Pokémon GO Rocket Grunts: December 2023 Guide to Team GO Rocket Lineups, Battle Tactics, and Shadow Pokémon

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A complete guide to Team GO Rocket Grunts. This page shows all Team GO Rocket Grunt lineups, best counters for each Grunt, catchable Pokémon and shiny Shadow Pokémon you can get during December 2023 in Pokémon GO.

Below, you’ll find every type of Team Go Rocket Grunt based on their taunts, as well as information on what their lineup will be and the best counters you can use to defeat them.

Pokémon GO Grunt lineups

Countering Bug-type Grunt

Team GO Rocket Grunts using this taunt use mostly Bug type Pokémon, which are weak to Fire and Flying-type attackers. Most of the Pokémon here can be countered by strong Fire types. Charizard / Moltres with Fire type moves resists most moves from all Pokémon and deal 2x Super Effective Damage to Scizor and Forretress. Bug types are easily defeated by Fire and Flying types, but Fire types have the advantage against Bug / Steel Pokémon.

“Wherever there is light, there is also shadow.” – Dark-type Grunt

Team GO Rocket Grunts using this taunt use Dark type Pokémon. Dark-types are weak to Fighting and Fairy type moves. Catchable in this encounter is Shadow Alolan Grimer and Shadow Alolan Rattata. Best counters for Dark-type Grunts are Sylveon, Gardevoir, Togekiss, Machamp, and Lucario.

“ROAR! … How’d that sound?” – Dragon-type Grunt

Grunts using this taunt have Dragon type Pokémon in their lineup. Catchable Pokémon in this encounter are Shadow Gible and Shadow Alolan Exeggutor. The best Pokémon to use against this Dragon-type Grunt are Mamoswine, Glaceon, Walrein, Gardevoir, and Togekiss.

“Get ready to be shocked!” – Electric-type Grunt

Pokémon GO Grunt using this taunt has Electric type Pokémon, and feature a mix of different Electric-type Pokémon families. Catchable in this encounter are Shadow Mareep and Shadow Magnemite (which can be shiny). We recommend countering the Electric-type Grunt with Garchomp (3x resistance to Electric attacks makes it a solo cakewalk), or other strong Ground-types.

“Check out my cute Pokémon!” – Fairy-type Grunt

Pokémon GO Grunt using this taunt will have Fairy type Pokémon, which are weak to Poison and Steel-type attacks. The only difference is Mawile, which is weak to Fire-type moves. Catchable at the end of this encounter are Shadow Mawile (which can be shiny), Snubull and Ralts.

“This buff physique isn’t just for show!” – Fighting-type Grunt

Rocket Grunts using this taunt use Fighting type Pokémon. Fighting-type Grunt is easily defeated by using Psychic, Fairy and Flying type Pokémon to counter them. Catchable in this encounter are Shadow Hisuian Sneasel, Shadow Hitmonchan, and Shadow Hitmonlee.

“Do you know how hot Pokémon fire breath can get?” – Fire-type Grunt

Rocket Grunt using this taunt will have Fire type Pokémon. Catchable in this encounter are Shadow Litwick, Shadow Numel, and Shadow Vulpix. Bring your best Rock, Ground, and Water types. It’s advised to use Water types like Kyogre or Swampert, Rock types like Smack Down Tyranitar, and Ground types like Garchomp and Rhyperior. All of them resist Fire type attacks.

“Battle against my Flying-type Pokémon!” – Flying-type Grunt

Grunts using this taunt use primarily Flying type Pokémon. Catchable in this encounter are Shadow Natu and Shadow Zubat. You best counter options are Rock and Electric-type Pokémon like Smack Down Tyranitar, Rhyperior, Magnezone, Raikou.

Note: Gyarados can do a lot of damage to Rock types, so you may want to bring a solid Electric type like Xurkitree or Electivire to make sure you are covered.

“Ke…ke…ke…ke…ke…ke!” – Ghost-type Grunt

Grunts using this taunt will use Pokémon with Ghost typing. Catchable in this encounter are Shadow Gastly, Shadow Shuppet and Shadow Duskull. Ghost-type Pokémon are weak to Ghost and Dark types. Best Pokémon to counter Ghost Grunt are strong Dark type Pokémon like Darkrai, Weavile, Hydreigon, Tyranitar, and Yveltal. 

