In between "Pokémon" journeys, Jeremy enjoys working as a pharmaceutical chemist and campus manager.
No, silly, the article's title doesn't mean the six Pokémon most likely to start a fire. Rather, we're ranking the best Fire-type Pokémon for new Trainers.
In the Pokémon video games, whenever you begin an adventure, you select one of three Pokémon to be your first companion. Traditionally, you choose from a Fire, Water, or Grass element Pokémon. No matter which you select, your partner develops into a worthy ally, and will eventually evolve into more powerful forms.
Which of the Fire type starters reigns supreme? Read on to find out!
Pokedex species: Fire Pig
The Unova starter Tepig claims our first slot; sadly, he's not the best starter. He eventually turns into Pignite, then Emboar, which will be a dual Fire/Fighting Pokémon.
This is a decent typing; it has more resistances than weaknesses, but Emboar is the third Fire/Fighting starter we've received in a row. Come on, guys, give us something new.
Additionally, Emboar has the lowest base stat total of any Fire starter's final evolution (528). He has high attack power, but low defense, low special defense, and poor speed. Plus, his moveset isn't the best; many of the attacks he'll learn are powerful, but have mediocre accuracy and will hurt himself when they do hit.
There are other good Fire and Fighting types in Unova, so feel free to select Water-type Oshawott or Grass-type Snivy as your starter instead.
Pokedex species: Fire Mouse
Next up, we have Cyndaquil from the Johto region. Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal (plus their remakes) allow you to choose this fellow. He evolves into Quilava, then Typlosion, and takes no secondary type upon evolution.
Cyndaquil's forms have good base stats, favoring special attack, defense, and speed. However, the attacks they learn aren't great; Typhlosion won't even learn any strong Fire-type attacks until level 43. Without the use of TMs (devices to teach Pokémon new moves), Typlosion only has Fire and Normal attacks, which means that many Pokémon will have resistances to his moves.
Okay, he does get the Rock move Rollout at level 61, but by then, you've either beaten the game or are close to doing so.
In short, Cyndaquil and its evolved forms can be helpful, but make sure you teach them TM moves to expand their repertoire. For the Johto starters, pick the one that matches your playing style. If you prefer elemental attacks, choose Cyndaquil. Physical power, take Water-type Totodile. Defenses, pick Grass Pokémon Chikorita.
Pokedex species: Chimp
If you play Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, or Platinum, you can select this energetic partner. Chimchar will eventually morph into Monferno, then Infernape, a Fire and Fighting type. Infernape's stat total (534) is good; it favors speed and has great physical and special attack. However, its defenses are a bit lacking, so try to use Infernape's high speed to strike first and strike hard.
Infernape will, without TMs, learn Fire, Fighting, Dark, Flying, and Normal moves, giving it a wide range of techniques to pick from. So, would I recommend Chimchar as your Sinnoh starter? Hard to say.
Consider that the Water starter, Piplup, will eventually turn into the awesome Water/Steel Empoleon, a great type combination that resists many attacks. However, Chimchar is one of the few worthwhile Fire Pokémon in Sinnoh, give it a shot if you don't desire Empleon's array of resistances.
Pokedex species: Chick
This little bird transforms into Combusken, then Blaziken, the original Fire/Fighting evolution. Blaziken's stats are similar to Emboar's; he favors physical attack. However, his defenses and speed are better, giving him more to work with.
I like his moveset; he'll automatically learn some Fire, Fighting, Flying, and Normal moves. Use Focus Energy to increase your critical hit ratio, then access Slash or Blaze Kick, moves that also boost your critical chance, for a potentially deadly blow. Or, use Bulk Up to simultaneously raise your attack and defense. Blaziken's stat total is a bit lower (530) than a few others, but he has a Mega Evolution, a powerful fourth form granting new strategic options.
All of the Hoenn starters are good Pokémon; Torchic may have an edge because it's one of the few Fire types in the area. If you play Pokémon Ruby, Emerald, or Sapphire, give him a try and see if you like his lethal onslaught.
Pokedex species: Fox
Second place goes to Fennekin, the Fire starter in Kalos and the Pokémon X and Y games. Not only do most people find Fennekin to be adorable, but she's also pretty strong, too. She'll ultimately morph into Braixen, then Delphox, a Fire/Psychic type.
Delphox has more resistances than weaknesses, and a great stat total (534). I like the way her stats are spread around. Her lowest is physical attack, but this can be ignored by simply sticking to special attacks, which Delphox excels in. Her special defense and speed are also high. Fennekin and her forms lack a diverse moveset; they stick to Fire and Psychic attacks, but the attacks they do learn are accurate and good at reducing your opponent's stats.
Additionally, some useful supporting moves are learned, like the defensive Light Screen. As a breath of fresh air from all the Fire/Fighting types, and as a powerful companion, I'd definitely recommend this cute fox to Kalos players.
