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

Pokemon Go Cliff counters
(Image credit: Niantic)

You'll need Pokemon Go Cliff counters to help with a tough fight. The Team GO Rocket Leaders in Pokemon GO are some of the most difficult battles trainers will face. Cliff is one of three of these Team GO Rocket leaders and is arguably the toughest of them all. Like in past months, Cliff’s team has changed to include a different variety of Pokemon as well as a new Shadow Pokemon that trainers can catch. As you’ll see, the first Pokemon in Cliff’s team may not be the hardest to take down in Pokemon Go but trainers will want to use that time to prepare for Cliff’s second and third Pokemon as they can be very powerful depending on which team you’ll end up encountering. Here’s the best Pokemon to take into battle against Cliff in Pokemon GO. 

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

Pokemon Go Team Rocket (opens in new tab) | Pokemon Go Mysterious Components (opens in new tab) | How to purify shadow Pokemon in Pokemon Go (opens in new tab) | Pokemon Go Giovanni counters (opens in new tab) | Pokemon Go A Troubling Situation (opens in new tab) | Pokemon Go Looming in the Shadows (opens in new tab) | Pokemon Go Rocket Straight to Victory (opens in new tab)

Pokemon Go Cliff counters

Pokemon Go Cliff counters

(Image credit: Niantic)
  1. Seedot
  2. Kingler/Hariyama/Poliwrath
  3. Tyranitar/Torterra/Sharpedo

Seedot

 #1: Seedot counters 

Seedot is the Pokemon Cliff currently starts with and is a pure Grass-type. Unlike his other starting Pokemon, Seedot is great for trainers to charge up their own Pokemon’s charge attacks and/or use up Cliff’s shields early. Seedot is weak to Poison, Fire, Bug and Flying-type attacks, and looking forward to Cliff’s second and third Pokemon trainers may want to bring a powerful Flying-type into battle as they are good against his Fighting and Grass types. 

Here are some examples of Pokemon trainers should consider taking into battle to take down Cliff’s Seedot:

PokemonMoveset
Mega Pidgeot Gust and Aerial Ace/Hurricane
Mega Charizard Y Air Slash and Blast Burn
DarmanitanFire Fang and Overhea
TogekissCharm and Air Slash

Kingler

 #2: Kingler counters 

Cliff has three options for his second Pokemon with Kingler being the oddball of the bunch. While Cliff’s other two options for his second Pokemon share the Fighting typing, Kingler is a pure Water-type, making it weak to just Grass and Electric-type attacks. 

There are plenty of powerful Electric-type Pokemon to choose from in Pokemon GO, but we recommend trying out these:

PokemonCounter
ThundurusThunder Shock and Thunderbolt
ZekromCharge Beam and Wild Charge
ElectivireThunder Shock and Wild Charge
RoseradeRazor Leaf and Solar Beam

Hariyama

#2: Hariyama counters

Hariyama is a pure Fighting-type Pokemon, which makes it weak to Flying, Psychic and Fairy-type attacks.  There are quite a few powerful Flying and Fairy-type attackers in the game already, so try one of our recommended Pokemon. We do suggest to be wary of Hariyama that carries Heavy Slam, a Steel-type attack that could deal massive damage to your Fairy Pokemon. 

PokemonMoveset
StaraptorWing Attack and Brave Bird
TogekissCharm and Dazzling Gleam
GranbullCharm and Play Rough
Ho-OhExtrasensory and Brave Bird

Poliwrath

#2: Poliwrath counters

Poliwrath is a powerful Water and Fighting-type Pokemon and is weak to Grass, Electric, Flying, Psychic and Fairy-type attacks. There are plenty of options to take into battle against it, but considering Poliwrath’s moveset consists mostly of Water and Fighting-type attacks, a Psychic or Fairy-type Pokemon will do well against it. 

PokemonMoveset
MewtwoConfusion and Psychic
DeoxysZen Headbutt and Zap Cannon
AlakazamConfusion and Psychic
TogekissCharm and Dazzling Gleam/Aerial Ace

Tyranitar

#3: Tyranitar counters

Tyranitar is the one Pokemon that hasn’t changed. Tyranitar is a Rock and Dark-type Pokemon and is weak to Ground, Water, Grass, Bug, Fairy and Fighting-type attacks. Bringing Pokemon with powerful Fighting-type attacks is optimal against Tyranitar because it is four times effective. Here are some of our recommendations for Tyranitar counters:

PokemonMoveset
LucarioCounter and Aura Sphere
ConkeldurrCounter and Dynamic Punch
BreloomCounter and Dynamic Punch
MachampCounter and Dynamic Punch

Torterra

#3: Torterra counters

Torterra is Cliff’s second option for his final Pokemon. It’s a Grass and Ground-type Pokemon and is weak to Flying, Bug, Fire and Ice-type attacks. Trainers should bring plenty of Ice-type attacking Pokemon as Torterra is four times weak against it. Here are some recommendations: 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.

PokemonMoveset
Galarian DarmanitanIce Fang and Avalanche
MammoswinePowder Snow and Avalanche
WeavileIce Shard and Avalanche
GlaceonGlaceon

Sharpedo

 #3: Sharpedo counters 

Sharpedo is Cliff’s final option for the third Pokemon on his team. Being a Water and Dark-type, Sharpedo is weak to Grass, Electric, Bug, Fairy and Fighting-type attacks.  

PokemonMoveset
ThundurusThundurus Thunder Shock and Thunderbolt
MachampCounter and Dynamic Punch
RaikouThunder Shock and Wild Charge
TogekissCharm and Dazzling Gleam
Phillip Martinez
Phillip Martinez

I'm currently a GamesRadar guide contributor with a specialty in everything Pokemon GO. If you've wanted to know the best way to take down a Rayquaza, there's a good chance you read one of my guides. I previously have written for IBT Media, Newsweek and Screen Rant. I'm a huge fighting game fan and everything Pokemon, but I've grown to love RPGs.