Team GO Rocket Leaders Guide

How to find and defeat Cliff, Sierra and Arlo

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Team GO Rocket Leaders are now live in Pokemon GO! We’ve prepared a guide on how to find and defeat Cliff, Sierra and Arlo. Defeating Team Rocket Leaders gives out an Unova Stone!

Team GO Rocket Leader Mechanics

The following mechanics were reported in early encounters with GO Rocket Leaders, mostly Cliff:

  • Defeat Team GO Rocket Grunts to collect Mysterious Components. You need 6 Mysterious Components to create a Rocket Detector.
  • Rocket Detector is used to find a Team GO Rocket Leader. Activating the detector will enter a new map mode where you will be directed towards the boss. You can enter the mode by tapping an that icon shows up just under the Go+ icon.
  • Rocket Detector is consumed after the boss is defeated.
  • Team Go Rocket is only available from 6am to 10pm.

Combat tips

  • GO Rocket Leaders use shields, but the combat is similar to regular Grunt battles.
  • You can capture one of the Shadow Pokemon used by the Rocket Leader. Team Leader Shadow Pokemon can be Shiny! Shiny Shadow Meowth, Sneasel and Scyther have been reported to date.


  • There are Trainer reports coming from London, Atlanta, Austin, and San Francisco about finding Mysterious Components.

Rewards for defeating GO Rocket Leaders

Rocket Leader battles can drop Unova Stones and Sinnoh Stones! Credits for this report go to Ray0923 on reddit. You get 1000 Stardust and two of:

  • Max Revive
  • Revive
  • Max Potion
  • Unova Stone
  • Sinnoh Stone



Players reported that Cliff can have the following Pokemon:


For more information read our Rocket Leader Cliff Counters Guide. The following Pokemon are good Cliff counters, no matter which line-up he has:

Slot #1 Slot #2 Slot #3
Lucario Regice Swampert
Counter Lock On Mud Shot
Power Up Punch Blizzard Hydro Cannon
Shadow Ball Focus Blast Earthquake
  • Lucario counters Meowth, Snorlax and Tyranitar
  • Regice counters Flygon, Sandslash and Torterra
  • Swampert counters Sandslash, Infernape and Tyranitar


Players have reported that Sierra can have the following Pokémon:


For more information read our Rocket Leader Sierra Counters Guide. The following Pokemon are good Sierra counters, no matter which line-up she has:

Slot #1 Slot #2 Slot #3
Lucario Melmetal Tyranitar
Counter Thunder Shock Bite
Power Up Punch Rock Slide Crunch
Shadow Ball Flash Cannon Stone Edge
  • Lucario counters Sneasel, Lapras and deals damage to Hypno / Alakazam (Shadow Ball)
  • Melmetal counters Gardevoir, Lapras, Hypno and Alakazam
  • Tyranitar counters Hypno, Sableye, Houndoom and Alakazam


Players have reported that Arlo can have the following Pokémon:


For more information read our Rocket Leader Arlo Counters Guide. The following Pokemon are good Arlo counters, no matter which Pokémon line-up he has:

Slot #1 Slot #2 Slot #3
Melmetal Mewtwo Blaziken
Thunder Shock Psycho Cut Counter
Rock Slide Psytrike Blaze Kick
Thunder Bolt Ice Beam Focus Blast
  • Melmetal covers Scyther, Gyarados, Crobat and Dragonite
  • Mewtwo covers Crobat and Dragonite (Ice Beam)
  • Blaziken covers Magnezone and Scizor (weak to Fire)

General combat tips

  • Burn Leader shields as fast as possible. Use your first Pokemon to get through all the shields.
  • Prioritize Pokémon that resist Fast moves, rather than those that deal a large amount of damage. You can’t out DPS Rocket Leaders.
  • Always shield against Charge moves, regardless of whether or not you are taking reduced damage from it.
  • You can rematch the opponent as many times as you want before you defeat it.
  • The counter teams shared above are templates for going in “blind”. Knowing the Leader’s Pokémon will allow you to build a much better team. Refer to our Rocket Leader counters guides for an in-depth explanation for countering each Pokémon.

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Zeroghan started the Hub in July 2016 and hasn't had much sleep since. A lover of all things Pokémon, web development, and writing.

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