Pokémon The 5 Best TMs You Can Teach Your Pokémon (& 5 You Should Stay Away From)

Pokémon: The 5 Best TMs You Can Teach Your Pokémon (& 5 You Should Stay Away From)

From Ice Beam to Giga Impact, here are some essential TMs for your Pokémon to learn (alongside some you should never, ever teach them).



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Category : Pokemon

Pokémon The 5 Best TMs You Can Teach Your Pokémon (& 5 You Should Stay Away From)

Now, Pokémon isn’t the most challenging and in-depth RPG experience in the genre. We can probably all agree on that. As with most of Nintendo’s (or Game Freak’s, in this case) flagship franchises, there’s an accessible, family-friendly air about the whole thing. Just look at Pikachu’s adorable fuzzy face. It just screams E for Everyone.

At the same time, though, those that have delved into the murky waters of competitive battling know that there’s a ridiculous amount of hidden depth here. Each Pokémon has only four moveslots, for instance, and you’ll have to think hard about the best ways to utilize them. Experienced Pokémon players know that certain TM moves are absolutely priceless, while others aren’t even worth a second disparaging glance. To help out with that, we’re taking a look at some of the very best (and very worst) TMs to teach your squad.

Note that the list of in-game TMs has changed a lot since the original games, so we’re only looking at the current roster as of Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (current until Pokémon Sword and Shield undoubtedly change the list again, that is).

10 BEST: Scald (TM 55)

Pokémon The 5 Best TMs You Can Teach Your Pokémon (& 5 You Should Stay Away From)

Ah, yes. Water is the most common type in the game, and Scald is probably the most common move you’re going to see a Water-type rocking. It’s just that darn good. As soon as you find this TM in-game, immediately teach it to any remotely Specially-inclined Water Pokémon you have.

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Introduced in Generation 5, Scald is a Special move with perfect accuracy and a base power of 80. Power-wise, it’s nothing exceptional, and some may prefer Hydro Pump (but that’s a power-versus-accuracy debate for another day). The major selling point here is Scald’s 30% chance to burn, which is just too high. Most physical attackers, even if they resist Water, don’t want to switch in and risk their Attack being instantly halved by the status.



9 STAY AWAY: Round (TM 48)

Pokémon The 5 Best TMs You Can Teach Your Pokémon (& 5 You Should Stay Away From)

The issue with Pokémon is that, while there are so many of the darn critters now, only a small percentage of the creatures are viable in standard competitive play. This is also true of the moves that are available to fit those four limited slots each member of your team has.

There are a lot of gimmicky, niche moves, and Round is the poster child for gimmicky niche-ness. It’s a Special Normal move with a base power of 60, with a neat effect: if another Pokémon has already used the move this turn, the subsequent Round(s) will be doubled in power. It will also be used immediately afterwards, ignoring Speed. It’s certainly unique, but your chances of pulling this off consistently and effectively are less than great.

8 BEST: Ice Beam (TM 13)

Pokémon The 5 Best TMs You Can Teach Your Pokémon (& 5 You Should Stay Away From)

Ah, Ice Beam. This trusty move has been scoring lucky freezes and crushing opposing trainers’ hopes, dreams and earthly souls into sad hunks of salty spam since the 90s, and it’s not about to stop now.

The thing about Ice Beam is, it doesn’t need that 10% freeze chance at all. It’s a powerful Special move with excellent coverage (Ice-types are weak to absolutely everything ever, but absolutely everything ever is weak to them in return), one you’ll never want to leave home without. A select few Pokémon can even couple it with Thunderbolt for the coveted ‘BoltBeam’ combo, which is just about the best coverage you can get with two moves.

7 STAY AWAY: Dream Eater (TM 85)

Pokémon The 5 Best TMs You Can Teach Your Pokémon (& 5 You Should Stay Away From)

Now, for many veteran Poké-players, the Dream Eater combo is the ultimate OG Pokémon strategy. The technique was (and still is) simple: put your opponent to sleep, then hit them with Dream Eater to do a large chunk of damage and recover a percentage of it yourself. Young players could literally feel their brilliant brains expanding as they executed this devious technique.

