in Articles by Professor Geoffrey

Note that normal Pokémon of the Week will resume in May. For the entire month of March, to celebrate Black and White, I will be doing Unova Pokémon of the Week instead. I will also be doing Unova Pokémon for Anatomy of a Legendary Pokémon! Also, for the entire month of April, to commemorate Diamond and Pearl, we will have a Sinnoh Pokémon of the Week and Sinnoh Pokémon for Sinnoh Pokémon of the Week.

For Unova Pokémon of the Week, we will begin this special month with the Tepig family (#498-500); Tepig, Pignite, and Emboar! There is not very much scientific to say about these Pokémon; they are all based off of pigs, save for Emboar, obviously based off of a boar. However, as Tepig evolves, we see that Pignite and Emboar are also based off of wrestlers, which can be proven from Pignite’s leotard-like markings, Emboar’s massive weight and notable HP, and of course the notorious sport, pig wrestling.

“Tepig, the Fire Pig Pokémon. Normally, fire shoots out of Tepig’s snout, but it shoots out smoke instead when it is feeling ill.”– Tepig’s PokéDex entry in Episode 661.

All three have very special abilities that differentiate themselves from each other. Tepig seems to love to cook things – especially berries – by expelling fireballs from its nostrils. Obviously, if Tepig were actually recorded on camera, it would either be a YouTube one-hit wonder or co-host a show with Rachel Ray. Pignite is able to send out smoke signals to show other Pokémon in its evolutionary family when in danger. Lastly, Emboar seems to have an extraordinary care for its allies and is the only Pokémon known to date to “grow” a flaming beard.

Tepig is a starter Pokémon that can only be received through the exclusive means of Professor Juniper, the highest authority of Pokémon knowledge in the Unova region. Therefore, it is considered very rare itself and cannot be captured in the wild. The aforementioned statement is true also for Pignite and Emboar. Tepig evolves around the same time as many of the other starters; at level 17 for Pignite and then level 36 for Emboar.

“Whatever it eats becomes fuel for the flame in its stomach. When it is angered, the intensity of the flame increases.” – Pignite’s White Version PokéDex Entry.

As mentioned earlier, what differentiates this evolutionary family from other fire-type starters is that the Tepig family loves to cook, which can be further analyzed from Tepig’s name, coming from “tepid,” or lukewarm, possibly from cooking directions. Thought there is not much more we know about Tepig at this point in time, I believe we can learn more about this Pokémon in the future.

“It can throw a fire punch by setting its fists on fire with its fiery chin. It cares deeply about its friends.” – Emboar’s Black Version PokéDex entry.

However, here are some fun facts about Tepig:

  • Tepig may have the ability Blaze, just like the other fire-type starters, but its hidden ability is Thick Fat.
  • Tepig was one of the few Pokémon in the beginning to be revealed as a silhouette before being fully revealed.
  • Though all fire starters excluding Torchic can walk on all fours, Tepig is the only fire starter that is not bipedal.
  • The Tepig family has a signature move; Heat Crash.
  • Emboar is the only fire-type in existence that can learn a damaging water-type move (Scald), of course excluding Castform (Sunny Form) and Arceus (holding a Flame Plate).
  • Before their English names were revealed, just as Snivy was thought to be Smugleaf, most people thought Tepig was going to be called Pignite.

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