Pokemon Go How to Beat Team Go Rocket Leaders Cliff, Sierra and Arlo, New Lineups and Best Counters Added

Update (September 2020): Team Go Rocket Leaders Cliff, Sierra, and Arlo will be using different Shadow Pokemon in battle (from September 11 to September 17, 2020) and soon you’ll need a list of the new lineups, counters, and movesets.

We’re not sure which Shadow Pokemon they might use, but as soon as we have something, you’ll be the first to know.

Trainers, the Team Go Rocket Leaders are now live in the game and many players are wondering how to beat them, as they seem extremely strong, and what are the best Pokemon to use against them when in battle.

The three Team Go Rocket Leaders, Cliff, Sierra, and Arlo can be encountered only with a Rocket Radar. This item can be ‘built’ when defeating Grunts and collecting the Mysterious Component. We must collect six Mysterious Components and only then we can ‘built’ the Rocket Radar, an item that can be used to find Team Go Rocket Leaders on the map.

As mentioned above, there are three TGR Leaders and each Leader has its own Pokemon lineup which they use in a battle.

Now, let’s see which Pokemon they use and how can we beat them easily.

Team Go Rocket Leader Cliff Best Counters

Cliff uses three different sets of Pokemon. On the list below, you can find their Pokemon on the left, and on the right, you can find the best counters.

#1 Cliff lineup and counters

Shadow Grimer (can be shiny)

  • Mewtwo with Psycho Cut/Psystrike
  • Groudon with Mud Shot/Earthquake
  • Mamoswine with Powder Snow/Avalanche Bulldoze

#2 Cliff lineup and counters


  • Torterrawith Razor Leaf / Frenzy Plant
  • Abomasnowwith Razor Leaf / Whatever
  • Ludicolowith Razor Leaf / Whatever
  • Venusaurwith Razor Leaf OR Vine Whip / Frenzy Plant
  • Roseradewith Razor Leaf / Whatever


  • Swampert with Mud Shot/Earthquake or Hydro Cannon
  • Groudon with Mud Shot/Earthquake
  • Garchomp with Mud Shot/Earthquake
  • Rhydon/Rhyperior with Mud Slap/Earthquake
  • Gliscor with Fury Cutter/Earthquake

#3 Cliff lineup and counters


  • Venusaur with Vine Whip/Frenzy Plant
  • Meganium with Vine Whip/Frenzy Plant
  • Leafeon with Razor Leaf/Leaf Blade
  • Shiftry with Razor Leaf/Leaf Blade


  • Moltres with Fire Spin/Sky Attack
  • Articuno with Ice Shard/Ice Beam
  • Heatran with Fire Spin/Flamethrower
  • Dialga with Dragon Breath/Iron Head
  • Blaziken with Fire Spin/Blaze Kick


  • Lucario with Counter/Power Up Punch
  • Heracross with Counter/Close Combat
  • Machamp with Counter/Cross Chop
  • Virizion with Quick Attack/Close Combat
  • Swampert with Mud Shot/Hydro Cannon

Team Go Rocket Leader Sierra Best Counters

Sierra also uses three different sets of Pokemon.

#1 Sierra lineup and counters

Shadow Lapras (can be shiny)

  • Dialga with Dragon Breath/Iron Head and Thunder
  • Giratina-Altered with Shadow Claw/Dragon Claw
  • Melmetal with Thunder Shock/Rock Slide
  • Poliwrath with Mud Shot/Power-Up Punch and Dynamic Punch
  • Machamp with Counter/Cross Chop

#2 Sierra lineup and counters

Shadow Exeggutor

  • Giratina Origin with Shadow Claw/Shadow Ball
  • Volcarona with Bug Bite/Bug Buzz
  • Scizor with Fury Cutter/X-Scissor
  • Pinsir with Bug Bite/X-Scissor
  • Yanmega with Bug Bite/Bug Buzz


  • Poliwrath with Mud Shot/Dynamic Punch
  • Machamp with Counter/Cross Chop
  • Venusaur with Razor Leaf/Frenzy Plant
  • Shiftry with Snarl/Leaf Blade
  • Lucario with Counter/Super Power


  • Dialga with Dragon Breath/Iron Head and Thunder
  • Giratina-Altered with Shadow Claw/Dragon Claw
  • Melmetal with Thunder Shock/Rock Slide
  • Poliwrath with Mud Shot/Power-Up Punch and Dynamic Punch
  • Machamp with Counter/Cross Chop

#3 Sierra lineup and counters


  • Togekiss with Charm/Ancient Power
  • Ho-Oh with Hidden Power/Brave Bird
  • Yanmega with Bug Bite/Ancient Power
  • Volcarona with Bug Bite/Bug Buzz
  • Blaziken with Counter/Blast Burn


  • Tyranitar with Smack Down/Crunch
  • Darkrai with Snarl/Dark Pulse
  • Weavile with Snarl/Foul Play
  • Metagross with Bullet Punch/Meteor Mash
  • Hydreigon with Dragon Breath/Dark Pulse


  • Swampert with Mud SHot/Hydro Cannon
  • Poliwrath with Mud Hot/Power Up Punch
  • Tyranitar with Smack Down/Stone Edge
  • Machamp with Counter/Cross Chop
  • Kyogre with Waterfall/Surf

Team Go Rocket Leader Arlo Best Counters

Arlo also uses three different sets of Pokemon.

