A Nuzlocker’s Guide to the Tepig Line

Written by Reddit user u/Samurott1

Tepig is a good choice of starter Pokémon with its solid bulk and great matchups against the Unova gyms. Its typing is certainly not unique amongst starter Pokémon, but it is unique in the Unova region and just happens to be incredibly useful. Pignite and Emboar’s dual Fire/Fighting-typing gives the Pokémon super-effective coverage for three of the game’s gym leaders, and it also gets some very interesting moves via TM. However, there are several points in the game, most notably in the Elite 4, where the Tepig line isn’t too useful. It is also less useful overall than the other starters, both of which have positive traits that make it more effective in Unova than Tepig. The Tepig line is also rather slow, so it will usually take a hit before it can dish out damage. Nevertheless, the Fire Pig Pokémon’s offensive prowess can be a huge boon to your team.

Tepig’s Match-ups in Important Battles

Tepig versus Rivals in Nuvema Town: Tepig’s best bet is to spam Tackle against Bianca’s Snivy and Cheren’s Oshawott. Tail Whip can be used to deal more damage, but it probably won’t be worth it. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 5; Tackle, Tail Whip.

Tepig versus N in Accumula Town: You’ll be perfectly fine as long as Tepig has Ember already. Ember, as a special move, won’t be affected by Purrloin’s Growl. As such, this battle will be easy unless Purrloin gets an unlucky critical hit Scratch. Buying a Potion or two at the Pokémon Center is advised. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 7; Tackle, Tail Whip, Ember.

Tepig versus Bianca in Route 2: Tepig can deal with Lillipup, but be wary of the Puppy Pokémon’s Leer. Bring a Lillipup of your own or a Patrat in case you need to switch out and remove the stat debuff. Tepig’s Ember will burn Snivy to a crisp. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 8; Tackle, Tail Whip, Ember.

Tepig versus Cheren in Striaton City: This match-up is troublesome for the Fire Pig Pokémon. Cheren leads with Oshawott, which Tepig will not be able to handle. Picking up Pansage from the Dreamyard first is recommended. Purrloin is deceptively dangerous since it can pull out an Assist-induced Water Gun. Fortunately, this is unlikely and it will fall to a few Embers. A critical hit Water Gun from Purrloin will take about three-fourths of Tepig’s HP though, so be wary. Make sure you have enough healing items. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 9; Tackle, Tail Whip, Ember, Odor Sleuth.

Tepig versus Cress in Striaton City Gym: Lillipup’s Tackle and Tepig’s Ember do similar amounts of damage, and Lillipup is faster and can use Work Up. Ember could burn Lillipup, but this isn’t very likely. If you can use healing items, then spamming Defense Curl to offset Work Up is an option. Tepig’s Ember is a 4HKO on average, but you should always be wary of Lillipup’s Work Up. Panpour will drown the Fire Pig Pokémon with ease, so use Pansage here if you have it. Lillipup and Patrat are viable secondary options for those who disallow gift Pokémon. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 13; Tackle, Tail Whip, Ember, Defense Curl.

Tepig versus Cheren in Route 3: Tepig should still avoid Oshawott at all costs unless you evolved it already. Purrloin can be dispatched without too much difficulty, but you should still be wary of Assist-induced Water Gun. It is now packing Sand Attack, which, while indirectly making an Assist-induced Water Gun more unlikely, can be very annoying. Ember should do the job pretty quickly barring accuracy shenanigans. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 14; Tackle, Tail Whip, Ember, Defense Curl.

Tepig versus N in Nacrene City: The Fire Pig Pokémon can dispatch Pidove without too much trouble if it has learned Flame Charge. Pidove is carrying Growl, so switch to Ember if Tepig’s Attack gets lowered. Timburr is possibly dangerous as it carries Bide and Focus Energy. Fortunately, its only direct Attacking move, Low Kick, doesn’t do much damage to Tepig (Pignite will get hurt though, so it’s best to keep Tepig unevolved). Stick to Tackle to protect yourself from Bide. If Timburr uses Bide, Tackle won’t do enough to result in Bide getting an OHKO if Tepig is at half health or higher. Switch to Defense Curl if Timburr has started charging Bide. Don’t worry about using Ember as N’s Timburr has Sheer Force, not Guts. However, Tympole’s Bubblebeam can and will KO Tepig if you give it the chance. Steer clear. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 15; Tackle, Ember, Defense Curl, Flame Charge.

