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

Update: Trainers, Team Go Rocket leaders lineups have changed and new Shadow Pokemon are now spawning and you can find the list of the new Shadow Pokemon and counters below.

How to beat Arlo and the new Shadow Pokemon

#1 Arlo lineup and counters

Growlithe (can be shiny)

  • Metagross with Zen Headbutt and Meteor Mash
  • Reuniclus with Hidden Power and Future Sight
  • Tangrowth with Infestation and Rock Slide
  • Wobbuffet with Spaldh and Mirror Coat
  • Steelix with Thunder Fan and Earthquake

#2 Arlo lineup and counters

Charizard

  • Regirock with Lock-On and Stone Edge
  • Shadow Omastar with Mud Shot and Rock Slide
  • Shadow Raikou with Thunder Shock and Wild Charge
  • Rhyperior with Smack Down and Surf
  • Shadow Electivire with Thunder Shock and WIld Charge

Blastoise

  • Zekrom with Dragon Breath and Wild Charge
  • Mega Venusaru with Vine Whip and Petal Blizzard
  • Shadow Raikou with Volt Switch and Wild Charge
  • Leafon with Razor Leaf and Leaf Blade
  • Dialga with Dragon BReath and Thunder

Steelix

  • Shadow Swampert with Mud SHot and Hydro Cannon
  • Reshiram with Fire Fang and Crunch
  • Mega Charizard X with Ember and Blast Burn
  • Groudon with Mud Shot and Fire Punch
  • Heatran with Fire Spin and Flamethrower

#3 Arlo lineup and counters

Scizor

  • Heatran with Fire Spin and Stone Edge
  • Mega Charizard Y with Fire Spin and Blast Burn
  • Blaziken with Fire Spin and Blaze Kick
  • Moltres with Fire Spin and SKy Attack
  • Ho-Oh with Hidden Power and Brave Bird

Salamance

  • Shadow Tyranitar with Smack Down and Crunch
  • Mega Charizard Y with Dragon Breath and Dragon Claw
  • Tyranitar with Smack Down and Crunch
  • Terrakion with Smack Down and Rock Slide
  • Mega Charizard X with Dragon Breath and Dragon Claw

Dragonite

  • Alolan Sandslash with Powder Snow and Ice Punch
  • Mega Charizard Y with Dragon Breath and Dragon Claw
  • Regice with Lock-On and Blizzard
  • Suicune with Ice Fang and ICe Beam
  • Dialga with Dragon Breath and Iron Head

How to beat Sierra and the new Shadow Pokemon

#1 Sierra lineup and counters

Drowzee (can be shiny)

  • Giratina Origin with Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball
  • Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash
  • Tyranitar with Bite and Crunch
  • Mega Houndoom with Snarl and Fould Play
  • Shadow Tyranitar with Bite and Frustration

#2 Sierra lineup and counters

Sharpedo

  • Virizion with Quick Attack and Leaf Blade
  • Poliwrath with Mud Shit and Dynamic Punch
  • Melmetal with Thunder Shock and Superpower
  • Mega Venusaur with Razor Leaf and Frenzy Plant
  • Leafon with Quick Attack and Leaf Blade

Exeggutor

  • Mega Houndoom with Fire Fang and Fire Blast
  • Escavalier with Bud Bite and Acid Spray
  • Hydreigon with Bite and Dragon Pulse
  • Shadow Tyranitar with Bite and Frustration
  • Heatran with Bud bite and Fire Blast

Lapras

  • Palkia with Dragon BReath and Draco Meteor
  • Dialga with Dragon Breath and Draco Meteor
  • Shadow Machamp with Counter and Close Combat
  • Magnezone with Spark and Zap Cannon
  • Shadow Raikou with Volt Switch and Wild Charge

#3 Sierra lineup and counters

Shiftry

  • Genesect with Fury Cutter and X-Scissor
  • Scizor with Fury Cutter and X-Scissor
  • Mega Scizor with Bullet Punch and X-Scissor
  • Mega Beedrill with Infestation and X-Scissor
  • Shadow Scyther with Fury Cutter and X-Scissor

Houndoom

  • Shadow Machamp with COunter and Cross Chop
  • Shadow Swampert with Mud Shot and Hydro Cannon
  • Mega Blastoise with Water Gun and Hydro Cannon
  • Hariyama with Counter and Superpower
  • Kyogre with Waterfall and Surf

