Pokémon GO Grunts Counters and Lineups (June 2023)

Rocket Grunt lineups, counters, rewards and Shiny Shadow Pokémon during the month of June 2023 in Pokémon GO. Full guide on Grunt battles.


Get ready to defeat Team GO Rocket Grunts in Pokémon GO with our comprehensive Team GO Rocket Grunts Guide! Our up-to-date guide includes Grunt lineups, best Pokémon to defeat Team GO Rocket Grunts, catchable rewards from Grunts, and a list of new Shiny Shadow Pokémon. 

Increase your chances of victory against Team GO Rocket Grunts in June 2023 with our exclusive Team GO Rocket Grunts Guide and the best Pokémon line-ups to defeat all Grunt fights in the game. Defeating Team GO Rocket Grunts rewards 1× Shadow Shard.

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. 

Go, my super bug Pokémon!

Team GO Rocket Grunts using this taunt use mostly Bug type Pokémon, which are weak to Fire and Flying-type attackers.

Best counter: Fire types and Flying 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.

Shuckle is the tricky Pokémon in this line up because of their dual typing of Bug and Rock, so make sure you have something that can take them down easily too, like Kyogre or Rampardos.

Catchable in this encounter is Shadow Skorupi, Shuckle, Joltik, Beedrill, Weedle and Kakuna.

Coiled and ready to strike!

Rocket Grunts using this taunt use Poison type Pokémon, which are weak to Ground and Psychic-type moves.

Best counters: Mud-Slap Rhyperior / Mamoswine / Excadrill / Groudon / Dragon Tail Garchomp 

Our recommended strategy for this Grunt encounter is to use Ground and Psychic type attackers. Foongus isn’t weak to Ground, but shouldn’t give you any issues regardless – it doesn’t have Grass-type fast moves. Pokémon like Garchomp, Landorus, Rhyperior, Excadrill and Groudon will make light work of this fight.

Catchable Pokémon in this encounter: Shadow Foongus and Grimer.

Normal doesn’t mean weak.

Grunts that use this taunt line will primarily use Normal type Pokémon from Teddiursa, Bidoof, Patrat, Rattata and Whismur family lines. All are weak to Fighting types.

Best counters: Machamp, Breloom, and Power-Up Punch Lucario

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.

Catchable Pokémon in this encounter: Shadow Pidove, Whismur, Patrat and Loudred.

ROAR! … How’d that sound?

Grunts using this taunt have Dragon type Pokémon in their lineup, featuring Dratini, Alola Exeggutor, and Flygon. The best Pokémon to use against this Dragon-type Grunt are Mamoswine, Glaceon, Walrein, Gardevoir, and Togekiss.

Catchable Pokémon: Shadow Dratini and Alolan Exeggutor.

These waters are treacherous

GO Rocket Grunts using this taunt use Water type Pokémon. In this line-up, there are no Water/Ground types so you are free to bring your Electric types. We suggest using Grass or Electric type counters like Alolan Exeggutor, Sceptile, Venusaur, Roserade, Raikou, Magnezone, Electivire or Zapdos.

Female Grunt

The following encounters are from the female grunt encounter.

Male grunt

The following encounters are from the male grunt encounter.

Pokémon #1 Pokémon #2 Pokémon #3
Magikarp Magikarp Magikarp Gyarados

Catchable in this encounter: Shadow Mudkip, Psyduck, Wailmer, and Magikarp.

Don’t tangle with us!

Grunts that boast this taunt use Grass type Pokémon from a wide variety of Grass Pokémon families. This encounter is easily defeated if you have Moltres, Charizard, Entei, Talonflame, or even a Heatran. Fire types are your best option, with Fire and Flying being the best.

Catchable in this encounter: Shadow Treecko, Oddish, and Cacturne.

Battle against my Flying-type Pokémon!

Grunts using this taunt use primarily Flying type Pokémon.  That includes Zubat, Natu, and Ducklett, but also Dragonite and Gyarados, which are both Flying-types. 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 June want to bring a solid Electric type like Xurkitree or Electivire to make sure you are covered.

Catchable in this encounter: Shadow Natu, Ducklett, and Zubat.

Do you know how hot Pokémon fire breath can get?

Grunts using this taunt will use Fire type Pokémon. 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.

Catchable in this encounter: Shadow Torchic, Numel, and Vulpix.

You’ll be defeated into the ground!

