14 Sep 2021 4:41 PM +00:00

Pokémon GO Sierra Counters September 2021: How To Beat Team Rocket Leader, Best Pokémon To Use, Weaknesses And More

So you want to know how to defeat Sierra in Pokémon GO? Sierra counters can be hard to come by, and annoyingly change every couple of months, so it's always good to keep on top of her latest lineup. This guide will give you all the tips to win and best counters to use when fighting this Team Go Rocket Leader. Surprisingly, not much has changed in Pokémon GO's Season of Mischief - at least not for the Rocket bosses. However, you still need to know how to beat them.

To receive the honour of battling Sierra, you'll first need to defeat six Team Rocket Grunts, who will grant you a Mysterious Component each. Combine these to build a Rocket Radar, which will tell you the location of a Rocket Leader. Sierra and company have been stagnating for a little while now, but beating them is still an easy way to earn Stardust and get your hands on some of the rarest shiny Pokémon.

However, battling a Rocket Leader is a different story to taking on their lowly Grunts. Leaders use strong, high-level monsters - often some of the best in Pokémon GO. Sierra counters are necessary to get the win, although these obviously shift when her team changes. Her monsters are also high CP, likely much higher than any of your Pokémon, so ensuring you're using super-effective moves is crucial to getting the victory.


Every Leader's lineup is randomly selected out of a small selection of Pokémon. That means you need to build a team that can potentially counter every possible Pokémon that Sierra might use. Luckily, that's where we come in to help you out.

Defeating Sierra can not only offer an encounter with a shiny Sneasel, but also grants you one of the Strange 12km Eggs and helps you complete the A Seven-Colored Shadow research quest.

Need Help? Then keep reading for tips and counters on how to defeat Team Rocket leader Sierra.

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Pokémon GO Team Rocket Guides - Arlo Counters | Sierra Counters | Cliff Counters | Giovanni Counters | James & Jessie Counters | Team Rocket Grunts Counters

Sierra Rocket Leader Rewards

For every Team Go Rocket Leader you defeat you will earn plenty of rewards in return. Players get 1,000 Stardust, and two of the following items when they defeat a Team Go Rocket Leader:

  • 1 Strange 12km egg (this will go into your extra egg storage if you don't have space)
  • 1 Max Revive
  • 1 Revive
  • 1 Max Potion
  • 1 Unova Stone
  • 1 Sinnoh Stone

Players will also have the opportunity to catch a Team Go Rocket Leader Shadow Pokémon. When defeating Sierra players will have the chance to capture Shadow Sneasel, but how easy it is will largely depend on how well you perform in your battle with Sierra. Shadow Sneasel can also be shiny.

As a rule of thumb, players get 5 Premier Balls to capture the Shadow Pokémon, with extra bonus balls added depending on:

  1. How many Pokémon survive the Sierra trainer battle
  2. Your individual 'purify Pokémon' medal rank (Purifier)
  3. Your individual 'defeat Team Rocket' medal rank (Hero)

Team Rocket Leader Sierra Pokémon Line-Up & Counters

Sierra now uses Shadow Sneasel as her first Pokémon. Sierra’s second Pokemon will either be Shadow Gliscor, Shadow Granbull or Shadow Ampharos. Finally, for Sierra's third Pokémon she will choose to use either Shadow Kingdra, Shadow Houndoom or Shadow Drapion.

Now you know which Pokémon she'll use, you just need to know how to beat them. The best way to do that is to use specific Pokémon to counter, so below you'll find a list of the best Pokémon to counter and the most effective moves against each of Sierra's possible Pokémon, as of September 2021.

Sneasel Counters

Shadow Sneasel is weak to Bug-type, Fairy-type, Fighting-type, Fire-type, Ground-type, Rock-type, and Steel-type Pokémon. Here's a list of Pokémon who are good for countering Sneasel.

  • Blaziken - Counter (Fast Move) + Focus Blast or Blast Burn (Charge Move)
  • Conkeldurr - Counter (Fast Move) + Dynamic Punch or Focus Blast (Charge Move)
  • Hariyama - Counter (Fast Move) + Superpower or Dynamic Punch (Charge Move)
  • Lucario - Counter (Fast Move) + Power-Up Punch or Aura Sphere (Charge Move)
  • Machamp - Counter (Fast Move) + Dynamic Punch or Close Combat (Charge Move)

We particularly like leading with Lucario and dropping Power-Up Punches. This not only gets rid of both of Sierra's shields quickly, but also sets yourself up to sweep through her team with ease. Once you've got the first Charge Move off, it also comes close to stun-locking her, meaning you won't take too much damage through the fight. Shadow Granbull is her only counter to this, so make sure you have a counter (or two) for that in the back.

Gliscor Counters

Shadow Gliscor is weak to Ice and Water-type moves. Here's a list of Pokémon we recommend using when trying to counter Gliscor.