Alakazam

  • Mega Houndoom with Snarl and Foul Play
  • Darkrai with Snarl and Dark Pulse
  • Honchkrow with Snarl and Dark Pulse
  • Shadow Weavile with Snarl and Foul Play
  • Shadow Houndoom with Snarl and Foul Play

How to beat Cliff and the new Shadow Pokemon

#1 Cliff lineup and counters

Omanyte (can be shiny)

  • Mega Venusaur with Vine and Frenzy Plant
  • Shadow Porygon-Z with Lock-On and Solar Beam
  • Shadow Exegguto with Bullet Seed and Solar BEam
  • Shadow Venusaru with Razor Leaf and Frenzy Plant
  • Shadow Torterra with Razor Leaf and Frenzy Plant

#2 Cliff lineup and counters

Machamp

  • Mewtwo with Psychio Cut and Psystrike
  • Shadow Mewtwo with Psycho Cut and Psystrike
  • Lugia with Extrasensory and Future Sight
  • Giratina with Dragon Breath and Dragon Claw
  • Giratina Origin with Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball

Onix

  • Rhyperior with Smack Down and Surf
  • Melmetal with Thunder Shock and Flash Cannon
  • Ferrothron with Bullet Seed and Power Whip
  • Swampert with Mud Shot and Hydro Cannon
  • Empoleon with Metal Claw and Hydro Cannon

Electivire

  • Garchomp with Mud Shot and Earthquake
  • Giratina with Dragon Breath and Dragon Claw
  • Zekrom with Dragon Breath and Crunch
  • Golurk with Mud Slap and Shadow Punch
  • Giratina Origin with Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball

#3 Cliff lineup and counters

Swampert

  • Mega Venusaru with Vine Whip and Frenzy Plant
  • Meganium with Vine Whip and Frenzy Plant
  • Venusaru with Vine Whip and Frenzy Plant
  • Tangrowth with Vine Whip and Power Whip
  • Sceptile with Bullet Seed and Frenzy Plant

Tyranitar

  • Hariyama with Counter and Superpower
  • Shadow Machamp with Counter and Cross Chop
  • Conkeldurr with Counter and Dynamic Punch
  • Heracross with Counter and Close Combat
  • SirFetch with Fury Cutter and Close Combat

Torterra

  • Mega Charizard X with Fire Spin and Blast Burn
  • Mega Charizard Y with Fire Spin and Blast Burn
  • Moltres with Wing Attack and Overheat
  • Regice with Lock-On and Blizzard
  • Reshiram with Dragon Breath and Overheat

How to beat Giovanni and the new Shadow Pokemon

#1 Giovanni lineup and counters

Persian

  • Tyraniotar with Smack Down and Crunch
  • Mahcmap with Counter and Cross Chop
  • Lucario with Counter and Power-Up Punch
  • Conkeldurr with Counter and Dynamic Punch
  • Shadow Machamp with Counter and Cross Chop

#2 Giovanni lineup and counters

Kangaskhan

  • Heracross with Counter and Close Combat
  • Machamp with Counter and Close Combat
  • Cokeldurr with Counter and Dynamic Punch
  • Dragonite with Dragon Breath and Hurricane
  • Shadow Dragonite with Dragon Breath and Outrage

Garchomp

  • Mamoswine with powder Snow and Avalanche
  • Regice with lock-On and Blizzard
  • Shadow Articuno with Ice Shard and Icy Wind
  • Articuno with Ice Shard and Ice Beam
  • Togekiss with Charm and aerial Ace

Nidoking

  • Empoleon with Waterfall and Hydro Cannon
  • Mewtwo with Psycho Cut and Psystrike
  • Mega Blastoise with Water Gun and Hydro Cannon
  • Swampert with Water Gun and Hydro Cannon
  • Kyogre with Waterfall and Surf

#3 Giovanni lineup and counters

Mewtwo

  • Mega Houndoom with Snarl and Foul Play
  • Shadow Mewtwo with Psycho Cut and Shadow Ball
  • Mega Bedrill with Bud Bite and X-Scissor
  • Mega Charizard wY with Fire Spin and Blast Burn
  • Shadow Tyranitar with Bite and Crunch

Previous Story:

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

Omastar

  • 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

Electivire

  • 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

Swampert

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

Torterra

  • 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

Tyranitar

  • 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

Sharpedo

  • 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

Lapras

  • 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

Shiftry

  • 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

Alakazam

  • 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

Houndoom

  • 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

Charizard

  • 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

Steelix

  • 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

Blastoise

  • 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

Salamance

  • 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

Scizor

  • 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

Dragonite

  • 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!

35 Comments

    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.
    Thanks!

  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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