the Pursuit damage is more valuable than setting up Sunny Day.
  • The downfall of this set lies in its strength: without Sunny Day, this set is hobbled. No sun means that Houndoom loses its primary coverage move in Solarbeam effectively entirely and the drop in Fire Blast's power is noticeable. Additionally, due to Houndoom's low defenses and common checks, setting up Sunny Day can be too difficult to do consistently if even worth it at all.
I think it's worth mentioning that Thunder's accuracy becomes 50% when Sun is up, so Sunny Day Houndoom can attempt to cheese more easily past the Electrics in a desperation assault.

Sleep Talk makes Houndoom into a much stronger switch-in against Jynx
I think it's quite important to say that while you're asleep you can't Pursuit trap anything - I know people have ran Miracle Berry to try to get around it. Maybe this is worth mentioning.

Golem can switch into a Fire Blast or Crunch with ease and OHKO Houndoom with a STAB Rock Slide
I disagree with this. Crunch is a 3HKO with Spikes up and Golem generally wants to have as much health as it can retain as it wants to Spin, Roar or threaten Explosion. Also, Golem tends to not run Rock Slide in GSC OU and it's not an OHKO on Houndoom and, while this is kinda nitpicking, Tyranitar OHKOs Houndoom only 7.7% of the time.

**Bulky Physical Attackers**: Pokemon such as Machamp, Marowak, and Nidoking can all take a hit from Houndoom and respond with a crushing OHKO attack such as Cross Chop or Earthquake without even having to set up. All of these Pokemon need to be relatively healthy however, as Houndoom can muscle through if any of these are below 50%.
Would say that Machamp and Marowak want to be as healthy as possible to perform their functions as sweepers, so players may be reluctant to throw them in. I guess they're only checks in the sense that if they're both in at the same time them they both beat Houndoom one-on-one.

[SET 1]
name: Pursuit Trapper
move 1: Fire Blast
move 2: Crunch
move 3: Pursuit
move 4: Roar / Counter
item: Leftovers
I would personally put Toxic or Thief over Counter as the slashed option and have Counter as an OO as I find they are far less situational, and giving Snorlax a chance to Curse up is really bad for offensive teams - which is the only playstyle Houndoom really fits on.
 
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Earthworm

is a member of the Site Staffis a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis the Smogon Tour Season 6 Championis a Past SPL and WCoP Champion
RoA Leader
[OVERVIEW]

  • Strongest Pursuit in the game!
  • Good neutral coverage for almost the entire metagame with Fire/Dark
  • Good Speed and even better SpAtk for general wallbreaking
  • Sunny Day set also makes for a good wallbreaking set
  • Low defense means that even neutral hits can be a 2HKO
  • Walled by very common Pokemon, like Snorlax and Tyranitar
  • Still a good boy!
Overview is looking okay at the moment, will review again once fleshed out.
[SET 1]
name: Pursuit Trapper
move 1: Fire Blast
move 2: Crunch
move 3: Pursuit
move 4: Roar
item: Leftovers
imo slash Counter on move 4.

[SET COMMENTS]
Set Description
=========
[*]Fire Blast is primary STAB, with Crunch providing excellent coverage against threats like Starmie.
I see Crunch as primarily being useful for the 2HKO on Gengar (often Crunch + Pursuit KOes too), which can threaten Houndoom back pretty hard. It is definitely important as a deterrent to Starmie too though.
[*]Pursuit is the primary reason to use Houndoom, as Houndoom has the strongest Pursuit in the game. This allows Houndoom to trap valuable targets such as Exeggutor, Gengar, and Misdreavus extremely effectively.
I would tone down the hyperbole a little here, mainly because of Gengar's crazy arsenal of ways to get around Houndoom.


Counter needs describing here.
Team options are missing from this set.


[SET 2]
name: SunnyBeam
move 1: Sunny Day
move 2: Fire Blast
move 3: Solarbeam
move 4: Pursuit
item: Leftovers
This looks fine.

