Team GO Rocket Grunts Guide (March 2023)

Team GO Rocket Grunt lineups and strategies on how to defeat them during March 2023 in Pokémon GO.

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Get ready to defeat Team GO Rocket Grunts in Pokémon GO this March 2023 with our comprehensive Team GO Rocket Grunts Guide! Our guide includes the best Pokémon line-ups to defeat all Grunt fights in the game, and a list of every potential Pokémon each Grunt can have. 

Team GO Rocket Grunts can be a tough challenge, but with the right Pokémon line-ups and counters, you’ll be able to conquer them easily, even if you’re using a mono typed team. For the best results, be sure to read our guide thoroughly and understand how Team Rocket assembles their Pokémon teams.

Maximize your chances of victory against Team GO Rocket Grunts in March 2023 with our exclusive Team GO Rocket Grunts Guide and the best Pokémon line-ups to defeat all Grunt fights in the game.

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

Coiled and ready to strike!

Possible encounters feature Poison type Pokémon.

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

Grunts that taunt Coiled prefer to use Poison types. You will commonly fight Nidoran, Nidorino, and Muk and Weezing. Our recommended team for this Grunt encounter are Ground types for Nidoran, Muk, and Weezing. 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 grunt.

Catchable Pokémon in this encounter: Shadow Foongus, Nidorino, Nidorina, and Zubat.

Normal doesn’t mean weak.

Possible encounters feature Normal type Pokémon.

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

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.

Recommended Pokémon for this encounter is Machamp (or your strongest Counter user), with Lucario and Breloom being great options. 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, Loudred, Rattata, and Raticate.

ROAR! … How’d that sound?

Possible encounters feature Dragon type Pokémon.

Best counter: Mamoswine, Glaceon, Walrein, Gardevoir, Togekiss, Dragonite and Dragon Tail Garchomp

Grunts using this taunt will have Dragon type Pokémon. Currently, they will most likely use a Dratini. But rest assured that they would be Dragon types and as such, using Ice and Fairy type mons is your safe bet.

Catchable Pokémon: Shadow Dratini.

These waters are treacherous

Possible encounters feature Water type Pokémon.

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

Best counters: Alolan Exeggutor, Sceptile, Venusaur, Roserade, Raikou, Magnezone

Grunts using this taunt will use Water types. 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.

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

Don’t tangle with us!

Possible encounters feature Grass type Pokémon.

Best counter: Moltres, Charizard, Entei, Talonflame

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

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

Battle against my Flying-type Pokémon!

Possible encounters feature Flying type Pokémon.

Best counter: Smack Down Tyranitar, Rhyperior, Magnezone, Raikou

Grunts using this taunt use a combination of Flying type Pokémon that includes the Zubat and Starly family, along with Murkrow. The Rock types are best because they will resist Normal and Poison type attacks. Gyarados can do some damage to your Rock types, so you may want to bring a solid Electric type like Xurkitree or Electivire to make sure they are covered.

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

Do you know how hot Pokémon fire breath can get?

Possible encounters feature Fire type Pokémon.

Best counter: Smack Down Tyranitar, Rhyperior, Kyogre, Swampert, Mud Shot Garchomp

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 Mud Shot Garchomp as they resist fire type attacks.

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

Go, my super bug Pokémon!

Grunts using this taunt use Bug type Pokémon.

Best counter: Fire types and best 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.

You’ll be defeated into the ground!

Grunts using this taunt use Ground type Pokémon.

Best counters: Ice, Grass, and Water types

Using Pokémon like Kyogre, Mmaoswine, Walrein, Venusaur etc serves the purpose of defeating Grunts using this Taunt.

Catchable in this encounter are: Shadow Hippopotas, Geodude and Alolan Diglett.

Are you scared of psychics that use unseen power?

Grunts using this taunt will use Psychic type Pokémon.

Top counters: Tyranitar, Weavile, Houndoom, Darkrai, Hydreigon or Giratina (Origin).

This grunt uses Pokémon that can be easily taken down by using Dark or Ghost Pokémon. Giratina (Origin) is particularly incredible in taking out the entire roster on its own.

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

Let’s rock and roll!

Grunts boasting this taunt will use Rock type Pokémon.

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

Counters: Machamp, Lucario, Swampert, Kyogre, Mud Shot Garchomp

Grunts using this taunt will use Pokémon with Rock typing, which are all easily defeated by Machamp or other Fighting types. The likes of Lucario, Breloom and Terrakion will make light work of them.

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


Grunts using this taunt will use Ghost type Pokémon.

Top counters: Darkrai, Weavile, Hydreigon, Tyranitar, Yveltal

Grunts using Ghost types are weak to Ghost and Dark types, so we would recommend Dark types as they aren’t weak to the Pokémon the grunts are using. 

Catchable in this encounter: Shadow Golett and Duskull.

This buff physique isn’t just for show!

Possible encounters feature Fighting type Pokémon.

Counters: Alakazam, Gardevoir, and Mewtwo.

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. 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.

Possible encounters feature Ice type Pokémon.

Counters: Strong fighters and Fire or Electric friends.

Grunts using this taunt will 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.

Also, 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.

Possible encounters feature Dark type Pokémon.

Counters: Sylveon, Gardevoir, Togekiss, Machamp, Lucario

Grunts using this taunt will use Dark type Pokémon. So both Fighting and Fairy types counter all of these grunts’ Pokémon. It should be easy enough to bring a full fairy team to decimate this unsuspecting grunt. You can also bring strong Bug types to deal double damage to the Dark/Grass types.

Catchable in this encounter: Shadow Alolan Rattata, Alolan Raticate, Stunky, Murkrow, and Purrloin.

Get ready to be shocked!

Possible encounters feature Electric type Pokémon.

Counters: Garchomp, Groudon and other strong Ground types.

Grunts using this taunt will use Electric type Pokémon and will feature a mixture of different Pokémon. Garchomp’s triple resistance to Electric type attacks makes it a solo cakewalk.

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!

Counters: Machamp,  Lucario, Metagross, Magnezone, Electivire

This encounter is significantly challenging this time around. 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.

Check out my cute Pokémon!

Grunts using this taunt will have Fairy type Pokémon.

Counters: Best Steel and Poison types

With only the Snubbull and Ralts families to deal with, 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, Ralts, Kirlia, Granbull.

You’re no match for my iron will!

Grunts using this taunt will have Steel type Pokémon.

Counters: Strong Fire and Ground types

With only the 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.

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

Author’s Tips and Go Rocket Take Down Lineup

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.

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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