The newest Raid Boss in Pokémon GO is none other than Ho-Oh, one of the most powerful Legendary Pokémon. The Rainbow Pokémon is likely to put up a serious challenge, but don’t worry—we’re here to help. Ho-Oh can be caught only with the Premier Balls earned from defeating it, so you’ll need your own Pokémon to perform well in battle to maximize your chances.
You can take on Ho-Oh even if you’re not high level or your Pokémon aren’t quite world-beaters, but you’ll have an easier time if you prepare. Check out our guide to training Pokémon in Pokémon GO to get your team up to speed, and then read on for some tips.
Despite Ho-Oh’s being a Fire- and Flying-type Pokémon like Moltres, you should expect a much trickier battle from the Rainbow Pokémon. Ho-Oh boasts higher stats than Moltres, and it can use moves from a variety of different types. Its Fast Attacks may be either Steel or Psychic type, while its Charged Attacks can be Flying type, Fire type, or even Grass type. Ho-Oh is weak against Rock-type, Electric-type, and Water-type attacks. Ho-Oh’s Solar Beam attack is potentially a big problem for most Rock-type and Water-type Pokémon, so we suggest bringing a balanced team until you know what attacks the Ho-Oh you’re battling knows.
Ho-Oh is doubly weak against Rock-type attacks, so Rock-type Pokémon will get your offense rolling quickest. Hopefully you trained a Golem that knows both Rock Throw and a Rock-type Charged Attack to battle the previous string of Legendary Flying-type Pokémon, and if you’re lucky enough to have an Omastar with the same moves, bring it along. Without a Rock-type Fast Attack available, Tyranitar won’t match these two on offense, but it’s still a great choice because it’s tougher to crack on defense. Sudowoodo can output high damage for a short time, while Rhydon and Magcargo are more defensive selections in this encounter.
Electric-type Pokémon are the most consistent answers to Ho-Oh. None of Ho-Oh’s attacks are super effective against Electric types, and two aren’t very effective (Steel Wing and Brave Bird). Raikou wasn’t available in Pokémon GO back when Moltres ruled the skies, but we suggest powering it up for this battle for a great mix of offense and defense. Zapdos is another great choice to put a charge in your attack, while Jolteon, Raichu, and Ampharos are the best choices if you haven’t kept up with raids.
Gyarados stands out as one of the more interesting Water-type Pokémon for this matchup because it’s both a Water- and Flying-type Pokémon, avoiding the usual Water-type weakness to Solar Beam. Vaporeon will perform the best among solely Water-type Pokémon, while Suicune and Feraligatr stand out as the next-best options. Politoed and Starmie are the best of the rest, but be careful if Ho-Oh knows Solar Beam—and make sure your Water-type Pokémon actually know Water-type attacks.
Some Pokémon from other types are worth considering for this encounter. Dragonite can’t hit Ho-Oh for supereffective damage, but its high stats and resistance to several of Ho-Oh’s attacks makes it one of the best Pokémon for this encounter. Lugia won’t resist any of Ho-Oh’s attacks, either, but it’ll weather attacks impressively and do reasonable damage if it knows Hydro Pump. And if you’re lucky enough to have a Mewtwo, it can dish out some incredible damage even without a type advantage.
Throw More Heat at Ho-Oh
You won’t get many Premier Balls to catch Ho-Oh once you’ve defeated it, so make each one count. Use a Golden Razz Berry before each throw, and be sure to stock up on them beforehand by defeating other Raid Bosses.
The odds of capturing Ho-Oh are greatest while the target ring is at a small-enough diameter to score Nice, Great, or Excellent Throws, and throwing Curveballs can improve your chances further. But work within your abilities—if you don’t think you can hit Excellent Curveballs reliably, aim for Nice or Great Throws rather than risk missing the target ring completely.
You may waste your Premier Balls if your target is moving around when you throw them. Wait for Ho-Oh to start acting up and for the target ring to disappear while it’s a size you’re comfortable throwing into, then time your throw so that the Premier Ball lands as the target ring reappears.
Legendary Pokémon are tough to catch, so don’t be discouraged if Ho-Oh gets away the first time you defeat it. Stock up on useful items like Max Potions and Max Revives—Ho-Oh will probably burn through your healing items quickly—and try again later. Good luck with your Legendary Pokémon adventures, and remember to check back at Pokemon.com/Strategy for more Pokémon GO, video game, and Pokémon TCG tips.