How to defeat Team GO Rocket Leaders Sierra, Cliff and Arlo in Pokémon GO: Winter 2022

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Tips to Defeat Team GO Rocket’s Sierra, Cliff, and Arlo in Pokémon GO this Winter

Learn which Pokémon the Team GO Rocket Leaders may use in battle and how best to counter them.

Battling a Team GO Rocket Leader is a lot more challenging than taking on a Team GO Rocket Grunt. But with some key knowledge and shrewd strategy, you can send Sierra, Cliff, and Arlo packing. When you do, you’ll have an opportunity to catch Sierra’s Shadow Sableye, Cliff’s Shadow Machop, or Arlo’s Shadow Mawile.

Before diving into strategies for each individual Team GO Rocket Leader, here are a few general tips. One important difference between battling Team GO Rocket Grunts and Leaders is their use of Protect Shields. Team GO Rocket Leaders have two Protect Shields that they will use against your first two Charged Attacks. Because of this, it’s best to begin the battle with a Pokémon that has a Charged Attack that powers up quickly, so you can fire off your first two Charged Attacks as soon as possible. When using your subsequent Charged Attacks, be thoughtful about timing and utilize their power when it will be most effective.

It’s also worth noting that the Team GO Rocket Leaders’ Pokémon can have any Fast Attack or Charged Attack currently available to that Pokémon. You won’t know which Fast Attack or Charged Attack their Pokémon will have until you’re battling them, so try to familiarize yourself with each Pokémon’s available attacks and pick your own Pokémon team accordingly.

When battling the Team GO Rocket Leaders, it’s best to bring Pokémon with two Charged Attacks. That will give you more opportunities to exploit type weaknesses. By teaching a Pokémon Charged Attacks of different types, you can maximize its effectiveness in battle.

Team GO Rocket Leader Sierra (Winter 2022)


Sierra’s Potential Pokémon

  • First Pokémon

    • Sableye (Dark/Ghost)

  • Second Pokémon

    • Flygon (Ground/Dragon)

    • Cacturne (Grass/Dark)

    • Honchkrow (Dark/Flying)

  • Third Pokémon

    • Snorlax (Normal)

    • Houndoom (Dark/Fire)

    • Cradily (Rock/Grass)

Recommended Pokémon to Defeat Sierra

  • Fighting-type Pokémon to use against Sierra’s Snorlax, Houndoom, Cacturne, and Cradily

    • Machamp / Shadow Machamp

    • Hariyama / Shadow Hariyama

    • Terrakion

  • Fairy-type Pokémon to use against Sierra’s Sableye, Flygon, Cacturne, and Honchkrow

    • Granbull / Shadow Granbull

    • Togekiss

    • Sylveon

How to Defeat Sierra

Sierra has a highly valuable Shadow Pokémon for Trainers that like to compete in the GO Battle League. A Purified Sableye is one of most popular Pokémon within the Great League, which makes it well worth your time to learn how to defeat this Team GO Rocket Leader and claim Sableye for your own. Fortunately, defeating Sierra is straightforward.

To defeat Sierra, choose one Fairy-type Pokémon and two Fighting-type Pokémon for your lineup. Each of your three Pokémon should have a Fast Attack and Charged Attack that matches your Pokémon’s type to maximize your damage against Sierra’s Pokémon. It’s especially important to choose a Fairy-type Pokémon with a Charged Attack that powers up quickly to get through Sierra’s two Protect Shields. Consider choosing a Fairy-type Pokémon with one Fairy-type Charged Attack and a second Charged Attack that powers up quickly. You can use the faster Charged Attacks to knock out those Protect Shields, leaving you free to use your stronger Charged Attack. Your Fairy-type Pokémon should get you through Sierra’s first and second Pokémon.

For Sierra’s third Pokémon—Houndoom, Snorlax, or Cradily—it’s time to unleash your Fighting-type Pokémon. If you’re wondering why you might benefit from two Fighting-type Pokémon and only one Fairy-type Pokémon, remember that Shadow Snorlax is extremely bulky and will likely require multiple Fighting-type Charged Attacks to knock out. A Fighting-type Pokémon is also handy against Cacturne if Sierra brings that out as her second Pokémon, although your Fairy-type Pokémon will help you out in that matchup as well.

Remember to power up your Pokémon as much as possible prior to challenging Sierra. As a Team GO Rocket Leader, all of her Pokémon will have a substantial CP, so you shouldn’t assume that a type advantage will be all it takes to defeat her. Go into battle with your strongest Pokémon of the correct types and armed with the right attacks to give yourself the best chance of defeating Sierra and rescuing her Shadow Sableye.

