Team GO Rocket Leader Guide: Defeating Cliff

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First Pokemon

  • Fast Move: Mud Shot, Water Gun
  • Charged Move: Rock Blast, Ancient Power, Bubble Beam


  • Roserade: Razor Leaf + Anything
  • Torterra: Razor Leaf + Sand Tomb or Frenzy Plant*
  • Victreebel: Razor Leaf + Leaf Blade
  • Shiftry: Razor Leaf or Bullet Seed* or Snarl + Leaf Blade
  • Venusaur: Vine Whip + Frenzy Plant*

Omanyte has a double weakness to Grass. Exploit that! Note that if you use a Razor Leafer over a Vine Whip user, you won't be as effective at breaking shields, so you'll have to deal with more in the back!

Second Pokemon

Potential Pokemon 1

  • Fast Move: Counter/Bullet Punch
  • Charged Move: Heavy Slam/Dynamic Punch/Close Combat/Rock Slide/Cross Chop


  • Gardevoir: Charm/Confusion + Synchronoise/Psychic (Shadow Gardevoir is also great!)
  • Togekiss: Charm + Aerial Ace
  • Mewtwo: Psycho Cut/Confusion + Psystrike
  • Dragonite: Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw
  • Giratina-Altered: Shadow Claw + Dragon Claw
  • Giratina-Origin: Shadow Claw + Shadow Ball
  • Blaziken: Counter + Blast Burn
  • Kyogre: Waterfall + Surf
  • Swampert: Mud Shot + Hydro Cannon

Counters can differ somewhat based on Machamp's fast move! If it's Bullet Punch, avoid using Fairy-types, and instead gravitate toward Kyogre or Blaziken. If it's Counter, pretty much anything else on the list is fantastic. 

Potential Pokemon 2

  • Fast Move: Thunder Shock, Low Kick
  • Charged Move: Thunder Punch, Wild Charge, Thunder, Ice Punch


  • Swampert: Mud Shot + Earthquake OR Hydro Cannon
  • Groudon: Mud Shot + Earthquake
  • Garchomp: Mud Shot + Earthquake
  • Rhydon/Rhyperior: Mud Slap + Earthquake
  • Gliscor: Fury Cutter + Earthquake
  • Giratina-Origin: Shadow Claw + Shadow Ball

Counters vary a lot depending on whether or not you want to try to tank an Ice Punch. Note that Swampert’s the only mon here that doesn’t take at least single super effective damage from it (with Gliscor and Garchomp taking double SE damage). 

Potential Pokemon 3

Fast Move: Rock Throw, Tackle

Charged Move: Heavy Slam, Stone Edge, Sand Tomb


  • Torterra: Razor Leaf + Frenzy Plant*
  • Venusaur: Razor Leaf OR Vine Whip + Frenzy Plant*
  • Roserade: Razor Leaf + Whatever
  • Leafeon: Razor Leaf + Leaf Blade
  • Swampert: Mud Shot + Hydro Cannon* or Surf
  • Kyogre: Waterfall + Surf
  • Gyarados: Waterfall + Aqua Tail* or Crunch
  • Machamp: Counter + Cross Chop OR Dynamic Punch

Onix has a double weakness to both Water and Grass. As such, you've got options! If it's got Razor Leaf, if it's got Waterfall, or if it's got Hydro Cannon, you're probably set. Note that Gyarados is a very bad option if Onix has Rock Throw. Beware the super effective damage!

Third Pokemon

Potential Pokemon 1

  • Fast Moves: Bite, Iron Tail
  • Charged Moves: Crunch, Stone Edge, Fire Blast


  • Lucario (Counter + Power-Up Punch)
  • Poliwrath (Mud Shot + Dynamic Punch)
  • Machamp (Counter + Cross Chop or Dynamic Punch)
  • Swampert (Mud Shot + Hydro Cannon)

Fighting-type damage is the best pick here, and Lucario’s king among kings, resisting both fast moves and hitting incredibly hard. Poliwrath, if you have one at high level, fills a similar role, but lacks Counter.

Potential Pokemon 2

Fast Moves: Mud Shot/Water Gun

Charged Moves: Surf/Muddy Water/Sludge Wave/Earthquake


  • Venusaur (Vine Whip + Frenzy Plant)
  • Meganium (Vine Whip + Frenzy Plant)
  • Leafeon (Razor Leaf + Leaf Blade)
  • Shiftry (Snarl OR Razor Leaf + Leaf Blade)

Like with Omastar before it, super weak to Grass. Grass it down.

Potential Pokemon 3

Fast Moves: Bite/Razor Leaf

Charged Moves: Earthquake/Stone Edge/Solar Beam/Sand Tomb


  • Dialga: Dragon Breath + Iron Head and Draco Meteor
  • Heatran: Fire Spin + Iron Head 
  • Blaziken: Fire Spin OR Counter + Blaze Kick and Blast Burn
  • Togekiss: Air Slash (or Hidden Power Ice) + Aerial Ace and Flamethrower

Blaziken is consistently strong but squishy. Counter and Fire Spin are both reasonable options. Picking up Sand Tomb in the December update doesn't meaningfully alter how you enter the fight, but it does make it scarier.

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About the Author(s)

Tyler is a contributing writer for GamePress, primarily focusing on Trainer Battle content. Fan of dogs and fighting games.