Team GO Rocket Grunts using this taunt use Ground type Pokémon, which are weak to Grass and Water-type attacks. We recommend using Pokémon like Kyogre, Swampert, and Torterra to defeat the Ground-type Grunt.

Catchable in this encounter are: Shadow Hippopotas and Phanpy.

Are you scared of psychics that use unseen power?

Grunts using this taunt use Psychic type Pokémon, which are weak to Dark and Ghost-type attacks. Origin Forme Giratina, Tyranitar, Gengar, and Hydreigon are great at defeating the Psychic-type Grunt’s entire roster.

Catchable in this encounter: Natu, Spoink, Abra, Girafarig, and Ralts.

Let’s rock and roll!

Grunts using this taunt will use Pokémon with Rock typing, which can be easily defeated by Fighting and Water-type attackers. Best counters for Rock Grunt are Machamp, Lucario, Swampert, Kyogre, Garchomp, and Excadrill.

Pokémon #1 Pokémon #2 Pokémon #3
Onix Lileep Anorith Graveler Lileep Anorith Golem Onix Steelix

Catchable in this encounter are Shadow Onix, Graveler, Lileep and Anorith.


Grunts using this taunt will use Pokémon with Ghost typing. 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.

Catchable in this encounter: Shadow Shuppet, Drifloon and Duskull.

This buff physique isn’t just for show!

Grunts using this taunt use Fighting type Pokémon. Grunts using this taunt will use strong fighters like Hitmonchan and hard hitting Hariyama. Make it easier by using Psychic, Fairy and Flying type Pokémon.

Counters: Alakazam, Gardevoir, and Mewtwo.

We have listed the best Psychic types because they are most likely to be powered up, but you can bring your best of any of the 3 types listed above. All of them resist Fighting type attacks.

Catchable in this encounter: Shadow Makuhita, Hitmonchan, or Hitmonlee.

You’re gonna be frozen in your tracks.

Grunts using this taunt use Ice type Pokémon. Easily defeated by using Fighting or Rock type attacks. Lapras can be trickier for your Rock types. You can bring an Electric type in the back just in case.

Counters: Strong fighters and Fire or Electric friends.

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.

Catchable in this encounter: Shadow Swinub, Shadow Alolan Vulpix, and Shadow Alolan Sandshrew.

Wherever there is light, there is also shadow.

Grunts using this taunt use Dark type Pokémon. Dark-types are weak to Fighting and Fairy type moves. Best counters for Dark-type Grunts are Sylveon, Gardevoir, Togekiss, Machamp, and Lucario. You can also bring strong Bug types to deal double damage to the Dark and Grass types.

Catchable in this encounter: Shadow Alolan Grimer and Shadow Rattata.

Get ready to be shocked!

Grunts using this taunt use Electric type Pokémon, and feature a mix of different Electric-type Pokémon families. We recommend countering the Electric-type Grunt with Garchomp (3x resistance to Electric attacks makes it a solo cakewalk) or other strong Ground-types.

Catchable in this encounter: Shadow Shinx, Mareep, Blitzle, Electabuzz and Voltorb.

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

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.

Counters: Machamp,  Lucario, Metagross, Magnezone, Electivire

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!

Catchable at the end of this encounter: Shadow Snorlax (female grunt), and Charmander, Squirtle, Bulbasaur (male grunt).

Check out my cute Pokémon!

Grunts using this taunt use Fairy type Pokémon, which are weak to Poison and Steel-type attacks. The only difference is Mawile, which is weak to Fire-type moves.

Counters: Steel, Poison, and Fire type attackers

To deal with Snubbull and Ralts families, take your best Poison and Steel types. Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash, Roserade with poison moves, or Dialga with Steel moves will all make light work of this encounter.

This can be one of the harder grunts to deal with, so make sure you have the correct movesets for your counters, and be prepared to power some up.

Catchable at the end of this encounter: Shadow Snubbull, Mawile, Ralts, and Kirlia.

You’re no match for my iron will!

Grunts using this taunt use Steel type Pokémon. With only Steel-type families to deal with, take your best Fire and Ground types. Charizard, Moltres, Entei, Blaziken, Swampert, Rhyperior, and the rest of the familiar meta-relevant squad are your go-to counters for the Steel Grunt.

Counters: Strong Fire and Ground types

Catchable at the end of this encounter: Shadow Alolan Sandshrew, Aron, Alolan Diglett.

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: June 2023 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. 

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