The Legendary Pokémon Ho-Oh is returning to Raid Battles in Pokémon GO! The powerful Fire- and Flying-type Pokémon will be appearing in Gyms alongside Latias and Latios, which will continue challenging players in their respective regions. Ho-Oh will only be appearing until June 7, so make sure to add this incredible Pokémon to your Pokédex before it hotfoots it away again.
The Rainbow Pokémon can only be caught with the Premier Balls you earn from defeating it, so you'll need your Pokémon to perform well in battle to maximize your chances. You can participate in Raid Battles even though you're not high level or you don't yet have the strongest Pokémon, 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.
Ho-Oh remains a tricky opponent due to its high stats and varied moves. 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-, Electric-, and Water-type attacks. Its Solar Beam attack will quickly eliminate most Rock- and Water-type Pokémon, so we suggest bringing a balanced team unless 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. A Golem that knows both Rock Throw and a Rock-type Charged Attack remains the top option against Ho-Oh, and an Omastar with the same moves follows close behind. Lunatone and Solrock provide some much-needed depth among Rock-type attackers since Ho-Oh's last appearance. Tyranitar's damage output is a step behind the others, but it's still a great choice because it's tougher to crack on defense. Kabutops, Sudowoodo, and Armaldo 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 answer to Ho-Oh. None of Ho-Oh's attacks are super effective against Electric types—and two of its attacks will even deal reduced damage against them! Raikou is still the most effective member of this group, with Zapdos close behind. Raichu, Jolteon, Ampharos, and new challenger Manectric are the best choices if you're light on Legendary Pokémon.
Gyarados is a great Water-type attacker against Ho-Oh because it's a Water- and Flying-type Pokémon, negating the usual Water-type weakness to Solar Beam. Kyogre has taken over as the most damaging Water-type attacker, with Starmie, Vaporeon, Swampert, and Sharpedo trailing close behind. You'll need to be quick at dodging attacks with all of these Pokémon if Ho-Oh knows Solar Beam.
Some Pokémon of other types are worth considering for this encounter. A Rayquaza that knows Ancient Power is one of the best choices for this encounter, and a Salamence that knows Water-type attacks will perform almost as well. Dragonite, Mewtwo, and a Lugia that knows Hydro Pump round out the top options once you've exhausted Pokémon that more readily exploit Ho-Oh's weaknesses.
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 a Nice, Great, or Excellent Throw, and throwing a Curveball 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. 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.