Originally on my hated list, Emboar now is one of my more beloved Pokemon, as I grew to love it's design. Aside from my personal liking to it however, Emboar is plagued with problems. A lackluster move pool and poor level-up moves, and a lack of any defence to back up it's high HP, there's really not much reason to use it over Infernape or Blaziken. Here's some of the things I considered:
I put a * by the things changed...
1 Hammer Arm
1 Odor Sleuth
1 Tail Whip
3 Tail Whip
9 Odor Sleuth
13 Defense Curl
15 Flame Charge
17 Arm Thrust
20 Chip Away*
28 Take Down
31 Heat Crash
40 Fire Punch*
47 Drain Punch*
50 Head Smash
65 Flare Blitz
Here's what I considered for level-up moves:
The order is debatable as I didn't give it much thought, but it was primarily to give it certain moves. Here are my justifications:
Bite - Bite is not a very powerful move, so it's purpose competitively is minimal. Otherwise, it is an early, yet effective, move for Tepig/Pignite to learn while they travel and train throughout Unova with the trainer. It could be used after some bulk ups, but otherwise, it's not a very strong move, so using it only while playing through the story is advised.
Chip Away - Very questionable indeed, but gives Emboar a neat attack to use after he sets up shop with bulk up or whatever. Since it has no STAB, it's less useful than the likes of storm throw, but that move is unique to Throh. Chip Away allows him, however, to pinpoint a weakness and hit hard after a good bulk-up battle in particular. Either way, it definitely beats smog, which is a move no sane person would use competitively or in the field.
Fire Punch - Black POKEDEX: "It can throw a fire punch by setting its fists on fire with its fiery chin." No it can't! This is mainly just an issue about the canon, as most people would probably choose the almighty flare blitz over this move, especially with it's DW ability reckless, but it's a bit odd that it's pokedex states that it can use fire punch, whereas in game it cannot. It's a safer alternative for those worry warts out there, and provides Emboar with a move that is efficient and reliable. Most importantly, however, it is not really wise to state something it can't do on the Pokedex. I'm certain Emboar isn't the only one, but it's still ridiculous, considering his already small-ish movepool.
Drain Punch - Perhaps one of my more desired moves, I once thought of a set with Bulk up/Flame Charge/Drain Punch/Filler, but unfortunately, it cannot learn that move. Why? You get pokemon that really do not need the move due to their extreme power, or others which are already very frail or get an ability that allows them to heal when they switch, but you leave the slow, lumbering pig with arm thrust? Screw you. Aside from that, Emboar kind of needs this move. His only two worthwhile fighting moves are hammer arm, which is inaccurate, and super power, which weakens him. I mean seriously? I suppose that Emboar is supposed to be about risks, but a plethora of pokemon can learn this move, and because it's no longer a TM this guy can't be one of them? I find that really stupid. Battle wise, although it's not too strong, it would certainly be a lovely addition, and would only reinforce Emboar's "bulky fire starter" gimmick.
Crunch - Pigs are nasty. Boars are nastier. Emboar's nastiest. Boars bite. And Emboars don't bite, they crunch you up! (I at least wish they did). Considering his already mediocre bulk and poor speed, I didn't think this move would be illegal. Emboar can already learn some interesting moves, such as Scald and Wild Charge, so I think Crunch wouldn't be too far from the group. Crunch would be an amazing move, and with flame charge, it would allow him to counter some pesky psychic types who previously could outrun him, or just deal a lot of damage to them. It would also help against ghosts as well. Aside from that, it clearly wouldn't break Emboar, as usually you would have Emboar retreat if it spotted a psychic type. It certainly wouldn't take out Slowbro, unless you set up. All in all, I think this move, while it would really help Emboar, it would not break it by any means, it would just give it better coverage.
Egg move/Tutor move:
Zen Headbutt - Yeah, I'm getting a little crazy with these, but seriously, Rampardos got it, some other pokemon get it, and I find Emboar could've used it too. While it certainly doesn't give it the "calm" vibe, it certainly would make sense due to it's "slam" nature (Head Smash, Body Slam, heavy moves here). It would also allow Emboar to fight other fighting types with a move for coverage. It's not strong and perhaps not recommended, as wild charge would take it's place, perhaps. However, it would be neat, and definitely give Emboar more options.
Although I'm probably going a little deeper, I also wouldn't mind his base stats changing, but not by a whole lot.
SP ATK: 75*
Reasons: The Tepig family was highly anticipated before the game was launched as being a bulky fire starter, but all we got was a slightly tougher yet still somewhat frail pokemon with very high attack, but with only above average special attack. If Emboar was given more defence to compensate, it would become the "bulky" starter. It's not too bulky, still, but it's definitely going to take a few hits, and with bulk up, it'll become a monster on the battlefield. However, Emboar, like most pokemon, have a weakness, which is obviously his special defence. He cannot increase his special defence, which is a plus for balance. Overall, I do not think that Emboar, with all of these changes, would be anywhere near broken, but it would make him very effective. He's not too slow either, for a bulk, so that's neat. Also, despite special attack being lowered, it's not terrible, and with fire blast it could still hurt. However, Emboar I find would've been the perfect example of a dedicated fire starter (dedicated to attack), and he would have the moves and attack to back him up.
I think Emboar should've been the pain train out of the fire starters, slow but strong and tough, with good coverage. Considering the already beast fighting types we have out there, I don't think Emboar would still break into the OU tiers. Considering his low special defence, walls like Slowbro will still take a crunch (they can survive a Durant's X-Scissor), and easily counter it. It'll still have walls, walls which are still in the UU environment. However, I really hoped Emboar would be the fire starter which would've stood out. It does, but not for good reasons...