Best Johto HM Slaves in Pokémon G/S/C (And HeartGold/SoulSilver)

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HeartGold and SoulSilver are fan favorites for a lot of reasons.

In particular, these gave us a few innovations that not only put the game a gut above the original gen 2, but also for whatever reason, haven’t been replicated since.

The ability to walk with your Pokémon, the poke-walker, as well as having two regions to beat made the game longer than others and much more fun and personal to play.

Another one-up that HGSS has on other Gens is in the depth of the Pokedex.

There are two regions worth of Pokémon to choose from, and with that comes a lot of HM slaves. So let’s see which are truly the best-of-the-best add into your party.


10. Feraligatr

Feraligatr Water-Type Pokemon in the anime

Feraligatr only ranks in this low on the list because it’s a starter.

Nobody in their right mind wants to enslave what is meant to be their original partner Pokémon.

Despite this, the oversized crocodile makes for a great HM slave. So great, in fact, that the only HM it can’t learn is fly.

You get seven out of the possible eight HMs in the game with Feraligatr, so it would be an oversight to not include it on the list.


9. Golduck

Golduck from Pokemon anime

Golduck has been a reliable HM slave in a lot of generations. And this one is no different.

While in my humble opinion, evolving a Psyduck should be a capital offense punishable by death, I can’t ignore this guy can whip out HMs left and right.

The only two HMs that Golduck can’t learn are cut and fly, which you’re likely going to have on another ‘mon anyways.

It has decent enough stats too, albeit nothing to write home about. That’s why I can’t justify a spot higher.

Well, that and the fact that it’s an abomination and an insult to the name of Psyduck.


8. Poliwrath

Poliwrath Johto Pokemon anime screenshot

What’s better than ducks? Frogs.

Poliwrath has the same HM compatibility as Golduck, with the added benefit of not being a freak like that big-beaked loser.

It also has far better stats than Golduck.

While nothing that’s going to match it up against the likes of a Garchomp, its HP, ATK, and DEF numbers are perfectly acceptable for that of a usable HM slave.


7. Gyarados

Gyarados Pokemon in the anime

Gyarados is on the list for similar reasons to Feraligatr.

While it would be beyond foolish to demote this satanic fish-dragon to merely being an HM user, it does have great compatibility as a hybrid.

You get surf, strength, whirlpool, waterfall, and rock smash with Gyarados. Which are all pretty usable in battle, as well as outside battle too.

Needless to say, if you go for a move split with Gyarados, you can end up with a versatile HM slave that can also take names in battle.


6. Nidoking / Nidoqueen

Nidoking / Nidoqueen from Pokemon anime

Nidoking and Nidoqueen are so couple goals that they learn the same HMs as one another. So take your pick based on your preferred gender.

In terms of compatibility, you’re only missing out on fly and waterfall. So you’ve got exceptional coverage with these two.

In terms of stats, Nidoqueen is more of a decent all-rounder, whereas Nidoking has a really high attack stat (implying something there, Gamefreak?)

But you can get decent battle utility out of either one of them.


5. Kangaskhan

Kangaskhan Pokemon anime screenshot

Kangaskhan has the same HM compatibility as the Nido couple (can Kangaroos swim? Quick fact check, yes, they can!)

What puts Kangaskhan ahead of Nido-one and Nido-Two on the least, aside from having to pick between the two available genders, is its great HP stat.

Along with that, though, you get good ATK and speed. So Kangaskhan can actually come in handy in battle.

Plus it comes with an adorable baby in its pouch.

And who doesn’t want to make that fight to the near-death with other terrifying monsters?


4. Dragonite

Dragonite from Pokemon anime

If you use Dragonite as an HM slave, something’s gone wrong in that brain of yours. However, it does have its use as a hybrid, which is why it’s so high on the list.

In other generations, Pelipper would have the honor of taking this spot.

But lacking the overgrown seagull, the massive dragon will have to do.

You see, Dragonite is one of three Pokémon in HGSS that can learn both fly and surf.

The other two monsters are Lugia and Mew. So if you want to use one of them instead, be my guest.

In fact, the only HM that Dragonite can’t learn is rock climb. So if you mix up two battle moves with fly and surf, you have your very own taxi driving dragon service.


3. Lickilicky (HG/SS Only)

Lickilicky (HG/SS Only) Johto Pokemon anime

I wince every time I see Lickilicky make it onto one of these lists.

If serial offenders are the type of creatures you want on your team, then take the big pink blob.

The only HMs you’re going to miss out on are fly and waterfall.

This means Lickilicky can learn surf, although personally, I’d prefer it if it drowned. Just not while I’m riding mine.


2. Rhydon

Rhydon Pokemon anime screenshot

Using the first Pokémon to ever be designed as an HM slave is insulting to its legacy. But we don’t care about that, so let’s do it anyway.

In terms of compatibility, Rhydon can learn the same HMs as the last few entries, only missing out on fly and waterfall.

How this 264 pound stone rhinoceros can swim is beyond me.

What puts it far and above the rest of the Pokémon on this list is just how high its stats are.

It has an HP pool that’s nothing to scoff at. But also has an exceptional attack and defense stats. Especially as a solid rock Pokémon (although it does get a beastly evolution).

So not only can Rhydon HM slave, he can pack a punch and serve as a staller for you to heal up the rest of your team. Quite a valuable asset.


1. Linoone (HG/SS Only)

Linoone (HG/SS Only) in Pokemon anime

Linoone(and Zigzagoon) continue to reign supreme as the best and most reliable HM slaves in the entire series.

What you’re really looking for in a good HM slave is one that can be found early on, can learn cut and rock smash, and doesn’t learn surf and fly.

That’s because those two HM moves(Surf/Fly) are great battle moves for other party members, and cut/rock smash are the most common early-game obstacles.

Zigzagoon & Linoone fit this description perfectly.

Being accessible early on in the game, and learning cut, strength, rock smash, whirlpool, and surf (although we don’t worry about that one.)

In terms of overall usability as a pure HM slave, Linoone takes that cake, again.

And note that Zigzagoon/Linoone are originally gen 3 monsters, so you can’t find this guy in the original Gold/Silver/Crystal trilogy.

But HG/SS are gen 4, and they do appear in these titles. Actually you can get him pretty early on so get out there and have some fun!

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