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Houndour

StatBaseMin-MinMaxMax+
HP45N/A2124N/A
Atk6010121516
Def30891213
SpA8012141718
SpD509111415
Spd6511131617


SET 1
Name: Nasty Plotter
move 1: Dark Pulse
move 2: Flamethrower/Fire Blast/Overheat
move 3: Hidden Power [Fighting]
move 4: Nasty Plot
item: Life Orb
ability: Flash Fire
nature: Timid
evs: 240 Spd/156 HP/40 SpA/40 SpD
ivs: 31 HP/31 Atk/30 Def/30 SpA/30 SpD/30 Spd

SET COMMENTS

Standard NP set. The idea here is to switch the pooch in on a Psychic or Ghost attack. From that point, you either kill with Dark Pulse, or, in the event their pokemon switches out, Nasty Plot. With the special attack boost under your belt, you've got a lot of killing power. Even without it, the type coverage alloted by Dark Pulse/Flamethrower is pretty mighty. HP Fighting is for the annoying Normal types that laugh at your other special attacks, namely Munchlax. However, it's also a great weapon for the occasional Aron or Shieldon, which would otherwise scoff your Dark Pulses and take neutral from Flamethrower.

The first question that should come to mind when viewing this spread is why the special attack IVs aren't maxed. If you look over the damage calcs below, all of them were run without max special attack. I have run the same calculations with max EVs, and none of the values changed drastically enough to warrant an increase. Of course, this is no reason to disregard running max Spd and SpA. There are over 160 pokemon legal for Little Cup, and there's no way I could know if all of them are at least 2HKOs without max EVs. This spread is merely an alternative designed to KO the most prominent pokemon on the Threat List.

DAMAGE CALCULATIONS

vs. Misdreavus: 121.74% - 143.48% (Dark Pulse, CM Misdreavus set)

vs. Duskull: 133.33% - 157.14% (Dark Pulse, 252 SpD Duskull)

vs. Dratini: 85.71% - 100.00% (Dark Pulse, DD Dratini set)

vs. Munchlax: 50.00% - 56.67% (HP Fighting, 252 SpD Munchlax)

vs. Gligar: 69.23% - 80.77% (Flamethrower, 252 HP Gligar)

vs. Murkrow: 108.00% - 128.00% (Fire Blast, 252 HP Murkrow)

SET 2
Name: Choice
move 1: Dark Pulse
move 2: Flamethrower/Fire Blast/Overheat
move 3: Hidden Power [Fighting]
move 4: Pursuit
item: Choice Specs/Choice Scarf
ability: Flash Fire
nature: Timid
evs: 240 Spd/200 SpA/40 SpD
ivs: 31 HP/31 Atk/30 Def/30 SpA/30 SpD/30 Spd

SET COMMENTS

There's quite a lot of power in the Specs set, but it lacks the speed necessary to make it a full-on threat. Similarly, the Scarf set will reach 21 speed, enough to outspeed any non-Scarfer, but it loses that killing edge. However, the type coverage this spread provides is insane. Without Nasty Plot, you now have a moveslot open for Pursuit, which, even with no attack and a negative nature, will OHKO any Ghost on the switch.

DAMAGE CALCS

vs. Murkrow: 122.73% - 145.45% (Specs Flamethrower)

vs. Gligar: 100.00% - 119.23% (Specs Fire Blast)

vs. Munchlax: 60.00% - 70.00% (Specs HP Fighting, Max SpD Munchlax)

vs. Misdreavus: 122.73% - 140.91% (Pursuit, Switching Misdreavus)

SET
Name: CounterRevver
move 1: Crunch
move 2: Flamethrower/Fire Blast
move 3: Reversal
move 4: Counter
item: Focus Sash
ability: Flash Fire
nature: Hasty
evs: 236 Spd/196 Atk/76 HP

SET COMMENTS

More of a gimmick set than anything else really, but bound to get a KO if you play it right. Bring the pooch in to revenge kill something like a Ghost. If they switch, great. If they don't, you got a KO. Anyway, hopefully they bring in a physically-oriented pokemon, like a Diglett. Wait for them to attack, and counter. You'll faint the pokemon, and have a 150 BP Reversal at your disposal.

However, in my honest opinion, Houndour does not have the physical movepool required to pull off a sweep. Without Flare Blitz, Flamethrower/Fire Blast need to ruin the sanctity of having a purely physical set, but when the alternative is Fire Fang, that's as good as it gets.

OTHER OPTIONS

Back in OU, I saw a Power Herb/Solarbeam set used effectively, which is no different from Little Cup. The NP set would be very good at utilizing this, if base 120 Grass moves are up your alley. Roar is a great phazing moves, but with the lack of stat uppers in LC besides Munchlax, you might not find it too advantageous. WoW is a good move, and it might be worth your while to find a space for it.

Using an Endure/Sub Salac set could potentially work very well, boosting Houndour's speed high enough to outspeed non-Scarfers. However, doing this would mean Munchlax would walk all over you without HP Fighting, and including it would require the loss of a STAB. By themselves, Substitute is probably the best choice if you're fast enough to outspeed whatever you're facing at the time, and setting one up after another when something faster switches in.

EVs

If you don't feel confident in Houndour's pretty average defenses, feel free to run max Spd and SpA on the NP set. This leaves you with 78 EVs to be devoted to HP, giving you an extra point.

OPINION

Houndour has great typing to go along with a great ability. Without the Earthquake and Close Combat whores of OU to worry about, Dark/Fire can really shine in a metagame filled with Ghosts, and Flash Fire lets you just say no to Misdreavus and Duskull. However, that's about all the little Hell pooch has going for it. 65 base speed is respectable, but no where near good enough to make Houndour a full-fledged threat, and without the boost from Nasty Plot or Specs, it loses the ability to reliably KO. All in all, Houndour is great at what it does (counter the Ghosts), but when it comes to anything else, it's just... average.

COUNTERS

Because of the type coverage afforded by Dark and Fire, there aren't too many pokemon that can reliably switch into the NP set. Without knowing what set you're up against, Diglett won't want to risk switching into a Houndour, only to find its Earthquake countered right back. Shieldon and Aron can't take the HP Fighting, though if up against a Choice set, Dark Pulse is an excellent move to switch in on. Omanyte and Kabuto can cause massive pains for the Hell pooch in Rain, and Kabuto has Aqua Jet.

Houndour is basically "countered" by anything faster than it is, but anything that switches in is going to lose a lot of health.