You know when reviewers give slightly higher scores to a
Pokémon because it’s one of their favourites? Well,
that’s probably what’s going to happen here. Just
warning you . . . I love me some Houndoom!
Luckily for me and whatever credibility I have left as a
reviewer, this Houndoom isn’t completely terrible.
True, 90 HP on a Stage 1 with double Fighting Weakness
isn’t going to win it a lot of friends, even though the
Psychic Resistance is useful and the Retreat cost is
acceptable. What Houndoom does have going for it though
are a couple of cheap but decent attacks and the ability
to take advantage of Special Dark energy to boost its
Fire Counterattack is Houndoom’s first option, and it’s
a bit of an unusual one. For [D] it does 20 damage, but
if your opponent has a Fighting Pokémon in play, that is
increased to 80! That’s huge for one Energy and might
have been good last format when practically every deck
played Claydol. Now though, it’s a different story.
Sure, you can do big cheap damage against the likes of
Machamp and Donphan, but thanks to Weakness, they will
just OHKO you right back. Maybe it could be good against
a deck which teched Relicanth SV, or an SP deck with
Toxicroak G Promo out, but that’s far too situational to
be worthwhile most of the time.
So, generally, you will want to use Dark Roar, which is
still relatively inexpensive with [D][D] getting you 50
damage(not bad, especially with Special Dark) and
discarding a card from your opponent’s hand.
Unfortunately, your opponent gets to choose the card, so
they will do what hurts them least. This limits
Houndoom’s effectiveness somewhat.
But I’m not giving up on it as easily as that. Maybe it
could find a place in a Hand Disruption deck using cards
like Weavile UD, Judge, Let Loose Giratina, and Team
Rocket’s Trickery to reduce the opponent’s hand and
their options. Maybe such a deck might even be viable in
a format with no easy draw coming from Claydol . . .
. . . eh, I’m probably deluding myself, which is a sign
that it’s time to stop this review!
Modified: 3 (ok, ok, knock off .5 for bias)
Limited: 3.5 (cheap attacks will be very good here and
Special Dark is in the set)
Combos with . . .
Giratina PL (Let Loose)