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Interactive Custom Raid Guide 

How to use this infographic:

Based on level 30, the best overall counters are the first row with their best move types below. Specific counters in certain situations, such as against certain move type or in certain weather, are listed on the second row. For more specific info with different levels or your own Pokemon, use our customizable Ho-Oh raid guide at



Ho-Oh is back for a limited time and we decided it was time for an infographic update as several recent legendaries make an appearance as very strong counters.

Overall, Ho-Oh isn’t exactly one of the strongest legendaries. In fact, although we’ve caught a fair amount, we’ve never bothered leveling one up to use in raids or gyms. Ho-Oh is a favorite of auto-suggest in the game, similar to Aggron, as he’s tanky. But like Aggron (as this video shows), Ho-Oh is not a strong attacker so it won’t come up very often as a counter in Pokebattler. In fact, I’ve considered deleting most of my Ho-Oh as they so often come up in auto-suggest even though they aren’t powered up, and generally aren’t a good choice. Yet still I find myself going out to raids to catch more of him. Because I’m ridiculous. That’s why. And Ho-Oh is pretty and can be shiny now woot!

But if you are going to bother leveling up a Ho-Oh, you want the Steel Wing/Fire Blast move-set. He’s a fire and flying type making him a top 3 choice for Regice.  Ho-Oh will be about 40% tankier than Charizard in this fight while doing about 10% less damage while being considerably more consistent. A decent trade-off in most situations. Ho-Oh will also be the only Pokemon capable of getting a full 3 damage balls against Regice without rejoining. Who am I kidding? If you have stardust to spare, sure, use the Ho-Oh candy you get from catching Ho-Oh to power up Ho-Oh to level 30 or so. But once you are out and need rare candy, power up all your Entei and Moltres first. Then consider powering up Ho-Oh. And then don’t.


As before, Ho-Oh is quite a tricky boss. Each of the special moves is going to destroy some of the top counters. This makes it hard to make infographics for and even harder to choose the right counters. We highly recommend creating an account and putting your top Ho-Oh counters into your Pokebox. Then, the Ho-oh raid guide will give you the best counters by move-set.  With all that said, here are the general guidelines:

  • On attack, you are looking for rock moves as they are double super effective (1.96x damage) followed by electric and water moves (1.4x damage).
  • Solar Beam: The hardest of the charge moves. This move counters all the rock and water types that would normally be the best counters. Flying dragons and electrics work well here regardless of quick move.
  • Fire Blast: A strong hard hitting move, resisted by fire, dragon, water and rock types. The opposite of Solar Beam! You are looking for rock and water types here primarily.
  • Brave Bird: Another strong move, resisted by electric rock and steel types. You are still looking for rock and water types.

He’s fairly easy to trio with an army of weather boosted double rock Golem, however, read to the end to find out about a possible duo if Ho-Oh runs late or a new move is introduced early. For those curious, army is defined as a group of 45 Golem level 35+ which can beat Ho-Oh with plenty of time to spare even with 2 rejoins.

So let’s get to the Counters.

General Counters


The strongest water Pokemon in the game comes in as the second strongest counter with its super effectiveness against fire, Ho-Oh’s other type. Kyogre is by far the best counter if you don’t know what’s coming. And even if it’s Solar Beam, a high-level Kyogre will be able to survive. How do you know it’s Solar Beam? Usually, you can tell because no rock types will be suggested. Even then it’s still #2 at level 40 behind <spoiler removed>. Kyogre is a great choice for using rare candies on as it is unlikely to be surpassed as a water attacker any time soon.  Every power up helps as you want to get enough health and defense to survive solar beam and enough quick attacks to get off a hydro pump.


The strongest electric in the game kicks Ho-Oh’s butt because of electric’s super effectiveness against flying and the amazing double bar Wild Charge. Raikou can also survive all 3 of the special moves coming from Ho-Oh. The double bar attacks increase the consistency of Raikou and definitely feels like more DPS than the slower Kyogre. This is actually true until level 31 but as Kyogre gets tankier, Kyogre gets more and more strong.


