I have a lot of Pokemon I really like and I have a lot of Pokemon that I have grown to really love over the years, but being the sort who kinda missed the original Pokemon games on hand-held consoles, I never really got into Pokemon properly until I started playing Pokemon Go. Sure, I kept up with the fact that new games were released but I never really… played them so, unlike aabicus and his beloved Rattata, I never really developed a connection to a Pokemon the same way he did.
That being said, there’s something about Houndour and its evolution, Houndoom, that I love.
I don’t know what it is about them, but my love definitely first started when I caught a Houndour in Pokemon Go. That Houndour became my walking buddy and was given the name Flafflebutt. He only got replaced later on when I realised I needed 400 candy to evolve a Magikarp, but I still have Flafflebutt, as well as a bunch of other, similarly named Houndooms. Early on, I caught a wild Houndoom at CP 1500, which for me was high at the time, as I was only level 10, and that Houndoom did carry me for a bit until I obtained Hornier.
I did later obtain better Pokemon (and even a couple of lucky Houndours) but I still really liked Houndour and would actually go out of my way to catch them, as well as feeling bad when I had to transfer them to make more space. For a while, I had 21 Houndooms and countless Houndours, and even now I have 9 Houndooms and a bunch of Houndours waiting to be evolved. After all, both Houndour and Houndoom are pack Pokemon who live in groups and skillfully communicate with specialized barks and growls, I can’t just have ONE of them, can I?
Unfortunately, despite my obsessive hunting, I still don’t have a shiny Houndour, something that everyone else seems to have multiples of. At least I have a shiny, 94% Houndoom that I got as a baby in Pixelmon, traded off someone for a shitty Primarina I had. That Houndoom lives by my side, next to my Noivern and my shiny Xerneas.
Gameplay-wise though, Houndoom doesn’t have that much going for it. It’s a nice Dark/Fire type but it’s nothing special. Houndoom DOES have a cool Mega Evolution that looks pretty badass and, according to SMOGON, means Mega Houndoom can be used as a good Sweeper in the UU (Underused) Tier, but there’s so many fire types and dark types available that Houndoom doesn’t stand out that much.
But why do I like Houndour? Because look at it! It’s a little black and red puppy with a little skull on its head! A demon puppy! It’s fucking adorable! I want to squeeze and hug the little fella! It’s a loyal little dog that also spits fire! And then it evolves into this badass demon dog with fricking horns on its head! I mean, what’s NOT to like about the Houndour family line? Alright, sure, Houndoom’s fire breath causes wounds that never heal, but they’re dogs, you treat them right and they’ll love you forever.
It’s funny, now that I think about it, how this little doggo has beaten so many other Pokemon to the top spot on my favourite Pokemon list. But that’s the great thing about Houndour and Pokemon in general, every Pokemon is someone’s favourite, and for me, that’s an adorable little black and red skull puppy…