From the depths of the Pokemon underworld comes perhaps the coolest generation two Pokemon out there, and I’m not just saying that because I had a shiny one in Emerald version. It’s the beast that sends Pokemon scurrying back to their nests and Scron slapping his face when he realizes he left Tyranitar in his PC box. It’s the most powerful sun-sweeper out there, it’s Houndoom. This tyrannical Doberman has received a blessing in the form of Houndoomite, and it certainly doesn’t put its newfound gifts to waste. By mega-evolving, Houndoom exchanges its ability (Usually Flash Fire), for Solar Power. Solar Power gives a 1.5x multiplier to Houndoom’s Special Attack stat in sunlight at the cost of 1/8 of its HP per turn. Combined with Mega-Houndoom’s amazing Special Attack at 140 and Sunny Day’s boost to fire-type moves, a Fire Blast can 2HKO most things that resist it, and OHKO basically everything else. Also, its speed gets considerably high after it has mega-evolved, but be wary the turn of mega-evolution. The basic Mega Houndoom set will involve the primary STAB (Same Type Attack Bonus) move of Fire Blast. This move deals tons of damage at 85% accuracy and has a 30% burn chance for kicks and giggles. Flamethrower can be used if you are completely against non-perfect accuracy moves (Fire Blast is worth it though). Dark Pulse is the next strongest move you shall need to include on Mega Houndoom. 80 Base Power and a 20% flinch chance on a STAB move certainly isn’t bad, and will really help your team’s coverage. Aqua Jet Azumarills cannot OHKO a Mega Houndoom in the sunlight, so Sludge Bomb is a good choice for one of the remaining move slots, as the opponent is unlikely to see it coming. Houndoom also has access to a great boosting move in Nasty Plot, as its Sp. Attack will be doubled and its gaze made more petrifying. If you use Mega Houndoom on a sun team, you will have to choose between Nasty Plot and Solar Beam. This is a terribly hard decision, so good luck. Although rare, Houndoom doesn’t need to be in its mega form to dish out the pain. A Mixed Attacker set can really surprise an opponent with Houndoom’s access to Sucker Punch and Pursuit. Most opponents will never see a Sucker Punch from the normally special Houndoom coming. Pursuit allows Houndoom to deal damage to those who would normally flee at the prospect of a Mega Houndoom. Fire Blast is still the best option for fire type moves, but the fourth slot is ultimately up to the user. Depending on the style of battle, Houndoom has a rather extensive movepool that can be put to use including but not limited to Destiny Bond, Super Fang, and Will-O-Wisp. Hidden Power Grass is also a reasonable option if looking for coverage. For the item, a Life Orb is the best choice because of the added/necessary power. The ability on any Houndoom should almost always be Flash Fire so it can act as a fire sponge. Unnerve can be used as well, but it has less strategic implications. Mega Doom 252 Sp. Atk/ 252 Speed/ 4 Sp. Defense Timid Nature Tricky Doom 252 Attack/ 40 Sp. Attack/ 216 Speed Hasty or Naïve Nature Team mates to fill up a Grass/Water core with Houndoom can be very helpful. I personally recommend Chlorophyll Venusaur Sweeper and Unaware Quagsire Wall. Pokemon to set up Drought are necessary on sun teams. Options are basically limited to Ninetales if you want the free Sunny Day, but other Pokemon can manually set it up if you want to be tricky. Charizard Y also has Drought, but would conflict with Houndoom’s mega-evolution. A psychic type to hold over your opponent’s head certainly can’t hurt either. Houndoom’s main flaw is its variety of weaknesses, but careful planning can mitigate its liabilities. It’s certain to say that once this pup gets serious, it isn’t even close to being a Spot or a Marmaduke. Houndoom is a Pokemon based off of various myths of the legendary Hellhounds, and it certainly lives up to its reputation for being unpredictable and raging with the power of hellfire. Don’t underestimate the power of this pooch, or you could end up getting burnt. Remember this Puclonians, and your Houndoom will be the very best.