Tips to Defeat Team GO Rocket’s Sierra, Cliff, and Arlo in Pokémon GO: Summer 2022

19 July 2022

Tips to Defeat Team GO Rocket’s Sierra, Cliff, and Arlo in Pokémon GO: Summer 2022

Learn which Pokémon the Team GO Rocket Leaders may use in battle and how best to counter them.

Battling a Team GO Rocket Leader is a lot more challenging than taking on a Team GO Rocket Grunt. But with some key knowledge and shrewd strategy, you can send Sierra, Cliff, and Arlo packing. When you do, you’ll be able to catch Sierra’s Shadow Squirtle, Cliff’s Shadow Bulbasaur, or Arlo’s Shadow Charmander.

Before diving into strategies for each individual Team GO Rocket Leader, here are a few general tips that can help you across the board.

One important difference between Trainer Battles and battling Team GO Rocket Leaders is their use of Protect Shields. Team GO Rocket Leaders have two Protect Shields that they’ll use to block the first two Charged Attacks your Pokémon use. Because of this, it’s best to begin the battle with a Pokémon that has a Charged Attack that powers up quickly so you can fire off your first two Charged Attacks as soon as possible. When using subsequent Charged Attacks, be thoughtful about timing and utilize their power when it will be most effective.

It’s also worth noting that the Team GO Rocket Leaders’ Pokémon can have any Fast Attack or Charged Attack currently available to that Pokémon. You won’t know which Fast Attack or Charged Attack their Pokémon will have until you’re battling them, so try to familiarize yourself with each Pokémon’s available attacks and pick your own Pokémon team accordingly.

When battling the Team GO Rocket Leaders, it’s best to use Pokémon with two Charged Attacks to give yourself more chances to exploit the type weaknesses of opposing Pokémon.

Team GO Rocket Leader Sierra

Sierra’s Potential Pokémon

  • First Pokémon

    • Squirtle (Water)

  • Second Pokémon

    • Blastoise (Water)

    • Lapras (Water/Ice)

    • Blaziken (Fire/Fighting)

  • Third Pokémon

    • Nidoqueen (Poison/Ground)

    • Houndoom (Dark/Fire)

    • Drapion (Poison/Dark)

Recommended Pokémon to Defeat Sierra

  • Ground-type Pokémon to use against Sierra’s Nidoqueen, Houndoom, Blaziken, or Drapion

    • Swampert

    • Groudon

    • Garchomp

  • Grass-type Pokémon to use against Sierra’s Squirtle, Blastoise, or Lapras

    • Venusaur

    • Torterra

    • Tangrowth

  • Electric-type Pokémon to use against Sierra’s Squirtle, Blastoise, or Lapras

    • Jolteon

    • Raikou

    • Electivire

How to Defeat Sierra

Your Pokémon lineup against Sierra should be comprised of one Ground-type Pokémon, one Grass-type Pokémon, and one Electric-type Pokémon. Each of your three Pokémon should have a Fast Attack and a Charged Attack that match the Pokémon’s type to enable them to benefit from a same-type attack bonus.

Given that four of Sierra’s potential Pokémon are vulnerable to Ground-type attacks, you’re going to want to use at least one Pokémon with a Ground-type Fast Attack and Charged Attack. As a dual Grass- and Ground-type Pokémon, Torterra may be a good option to fill that role—but be wary of any additional weaknesses you may be introducing by selecting a Pokémon with two types. For example, Torterra is weak to Fire-type attacks, which puts it at a disadvantage against Sierra’s Blaziken despite its own Ground-type attacks.

Whichever Ground-type Pokémon you choose, you won’t want to begin the battle with it. Instead, use a Grass- or Electric-type Pokémon to quickly knock out Sierra’s Squirtle, then switch to a different Pokémon if Sierra sends out Blaziken after. Try to choose a Pokémon with a Charged Attack that powers up quickly so you can get through Sierra’s Protect Shields early and make the most of your Pokémon’s Charged Attacks later in the battle.

Team GO Rocket Leaders use Pokémon with high CP, so even with a type advantage, they won’t be easy to overcome. Powering up your Pokémon might be the difference between a Pokémon fainting or hanging on for an additional Charged Attack—and sometimes, that can be all it takes to decide the winner of a battle.