“Don’t tangle with us!” – Grass-type Grunt

This Grunt has Grass type Pokémon. Catchable in this encounter are Shadow Cacnea, Shadow Oddish and Shadow Bellsprout (which can be shiny). You can easily defeat Grass-type Grunts with Moltres, Charizard, Entei, Talonflame, or even Heatran. Fire types are your best option, with Fire and Flying being the best.

“You’ll be defeated into the ground!” – Ground-type Grunt

Team GO Rocket Grunts using this taunt have Ground type Pokémon, which are weak to Grass and Water-type attacks.  Catchable in this encounter are Shadow Rhyorn, Shadow Hippopotas and Shadow Drilbur. We recommend using Pokémon like Kyogre, Swampert, and Torterra to defeat the Ground-type Grunt.

“You’re gonna be frozen in your tracks.” – Ice-type Grunt

Grunts using this taunt use Ice type Pokémon. Catchable in this encounter: Shadow Swinub, Alolan Shadow Vulpix and Alolan Shadow Sandshrew. Fire-types are extremely good against the Snover family line, and Arcanine features Wild Charge which could prove useful against Lapras. This encounter could prove tricky, so bring a variety to deal with your possible options.

“Normal doesn’t mean weak.” – Normal-type Grunt

Grunts that use this taunt line will primarily use Normal type Pokémon. Catchable Pokémon in this encounter are Shadow Meowth (which can be shiny) and Glameow. All Normal-types are weak to Fighting types, so be sure to bring some Fighters with you!

Recommended Pokémon for this encounter are Machamp (or your strongest Counter user), Lucario and Breloom. All of these Pokémon take super-effective damage from Fighting moves, so you will only need your best fighting types here.

“Coiled and ready to strike!” – Poison-type Grunt

Pokémon GO Grunts using this taunt use Poison type Pokémon, which are weak to Ground and Psychic-type moves. Catchable Pokémon in this encounter are Shadow Grimer (which can be shiny) and Shadow Foongus. Poison Pokémon are weak to Ground-type moves.

“Are you scared of psychics that use unseen power?” – Psychic-type Grunt

Grunts using this taunt have Psychic type Pokémon, which are weak to Dark and Ghost-type attacks. Catchable in this encounter are Shadow Natu, Shadow Spoink, and Shadow Abra. Origin Forme Giratina, Tyranitar, Gengar, and Hydreigon are great at defeating the Psychic-type Grunt’s entire roster.

“Let’s rock and roll!” – Rock-type Grunt

Grunts using this taunt will use Pokémon with Rock typing, which can be easily defeated by Fighting and Water-type attackers. Catchable in this encounter are Shadow Cranidos, Shadow Shieldon and Shadow Alolan Geodude. 

“You’re no match for my iron will!” – Steel-type Grunt

Grunts using this taunt use Steel type Pokémon. Catchable Pokémon at the end of this  encounter are Shadow Alolan Diglett, Shadow Alolan Sandshrew and Shadow Aron. Steel Pokémon are weak to Fire-type attacks.

“Don’t bother – I’ve already won. Get ready to be defeated! Winning is for winners!” – Difficult Grunts

Female Grunts using any of these taunts use a difficult lineup that starts with Snorlax. Male Grunts using these taunts use different stages of Starter Pokémon from Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn region. Catchable at the end of this encounter: Shadow Snorlax (female grunt), and Charmander, Squirtle, Bulbasaur (male grunt). The three Kanto starters can be shiny from the male grunt!

  • Snorlax is always tough and Fighting types like Machamp or Lucario are the way to go. Bring a Metagross to deal with Gardevoir which is also solid for Snorlax.
  • Having an Electric type like Magnezone or Electivire (with added Ice Punch) can also help you arrest the incoming Dragonite or Gyarados in the last slot.
  • This is definitely the most tricky of all the grunts, so be prepared!

“These waters are treacherous” – Water-type Grunt

Female Grunt

GO Rocket Grunts using this taunt use Water type Pokémon. Catchable in this encounter are Shadow Shellder, Shadow Barboach and Shadow Psyduck.

