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[Final] Houndoom

Discussion in 'Gen 5 NU Analyses' started by Spoovo The Pirate, May 8, 2013.

  1. Spoovo The Pirate

    Spoovo The Pirate Meep! Article Contributor Article Contributor

    Sep 29, 2012
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    {{Tier|BW2 NU}}

    {{Overview|Unique Fire/Dark typing makes Houndoom a full stop to defensive Ghost-types like Misdreavus, resisting Shadow Ball and absorbing Will-o-Wisp thanks to Flash Fire. Its falling to NU has shunned Skuntank from its role as the premier Psychic and Ghost trapper in NU because it can't be burned. Higher Speed and the ability to mix effortlessly also works in its favour.

    If wallbreaking isn't enough, the hellhound also has access to a deadly Nasty Plot set, making Houndoom both deadly and versatile in NU, as it can tear walls apart with its trapper set, or sweep late game with its Nasty Plot set. Deadly almost to the point of broken. Fast, powerful, stall resistant and versatile, you'd think Houndoom has no flaws in NU. You're almost right. Fire typing means a Stealth Rock weakness, not to mention vulnerability to both kinds of Spikes, which isn't good in a tier without any good spinners. It's also extremely frail on the physical side, where even powerful priority can KO the hellhound after Stealth Rock damage (Gurdurr's Mach Punch and Samurott's Aqua Jet are two good examples).

    However, downsides noted, Houndoom is a vicious and lethal threat in NU; if you fail to prepare for it, you might as well just resign yourself to the fires of hell from whence it came.}}

    Houndoom @ Life Orb
    Trait: Flash Fire
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SAtk / 252 Spd
    Hasty nature (+Spd, -Def)
    - Pursuit
    - Sucker Punch
    - Fire Blast
    - Crunch / Hidden Power Grass}}

    {{Comments|This set is named Purgatory because being trapped by this guy is essentially the same thing; an eternity of burning and pain.

    The set excels at literally tearing defensive teams apart by preying on their obligatory bulky Ghost- and Psychic-types. Houndoom's immunity to burns and ability to switch in on their respective STABs with sheer ease makes it a serious threat to any team packing the likes of Misdreavus, Musharna or similar. A Hasty nature is chosen to preserve Houndoom's respectable Special Defense, while the Attack and Speed are maxed to get the most mileage out of the stats. The remaining 4 EVs are placed into Special Attack to give Fire Blast a little more punch, as Houndoom would really rather not rely on Fire Fang as its Fire STAB.

    Pursuit and Sucker Punch combine together wonderfully, being the two vital components of the infamous 'checkmate' combination, where Pursuit will maul a switching opponent, and Sucker Punch will maul an attacking opponent. It works best on choice locked pokemon, particularly if they're locked into a Psychic-type move. Fire Blast is Houndoom's best Fire STAB, and hits hard even with no investment. Flamethrower can be used instead if you're accuracy or PP conscious, but it doesn't hit nearly as hard. With all the Bug-, Ice-, Steel- and Grass-types in NU, Fire Blast sees a lot of usage. Crunch in the last slot is a third Dark STAB for when Houndoom can't afford to play mindgames. It hits for the same power as Sucker Punch (or a doubled Pursuit), but is guaranteed to hit unlike Sucker Punch. If you find yourself never using Crunch, or have confidence in your predicting abilities, feel free to swap it out for Hidden Power Grass, as it packs plenty of power and hits a lot of Houndoom's common switch ins for good damage. Physically defensive Alomomola is 2HKOed by Hidden Power Grass after Stealth Rock damage, dealing a solid 49-58%, and things like Quagsire and Seismitoad will be lucky to survive.

    The Life Orb is chosen for the hold item because it complements Houndoom's wall breaking ability perfectly. Houndoom isn't built to last long, so capitalising on it is a fine idea. Another hold item option would be the Blackglasses, not only because Houndoom looks even more badass wearing them, but because it potentially powers up 75% of its moveset, making for a free boost with no drawbacks.}}

    {{Set|Evil Deeds|
    Houndoom @ Life Orb / Lum Berry
    Trait: Flash Fire
    EVs: 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd
    Timid nature (+Spd, -Atk)
    - Nasty Plot
    - Flamethrower / Fire Blast
    - Dark Pulse
    - Hidden Power Fighting / Grass}}

    {{Comments|The previous set was a wallbreaker, and now this one's a late game sweeper. Nasty Plot doubles Houndoom's already impressive Special Attack to a wonderful 638, while 317 Speed is easily fast enough to threaten most of the NU tier.

