Ah, Cut: It’s a Pokémon move that used to be the bane of every trainer’s existence. Part of a class of moves called hidden machines or HMs, Cut can be used outside of battle to cut down small trees, open new paths, and reveal hidden items. While this might sound useful, the problem with Cut was that it was nearly useless in battle, and in fact stole one of a Pokémon’s precious four-move slots. Add to this that HM moves couldn’t be forgotten in favor of TMs or moves learned while leveling unless you visit the Move Deleter, and you can see the problem.
Fortunately, HMs were nearly removed in Generation VII and later, with most pokemon games that found a unique way around themselves that allowed players to still use the move without having to teach it to any of their Pokémon. Still, the move remains in the series for those foolish enough — or brave enough — to teach it to one of their Pokémon. Just about every Pokémon in the series can use Cut, so we’ve decided to rank the top 10 Pokémon that can (unfortunately) learn it. What are our statistics? Even we don’t know.
These are the 10 best Pokémon that can learn Cut.
Yes, Genwünners, I know this doesn’t look like a Pokémon. Yes, we’ll get to Rattata later. For now, let’s take a look at this monstrosity, that Cut . learns during leveling. This was not a function until recently, but this Ultra Beast from Pokemon Sun and Moon learns Cut at level 15 from Generation VIII. Kartana’s moveset is a bit of a meme anyway: it almost exclusively teaches moves that involve cutting or swords, including Fury Cutter, Air Cutter, Night Slash, and Sacred Sword. If you take it all the way to 70, it learns Guillotine, which in my opinion is really just the ultimate form of Cut.
The only Pokémon that Cut generally can’t learn are fishing and sea Pokémon. It makes sense when you think about it: the in-game description says it requires the Pokémon to cut with a scythe or claw. Most fish don’t have hard claws or scythes to carve their opponents, so that cuts them off the list, if you’ll forgive the pun. Tentacruel is an odd exception to this rule: both it and its pre-evolved form Tentacool has been able to learn Cut since Generation I. What do they cut with? The world may never know.
Is it bad practice to teach your first partner Pokémon Cut? Yes. Didn’t we all do it when we were kids? Absolute. Who better to get to know Cut than the Pokémon who’s been by your side from the start of your adventure? Sure, you’ll learn a hard lesson when Bulbasaur tries to learn Razor Leaf and you can’t remove Cut, but at least it’ll be useful for the first few hours of the game, right? Right?
Remember how we laughed at Kartana because they were learning Cut while leveling up? Unfortunately, Farfetch’d can do it too. From Generation VIII, it learns the dreaded move at level 15, the same as Kartana. Farfetch’d has claws to swipe with, but I’ve always assumed it uses its leeks to carve enemies. It’s worth noting that Sirfetch’d, which evolves from the Galarian form of Farfetch’d, cannot learn Cut. Cool evolved Pokémon don’t need the measly Cut.
The humble Clauncher doesn’t look like much, but he made it onto our list of the best crab Pokemon too, so he must be worth something. He probably cuts opponents with his big claw, but honestly he doesn’t seem interested in it. Who can blame him? Would you rather use Cut than a cool, powerful scratching move like Crabbhammer or Hydro Pump? I think so since you are reading this article.
Liepard makes this list for one reason and one reason only: Cat scratching is incredibly painful. Whether in play or in anger, if a cat decides to wave at you, it will hurt. Both Liepard and his pre-evolved form Purrloin can learn Cut, but if you’re going to learn it, you might as well pick the Pokémon with the better stats and higher power potential. That still doesn’t make Cut a good move, but hey, at least it’ll do some more damage.
This is the one everyone has been waiting for. Rattata has been the classic choice for “HM Pokémon” since Generation I, when the usual strategy was to load a single useless Pokémon with as many HMs as possible to avoid wasting a move space on one of your more competitive teammates. Its evolved form Raticate can also learn Cut, but chances are you’ll never evolve or even level your Rattata. Just exchange it when you need to heal or revive your other Pokémon and you’ll be fine.
I see absolutely no problems teaching Cut to a Charizard. The pseudo dragon is one of the most iconic Pokémon in the series and Cut is one of the most iconic HMs in the series, so it’s a perfect combination. Why learn moves like Flare Blitz or Flamethrower when you could learn Cut? On a serious note, if you want to make the game infinitely harder, try teaching your first partner Pokemon nothing but HM moves and take on the gym circuit. It’s a very cursed alternative to Nuzlockes.
Finally something that actually looks like it could use Cut. Haxorus is a powerful Dragon-type capable of wiping out opponents with its blade-like tusks. If you use your imagination you can almost see him leaning to the ground to swipe at those annoying little trees. The pre-evolved form Axew is quite hard to find and doesn’t evolve to its final form until level 48, so it takes a lot of effort to get this powerful dragon. Why not celebrate all that hard work by learning the Cut?
Of course, the god of Pokémon Cut can learn. Is that also up for discussion? It can also learn just about any other HM move, including Fly. This ancient and mystical Pokémon can turn into any type in the game using the Plate series of held items and learn moves like Hyper Beam when it levels up. There’s no greater sign of becoming a Pokemon master than throwing Arceus into battle. What should be your first move with so much power at your disposal?
Learning Cut course.