#1 Arlo lineup and counters

Pineco (can be shiny)

  • Heatran with Fire Spin/Flamethrower
  • Giratina-Altered with Shadow Claw/Dragon Claw
  • Probopass with Rock Throw/Rock Slide
  • Terrakion with Smack Down/Rock Slide
  • Scizor with Bullet Punch/Night Slash

#2 Arlo lineup and counters


  • Tyranitar with Smack Down/Stone Edge
  • Rhyperior with Smack Down/Stone Edge
  • Giratina-Altered with Shadow Claw/Ancient Power
  • Aggron with Smack Down/Stone Edge
  • Swampert with Mud Shot/Hydro Cannon


  • Heatran with Fire Spin/Flamethrower
  • Excadrill with Mud Slap/Drill Run
  • Entei with Fire Spin/Flamethrower
  • Swampert with Mud Shot/Hydro Cannon
  • Rhyperior with Mud Slap/Super Power


  • Shiftry with Razor Leaf/Leaf Blade
  • Venusaurwith Vine Whip/Frenzy Plant
  • Meganium with Vine Whip/Frenzy Plant
  • Poliwrath with Mud Shot/Dynamic Punch
  • Virizion with Quick Attack/Leaf Blade

#3 Arlo lineup and counters


  • Tyranitar with Smack Down/Crunch
  • Regice with Lock On/Blizzard
  • Mamoswine with Powder Snow/Avalanche
  • Weavile with Snarl/Avalanche
  • Giratina Altered with Dragon Breath/Dragon Claw


  • Blaziken with Counter/Blaze Kick
  • Charizard with Fire Spin/Blast Burn
  • Entei with Fire Spin/Flamethrower
  • Dialga with Dragon Breath/Draco Meteor
  • Moltres with Fire Spin/Sky Attack


  • Dialga with Dragon Breath/Iron Head and Draco Meteor
  • Mamoswine with Powder Snow/Avalanche
  • Tyranitar with Smack Down/Stone Edge
  • Rhyperior with Smack Down/Stone Edge
  • Melmetal with Thunder Shock/Rock Slide

Please have in mind that the list is subject to change at any moment. So as soon as we have new info, we would make sure to update it.

You are all set now, so good luck, and let’s catch ’em all!

Dejan Kacurov

Hi, gamers! You can call me Mr. DComplex. I'm a gamer, a hardcore gamer. My favorite genres are Action RPG and MMORPG. At the moment I'm using my PC as my only gaming platform, but soon I might get a new PS4 from Angel. Update - Angel did get me a PS4, oh wait, it's the PS4 PRO 1TB!!! Much love bro!


    1. Thank you for your comment. We know that TGR Leaders are very hard to beat, but please be persistent and trust us, you’ll beat them.

      1. I think the comment was referring to what actually happens is not what you put up.

        eg. Sierra from balloon just now had 2 lapras (both exactly the same over 10,000 cp) and houndoom

        My best machamps could not survive

        1. I managed to take her Lapras/Lapras/Houndoom down by starting with Swampert – Can use surf or hydro cannon to quickly take the first Lapras’ shields away, then a 98% (2494 CP) Hariyama and a 98% Machamp (2830 CP) (Both w/Counter/Dynamic Punch).
          I blew a ton of revives and potions to figure this out, and ended up with a garbage Lapras to instantly transfer away. 🙁

    2. Not bad at all. I’ve used this list to beat all three, just finished Arlo with Heatran ( Mawhile), a quick swap out with Zapdos (Charizard), and finished up with Blaziken (Scizor) with a depleted Heatran still in reserve. But high CP is mandatory with these.

  1. This is BS. How can we take down Pokemon cp 13000??? What a waste of revives… it’s like a raid only you’re on your own. Ridiculous!!! I give up on them . I don’t even bother anymore. So disappointing. I’ve been playing since the start and right now it’s making me lose interest. Can niantic work on being able to swipe through friends like we are able to do with Pokemon. That would be helpful.

  2. You know what would be really good in these articles. not just saying what Pokemon to use but also what move set to use. Because every time I go to use the suggested Pokemon it gets its butt kicked. Mainly because it doesn’t have the specific move set necessary. It’s all well and good to say what type of Pokemon but maybe add in what move set to use as well. Otherwise these articles are kinda useless

    1. Agreed. I just tried these recommendations for Cliff and Moltres barely touched Pinser! The closest I got to beating Clif was a random selection that ended with Gyrados. I gave up. I’m truly tired of the Leader quest. It is a waste of time and revives!!!!

