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TGR: Cliff, Sierra, Arlo, and Giovanni Counters – December Update

December has brought us a great many gifts, among them is a new set of Pokémon Team GO Rocket (TGR) Leaders can use in battle! When you fight them, each team leader will use one of two possible sets of Pokémon from which they can draw from. Cliff leads with Meowth or Stantler, Sierra leads with Sneasel or Absol, Arlo leads with Scyther or Bagon, and Giovanni leads with Persian only. After that, each subsequent Pokemon is random from a pool of three, except for TGR Boss Man, Giovanni, who will always throw out his shadow Legendary Bird last.

Let’s take a look at which Pokémon you should be taking into battle against each possible battle you could face. You will notice that Team GO Rocket counters are a little different than Raid counters. The ability to spam out super-effective Charged Moves is extremely important; you have to burn up those shields to take down the TGR leaders!

CLIFF

Willow Report - Cliff

What can we say about Cliff? Lay off the protein powder homie! And maybe don’t shave a ball into your chin? Somewhere out there Will Smith is referring to you as a Ballchinion. Cliff is by far the easiest of the TGR Team Leaders. Here’s an in-depth look at how to defeat everything Cliff can throw at you.

STANTLER
Stantler
Stantler is weak to only Fighting-types. Know what that means? Yup, Lucario time. Waste those shields away with Power-up Punch and make short work of Stantler.
Counter PuP Counter Dy. Punch Counter Dy. Punch
ELECTIVIRE
  
Electivire is weak to one thing, and one thing only, Ground-types. Therefore, unsurprisingly, we recommend Garchomp, Excadrill, and Groudon
Mud Shot
Earthquake
Mud-Slap
Drill Run
Mud Shot
Earthquake
MAROWAK
  
Marowak is weak to Grass-, Ice-, and Water-types. Kingler, Kyogre, and Mamoswine should all make short work of it.
Bubble
Crabhammer
Waterfall
Surf
Powder Snow
Avalanche
ONIX
  
Onix is DOUBLE weak to Grass- and Water-types, and as such, we recommend using Kingler, Kyogre, and Roserade.
Bubble
Crabhammer
Waterfall
Surf
Razor Leaf
Grass Knot
TYRANITAR
  
Tyranitar REALLY dislikes Fighting-types. Using a Fighting-type that can quickly get off its Charged Move will cut through Tyranitar like a hot knife through butter.
Counter
Aura Sphere
Counter
Dy. Punch
Counter
Dy. Punch
SWAMPERT
  
Swampert HATES Grass-types, as it suffers from a double weakness to them. As you might guess, Grass-types make-up all three top counters.
Razor Leaf
Grass Knot
Vine Whip
Frenzy Plant
Bullet Seed
Frenzy Plant
TORTERRA
  
Torterra is double weak to Ice-type moves. We Recommend either Glaceon, Weavile, or Articuno. Ice Ice Baby!
Frost Breath
Avalanche
Ice Shard
Avalanche
Frost Breath
Blizzard

SIERRA

Willow Report - Sierra

Sierra, girl, you got that sass, but we got sass of our own! Ain’t nobody got time for that whole “Mean Girl” routine! BYE FELICIA! Sierra is probably the 2nd hardest TGR Team Leader. Here’s our breakdown of how to say goodbye to everything Sierra can offer.

ABSOL
 Absol 
Absol is weak to Bug-, Fairy-, and Fighting-types. We recommend using either Lucario, Conkeldurr, or Machamp to take it down quickly.
Counter
PuP
Counter
PuP
Counter
Dy. Punch
LAPRAS
  
Lapras is weak to Electric-, Fighting-, Grass-, and Rock-types. Most of them should be able to get the job done, but here are our top 3 recommendations.
Counter
Aura Sphere
Counter
Dy. Punch
Thunder Shock
Wild Charge
KADABRA
  
Kadabra is weak to Bug-, Dark-, and Ghost-types. For this reason, we recommend using Hydreigon, Tyranitar, or Darkrai. 
Bite
Dark Pulse
Bite
Crunch
Bite
Shadow Ball
CACTURNE
  
Cacturne is DOUBLE weak to Bug-types. For this reason, Yanmega, Scizor, and Pinsir are the top 3 counters we recommend.
Bug Bite
Bug Buzz
Fury Cutter
X-Scissor
Bug Bit
X-Scissor
   
HOUNDOOM
  
Houndoom is weak to Fighting-, Ground-, Rock-, and Water-types. Swampert, Kyogre, and Terrakion can all beat it with relative ease.
Water Gun
Hydro Cannon
Waterfall
Surf
Smack Down
Rock Slide
GALLADE
  
Gallade is weak to Fairy-, Flying-, and Ghost-types. We recommend using Moltres, Origin Giratina, and Mewtwo in this battle.
Wing Attack
Sky Attack
Shadow Claw
Shadow Ball
Psycho Cut
Shadow Ball
SHIFTRY
  
Shiftry is double weak to Bug-types, but also has weaknesses to Fairy-, Flying-, Fire-, Fighting-, Ice-, and Poison-types. Our recommendations are Scizor, Yanmega, and Pinsir.
Fury Cutter
X-Scissor
Bug Bite
Bug Buzz
Bug Bite
X-Scissor

ARLO

Willow Report - Arlo

Arlo; poor, misguided, slightly Emo Arlo. You’re angry at Candela; we get it. But, perchaps you’re going about dealing with it poorly? In our view, Arlo is the most difficult of the three TGR Team Leaders, here’s how to deal with him properly.

