To defeat Team Leader Cliff in Pokemon GO, you will need to counter the Shadow Pokemon he uses with some powerful Pokemon of your own.

However, this is easier said than done, as both the second and third Pokemon he uses in his battle team are a random choice of three.

Luckily, we’ve got a list of every Pokemon that Cliff can use, as well as the best counters to defeat them with ease!

Pokemon GO How to Beat Cliff & Best Counters

Every Pokemon Cliff Can Use in Pokemon GO

Team GO Rocket Leader Cliff always uses Shadow Dratini as his first Pokemon. The second and third Pokemon he uses are chosen randomly out of a possible 3.

These are all of the Pokemon that Cliff can use:

This is the latest lineup of Pokemon that Cliff can choose from, following the most recent Team GO Rocket Takeover event on October 26, 2023.
Pokemon 1Pokemon 2Pokemon 3
Shadow Slowking
Slowking Pokemon GO
Shadow Mamoswine
Pokemon GO Mamoswine
Shadow Dratini
Dratini Pokemon GO
Shadow Gallade
Gallade Pokemon GO
Shadow Dusknoir
Dusknoir Pokemon GO
Shadow Cradily
Shadow Tyranitar

Tyranitar Pokemon GO

Best Counters to Defeat Team GO Rocket Leader Cliff

Shadow Dratini Counters

The best counters to beat Cliff’s Shadow Dratini in Pokemon GO include Togekiss, Haxorus, and Salamence.

It is weak to Electric, Ice, Dragon and Fairy-type attacks.

PokemonImageFast AttackCharged Attack
TogekissTogekiss Pokemon GOCharmDazzling Gleam
HaxorusHaxorus Pokemon GODragon TailBreaking Swipe
SalamenceSalamence Pokemon GODragon TailOutrage

Shadow Slowking Counters

The best Pokemon to counter Shadow Slowking include Pheromosa, Xurkitee, and Kartana.

It is vulnerable to Bug, Dark, Electric, Ghost, and Grass-type Pokemon, making it quite simple to counter in Pokemon GO.

PokemonImageFast AttackCharged Attack
PheromosaPheromosa Pokemon GOBug BiteBug Buzz
XurkitreeXurkitree Pokemon GOSparkDischarge
KartanaKartana Pokemon GORazor LeafLeaf Blade

Shadow Gallade Counters

To counter Cliff’s Shadow Gallade in Pokemon GO, we suggest using Xurkitree, Staraptor, or Gengar, as they all have powerful attacks to exploit one of its weaknesses.

It is weak to Fairy, Flying, and Ghost-type attacks.

PokemonImageFast AttackCharged Attack
XurkitreeXurkitree Pokemon GOSparkDischarge
StaraptorStaraptor Pokemon GOWing AttackBrave Bird
GengarGengar Pokemon GOShadow ClawShadow Ball

Shadow Cradily Counters

The best counters for Team GO Rocket Leader Cliff’s Shadow Cradily include Scizor, Cobalion, and Melmetal.

Shadow Cradily has four weaknesses in Pokemon GO – Bug, Fighting, Ice, and Steel.

PokemonImageFast AttackCharged Attack
ScizorScizor Pokemon GOFury CutterX-Scissor
CobalionCobalion Pokemon GODouble KickSacred Sword
MelmetalMelmetal Pokemon GOThunder ShockSuperpower

Shadow Mamoswine Counters

The best counters to beat Cliff’s Shadow Mamoswine in Pokemon GO include Reshiram, Kartana, and Terrakion.

Shadow Mamoswine has plenty of weaknesses: Fighting, Fire, Grass, Steel, and Water.

PokemonImageFast AttackCharged Attack
ReshiramPokemon GO ReshiramFire FangFusion Flare
KartanaKartana Pokemon GORazor LeafLeaf Blade
TerrakionTerrakion Pokemon GODouble KickSacred Sword

Shadow Dusknoir Counters

Hydreigon, Bisharp, and Guzzlord are the best Pokemon to counter Cliff’s Shadow Dusknoir because they all have strong Dark-type attacks.

Dusknoir has just one other weakness in Pokemon GO – Ghost-type attacks – making it tough to counter.

PokemonImageFast AttackCharged Attack
HydreigonHydreigon Pokemon GODragon BreathBrutal Swing
BisharpBisharp Pokemon GOSnarlDark Pulse
GuzzlordGuzzlord Pokemon GOSnarlBrutal Swing

Shadow Tyranitar Counters

The best counters for Cliff’s Shadow Tyranitar in Pokemon GO are Conkeldurr, Lucario, and Machamp. This is because it has a double weakness to Fighting-type attacks.

