Team Rocket Executives have landed in Pokémon GO, and they’re a completely different type of opponent. The leaders are extremely challenging, and if you plan on beating them, you’ll need to change your standard strategies. They’re worth beating too — each one gives you a chance to collect a rare Shadow Pokémon, and defeating all three will get you one step closer to Giovanni.
Before we get into the battle tips, it’s important to understand exactly how the new Team Rocket Leader system works. When you defeat standard Team Rocket Grunts, they can drop a special item called Mysterious Components. Get six to construct a unique item called Rocket Radar. When equipped, this item will locate invaded Pokestops that have secretly transformed into Leader Hideouts. That’s where you’ll find these challenging opponents.
More Pokémon GO guides:
All The Shadow Pokémon You Can Catch (So Far!) | Full List | How To Catch (And Purify) Shadow Pokémon | Capture Guide | How To Fight Team Rocket GO | Invasion Event Guide | How To Fight Rocket Leader Giovanni | Legendary Shadow Pokémon Guide
How To Beat Team Rocket Leaders | Trainer Battle Guide
Team Rocket Leaders — Cliff, Sierra, and Arlo — are challenging opponents that require a whole lot of CP to defeat. But, CP isn’t the only thing you need to beat these enemies. You’ll want to change your strategy and take advantage of Pokémon counters to win.
Here’s a quick recap on how to fight Team Rocket Leaders.
- Find invaded Pokestops and defeat Team GO Rocket Grunts to earn Mysterious Components.
- Collect 6 Mysterious Components to create Rocket Radar — you can build more, or purchase more from the Item Shop.
- Equip the Rocket Radar to find Team GO Rocket Leader Hideouts at random Pokestops.
The Rocket Radar will only be consumed after you defeat a Rocket Leader, so you’re free to fight that same leader for as long as they’re available at that location.
General Tips For Fighting Team Rocket Leaders
It’s important to select Pokémon based on how tough they are. High Defense Pokémon that can survive attacks, and Pokémon with high defense against your opponent are absolutely required. Don’t just select the ‘Recommended‘ team!
Generally, I recommend a Pokémon team with 3,000-3,500 CP. Don’t bother selecting your most powerful Pokémon. If they can’t absorb damage, they aren’t going to be helpful. Pick Pokémon based on survivability. You’ll want to focus less on Quick Move damage, and more on Energy generation. Generate lots of Energy and dish out real damage with Charge Moves.
Don’t worry if your Pokémon can’t dish out damage. Generating Energy is the most important thing, and the most energy you generate, the faster you’ll end each encounter. It’s especially important to have a good starter Pokémon so you don’t waste your shields. It also helps to bait out enemy Shields so they aren’t attacking you.
Counters For Each Rocket Leader
Each Team Rocket Leader can have one of three Pokémon in each slot — below, we’ll list all the possible Pokémon in each Rocket Leader’s team. Rocket Leaders will continue to use the same Pokémon after an encounter, so you can replan your strategy after the first battle.
- Rocket Leader Cliff
- #1: Meowth
- #2: Sandslash| Flygon | Snorlax
- #3: Tyranitar| Infernape | Torterra
- Rocket Leader Arlo
- #1: Scyther
- #2: Gyarados | Crobat | Magnezone
- #3: Scizor | Charizard | Dragonite
- Rocket Leader Sierra
- #1: Sneasel
- #2: Lapras | Sableye | Hypno
- #3: Dragonite | Houndoom | Gardevoir
More Pokemon GO tips, tricks, and FAQs:
Perfect Pokeball Throws With AssistiveTouch | How to Become A Gym Leader | How to Earn Coins (Fast) & What They’re Used For | Where to Find (And Catch) Pokemon | Spawn Locations | iOS & Android Compatibility – Which Versions Work | Easy Ways to Earn XP & Level Up Fast | How to Take In-Game Screenshots | Is It Out In Your Country? | Availability List | All the Moves, Ranked Best to Worst | Complete List | 6 Essential Facts You Need to Know About the Buddy System