Pokémon GO Cliff Guide

The best Pokémon to defeat Team GO Rocket Leader Cliff in Pokémon GO.

Cliff Counters
Cliff Counters

A comprehensive guide on how to defeat Team GO Rocket Leader Cliff in Pokémon GO. We got you covered with the best Pokémon to use against Cliff, regardless of which line-up he uses.

Remember that you can rematch Cliff if you lose the first time. Use this guide in combination with knowing Cliff’s Pokémon to ensure a victory. While Cliff is not the most difficult Team Go Rocket Leader, he is often the most unpredictable.

💡 Note: In Trainer Battles, counters need not always be Pokémon that do super-effective damage. We include Pokémon that are more viable to defeat Cliff, rather than those who do maximum damage.

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💡 Note: The lineups of the Team Go Rocket leaders have changed as of Midnight on November 9th, and this article is being updated as new information becomes available.

Cliff’s Pokémon Line-Up

Leader Cliff uses Shadow Grimer as his first Pokémon. Cliff’s second Pokémon can be Shadow Venusaur, Shadow Crobat, or Shadow Machamp. His third Pokémon can be Shadow Tyranitar, Shadow Charizard, or Shadow Arcanine.  All three of Cliff’s options for his 3rd Pokémon are weak to water, so keep that in mind when forming your team.

Countering Cliff’s Shadow Pokémon

Grimer

Grimer

Cliff’s Shadow Grimer is a pure Poison type opponent that is easily countered by strong Psychic, and Ground types. It’s super important to burn as many shields as possible during this fight. This will make defeating Cliff a much easier task.

Recommended counters

Pokémon Moves
Mewtwo
  • Confusion [pyschic]
  • Psystrike Psychic*
Rhyperior
  • Mud Slap Ground
  • Rock Wrecker Rock*
  • Surf Water
Excadrill
  • Mud Shot Ground
  • Drill Run Ground
  • Rock Slide Rock
Jirachi
  • Confusion Psychic
  • Doom Desire Steel
  • Psychic Psychic

Venusaur

Venusaur

Cliff’s Venusaur is a Grass and Poison type that is weak to Fire, Flying, Ice, and Psychic types. Venusaur is a well known enemy in Pokémon GO – be careful not to underestimate it and always shield.

Recommended counters

Pokémon Moves
Mewtwo
  • Confusion [pyschic]
  • Psystrike Psychic*
Lugia
  • Dragon Tail Psychic
  • Sky Attack Flying
  • Aeroblast Flying*
Moltres
  • Fire Spin Fire
  • Sky Attack Flying*
  • Overheat Fire
Dragonite
  • Dragon Breath Dragon
  • Dragon Claw Dragon
  • Hurricane Flying

Crobat

Crobat

Arlo’s Shadow Crobat is a Poison Flying type, thus it’s weak to Electric, Ice, Psychic, and Rock. We recommend going with Tyranitar, or an equivalent Rock type to provide coverage as much as possible. Avoid Psychic counters due to Bite being an option in the Fast moves pool.

Recommended counters

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Pokémon Fast move
Tyranitar
  • Smack Down Rock
  • Stone Edge Rock
Magnezone
  • Spark Electric
  • Wild Charge Electric
Manectric (Mega)
  • Thunder Fang Electric
  • Wild Charge Electric
Rampardos
  • Smack Down Rock
  • Rock Slide Rock

Machamp

Machamp

Arlo’s Shadow Machamp is big, beefy, and angry.  It is easiest to take down with your Psychic, Flying, and Fairy type counters. Almost always, using Psychic counters is the way to go.

Machamp’s most dangerous (and surprising) moves are its Steel moves – Bullet Punch and Heavy Slam. In case of those, go with an Electric-typed counter, such as Magnezone, Zapdos and Electivire.

Recommended counters

Pokémon Moves
Mewtwo
  • Confusion Psychic
  • Psystrike Psychic
Hoopa
  • Confusion Psychic
  • Psychic Psychic
Togekiss
  • Charm Fairy
  • Ancient Power Rock
  • Flamethrower Fire
Gardevoir
  • Charm Fairy
  • Synchronoise Psychic
Moltres
  • Wing Attack Flying
  • Sky Attack Flying

Tyranitar

Tyranitar

Arlo’s Shadow Tyranitar is 2x weak to the Fighting type, among other weaknesses. While Tyranitar is strong, you can beat it with little effort by taking advantage of its various weaknesses that include the Fighting, Bug, Fairy, Grass, Ground, Steel and Water types.

Recommended counters

Pokémon Moves
Lucario
  • Counter Fighting
  • Power-Up Punch Fighting
  • Aura Sphere Fighting
Conkeldurr
  • Counter Fighting
  • Dynamic Punch Fighting
Machamp
  • Counter Fighting
  • Cross Chop Fighting
  • Dynamic Punch Fighting
Swampert
  • Mud Shot Ground
  • Hydro Cannon Water
  • Earthquake Ground
Kyogre
  • Waterfall Water
  • Surf Water

Charizard

Charizard

Arlo’s Shadow Charizard has a 2x weakness to the Rock type, apart from other weaknesses that include the Electric and Water types. Be careful of Dragon Claw and its quick activation.

Recommended counters

Pokémon Moves
Rampardos
  • Smack Down Rock
  • Rock Slide Rock
Rhyperior
  • Smack Down Rock
  • Rock Wrecker Rock
Terrakion
  • Smack Down Rock
  • Rock Slide Rock
Tyranitar
  • Smack Down Rock*
  • Stone Edge Rock
Kyogre
  • Waterfall Water
  • Surf Water

Arcanine

Arcanine

Arlo’s Shadow Arcanine is mean and hits very hard. As a Fire type he’s weak to Ground, Rock, and Water. Shadow Arcanine can be reliably countered by strong Water types if it doesn’t have Thunder Fang as a fast move. If it has, use Rock types.

Recommended counters

Pokémon Moves
Kyogre
  • Waterfall Water
  • Surf Water
Tyranitar
  • Smack Down Rock*
  • Stone Edge Rock
Terrakion
  • Smack Down Rock*
  • Rock Slide Rock
Swampert
  • Mud Shot Ground
  • Hydro Cannon Water*
  • Earthquake Ground
Machamp
  • Counter Fighting
  • Cross Chip Fighting
  • Rock Slide Rock

More Team GO Rocket Guides for November 2021

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