Ho-Oh is coming back to Legendary raids in Pokémon Go. Fortunately, we here at iMore have everything you need to know to win this fight and add Ho-Oh to your roster. And be sure to check out our Best Pokémon Go accessories, so you can be fully equipped for your Pokémon Journey!
Who is Ho-Oh in Pokémon Go?
The mascot of Pokémon Gold and Lugia's polar opposite, Ho-Oh is a Fire and Flying type Legendary Pokémon and the master of the Legendary Beasts, Entei, Raikou, and Suicune. Ho-Oh was also one of the very first Legendary Pokémon to appear in the show, showing up in the very first episode after Ash faced off against a flock of Spearow to protect Pikachu.
In Pokémon Go, Ho-Oh is a powerful Flying type with an even more powerful Shadow variant. Although Ho-Oh has been available a number of times, the extra Candy and XL Candy mean it's worth adding a few more to your collection if possible to power up Shadow Ho-Oh.
What are the best counters for Ho-Oh in Pokémon Go?
As a Fire and Flying type, Ho-Oh is weak to Electric and Water type damage, but it has a double weakness to Rock type moves. It has a very wide range of move types including Fire, Flying, Grass, Psychic, Steel, and Fighting. However, a lot has changed since the last time the Rainbow Pokémon featured in Raids. With the introduction of Mega Evolution and the rebalance of Shadow Pokémon, there are a number of solid strategies for taking out this Legendary Pokémon.
The top counter for Ho-Oh both in a vacuum and in context of building teams is Mega Aerodactyl. This Rock and Flying type takes reduced damage from Fire and Flying type moves, but is weak to Steel type damage. Even if you cannot coordinate with the rest of your raid party, Mega Aerodactyl is well worth the Mega Energy investment for this fight, but if you can coordinate, it will provide a Rock type Mega Boost. Rock Throw and Rock Slide are the moves you'll want your Mega Aerodactyl to know for this raid.
The Sinnoh Stone evolution of the Gen I's Rhyhorn, Rhyperior is a Ground and Rock type that brings resistences to Flying and Fire, and weaknesses to Fighting, Steel, and Grass. Unfortunately, it's weakness to Grass is a quad weakness, so a Solar Beam Ho-Oh will require dodging. On the plus side, Rhyperior was featured in a Community Day and Rhyhorn has been around since day one, so most trainers have a few fully powered up. Smack Down and Rock Wrecker is the moveset you'll want your Rhyperior to know; however, if you don't have a Rhyperior from Community Day or the Elite TMs to spare, Stone Edge can also work for the Charged move.
A Rock type Fossil Pokémon from Gen IV, Rampardos is an excellent counter for Ho-Oh. Its first stage, Cranidos has been featured in events and eggs, and it only requires 50 Candies to evolve, so many players have an abundance of Candy for powering it up. As a Rock type, it resists Fire and Flying type moves, but takes increased damage from Fighting, Grass, and Steel attacks. The moveset you're looking for is Smack Down and Rock Slide.
One of the Legendary Swords of Justice, Terrakion is a great counter for Ho-Oh. It's a Rock and Fighting type, so weak to most of Ho-Oh's possible moves (Fighting, Psychic, Steel, and Grass) and only resistant to it's Fire type attack. However, it's had fairly widespread availability now. If you're bringing Terrakion to face Ho-Oh, you'll want it to know Smack Down and Rock Slide.
The Rock and Dark type Tyranitar from Gen II has had widespread availability, having been the star of a Community Day, featured in Raids, and even as a Shadow Pokémon. Most players have a few fully powered up Tyranitar, if not an entire team. It's resistant to Flying, Fire, and Psychic, but weak against Steel, Grass, and Fighting. Its weakness to Fighting is a quad weakness too. Still, if you're bringing Tyranitar to this Raid, you'll want it to know Smack Down and Stone Edge.
If you're planning on an Electric based offensive or just happen to have the extra Mega Energy, Mega Ampharos is great for going up against Ho-Oh. As an Electric and Dragon type, it has no weaknesses Ho-Oh can exploit and it resists Flying, Fire, Grass, and Steel type damage. If you can coordinate with your Raid party, it will also boost other Electric types on the field. Volt Switch and Power Gem are the best moves for your Mega Ampharos to know in this fight.
A pure Rock type from Gen V, Gigalith is a great counter for Ho-Oh. Its first stage, Roggenrola has been featured in events and it benefits from Trade Evolution, leaving plenty of Candy leftover for powering up. It's resistant to Fire and Flying, but weak to Fighting, Steel, and Grass, so dodging is important, especially when Ho-Oh knows Solar Beam. Smack Down and Rock Slide is the moveset you'll want for this Raid.
The Gen VII regional variant of Golem makes a great counter for Ho-Oh. The Alolan Golem outperforms the Kantonian original, resisting Flying types better, taking only double damage from Grass, and not being weak to Steel. However, it's not quite as abundant as the Kantonian version. Regardless which Golem you bring, you'll want it to know Rock Throw and Stone Edge to deal maximum damage.
The Gen I fossil Pokémon, Aerodactyl makes a great counter for Ho-Oh even when it's not Mega Evolved. As a Rock and Flying type, it's resistant to Flying and Fire, and the only notable weakness it brings is Steel. It's also been around since the start and has been featured in events, eggs, and raids, so most players have at least one or two fully powered up. Aerodactyl is also one of the only counters that isn't weak to Solar Beam, although you might still want to dodge to make it last longer. Rock Throw and Rock Slide is the moveset you'll want your Aerodactyl to know.