[SET COMMENTS]
Set Description
=========
[*]This set trades some of the utility of the first set for more firepower (harhar) and an improved matchup against Water-Types.
[*]Sunny Day cuts Water damage in half, effectively eliminating Houndoom's Water weakness.
[*]Sunny day also powers up Houndoom's Fire Blast even further, making it an attack that 2HKOs Pokemon that take even neutral damage from the attack. Fire Blast can even do as much as 40% to Snorlax, making Snorlax a potentially shaky switchin where it is a reliable check otherwise.
[*]Sunny Day also allows Houndoom to use Solarbeam, allowing it to have an improved matchup against Rock and Water, most noticeably OHKOing Cloyster more often than not and always after Spikes damage.
[*]Pursuit remains on the set due to the versatility it gives Houndoom, allowing Houndoom to Pursuit trap key threats. Pursuit still stands as Houndoom's primary niche, and gives Houndoom the ability to contribute to the team outside of having Sunny Day up and wallbreaking. It is important to keep in mind that sometimes the Pursuit damage is more valuable than setting up Sunny Day.
[*]The downfall of this set lies in its strength: without Sunny Day, this set is hobbled. No sun means that Houndoom loses its primary coverage move in Solarbeam effectively entirely and the drop in Fire Blast's power is noticeable. Additionally, due to Houndoom's low defenses and common checks, setting up Sunny Day can be too difficult to do consistently if even worth it at all.
There is a lot of obvious and repeated information in here. The key points should (imo) be:
- This set is more optimistic about sweeping and general wallbreaking when the opportunity arises, but retains the ability to Pursuit trap.
- Houndoom is one of very few Fire-types with access to Solar Beam, making it a much more viable Sunny Day user since it can realistically threaten Water-types to some extent.
- Sunny Day levels the playing field versus the ultra-common Electric types and even allows Houndoom to threaten Snorlax.
- The lack of Crunch means it will be less reliable at taking out Gengar.
- Don't be tempted into using Sunny Day every time Houndoom comes out; it can function perfectly well without setting it up. It is often best to wait for the opportune moment before setting up to wall break.
Team Options
========
[*]As a wallbreaker, Spikes support is always handy for additional damage to further solidify potential 2HKOs and 3HKOs. This is even moreso the case for Houndoom that are using Roar, as the forced switch rakes up even more Spikes damage. Cloyster and Forretress both excel in setting Spikes, and can even keep Spikes off of Houndoom's side.
I would move this further down and put the Pokemon Houndoom supports uniquely well up top.
[*]Houndoom's Pursuit is extremely effective at removing Ghosts. That aspect is heavily appreciated by partners such as Snorlax and Machamp, who can struggle against Ghosts such as Misdreavus otherwise.
Add in Exeggutor and Ground-types like Quagsire and Marowak that can benefit from Eggy's removal. Explicitly mention Mono and Firelax.
[*]The strong Pursuit combined with Houndoom's STAB Fire Blast is effective for eliminating many common checks to Boom Offense as well.
Needs examples. Perhaps mention the reciprocation offered by Pokemon with Explosion being able to heavily damage Snorlax for Houndoom.

[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
=============
This section looks fine.

Checks and Counters
===================

**Rock-Types**: Tyranitar can switch into a Fire Blast or Crunch with ease and OHKO Houndoom with a STAB Rock Slide. Golem can also do the same, but fears Crunch or Solarbeam.
The roll is in Houndoom's favour to live RS. This is misleading. If you are going to mention Golem, Rhydon should also be mentioned.

**Faster Pokemon**: While Houndoom has good speed, faster Pokemon such as Zapdos and Raikou can outspeed Houndoom and revenge kill it with their own STAB moves.
I'd change this to Zapdos and Raikou and then state that their fast Thunder can 2HKO and threatens Houndoom with paralysis whereas Houndoom 3HKOes in return. But Sunny Day puts the matchup in jeopardy for the electric types, and the matchup is not reliable due to Thunder's accuracy in the first place.

**Bulky Physical Attackers**: Pokemon such as Machamp, Marowak, and Nidoking can all take a hit from Houndoom and respond with a crushing OHKO attack such as Cross Chop or Earthquake without even having to set up. All of these Pokemon need to be relatively healthy however, as Houndoom can muscle through if any of these are below 50%.
Nidoking isn't close to a guaranteed OHKO.
 

Earthworm

is a member of the Site Staffis a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis the Smogon Tour Season 6 Championis a Past SPL and WCoP Champion
RoA Leader
Pursuit Trapper
Team Options
[*]The strong Pursuit combined with Houndoom's STAB Fire Blast is effective for eliminating many common checks to Boom Offense as well, such as Gengar and Steelix.
Is this suggesting hitting Steelix with Pursuit as it switches out of Houndoom? Or is it suggesting Steelix will stay in as Houndoom uses Fire Blast? Either way, I think this can be combined with the above point.
[*]As a wallbreaker, Spikes support is always handy for additional damage to further solidify potential 2HKOs and 3HKOs. This is even moreso the case for Houndoom that are using Roar, as the forced switch rakes up even more Spikes damage. Cloyster and Forretress both excel in setting Spikes, and can even keep Spikes off of Houndoom's side.
There's also synergy between Rapid Spin Forretress and Pursuit Houndoom that is worth mentioning here.

It might be worth mentioning the defensive synergy offered by Machamp against Tyranitar as well as that of Ground-types like Quagsire and Nidoking against Tyranitar and as a pivot / threat against Electric-types, which this Houndoom set typically doesn't want to take on.

SunnyBeam
[SET COMMENTS]
Set Description
=========
[*]Sunny Day also allows Houndoom to use Solarbeam, allowing it to have an improved matchup against Rock and Water, most noticeably OHKOing Cloyster more often than not and always after Spikes damage.
Just going to mention that Fire Blast is more likely to OHKO Cloyster under sun despite only having 85 acc. So I would suggest not making that the point of emphasis here. The 3HKO on even bulky waters like Vap/Cune might be more notable, as is 2HKOing Tyranitar after Spikes (although I guess that would mean trading for Rock Slide, which is pretty bad unless you can take advantage of the extra damage on Ttar with something else).

