It’s small, masked, and sneezes hot embers. Tepig is beyond adorable and has an ambitious attitude that could make any trainer fall in love with it. Tepig is the Unova region’s fire-type starter – and the only ever fire-type starter where it or any of its evolutions’ names do not start with the letter ‘C’. It also has the lowest base stats of any fire-type starter.
Tepig’s name comes from the words “tepid” (meaning lukewarm) and “pig”, though many fans have remarked that its name seems like a play on “the pig”. Others just simply like to joke about Tepig being a fire-type pig Pokemon – Bacon, anyone? – and that it seems to be a bit ironic. Tepig has a very high health stat and its attack stat follows close behind, though it falls flat in every other area.
When Tepig reaches level 17, it evolves into Pignite and also gains a type. This make the Tepig line the third fire-type starter line to have the fire/fighting type combination. Also at level 17, after it has evolved, Pignite will learn Arm Thrust, the only fighting-type move the Tepig line learns through leveling up. Before the Pokemon Generation V names were released, many fans had begun to refer to Tepig, Pignites pre-evolution, as Pignite. Pignite’s brown markings on its stomach appear to resemble a wrestling uniform, or possibly a lucha libre’s uniform – which would explain Tepig’s brown markings on its face resembling a mask. Pignite’s name most-likely derives from the words “pig” and “ignite” and because it was a name thought up by the fans, it was accepted pretty easily and without much gruff from fans.
And then, when it finally reaches level 36, Pignite will evolve again into Emboar (yet another name used by fans to describe the different members of the Tepig line). Emboar is a very large Pokemon that retains the look and feel of the Chinese culture, which Ken Sugimori (an artist of the Pokemon franchise) has stated the Tepig line is based on. Emboar, being a dual fire and fighting type, has quite high attack, health, and special attack stats. Because of the Tepig line being based on the Chinese culture, Emboar might be based on a pig demon from the same tale that Infernape is based off from, Journey to the West. Emboar is the only fire-type Pokemon that can learn a damaging water-type move, Scald. It and Sceptile are tired for the lowest defense of any fully evolved starter Pokemon. Emboar’s name probably comes from the words “ember” and “boar”, though it also resembles its Japanese name, Enbuoh.
The Tepig line in the only starter family that has its own signature move, Heat Crash. Though it does repeat the fire/fighting combination, the Tepid line has still managed to make an impact on this generation and grasp hold trainers’ hearts from all over the world.