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How to beat Cliff in Pokemon GO

Each Team GO Rocket leader has their own
Each Team GO Rocket leader has their own 'theme' and Pokemon lineup that they will choose in their battles (Image via Niantic)
Modified 10 Feb 2021

Team GO Rocket leaders like Cliff can be challenging to face in Pokemon GO.

However, with the right counters and the right Pokemon team, players can take down Cliff and claim yet another Shadow Pokemon.

Each Team GO Rocket leader has their own 'theme' and Pokemon lineup in their battles. What Pokemon they choose can never be guaranteed, but they always use the same rotation of Pokemon. This rotation can, at the very least, be predicted in Pokemon GO.

Cliff's first Pokemon is always Aerodactyl. This tends to be one of the hardest parts of the battle. However, what makes it a bit easier is knowing that it's always Aerodactyl, and it can be countered.

Three Aerodactly counters to use against Cliff

  • Tyranitar with Smack Down and Crunch
  • Empoleon with Waterfall and Hydro Cannon
  • Kyogre with Waterfall and Surf

After Aerodactyl, players will need to use a bit more prediction for Cliff's team. His second and third Pokemon are not guaranteed, but he always pulls from the same pool of three Pokemon for each level.

At level two, or for his second Pokemon, Cliff has a few choices. They could be Gallade, Slowking or Cradily.

At this stage, it becomes more of a Pokemon GO guessing game. There are a few Pokemon that can be chosen as a cover for all three possible matchups.

Three counters for Cliff's second Pokemon

  • Ho-Oh with Incinerate and Brave Bird
  • Jirachi with Confusion and Doom Desire
  • Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash

Of course, something like Ho-Oh won't work great against Slowking, but that's where the guessing game happens in Pokemon GO.

It's important to remember that players can always start a rematch if they lose, and Cliff will have the same Pokemon.

Cliff's final Pokemon and the counters to use in Pokemon GO

Cliff will have one more Pokemon to battle in order to claim victory. There are three that he can choose from. The choices are Tyranitar, Dusknoir and Mamoswine.

Counters for these Pokemon are all wildly different, so it's hard to offer three that overlap each other. So instead, each pick will have two counters listed.

Counters for Cliff's third Pokemon in Pokemon GO


  • Machamp with Counter and Cross Chop
  • Conkeldurr with Counter and Dynamic Punch


  • Snorlax with Lick and Body Slam
  • Slaking with Yawn and Body Slam


  • Empoleon with Waterfall and Hydrocannon
  • Kyogre with Waterfall and Surf

Players should once again note that they can go back into a rematch and choose a new team upon defeat. This means that players can tailor their team to counter Cliff's choices for that battle, and a victory will be even easier in Pokemon GO.

Published 10 Feb 2021, 07:57 IST
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