Shadow Ho-Oh as a Fire and Flying-type Raid Attacker

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Shadow Ho-Oh will appear as an in-person raid boss this weekend, January 27-28, marking the first time it’s in Shadow Raids. In this article, we will examine its performance as both a fire-type and a flying-type raid attacker.

I know everyone wants the Shadow Kyogre analysis instead, but that will take more time as I’m doing a combined analysis with Shadow Groudon and Rayquaza. That will be up in a few days, but I want to get Shadow Ho-Oh out ASAP for the raid weekend.

Meanwhile, this analysis from January 2023 covers all future shadow legendaries, specifically for the purpose of “stacking” them (TL;DR from back then: Groudon > Rayquaza >> Kyogre in utility).

Main Points (for Shadow Ho-Oh)

As both a fire and a flying-type attacker, Shadow Ho-Oh does a decent job by shadow standards, but falls short of several other shadow legendaries, shadow non-legendaries, and even non-shadow legendaries with exclusive moves.

Fire: (Non-Apex) Shadow Ho-Oh sits in a tier that’s largely above regular non-legendaries, but almost always below most other shadows and Fusion Flare Reshiram.

  • If you ETM for Sacred Fire:
    • Roughly in the same tier as Magma Storm Heatran and Shadow Charizard (depending on IVs).
    • Above the top 3 regular non-legendaries (Volcarona, Darmanitan, Chandelure).
    • Almost always worse than Fusion Flare Reshiram and Shadow Chandelure/Moltres/Entei/Blaziken.
  • If you don’t ETM and go with non-legacy Fire Blast:
    • Now it falls into the same tier as the 3 regular non-legendaries.
      • (and also Shadow Arcanine/Magmortar, for context)

Flying: Despite lacking a flying-type fast move, Shadow Ho-Oh does a bit better in rankings on this front, though not by much.

  • Comparable to regular Sky Attack Moltres and Shadow Honchkrow (depending on IVs).
  • Almost always worse than (recently improved) Shadow Staraptor, Oblivion Wing Yveltal, SA Shadow Moltres, and Dragon Ascent Shadow Rayquaza.

PS. Shadow Infernape is on the chart… If you can find it. If you want a shadow Gen 4 starter to save for a future CD move event, do Shadow Empoleon instead (charts in the next article).

My analyses of other types are in this spreadsheet. You can also follow me on Twitter (X) and Threads!

Charts: Fire

Fire attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE and ASTTW.

Charts: Flying

Flying attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance, using ASE and ASTTW.
Speculative Flying attackers with Gust Shadow Ho-Oh, in ASE and ASTTW.

Fast moves as a Flying attacker

Even though Ho-Oh lacks a flying-type fast move, it almost always has a fast move that deals super-effective damage, between Incinerate (against grass and bug) and Extrasensory (against fighting). However, the most common use cases for flying attackers are when the raid boss has a double weakness, in which Ho-Oh’s fast move damage falls short.

Of course, for the lucky bastards that got Hidden Power Flying (1/16 chance per encounter), that’s the best option, but it only makes a small difference (2.8% better than the Incinerate/Extrasensory combo, averaged across all bosses).

  • The Hidden Power type is fixed per specimen and can’t be changed with TMs of any kind. However, you can “preview” the Hidden Power type via the Elite Fast TM menu without consuming any TMs.

In theory, Ho-Oh is eligible to learn Gust(In the main series games, it’s even a level-up move.) If that ever happens in Go, it would allow Shadow Ho-Oh to tie Shadow Moltres. We have no idea IF or when it will happen, though I speculate it sounds plausible as part of a potential GBL move pool update.

Quick note on Apex Shadow Ho-Oh

If you don’t know what Apex is or don’t have one, this section is not for you, and you can do nothing about it. This is just FYI for people who do have it.

Apex Shadow Ho-Oh is a completely different form of Ho-Oh from those in raids this weekend. It had only been available once: that was 2 years ago, and only if you bought an event ticket. At this point, it may never return.

Apex Shadow Ho-Oh has an exclusive move Sacred Fire+, which massively improves upon any other Ho-Oh’s Sacred Fire. This makes it much better as a fire attacker, tying the other shadow legendaries: Shadow Moltres and Shadow Entei. It’s marked as (1) on the fire-type chart.

As flying attackers, Apex Shadow Ho-Oh and standard Shadow Ho-Oh perform identically, as they have no move or stats differences other than SF+.

Imgur Links and Additional Charts

General attacker charts: ASE and ASTTW*

* indicates additional charts that are not in the main post.

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