Best TMs in Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver (And How To Get Them)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Johto is one of the most popular regions among fans. It’s no wonder so many of them clamor for a Let’s Go rendition of the Johto games.
And while Game Freak has yet to do another remake for Johto, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver are still the go-to remakes for Johto.
And this list of awesome TMs will help you start another playthrough with some good strategies..
Below I’ll be ranking some of the best TMs to get in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver.
Note: I won’t cover any TMs from the post-Elite Four stuff, since by the time you reach that point of the story, you already have a better team to handle the Kanto Gyms – and you’ll likely not be using TMs as much anyways at that point.
10. TM54 (False Swipe)
Once you have a relatively powerful Pokémon all levelled up, you might find some other great wild monsters out there… but their level is way below than your team’s average.
One move can easily KO these things!
False Swipe is here to help. It’ll hit mostly any Pokémon and make sure their health never falls below 1 HP.
You can increase your catch rate even more if you inflict status condition like Sleep and Paralysis, too.
But either way, you’ll want to have False Swipe. Especially if you encounter a random shiny along your adventure.
How to get: Dark Cave (Northeast exit to Route 31 side, requires Surf), or Goldenrod Department Store for 2000 PokéDollars
9. TM45 (Attract)
Infatuation is very annoying status condition. Ask anyone who’s ever fought Whitney.
And Attract is the only reliable way to inflict this status. Once you beat Whitney, most of the important trainers that you need to beat have an all-male team.
So if you teach Attract to a female, you can use it against Morty, Chuck, Pryce, Koga, Bruno, Karen’s Umbreon, Lance, and all of your Rival’s Pokémon except Magneton.
If you teach Attract to a male, you can use it against Jasmine’s Steelix, plus Clair, Will, and Karen’s team except Umbreon.
How to get: Goldenrod Gym Reward
8. TM01 (Focus Punch) & TM90 (Substitute)
Focus Punch is a powerful Fighting-type move, but it has a drawback of only hitting if you don’t get hit by an opponent during the turn.
Substitute will help you avoid getting hit, and lets you successfully use Focus Punch without fail.
In the competitive scene, this combination is called SubPunch.
The key here is using Substitute. If you still have a substitute up, you can use Focus Punch.
And TM01’s Focus Punch is useful against Jasmine, Pryce, Bruno’s Onix, Karen’s Umbreon and Houndoom, and your rival’s Sneasel and Magneton.
How to get: Cianwood Gym Reward (Focus Punch) / Goldenrod Game Corner for 2,000 Coins (Substitute)
7. TM26 (Earthquake)
Earthquake is one of the best Physical Move in the game.
It also helps that it’s a Ground-type move, which covers 5 types, the most among all types tied with Fighting.
Earthquake is placed relatively low in this list because you get this TM pretty late in the game.
But with that said, it’s still a great neutral move. And there are still trainers you can use it against, but that can be few and far between.
How to get: Victory Road 3F (Last Hole)
6. TM27 (Return)
Return, along with Earthquake, is one of the best Physical moves in the game.
If you have a Pokémon that’s still using their first level-up move like Tackle or Pound, Return is a better option.
It’s a great alternative if you lack a powerful and reliable Physical attack, and if you don’t care for super effective matchups.
So TM27 places higher here than Earthquake, because you can actually use it against the Champion, Lance.
How to get: Goldenrod Department Store 5F on Sundays (put a Pokémon with high friendship in your first party slot)
5. TM59 (Dragon Pulse)
Dragon Pulse is one of the best special moves in the gen 2 games, since Dragon is only resisted by Steel-types – which are still somewhat rare in Johto.
By the time you get Dragon Pulse, the only important trailers that could resist the move would be your rival’s Magneton, and Koga’s Forretress.
And you may have missed Clair, but it’s still a useful move against Lance either way.
How to get: Blackthorn Gym Reward or at Battle Frontier
4. TM35 (Flamethrower)
Flamethrower is one of the three Goldenrod Game Corner TMs that’s worth getting.
These are all very expensive, yet very useful.
I wanted to avoid these TMs as much as I could… but you can’t deny how useful they are once you have access to them.
Flamethrower is usually the worst among the three, but in HeartGold and SoulSilver, it covers a surprisingly large number of Gyms and Elite Four members.
Granted, it’s still the least useful among the three. But if you don’t have any Pokémon that’ll naturally learn this on level-up, it’s a great TM to keep in your bag.
You can use Flamethrower against Jasmine and Koga (since most of his Pokémon are actually Bug-types), as well as your rival’s Magneton and Meganium (if you choose Totodile), Pryce’s Piloswine, Will’s Exeggutor and Jynx, and Karen’s Vileplume.
How to get: On Route 28, or at Goldenrod Game Corner for 10,000 Coins
3. TM24 (Thunderbolt)
Thunderbolt is the next awesome Goldenrod Game Corner TM we’ll cover.
While Champion Lance is known as a Dragon-type trainer, his team is actually composed of all Flying-types too – since Johto still lacks Dragon-types outside Dragonite and Kingdra.
This means Rock-types, Electric-types, and Ice-types are great to have, and will cover all of Lance’s team.
All in all, you can use Thunderbolt against Lance, as well as your rival’s Golbat and Feraligatr (if you choose Cyndaquil), Chuck’s Poliwrath, Pryce’s Seel and Dewgong, Clair’s Gyarados, Will’s Xatu and Slowbro, Koga’s Crobat, and Karen’s Murkrow.
How to get: Goldenrod Game Corner for 10,000 Coins
2. TM13 (Ice Beam)
And here we have the last of the Goldenrod Game Corner TMs, but it’s a great one.
Besides the fact that Lance has an all-Flying type team, half of his Team is Dragonite too. Which would be double weak to Ice.
While Thunderbolt covers 3 of the 6 Pokémon that Lance has, Ice Beam covers 4, including Aerodactyl as well (since Dragonite is neutral to Electric-types).
If you have to choose between one of the three TMs in the Goldenrod Game Corner, I would definitely recommend Ice Beam above all.
You can successfully use Ice Beam against Clair and Lance, as well as your rival’s Golbat and Meganium (if you choose Totodile), Will’s Xatu and Exeggutor, Koga’s Crobat, Bruno’s Onix, plus Karen’s Vileplume and Murkrow.
How to get: Goldenrod Game Corner for 10,000 Coins
1. TM30 (Shadow Ball)
You could argue that all of the Game Corner TMs I mentioned are arguably better than Shadow Ball.
But the main advantage Shadow Ball has is that it’s a Gym reward, so you’re guaranteed to get it.
This means Shadow Ball is more accessible while still having great coverage and damage.
If you don’t have the coins to buy the TMs in Goldenrod Game Corner (or don’t have the patience for them) you can use Shadow Ball and Dragon Pulse and you’ll still be able to really churn your way through the Johto league.
How to get: Ecruteak Gym Reward