Pokedex species: Lizard
Yep, the very first fire starter wins first place. I'll admit I'm nostalgic about Charmander, but he's a strong ally too. You can select him in Kanto, the land from Pokémon Red, Blue, and their remakes.
Charmander evolves into Charmeleon, then Charizard. Charizard, despite looking like a dragon, is a Fire and Flying Pokémon. Yea, Pokémon sure has some weird typing. Still, the Flying addition is pretty useful. Fire Pokémon are weak to Ground moves, but Flying types negate Ground damage, so one of your weaknesses is nullified!
Thus, Charizard has only three elemental vulnerabilities, while it resists damage from six types plus the Ground negation. This means he's strong defensively, and the high 534 base stat total favors special attack and speed, so he packs a punch, too. Charizard's moves are fearsome, and with a TM, you can teach it the Grass type attack Solarbeam, so it can competently battle Water Pokémon. Plus, Charizard is one of very few Pokémon to have two Mega forms, Mega Charizard X and Y, granting more tactical options.
Charmander Trainers in Kanto may face difficulty starting off; the first two Pokémon Gyms use types that Charmander is weak against, but he'll pay off in the long run. Plus, other good Fire types are scare in Kanto, limiting your alternatives. Give Charmander a shot and see what you think!
Choosing Your Starter
By now, we've seen that some starters fare a little better than others. However, if you particularly like one of them, then go ahead and choose it when you play through its game. They're all pretty strong, and sometimes it's more fun to build a team of your favorite monsters than a group of the strongest Pokémon.
You can't go wrong with any of 'em. Let me know which of these creatures you favor, and I hope to see at our next Pokemon countdown!
Questions & Answers
Question: Which Fire Pokemon is the strongest?
Answer: Based purely on base stat totals, it's Primal Groudon (basically Groudon's Mega form).
If you're thinking "but isn't Groudon a Ground Pokemon?", you're right, but upon entering its Primal state, it adds Fire as a second type.
For non-legendaries, Mega Charizard X and Y currently tie for the highest Fire BST.
Question: Why do Pokemon fans dislike Emboar so much?
Answer: His base stats are a bit lower than most starter evolutions, but the real issue is that he was the third Fire/Fighting starter in a row (after Blaziken and Infernape). That's not really a fault of Emboar so much as the designers who allowed their typing to grow stale, but it still resulted in many disappointed fans looking for something new.
Question: Is Litten a powerful starter Pokemon?
Answer: Starters are mostly judged by their final form, so looking at Incineroar, we see it's decent. It has a slightly lower base stat than Charizard, and a so-so natural moveset somewhat restrict it, but Fire/Dark is a good typing that offers several resistances.
© 2015 Jeremy Gill
Olivia on July 19, 2020:
Yayyy!!!.......... Fennekin made it to the 2nd, I'm overjoyed!!
pokemon fan1234 on June 05, 2020:
i like Cyndaquil the best he is the only one i used but honestly i think that Charmander gets to much love he has two mega evolotions and a gigantomax form to way to much love and attention
Shadow jack09 on July 22, 2018:
well what i like is charmander and torchic litten and chimchar they are like so cool what i like but the first that i known is charmander and the second is torchic and the third one is litten and the last one is chimchar. im sorry chimchar i dont mean too oh i almost forgot i know tepig aswell is pretty cool if there are mega infernape and mega litten and mega emboar :)
Pokem on July 16, 2018:
I like litten and charmander too what do you like I might like it too
Reshiram on March 11, 2018:
I Think Charmander is Un Fair due to the Fact he get's mega Evolution twice.
ass on January 02, 2018:
fennekin or charmander?
avish on September 05, 2017:
charmander was my first and original starter in my first game.its final evolution charizard is my favourite even above mewtwo rayquaza and arceus
matt on May 01, 2017:
yeah cool but is there an updated version?
Arthur Bianchini from Cedar Park on April 27, 2017:
I always enjoyed playing with Charmander since it was my second starter overall. My first Pokémon was actually Pikachu. I am also a fan of chimchar and torchic. Great article.
CherryChim025 on April 23, 2017:
I like Tepig cause of its Hp And attack!
RandomPlayah123 on March 06, 2017:
Charazard is chosen a lot because of its mega evolution [FYI]
But where would Litten stand on this list?
Guest on January 07, 2017:
Charizard is Overrated. Have they forgotten about stealth Rocks?
SumBoi on November 23, 2016:
Yong Kuan Leong from Singapore on September 12, 2016:
I think most people would go for Charmander simply because of the Anime.
Dylan Fouracre on September 04, 2016:
Fennekin is cute
Isaac on June 01, 2015:
You web site is awsome