  3. I would be curious to know moves as well as CP/HP. My legendaries we’re all found in research breakthrough and they are very low CP with minimal candies available to level up.

  4. I used a maxed out Dragonite with Dragon Breath/Dragon Claw and burned through Cliff’s Pinsir and the Marowak after him. I really don’t understand why guides like this seem to fixate on using legendaries and such for fights that don’t need it.

  5. Just for fun I grabbed three strong Hariyamas after following every tip trick and guide. Beat Arlo, sierra why not… yeap. Okay Cliff time to face my Insane Clown Posse. Down he goes. Surely this won’t work on Giovanni. Guess what first try. Hariyamas for the win! No logic or planning. Everyone hates clowns, except me now.

  6. That Sharpedo is insane. It killsmy Pokémon in 2 seconds. Everything from Blissey to Mewtwo. I have used ALL my Pokémon trying to beat it so now I have no living pokes left cus Pokestops do not provide revives anymore. No joy is this stupid game anymore cus now it has become a game where you feel like a loser since you cant beat a damn shark. Now I must wait weeks untill I have 3 full strong Pokémon again visiting 500 pokestops in that period of time getting like 2 revives and 4 20 hp potions.

  7. These are NOT March 2020 lineups. This is recycled February info. Please delete this until it is authentically updated.

    1. Thanks for your comment. If these are not the lineups for March, can you please let us know what are this month’s lineups?

  8. Hi, the list for Arlo’s Pokemon isn’t accurate as of today. 03/07/2020. His first Pokémon is shadow Bagon. Not Mawhile. Please update this for others.
    In my battle his 2nd Pokémon was Shadow Steelix.
    His third Pokémon was shadow Scizor.
    Easy to beat with Rhyperior w Rock/ Ground Moves, and Ice Pokemon like Mamoswine or Weavile.

  9. I want to know why in the challenges i have battle team leaders 3x
    Well i have battle arlo. Cliff and sierra all three several times and i haven’t got credit on my challenges. It’s kinda aggravating when you have to use revive and potions on all the pokemon after battles which you only do for challenges and you do not even get credit for it.

  10. I just finished this task.
    What I realized is that you dont battle team rocket leaders.
    You do the training battles, I found this out after beating cliff on multiple occasions.

    Hope this helps

  11. This is bulls***. My Pokémon bar can be green and theirs red and my Pokémon still loses. I’ve follow the guidelines and still lost. I’ve used my strongest and still lost. This game is really becoming a waste of time and bored. From team rocket battles to the research giving out the same Pokémon.

  12. Yeah I’m not gunna bother fighting these leaders no longer as It’s too difficult for me especially when only 1 certain move set beats them, all there pokemon seem to be super quick when it comes to attacking and even fighting something that my abilities are super effective against they still crush me. The game has become unfun to play at this point

  13. The list is incorrect though it says updated on the 7th July. I battled against Arlo and had Pineco as my first challenge. Then I battled Cliff and it was Muk. Both today, on the 10th July. I also found the counters suggested above ineffective, and went via the advice given when I failed the battle.

    I also experienced a glitch in battling Arlo via the balloon – once the battle was complete, the screen just went back to normal and I was not able to catch the shadow pokemon. Has this occurred for anyone else?

    1. Thanks for your comment. Some players are still seeing the list of Pokemon mentioned in the article. We do know that Shadow Entei will swap with Shadow Suicune soon. We just need more reports to make sure that they’ve changed.

    2. In addition, the lineups will change when the Battle Challenge event goes live. So the event is not live for everyone and that was the reason why we didn’t change anything.

  14. The list of pokemon for fighting Sierra’s Lapras doesn’t work for Ludicolo or fighting types. I have 100% and they get wiped out ASAP.

  15. Including a move set for each counter or just “use rock/fire moves.” Because having the right mon but wrong moves makes a Hell of a difference.

  16. After 7 or so attempts I finally got Cliff who used Grimer, machamp and Tyranitar with a team of Metagross – Bullet punch/meteor mash. Dragonite – dragonbreath/hyperbeam (highest cp I had) and Hariyama – counter/close combat. I’m not a top-end PVEer so no access to top end raid mons or anything. Just high cp CM mons.
    Cliff for me is the hardest fight. Even Giovani was easier once I got Persian out the way.

  17. I finally took out Cliff with 2 Vaporeon and a Lucardio. I have had no luck whatsoever with Sierra’s 2 Lapras.

  18. Don’t know what dimension the writer lives in but clearly it isn’t reality. Every other website has Dialga as #1 Lapras counter. With the Pokémon suggested here you won’t get close to half the healthbar of Lapras, even more so the Pokémon suggested here are WEAK to Lapras. The other options aren’t very hard so doesn’t really matter just use PvP toppers like Melmetal, Giratina, Swampert etc

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