Pignite versus Lenora in Nacrene City Gym: The newly-evolved Pignite is a good counter to Lenora with its solid bulk and super-effective STAB moves. Arm Thrust is generally the better Fighting-type move here, but Rock Smash has its utility since it can lower the opponent’s Defense stat. Lenora’s lead, Herdier, will Intimidate Pignite. Arm Thrust will still do a lot of damage, but use Defense Curl first. Herdier’s Take Down will hit hard, so Defense Curl is very helpful. Be wary of critical hits though, and bring healing items if possible. Even at -1, Pignite has a chance to OHKO with an Arm Thrust that hits the maximum number of times. Watchog’s Retaliate is notoriously dangerous on the turn after Herdier faints, which is why it’s good to set up Defense Curl on Herdier. However, a critical hit Retaliate will OHKO Pignite regardless of Defense Curl boosts (note that this only applies on the turn after Herdier faints, where Retaliate doubles in power). As such, you’ll want to have a Roggenrola to tank it if possible. If you lack Roggenrola, hope that Watchog doesn’t land a critical hit. Heal Pignite after it’s hit by Retaliate, then hit Watchog with Arm Thrust as many times as possible. That should get the job done. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 20; Defense Curl, Flame Charge, Arm Thrust, Rock Smash/Tackle/Ember.

Pignite versus Burgh in Castelia City Gym: The mere existence of this battle is probably why you chose Tepig as your starter. Pignite is easily the best starter for this match-up and is arguably the best Pokémon for this match-up of those that are available at this point. However, make sure to give Pignite the Eviolite, which will allow it to tank Leavanny’s Razor Leaf more effectively. Flame Charge 2HKOs Whirlipede, whose best move, Poison Tail, glances off of Pignite. The Speed boost from Flame Charge will also be very helpful when Leavanny comes out. Dwebble (note that Burgh’s doesn’t have Sturdy) can’t do much damage with Smack Down. Ember is your best move here if you still have it. Four hits of Arm Thrust will deal more damage than Ember, but (as it goes in Nuzlockes) you probably won’t get this many consistently. Ember can also burn Dwebble, which can be a little helpful. At +2 Speed, Pignite can outspeed and OHKO Leavanny with Flame Charge. Even if Flame Charge fails to OHKO (which is possible), Razor Leaf does a pitiful amount of damage to the Fire Pig Pokémon. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 23; Defense Curl, Flame Charge, Arm Thrust, Ember/Tackle/Rock Smash.

Pignite versus Bianca in Castelia Gate: Pignite does rather well against the weaker of your two rivals. Even after Intimidate, Pignite’s Arm Thrust will do a ton of damage to Herdier. Take Down will hurt, but just keep an eye on Pignite’s health and you’ll be fine. Giving Pignite the Eviolite is recommended. Fighting Panpour seems like a terrible idea, but its Water Gun does less damage than Herdier’s Take Down. Arm Thrust is your move of choice here, but you may want to offset Intimidate’s effects before attacking. An X Attack is the best way to do this. Barring that, you can just switch to a more appropriate counter and switch back in when Servine comes out. Speaking of Servine, the Grass Snake Pokémon is decimated by two hits of Flame Charge. Servine is faster initially, but Pignite probably only needs one Flame Charge Speed boost to outspeed and won’t take much from Leaf Tornado. Munna’s Psybeam will do a large chunk of damage (more specifically, about one-third of the Fire Pig Pokémon’s maximum health) to Pignite, so it’s best to stay away. Flame Charge can 2HKO Munna (assuming Intimidate has been negated). As such, how dangerous this specific match-up depends on Pignite’s remaining health. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 23; Defense Curl, Flame Charge, Arm Thrust, Ember/Rock Smash/Tackle.