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While Sleep is one of the most hated status conditions in the game and Dream Eater is a powerful Psychic-type move (though, of course, it fails if the target is awake), you’re rarely going to be able to pull it off against anyone other than the in-game trainers. Trapping the opponent in and then executing this classic strategy can work, but it takes 7-12 business days’ worth of set-up and lots of luck.

6 BEST: Roost (TM 19)

Pokémon The 5 Best TMs You Can Teach Your Pokémon (& 5 You Should Stay Away From)

There’s nothing complicated about Roost. It’s a Flying-type Status move that provides reliable healing. It also removes the user’s Flying typing for the rest of that turn, which can come in handy if you’re facing a slower opponent using a move you’re currently not weak to any more (though clever opponents using Earthquake on a Zapdos that is now weak to it will ruin and/or end your entire existence).

The fact that Roost is a TM is the saving grace of many Pokémon that don’t learn it naturally and can tank a hit or two. It’s one of the best Flying-type moves in the series.

5 STAY AWAY: Embargo (TM 63)

Pokémon The 5 Best TMs You Can Teach Your Pokémon (& 5 You Should Stay Away From)

Unless you’re using one of those devious Acrobatics-spamming Hawluchas (which likes to have an item it can use up as quickly as possible to get the Speed boost from its Ability Unburden) or something, you’ll probably know that it’s almost always better to be holding an item. Sweepers always want a damage-boosting item, Walls wouldn’t be seen dead without –and/or would be dead without– their Leftovers, and so on.

As such, a move that negates the effect of the target’s held item for five times might seem to be somewhat useful. In some niche cases, it can be. Generally, though, there’ll be something much better you could be doing with that moveslot.

4 BEST: Earthquake (TM 26)

Pokémon The 5 Best TMs You Can Teach Your Pokémon (& 5 You Should Stay Away From)

Much like Ice Beam, Earthquake is one of the most coveted TMs in the series. Since TMs became unlimited-use, trainers everywhere have been popping these items like Tic Tacs on almost every Pokémon capable of learning it. This faithful old move has been TM 26 since Generation One (changing number only in Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee).

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It’s a darn powerful Ground move. That’s really all there is to it. No dedicated physical attacker that has access to it should be without it, unless you’re playing doubles matches and don’t want to hit your partner. The spread damage is the only downside here.

3 STAY AWAY: Giga Impact (TM 68)

Pokémon The 5 Best TMs You Can Teach Your Pokémon (& 5 You Should Stay Away From)

Now, we can totally understand if you’ve been tempted by this move before. If you’ve picked up the TM, checked it out, noticed that it has 150 base power and buckled yourself in to claim every life on the planet.

Granted, if you teach it to a Normal-type with a high Attack stat, that is sure going to smart. However, the limited PP and recharge turn afterwards make it completely impractical (even on Slaking, which wants to switch right the heck out of there on its Truant turns).

2 BEST: Thunderbolt (TM 24)

Pokémon The 5 Best TMs You Can Teach Your Pokémon (& 5 You Should Stay Away From)

To follow up on our previous Ice Beam entry, here’s the move that puts the Bolt into BoltBeam. Thunderbolt boasts the same high base power and 10% chance to inflict a lucky status. There’s also a stronger, less reliable alternative (Thunder, which is also a TM).

Outside of rain, in which Thunder will always hit, Thunderbolt tends to be the way to go. It’s a perfect catch-all move to slap onto Electric-types with good Special Attack, both in-game and competitively.

1 STAY AWAY: Hail (TM 07)

Historically, weather-based teams have been pretty darn strong. The rain archetype, in particular, is all about using that doubled speed and boosted Water damage to go pure, terrifying hyper offense (think Arnold Schwarzenegger wiping out that enemy base at the end of Commando, only with more water).

Unlike rain and sun (and sand to a lesser extent), hail teams have never really been effective at much, beyond stalling. The strategy was buffed recently with the addition of new auto-setters, the Slush Rush Ability and Aurora Veil, but even then, it’s tough to find a turn to use Hail to set the weather manually.

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