Johto Starters and Evolutions: The Cyndaquil Line

By Jo

It’s timid, unsure of itself, and a bit strange looking when you first glance at it. Cyndaquil, the Fire Mouse Pokemon, is the Johto region’s fire-type starter. According to its pokedex entries, Cyndaquil like to curl themselves into balls or stay hunched over. When feeling threatened or angry, their backs burst into flame for protection and to intimidate their foes.

Cyndaquil are shy and timid, often hiding and being unaware of their power. As of the fifth generation, Cyndaquil is the only fire-type starter that doesn’t gain another type upon evolution. It is also the only starter whose color scheme is not primarily orange and red (its shiny form, though, is a coppery color). Cyndaquil as well as Chimchar are the only two Pokemon who evolve at level 14, the lowest level a starter Pokemon can evolve at. Cyndaquil is based off from the echidna, which has hedgehog-like quills and a thin mouth like an anteater. Cyndaquil’s name comes from the words ‘cinder’, which means ashes, and ‘quill’.

As stated above, once Cyndaquil reaches level 14 it evolves into Quilava. Quilava remains in its stage of evolution for 22 levels, tying with Monferno for the longest time it takes a starter Pokemon to reach its final evolution. Ironically, they are both fire-type starters of even generations. It is said that when Quilava turns its back during a battle, it’s preparing to attack with the flame on its back. That flame is also used to intimidate foes. Quilava’s pokédex entries state that its coat is supposed to be inflammable, though it isn’t immune to fire attacks (although all Quilava found in the Dream World have the ability Flash Fire, which causes them to be immune to fire attacks). Quilava seems to be based off from a Paca, which is a South American rodent with a spotted body and small ears. Its name is a combination of the words ‘quill’ and ‘lava’.

After Quilava reaches level 36, it finally evolves again into Typhlosion. As of the fifth generation games, Typhlosion is the only final evolution of a fire-type starter that does not have a second type (Charizard has flying, and Blaziken, Infernape, and Emboar have fighting). Quilava has the same base stat totals as Charizard and Infernape. Unlike the other fire-type final evolutions, Typhlosion can only learn Flare Blitz through breeding. However, as it is the Volcano Pokemon, Typhlosion and its pre-evolutions can learn Eruption (one of the highest base power fire-type moves) by leveling up. Because it is much larger than its pre-evolutions, it has been speculated over if Typhlosion could be based off from badgers or wolverines. Its name is most-likely a combination of the words ‘typhoon’ and ‘explosion’, though it could be related to tephra, which is volcanic material.

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