VGC '16 Pokemon Spotlight #10 - Ho-Oh

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Welcome back to another VGC '16 Pokémon Spotlight, were we shine a light on a Pokémon and try to do it justice before the light dies out. Today, we'll be talking about Ho-Oh. Ho-Oh is the first Gen 2 Pokémon to make an appearance in the anime when Ash saw it and started what I like to believe keeps him 10 forever. Without further ado, let's look at those base stats.

106 HP                  110 Sp. Attack
130 Attack            154 Sp. Defense
90 Defense             90 Speed

Ho-Oh has some very impressive stats. 106 / 90 / 154 makes it one of the most reliable Recover and Roost users in the game, but that doesn't mean ignoring Ho-Oh when its on the field is a good idea. With a 130 Attack stat, Ho-Oh can hit hard without much investment. A high 110 Sp. Attack is cool, but Ho-Oh won't be taking advantage of it. Finally, that 90 Speed stat means it speed ties with the Primals, but Ho-Oh won't mind if it's taking hits.

TYPING: Fire / Flying
1x: Normal, Flying, Poison, Ghost, Psychic, Ice, Dragon, Dark
4x: Rock
2x: Water, Electric
0x: Ground
1/2x: Fighting, Steel, Fairy, Fire
1/4x: Bug, Grass


  1. Pressure: Ho-Oh's standard ability. This could be pretty nice fore when you need to PP stall someone and being able to double the amount of PP loss from a move when your opponent uses a move can be pretty nice.
  2. Regenerator: Ho-Oh's hidden ability, While it currently isn't available for Ho-Oh, we have seen a trend where legendary Pokémon are getting their hidden abilities available to them. Zapdos, Moltres, Articuno, Regice, Registeel, and Regirock all have theirs now and Ho-Oh might receive his and I hope he gets his.
Now let's see what viable moves, items, and natures are the best for Ho-Oh

  1. Brave Bird
  2. Sacred Fire
  3. Safeguard
  4. Recover
  5. Protect
  6. Roost
  7. Substitute
  8. Will-O-Wisp
  9. Tailwind
  10. Whirlwind
Ho-Oh's moves are pretty simple to understand. Brave Bird and Sacred Fire are your STAB moves and the ones you'll want to have on your Ho-Oh 100% of the time. Safeguard is a very interesting move so you can protect yourself against sleep, freezes, and paralysis. Protect is self-explanatory. Roost and Recover are for healing yourself as Ho-Oh's amazing bulk allows this to be something safe to do. Substitute also is a pretty safe move to use as Jon Hu used it to win a New York Premier Challenge that was stacked with some of the East Coast's best players. Will-O-Wisp is for only if you need to get guaranteed burns, but Sacred Fire does that 50% of the time. Tailwind is your final move speed control option to help the rest of your team out. Whirlwind can be interesting for removing threats like Xerneas after Geomancy or Smeargle.

  1. Maranga Berry
  2. Kee Berry
  3. Leftovers
  4. Life Orb
  5. Sitrus Berry
  6. Lum Berry
  7. Charti Berry
Ho-Oh's items are more for how you want Ho-Oh to play. The Maranga Berry and Kee Berry will raise your Sp. Defense and Defense stats when hit by a special or physical move respectively. Leftovers can help you gain HP over a long period of time to keep Ho-Oh alive longer. Life Orb is for an extra power boost if you feel like you need it. Sitrus Berry is to gain a little bit more HP, but Leftovers is more consistent. Lum Berry can be used to wake up from a Dark Void Smeargle then smack it for a ton of damage. The final item is the Charti Berry, which halves the damage from super-effective Rock moves, which Ho-Oh will never enjoy taking.  

  1. Adamant
  2. Impish
  3. Jolly
  4. Careful
The nature are pretty dependent on what you want to train your Ho-Oh. Careful is the preferred to take special hits better, while Impish is an option to take physical moves like Rock Slide better. Adamant is what I like to take Rock moves better while Jolly can be used if you want the extra speed.

Now, I want to go into some competitive Ho-Oh set's to help give you a better understanding of this majestic bird.

Jon Hu's Ho-Oh
Ho-Oh @ Leftovers
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 92 HP / 212 Atk / 156 Def / 44 SpD / 4 Spe
Careful Nature
- Brave Bird
- Sacred Fire
- Substitute
- Roost

This is the Ho-Oh that Jon Hu used to to win a Brooklyn Premier Challenge, This Ho-Oh is very bulky as Jon described. Jon described his Ho-Oh's EV's as making Xerneas' +2 Dazzling Gleam a 5HKO and a +2 Moonblast is a 3HKO, which is amazing. The 212 Attack EV's ensures that Brave Bird to Xerneas is a 2HKO and Sacred Fire is a 2HKO if you can snag the burn. The defense means Ho-Oh will live a Rock Slide from Groudon. The HP just gives Ho-Oh maximum Leftovers recovery. Brave Bird and Sacred Fire are his bread and butter for attacking moves. Substitute is great for when your opponent is in a corner and you can use Substitute to set up on them pretty well. Roost was bad and was used instead of Recover because in Jon's own words, "I was just lazy and was using Roost. I just didn't want to level up my Ho-Oh." 

Ho-Oh @ Lum Berry  
Ability: Pressure  
Level: 50  
EVs: 92 HP / 84 Atk / 156 Def / 156 SpD / 20 Spe  
Adamant Nature  
- Brave Bird  
- Sacred Fire  
- Recover  
- Tailwind

This the Ho-Oh I used in the January International Challenge. To be perfectly honest, I want to used Ho-Oh and only had a Adamant one available. I just took Jon's Ho-Oh and changed it up so I can have the same numbers that his Ho-Oh had in-game. Only change I made from his is to use a Lum Berry for my Smeargle match-up, Recover because Roost is bad and Tailwind cause I needed the speed control, but the Groudon were carrying Rock moves and that wasn't fun. 

Great partners for Ho-Oh
  1.  - On my January IC team, I used Gengar and Ho-Oh as my anti-Smeargle lead as Gengar can Taunt Smeargle and Ho-Oh can wall Xerneas.
  2. groudon-primal - Ho-Oh can set up Tailwind for Groudon to use a very healthy Eruption. Be wary as a Kyogre in the Rain can threaten this Restricted core.
  3. kyogre-primal - A core that was used most notably by James Baek, Ho-Oh and Kyogre are good as they can handle the Big 6, which is always good.
How to beat Ho-Oh
  1. groudon-primal - If the Groudon carries Rock Slide or Stone Edge, then Ho-Oh will have a very bad time. If Groudon doesn't carry it or have access to Gravity and Precipice Blades, then Ho-Oh will love beating that Groudon. 
  2.  - Since Landorus-T is prone to carry Rock Slide, then Ho-Oh will have a very bad time. Also having Intimidate makes Ho-Oh beating Landorus more annoying.
  3. kyogre-primal - This is a very difficult Pokemon to beat as Ho-Oh won't enjoy taking Scald, Water Spout, and Origin Pulse.
I hoped you enjoy this Pokémon Spotlight. Let me know which Pokemon you want to see next. Check out my older content and i'll see you next time.


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