(Please note that the recommendations below are largely made for in-game play. A Talonflame in a competitive environment will likely make use of different moves to accommodate for smarter, more adaptive opponents. Got some suggestions for a moveset? Stick 'em in the comments.)
Yep, Talonflame is one of those pokémon. You know, the kind that you catch at the beginning of the game, and which is great for the first little while, but that eventually peters off and becomes merely average? Yep, one of those. Nevertheless, a properly-raised Talonflame can still occupy a lasting space on your team, so long as you raise and train it properly. Here are some tips on doing that.
Type: Fire / Flying
Talonflame has a three-part evolution that begins with the tiny Fletchling. Catch a Fletchling and level it to 17, at which point it will evolve into a Fletchinder. Keep on leveling your fire bird and it will transform into a Talonflame at level 35. Note that Fletchling is a normal- and flying-type pokémon, not a fire- and flying-type like Fletchinder and Talonflame.
Bug, Fairy, Fighting, Fire, Grass, Steel. Immune to Ground.
Electric, Water, Rock (4x).
Ah, the compulsory early-caught, all-around-average flying-type of the new generation. There's always one. Though it is gifted with the extra fire-type for a change, Talonflame is pretty much like its predecessors: high Speed, okay-ish everything else. It's defensively a little frail, enough so that one strong super effective attack will usually bring it down, so optimizing its offensive stats is advisable. Its Attack is slightly higher than its Special Attack, though you can ultimately go either route to turn your Talonflame into a powerhouse. (I recommend sticking with Attack anyway. Talonflame has enough moves to take advantage of Attack without having to delve into Special Attack moves.)
Flame Body: There is a 30% chance that any pokémon attacking Talonflame physically will incur a burn. Even if Talonflame goes down as a result, burning an enemy pokémon is really helpful. Flame Body's also useful if you like to hatch eggs, as it cuts the number of steps needed in half.
Gale Wings: Flying-type moves are given higher priority than other moves. This is very helpful if you want to prioritize Talonflame's flying-type status, particularly if you plan on including Roost in your build. Gale Wings is a hidden ability.
Talonflame has neither the stats nor the moves to make it much other than a glass cannon berserker. Take advantage of its high Speed and give it some horribly-powerful moves that will offset its so-so Strength. My favourites are Brave Bird and Flare Blitz, both of which grant Talonflame STAB damage on top of high base damage rates. Both moves will gradually eat away at Talonflame's HP, so feel free to include Roost to keep its health high (or another high-power move if you're resigned to Talonflame fainting and just want to make the most of it). Double Team is a good backup option if you fear that something will outpace Talonflame... which probably won't happen tooooooo often. Alternatively, a single dose of Swords Dance when the fight begins can turn a near kill into a certainty.
EV / Super Training
Attack and Speed should be your primary concerns, with more emphasis on Attack. You can turn Talonflame into a defensive juggernaut if you really want, but Talonflame seems better optimized for filleting opponents with a single attack.
Catching a Talonflame
Unless you get lucky at a Friend Safari, you're not going to find a wild Talonflame. You'll have to cast about the wilds early in the game looking for a Fletchling, which, luckily, won't be difficult at all. They appear occasionally in Santalune Forest, and are much more prevalent on Routes 2 and 3.
Matt Bird (author) from Canada on November 11, 2013:
I'd say a Life Orb. You want Talonflame to do as much damage as possible in that first turn. Barring that, either something to boost a STAB move (Charcoal or Sharp Beak) or, if you think you can kill in one hit without augmentation, you might want to go the opposite of Life Orb and try Leftovers. They'll make up for some of the damage inflicted by Brave Bird and Flare Blitz.
Johannn on November 11, 2013:
which item should i giveit
Matt Bird (author) from Canada on November 09, 2013:
Talonflame's only real advantage over Charizard is its much greater speed, which I find is actually a fair danger in online play as it can usually dash off a Brave Bird before you can do anything. That aside, though... yeah, I replaced my Talonflame as a battler a long time ago. Now it only serves as an efficient egg hatching mechanism.
pokemonss on November 09, 2013:
So when I began my journey I caught fletchling right away, and he was a beast. But once I got charmander, I knew I would have a better fire/flying type in due time. Plus charizard can mega evolve while talonflame cannot. My team now is greninja, charizard, lucario, yveltal, mewtwo and zygarde.