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.


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 May 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

Out of all the current Team Go Rocket Leader lineups, Arlo currently has the easiest to plan for.

Venonat, his first Pokémon, can be easily defeated by a strong fire-type Pokémon, with Darmanitan, Entei and Moltres being excellent choices. You can then continue to use this fire-type if Arlo choose Magnezone for his second Pokémon.

For Arlo's selection of possible second Pokémon, we recommend choosing either a fighting - Lucario, Conkeldurr, Machamp - or a ground-type - Goudon, Garchomp or Rhyperior - as your choice. This is because both Ursaring and Magnezone are weak against fighting-type Pokémon, while Manectric and Magnezone are weak to ground-types, Magnezone especially so.

When it comes to Arlo's final Pokémon, you'll want to choose either a fire or ice-type Pokémon; both Vileplume and Scizor are weak to fire-type Pokémon, while Crobat is the target for your ice-type, with Mamoswine, Weavile and Glaceon all being good choices.

Cliff counters and line-up in Pokémon Go

Here are the possible line ups for Cliff in Pokémon Go, as of May 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

When planning your counters against Cliff, you'll want to start your team with a fire or flying-type Pokémon. This choice depends on whether Cliff is using either Poliwrath or Hariyama as his second Pokémon, because, if he is, then your first Pokémon could cause some additional damage to them after defeating Seedot. Rayquaza, Honchrow or Moltres are all ideal flying-type counters, with Moltres having the additional bonus of also being a fire-type, which makes it ideal for defeating Seedot.

If you decide to go down the fire-type route though, but don't have a Moltres, then Darmanitan or Entei are also good choices.

Deciding upon a counter for Cliff's second choice may require some scouting; though a flying or grass-type is the way to go if you find yourself facing either Poliwrath or Kingler, with Roserade, Alolan Exeggutor and Tangrowth all being good grass-type choices. You may also want to choose a fairy-type, such as Togekiss, Gardevoir or Granbull, for defeating Poliwrath or Hariyama.

When it comes down to Cliff's final choice, then a strong bug-type is the way to go as all three of his choices share it as a common weakness. This makes Scizor, Pinsir and Yanmega all excellent choices.

It's important to note that Tyranitar is especially weak to fighting-types, such as Lucario, Conkeldurr and Machamp good choices, while Torterra can be easily defeated by ice-type Pokémon, like Mamoswine, Weavile or Glaceon.

Sierra counters and line-up in Pokémon Go

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

Sierra continues her tradition of being the leader whose team is the hardest to plan counters for. We highly recommend scouting out Sierra's team so you can properly assemble a team of counters, because, once again, there's barely any weakness overlap in her team. It's almost like she doesn't want to be defeated...

For Sneasel, you'll want to choose either a steel or fighting-type Pokémon. Sneasel is especially weak to fighting-types like Lucario, Conkeldurr or Machamp, but a steel-type, such as Metagross, Dialga or Excadrill, is a good choice if Sierra has selected Granbull as her second Pokémon.

When it comes to Sierra's second Pokémon, you will need to scout ahead, because there is no shared weakness between them.

If you find yourself facing Gliscor, then select an ice-type, like Mamoswine, Weavile or Glaceon, since it's especially weak to this type. Ampharos, however, is weak to ground-type Pokémon, making Goudon, Garchomp and Rhyperior good choices. Finally, as mentioned above, Granbull is weak to steel-type Pokémon, though poison-types, such as Roserade, Toxicroak or Victreebel.

Thankfully, selecting a counter for Sierra's final Pokémon is a little easier with the choice being between a ground or fairy-type Pokémon. Both Houndoom and Drapion are weak to ground-types, while Kingdra can be defeated using the fairy-type - making Togekiss, Gardevoir and Granbull all good optons.

The Season of Discovery is here! Current events, include Season 8 of the Go Battle League, the addition of Raid Achievements. Meanwhile, the last major update saw a level cap increase - including the addition of XL Candy, boosts to some XP sources and the addition of Platinum Medals.

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.

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!

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our policy.

Jump to comments (1)

About the author

Lottie Lynn

Lottie Lynn

Guides Writer  |  Stormscribe

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


You may also enjoy...

Comments (1)

Comments for this article are now closed. Thanks for taking part!

Hide low-scoring comments

Buy things with globes on them

And other lovely Eurogamer merch in our official store!

Eurogamer Merch