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How to Beat Cliff in Pokemon GO: Best Counters (May 2023)

How to Beat Cliff in Pokemon GO: Best Counters (May 2023)

Cliff is a Team GO Rocket Leader you can encounter in Pokemon GO, which means he is more powerful than your normal Team GO Rocket Grunt.

Fighting Cliff, or any Leader, is more challenging than facing Grunts as Leaders use higher-level Pokemon and are unpredictable due to their rotating Pokemon lineup.

You can encounter Team Rocket Leaders by interacting with Team GO Rocket hot air balloons in the sky or via black Pokestops.

If you face Cliff, these are the Pokemon you will come up against, and here’s how to defeat them.

However, if you come across the other Leaders, we have guides on how to defeat Arlo and Sierra, as well.

This article will be updated every time Cliff’s Pokemon are changed.

What Pokemon Does Cliff Use? (May 2023)

A Team GO Rocket Leader changes its lineup every new Team GO Rocket takeover event.

Here are the Pokemon that Cliff is using in May 2023:

  • First Pokemon: Larvitar
  • Second Pokemon: Sceptile, Kingdra or Skarmory
  • Third Pokemon: Tyranitar, Swampert or Gyarados

Use this Pokemon GO type chart along with the below counters to put a team together that will defeat Cliff.

Cliff First Pokemon

The first Pokemon in any Team GO Rocket Leader battle is the Pokemon that you can catch as a reward for defeating them.

Cliff’s first Pokemon is Larvitar, his only selection that you’ll know ahead of time.

This means it will be easy to plan how to defeat it.

Larvitar Counters

Larvitar is a Rock/Ground type Pokemon, which means it is weak against Fighting, Grass, Ground, Ice, Steel and Water attacks.

It also has 6 resistances: Electric, Fire, Flying, Normal, Poison, and Rock.

PokemonType Fast MoveCharged Move
SwampertWater/GroundMud ShotHydro Cannon and Earthquake
LucarioFighting/SteelCounterPower Up Punch and Shadow Ball
ConkeldurrFightingCounterDynamic Punch and Stone Edge
RhyperiorGround/RockMud SlapRock Wrecker
TorterraGrass/GroundRazor LeafFrenzy Plant and Earthquake

Cliff Second Pokemon

After defeating Magnemite, you will face either Sceptile, Kingdra, or Skarmory.

There is no pattern in what Pokemon Cliff uses. You cannot predict his second (or third Pokemon) like you can predict a Grunts Pokemon by reading their dialogue.

Sceptile Counters

Sceptile is a Grass type Pokemon, which means it is weak to Bug, Fire, Flying, Ice, and Poison type moves.

It resists Electric, Grass, Ground, and Water type moves.

PokemonTypeFast MoveCharged Move
ChandelureFire/GhostIncinerateFlame Charge and Shadow Ball
InfernapeFire/FightingFire SpinBlast Burn and Close Combat
MoltresFire/FlyingFire SpinSky Attack and Brave Bird
ReshiramDragon/FireFire FangFusion Flare and Overheat
CharizardFire/FlyingFire SpinDragon Claw and Blast Burn

Kingdra Counters

Kingdra is a dual Water and Dragon type Pokemon.

Therefore, it is weak against Dragon and Fairy attacks while being resistant to Fire, Steel, and Water attacks.

PokemonTypeFast MoveCharged Move
GardevoirPsychic/FairyCharmSynchronoise and Shadow Ball
TogekissFairy/FlyingCharmSky Attack and Ancient Power
ClefableFairyCharmMoonblast and Meteor Mash
SalamenceDragon/FlyingDragon TailOutrage and Draco Meteor
HaxorusDragonDragon TailDragon Claw and Earthquake

Skarmory Counters

Skarmory is a Steel and Flying type Pokemon which means it has a lot of resistances and only two weaknesses.

Its weakness are Electric and Fire, while its long list of resistances (10 in total) are Bug, Dragon, Fairy, Flying, Grass, Ground, Normal, Poison, Psychic, and Steel moves.

PokemonTypeFast MoveCharged Move
CharizardFire/FlyingFire SpinBlast Burn and Dragon Claw
HeatranFire/SteelFire SpinFlamethrower and Iron Head
ReshiramDragon/FireFire FangFusion Flare and Overheat
InfernapeFire/FightingFire SpinBlast Burn and Close Combat
ChandelureGhost/FireIncinerateFlame Charge and Shadow Ball

Cliff Third Pokemon

After defeating the first two Pokemon, Cliff unleashes his strongest Pokemon against you.

Similar to the second Pokemon, there are no predictions or patterns, so you will randomly face either Tyranitar, Swampert, or Gyarados.

Tyranitar Counters

Tyranitar is a pseudo-legendary Pokemon with a Rock/Dark typing.

It is weak to Bug, Fairy, Fighting, Grass, Ground, Steel, and Water with these typings.

Meanwhile, its resistances are Dark, Fire, Flying, Ghost, Normal, Poison, and Psychic type moves.

PokemonTypeFast MoveCharged Move
KyogreWaterWaterfallSurf and Blizzard
SwampertWater/GroundMud ShotHydro Cannon and Earthquake
ConkeldurrFightingCounterDynamic Punch and Stone Edge
LucarioFighting/SteelCounterPower-up Punch and Shadow Ball
MachampFightingCounterClose Combat and Stone Edge

Swampert Counters

Swampert is a dual Water and Ground type Pokemon which means it has only one weakness – Grass.

It has 5 resistances which are Electric, Fire, Poison, Rock, and Steel attacks.

PokemonTypeFast MoveCharged Move
SceptileGrassBullet SeedLeaf Blade and Dragon Claw
VenusaurGrass/PoisonVine WhipFrenzy Plant and Sludge Bomb
RoseradeGrass/PoisonRazor LeafGrass Knot
TorterraGrass/GroundRazor LeafFrenzy Plant and Stone Edge
KartanaGrass/SteelRazor LeafLeaf Blade

Gyarados Counters

Gyarados is a Water and Flying type Pokemon.

Its two weaknesses are Electric and Rock. Its resistances are Bug, Fighting, Fire, Ground, Steel, and Water attacks.

PokemonTypeFast MoveCharged Move
RaikouElectricVolt SwitchWild Charge and Shadow Ball
MagnezoneElectric/SteelSparkWild Charge and Zap Cannon
ZekromDragon/ElectricCharge BeamWild Charge and Fusion Bolt
ElectivireElectricThunder ShockWild Charge and Thunder
TyranitarRock/DarkSmack DownCrunch and Stone Edge

Best Pokemon to Defeat Cliff

The best team of Pokemon to defeat Cliff would be a strong Water type, a Pokemon with Fire and Flying coverage, and either Tyranitar, Torterra, or one of the Pokemon with Charm.

Swampert is a great opener as it can comfortably defeat Larvitar and quickly make Cliff use up his Protect Shields.

From there the more tricky Pokemon are Kingdra and Swampert which only weaknesses to Dragon/Fairy and Grass, respectively.

Don’t worry if you’re defeated, you can still have a rematch against Cliff until you win.

Once you do defeat Leader Cliff, you’ll get your Shadow Magnemite encounter which has a chance of being Shiny!

After defeating Cliff, win against the other Leaders to encounter Giovanni and even have the chance of catching a Shadow Legendary Pokemon!