Gaming

How to beat Pokémon Go leaders Giovanni, Cliff and Sierra


Giovanni uses one of the legendary birds, so be prepared (Pic: Niantic)

Team Rocket’s leaders can be quite a challenge due to their shifting teams, so here’s some advice for which pokémon to use against them.

The villainous Team Rocket have once again invaded Pokémon Go and while the common grunts may rarely pose much of a threat, the leaders can be extremely challenging for unprepared trainers.

Aside from them being tough, which pokémon they use varies, meaning you’ll ideally need a team that can best deal with every possible variation of their line-up.

Fortunately, the exact pokémon they use has already been figured out, so here is some brief advice about what to expect from the leaders and some suggestions for which of your own pokémon you should use.

Before we begin, some general advice. Each leader will use three pokémon. The first one they send out will always be the same, while their second and third choices will be chosen from two sets of three. Also, if you lose, be sure to rematch them at the same PokéStop so you can face the exact same team.

Pokémon GO: best counters for Arlo

Arlo’s potential team members:

  • Beldum – Steel/Psychic type (always appears first)
  • Gardevoir – Psychic/Fairy type (second slot)
  • Infernape – Fire/Fighting type (second slot)
  • Aggron – Steel/Rock type (second slot)
  • Armaldo – Rock/Bug type (third slot)
  • Salamence – Dragon/Flying type (third slot)
  • Scizor – Bug/Steel type (third slot)

The presence of Steel types may make it tempting to have at least one Fire type in your team, as it would be very helpful against Beldum and Scizor (the latter has quadruple weakness to fire). A pokémon like Chandelure, which is Ghost/Fire type, makes it the perfect counter for both Beldum and Gardevoir.

Aggron and Armaldo, however, mean a safer option would be a Fighting type like Lucario or Machamp. Fighting type moves won’t be super effective against Beldum but it won’t know any Psychic type moves to counter with.

Salamence being a Dragon type could be the main issue, so having a Mamoswine on your team would be ideal. With it being an Ice/Ground type, it would not only deal with the dragon but have the sturdiness to handle whoever Arlo’s second pokémon is, especially if its Aggron.

Pokémon GO: best counters for Sierra

Sierra’s potential team members:

  • Carvanha – Water/Dark type (always appears first)
  • Porygon-Z – Normal type (second slot)
  • Hippowdon – Ground type (second slot)
  • Mismagius – Ghost type (second slot)
  • Houndoom – Dark/Fire type (third slot)
  • Flygon – Ground/Dragon type (third slot)
  • Walrein – Ice/Water type (third slot)

It may be worth having at least one Grass pokémon to contend with not only Carvanha, but in case Sierra has Hippowdon and/or Flygon in her team. Fighting types will also be your best friend, since they can counter Carvanha, Porygon-Z, Houndoom, and Walrein.

Should she have Mismagius, you’ll ideally want a tough Dark type. The legendary Darkrai is a good pick, but if you’re lacking in legendaries, you could fall back on something like Tyranitar, since it would resist most of her team’s attacks.

Pokémon GO: best counters for Cliff

Cliff’s potential team members:

  • Aerodactyl – Rock/Flying type (always appears first)
  • Gallade – Psychic/Fighting type (second slot)
  • Cradily – Rock/Grass type (second slot)
  • Slowking – Water/Psychic type (second slot)
  • Dusknoir – Ghost type (third slot)
  • Tyranitar – Rock/Dark type (third slot)
  • Mamoswine – Ice/Ground type (third slot)

Cliff might be the trickiest to deal with so far, so don’t be afraid to lose to scout out who he’s using in his team. Since Aerodactyl is always guaranteed, an Electric type could work since that could also deal with his Slowking.

At the very least, try to have one Bug pokémon like Pinsir in your team, as all his potential second pokémon are weak to Bug attacks. A Fighting type is another safe bet, since both Tyranitar and Mamoswine are weak to them. If he ends up having Dusknoir instead, swap your Fighting type out for a Dark type.

Pokémon GO: best counters for Giovanni

Giovanni’s potential team members:

  • Persian – Normal type (always appears first)
  • Kangaskhan – Normal type (second slot)
  • Garchomp – Dragon/Ground type (second slot)
  • Nidoking – Poison/Ground type (second slot)
  • Zapdos – Electric/Flying (always appears last)

Giovanni’s easier to prepare for since his first and last Pokémon are always the same but don’t take him lightly, especially since his Zapdos is a legendary pokémon.

If you’re lucky, he’ll have both Persian and Kangaskhan, meaning a strong Fighting type should take them out with little issue. A Ground type would also be helpful if only for its tough defences, its advantage over Nidoking, and its immunity to Electric attacks.

Rypherior and Aggron would make perfect picks since they can both learn Rock moves, which are your best bet at dealing with Zapdos as it has a quadruple weakness to them. And if he ends up using Garchomp, maybe have Mamoswine again on standby.

Pokémon Go is available on Android and iOS devices.

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