Picking out a starting Pokémon can be a tough choice for some trainers. It depends on what a given trainer prioritizes. Is it a specific type? Does design play a big part in the selection? Should it be able to dish out strong attacks, or take a beating? Different trainers go for different things, and while that pretty much leaves anything open, Fire-type starters have always been a popular choice. Charizard has always been a big fan-favorite, and players from back in the day sometimes still gravitate towards the Fire-type choice as a result.
That's right. Starting with Charmander in Gen I, Fire-types have developed into a popular choice for trainers when starting out their adventure. There are some ridiculously strong ones out there, so it’s a given as to why they’re such a well-liked commodity. But not all Fire-type starters are made equally. Some are weaker than others (they get on well together, though, as seen in the above adorable fan-art by missypena/zimmay/finni). This ranking just so happens to sort them out, and finally answers which of them comes out as the best of the best.
7 Tepig - Pignite - Emboar
Tepig isn’t going to scare you with its stats or appearance. The Unova starter looks like it would make a better stuffed doll than fighting partner. But things are different – at least in terms of appearance – once Emboar is brought into the picture.
One of several Fire/Fighting-type starters, Emboar is the worst of the bunch. The bulk of its stat distribution was put into its HP and Attack stats. While it can deal a good amount of damage, it’s so slow and frail (that high HP doesn't really offset its dismal defenses) that none of that ultimately matters.
6 Fennekin - Braixen - Delphox
Fennekin is notable for evolving into one of the most unique Fire-type starters in the games. By now it seems as though it’s commonplace for a Fire-type starter to go Fire/Fighting in its second evolution. Fennekin actually does a complete 180 from this when it evolves into Delphox.
Delphox is a Fire-Psychic-type. It’s a unique pairing, and while it is weak to five different types, it’s also resistant to seven. Add in the wide array of powerful Fire and Psychic-type moves it learns and you’ve got one of the more interesting Fire starters to train.
5 Chimchar - Monferno - Infernape
Next up is another Fire-type starter that goes on to adopt a Fighting dual-type. Much like Tepig, Chimchar just isn’t all that great when compared to other Fire-type starters, even when you factor in its evolved form.
Infernape has nice Attack/Special Attack stats and incredible Speed as well. It’s a natural glass cannon and learns a diverse range of moves that trainers will have fun choosing from. It's a good mixed attacker, but the rest of its stats are pretty pedestrian. Infernape still gains some value in its region for being one of the better Fire-type options in Sinnoh.
4 Litten - Torracat - Incineroar
Like every other Fire-type starter covered so far, Litten adopts a second type when it reaches its final evolution. Unlike a lot of the starters featured in these rankings, Litten doesn’t head down the predictable Fighting-type path, adopting the Dark-type instead. Much like Fennekin, Litten’s second evolution is a unique one among its peers.
Incineroar is a Fire/Dark-type with great all-around stats, its Speed being the only low one of the bunch. It has much higher Attack than it does Special Attack and that’s reflected in its learnset. Though not the best out there, it’s a great choice of starter.
3 Cyndaquil - Quilava - Typhlosion
One of the most iconic Fire-types in the games, Cyndaquil is also one of the most useful Fire-type starters you can get your hands on. Cyndaquil remains a pure Fire-type throughout its evolutions, the only Fire-type starter Pokémon to do so. It sure doesn't look as though Pokémon Sword and Shield's Scorbunny is going to.
Typhlosion’s stats are good and mostly well balanced. Its HP and Defense stats are about average but only just barely. With its total base stats adding up to 534, it has a good spread going for it. One thing that trainers will love is the amount of strong Fire-type moves Typhlosion can learn. It may make its moveset a little one-dimensional, but in terms of a pure Fire-type, it’s one of the best you can have.
2 Torchic - Combusken - Blaziken
While you’ve seen it here before, Torchic is notable for being the first Fire-type starter that would transition to a Fire/Fighting-type once it reached its second evolution. When it comes to starters, Blaziken is hands down one of the best you can hope for.
It has superb base stats, with its somewhat pedestrian Defense stats being its only glaring weakness. It has a number of powerful Fighting and Fire-type physical moves in its learnset, but can also take advantage of its high Special Attack with some TMs like Flamethrower and Fire Blast. Its Mega Evolution only makes it an easier choice for the number two slot on this ranking.
1 Charmander - Charmeleon - Charizard
Probably the most popular starter ever, Charmander is a favourite of many trainers not for its adorable design, but for its use in battle. After it evolves into Charizard, it also becomes Flying-type. That gives it a whopping quadruple weakness to Rock-type moves, but it’s immune to Ground-types and is resistant to six different types, one being Fairy.
Charizard has two Mega Evolutions. They both bring something different to the table, but its Mega Charizard Y form – which becomes one of the most formidable special attackers around with Drought boosting its Fire-type STAB moves – is seen by most as the superior of the two (not that you can discount the physical prowess of the Fire/Dragon-type Mega Charizard X either). In its standard form, Charizard is less of a powerhouse, but it's this potential that marks it as a force to be reckoned with and probably the strongest Starter out there.