Pignite versus Cheren in Route 4: This rival battle is much more trivial than the last. Pidove is slow and weak, but its Super Luck Air Cutter can be very dangerous to Pignite. Pidove will likely get 2HKOed by Flame Charge, and Pignite can survive one critical hit Air Cutter. This match-up can easily leave the Fire Pig Pokémon weakened though. Arm Thrust will dispatch Pansear with ease, but its Yawn may be annoying. Also, avoid giving Pignite a berry (it should be carrying Eviolite anyway) as Pansear will char it with its Incinerate. Pignite can also fight Liepard thanks to STAB Arm Thrust. Hit Liepard with Flame Charge first, which will allow Pignite to build enough Speed to outspeed the Cruel Pokémon. However, Dewott forces Pignite to leave the battlefield. Its Razor Shell is a possible 2HKO on the Fire Pig Pokémon with Eviolite. As such, keep your Pignite far away. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 23; Defense Curl, Flame Charge, Arm Thrust, Ember/Tackle/Rock Smash.

Pignite versus N in Nimbasa City: Arm Thrust annihilates N’s lead, Sandile. You won’t need to increase your Speed in this battle, so just go straight for Arm Thrust. Sandile’s Sand Tomb won’t do much damage, but you can try to steal a Shed Shell off of a wild Scraggy with Thief if you’re worried about not being able to switch out. However, it won’t be worth it (at least not in this battle). Arm Thrust will also do a number on Scraggy, but beware of its Swagger. Darumaka won’t cause you too much trouble as long as it’s slower than your Pignite. It carries Headbutt, so it can flinch a Pignite that is slower. The Fire Pig Pokémon should be quite a bit faster though. Get Pignite out of there when Sigilyph comes out. The Avianoid Pokémon has two super-effective moves (including Air Cutter, which has a high critical hit ratio) coming off of a Special Attack stat that is gargantuan for this point in the game. Stay far, far away. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 24; Flame Charge, Arm Thrust, Rock Tomb, Return.

Pignite versus Elesa in Nimbasa City Gym: If it wasn’t obvious, a Ground-type Pokémon is your best option here. If you lack one, Pignite is probably not your best option. Even a Pignite equipped with the Eviolite will take a lot of damage from Emolga’s super-effective Aerial Ace. Elesa’s Pokémon can also run circles around you with Volt Switch. Pignite can increase its Speed with a pair of Flame Charges and follow that up with Rock Tomb (for Emolga) or more Flame Charges (for Zebstrika). However, a critical hit Aerial Ace from an Emolga takes over three-fourths of Pignite’s health, making this strategy very risky. This strategy is nearly impossible to pull off if you can’t use healing items. Pignite’s role in this battle is best limited to sitting on the bench and coming out if only Zebstrika remains. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 27; Flame Charge, Arm Thrust, Rock Tomb, Return.

Pignite versus Cheren on Route 5: Pignite does about as well here as it did in the previous rival battle. Liepard can’t hurt the Fire Pig Pokémon; the worst it can do is limit your move choice with Torment. Slam it with Flame Charge first for the Speed boost (and in case it uses Torment, as Arm Thrust might not KO it), then use Arm Thrust. Pansear is a little more difficult with its Charcoal-boosted Flame Burst but still won’t cause any issues. Rock Tomb or Return will 2HKO Cheren’s elemental monkey, but the former is best if Pansear is faster (due to Bite and its flinch chance, which is negated if Pansear is slowed down by Rock Tomb). Tranquill’s Super Luck Air Cutter can cause problems. Rock Tomb or Return will 2HKO Tranquill, but its access to Detect and Roost likely won’t make it that easy. Use a more appropriate counter if you have one. Stay away from Dewott, who has added Water Pulse to its arsenal to confuse Pignite. Its Razor Shell will 2HKO the Fire Pig Pokémon, who may be slower and can only 3HKO in return. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 27; Flame Charge, Arm Thrust, Rock Tomb, Return.

