Official tips to defeat Team GO Rocket Leaders Sierra, Cliff and Arlo in Pokémon GO: Spring 2023

The Pokémon Company has revealed official tips for Pokémon GO. Read on below to learn more:

Tips to Defeat Team GO Rocket’s Sierra, Cliff, and Arlo in Pokémon GO: Spring 2023

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 be able to catch Sierra’s Shadow Beldum, Cliff’s Shadow Magnemite, or Arlo’s Shadow Nidoran♂.

So how do you encounter these elusive Leaders? Start battling Team GO Rocket Grunts by interacting with the black Team GO Rocket hot air balloons in the sky or black PokéStops with a Team GO Rocket member in front of them. After defeating a Grunt, you’ll receive a Mysterious Component. Collect six Mysterious Components to receive a Rocket Radar that can be used to find the Team GO Rocket Leaders. While you have the Rocket Radar equipped, the GO Rocket Leaders will start appearing in balloons and at certain black PokéStops. In certain situations, such as during an event or after completing a Special Research story, you may receive a Super Rocket Radar, which can be used to find and challenge the Team GO Rocket Boss Giovanni.

Before diving into strategies for each individual Team GO Rocket Leader, here are a few general tips that can help you across the board. One important difference between Trainer Battles and battles with Team GO Rocket 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.

The Team GO Rocket Leaders’ Pokémon can have any Fast Attack or Charged Attack currently available to that Pokémon. That means 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, bringing Pokémon with two Charged Attacks will give you more opportunities to exploit type weaknesses, maximizing their versatility in battle.

Don’t forget to power up your Pokémon as much as possible before going up against Team GO Rocket Leaders. Even a little bit can make a big difference!

Team GO Rocket Leader Sierra

Sierra has a highly valuable Shadow Pokémon for Trainers who like to compete in the GO Battle League or participate in lots of raids. Shadow Beldum can be evolved into Shadow Metang and, eventually, Shadow Metagross. Shadow Metagross is capable of dealing substantial damage as both a Steel- and Psychic-type attacker. Fortunately, defeating Sierra and rescuing Shadow Beldum is straightforward.

Sierra’s Potential Pokémon

  • First Pokémon

    • Beldum (Steel/Psychic)

  • Second Pokémon

    • Lapras (Water/Ice)

    • Sharpedo (Water/Dark)

    • Flygon (Ground/Dragon)

  • Third Pokémon

    • Alakazam (Psychic)

    • Houndoom (Dark/Fire)

    • Shiftry (Grass/Dark)

Recommended Pokémon to Defeat Sierra

  • Fighting-type Pokémon to use against Sierra’s Lapras, Houndoom, and Shiftry

    • Machamp / Shadow Machamp

    • Hariyama / Shadow Hariyama

    • Conkeldurr

  • Dark-type Pokémon to use against Sierra’s Beldum and Alakazam

    • Shiftry / Shadow Shiftry

    • Darkrai

    • Zarude

  • Fairy-type Pokémon to use against Sierra’s Sharpedo, Flygon, and Shiftry

    • Granbull / Shadow Granbull

    • Togekiss

    • Sylveon

How to Defeat Sierra

As a Team GO Rocket Leader, all of Sierra’s Pokémon have high CP, so a type advantage alone may not be enough to defeat her. But if you enter battle with your strongest Pokémon of the correct types armed with the right Fast Attacks and Charged Attacks, you should come out on top.

To take down Sierra, choose your strongest Fighting-, Dark-, and Fairy-type Pokémon. 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. Consider starting with your Dark-type Pokémon to challenge Shadow Beldum. If you equip your Pokémon with a Dark-type Fast Attack, a Dark-type Charged attack, and a second Charged Attack that powers up quickly, you can use the second Charged Attack to burn through Sierra’s two Protect Shields while taking advantage of the same-type attack bonus with your Pokémon’s other attacks. Your Dark-type Pokémon may also come in handy later if Sierra ends up bringing out Alakazam as her third Pokémon, so try to preserve this Pokémon’s health.

After defeating Shadow Beldum with your Dark-type Pokémon, your Fairy type is a good choice against Flygon, while Lapras is vulnerable to your Fighting type. Sharpedo is weak to attacks from both types! From there, you could use any of your three Pokémon against Sierra’s third choice. For Houndoom, count on your Fighting-type Pokémon to finish the battle for you. Against Alakazam, bring back the Dark-type Pokémon you used against Beldum. Either your Fighting or Fairy type is an excellent choice against Shiftry.

