The Rainbow Pokémon. In the world of Pokémon Go, this Pokémon is not to be underestimated. Unlike Charizard, it has the bulk to back up it’s respectable Attack Stat, but faces competition in the form of Entei, Moltres, Flareon, and even Lugia (for at least it’s flying type moveset.) Even more importantly, how does it fare in the current meta? Let’s take a look.

Pokémon Attack Defense Stamina Max CP
Ho-OhHo-Oh 239 274 193 3889

Despite having a double weakness to Rock (a very prevalent meta type), Ho-Oh has the bulk behind it to fly with its own two wings. Unfortunately, it’s moveset is more of a hindrance.

Ho-Oh move sets

Fast Move Charge Move DPS
Extrasensory
Psychic
Solar Beam
Grass
 17.50 / 47.86
Steel Wing
Steel
Solar Beam
Grass
 13.64 / 47.86
Extrasensory
Psychic
Brave Bird
Flying
 17.50 / 65.00
Steel Wing
Steel
Brave Bird
Flying
 13.64 / 65.00
Extrasensory
Psychic
Fire Blast
Fire
 17.50 / 44.08
Steel Wing
Steel
Fire Blast
Fire
 13.64 / 44.08

If you notice, Ho-Oh does not have a fast move that benefits from STAB, unlike Lugia, who at least is part Psychic and can give Extrasensory a boost. The lack of Fairy-type raid bosses (which Fire resists, and Steel Wing is preferred due to type effectiveness) and their double weakness to Rock means that Steel Wing does not have as much showtime as Extrasensory, the latter of which sees some usage in solo-ing a Machamp.

Slippery Slope into the Current Meta

Ho-oh’s reign in Pokémon Go did not last long. It was only available from November 26th to December 14th in 2017, giving it a little over two weeks in the game. Lugia saw a total time of around three and a half weeks, before its eventual re-release from March 16th to April 2nd in 2018. As of right now, aside from the original trio of birds, Ho-oh saw the shortest release time, meaning that there are not that many flying around.

In raid battles primarily saw use in Groudon raids, sporting an Extrasensory/Solar Beam moveset, taking resisted damage from nearly all of Groudon’s moves. It saw little use in Kyogre raids as being able to take a Blizzard slightly less worse than other choice Pokémon. There were far better options in the likes of Vaporeon, Suicune, Venusaur, and Exxegutor to take on Groudon, and Raikou/Jolteon (as DPS) and even bulky Pokémon like Snorlax and Blissey saw use as anchors against all Kyogre variants. Ho-oh is beaten in terms of accessibility by all of the aforementioned Pokémon.

Uphill Battle into a Gen. 4 Meta

What brings Ho-oh down against other Pokémon is the lack of it STAB fast moves. If that was not enough, the future (though not confirmed) introduction of several Gen. 4 Pokémon will see less use of Ho-oh. (All numbers below were calculated using the current CP and stats formula, in a nicely written article by fellow Go Hub writer BinetCauchy, and a database of all Gen. 4 Pokemon stats can be found below.)

Pokémon Attack Defense Stamina MAX CP
InfernapeInfernape 222 151 152 2464
MagmortarMagmortar 247 186 150 2980
HeatranHeatran 251 213 182 3521
StaraptorStaraptor 234 170 145 2675
TogekissTogekiss 225 227 170 3171
YanmegaYanmega 231 172 172 2873

Compared with that stats above, Ho-oh will see competition it does not very much want. Heatran, if given the legendary showtime in Gen. 4, will be picked up by many trainers. For those who have been hoarding up Togepi/Togetic, Magby/Magmar and Yanma candy, your time is coming. The Staraptor line will be everywhere (the first route bird of Generation Four), and everyone will be on the hunt for Infernape, based on its status as a starter (and potential raid boss, though that might be in the form of its Stage One evolution, Monferno.)

Will Ho-oh get the same re-release as its respective partner? The likely answer is yes, but the re-release date might not be for some time (if Zapdos, Articuno, and Moltres follow Lugia into the frey). Increased accessibility might be the only major help for this legendary bird in the future, but only time will tell.

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