Pokémon Go Arlo, Cliff, Sierra counters and Leader strategies

Everything you need to know about the Team Go Rocket Leaders in Pokémon Go.

Team Go Rocket Leaders invade PokéStops in Pokémon Go alongside the Team Go Rocket Grunts.

It's up to you to hunt down Arlo, Cliff and Sierra by collecting Mysterious Components and a Rocket Radar.

Defeating them gives you a unique Shadow encouter, and might even give you the chance to catch a shiny Shadow Pokémon.

Facing all three in a quest is also the route to a battle against Giovanni himself.

On this page:

Getting and hatching a Strange Red Egg in Pokémon Go

Team Go Rocket Leaders and strategies explained in Pokémon Go

In Team Rocket quests, if you want to face Giovanni, then you must defeat his three Team Go Rocket leaders.

pokemon_go_leaders

This requires you collect Mysterious Components from Grunts, forming a Rocket Radar, then using it to locate a Rocket Leader. The choice given to you is random, so if you are after a specific Leader, keep checking until the one you need appears.

These will be tough battles, and so a brute force strategy will not always work. Instead, consider the following strategies:

  • Since you need to lean on countering with types, it's best to go in with a prepared team with strong counters.
  • A Leader's line-up will be somewhat unique for that encounter - it's made of a small selection of creatures - so you can't exactly be sure which Pokémon you'll be facing. You might have to face them once to learn their line-up, then change yours to react to it.
  • Leaders will use their two shields for your first two Charge moves, every time. Ideally, this means your lead Pokémon must be strong enough to survive long enough to deliver two Charged moves, and do so as fast as possible, so you can then dealing out damage properly. For example, Melmetal is a good candidate for this.
  • The good news is you can face a Leader as many times as you like, so feel free to experiment!

Ultimately, Victory depends on your ability to create a team that takes advantage of as many of the Team Rocket Go Leader's team's weaknesses as possible, so having a wide roster of Pokémon available will help you form flexible teams.

Below you'll find the current possible lineups for each Team Go Rocket Leader (thanks to Silph Road for revealing these) along with some ideas about which Pokémon would work best as counters.

Pokémon Go Mysterious Components Gameplay - How to create a Rocket Radar

Arlo counters and line-up in Pokémon Go

Below you'll find the current possible line ups for battling Arlo in Pokémon Go, as of February 2021.

Remember - the first Pokémon is one that, if you defeat him, you'll be given the chance to catch, while the others are randomly selected:

First PokémonSecond PokémonThird Pokémon
BeldumGardevoirArmaldo
InfernapeSalamence
AggronScizor
Pokemon_Go_Arlo_s_Face

When it comes to battling Arlo, you'll want to base your team around ground, fighting and ice-type Pokémon, because this will give you the best bet at defeating his team the first time you battle him. If you end up facing a Pokémon that has an advantage against one of these types, leave the battle and reorganise your Pokémon according, because Arlo's team won't change if you're battling him at the same PokéStop or balloon.

You'll want to start your battle with a strong fighting-type Pokémon, such as Lucario, Conkeldurr or Machamp. This Pokémon will have an advantage over Beldum and may also have an advantage over Arlo's second Pokémon.

When it comes to Arlo's second Pokémon, you'll want to switch over to your ground-type Pokémon, which we recommend being either a Goundon, Garchomp or Rhyperior. All of the options for Arlo's second Pokémon are, at least slightly, weak against ground-type Pokémon, which will give you an advantage over them. If you find yourself facing Aggron, then Mamoswine is also a good choice, because it will have an advantage over Arlo's third choice as well.

Finally, when you're facing Arlo's third choice it's time to bring out your ice-type, which should be either a Mamoswine, Weavile or Glaceon. Again ice-type Pokémon will have an advantage over all of Arlo's choices, especially if you find yourself facing Salamence.

Cliff counters and line-up in Pokémon Go

Here are the possible line ups for Cliff in Pokémon Go, as of February 2021.

Remember - the first Pokémon is one that, if you defeat him, you'll be given the chance to catch, while the others are randomly selected:

First PokémonSecond PokémonThird Pokémon
AerodactylGalladeDusknoir
CradilyMamoswine
SlowkingTyranitar
Pokemon_Go_Rocket_Leader_Cliff

When it comes to planning your team against Cliff, you'll want to make your first choice a grass-type Pokémon, such as Roserade, Alolan Exeggutor or Tangrowth, which will have an advantage over Aerodactyl. If Cliff chooses to send out either Cradily or Slowking as his second Pokémon, then this grass-type will also cause a good amount of damage to your opponent.

