Ho-oh is an extremely powerful legendary Pokémon that first appeared in Pokémon Gold and Silver. It was featured on the boxart for Gold and represented that version, similar to the way Charizard represented Pokémon Red. Ho-oh's name is the Japanese word for a Mythical Firebird Goddess, (romanized in Japan as Houou) and is often erroneously associated with a phoenix. More specifically, it probably comes from the Chinese phoenix, Fenghuang, characterized by its multicolored feathers.
According to the Pokédex, Its wings have seven colors, changing depending on how light is hitting its feathers, and that having one of Ho-oh's feathers brings happiness. A rainbow will appear behind it as it flies through the air. It reveals itself to pure-hearted trainers by glowing and shining its wings. Ho-oh can see into the future (but not travel into it like Celebi can).
Ho-oh also created the Legendary Beasts Raikou, Entei and Suicune. Long ago, Ho-oh and Lugia roosted on the Tin Tower and Brass tower, respectively, in Johto. One day the Brass Tower burned down in a tragic fire, causing Ho-oh and Lugia to flee. Three Pokémon were trapped in the tower and died when it burned down. While Lugia never returned to either tower, Ho-oh went back to the ruins and resurrected the three Pokémon, creating the Legendary Beasts, who were given the duty of guarding the ruins. Of the three beasts, Ho-oh is closest to Suicune, as revealed in Pokémon Crystal.
Ho-oh's stats are some of the highest in the game, along with Lugia, Rayquaza, and Mewtwo. After catching it in the wild, it is always holding the item Sacred Ash, a one-time use item that revives all Pokémon with full HP.
If you're playing Pokémon Gold, it's a little different. You'll need the Rainbow Wing to catch it. To get the Rainbow Wing, talk to the Radio Tower Director after getting rid of Team Rocket. Then go to the top of the Tin Tower in Ecruteak City. This Ho-oh you should probably catch with Ultra Balls, since it's only Level 40 (and Lugia later on is Level 70 instead).
If you're playing Silver, you'll need to beat the Elite Four and then talk to the old man in Pewter City in Kanto in order to get the Rainbow Wing. Your best bet is to use your Master Ball, since it's Level 70.
This Lugia is considered somewhat better than Gold's Ho-oh, since you can catch it at an earlier level, making its stats at Level 100 higher.
Catching Ho-oh in Crystal is a bit more difficult. First, catch all 3 Legendary Beasts, and beat all 16 Gym Leaders. Then return to the Tin Tower and talk to the old man, who will give you a Rainbow Wing. Go up the stairs and through the maze to encounter a level 60 Ho-oh.
Ho-oh was a promotional Pokémon for the third generation games. Only if you attended an official Nintendo event and downloaded a Mystic Ticket into your cartridge could you go to Navel Rock, an island where you can catch it.
You can get Ho-oh (and then import it into your third generation games) by purifying all of the Shadow Pokémon, and then clearing Mt. Battle's Battle Mode using the Story Mode team.
In these games, it's different. First, you still get the Rainbow wing from the Director of the Radio Tower after getting rid of Team Rocket. Then, instead of going right there, you have to beat the eighth gym. When you're done, you have to beat the five girls you help throughout the game, each with a different evolved form of Eevee. Then you go to Bell tower and go to the top where Ho-oh comes after the girls dance. It is level 45.
|Stat||Max at Level 100|
- Battle: When this Pokémon is hit by a move, the user's PP lowers by 2 instead of 1.
- Field: The chance of encountering a high-level Pokémon while this Pokémon is in the lead slot is reduced to 50%.
Ho-oh's attack stats are too high to use it strategically—you'd be wasting your Ho-oh if it wasn't set up to be a sweeper. A good moveset would include both a physical attack and special attack to take advantage of both of Ho-oh's attack stats—good ones are Earthquake or Shadow Ball. Ho-oh would also make a good Sunnybeamer, setting up with Sunny Day and then getting boosted damage for Sacred Fire and no charge time for Solarbeam.
Speaking of Sacred Fire, it's a must on Ho-oh. With 50% chance of causing burn and the ability to use it while frozen, not the mention the inavailability on every other Pokémon in existence besides Ho-oh -- and STAB from Ho-oh's Fire-type—how could you possibly overwrite it?
Recover would be a good fourth move for Ho-oh, simply because it can learn it, and any Pokémon that can learn Recover should probably keep it.
In double battles Ho-oh is probably best paired with Groudon, whose Drought ability instantly throws up a Sunny Day, leaving you with an extra move slot to play with.