Pokemon Go announced its rollout of Legendary Pokemon with a slick looking commercial that showed a massive raid with multiple Legendary Birds. Two of the Legendary Birds (Articuno and Lugia) in the commercial were added to the game last weekend, while two more (Zapdos and Moltres) will be added in the coming weeks.
That leaves one more Legendary Pokemon unaccounted for: Ho-Oh, the Fire/Flying Legendary bird first seen in Pokemon Gold. Ho-Oh has a long history in the Pokemon franchise, as it first appeared in the very first episode of the Pokemon anime, years before its formal introduction in the game.
Ho-Oh is the Pokemon equivalent of the phoenix and is associated with the concept of resurrection and new life. Ho-Oh resurrected the Legendary beasts Entei, Raikou, and Suicune and transformed them into the immortal creatures they are today. It also inspired Ash's "new life" as a Pokemon trainer and even brought back the young trainer after a fatal encounter in the latest Pokemon movie.
Even the mythology surrounding Ho-Oh in the game is based on real life fact. The "Burned Tower" where Ho-Oh makes his home is based on the Temple of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, Japan, which is adorned with a golden phoenix and was destroyed in an arson in 1950.
Because it's a Mascot Legendary Pokemon and plays an important role in Pokemon lore, Ho-Oh has always been a popular Pokemon in the game. However, it should become one of the two most powerful Pokemon in Pokemon Go, with only Mewtwo potentially eclipsing it in power.
Unlike Mewtwo, which has the best Attack stat in the game, but shoddy defensive stats, Ho-Oh doesn't have any real weaknesses. Ho-Oh has the third highest Attack stat in the game, the fifth highest Defense stat, and the eleventh highest Stamina stat. Ho-Oh's well-rounded stats lead many to think it will ultimately be the "top" Legendary Pokemon in Pokemon Go, especially in Raid Battles where it can survive multiple Charge attacks.
Couple this with the fact that Ho-Oh should have access to the strongest attack in Pokemon Go, Brave Bird, and you can see why many fans are already excited about this Pokemon.
Even Ho-Oh's typing protects it somewhat from normal weaknesses. Ho-Oh loses its weaknesses to Ground-Type and Ice-Type attacks thanks to its Fire/Flying dual-typing, but does pick up a critical weakness to Rock attacks.
So when will Ho-Oh be released? Pokemon Go is obviously mum about the subject, but we (and many other Pokemon Go fans) already have a pretty good guess. Pokemon Go will have a presence at the Yokohama Pikachu Outbreak Festival and will be hosting a "Pokemon Go Stadium" event on August 14th....which coincidentally is the same date that Zapdos leaves Pokemon Go for good.
Ho-Oh was a major part of the latest Pokemon movie's marketing campaign and has appeared on ads and movie merchandise in Japan all summer. Since Pokemon Go has shown its willing to work with the Pokemon Company on promotional campaigns (hence the Ash Hat Pikachu in Pokemon Go earlier this month,) we wouldn't be surprised to see Ho-Oh appear as the "final" Legendary Pokemon of the summer.
Obviously, this is all speculation on our part, but we probably won't have to wait very long to find out. The Pikachu Outbreak Festival starts in just two weeks, and we expect Pokemon Go to make an announcement sometime in the very near future about their upcoming plans.
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