If you want a dedicated Pokémon for Cliff's second selection, then choose a strong bug-type Pokémon, such as Pinsir, Scizor or Yanmega. This is because all of Cliff's possible second Pokémon are weak to bug-type Pokémon.

Cliff Leader battle (Omanyte, Machamp, Tyranitar) in Pokémon Go

Picking your choices for Cliff's final Pokémon, however, is more complicated and it's a good idea to scout ahead to ensure that you've chosen the right Pokémon.

If you find yourself facing Dusknoir, then you'll want to pick either a ghost - with Giratina (Origin Forme), Chandelure or Gengar being good choices - or dark-types, such as Darkrai, Hydreigon or Tyranitar. These Pokémon will have an advantage over Dusknoir, but won't have one other Cliff's other two choices.

If Cliff chooses to send out either Mamoswine or Tyranitar, then you'll want to send out your strongest fighting-type Pokémon. For this choice, we recommend either Lucario, Conkeldurr or Machamp. As mentioned above, these Pokémon won't have an advantage over Dusknoir, so it's a good idea to know exactly which Pokémon you'll be facing.

Sierra counters and line-up in Pokémon Go

Below you'll find the current line up for Sierra in Pokémon, as of February 2021.

Remember - the first Pokémon is one that, if you defeat him, you'll be given the chance to catch, while the others are randomly selected:

First PokémonSecond PokémonThird Pokémon
CarvanhaHippowdonFlygon
Porygon-ZHoundoom
MismagiusWalrein
Pokemon_Go_Sierra_s_Face

It's highly important to scout around Sierra's team when planning out your counter team, because she has a variety of types, meaning there's no true weakness overlap for you to overlap. The best way to do this is to pick a Pokémon you know will defeat her first Pokémon, so that you can discover her second and then repeat this process to discover her third.

Remember - you have to do this at the same PokéStop or balloon to ensure that your battling the same team setup for Sierra.

For your first Pokémon, you should pick a strong grass-type Pokémon, such as Roserade, Alolan Exeggutor or Tangrowth. This Pokémon should easily defeat Carvanha and will be able to deal a good amount of damage to Hippowdon if that's Sierra's choice.

If Sierra choose Porygon-Z, however, for her second Pokémon, then you'll want to select a fighting-type. The best choices for fighting-types in Pokémon Go are Lucario, Conkeldurr and Machamp.

Sierra might also choose Mismagius for her third Pokémon, then you're best choice is a strong dark or ghost-type Pokémon. In this case, you'll want Darkrai, Hydreigon or Tyranitar for a dark-type Pokémon or Giratina (Origin Forme), Chandelure or Gengar for a ghost-type choice.

For Sierra's final Pokémon, your best chance is to pick a strong fighting Pokémon as it will have an advantage over both Houndoom or Walrein. If you're facing Flygon though, then you can pick another grass-type Pokémon. Just remember to scout ahead to ensure that you select the right Pokémon or else you may find it hard to defeat Sierra.


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Team Go Rocket Leader rewards in Pokémon Go

Defeating a Team Go Rocket Leader will grant you a number of rewards.

For every Team Go Rocket Leader, you'll receive 1,000 Stardust, and two of the following items:

Thank you to skewtr from reddit with the help with this information.

Pokemon_Go_Rocket_Leader_Sierra
Sierra - one of the Team Go Rocket Leaders.

You will also have the opportunity to catch one of the Team Go Rocket Leader's Shadow Pokémon. For Arlo this will be his Shadow Beldum, for Cliff a Shadow Aerodactyl and Sierra's Shadow Carvanha.

Best of all, there's a chance that these Shadow Pokémon could be shiny.

To catch these Shadow Pokémon, you'll receive a base number of 5 Premier Balls. Bonus Poké Balls will be rewarded depending on a number of factors:

  • How many of your Pokémon survive the Trainer Battle
  • Your Purify Pokémon (Purifier) medal rank
  • Your Defeat Team Rocket (Hero) medal rank

Good luck hunting down those evil Team Go Rocket leaders!

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Lottie Lynn

Lottie Lynn

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Lottie Lynn is Eurogamer's guides writer. She likes exploring new games and still has nightmares about the moon from Majora's Mask.

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