Teaching your Pokémon a second Charged Attack of a different type can help you make the most of your lineup. For example, a Zarude that knows a Grass-type Charged Attack will be effective against Lapras and Sharpedo in addition to Alakazam and Beldum. A Granbull that knows a Fighting- or Dark-type Charged Attack poses a more substantial threat to a wider range of Pokémon. This could come in handy if one of your other Pokémon faints.

Team GO Rocket Leader Cliff

Cliff’s Shadow Magnemite can evolve into Magneton and, eventually, Magnezone. Magnezone is an Electric- and Steel-type Pokémon that’s a solid addition to your raid battle lineup against Water-, Ice-, Flying-, Rock-, and Fairy-type Pokémon. The resistances imparted by Magnezone’s dual typing and its ability to deal damage quickly make freeing Shadow Magnemite from Cliff’s clutches a worthwhile endeavor.

Cliff’s Potential Pokémon

  • First Pokémon

    • Magnemite (Electric/Steel)

  • Second Pokémon

    • Venusaur (Grass/Poison)

    • Pinsir (Bug)

    • Omastar (Rock/Water)

  • Third Pokémon

    • Tyranitar (Rock/Dark)

    • Sharpedo (Water/Dark)

    • Camerupt (Fire/Ground)

Recommended Pokémon to Defeat Cliff

  • Fire-type Pokémon to use against Cliff’s Magnemite, Venusaur, and Pinsir

    • Entei / Shadow Entei

    • Heatran

    • Reshiram

  • Fighting-type Pokémon to use against Cliff’s Magnemite, Omastar, and Sharpedo

    • Machamp / Shadow Machamp

    • Hariyama / Shadow Hariyama

    • Conkeldurr

  • Ground-type Pokémon to use against Cliff’s Magnemite, Omastar, Tyranitar, and Camerupt

    • Swampert / Shadow Swampert

    • Groudon

    • Garchomp / Shadow Garchomp

How to Defeat Cliff

There are a few different ways to go about defeating Team GO Rocket Leader Cliff, but they all begin with selecting a powerful Fire type, a feisty Fighting type, and a solid Ground type. First and foremost,  the Pokémon you choose should have a Fast Attack and Charged Attack that match the Pokémon’s type, or it won’t be as effective against Cliff’s Pokémon. From there, you can mix it up with a second Charged Attack of a different type to maximize your Pokémon’s efficiency. For example, if you choose Garchomp as your Ground-type Pokémon, teaching it Fire Blast in addition to a Ground-type Charged Attack offers some backup if your Fire-type Pokémon faints.

Fire-, Fighting-, and Ground-type Pokémon are all effective against Magnemite, but considering leading with your Fire type since it won’t be very effective against Cliff’s third Pokémon. This will also allow you to continue firing away at Cliff’s second Pokémon if he chooses Venusaur or Pinsir. If Cliff chooses Omastar, however, simply swap in your Fighting- or Ground-type Pokémon. It’s especially useful to lead with a Pokémon that has a Charged Attack that powers up quickly to get Cliff to use his two Protect Shields. It doesn’t matter what type of Charged Attack you use if Cliff has Protect Shields available, so just fire off those Charged Attacks as quickly as possible.

Cliff’s third Pokémon will likely be the most difficult to beat. Even with supereffective attacks and a same-type attack bonus, the high CP of Cliff’s final Pokémon will make it a challenge—your best bet is to hit it with as many Charged Attacks as you can. For Tyranitar, both your Fighting- and Ground-type Pokémon will be effective. Against Sharpedo, your Fighting-type Pokémon is your best bet for a quick knockout. If Cliff chooses Camerupt, bring in your Ground-type Pokémon to wrap up the battle, defeat Cliff, and rescue Shadow Magnemite.

