Team GO Rocket Leader Guide: Defeating Cliff

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First Pokemon

  • Fast Move: Mud Slap, Poison Jab
  • Charged Moves: Mud Bomb, Sludge, Sludge Bomb


  • Lugia: Extrasensory + Sky Attack
  • Excadrill: Mud-Slap + Drill Run
  • Garchomp: Mud Shot + Sand Tomb
  • Rhyperior: Mud Slap + Surf
  • Dragonite: Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw
  • Giratina-Altered: Shadow Claw + Dragon Claw

Grimer's entire moveset is made up of Poison-type and Ground-type moves. However, there's not that much that resists both, and a lot of the stuff that does, you probably don't have maxed. That means you may need to find a middle ground. Remember, your biggest goal in this first mon should be to burn through Cliff's shields, since the second mon will hit way harder.

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: Mud Shot, Water Gun

Charged Move:Ancient Power, Rock Blast, Hydro Pump


  • Torterra: Razor Leaf + Frenzy Plant
  • Abomasnow: Razor Leaf + Whatever
  • Ludicolo: Razor Leaf + Whatever
  • Venusaur: Razor Leaf OR Vine Whip + Frenzy Plant
  • Roserade: Razor Leaf + Whatever
  • Machamp: Counter + Cross Chop OR Dynamic Punch
  • Raikou: Thunder Shock OR Volt Switch + Wild Charge
  • Leafeon: Razor Leaf + Leaf Blade

Grass, basically. With a really brutal double weakness, you can’t really do better than just throwing Razor Leaf at it. That said, if you don’t have a high level razor leafer, Machamp or Raikou can do a solid job.

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.