There should also be a comparison to the other SunnyBeaming Fire-type (Entei) here. Basically Houndoom can 3HKO Snorlax under sun while Entei almost always fails to and Houndoom has Pursuit to trap Psychic- and Ghost-types, but Entei is faster and significantly bulkier otherwise.

Team Options
========
  • Even with Sun's increase in power, Houndoom can have a difficult time breaking specially defensive Pokemon such as Blissey. Because of this, partners that can switch into these walls such as Skarmory can help Houndoom by providing an easy switch out of the situation.

  • It is fairly trivial to switch into most GSC OU walls. I would instead mention offensive synergies like Machamp and Explosion users like Cloyster and Exeggutor that might be able to pressure them or take them out for Houndoom.
    [*]Houndoom's Speed is above average but can still be outsped by faster threats like Raikou. As such, Houndoom loves Paralysis support from Starmie and Zapdos and other Raikou.
    I don't think this point is necessary here as I don't think Sunny Day Houndoom really benefits moreso than other Pokemon from paralysis support. But this is just my opinion, others may disagree.
    [*]This set is primarily a wallbreaker and less of a win condition. This means that Houndoom will excel is wearing down opponents for sweepers later in the game. Excellent choices for this include Pokemon that love Snorlax and Raikou worn down such as Vaporeon. Other options that appreciate the wallbreaking power and the Pursuit Trapping include Machamp.
    Machamp is probably the best complementing offensive Pokemon for Houndoom. Vaporeon and Tentacruel can be mentioned as secondary options.


    Golem should be mentioned in the team options sections for both as it offers both Explosion for offensive presence and a Normal resistance for Snorlax, which is one of Houndoom's biggest problems.

    [STRATEGY COMMENTS]
    Other Options
    =============

    • Houndoom has a large variety of other potential support options. Sleep Talk makes Houndoom into a much stronger switch-in against Jynx and Exeggutor by negating the only option those threats feasibly have against Houndoom: sleep. This move also lets Houndoom work as a general sleep absorber, but a full Resttalk set can have mixed results due to Houndoom's less-than-stellar bulk.
    • Mention that it can no longer trap anything while asleep as a drawback. I also wouldn't describe the other options as "support options".
      [*]Thief can be used to steal Leftovers from the opponent to limit their longevity, but the low power even after STAB makes this option strictly support that is not as attractive as the other listed options.
      This is actually a pretty good option for helping to wear down a Snorlax switch-in, but it is overall worse than the other options in my opinion. I think the real issue is that Houndoom tends to lack opportunities to switch in safely, so it can be hard to find a turn to use Thief without taking aggressive risks. Miracle Berry can also be mentioned with Thief since it allows Houndoom to switch into Exeggutor and Jynx without fear of being statused. Might be worth seeking further opinions about whether it is a worthwhile slash (Miracle Berry) on the main set.
      [*]Toxic is another option to wear down common bulky switchins to Houndoom, such as Snorlax, but is only sometimes the subjectively superior choice.
      and Tyranitar. Also has problemsome 4mss since it would ideally have Roar alongside Toxic to rack up damage on Pokemon that want to switch in and Rest it off.
      [*]HP Grass and Fighting can also be used to hit common switchins such as Suicune or Tyranitar, but in going this route you are usually better off with using Solarbeam in the case of Grass or just using Entei in the case of Fighting.
      Suicune is a terrible target for HP Grass. Mention Golem/Rhydon/Quagsire if you are going to keep HP Grass.

      Checks and Counters
      ===================

      **Specially Defensive Walls**: Pokemon such as Snorlax and even Blissey can consistently soak up any damage that Houndoom throws at them. At absolute best Houndoom can hope to 3HKO Snorlax in the sun and 4HKO usually, which gives Snorlax plenty of opportunities to set up or simply KO Houndoom.
      FB in Sun is almost always a 3HKO on Lax. However, since it has to set sun up for the 3HKO and gets absolutely decimated in return, it remains a very solid counter. The increase in RestTalk Snorlax makes matters worse for Houndoom. Mention that Snorlax should watch out for Counter though.

      **Water-Types**: Water Pokemon such as Suicune and Vaporeon do not fear Fire Blast or Crunch, and only mildly fear the rare Solarbeam. This allows them to consistently switch into Houndoom and threaten it with their STAB Water attacks. Even Starmie can potentially revenge kill Houndoom with its superior Speed but has to be wary of switching into a potential Crunch.
      I would mention that RestTalk variants are particularly troublesome because they have a good chance of stalling out the sun / coming out on top even under sun. Tenta might be worth a mention too since it resists Fire, has high SpDef, and isn't weak to Solar Beam
 
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