Ting-Lu is a large Pokémon resembling a cloven-hoofed mammal such as a deer or a moose. Its body is composed of layered rock, ranging in color from dark brown to a light tan. Its head has several red markings, as well as small red eyes and what appears to be a dewlap on its chin. Upon its head is a large ritual vessel cracked down the middle, with an ornate rectangular pattern resembling eyes at the front, and several antler-like spikes jutting out from the rim.
Like the other Treasures of Ruin, Ting-Lu's true form is that of the ritual vessel on its head, having been given life by the fear of humans from ancient times — while its body is a form it has constructed using its control over the earth. Ting-Lu is described as being able to create fissures over 160 feet (50 meters) deep just by slowly putting down its head on the ground. It is known as the Vessel of Ruin.
Ting-Lu and the other Treasures of Ruin are the only known Pokémon capable of learning the move Ruination. Ting-Lu is also the only known Pokémon that can have Vessel of Ruin as an Ability.
- Ting-Lu and the other Treasures of Ruin are the first Pokémon whose base stats were adjusted via a patch to the game.
- Out of the Treasures of Ruin, Ting-Lu was the only one to have a base stat increased during the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet 1.01 version patch. However, Ting-Lu still suffered an overall base stat decrease by 10 points like the rest of the Treasures of Ruin.
Ting-Lu seems to be based on various species of the deer family, such as the moose, the elk, and the Père David's deer, the latter of which is native to China. In particular, the cracked vessel on its head appears to be based on the broad, palmate antler of the Eurasian elk. Given the Pokédex's reference to its remarkably heavy head, it may also be based on the Irish elk, an extinct cervid known to have carried the largest antlers of any known deer. The overall design of Ting-Lu may also refer to Chinese stone sculptures along sacred ways to tombs and mausolea, as well as deer stones in the Eurasian Steppe. The horizontal stripes along its body resembles the layering of sediments in rock formations.
The vessel on Ting-Lu's head is based on a 鼎 dǐng, an ancient Chinese cauldron that served as a symbol of imperial authority. The deer and dǐng elements together may be chosen in reference to the pair of phrases: 問鼎 / 问鼎 wèndǐng (lit. "to inquire about the cauldron") and 逐鹿 zhúlù (lit. "to hunt for deer"), both of which connotes the vying for supremacy and aspirations for the throne.
Ting-Lu and the other Treasures of Ruin may be based on the Four Perils of Chinese mythology. Specifically, Ting-Lu may be based on 饕餮 Tāotiè, a gluttonous beast that is conventionally used by 11th century Chinese antiquarians to name the common beast face motif in ancient bronze vessels; as well as 窮奇 / 穷奇 Qióngqí, which is sometimes depicted as a man-eating deer or bovine. Given that Paldea, the region where it became a Ruinous Pokémon, is based on the Iberian peninsula, the body shape of Ting-Lu may also take inspiration from zoomorphic Iberian sculptures. Specifically, verraco sculptures are commonly found in Northwestern Iberia, which corresponds to the in-game location of Ting-Lu and the Groundblight Shrine.
Ting-Lu and Dinlu may be a combination of 鼎 dǐng (ancient Chinese cauldron) and 鹿 lù (Chinese for deer). The English name is formatted in Wade–Giles, a romanization system used in the Anglosphere for most of the 20th century.