Pignite versus Clay in Driftveil City: Pignite does have super-effective STAB for two of Clay’s Pokémon, but its weakness to Ground-type moves makes this match-up very trivial. Clay’s Krokorok has Moxie as opposed to Intimidate, so it’ll be dispatched after you slam it with Arm Thrust a few times. However, its Bulldoze takes about one-third of Pignite’s health—and note that this calculation assumes Pignite is holding an Eviolite. It’s certainly doable, but it’s not recommended, either. Be wary of critical hits, too. Krokorok also carries Swagger, and a confused Pignite may be a dead Pignite if it hits itself and gets hit with Bulldoze in the same turn. Use a more appropriate counter, if possible. Palpitoad carries Muddy Water and won’t take much from any of Pignite’s attacks. Steer clear, especially if Pignite is weak from fighting Krokorok. Excadrill is incredibly dangerous for Pokémon that aren’t weak to Bulldoze. The Fire Pig Pokémon cannot handle Excadrill unless it’s evolved already. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 30; Flame Charge, Arm Thrust, Rock Tomb, Return.

Pignite versus Bianca in Driftveil City: As usual, Pignite’s Arm Thrust will dispose of Herdier even after Intimidate. Hit it with Flame Charge first, though. It’ll likely outspeed and go for Work Up, so you want to make sure Pignite is faster to avoid Work Up-boosted Take Down. Pignite can handle Panpour if Herdier’s Intimidate has been negated. Scald will take about one-third of Pignite’s HP, but Pignite can (likely) outspeed and 2HKO Panpour with Return. Pignite can’t be burned, either. Nevertheless, keep an eye on Pignite’s HP. Just use a Grass- or Electric-type if you want to minimize the risk, though. Turn tail and run when Musharna shows up; the Drowsing Pokémon can increase its Defense with Defense Curl and whack Pignite with Psybeam. On the other hand, Servine is an even bigger joke than it was last time. Its best move, Slam, is laughable. The Fire Pig Pokémon will have no trouble against it. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 30; Flame Charge, Arm Thrust, Rock Tomb, Return.

Pignite versus N in Chargestone Cave: This battle is kind of a joke for Pignite. Boldore’s Smack Down will do a good chunk of damage, but it gets beat into the ground by Arm Thrust. It may go for Iron Defense, but Pignite can still win this. Ferroseed dies to any Fire-type attack, but be wary of Iron Barbs if Pignite is at low health. Joltik is likely faster, but Pignite’s Flame Charge burns the Attaching Pokémon into a crisp. Klink will meet a similar fate. All of the N battles will probably be this easy…right? Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 30; Flame Charge, Arm Thrust, Return, Bulldoze.

Pignite versus Skyla in Mistralton City Gym: Pignite destroys Swoobat with Heat Crash, but Swoobat is faster and hits incredibly hard with Acrobatics (it can 2HKO). Hard pass. Unfezant’s Air Slash comes off of its terrible Special Attack, but Pignite can’t do much damage to it. Air Slash can cause flinching, too. Swanna is much too powerful; either of its STAB moves will 2HKO while Pignite struggles to do damage. Furthermore, a critical hit from Swoobat or Swanna turns Pignite into a ham dinner. Stay away. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 35; Arm Thrust, Return, Bulldoze, Heat Crash.

Pignite versus Cheren in Twist Mountain: Liepard’s best damaging move is Fake Out. Arm Thrust the Cruel Pokémon into orbit. Simisear isn’t a threat either; Pignite’s Bulldoze is a 2HKO and your rival’s elemental monkey can’t do much in return. Furthermore, Pignite is probably faster after it uses Bulldoze once. However, withdraw Pignite from battle immediately if Unfezant or Dewott enter the match. Unfezant’s Special Attack is laughable, but the Scope Lens, Super Luck, and Air Slash combo is no joke. A critical hit Air Slash may OHKO Pignite. Similarly, Dewott’s Water Pulse turns the Fire Pig Pokémon into a steamed ham. Pass. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 35; Arm Thrust, Return, Bulldoze, Heat Crash.