Landorus (Incarnate forme)
Another Legendary Pokémon, Incarnate forme Landorus performs very well in this raid. It has been available more often than its Therian forme and it has better moves as well. As a Ground and Flying type, It's one of the only counters that isn't weak to any of Ho-Oh's attacks, and it resists Fighting type attacks as well. If you're bringing Landorus to this Raid, you'll want it to know Rock Throw and Rock Slide.
Another option for countering Ho-Oh is Gen I's Golem. Although the Alolan variant performs better, the original is still a top counter. As a Rock and Ground type, it takes super effective damage from Steel, Fighting, and Grass moves, while it resists Fire and Flying type damage, so moveset is very important. Fortunately, Golem is very easy to add to your roster, so most active players have it already. Rock Throw and Stone Edge are the moves you'll want your Golem to know for this fight.
Another fossil from Gen I, Omastar doesn't perform quite as well as Aerodactyl, but as a Rock and Water type, it takes half damage from Flying type moves and only a quarter damage from Fire type moves. It's weak to Fighting and Solar Beam absolutely shreds Omastar to bits, so moveset and dodging are especially important. However, Omastar are abundant, with its first stage, Omanyte having been featured in many, many events, and being a Shadow Pokémon. If you're bringing Omastar to this fight, you'll want Rock Throw and Rock Slide for its moves.
Although most players will be able to make a team of the best counters, if you're finding a gap in your team, there are plenty of back ups who work well in larger groups. Just make sure you're dodging and any of the following could be a decent back up:
- Aggron with Smack Down and Stone Edge
- Zekrom with Charge Beam and Wild Charge
- Mega Blastoise with Water Gun and Hydro Cannon
- Mega Gyarados with Waterfall and Hydro Pump
- Regirock with Rock Throw and Stone Edge
- Archeops with Wing Attack and Ancient Power
- Lunatone with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Solrock with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Melmetal with Thunder Shock and Rock Slide
- Kyogre with Waterfall and Surf
- Rayquaza with Dragon Tail and Ancient Power
- Mega Manectric with Thunder Fang and Wild Charge
- Carracosta with Rock Throw and Ancient Power
- Zapdos with Thunder Shock and Ancient Power
- Crustle with Smack Down and Rock Slide
- Thundurus (Therian forme) with Volt Switch and Thunderbolt
- Clawitzer with Smack Down and Crabhammer
- Regigigas with Hidden Power and Return
- Raikou with Thunder Shock and Wild Charge
- Sudowoodo with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Hippowdon with Thunder Fang and Weather Ball
- Ho-Oh with Hidden Power and Brave Bird
- Moltres with Wing Attack and Ancient Power
The rebalance of Shadow Pokémon rescued from Team GO Rocket make them excellent glass cannons. Not only are their stats boosted, but during special events or with Elite TMs, it's possible to change their moves. If you happen to have any of the following Pokémon with the right moveset, they will work very well in this Raid:
- Shadow Tyranitar with Smack Down and Stone Edge
- Shadow Aerodactyl with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Shadow Omastar with Rock Throw and Rock Slide
- Shadow Aggron with Smack Down and Stone Edge
- Shadow Zapdos with Thunder Shock and Ancient Power
- Shadow Ho-Oh with Hidden Power and Brave Bird
- Shadow Raikou with Thunder Shock and Wild Charge
- Shadow Moltres with Wing Attack and Ancient Power
- Shadow Magnezone with Spark and Wild Charge
- Shadow Swampert with Water Gun and Hydro Cannon
Note: Shadow Tyranitar outperforms everything but Mega Aerodactyl. While a Rock based offensive is recommended for this raid, if you are able to coordinate the use of Mega Blastoise, Mega Gyarados, Mega Ampharos, or Mega Manectric, they will boost Water or Electric types respectively, making them perform better.
How many players does it take to beat Ho-Oh in Pokémon Go?
Ho-Oh Raids are highly dependent on Ho-Oh's moveset. Most of the good counters are weak to Solar Beam, and even when not weak to it, this move hits very hard. If you're going up against a Solar Beam Ho-Oh, you will probably need a larger group. Still, with the best counters, high level Trainers can duo this Raid. If you are lacking the best counters or are a lower level, you'll want at least four players.
The following Weather conditions can impact this Raid:
- Sunny/Clear Weather will boost Ho-Oh's Fire and Grass type moves.
- Windy Weather will boost its Flying and Psychic type moves.
- Cloudy Weather will boost its Fighting type attack.
- Snow will boost its Steel type attack.
- Partly Cloudy Weather will boost your Rock type counters.
- Rain will boost you Water and Electric type counters.
Questions about taking on Ho-Oh in Pokémon Go?
Do you have any questions about taking on Ho-Oh in Pokémon Go? Got any tips for your fellow Trainers? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check out our Complete Pokédex, as well as our many Pokémon Go guides so you can be the very best, like no one ever was!
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Casian Holly has been writing about gaming at iMore since 2019, but their real passion is Pokémon. From the games to the anime, cards and toys, they eat, sleep, and breathe all things Pokémon. You can check out their many Pokémon Go and Pokémon Sword and Shield guides and coverage here on iMore.