While taking on Team Go Rocket Grunts in Pokémon Go, players receive items called Mysterious Components. Piecing them together creates a tracker used to hunt down the three Rocket leaders: Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra.
You will need six Mysterious Components to craft a Rocket Radar to find these leaders by equipping it from your bag, which will give you a chance to encounter them in Rocket Balloons floating around the overworld.
Each of the three leaders has a unique team of three Pokémon which can rotate at random for a three-stage battle with randomized elements. While the three bosses may seem difficult at first, those who are well-prepared heading into the match will have no problem taking down Go Rocket’s leaders and making it to the big boss.
Here’s everything you need to know about Go Rocket leader Sierra and her team.
Best Pokémon to counter Sierra in Pokémon Go
Shadow Sableye has appeared in previous iterations of Sierra’s team, though normally as an option for her second or third slot. During this Team Go Rocket takeover, players will confront her Shadow Sableye as soon as the battle begins, setting the tone for one of the most difficult team compositions that Sierra has ever had at her disposal.
Sableye is one of two Pokémon in the entire series that has the Ghost/Dark-typing. This unique type coverage not only provides it with immunity to several popular Pokémon types but also one sole weakness: Fairy.
To prevent any of your Pokémon from taking too much damage from Shadow Sableye, players should counter with Fairy-type attacks from Pokémon like Togekiss, Xerneas, or Azumarill, all of which won’t have to worry about incoming super-effective damage.
As with the other Team Go Rocket leaders, taking down Sierra will give players the chance to add Sierra’s lead Pokémon to their team. Shadow Sableye may also appear in its Shiny form, though there is a very small chance it will do so.
Sierra isn’t planning on holding back against anyone who dares oppose her. Immediately upon taking down her Shadow Sableye, players will be confronted by one of three powerful Pokémon, each with access to moves of multiple types that will require players to prepare accordingly.
Gardevoir is normally a very docile Pokémon, known to protect its trainer with its life. However, this Psychic/Fairy-type Pokémon is equally powerful, attacking its opponents with barrages of moves from not only its types but with Electric and Ghost-type attacks too. As a Shadow Pokémon, this power only increases further—thanks in part to the bond this Pokémon and Sierra share.
To not be immediately swept away by Gardevoir’s onslaught, players should answer it with a Steel-type Pokémon.
Good options here are Magnezone, Melmetal, Aggron, and Durant, though players should avoid Steel-types like Metagross that are dual-typed with Water, Psychic, or Ghost, as Gardevoir does have the potential to bring tools that do well against these Pokémon.
Unlike the other two Team Go Rocket leaders, Sierra isn’t planning on battling players with a team of Pokémon they’ve seen before. Instead, she’s added a handful of new faces to her team, many of which possess bulk that isn’t normally matched by other Pokémon—with a drastic increase to their offenses as well thanks to their Shadow corruption.
One of the new Pokémon on Sierra’s team that players can possibly encounter after defeating Shadow Sableye is Muk, a Poison-type Pokémon. Though it may not seem like a threat at first glance, its considerable defenses coupled with powerful Poison and non-Poison-type moves that will deal considerable damage to Pokémon that do not directly resist these types.
To chip away at Muk’s health quickly, the best option for players is to attack with strong Ground-type attackers like Garchomp, Rhyperior, Groudon, Mamoswine, or Swampert. Psychic-type attacks can also deal super-effective damage to Muk, though it’s best to use these attacks with non-Psychic-type Pokémon, as Muk can surprise players with moves like Infestation and Dark Pulse.
Since Pokémon Gold and Silver, Skarmory has remained one of the tankiest bird Pokémon, and one of the very few that possesses the unique Steel/Flying-type combination. This has transferred almost seamlessly into Pokémon Go, where the defenses of this Pokémon have allowed it to appear in multiple seasons of the Go Battle League as one of the most popular picks, as well as a viable option in Raids.
In the clutches of Sierra, Shadow Skarmory poses a massive threat—particularly due to its ability to counter most Fairy-type Pokémon players may have used to take down Shadow Sableye. Fortunately, Skarmory’s glaring weaknesses to Electric and Fire-type attacks will prove useful as the battle continues into Sierra’s final Pokémon, meaning options like Electivire, Magmortar, Charizard, Zekrom, and others should be considered here.
Players lucky enough to get past Sierra’s second Pokémon may have an even bigger challenge on their hands as they reach the final stop in this battle, including a chance to battle some of the most powerful and recognizable Pokémon in the series.
Recognized as the ace Pokémon of the Johto region’s Dragon-type Gym Leader Clair, Kingdra is a Water/Dragon-type Pokémon that thrives on its ability to take down Pokémon of multiple types due to its access to some of the most powerful moves in the game. Regardless of the Pokémon players send out, any of Kingdra’s Charged Attacks—like Hydro Pump, Blizzard, and Outrage—will deal massive damage if they don’t have any Protect Shields remaining.
Like Shadow Sableye, taking down Shadow Kingdra will require players to take advantage of its weakness to Fairy-type moves, as Dragon-type Pokémon will fall quickly to a Blizzard or Outrage. The Pokémon that players brought to take down Sableye should also work here, but players should consider bringing along another strong Fairy-type Pokémon like Gardevoir, Tapu Fini, Tapu Lele, or Sylveon to ensure they have another answer to this strong foe.
Sierra has even more surprises up her sleeves thanks to the addition of Gyarados to her team, which is fully prepared to storm through any remaining Pokémon players have at their disposal. At this point in the battle, players’ teams will likely be in tatters, meaning the only way players should counter Gyarados is with Steel-type Pokémon with Electric-type attacks that can exploit the Water/Flying-types four-times weakness.
Possible options here include Magnezone, Melmetal, Registeel, and Shock Drive Genesect, though players should be aware no matter what they confront Gyarados with, they’re in for quite a battle.
This could be an angle for players to use Steel-type Pokémon and simply chip away at Victreebel without taking much damage back, or they could bring Pokémon with Fire, Flying, Ice, or Psychic-type attacks that can also withstand the damage, like Chandelure, Dragonite, Salamence, Froslass, or Lunala.