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Pokémon Go: Prepare for trouble with the best Team Go Rocket Counters!

Team Go Rocket is here and not just the Grunts we’ve been dealing with since the Team Go Rocket Invasion. How do you take on Sierra, Arlo, Cliff, and Giovanni? Here’s how!

Now that Team Go Rocket is sending in more than just Grunts, defeating the villains of Pokémon Go takes more than just a handful of recommended Pokémon. Even well seasoned players, like myself, have struggled against the Team Go Rocket Executives and their Boss, Giovanni. Fortunately, we’re here to walk you through exactly what you need to take on each of these big bads!

What is Team Go Rocket?

Team Go Rocket is the current incarnation of the first criminal organization from the original Pokémon games and show. Led by Giovanni, Team Rocket has always been lurking in the shadows of the Pokémon world, stealing any Pokémon they can get their hands on, along with all the Poké Balls and Pokémon related technology possible. They’re the bad guys. Worse even, as Team Go Rocket, they’ve invaded the world of Pokémon Go along with Shadow Pokémon, formerly good Pokémon who have been corrupted through a crazy technique that leaves them in constant pain and forced to assist in Team Go Rocket’s criminal endeavors.

How do I challenge the leaders?

While Team Go Rocket Grunts have been taking over Pokéstops since July 2019, beginning in November 2019, their leaders have joined the fight. By fighting six Grunts, you can collect Mysterious components which can in turn be used to create a Rocket Radar. Once in possession of a Rocket Radar, you can track down Team Go Rocket Hideouts and challenge one of three Team Go Rocket Executives. These Executives are much stronger than the Grunts and actually know how to use their Shields so prepare for a tough battle. Along with Special Research, if you defeat all three Team Go Rocket Executives, you can be rewarded with a Super Rocket Radar that will lead you to the Boss of Team Go Rocket, Giovanni! For more details on how to get to the Team Go Rocket Executives and Giovanni, check out our guide.


Cliff is the first of the Team Go Rocket Executives and their counterpart to Team Mystic’s Leader Blanche. Cliff brings in a team of three Pokémon with the second and third being chosen from a pool of different strong Shadow Pokémon. Fortunately, you can battle an Executive as many times as it takes to beat them. So, if you lose the first time, take note of which Pokémon fill those second and third slots and plan your next attack accordingly.

  • Cliff’s first Pokémon is always Meowth. To counter Meowth, your best bets are Fighting types like Machamp, Breloom, Hariyama, and Lucario.

  • In his second slot, Ciff could send out Snorlax. Those same Fighting types like, Machamp, Breloom, Hariyama, and Lucario are your best bets.

  • If he goes with Sandslash, you want to rely on Ice types or Ice type attacks, such as Mamoswine, Mewtwo with Ice Beam; Water types, like Kyogre or Kingler with Crabhammer; or even the Grass and Poison type Roserade.
  • If Flygon is in Cliff’s second slot, Ice types or Ice type attacks like Mamoswine, Mewtwo with Ice Beam, or Regice; or Dragon types like Rayquaza, or Dragonite; or even the Psychic and Fairy type Gardevoir should be on your team.

  • For the third slot, Cliff may bring Tyranitar, in which case, your Fighting types like Machamp, Breloom, and Hariyama will serve you well. Water types like Kyogre, or Kingler with Crabhammer can also work well.

  • If Infernape is Cliff third choice, your best bets are Groudon, Kyogre, Mewtwo with either Psychic or Psystrike, or Moltres with Sky Attack.
  • Torterra can also be Cliff’s third Pokémon, in which case Mamoswine, Mewtwo with Ice Beam, Regice, Chandelure, Moltres, or Pinsir are your best bets

Going into your first attempt at Cliff, the safest choices you can make are Machamp, Mamoswine, and Kyogre. It’s not a surefire team but you’ll have something that can counter every possible Pokémon he could bring out. Keep in mind, though, his Pokémon all have outrageous CP and might take multiple tries.


Much like her counterparts, Sierra’s team choices make all the difference in what you should bring to fight her and her Shadow Pokémon have ridiculous CP. Be prepared to fight her more than once.

