Best HM Slaves for Sinnoh’s Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum

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Generation IV holds a soft spot in the hearts of a lot of people, and for a very good reason.

It was the first appearance of the Pokémon series on the Nintendo DS, marking the true beginning of the next generation of games.

There were a good handful of changes and improvements made for Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. As per usual, though, the HM mechanic remained the same.

And this meant we had a brand new Pokédex to comb through looking for the most usefully useless Pokémon to load up on Cut and Surf.

So if you’re feeling nostalgic to play through the glory days of Sinnoh, read on to uncover our picks for the top gen 4 Pokémon that look best chained to HMs.


12. Garchomp

Garchomp Pokemon anime screenshot

Garchomp was a new, albeit forgetful addition to Generation IV.

Capable of learning cut, surf, strength, rock smash, and rock climb, this otherwise useless Pokémon makes for a relatively good HM slave.

This is especially true if you’re looking for an alternative to the usuals.

I had you going, didn’t I?

No, Garchomp is one of the most overused and powerful non-legendary ‘mons to ever grace the series.

Boasting a ludicrously high speed and attack stat, Garchomp is capable of carrying your team through the main game on its admittedly wimpy shoulders.

Why you would ever actually use a Garchomp as a HM slave is beyond me. Even as a joke that’s just, come on!

However, it can learn five useful HMs. So it technically has a place on this list.


11. Empoleon

Empoleon from Pokemon anime

Empoleon isn’t even in the same league as Garchomp when it comes to strength.

Regardless, there’s no situation that you would ever want to teach your starter a HM except for maybe surf.

However, if you do decide to use Empoleon as a HM slave, you’ll be as surprised as I was to learn that it’s compatible with seven of the eight HMs in the game.

The only one it can’t learn is fly (which seems like a cruel jab at penguins).


10. Wishcash

Wishcash Sinnoh Pokemon anime

Wishcash was a solid HM slave when it was introduced in Gen III, and that use carries over here.

As a Pokémon that held prominence in the old-school Mystery Dungeon games, running one of these as your HM slave might be a way to inject some more nostalgia into your run.

It can learn strength, surf, waterfall, and rock smash. So despite only having four HMs to its name, they are widely used ones.

Then of course, you do have its gloriously dopey face and almost vaudevillian-like whisker mustache, if that’s your kind of thing.


9. Golduck

Golduck from Pokemon anime

Golduck makes the list for being a purely useful HM slave.

While it does have a solid design, there are no frivolities associated with its place here.

It’s compatible with the same HMs as Wishcash, with the exception of Golduck also learning rock climb.

It has a decent special attack stat, with no other stats being very poor at all.

If you decide to evolve your Psyduck, despite the fact that you’re no fun, you get access to this solid HM slave.


8. Gliscor

Gliscor dual-type Pokemon in the anime

Now if you’re looking for a balanced HM that’s just useful as a battle mon’ as well, then Gliscor is one of the better options available.

It has a great defense stat, meaning you can use it to eat up some damage while you heal up the rest of your actually battle-ready team.

It only has weaknesses to water and ice, which aren’t types that are overly common. Keep in mind, though, Gliscor can be a bit of a bother to get your hands on.

You gave to catch a Gligar first, which has a particularly low encounter rate. After that you have to level it up at a specific time while using a Razor Fang.

While not overly difficult, this is a bit more effort than most people would be willing to go through for a HM slave.

Especially when there are better alternatives.


7. Rampardos

Rampardos Pokemon anime screenshot

Gen IV saw the rise of fossil Pokémon to a new level of prominence, albeit using annoying version exclusives.

For Rampardos specifically, if you only have Pearl at your disposal, then unlucky for you.

Capable of learning five HMs, Rampardos is the HM slave choice of many looking to take advantage of all the new goodies that came along with Gen IV’s release.

In battle, Rampardos has a ludicrously high attack stat.

Despite being a rocky t-rex looking thing, it is pretty squishy. So try to keep it out of the line of fire.

Whether or not using this is ethical remains a point of debate, though… given the Pokémon’s habit of smashing its head off things just for the fun of it.


6. Lickilicky

Lickilicky from Pokemon anime

Okay. I’m the last person that’ll judge you for your Pokémon choice, but using Lickilicky is just a little bit weird, man.

If you’re that special kind of creep that likes your big pink Pokémon running around licking other living things without their consent, you’ll be pleased to know that Lickilicky can lean the same five HMs as Rampardos.

The only HMs that are incompatible are fly, defog, and waterfall.

Just thinking about this pink terror is making me uncomfortable, so let’s keep it moving.


5. Tropius

Tropius Sinnoh Pokemon anime

Tropius has been a solid HM slave choice in almost every appearance it has made since its inception.

In D/P/P specifically, you’ve got the options of cut, fly, defog, strength, and rock smash.

The dashing dinosaur has a decent enough HP stat too, as well as a banana beard that honestly makes me a bit jealous.

If you’re in need of a bulky all-round flier to stock up with HMs, Tropius is a very popular option in all of gen 4.


4. Rhydon

Rhydon from Pokemon anime

Rhydon has never been a stranger to my teams throughout the year, albeit never really in the position of HM slave.

Despite my personal preferences, Rhydon is a great choice for the position.

It has solid HP and the unusual combo of having both high special attack and special defense.

So long as you keep it out of the line of fire from special attackers, Rhydon is both a powerful offensive and defensive tool to take advantage of.

All while also being capable of learning five HMs.

If you’re able to, you can evolve Rhydon into Rhyperior for some serious super stats while keeping the HM line up.

You need to be able to trade your Rhydon to do this, though. So if you have no friends like me, well you’re stuck with a simple rock thing.


3. Skarmory

Skarmory from Pokemon anime

Skarmory is the perfect HM slave hybrid.

It can learn four of the eight HMs, which isn’t that great although it does include fly. However, it makes for a great secondary HM slave/battle-ready Pokémon.

It has a tiny encounter rate percentage, but if you can catch one you have one of the best physical defense walls in the game.

Split your Skarmory’s moveset between stalling attacks and HMs, and it should become a valuable member of your team.

There’s a reason that it’s a regular in competitive play, after all.


2. Pelipper

Pelipper Pokemon in the anime

Pelipper is that better flying HM slave that we mentioned with Tropius.

This might come as a shock despite coming in at number two, but Pelipper can only learn three HMs, and one of them is defog.

So why is it this high on the list?

The other two HMs are surf and fly. You’re going to be using these two HMs far more than any of the others, and Pelipper is the only Pokémon in the game capable of learning both.

Its stats aren’t great, so don’t expect to rid this overgrown pelican into battle. Although you can ride it anywhere that isn’t towards an enemy.

For all intents and purposes, Pelipper is a Pokémon chauffeur.

It wouldn’t be too crazy to see one dressed in a suit driving a limo at some point.


1. Bibarel (Bidoof)

Bibarel Pokemon anime screenshot

C’mon. You knew that this was coming.

Bibarel is a legend among us Gen IV loyalists out there.

This happy go lucky beaver is useless in every single way… except for the fact that it makes a great HM slave.

No seriously, it has no other uses. Combine that with the fact you find it at the start of your journey, and one might just think that Bibarel was made to spit out HM moves all day.

Capable of learning every HM in the game except for fly and defog, Bibarel deserves a spot as your dedicated HM user. Because that’s what it was born to do.

Have pity on the poor thing and at least give it a shot.

Let the big lump fulfill his purpose in life.

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