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Pokemon Go Cliff, Sierra, and Arlo counters: How to beat the Team Rocket leaders

Pokemon Go Team Rocket leaders
(Image credit: Niantic)

The best Pokemon Go Cliff, Sierra, and Arlo counters change every single month as the Team Rocket leaders alter their lineups, so don't assume that your Pokemon Go team from last month will dispose of them effectively again. We've got the best Pokemon Go Arlo counters, Pokemon Go Cliff counters, and Pokemon Go Sierra counters here, spread across three pages. Each leader can use up to seven different Pokemon too so we've got counters for all of them. Of course, you need to beat all three Team Rocket leaders before you start wondering what the best Pokemon Go Giovanni counters are, so without further ado, read on to find everything you need.

Pokemon Go Team Rocket | Pokemon Go Mysterious Components | How to purify shadow Pokemon in Pokemon Go | Pokemon Go Cliff, Sierra, and Arlo counters | Pokemon Go Giovanni counters | Pokemon Go A Troubling Situation | Pokemon Go Looming in the Shadows | Pokemon Go Rocket Straight to Victory

Pokemon Go Cliff counters

Pokemon Go Team Rocket leaders: Cliff counters

(Image credit: Niantic)
  1. Grimer
  2. Machamp/Omastar/Electivire
  3. Tyranitar/Swampert/Torterra

#1: Grimer counters

Grimer is first up and it's solely a Poison-type Pokemon. Your best bet will be to opt for a Pokemon with Ground- or Psychic-type moves; especially the former, since there's a 66% chance Cliff's second Pokemon will also be vulnerable to Ground-type moves.

GarchompMud Shot/Earthquake
MetagrossZen Headbutt/Psychic

#2: Machamp counters

Machamp is the first of three possible Pokemon Cliff could utilise after Grimer, and this is where having Mewtwo or Metagross would be helpful after the first battle. Fighting-type Pokemon are weak to Flying- and Fairy-types along with Psychic-, so here are four additional options on top of Mewtwo and Metagross above.

LugiaExtrasensory/Sky Attack
DragoniteDragon Breath/Hurricane
TogekissCharm/Dazzling Gleam
GranbullCharm/Play Rough

#2: Omastar counters

Instead of Machamp, Cliff may throw out Omastar. If your Rhyperior or Garchomp are still alive from the first fight, they'll deal 2x damage with Ground-type moves heree (though Rhyperior will also take 2x damage from Water-type moves), otherwise you want to go for Grass-type Pokemon for the 4x damage.

TorterraRazor Leaf/Frenzy Plant
TangrowthVine Whip/Solar Beam
VenusaurVine Whip/Frenzy Plant
LeafeonRazor Leaf/Leaf Blade

#2: Electivire counters

Cliff could also have Electivire as his second Pokemon, which again is where Rhyperior or Garchomp will be especially useful. Electivire will only take double damage from Ground-type moves, so this has to be the way forward. Here are four extra choices on top of Rhyperior and Garchomp mentioned above.

GroudonMud Shot/Earthquake
ExcadrillMud Slap/Drill Run
RhydonMud Slap/Earthquake
DonphanMud Slap/Earthquake

#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: Swampert counters

Swampert is a Water-/Ground-type Pokemon, which means that Grass-type moves reign supreme here, dealing 4x damage. If you faced off against Omastar previously then this fight will be a doozy, because all of those counters are applicable here too. Here are four other Grass-type alternatives to try out.

ExeggutorBullet Seed/Solar Beam
RoseradeRazor Leaf/Solar Beam
SceptileBullet Seed/Frenzy Plant
MeganiumVine Whip/Frenzy Plant

#3: Torterra counters

Torterra, Cliff's third and final option for his last party slot, is a Grass/Ground-type. This means it is 4x weak to Ice-type moves, which should be your way forward if you have any of the following.

MamoswinePowder Snow/Avalanche
Darmanitan (Galarian)Ice Fang/Avalanche
GlaceonFrost Breath/Ice Beam
WalreinFrost Breath/Blizzard

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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. The youngest member of the GamesRadar team, I have an unhealthy addiction to Football Manager, shouting at the TV as Manchester United slowly descend from greatness, and playing Pokemon Go on the bus to and from the office.