Team GO Rocket Leader Cliff

Cliff’s Potential Pokémon

  • First Pokémon

    • Bulbasaur (Grass/Poison)

  • Second Pokémon

    • Venusaur (Grass/Poison)

    • Crobat (Poison/Flying)

    • Omastar (Rock/Water)

  • Third Pokémon

    • Swampert (Water/Ground)

    • Torterra (Grass/Ground)

    • Tyranitar (Rock/Dark)

Recommended Pokémon to Defeat Cliff

  • Grass-type Pokémon to use against Cliff’s Omastar, Tyranitar, and Swampert

    • Venusaur

    • Torterra

    • Tangrowth

  • Ice-type Pokémon to use against Cliff’s Bulbasaur, Venusaur, Crobat, and Torterra

    • Weavile

    • Glaceon

    • Darmanitan

  • Psychic-type Pokémon to use against Cliff’s Bulbasaur, Venusaur, and Crobat

    • Mewtwo

    • Espeon

    • Metagross

  • Fire-type Pokémon to use against Cliff’s Bulbasaur, Venusaur, or Torterra

    • Charizard

    • Arcanine

    • Delphox

How to Defeat Cliff

Your Pokémon team for battling Cliff should include an Ice-type Pokémon, a Grass-type Pokémon, and either a Fire- or a Psychic-type Pokémon. Cliff’s first Pokémon, Bulbasaur, is weak to both Fire- and Ice-type attacks, but because two of Cliff’s potential second Pokémon are weak to Ice-type attacks, you’ll want to begin the battle with a strong Ice-type Pokémon.

A Grass-type Pokémon will cover Cliff’s Omastar, Tyranitar, and Swampert, so make sure to choose a strong one and teach it a Grass-type Fast Attack and Charged Attack to maximize its damage.

Your Ice- and Grass-type Pokémon should be sufficient coverage against most of Cliff’s Pokémon, so try to pick a third Pokémon to take on any of Cliff’s Pokémon you think will be especially challenging to face. Whichever Pokémon you choose, remember to teach it a strong Fast Attack and Charged Attack to maximize its damage, and consider teaching it a second Charged Attack to make it all the more useful.

Team GO Rocket Leader Arlo

Arlo’s Potential Pokémon

  • First Pokémon

    • Charmander (Fire)

  • Second Pokémon

    • Charizard (Fire/Flying)

    • Mawile (Steel/Fairy)

    • Salamence (Dragon/Flying)

  • Third Pokémon

    • Scizor (Bug/Steel)

    • Gardevoir (Psychic/Fairy)

    • Steelix (Steel/Ground)

Recommended Pokémon to Defeat Arlo

  • Rock-type Pokémon to use against Arlo’s Charmander, Charizard, and Salamence

    • Omastar

    • Aggron

    • Rampardos

  • Fire-type Pokémon to use against Arlo’s Mawile, Scizor, or Steelix

    • Charizard

    • Entei

    • Chandelure

  • Ground-type Pokémon to use against Arlo’s Charmander, Mawile, and Steelix

    • Groudon

    • Swampert

    • Rhyperior

    • Excadrill

How to Defeat Arlo

When choosing a trio of Pokémon to face Arlo, begin with a powerful Ground-type Pokémon or a strong Rock-type Pokémon. One of these will be your lead against Arlo’s first Pokémon, Charmander, and both should fare well against any of Arlo’s second Pokémon. Just remember that each Pokémon needs a Fast Attack and Charged Attack that matches its type to maximize its damage.

Out of all of Arlo’s potential third Pokémon, Gardevoir is the one that requires the most planning to deal with. Its weaknesses are quite different from Arlo’s other Pokémon, but by choosing a Pokémon with two types and two Charged Attacks, you can cover your bases effectively. As a dual Ghost- and Fire-type Pokémon, Chandelure can go toe-to-toe with Mawile, Scizor, and Steelix and take down Arlo’s Gardevoir with a Ghost-type Charged Attack. Excadrill’s Steel-type Charged Attack Iron Head will deal significant damage to Gardevoir, as would Aggron’s Steel-type Charged Attack Heavy Slam, and both would be useful against Arlo’s other potential Pokémon.

A Fire-type Pokémon is a solid choice as your third Pokémon to provide coverage against Steelix, Scizor, and Mawile. As with the other Team GO Rockets Leaders, Arlo’s Pokémon will have very high CP, so make sure to power up your Pokémon as much as possible before heading into battle.

The Team GO Rocket Leaders change their Pokémon every few months, so check back regularly for new recommendations and strategies.

Good luck battling, Trainers!

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