BAGON
 Bagon 
Bagon is weak to Dragon-, Fairy-, and Ice-types. Rayquaza, Garchomp, and Haxorus can all make short work of Bagon.
Dragon Tail
Outrage
Dragon Tail
Outrage
Dragon Breath
Dragon Claw
BLASTOISE
  
Blastoise is only weak to Electric- and Grass-types. As such, we recommend using Raikou, Electivire, or Roserade
Thunder Shock
Wild Charge
Thunder Shock
Wild Charge
Razor Leaf
Grass Knot
CHARIZARD
  
Charizard is double weak to Rock-types and as such, all 3 top counters fit into this sub-typing.
Smack Down
Stone Edge
Smack Down
Stone Edge
Smack Down
Rock Slide
STEELIX
  
Steelix is weak to Fighting-, Fire-, Ground-, and Water-types. We recommend using either Lucario, Blaziken, or Conkeldurr.
Counter
Aura Sphere
Counter
Blaze Kick
Counter
Dy. Punch
SCIZOR
  
Scizor is double weak to Fire-types. Burn it. Burn it until it’s dead! Here are our top 3 recommendations.
Fire Spin
Overheat
Fire Spin
Blaze Kick
Fire Spin
Blast Burn
SALAMENCE
  
Salamence is double weak to Ice-types but also suffers from weaknesses to Dragon-, Fairy-, and Rock-types. Here are our top 3 counters.
Psycho Cut
Ice Beam
Powder Snow
Avalanche
Frost Breath
Avalanche
DRAGONITE
  
Dragonite is double weak to Ice-types and also has weaknesses to Dragon-, Fairy-, and Rock-types. The same counters for Salamence also work well here.
Psyco Cut
Ice Beam
Powder Snow
Avalanche
Frost Breath
Avalanche

GIOVANNI

FINALLY! The TGR boss man himself, big daddy G, the evil genius, Giovanni. Unless it isn’t? Decoys aside, Giovanni isn’t all that difficult, you know what the first and last battles will be, and all three Pokémon you could face in the 2nd Battle, have the same weaknesses. Here’s our take on how to lay the beat down on Giovanni and send him back to the shadows.

PERSIAN
  
Persian is only weak to Fighting-types. Do you know what that means? Yup! Lucario time again! Lucario offers a pretty wide range of resistances against Persian’s moves, as well as a rounded fighting type move set. Power-up Punch is generally better for PVP, but Aura Sphere is a good option as well. Machamp and Toxicroak are also viable.
Counter
PuP
Counter
Dy. Punch
Counter
Dy. Punch
Cloyster
  
Cloyster is weak to Electric, Fighting, Grass, and Rock types, giving you an array of options to choose from. Against an Ice move set, Grass is not the top priority of counters, but it will resist a Water-type set. Sceptile with Bullet Seed / Frenzy Plant would be your go-to grass-type.
Counter
Aura Sphere
Counter
Dy. Punch
Thunder Shock
Wild Charge
Kangaskhan
  
Kangaskan, like Persian, is a pure Normal-type and, therefore, only weak to fighting. The counters for Kang are going to be exactly the same as Persian. If you choose to use Lucario, keep an eye out to see if the Kangaskhan has a Fighting-type move set that may take your Lucario down quickly. No shame in fighting Giovanni a second time with a different Pokémon if the move set odds were not in your favor!
Counter
Aura Sphere
Counter
Dy. Punch
Counter
Dy. Punch
Garchomp
  
Garchomp, though a powerful dragon, radiating the aura of Cynthia herself, is not an awfully difficult battle. It is weak to Dragon, Fairy, and 2x weak to Ice types. Dragon-types are advised against because they can be hit for super-effective damage right back. Your best bet is using an Ice-type, but Fairy-type Pokémon are pretty safe to use overall.
Powder Snow
Avalanche
Ice Shard
Avalanche
Frost Breath
Avalanche
Moltres
  
Moltres is weak to Electric, Water, and 2x weak to Rock-type moves. Rock is a pretty safe and solid bet for taking on Moltres as it does not have any moves that are detrimental to your precious Rock pets. You can, however, get away with using Pokémon, such as Raikou or Kyogre, in this battle. Rampardos is advised against, as it does not have the bulk that PVP thrives on, but it is not a bad choice if you are willing to give it a try.

Smack Down
Rock Slide

Smack Down
Stone Edge

Smack Down
Stone Edge

To see the original list of counters for all TGR Leaders, you can see our article here.

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Pac

Co-Admin/Writer/Builder of All Things/G.O.A.T. for Gaming2gether Media

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