Unannounced Team GO Rocket Changes: Grunts and Sierra lineup changed

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Trainers, it seems that some unannounced Team GO Rocket lineup changes have happened, affecting the GO Rocket Grunts and Rocket Leader Sierra. Niantic has been silent about these changes, but we assume they were made in an effort to make certain Grunts more balanced, and to make the new Shadow Rhyorn more accessible.

As of the time of this writing, we have confirmed and verified with our Japanese colleagues that the following changes have happened:

Team GO Rocket Grunts

Team GO Rocket
Team GO Rocket

Team GO Rocket Leader Sierra

Sierra Counters
Sierra Counters
  • GO Rocket Leader Sierra no longer uses Shadow Kingdra as a third slot Pokémon, it was replaced by Shadow Houndoom

Our thoughts

The addition of Shadow Rhyhorn as a potential first slot Pokémon for the Ground-type Grunt is a welcome change, as it makes Shadow Rhyperior much easier to obtain. Initial data suggested that Shadow Rhyhorn was previously catchable in 12% encounters following a fight with the Ground-type Grunt, which made it very, very difficult to get.

The removal of Muk in favour of Alolan Muk is also good, as it makes it safer to use a Fighting-type based lineup against the Dark-type Grunt. You should probably consider using Ground types in addition to fighters, but still, one less headache to worry about.

Sierra should be significantly easier now that Houndoom is a potential enemy, as Kingdra was arguably a more difficult opponent than Houndoom. 

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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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