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Team GO Rocket Leader Guide: Defeating Cliff

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First Pokemon

  • Quick Move: Tackle/Zen Headbutt
  • Charged Move: Stomp/Wild Charge/Megahorn

Cliff always leads with Stantler.

Counters

  • Lucario (Counter + Power-Up Punch)
  • Machamp (Counter + Cross Chop)
  • Tyranitar (Smack Down + Crunch)
  • Melmetal (Thunder Shock + Rock Slide)
  • Metagross (Bullet Punch + Meteor Mash)

Stantler’s not that threatening of a Pokémon, mostly because its fast moves are super unimpressive. Lucario’s likely the strongest option, but if you don’t have one, anything else on this list will do just fine. While Tyranitar isn’t as good at breaking shields, its resistances are fantastic.

Second Pokemon

Potential Pokemon 1

  • Fast Move: Mud Slap/Rock Smash
  • Charged Move: Bone Club/Dig/Earthquake

Counters

  • Gyarados (Waterfall + Crunch/Hydro Pump)
  • Lugia (Extrasensory + Waterfall)
  • Dragonite (Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw)
  • Swampert (Mud Shot + Hydro Cannon)
  • Kyogre (Waterfall + Surf)
  • Venusaur (Vine Whip + Frenzy Plant)
  • Leafeon (Razor Leaf + Leaf Blade)

Any Grass-, Water-, or Ice-type damage is good here. However, Gyarados is king, resisting Rock Smash and double resisting Mud Slap while swinging back with super effective Waterfalls and Hydro Pumps.

Potential Pokemon 2

  • Fast Move: Tackle/ Rock Throw
  • Charged Move: Sand Tomb/Heavy Slam/Stone Edge

Counters

  • Swampert (Mud Shot + Hydro Cannon)
  • Venusaur (Vine Whip + Frenzy Plant)
  • Meganium (Vine Whip + Frenzy Plant)
  • Leafeon (Razor Leaf + Leaf Blade)

A double weakness to Grass and Water makes the starters fantastic picks here. Swampert is especially strong because it resists Rock Throw.

Potential Pokemon 3

Fast Move: Mud Shot/Water Gun

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

Counters

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

A double weakness to Grass means that’s the type you need to be focusing on here. Bring out your Frenzy Plant and Leaf Blade users.

Third Pokemon

Potential Pokemon 1

Counters

  • 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

Counters

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

Apparently Swampert’s in this slot, too. Once again, bring Grasses.

Potential Pokemon 3

Fast Moves: Bite/Razor Leaf

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

Counters

  • 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.

About the Author(s)

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