Emboar versus Brycen in Icirrus City Gym: The Mega Fire Pig Pokémon can singlehandedly crush the seventh gym leader with little to no team support. Any of Emboar’s strong STAB moves OHKO Vanillish, but Hammer Arm is best saved for later. Any strong STAB physical move will shatter Cryogonal into a thousand pieces, but Brick Break should be your preferred move if you have it. Cryogonal is faster and can set up Reflect, which will impede Emboar’s sweeping capabilities. However, Brick Break can kill two birds with one chop by shattering Reflect and Cryogonal, too. When Beartic comes out, whack it with Hammer Arm if you have it. Brick Break is a clean 2HKO if you lack Hammer Arm. Watch out for Swagger though. If you’re paranoid about getting confused, then hit Beartic with Rock Slide first. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 39; Bulldoze, Heat Crash, Rock Slide, Brick Break/Hammer Arm.

Emboar versus Bianca in Route 8: Bianca’s lead, Stoutland, has Intimidate and hits pretty hard with Retaliate (it can 4HKO). Either Brick Break or Hammer Arm will net the 2HKO on it after Intimidate, though. On the other hand, Emboar needs to stay away from Simipour, who can 2HKO the Mega Fire Pig Pokémon with its Scald. Emboar can only 4HKO Musharna with Heat Crash (and this assumes no rain) while the Drowsing Pokémon can 2HKO in return. Serperior can be tough if it’s raining, but its Slam is only a 5HKO anyway. Be wary of Coil and critical hits; the former increases the power and accuracy of Slam and the latter is an eternal danger. Heat Crash will 2HKO Serperior in good weather, but use your Fighting-type STAB otherwise (preferably Hammer Arm). Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 40; Bulldoze, Heat Crash, Rock Slide, Hammer Arm/Brick Break.

Emboar versus Iris/Drayden in Opelucid City Gym: Emboar doesn’t have any particularly strong advantages in this gym, but that can honestly be said about most of the game’s Pokémon. The final gym leader is tough. Emboar can put in a lot of work in this battle unless you get particularly unlucky. Both Brick Break and Hammer Arm will 2HKO Fraxure, but Brick Break is preferred. However, Hammer Arm is your best option against Druddigon, as Brick Break isn’t powerful enough to net the 2HKO. Those who run only Hammer Arm for Fighting-type STAB may want to temporarily replace a TM move with Brick Break for this battle to utilize both. Druddigon’s Revenge hurts though, so keep Emboar’s health high at all times. Haxorus’ Slash and Dragon Tail both pose a threat to Emboar, especially if the former has gotten Dragon Dance boosts. A pair of Hammer Arms will take Haxorus down. Dragon Tail has a negative priority, so Emboar will go first if one of Iris/Drayden’s Pokémon uses the move. Note that a critical hit Dragon Tail or Slash from Haxorus will do a ton of damage, and may OHKO if Emboar isn’t at full health. Tread lightly, and have a back-up plan in place. It is all too likely that Emboar will get forced out by Dragon Tail, so make sure that all of the Pokémon on your team can handle fighting Iris/Drayden. Any Pokémon that can’t participate under any circumstance should be temporarily boxed for this battle. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 43; Bulldoze/Brick Break, Rock Slide, Hammer Arm/Brick Break, Flamethrower/Heat Crash.

Emboar versus Cheren in Route 10: Just rinse and repeat the strategy from the last rival battle. Cheren leads with Unfezant, who can be lethal to Emboar with its Super Luck Scope Lens Air Slash. Neither Simisear nor Liepard will be a threat although Liepard’s Slash will do a good chunk of damage if it lands critically. Hit Liepard with Brick Break or Hammer Arm. Emboar’s Bulldoze will take care of Simisear easily. You could use Rock Slide against Simisear, but Emboar is likely slower (negating the flinch chance) and Rock Slide is inaccurate and doesn’t do that much more damage. Stay away from Samurott; an Aqua Tail from the Formidable Pokémon will turn Emboar into bacon bits. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 44; Bulldoze, Rock Slide, Brick Break/Hammer Arm, Flamethrower/Heat Crash.