Team GO Rocket Leader Arlo

If you’re looking to add Shadow Nidoking to your roster, keep an eye out for Arlo so you can rescue his Shadow Nidoran♂. Nidoking, Nidoran♂’s final Evolution, evolves from Nidorino when given 100 Nidoran♂ Candy. Nidoking is a Poison- and Ground-type Pokémon, making it resistant to a respectable six types of attacks: Electric, Fighting, Poison, Bug, Rock, and Fairy. While Nidoking is not commonly seen in the highest levels of the GO Battle League, it can be used effectively in raids, particularly as a Poison-type attacker.

Arlo’s Potential Pokémon

  • First Pokémon

    • Nidoran♂ (Poison)

  • Second Pokémon

    • Crobat (Poison/Flying)

    • Steelix (Steel/Ground)

    • Cradily (Rock/Grass)

  • Third Pokémon

    • Charizard (Fire/Flying)

    • Scizor (Bug/Steel)

    • Armaldo (Rock/Bug)

Recommended Pokémon to Defeat Arlo

  • Water-type Pokémon to use against Arlo’s Steelix, Charizard, and Armaldo

    • Feraligatr / Shadow Feraligatr

    • Swampert / Shadow Swampert

    • Kyogre

  • Ice-type Pokémon to use against Arlo’s Crobat and Cradily

    • Weavile / Shadow Weavile

    • Glaceon

    • Galarian Darmanitan

  • Ground-type Pokémon to use against Arlo’s Nidoran♂ and Steelix

    • Groudon

    • Garchomp

    • Ursaluna

  • Fighting-type Pokémon to use against Arlo’s Steelix and Cradily

    • Machamp / Shadow Machamp

    • Hariyama / Shadow Hariyama

    • Conkeldurr

  • Rock-type Pokémon to use against Arlo’s Crobat, Charizard, and Armaldo

    • Aggron / Shadow Aggron

    • Rhyperior / Shadow Rhyperior

    • Terrakion

How to Defeat Arlo

Defeating Arlo is tricky. The good news is that you have more than one approach when putting together a team to defeat this Team GO Rocket Leader. The first option is to use a Water type, an Ice type, and a Ground type with both a Fire-type and Ground-type Charged Attack. The second path is with a Fighting type, a Ground type (also with both a Fire-type and Ground-type Charged Attack), and a Rock type. Each Pokémon on your team should have a Fast Attack and Charged Attack that matches the Pokémon’s type, and it’s always advantageous to teach your Pokémon a second Charged Attack of a different type to maximize their effectiveness. If you’re not sure whether to go Water/Ice/Ground or Fighting/Ground/Rock, take a look at your available Pokémon and see which of these two options offers the strongest team with a high collective CP and the correct attack types.

Regardless of which option you choose, you’ll want to lead with your Ground-type Pokémon. Remember that it should know a Ground-type Charged Attack and a Fire-type Charged Attack. Groudon, Garchomp, and Ursaluna all have access Charged Attacks of both those types. Ursaluna, however, does not have access to a Ground-type Fast Attack, and you’ll need an Elite TM to teach it a Ground-type Charged Attack unless it learned the attack during a special event. Use whichever Ground-type Pokémon you choose to defeat Nidoran♂, but preserve some of the Pokémon’s health so you can send it out against Steelix or Scizor.

After defeating Nidoran♂, your second Pokémon will shift depending on whether you chose the Water/Ice/Ground strategy or Fighting/Ground/Rock strategy. For the former, switch in your Ice-type Pokémon if Arlo’s second Pokémon is Crobat or Cradily, or switch in your Water-type Pokémon if Arlo sends out Steelix. If you use your Water type, keep it in fighting shape in case you need it against Arlo’s final Pokémon. If you chose the Fighting/Ground/Rock strategy, use your Fighting-type Pokémon against Steelix or Cradily and your Rock type against Crobat.

Again, your strategy against Arlo’s final Pokémon will shift depending on whether Arlo brings out Charizard, Scizor, or Armaldo. Regardless of which of the two strategies you chose, if Arlo chooses Scizor, send out your Ground-type Pokémon. Its Fire-type Charged Attack is the key to defeating Scizor—if that Charged Attack is powered up and ready to go, you’ll be in good shape. If you chose to use Water-, Ice-, and Ground-type Pokémon, the Water type will come in handy against Charizard and Armaldo. If you chose to use Fighting-, Ground-, and Rock-type Pokémon, your Rock-type Pokémon should be your go-to choice against Charizard and Armaldo.

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

Good luck battling, Trainers!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.