In Pokémon Go, you’ll find that to get specific Pokémon, you’ll have to defeat the Team GO Rocket grunts and bosses. The leaders (Cliff, Arlo, Sierra, and Giovanni) are often the most difficult, but provide the greatest rewards. In this guide, we will focus on how to defeat Cliff and which counters are best against his new Pokémon.

Quick Notes

  • The counters we include aren’t synonymous with weaknesses. Sometimes these counters will be mentioned for things other than being the opponent’s weakness. Other examples may include their movesets or the fact that they’re naturally resistant to their opponent.
  • These lists are not ranked from best to worst. While we can provide the best counters to use in any match, there is no guarantee which order they should fall. The effectiveness of each Pokémon largely depends on your play style and battle technique. This being the case, we have instead opted to list the counters alphabetically.
  • Best team setup: There are a few Pokémon types that we recommend adding to your team since they do well against many of the Pokémon in Cliff’s lineup. It’s best to have some combination of the team listed below. Still, if you only have two of them, you should hold fairly well against him.
    • Any Strong Water Pokémon
    • Any Strong Rock Pokémon
    • Any Strong Psychic Pokémon

Related: How to Beat Giovanni in Pokémon Go | All Giovanni Counters – Pro Game Guides

Round 1 Pokémon

The following list has all the options for this gym leader to use as their first Pokémon.

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  • Type: Poison
  • Weak Against: Ground, Psychic
  • Resistant Against: Bug, Fairy, Fighting, Grass, Poison
  • Notes: Psychic Pokémon are strong against Grimer, but they have no resistance to them. If you don’t have any of the Pokémon below, we recommend you use a Ground Pokémon. Steel Pokémon are also resistance to Poison, so you could try one of those instead.
PokémonFast AttackCharge Attack
LandorusMud ShotEarthquake
GroudonMud ShotEarthquake

Round 2 Pokémon

The following list has all the options for this gym leader to use as their second Pokémon.


  • Type: Grass, Poison
  • Weak Against: Fire, Flying, Ice, Psychic
  • Resistant Against: Grass, Electric, Fairy, Fighting, Water
  • Notes: Fire or Psychic Pokémon are best against Venusaur since they are good counters against some of Cliff’s other Pokémon.
PokémonFast AttackCharge Attack
ReshiramFire FangOverhear
MoltresFire SpinSky Attack
HeatranFire SpinFire Blast
Ho-OhIncinerateBrave Bird


  • Type: Fighting
  • Weak Against: Fairy, Flying, Psychic
  • Resistant Against: Bug, Dark, Rock
  • Notes:

Related: How to Beat Arlo in Pokémon Go | All Arlo Counters – Pro Game Guides

PokémonFast AttackCharge Attack
LatiosZen HeadbuttPsychic
MoltresWing AttackSky Attack
Ho-OhExtrasensoryBrave Bird


  • Type: Poison, Flying
  • Weak Against: Electric, Ice, Psychic, Rock
  • Resistant Against: Bug, Fighting, Grass, Fairy, Ground, Poison
  • Notes:
PokémonFast AttackCharge Attack
ZekromCharge BeamWild Charge
RampardosSmack DownRock Slide
ThundurusVolt SwitchThunderbolt

Round 3 Pokémon

The following list has all the options for this gym leader to use as their third Pokémon.


  • Type: Fire, Flying
  • Weak Against: Electric, Rock, Water
  • Resistant Against: Bug, Grass, Fairy, Fighting, Fire, Ground, Steel
  • Notes: Rock Pokémon are the best Pokémon to use against Charizard since they do extra damage to both of Charizard’s types.
PokémonFast AttackCharge Attack
RampardosSmack DownRock Slide
RhyperiorSmack DownRock Wrecker
TerrakionSmack DownRock Slide
TyranitarSmack DownStone Edge
GigalithSmack DownRock Slide

Related: How to Beat Sierra in Pokemon Go | All Sierra Counters – Pro Game Guides


  • Type: Rock, Dark
  • Weak Against: Bug, Fairy, Fighting, Grass, Ground, Steel, Water
  • Resistant Against: Psychic, Dark, Fire, Flying, Ghost, Normal, Poison
  • Notes: Fighting Pokémon do the most damage against Tyranitar. A few of Cliff’s other Pokémon are weak against Fighting, too. So you won’t want to stray from that type.
PokémonFast AttackCharge Attack
ConkeldurrCounterDynamic Punch
LucarioCounterAura Sphere
MachampCounterDynamic Punch
HariyamaCounterDynamic Punch
BlazikenCounterFocus Blast


  • Type: Fire
  • Weak Against: Ground, Rock, Water
  • Resistant Against: Bug, Fairy, Fire, Grass, Ice, Steel
  • Notes:
PokémonFast AttackCharge Attack
RhyperiorMud-SlapRock Wrecker
KyogreWaterfallHydro Pump
RampardosSmack DownRock Slide
TerrakionSmack DownRock Slide
GarchompMud ShotEarth Power

Once you’ve found Cliff, you’ll now be ready to take on all his Pokémon! Check back with this page for occasional updates when they update Pokémon Go!