Best Unova HM Slaves For Your Gen V Pokémon Team

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By the time the staggering skyscrapers and colossal cities of Unova came around, HMs were on a massive decline.

And good riddance for that.

A mechanic that was outdated was finally being put to rest, and Gen V served as a final nail in the coffin.

Yet it just so happens that BW and BW2 are my favorite Pokémon games of all time. So in celebration of them, and as a requiem for the dead HMs, I’ll be ranking the best options for Unova HM slaves for your gen 5 dream team.


10. Swanna

Swanna Dual-Type Pokemon in the anime

Swanna is very much a poor man’s Pelipper.

It doesn’t have nearly as much HM usage, although it does learn more. And it also lacks that roguish charm that Pelipper has, being the handsome man that he is.

It speaks volumes as to the decline of the HM mechanic when the 10th best HM user only learns three HMs in BW, but here we are.

Swanna nearly has a full sweep of the bird and water HMs. Specifically learning Surf, Dive, and Fly. However you do miss out on Waterfall.

There’s not much more to comment on this one. The Surf and Fly combo isn’t nearly as impactful as it was back in the day, so Swanna gets a spot on a technicality if nothing else.


9. Jellicent

Jellicent from Pokemon anime

Jellicent has always been a mixed bag for me.

On one hand, it has a mustache that would make even the manliest of macho men feel jealous.

On the other hand, it has these lifeless peering eyes that make me feel so uncomfortable.

Swanna is technically a better HM slave than Jellicent, being that it has Fly whereas Jellicent has Waterfall.

However, my loyalties lie with Pelipper. So I’m using my executive power to bump Jellicent up a place.

It’s got some decent defense stats if you’re interested in using one on your team. Although I’ve yet to meet someone who actually runs one of these guys on their starting six lineup.


8. Druddigon

Druddigon Pokemon anime screenshot

We’re all familiar with the Pokémon design controversy that came with Gen V.

I personally didn’t have a problem with most of the new mon’. That doesn’t extend to Druddigon.

I would argue that Druddigon is one of the ugliest Pokémon that we have ever seen.

I know I shouldn’t be throwing stones in a glasshouse, but god damn what happened. It’s just so… spiky and abrasive, which is a shame given that it has a pretty good base attack stat.

HM wise, you’re getting Cut, Surf, and Strength.

How you would actually ride on of these things over the waves without getting some bad chafing at the least is anyone’s guess, but that’s not a train of thought I want to follow too far.


7. Braviary

Braviary Pokemon in the anime

From one of the ugliest in Gen V to one of the most beautiful, Braviary is still my favorite flying type design to this day.

Which is great because it packs a serious punch in battle.

It has the same HM compatibility as Druddigon, with the exception of swapping out Surf for Fly.

That’s not all that great.

But it does mean that Braviary can be both a powerful flyer and a powerful HM slave, while also being a core part of your party’s battle lineup.


6. Haxorus

Haxorus Dragon-Type Pokemon in the anime

If you’re relegating a Haxorus to being your HM slave, then you have some serious power issues that you need to get sorted out.

It’s one of the most powerful dragon types that we’ve ever seen.

And it just so happens to also look the part. Those red tusks still give me nightmares to this day.

If you do have a sociopathic itch to turn one of these pseudo-legendaries into an HM slave, you have the option of Cut, Surf, and Strength.


5. Basculin

Basculin Pokemon anime screenshot

I never thought that I would be ranking a Basculin higher than a Haxorus on any list. But here we are, I guess.

Basculin looks horrible, has horrible stats, has a boring typing, and is overall a less charming version of Magikarp.

I wouldn’t even eat one of these things, that’s how pathetic it is.

However, it is the first of four Gen V Pokémon that can learn a whopping four different HM moves.

You obviously get the three water HMs, but Basculin can also learn Cut. If you wanted a true HM slave, as in one that has no business being anything other than a subservient guinea pig, then Basculin’s your fish.


4. Simipour

Simipour Pokemon in the anime

I was tempted to not put Simipour on this list based on personal prejudice alone.

If my dislike towards Druddigon was bad enough, then how much I hate Simipour is enough to call for a culling of the species.

Everything about the Pokémon’s design is horrible.

It looks like that 27-year-old surfer older brother that dropped out of high school and sits in your parent’s basement listening to reggae, arguing that Arctic Monkeys are still indie.

It has all of the same HMs as Basculin, but it gets number four because my passion and anger towards it is enough to spur me towards genuinely committing a crime.


3. Beartic

Beartic from Pokemon anime

This is more like it.

Beartic is a beast of a Pokémon that not only packs a whopping 130 base attack, but can learn four HMs to go along with that.

While the best HM slaves tend to be defensive, there’s nothing more satisfying than OHKO-ing your opponent with a beefcake Cut attack.

Beartic gets Dive, Surf, Cut, and Strength.

This is a good bit of coverage, and the swap of Waterfall for Strength actually comes in handy throughout a lot of the game.


2. Carracosta

Carracosta Pokemon anime screenshot

We’ve had a few turtle inspired Pokémon over the years. But Carracosta comes close to being my favorite.

If it weren’t for Squirtle, this might actually have that top spot.

Remember what I said about defensive HM slaves?

Well, Carracosta has a massive 133 base defense stat. A perfect HM slave is able to be left out as cannon fodder to take abuse while you heal up.

If you play your cards right, Carracosta can do that as well as the defensive giants themselves.

HM-wise you get the three water moves and Strength, meaning you can use this guy to clear most obstacles that you come across.


1. Samurott

Samurott from Pokemon anime

GameFreak must really not like water types.

Gen IV’s Empoleon is one of the greatest HM slaves of all time, for the Sinnoh games and throughout all the generations.

And Samurott is the best for Gen V by a country mile.

Whether you want to load up your precious starter with HMs is up to you.

But you have the options of the three water HM moves, plus Strength and Cut.

It’s the only Pokémon in the entire region to learn more than four HMs, meaning it wins an automatic 1st place on the list.

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