Team GO Rocket Leader Cliff (Winter 2022)


Cliff’s Potential Pokémon

  • First Pokémon

    • Machop (Fighting)

  • Second Pokémon

    • Pinsir (Bug)

    • Crobat (Poison/Flying)

    • Amoonguss (Grass/Poison)

  • Third Pokémon

    • Aerodactyl (Rock/Flying)

    • Tyranitar (Rock/Dark)

    • Camerupt (Fire/Ground)

Recommended Pokémon to Defeat Cliff

  • Water-type Pokémon to use against Cliff’s Tyranitar, Aerodactyl, and Camerupt

    • Blastoise / Mega Blastoise / Shadow Blastoise

    • Swampert / Shadow Swampert

    • Kyogre

  • Psychic-type Pokémon to use against Cliff’s Machop, Crobat, and Amoonguss

    • Alakazam / Shadow Alakazam / Mega Alakazam

    • Mewtwo / Shadow Mewtwo

    • Metagross / Shadow Metagross

  • Flying-type Pokémon to use against Cliff’s Machop, Pinsir, and Amoonguss

    • Moltres / Shadow Moltres

    • Rayquaza

    • Hisuian Braviary

How to Defeat Cliff

In order to defeat Team GO Rocket Leader Cliff, you should choose one tough Water-type Pokémon, a powerful Psychic-type Pokémon, and a strong Flying-type Pokémon. Consider mixing it up a little by teaching an additional Charged Attack to each Pokémon for additional type coverage. Most importantly, remember that the Pokémon you choose need a Fast Attack and Charged Attack that match their type so they can deal as much damage as possible to Cliff’s Pokémon.

Lead with your Flying- or Psychic-type Pokémon against Cliff’s Machop. This Pokémon should be able to knock out Cliff’s first and second Pokémon and, ideally, get through both his Protect Shields. Next, use your Water-type Pokémon to wash away the Team GO Rocket Leader’s third Pokémon. While this strategy is relatively straightforward, you can spice it up by using a Pokémon that has two Charged Attacks of different types. For example, Rayquaza will be very effective with both a Flying-type Fast Attack and Charged Attack, but you can also teach Rayquaza a Rock-type Charged Attack that would be effective against Crobat. And Kyogre is a great choice, useful for its Water-type attacks, but it also has access to an Electric-type Charged Attack that Crobat is vulnerable to and an Ice-type Charged Attack that would help with both Crobat and Amoonguss.

In addition to using a type advantage and second Charged Attack, you should power up your Pokémon as much as possible before challenging Cliff. Team GO Rocket leaders utilize Pokémon with an extremely high CP, which can make them challenging to defeat even with a thoughtfully selected lineup.

Team GO Rocket Leader Arlo (Winter 2022)


Arlo’s Potential Pokémon

  • First Pokémon

    • Mawile (Steel/Fairy)

  • Second Pokémon

    • Charizard (Fire/Flying)

    • Salamence (Dragon/Flying)

    • Staraptor (Normal/Flying)

  • Third Pokémon

    • Dragonite (Dragon/Flying)

    • Granbull (Fairy)

    • Scizor (Bug/Steel)

Recommended Pokémon to Defeat Arlo

  • Fire-type Pokémon to use against Arlo’s Scizor and Mawile

    • Charizard / Mega Charizard Y

    • Moltres / Shadow Moltres

    • Entei / Shadow Entei (has a Steel-type Charged Attack)

  • Rock-type Pokémon to use against Arlo’s Charizard, Dragonite, Salamence, and Staraptor

    • Tyranitar / Shadow Tyranitar (has access to a fire type attack)

    • Rampardos (has access to a Fire-type attack)

    • Rhyperior / Shadow Rhyperior (has access to a water and ground type attack)

  • Steel-type Pokémon to use against Arlo’s Granbull

    • Metagross / Shadow Metagross

    • Dialga (Steel/Dragon)

  • Other Pokémon to use against Arlo’s Dragonite, Granbull, and Salamence

    • Zacian

How to Defeat Arlo

You could sweep through Arlo’s entire lineup with an extremely powerful Rock-type Pokémon—but Granbull, Scizor, and Mawile throw a wrench into that plan. However, that shouldn’t stop you from choosing your best Rock-type Pokémon to power through Arlo’s second Pokémon.

Consider leading with a Fire-type Pokémon to take down Mawile. Then switch to a Rock-type Pokémon immediately afterward, keeping your Fire-type Pokémon fresh in case Arlo sends out Scizor as his third Pokémon. After your Rock-type Pokémon has defeated Arlo’s second Pokémon, you can either keep your Rock-type Pokémon in play, or if Arlo brings out Dragonite, switch back to your Fire-type Pokémon for Scizor, or bring in a Steel-type Pokémon for Granbull.

If you’re reluctant to commit one of the slots on your lineup to a Steel-type Pokémon on the off chance that Arlo chooses Granbull as his third Pokémon, there are a few alternatives. The Fire-type Pokémon Entei has access to a Steel-type Charged Attack, so you could arm your Entei with one Fire-type Charged Attack and one Steel-type Charged Attack. Tyranitar is another good choice because even though it’s primarily a Rock-type attacker, it has access to a Fire-type attack as well. In addition, although Zacian is a Fairy-type Pokémon, it notably has access to a Steel-type Fast Attack and Charged Attack. It also has a very respectable max CP and access to both Electric- and Fairy-type Charged Attacks.

Whichever Pokémon you choose to battle Arlo’s Pokémon, it’s essential to make sure they have a Fast Attack and Charged Attack of the type you need. Teaching your Pokémon a second Charged Attack of a different type will maximize their effectiveness. And remember that Arlo’s Pokémon will inevitably have a high CP. This means that even with a type advantage you’ll want to power up your own Pokémon as much as possible. But with a thoughtfully chosen lineup and strategy, you should be more than capable of defeating Arlo and rescuing his Shadow Mawile.

Wondering what to do with your newly acquired Shadow Pokémon? Learn more about Shadow Pokémon in Pokémon GO. The Team GO Rocket Leaders change their Pokémon every few months, so check back regularly for new recommendations and strategies.

Good luck, Trainers!


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