Tepig (Poké Monday 5/21/18)

 

Type: Fire

Base Stats:

  • 65 HP
  • 63 Attack
  • 45 Defense
  • 45 Special Attack
  • 45 Special Defense
  • 45 Speed

Ability choices:

  • Blaze Tepig have their Fire-type attacks boosted by a factor of 1.5 when at 1/3 HP (rounded down) or below.
  • Thick Fat Tepig take half damage from Fire- and Ice-type attacks. (Hidden Ability)

Notable physical attacks: Flare Blitz, Head Smash, Stomping Tantrum (tutor move), Sucker Punch (Egg move), Superpower (tutor move), Wild Charge, Zen Headbutt (tutor move)

Notable status moves: Taunt, Will-O-Wisp, Work Up, Yawn (Egg move)

Notable Z-moves:

  • Inferno Overdrive (Fire) – Converts one use of Flare Blitz into a base 190 physical Fire-type attack.
  • All-Out Pummeling (Fighting) – Converts one use of Superpower into a base 190 physical Fighting-type attack.
  • Continental Crush (Rock) – Converts one use of Head Smash into a base 200 physical Rock-type attack.
  • Gigavolt Havoc (Electric) – Converts one use of Wild Charge into a base 175 physical Electric-type attack.

Overview

Bacon.

The Tepig evolutionary line is known for being fire pigs, which the average human mind associates with porcine meat. And honestly, that is how Tepig is likely to end up if used in Little Cup. It has average Attack, not much in the way of defenses or Special Attack, and a Speed stat that’s too slow for the standard metagame and too fast for Trick Room. If anything really sticks out about Tepig, it’s high-power recoil moves (Flare Blitz, Head Smash, and to a lesser extent Wild Charge) that expedite the activation of Blaze. To put it another way, it heats itself up to either burn mouths or become dinner. Such is the fate of the primary Pokémon associated with bacon.

It’s a shame that Tepig doesn’t have Reckless unlike Emboar, otherwise it would be more usable. I mean, being Fire-type with Thick Fat is redundant, considering Fire already resists Fire and Ice.

Bacon.

Set

Tepig @ Life Orb / Firium Z
Ability: Blaze
Level: 5
EVs: 252 Atk / 236 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Flare Blitz
– Head Smash
– Sucker Punch
– Stomping Tantrum / Superpower

This is a set with choices. Life Orb has the most consistent power boost and gets Tepig to Blaze range even faster, while Firium Z allows Tepig to fire off (no pun intended) a powerful, recoil-free attack when in Blaze range.

Flare Blitz and Head Smash are high-power recoil moves with decent neutral coverage, while Sucker Punch is a form of priority to partly compensate for Tepig’s low Speed. The fourth slot presents another choice: Stomping Tantrum to punish foes that attempt to play around Sucker Punch or switch into a Flash Fire user on a STAB attack, while Superpower deals less situational damage but gives nasty stat drops. (Note, however, that -1 Superpower is slightly stronger than unboosted Stomping Tantrum.)

As for the EVs, focus on offenses; there’s no need to bother with anything bulk-related. (Unfortunate that full investment in Attack leaves only enough EVs to fully invest in one other stat.) Ability choice is obvious because a potential STAB boost is better than redundant resistances.

Other Options

Wild Charge is an alternative coverage option, primarily for Water-types, that also promotes hitting Blaze range. Other Z-Crystals—such as Fightinium Z, Rockium Z, and Electrium Z—offer powerful coverage options without the usual drawbacks.

Yawn is a strange status option that can force a switch or put something to sleep. However, Tepig has a hard time making room for status moves due to its offensively oriented nature.

Problems and Partners

Problems

Pro tip: Don’t bring in Tepig if the opponent has a Diglett. It has Arena Trap, has super-effective STAB, is way faster, and can play around Sucker Punch if it has Substitute and/or its own Sucker Punch.

Onix has obscene physical bulk by LC standards and can only be dented by Superpower and Stomping Tantrum. (Yeah, Tepig can run Solar Beam with Bloom Doom, but Onix normally runs Sturdy + Berry Juice, and there is no other reason to run the move.) Additionally, it is surprisingly fast and has two super-effective STABs on Tepig. Not even the off chance of Will-O-Wisp can daunt it.

Mareanie is defensively potent, resists Tepig’s STAB, has super-effective Water STAB, and cannot trigger the power boost of Stomping Tantrum. The worst that Tepig can do to it is Wild Charge, which makes it more likely to become dinner.

Carvanha is another offensive check capable of making mince meat of Tepig, given its sheer power, high Speed that only snowballs as it stays in, and its own form of priority (Aqua Jet) to circumvent Sucker Punch (not to mention its resistance to the move).

That’s just to name a few. Basically, anything that poses a problem to Fire-types in general poses a problem to Tepig.

Partners

Don’t use Tepig. If you do, might as well pair it with the other Unovan starters and/or the other porcine Pokémon of the tier. (…Actually, the non-Snivy Pokémon above are not so viable either.)

In all seriousness, there is not much to say here. Hazard removers, Grass-types, Water-types…pretty much anything from which any other Fire-type benefits. Sticky Web and Tailwind might be helpful too, for that low-but-not-low-enough-for-Trick-Room Speed.

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