Shadow Tyranitar is also weak to Bug, Fairy, Grass, Ground, Steel, and Water attacks.

PokemonImageFast AttackCharged Attack
ConkeldurrPokemon GO ConkeldurrCounterPower-Up Punch
LucarioPokemon GO LucarioCounterPower-Up Punch
MachampPokemon GO MachampCounterCross Chop

After you’ve defeated Cliff, there are two more Team GO Rocket Leaders to battle:

Best Team to Use Against Cliff in Pokemon GO

The best team to use against Cliff in Pokemon GO is:

  • Togekiss
  • Tyranitar
  • Terrakion

This battle team ensures that you can counter any of the Pokemon that Cliff can use, as all of his Pokemon are weak to either Fairy, Dark, or Fighting-type attacks.

Don’t worry if you don’t have these Pokemon – you can substitute each of them for another strong Pokemon of the same type. For instance, you could use Machamp instead of Terrakion, or Hydreigon instead of Tyranitar.

Togekiss, Tyranitar, and Terrakion in Pokemon GO

How to Beat Cliff in Pokemon GO

Here’s the best strategy to defeat Cliff in Pokemon GO:

  1. Put Togekiss (or substitute Fairy-type Pokemon) as your lead Pokemon
    • This should let you beat Shadow Dratini and force Cliff to use up at least one of his shields
  2. Next, counter whichever Pokemon Cliff uses second and defeat it
    • If he uses Shadow Gallade, stick with your Togekiss (or Fairy-type alternative)
    • If he uses Shadow Slowking, switch to Tyranitar (or Dark-type alternative)
    • If he uses Shadow Cradily, switch to Terrakion (or Fighting-type alternative)
  3. Finally, defeat Cliff’s last Pokemon using your most effective counter
    • If he uses Shadow Mamoswine or Shadow Tyranitar, switch to Terrakion (or Fighting-type alternative)
    • If he uses Shadow Dusknoir, switch to Tyranitar (or Dark-type alternative))

Utilizing this team composition and strategy, you should be able to defeat Cliff by countering any Pokemon he throws into battle!

Cliff Pokemon GO Database

How to Find Team GO Rocket Leader Cliff in Pokemon GO

You can find Team GO Rocket Leader Cliff in Pokemon GO by using a Rocket Radar.

After you have used a Rocket Radar, spinning PokeStops or tapping on Team GO Rocket Balloons has a chance of giving you a battle with Cliff.

  • Obtain a Rocket Radar.
    • Rocket Radars are made after collecting 6 Mysterious Components – you get one Mysterious Component every time you beat a Team GO Rocket Grunt.
  • Use the Rocket Radar.
    • After you have collected 6 Mysterious Components, you will be prompted to use the Rocket Radar or can activate it from your Bag.
  • Spin Team GO Rocket PokeStops or tap on Team GO Rocket Balloons – Cliff could be the Team GO Rocket member who appears.
  • If you encounter Arlo or Sierra instead, you can back out and try again later – Cliff will appear using this method eventually.

After defeating all three of the Team GO Rocket Leaders, there is still the boss to track down. Here’s how to find and defeat Giovanni in Pokemon GO!

Pokemon GO Team Rocket Pokestop

What Pokemon Do You Get for Beating Cliff in Pokemon GO?

You always get an encounter with Shadow Dratini for beating Team GO Rocket Leader Cliff in Pokemon GO.

This is the first Pokemon that Cliff uses on his team in every battle following the October 2023 Team GO Rocket Takeover event.

When Cliff updates which team he uses, the Pokemon that you can catch after defeating him will change too.

Rewards For Beating Team Rocket Leader Cliff in Pokemon GO

After you beat Team Leader Cliff in Pokemon GO, you will get an encounter with Shadow Dratini as well as 1000 Stardust and two random items.

  • Shadow Dratini Encounter
  • 1000 Stardust
  • 2 of these rewards:
    • 4 Revives
    • 2 Max Revives
    • 4 Hyper Potions
    • 2 Max Potions
    • Unova Stone
    • 12km Egg

Of course, the best reward is the 12km Egg. Here’s every Pokemon that can hatch from 12km Strange Eggs in Pokemon GO!

Senior Staff Writer
Django grew up with a PlayStation controller in his hands and loves all kinds of games, from Football Manager to Yakuza.
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