  • Sierra’s first Pokémon is always Sneasel. Your best counter choices are Machamp, Rampardos, Tyranitar, Metagross, Dialga, Moltres, or Blaziken.

  • For her second slot, she could go with Hypno. An Origin Forme Giratina, Darkrai, Tyranitar, Mewtwo with Shadow Ball, or Metagross will work well here.

  • If she goes with Lapras, your counters could be Machamp, Magnezone, Raikou, or Metagross.
  • For Sableye, your best bets are Gardevoir, Togekiss, or Granbull.

  • Alakazam could be in Sierra’s third slot, in which case your Origin Forme Giratina, Darkrai, Tyranitar, Mewtwo with Shadow Ball, or Metagross will do nicely.

  • If Houndoom is her third choice, Machamp, Rampardos, Tyranitar, Groudon, or Kyogre are your best bets.
  • If Sierra sends out Gardevoir, you want to counter with Metagross, Dialga, Origin Forme Giratina, Mewtwo with Shadow Ball, or Roserade with Poison type moves.

So, for your first strike against Sierra, Machamp, Metagross and Gardevoir cover the most possible Pokémon she could send out.


Another challenging Executive, Arlo can bring out a wide variety of Shadow Pokémon with crazy high CP. Expect to fight a second or third time before you get the right combination to defeat him.

  • Arlo’s first Pokémon is always Scyther. The best Pokémon to counter that are Rampardos, Tyranitar, Rhyperior, Chandelure, Mamoswine, Magnezone, or Melmetal.

  • In the second slot, Arlo could go with Magnezone. Mamoswine, Groudon, Excadrill, Garchomp, Rhyperior, Machamp, or Chandelure are your best counters here.

  • If Arlo goes with Crobat, Rampardos, Raikou, Mewtwo with Psychic, Psystrike, or Ice Beam, Mamoswine, or Regirock work nicely.
  • If his second Pokémon is Gyarados, Raikou, Electivire, Magnezone, Zapdos, or Melmetal are your best bets.

  • For his third Pokémon, if Arlo goes with Scizor, you should counter with Chandelure, Moltres, Blaziken, or Entei.

  • For Dragonite, you want to counter with Mamoswine, Weavile, Regice, Mewtwo with Ice Beam, Rampardos, Gardevoir, Rayquaza, or Dialga.
  • If his last Pokémon is Charizard, you want to fight Arlo with Rampardos, Tyranitar, Rhyperior, Kyogre, Raikou, or Regirock.

Going up against Arlo for the first time, your best odds are with a team of Mamoswine, Chandelure, and Raikou.


The Founder of Team Go Rocket, Giovanni is the only one bringing in Legendary Shadow Pokémon. For the time being, however, his team is more limited than his Executives. His first Pokémon is always Persian and his last is currently Articuno (although there is specualtion that this will change each calendar month.)

  • Giovanni’s first Pokémon is Persian. The best Pokémon to counter Persian are Machamp, Breloom, Blaziken, Hariyama, Toxicroak, or Heracross.

  • For his second Pokémon, Giovanni could bring in Nidoking, who is easiest to beat with Mewtwo, Alakazam, Kyogre, Espeon, Latios, or Metagross.

  • If Giovanni sends out Dugtrio, your best options are Kyogre, Kingler with Crabhammer, Mamoswine, Swampert, Roserade, or Sceptile.
  • If Giovanni’s second Pokémon is Rhydon, the best counters are Kyogre, Gyarados, Feraligatr, Venusaur, or Exeggutor.

  • For the moment, it seems as though Giovanni’s third Pokémon is Articuno. The best Pokémon to counter are Rampardos, Tyranitar, Rhyperior, Omastar, Alolan Golem, or Aggron.

Your best choice for the first team to tackle Giovanni are Machamp, Kyogre, and Rampardos.

Team Go Rocket questions?

There you have it. Follow our guide and you’ll send Team Go Rocket blasting off again! Have any questions about fighting Team Go Rocket, Cliff, Sierra, Arlo, or Giovanni? Want to share your winning team? Drop us a comment below and check out our other Pokémon Go guides!



Source of the article – iMore