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Pokemon Go Cliff counters – how to beat the Team Go Rocket leader

Pokemon Go Cliff counters
(Image credit: Niantic)

The best Pokemon Go Cliff counters change whenever the Team Rocket leader alters his team of Pokemon, so don't rely on your previous lineup to take him down once more. Cliff is arguably the toughest Team Rocket leader in Pokemon Go (other than Giovanni, of course) so whether this is your first time fighting him or you're taking him down for the umpteenth time, keep reading for all the best Pokemon Go Cliff counters for May 2021.

For the other two Team Go Rocket leaders, have a look at our Pokemon Go Sierra counters and Pokemon Go Arlo counters guides.

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Pokemon Go Cliff counters

Pokemon Go Cliff counters

(Image credit: Niantic)
  1. Aerodactyl
  2. Gallade/Cradily/Slowking
  3. Tyranitar/Mamoswine/Dusknoir

#1: Aerodactyl counters

Aerodactyl is Cliff's current first offering, and it's a Rock/Flying-type. This is a difficult Pokemon to deal with in battles because the two don't share any type weaknesses. Your best bet will be to see which Pokemon Cliff has for his second and third in your encounter, then pick the best Aerodactyl counter based on who will do the best against his other choices too.

TyranitarSmack Down/Stone Edge
CobalionMetal Claw/Sacred Sword
MelmetalThunder Shock/Superpower
EmpoleonWaterfall/Flash Cannon

#2: Gallade counters

The first option for the second Pokemon Cliff can throw at you is Gallade, a Psychic/Fighting-type. Gallade is weak to Fighting, Fairy, and Ghost-type moves, but it's not advised to use Fighting-types because they are inherently weak to Gallade's moves too. You also need to be careful if the opposing Gallade knows Charm, because it's a powerful move that can end your battle quickly. Try some of the following Gallade counters:

JirachiConfusion/Doom Desire
LugiaDragon Tail/Sky Attack
Ho-OhIncinerate/Brave Bird
DarkraiSnarl/Shadow Ball

#2: Cradily counters

Cradily is a Rock/Grass-type Pokemon with a varied move pool, which makes it somewhat tricky to counter. The following counters will perform well against Cradily, but if one doesn't work for you because you take too much damage, try one of the others.

Ho-OhIncinerate/Brave Bird
GenesectFury Cutter/X-Scissor
Galarian StunfiskMud Shot/Rock Slide
GiratinaShadow Claw/Shadow Ball

#2: Slowking counters

Of Cliff's second Pokemon options, Slowking is the easiest to counter because it is outright weak to Dark and Ghost-type moves. It does have a wide range of moves like Psychic, Blizzard, and Fire Blast, but all of the below counters should be able to withstand them.

UmbreonSnarl/Dark Pulse
MetagrossBullet Punch/Meteor Mash
PalkiaDragon Breath/Draco Meteor
MagnezoneSpark/Wild Charge

#3: Tyranitar counters

Cliff can also use one of three Pokemon for his final choice. First up is Tyranitar, infamously one of the strongest Pokemon in the game. Fighting-types are undoubtedly the best choice here since they deal 4x damage to Tyranitar.

ConkeldurrCounter/Dynamic Punch
LucarioCounter/Aura Sphere
MachampCounter/Dynamic Punch
HariyamaCounter/Dynamic Punch

#3: Dusknoir counters

Since all of Dusknoir's possible moves are Dark-type, the best counters are all Normal or Dark-types thanks to the resistance. You could opt for other Ghost-type Pokemon because Ghost is strong against (and weak to) Ghost, but it's a dangerous game to play.

SnorlaxLick/Body Slam
ObstagoonCounter/Night Slash
LickilickyLick/Shadow Ball
Porygon2Lock On/Tri Attack

#3: Mamoswine counters

As an Ice/Ground-type Pokemon, Mamoswine is weak to Fire, Fighting, Grass, Steel, and Water-type moves, which gives you a wide range of possible Pokemon to counter it. Mamoswine can possess a bunch of different move types though, so just pick one of the counters below that isn't weak to the Mamoswine you're facing.

LaprasIce Shard/Surf
DragoniteDragon Breath/Dragon Claw

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Ford James

One of the resident guide writers around these parts, give me a game and I will write every "how to" I possibly can or die trying. When I'm not knee-deep in a game to write guides on, you'll find me hurtling round the track in F1 2020, flinging balls on my phone in Pokemon Go, pretending to know what I'm doing in Football Manager 2020, clicking on heads in Valorant, or mowing down hordes of enemies in Outriders.