Jessie and James Pokémon GO

Trainers, Jessie and James can now be encountered via their Meowth-shaped balloon! This announcement was teased lightly by some Team Go Rocket grunt dialogue, but the sudden announcement/release has still taken many trainers by surprise. They won’t stick around, so battle them while you can!

Defeating Jessie and James is required to complete the Shiny Celebi Special Research.

Jessie and James Pokémon lineups

Jessie and James have the following Pokémon in their lineup:

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Character Jessie James
Pokemon #1 Scyther Pinsir
Pokemon #2 Ekans Koffing
Pokemon #3 Stantler Grimer

You fight Jessie and James back to back, but you have an opportunity to heal during these fights. If victorious, you will receive 500 Stardust and a Rocket Radar component for each victory.

Jessie’s Scyther and James’ Pinsir can be shiny.

Defeating Jessie and James is quite easy, since both of them use easily countered unevolved forms of Pokémon.

Counters for Jessie’s Pokémon

Use the following Pokémon to defeat Jessie:

  • Fire or Rock type for Scyther – we recommend Charizard with Blast Burn or anything with Smack Down
  • Ground type for Ekans – anything really
  • Fighting type for Stantler – Machamp

Counters for James’s Pokémon

Use the following Pokémon to defeat James:

  • Fire or Rock type for Pinsir- we recommend Charizard with Blast Burn or anything with Smack Down, same as with Jessie
  • Ground or Fire type for Koffing and Grimer, you’ll be fine

How to get Jessie and James in Pokémon GO

Jessie and James can be found in the Meowth balloon encounter. Meowth balloon spawns once every 6 hours if Jessie and James are available in Pokémon GO.

The balloon has a roughly 50% chance to spawn over the regular GO Rocket balloon. For more details, check out our GO Rocket Balloons Guide: Spawn rates, Encounters, Jessie and James.

If you have Rocket Radar equipped, you will still encounter Jessie and James from the Meowth Balloon.

Parting words

It’s pretty cool to see the iconic Rocket duo in Pokémon GO (even if their artstyle clashes a little). Although they’re only temporary, it’s still gonna be fun to battle them, and they’re bound to return for another Team Rocket based event! Good luck, trainers!

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I enjoy drinking coffee and going for walks if I can muster the energy. I mostly spend time shiny hunting in mainline Pokémon games. My favourite Pokémon is Falinks, and I'm still in disbelief that it was added to GO like a year or two early. Empoleon is a close second, though.