Emboar versus the Elite 4: Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 50 (for the Elite 4)/Level 54 (for N/Ghetsis); Bulldoze, Rock Slide/Head Smash, Hammer Arm/Brick Break, Flamethrower/Heat Crash.

Emboar versus Shauntal: Every Pokémon Shauntal owns is dangerous to Emboar. A critical hit Psychic from Cofagrigus may OHKO the Mega Fire Pig Pokémon, and Emboar’s Flamethrower can barely 2HKO in return. Emboar is faster, so it’s doable but rather dangerous. Jellicent has STAB Surf, so that’s an automatic pass. You could try to flinch hax it with Rock Slide, but you’d have to get incredibly lucky. Golurk’s Earthquake may OHKO the Mega Fire Pig Pokémon. Chandelure is the most dangerous of all; it is faster and has a massive Special Attack stat to 2HKO Emboar with Psychic. All in all, just keep Emboar on the bench for this one.

Emboar versus Grimsley: This is the one Elite 4 match in which Emboar can make a major contribution. Liepard and Bisharp do carry Aerial Ace though, so be wary of that. Krookodile can’t be fought at all; its Earthquake may OHKO Emboar. If you chose to forego Hammer Arm on Emboar so far, now is the time to get it. It can OHKO Scrafty, whose Sand Attack can be incredibly annoying. Emboar destroys Liepard, too. Aerial Ace is a threat though, especially on Bisharp. A critical hit from Bisharp may be the end of Emboar, but the Mega Fire Pig Pokémon decimates Grimsley’s ace with Hammer Arm (or Brick Break). Be careful, though.

Emboar versus Caitlin: Each of Caitlin’s Pokémon carries Psychic, which is a 2HKO on the Mega Fire Pig Pokémon. Emboar can’t even do that much damage in return, and Gothitelle uses it as set-up bait. Flamethrower is just a 3HKO on each of Caitlin’s Pokémon. Stay as far away from Caitlin as possible.

Emboar versus Marshal: Emboar can’t do much here, either. Hammer Arm will do a number on Throh as it usually 2HKOs, but Bulldoze hurts and makes Throh faster in just one turn. Flamethrower, Hammer Arm, or Brick Break will 2HKO Sawk, but the Karate Pokémon’s Stone Edge will 3HKO and has a high critical hit ratio. Both of these match-ups are dicey at best. Conkeldurr and Mienshao can both 2HKO Emboar, and the latter is faster. Steer clear.

Note: Do not forget that you can leave the Elite 4 and train your team before fighting N and Ghetsis. This is recommended for those that entered the Elite 4 with their team below level 52.

Emboar versus N: N will lead with his legendary dragon, both of which carry Psychic-types moves. As such, leading with Emboar is a terrible idea. Both of N’s fossils pose a considerable threat to Emboar. Carracosta has Sturdy as its ability, Waterfall, and Aqua Jet, which allows it to beat Emboar one-on-one. Archeops will destroy the Mega Fire Pig Pokémon with Acrobatics. However, N’s remaining Pokémon are easily handled by a (healthy) Emboar. The Mega Fire Pig Pokémon walls Vanilluxe to the end of time, so just hit it with Flamethrower. Flamethrower is generally better for Klinklang. However, hit it with Hammer Arm first as it is likely Zoroark. Both will likely get OHKOed by Emboar.

Emboar versus Ghetsis: Ghetsis’ Cofagrigus has Psychic, see Shauntal. Bouffalant, Seismitoad, Eelektross, and Hydreigon have powerful super-effective coverage. Emboar’s only chance of fighting one of these Pokémon is if it can OHKO Bouffalant with Hammer Arm. The others are all too tough. Bisharp falls easily though and can’t hit Emboar hard, making that match-up a cinch for the Mega Fire Pig Pokémon.

