How to beat Cliff in Pokémon Go – May 2021

Prepare for some very big trouble.

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Team Rocket has invaded Pokémon Go, and it’s up to you, the trainers, to take them down.

As players take on Team Go Rocket Grunts in Pokémon Go, they’ll receive items called Mysterious Components that piece together to make a tracker used to hunt down Team Rocket’s three captains: Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra. You will use six of the Mysterious Components to craft an item called the Rocket Radar, which can be equipped from your bag and will lead you to the Rocket leaders.

You will need to defeat all of the leaders before you can take on the true leader of the organization. So with that in mind, here is how you can counter the brute force of Go Rocket leader Cliff.

First Pokémon


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In their most recent iteration, Cliff has the strongest lead Pokémon of the Rocket leaders by far, starting off with the powerful Flying/Rock-type Aerodactyl.

Despite its power, Aerodactyl is weak to Water, Ice, and Electric-type attacks, so it isn’t hard to find a counter. With Cliff’s other Pokémon in mind, you will probably want to use a bulky Water-type like Blastoise or Swampert, or a powerful Electric-type like Electivire to take it down.

Second Pokémon

Just like with the other leaders, Cliff has three different Pokémon he can use in the second stage of the battle, all of which are formidable in their own way.


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His first option is the Psychic/Fighting-type Gallade, which has access to a lot of powerful moves and is the most offensive Pokémon that he will use in this slot.

If you have a Flying-type Pokémon handy, it can easily counter the Blade Pokémon, but be careful, because Close Combat and Psychic will still do a lot of damage if you aren’t ready for them. Gallade can also learn Leaf Blade, so it is best to avoid using Water-types against it if you can.


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Next on the list for Cliff is Cradily, a bulky Rock/Grass-type that can really take a hit from any Pokémon that isn’t firing an Ice Beam.

It has access to Grass, Rock, and Ground-type attacks that can deal a lot of damage, along with Acid and Infestation as Fast Moves that can hit a variety of Pokémon that would normally wall the Barnacle Pokémon. If you bring a capable Ice-type or a non-Water-type that has an Ice-type move, you should be fine.


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The final Pokémon in Cliff’s second slot arsenal is Slowking, which takes aspects of his other options and combines them to make a new threat.

You will need to be wary of Slowking’s natural bulk and moveset, since it can easily take a hit and then fire back with Water Gun, Psychic, Blizzard, or even Fire Blast, which makes it a threat to even Bug-types. You should probably have a Dark-type on hand to tackle the Royal Pokémon, and it can even help in the next stage, too.

Third Pokémon

Now it’s time to take on Cliff’s final Pokémon, which can be one of these three randomly chosen options, starting with his signature Tyranitar.


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The Rock/Dark-type monster that is Tyranitar can lay waste to your entire team if you aren’t careful, and covers for many of the weaknesses that Cliff’s other Pokémon have. You can’t bring a Grass-type unless you want to risk taking a Fire Blast, but strong Water and Fighting-type Pokémon should be fine as long as they are fine shouldering a few heavy Dark or Rock-type hits.

Your best option going into this battle would be to something like Machamp, which doesn’t hold any fear of the Armor Pokémon’s moves.


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If you used a Dark-type to take on one of Cliff’s earlier Pokémon, now is the perfect chance to keep it in and put it to work. Dusknoir can be threatning, but it only has moves that are resisted or completely useless on Dark-types, so you are in the clear if you came prepared.


Image via Game Freak

The final Pokémon Cliff is carrying could very well be a Mamoswine, which means you better now have any Pokémon out that can’t take a Ground or Ice-type attack.

You shouldn’t be using a Flying or even a Fire-type against Mamoswine to begin with because of its typing, but if you are, watch out. Mamoswine not only has Ice and Ground-type moves, but can also know Stone Edge. Stick to Water and Fighting-types and you should be good to counter the Twin Tusk threat, along with Tyranitar if it pops up.