Ho-Oh: How to beat and catch the Legendary fire bird in Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go has made Ho-Oh, the leader of the Legendary Beasts, available in Raids from November 27 to December 14, 2017. All you have to do is beat the fire birds, catch 'em, and bring 'em home!

How to beat all the Legendary Raid Bosses in Pokémon Go.

What is Ho-Oh in Pokémon Go?

Ho-Oh is a Legendary Pokémon. As guardian of the skies, it's the opposite of Lugia, guardian of the seas, and the leader of the Legendary Beasts — Pokémon Go calls them "Legendary Dogs" — of Generation 2. A combination Fire- and Flying-type Pokémon Lugia is similar to Moltres but has a mythos and import all its own.

Here's the official description from Pokémon:

Ho-Oh's feathers glow in seven colors depending on the angle at which they are struck by light. These feathers are said to bring happiness to the bearers. This Pokémon is said to live at the foot of a rainbow.

And Bulbepedia):

Ho-Oh is an avian Pokémon resembling a phoenix and a peacock. Its feathers are predominantly gold and red, with yellow tail-feathers, a white underside, and green feathers at the tip of its wings. Ho-Oh has a green stripe on its neck, a yellow beak, black rings around its red eyes, and a feathered, yellow crest on its head. Ho-Oh's wings are prismatic, causing it to trail a rainbow behind it. It has darkly colored feet and legs with four toes and long talons.Ho-Oh has a mythical power to resurrect the dead. Ho-Oh was the only known Pokémon to learn Sacred Fire, its former signature move. It is said that when it flies its huge wings create bright, colorful rainbows. The rare few who bear witness to Ho-Oh are promised an eternal happiness. Ho-Oh used to perch at the top of the Bell Tower until the Brass Tower was destroyed by fire. It now presumably flies through the world's skies in search of a Trainer with a pure heart.

How do you beat the Legendary Ho-Oh Raid Boss in Pokémon Go?

Since Ho-Oh is a Flying- and Fire-type Pokémon, it's weaknesses will be familiar to anyone who has battled Charizard or Moltres in Legendary Raids, but it's strengths are all new — thanks to its different movesets, including Solar Beam.

So, Golem and Tyranitar with Stone Edge will still serve you well. Unless Ho-Oh has Solar Beam. Then Raikou and Zapdos should be your go-tos. If you need to round your squad out, hit up Dragonite and Vaporeon (non-Solar Beam) or

Swipe to scroll horizontally
PokémonFast MoveCharge Move
TyranitarBiteStone Edge
RaikouThunder ShockWild Charge
ZapdosCharge BeamThunder Bolt
DragoniteAnythingAnything }
VaporeonWater GunHydro Pump

How do you catch the Legendary Ho-Oh Raid Boss in Pokémon Go?

Legendary Raid Bosses are really hard to catch and Ho-Oh, like Lugia, should be one of the hardest. But here's the thing... Ho-Oh doesn't backflip like Lugia did. It's also really close, so it's easy to hit. And it's catch ring is HUGE, so it's easy to get bonuses. Still:

  1. ABC. Always be curving. Once you can nail Curve Ball every time, you'll get a 1.7x bonus every time.
  2. Max out your medals. If you have both the Flying and Fire medals, it's an automatic 1.1x to 1.3x bonus to your catch.
  3. Play patient. Raid bosses defend better than normal Pokémon, so wait until 3/4 of the way through their attack animation and then make your catch. You should hit just as the ring appears.
  4. Consistency counts. Aim for the smallest throw bonus you can nail every time. If that's Nice, it's nice. If that's Great or Excellent, even nicer. But better the bonus you get then one you miss, and every extra 1.3 to 2x counts.
  5. Nanab over nothing. If you have a hard time even hitting the Ho-Oh, use a Nanab. Some chance is better than no chance.
  6. Go Golden: If you have Golden Razz Berries, and the Raid Boss you're trying to catch is either your first or the higher stats (IV) you've encountered, lay them on. Their 2.5x modifiers are the best in the game.
  7. Keep hitting. Your chance to catch with any one Premier Ball is low but your chance to catch with multiple Premier Ball hits over multiple Raids becomes close to a statistical sure thing. So never give up!

What's the catch rate for Ho-Oh?

Ho-Oh, like Lugia, has a base catch rate of 2%. From there, you have the following modifiers:

  • Curve Premiere Ball: x1.7
  • Curve Premiere Ball with Razz Berry: x2.55
  • Curve Premiere Ball with Golden Razz Berry: x4.25
  • Nice throw: 1x to 1.3x
  • Great throw: 1.3 to 1.7x
  • Excellent throw: 1.7 to 2x.
  • Bronze Bird Keeper + Kindler medals: 1.1x
  • Silver Bird Keeper + Kindler medals: 1.2x
  • Gold Bird Keeper + Kindler medals: 1.3x

Add up all those bonuses, apply them over the course of 6-14 ball throws, and most people should be able to catch Ho-Oh somewhere between half the time (if you use regular Razz Berry and do everything else optimally) and 75% of the time (if you use Golden Razz Berry and do everything else optimally). (Of course, odds being odds, some people might catch many in a row, others might see several run away.)

What if you really want to catch Ho-Oh?

To maximize your chances to catch Ho-Oh, get as many Premiere Balls as you can (Team Bonus, Damage Bonus, Gym Control), and use Golden Razz Berry every time you throw. If you can hit Great/Excellent throws, can get the Curve Ball bonus every time, you'll have the best chance possible to catch Ho-Oh.

If you're running low on Golden Razz, try using regular Razz for the first half of your throws, then switch to Golden Razz for the second half. It'll still hurt your chances but not by as much.

What if you really want Ho-Oh candy?

If you've already got your ideal Ho-Oh and all you want now is candy, use Pinap Berry. Your chance to catch will be much lower but if you do catch, you'll get double the candy.

If you have some Rare Candy or you also want to catch some more Ho-Oh, you can try the first half of your throws with Pinap and then switch to Golden Razz for the last half.

What's the Combat Power (CP) for a perfect (IV) Ho-Oh?

2222 is the magic number. Catch those.

What are the best movesets for Ho-Oh?

Um... yeah. Ho-Oh's movesets in Pokémon Go are a hot mess. Pokémon Go will only make moves available that the Pokémon had in the original games, but didn't (yet?) port over all the moves, so there's no same-type-attack-bonus (STAB) Quick Move for Ho-Oh. There's also no Overheat, which is the best Fire-type Charge Move (and the one Flareon, Charizard, and Moltres get.) So, you're left with a hodge-podge of Steel and Psychic-type Quick Moves and Fire, Grass, and Flying-type Charge Moves.

Personally, I like Solar Beam because it shreds.

Your tips on catching Ho-Oh?

There are a bunch of other tips floating out there, including setting your target size before throwing, alternating Nanab Berry, waiting to press "OK", and more. It all comes down to math, though. You have a 2% base chance of catching Ho-Oh and every bonus and ball increases that chance. You throw, Pokémon Go generates a random number, and if that number is less than your modified catch rate, you get Ho-Oh.

If you've found anything else that works better for you, though, let me know!

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.