Male grunt

Catchable in this encounter is Shadow Magikarp.

About Grunts

Team GO Rocket

Team GO Rocket Grunts are one of the most common enemies you will fight in Pokémon GO, as they tend to take over PokéStops, steal items, and convert Pokémon into Shadow Pokémon. You can find them at PokéStops and flying in the Team GO Rocket Hot Air Ballon.

Grunts are a common enemy, but they still can be difficult to defeat unless you know which counters to use. Luckily, each type of Grunt has a recognisable taunt which gives you a hint at which Pokémon they will use.

Don’t forget to check out our Team GO Rocket Leaders guides for Sierra, Arlo, Cliff, and Giovanni – we’ve got the perfect strategy guides to help you win against Rocket Leaders as well.

Recommended team for defeating Team GO Rocket Grunts

3kkology here, updating this guide for everyone to use to take down Go Rocket invasions. I wanted to provide my dedicated Go Rocket team that I use for efficiency when taking down large invasion of Go Rocket grunts.

It can be annoying to look at this guide for every grunt and remember what Pokémon is best for each encounter. This is the team that I use for every Go Rocket encounter and it has yet to fail me. Feel free to copy and try for yourself.

Pokémon Fast Move Charge Moves
  • Mud-slap
  • Rock Wrecker
  • Surf
  • Fire Spin
  • Blast Burn
  • Dragon Claw
  • Counter
  • Shadow Ball
  • Power-up Punch

The lead is Rhyperior. Lucario Power-up Punch is very powerful because of the delay in attacking by grunt Pokémon after using charge moves. Charizard is great for similar reason because of Dragon Claw and the fire type attacks over good coverage. You can really limit the amount of fast moves the Go Rocket grunt can get off. This team is very well rounded for all grunt encounters. With a lack of Gyarados and Dragonites in this round of grunt encounters, this team is great against all grunts.

Shiny Shadow Pokémon GO

Shiny Shadow Pokémon from Team GO Rocket Grunts

Shadow Pokémon caught from Grunts are shiny eligible in Pokémon GO. Since the Team GO Rocket Takeover Event event, select Pokémon caught from Team GO Rocket Grunts have a chance to be Shiny, allowing Trainers to collect Shiny Shadow Pokémon much easier than before.


Shadow Pokemon
Shadow Pokemon

Team GO Rocket Grunt mechanics

Grunts will randomly select one 1 Pokémon from each of the 3 columns (#1 – 3) to build a team. Before starting the Team Rocket Battle encounter in Pokémon GO, the Grunt will taunt you. We use this taunt line to figure out which type of Pokémon he / she will use in the fight.

Team Rocket Grunts do not use shields, which gives you an additional edge in these battles. You should shield against every Charge move they use (the charged attack the Shadow Pokémon use in battle is not Frustration, but a regular move from their move pool).

Every Pokémon that faints on your team reduces the number of Premier Balls you will get for the Shadow Pokémon catch encounter. It’s in your best interest to switch low HP Pokémon before they faint. There is a slight delay in Rocket Grunts attacking after charge moves are used or Pokémon are switched, which you can take advantage of to make your victory that much easier.

Your Pokémon are not automatically healed after the battle. If you lose, you can re-match and the Grunt will have the same Pokémon again. There’s no penalty for rejoining.

You can walk away from the Poke Stop once the encounter starts. There’s no distance limit on how far you can move (or at least we never reached it). We tested this up to almost 500 meters (0.31 miles).

These taunts indicate the strongest Pokémon you will face, not the one you can catch. The Team Rocket grunt gives hints on the type of their third Pokémon. You will always be catching either the first or the second Pokémon that they used

Credits and thank you

>We wish to say thank you to everyone that contributed their data to our Team Rocket Battles research project. This guide is made possible solely on the merit of the data you provided! Thank you! If you want to join our Discord server, please do so, we are planning to hold more research projects in near future.

Author & tags

I am an environmental scientist from Sacramento, CA. I was given my first Charmander Pokemon card by a friend in the 4th grade in 1999 and was hooked ever since. I was ranked Ace trainer in season 1 of Silph League's world rankings for PvP.

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