Considering Blaziken and especially Infernape, I feel Emboar got the short end of the stick in terms of Fire/Fighting starters… How would you redesign Emboar to make him more interesting? Change his typing? Stats? Movepool? Ability? What about his general design aesthetic? I personally would make him a pure Fire type, since the only pure Fire type fully evolved starter so far is Typhlosion… It would make sense among his own trio with Serperior and Samurott being single typed, too!
Well, there’s sort of two questions here: how do we make Emboar good, and how do we make Emboar unique and interesting? We naturally want to compare him to Blaziken and Infernape, because they’re all fully evolved starter Pokémon with the Fire/Fighting type combination, but I sort of think that’s counterproductive, since Emboar doesn’t directly compete with them in the way they compete with each other (and for that reason I don’t think you really need to remove his Fighting type; it also expresses a kind of discipline and martial prowess he has that are different from other Fire Pokémon, and I don’t see anything inherently desirable about having all the generation V starters be single-typed). When you look at his stats, Emboar seems like he’s trying to be a Fire-type tank, which is already unusual, and pretty much the only non-legendary Pokémon who does it well is Arcanine, unless there’s a generation VII one out there that I haven’t met yet. But then you look at the hidden ability, Reckless, which gives +20% damage to recoil moves, and it seems like all that HP is actually meant to allow him to abuse those. He has three good ones: Flare Blitz, Head Smash and Wild Charge. I think if I wanted to make him stronger… the first thing that comes to mind is to give him a Fighting attack that Reckless can apply to, and Hi Jump Kick doesn’t make sense for Emboar, so probably we end up giving him Submission and then buffing Submission to something like 100 power and 90% accuracy. Swapping some of his special attack points into defence and special defence is probably a good move too, since Emboar’s not often going to be using special moves besides maybe Grass Knot or an emergency Overheat anyway. I kind of want to do something with the signature move, Heat Crash – its thing is that it does more damage to opponents that are much lighter than Emboar; the problem is that it only takes half of Emboar’s own weight (150/2 = 75 kg) for a target to hit the lowest power ‘tier’ of 40. Other than playing with all the numbers so that it does more damage to all targets, what you could do there is add a recoil factor, which also scales with weight (Emboar takes more recoil damage from attacking Pokémon heavier than itself), so that Reckless would apply to Heat Crash.