Everything in Between

Pre-Nacrene City: Tepig/Pignite performs rather well in the early game. The outer area of Pinwheel Forest is dangerous though; the wild Sawk/Throh is always tough and Pignite must watch out for Tympole, too. Roggenrola is dangerous to an unevolved Tepig, and Woobat becomes a mild threat for Pignite. Be wary of critical hits and keep Potions with you at all times, if possible.

Pinwheel Forest: Historically, Fire-types perform excellently in forests, and Pignite is no exception. The plethora of Grass- and Bug-types stand no chance against the Fire Pig Pokémon. Be wary of Panpour, who is a mild threat. Pignite performs great against the Team Plasma grunts as well.

The Desert: Pignite performs surprisingly well here; Sandile’s Ground-type moves aren’t threatening and all the wild Pokémon (bar Sigilyph) can be handled by Pignite, especially with the Eviolite equipped.

Mid-Game Areas: Pignite can handle the Nimbasa City area, and the route past Driftveil will be even easier due to the abundance of Grass- and Bug-types. The Lostlorn Forest is easy for similar reasons. Be wary of wild Tranquill though; they are annoying to Pokémon that aren’t weak to Flying-type attacks. The Cold Storage should be a cinch. However, continue to be wary against Pokémon of types that Pignite is weak to. That should be a given.

Caves and Mountains: The Fighting-types owned by trainers in Twist Mountain can be tough, but the Tepig line performs pretty well in caves once it’s evolved into Pignite. Chargestone cave is full of Rock-, Bug-, and Steel-type Pokémon. As such, a healthy Pignite can breeze by the wild Pokémon. Emboar performs well in Twist Mountain as it can easily handle the Ice- and Rock-types there. Be wary of Woobat, who is a mild threat.

Water Routes: Attempting to use a Fire-type Pokémon in areas filled to the brim with Water-type Pokémon is generally not a good idea. Emboar is at a great disadvantage against Frillish, which can’t even be hit with Fighting-type moves. The Pokémon in the grass on the routes west of Nuvema Town can be handled pretty easily though. Emboar may be able to handle weaker Water-types with Grass Knot, but this is not recommended.

Late-Game: Avoid the Icirrus City area, which is full of Water- and Ground-types. Emboar is good for Routes 9 and 10, but be wary of Pokémon with super-effective moves as always.

Checks and Counters

Water-types: While pretty rare, Water-types, such as Shauntal’s Jellicent and Cheren’s Samurott, pose a considerable threat to the Mega Fire Pig Pokémon. As such, it’s a good idea to keep a Grass- or Electric-type around. In return, Emboar can break down Pokémon that these types struggle against, such as opposing Grass-types.

Psychic-types: Psychic-types, like Caitlin’s Pokémon and Bianca’s Musharna, can pose a threat to Emboar. A Dark-type, such as Scrafty, makes a great counter to these Pokémon. The Mega Fire Pig Pokémon can take out Bug-types for these Pokémon.

Faster Threats: Much faster Pokémon, such as N’s Archeops and Marshal’s Mienshao, pose a threat to Emboar due to their ability to outspeed and deal a ton of damage. A speedy Pokémon is good to keep around, perhaps Zebstrika or an Archeops of your own.

Clay’s Excadrill: This Pokémon is such a destructive force that it’s worth mentioning. Pignite can hurt Excadrill with Fire- or Fighting-type STAB, but Excadrill’s Bulldoze will do a number on the Fire Pig Pokémon. As such, it’s good to have a Pokémon like Swanna or Simipour for this battle.

Overall Grade: A

Tepig certainly isn’t the best starter Pokémon in the Unova region, but it has a plethora of positive traits that make it a solid choice nonetheless. The line’s great mixed attacking stats, good typing, and wide movepool allow it to be useful in many parts of the Unova region. It isn’t so great in the Elite 4 and against Clay or Skyla, so Emboar relies on team support quite a bit. However, when played right, Emboar can be a fantastic team member on your journey through the Unova region.

Resources to Utilize

Emboar’s Learnset: https://pokemondb.net/pokedex/emboar/moves/5

Written by Reddit user u/Samurott1. For questions about this guide or for specific advice for your playthrough, send them a message on Reddit.