Double rock Golem is super effective against both fire and flying making him a formidable opponent against Ho-Oh. Even better if rock moves are boosted with weather. Golem is the strongest double rock Pokemon currently available, for a short time (if the rumors about the upcoming community day are true), which happens to coincide with Ho-oh being around. This makes Golem the best non-legendary choice in most situations. Golem also has the pleasure of being highly selected by auto select, unless it’s Solar Beam, which is almost correct! Rename your highest Golem with Stone Edge as Solar Beam Detector today!  Note: Golem drops to #20 vs. Solar Beam. It’s really that bad. Don’t use Golem against Solar Beam. Note that Alohan Golem is coming soon which will be less vulnerable to Solar Beam. If Alohan Golem gets double rock moves, it will move up over regular Golem.


You can finally bust out those ancient power Rayquaza, if you haven’t TMed them away that is. If you are drowning in TMs, this is a good chance to burn through some. Rayquaza is extremely strong against Solar Beam. In fact, he’s the best counter against Solar Beam. And Ancient Power hits like a truck so it should be no surprise that a very high attack Pokemon with a double super effective charge move and a double resist to the hardest special move to survive is great.


Flying Raikou makes a good stand against Ho-Oh as the second best electric in the game. It also does well against Solar Beam due to its Flying type. Unfortunately, no Thunder Shock here makes Zapdos subpar.

Specific Counters

Versus Brave Bird and Fire Blast


Tyranitar is really strong against Ho-oh’s flying and fire special moves. He’s also a good general counter the higher level he gets. But his weakness is definitely Solar Beam.  If only there was a double rock Tyranitar…

Versus Solar Beam


Double dragon Dragonite makes a stand against a Ho-Oh with Solar Beam as grass is weak against flying and dragon.


A use for Mew! Hurrah. Although he’s decent against Solar Beam in any weather with an electric or water quick move and rock special move, check out our interactive guide to see how other moves of his are useful in different weather. As trying to TM him would be insane, finding a use for him with whatever moves you happen to end up with seems like a better strategy. Or just don’t use him at all. You can also do that too.

Rainy Weather


Double water Gyarados gets a nice boost in the spring rain to help you take down Ho-oh.

Partly Cloudy

 Sol Rock/ Lunatone

These double rock mon’s finally have a use against Ho-oh in partly cloudy weather. Not much of a use but better than nothing!



Dragonite’s cousin, Salamence, makes a good showing against Ho-oh in the spring wind. As I have yet to get even ONE Salamence candy, this does me zero good. But for those of you who have ones and live in a windy place, time to bust him out!

Special Counters

Legacy Move Pokemon from 1 month in 2016


That double rock legacy Omastar is still a rockstar, especially vs. Fire Blast. Too bad almost no one has one. If you have one, rock it! I’m so funny. Wow. Seriously though, we almost took Omastar off the chart but it’s so strong we had to leave it on. Don’t use Omastar vs. Solar Beam. That will not work out well for you.

New Move Pokemon Coming 1 Week Too Late


Smack Down is coming to Tyranitar as a fast move next community day! This is huge news as this will make Tyranitar far and away the strongest double rock Pokemon in the game. As in a level 25 Tyranitar is safely better than a maxed out level 40 Golem and a level 30 Tyranitar easily smokes this entire list.  A pair of trainers with level 35 Smack Down/Stone Edge Tyranitar can duo a Ho-Oh.

Closing Thoughts

Ho-oh is not going to be here very long. Thankfully, in my opinion. It’s a difficult boss that requires more raiders to beat than most of the good bosses.  The raid formula tends to make good legendary Pokemon with high attack, low defense easier to beat than bad legendary Pokemon that have low attack and high defense. If Niantic decides to take a full 3 months for the final 3 legendaries, there is going to be a large drop off in raids. Regice, Registeel and Regirock are simply not good in Pokemon Go. And not any good in regular Pokemon either. Alohan Pokemon should spice things up for a short period but I expect something major to be announced at Go Fest this year to keep up the excitement.  The release of double rock Tyranitar this community day shows that they are capable of making exciting Pokemon. Hopefully, they keep up the good work!