    Flamethrower's listed over Fire Blast this time, as late game sweepers prefer reliability over power, and opponents will usually be softened up enough to sweep with Flamethrower anyway. Dark Pulse is Houndoom's secondary STAB. It doesn't hit as hard as Flamethrower, but still packs respectable power, and keeps the tier's Ghost- and Psychic-types at bay. In the last slot, Houndoom's average movepool generally requires a Hidden Power for coverage. Hidden Power Fighting does exactly this, hitting for perfect neutral coverage alongside the two STABs, while Hidden Power Grass is listed again for dealing with trouble pokemon, namely Quagsire, Seismitoad and Alomomola. All of which would be decimated by a +2 Hidden Power Grass (unless Alomomola opts for a specially defensive set, which will still have some trouble surviving).

    Other options for that last slot are Hidden Power Ice to deal with the troublesome Altaria, and Substitute to ease prediction and help Houndoom against priority users such as Samurott. The Life Orb is listed as the main hold item once again because of Houndoom's frailty, but the Lum Berry can be used also, as that will let Houndoom set up on a status inducing pokemon, or switch into Toxic Spikes once without fear.}}

    Houndoom @ Heat Rock / Life Orb
    Trait: Flash Fire
    EVs: 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd
    Timid nature (Spd, -Atk)
    - Sunny Day
    - Fire Blast / Flamethrower
    - SolarBeam
    - Dark Pulse / Hidden Power Ground}}

    {{Comments|Houndoom also makes a brilliant sun supporter, having everything it needs to succeed, i.e. Sunny Day, Fire STAB and SolarBeam. The EVs are specially based again, as Houndoom has little need for physical attacks on this set.

    Fire Blast is listed over Flamethrower this time because of the jaw dropping power it has in the sun. When Specially Defensive Lickilicky - the tier's most prominent special wall - is OHKOed by a Life Orb boosted Fire Blast in the sun, you know you've got some raw power in your hands. If you're using the Heat Rock, consider Overheat for the hit and run strategy it employs.

    SolarBeam is powerful coverage in the sun, hitting all of the Water types that would initially switch into Houndoom for serious damage. Samurott in particular is a great target, as it would no longer be able to revenge kill Houndoom with Aqua Jet, and it'll have to eat a SolarBeam as punishment. In the last slot, Dark Pulse is again listed for its great STAB power, but Hidden Power Ground has good coverage alongside the two other moves, hitting opposing Fire-types that would otherwise wall this set for fairly heavy damage. The Heat Rock makes the sun last longer, but the Life Orb improves Houndoom's power. It just depends on whether you want a supporter or a one pokemon atomic bomb.}}

    {{Options|Choice sets are usable, considering Houndoom has a decent (but unremarkable) movepool, and the perfect stat spread to abuse them. Physically based ones likely won't work out, though.

    Foul Play, Punishment, Super Fang and Beat Up are niche moves that Houndoom can use with decent success. Sludge Bomb, Hyper Voice and Shadow Ball are the other special moves worth mentioning in its movepool, none of which have any worthwhile coverage.

    The Focus Sash and Counter can surprise a Fighting-type if you can remove all forms of entry hazards, and it can even work well with Reversal in ideal situations. Flame Charge can be used to boost Houndoom's speed and dent incoming attackers. Thunder Fang exists, but has little to no use. Lastly, Taunt has its uses in stallbreaking, however Houndoom's frailty holds it back, and its other two abilities - Early Bird and Unnerve - at least deserve a mention. However, there's basically no reason to use them, as sleep absorbing Early Bird sets might as well just employ a cleric, and the are very few berry reliant pokemon in the NU.}}

    {{Checks|With Houndoom's power and versatility, you can probably guess that these are few and far between.

    Emboar would be the first answer to Houndoom, as it resists literally everything that Houndoom can do apart from a rare Hidden Power type or the never seen Shadow Ball, Sludge Bomb and Hyper Voice. Emboar can then pummel Houndoom with Superpower or even Wild Charge, due to Houndoom's frailty.

    Thick Fat Hariyama would be the next best option, as it resists both Fire and Dark moves, and has a powerful Fighting STAB to demolish Houndoom with. Gurdurr can't take a +2 Fire Blast, but if Houndoom's taken Stealth Rock damage, consider it dead after a Mach Punch.

    The wallbreaker set can't get past Lickilicky, but the other two can. The same applies to Audino, pretty much. If Houndoom lacks Hidden Power Grass, Regirock and Alomomola beat the first set without trouble, but will struggle against the other sets.

    Samurott has Aqua Jet to put heavy dents in Houndoom, but it won't do well against the Sunny Day set. Choice Scarf pokemon can revenge kill Houndoom pretty easily as long as they're not weak to Sucker Punch, with Sawk and Primeape being good examples. Pokemon that are simply faster also do a good job, again if they're not weak to Sucker Punch.

    Primeape gets another mention for forcing a speed tie against Houndoom, where it has a 50% chance of winning. That chance alone might scare Houndoom away or force it to use Sucker Punch in a bid to avoid losing the Speed tie. Drapion and other base 95s can also boast the same thing, although it, Haunter and Sawsbuck all fear at least one of Houndoom's STABs.}}

    Last edited: May 24, 2015