Team GO Rocket Leader Guide: Defeating Sierra

Submit Feedback or Error

Current Rocket Leaders Lineups

Rocket Leader Tips

  • The first Shadow Pokemon in a Rocket Leader's lineup is always catchable, and frequently can be shiny.
  • Since the first Pokemon in a given leader's lineup is frequently easy to take down, it's often best to just take them down with Fast Moves and farm energy for the second and/or third Pokemon in their lineup.
  • While not as strong as Giovanni, many of the Rocket Leaders' Shadow Pokemon hit extremely hard, meaning strong coverage moves can pose a real threat.
  • When using a Charged Move or Switching, the rocket leaders will stop attacking for a moment. Abusing this time can make encounters substantially easier, and makes Pokemon with a high energy-generating Fast Move and a low energy cost Charged Move extremely valuable to taking down tough Shadow Pokemon.

Note on Example Counters: Our recommended options will primarily focus on Pokemon that have current utility in the Master League, and generally won't feature Shadow Pokemon in order to not potentially double up on the same basic species (Dragonite + Shadow Dragonite, for example), though many of the Shadow variants of the Pokemon on these lists generally perform just as well as their normal counterparts. 

First Pokémon

Shadow Trapinch
  • Fast Moves: Struggle Bug, Mud Shot, Sand Attack
  • Charged Moves: Dig, Sand Attack, Crunch, Scorching Sands

Shadow Trapinch can get a bit spammy and/or deal a bit of damage with the right moveset, but it's genuinely not a threat.

Example Counters

Second Pokémon

Shadow Sableye

  • Fast Moves: Shadow Claw, Feint Attack
  • Charged Moves: Power Gem, Foul Play, Shadow Sneak

Shadow Sableye can be an annoying little thing due to the fact that it has good neutral coverage and is only weak to Fairy Type moves. However, it's also pretty frail against Master League-viable Pokemon, so it shouldn't pose a massive threat so long as it's dealt with fairly quickly.

Example Counters

Shadow Milotic

  • Fast Move: Dragon Tail, Waterfall
  • Charged Moves: Surf, Blizzard, Hyper Beam

Milotic is bulky, and has coverage to threaten many of the top Dragons. However, it could also very well roll a moveset that's borderline worthless against many of its would-be counters. That said, even when it rolls well and can pose a real threat, taking advantage of Charged Move/Switch pauses and/or building up some energy against Trapinch can leave it a non-threat.

Example Counters

Shadow Honchkrow

  • Fast Moves: Pick, Snarl
  • Charged Moves: Brave Bird, Psychic, Dark Pulse, Sky Attack

Shadow Honchkrow is really glassy, and is pretty easy to counter with the right Pokemon on your team. While its neutral coverage is potentially threatening in some cases, its counter-coverage turns up lacking most of the time.

Example Counters

Third Pokémon

Shadow Victreebel

  • Fast Moves: Acid, Razor Leaf, Magical Leaf
  • Charged Moves: Sludge Bomb, Solar Beam, Leaf Blade, Leaf Tornado, Acid Spray

If Victreebel lands on the right moveset, then it can be a genuinely threatening Pokemon to fight... unless you have specific counters, as there are definitely Pokemon that can deal with it pretty easily regardless of moveset. Victreebel has an abject lack of coverage, so it's a pretty predictable punch overall. If you bring just one Pokemon that can potentially deal with it, then it's largely a non-threat despite its offensive output.

Example Counters

Shadow Alakazam

  • Fast Moves: Confusion, Psycho Cut
  • Charged Moves: Focus Blast, Future Sight, Shadow Ball, Fire Punch

Alakazam hits hard, but can't really take a hit itself. Beware its coverage moves and try to take it down quickly to avoid having to deal with too many strong Charged Moves, and the rest will fall into place.

Example Counters

Shadow Houndoom

  • Fast Moves: Fire Fang, Snarl
  • Charged Moves: Crunch, Fire Blast, Foul Play, Flamethrower

Shadow Houndoom hits fairly hard, but it's like Shadow Victreebel in that it is pretty predictable and has no coverage move options. It's not a particularly difficult Pokemon to take down with the right team.

Example Counters

Enjoyed the article?
Consider supporting GamePress and the author of this article by joining GamePress Boost!

About the Author(s)

Gamepress Pokemon Go site lead with a focus on theorycrafting and gameplay optimization and a background in business management and freelance writing.  A bit of a hermit, but also an outdoors enthusiast who loves cycling and hiking. Long-time Gamepress fan who is very proud to be a part of the team.