  • Articuno - Ice Shard (Fast Move) + Blizzard or Ice Beam (Charge Move)
  • Glaceon - Ice Shard (Fast Move) + Avalanche or Ice Beam (Charge Move)
  • Mamoswine - Powder Snow (Fast Move) + Avalanche or Bulldoze (Charge Move)
  • Mewtwo - Confusion (Fast Move) + Ice Beam (Charge Move)
  • Weavile - Ice Shard (Fast Move) + Avalanche or Foul Play (Charge Move)

Gliscor drops incredibly quickly when faced with an Ice-type, so it is always recommended to bring one just in case - it's an easy win. Charge up plenty of energy ready for Sierra's final Pokémon.

Granbull Counters 

Shadow Granbull is weak to Poison or Steel-type Pokémon. Here's a list of Pokémon and their moves that are good for countering Granbull.

  • Dialga - Metal Claw (Fast Move) + Iron Head or Draco Meteor (Charge Move)
  • Excadrill - Metal Claw ( Fast Move) + Iron Head (Charge Move)
  • Genesect - Metal Claw (Fast Move) + Magnet Bomb or X-Scissor (Charge Move)
  • Metagross - Bullet Punch (Fast Move) + Meteor Mash (Charge Move)
  • Roserade - Poison Jab (Fast Move) + Sludge Bomb (Charge Move)

Granbull is probably the most difficult Pokémon to face in all of the Rocket Leader line ups. Charm will hit hard even if it is doing neutral damage, so be sure to bring strong Steel-types to deal with this difficult opponent. This will likely be the only Pokémon that gives you a problem in Sierra's lineup, so be sure to bring an appropriate counter. Sometimes we even bring two, and let our Fighting-type cover the rest, although that can be a risky strategy.

Ampharos Counters 

Shadow Ampharos is weak to Ground-type Pokémon. Here's a list of Pokémon and their moves that counter Ampharos.

  • Garchomp - Mud Shot (Fast Move) + Earthquake (Charge Move)
  • Groudon - Mud Shot (Fast Move) + Earthquake (Charge Move)
  • Tyranitar - Smack Down (Fast Move) + Stone Edge (Charge Move)
  • Landorus (Therian) - Mud Shot (Fast Move) + Super Power or Stone Edge (Charge Move)
  • Rhyperior - Mud Slap (Fast Move) + Rock Wrecker (Charge Move)

A Ground-type Pokémon is a must when facing Sierra, as four of her potential Pokémon are weak. Whichever you pick, make sure it has got STAB Fast and Charged Moves, ideally Mud Shot for its quick energy gain, and then Earthquake or Drill Run as a powerful nuke once Sierra's shields are down.

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Houndoom Counters

Shadow Houndoom is weak to Fighting, Ground, Rock and Water-type Pokémon. Here's a list of Pokémon and their moves that counter Houndoom.

  • Conkeldurr - Counter (Fast Move) + Dynamic Punch (Charge Move)
  • Kyogre - Waterfall (Fast Move) + Surf (Charge Move)
  • Rampardos - Smack Down (Fast Move) + Rock Slide (Charge Move)
  • Lucario - Counter (Fast Move) + Aura Sphere + Power-Up Punch (Charge Move)
  • Machamp - Counter (Fast Move) + Dynamic Punch (Charge Move)
  • Kingler - Bubble (Fast Move) + Crabhammer (Charge Move)

Houndoom is also weak to Ground-types, so we'd probably just use our Ampharos counter here. That being said, if you led with a Fighting-type to quickly reduce Sierra's shields, it will prove equally effective against Houndoom.

Kingdra Counters

Shadow Kingdra is weak against Fairy and Dragon-type Pokémon. Here's a list of Pokémon and their moves that counter Kingdra.

  • Dialga - Dragon Breath (Fast Move) + Draco Meteor (Charge Move)
  • Gardevoir - Charm (Fast Move) + Dazzling Gleam (Charge Move)
  • Haxorus - Dragon Tail (Fast Move) + Dragon Claw (Charge Move)
  • Palkia - Dragon Tail (Fast Move) + Draco Meteor (Charge Move)
  • Rayquaza - Dragon Tail (Fast Move) + Outrage or Hurricane (Charge Move)
  • Togekiss - Charm (Fast Move) + Moonblast (Charge Move)

Kingdra is a tricky Pokémon to counter. We'd probably recommend opting for a Fairy-type, because Kingdra can deal Super Effective damage right back at your Dragon-types.

Drapion Counters

Shadow Drapion is weak to Ground-type Pokémon. Here's a list of Pokémon and their moves that counter Drapion.

  • Garchomp - Mud Shot (Fast Move) + Outrage or Earthquake (Charge Move)
  • Groudon - Mud Shot (Fast Move) + Earthquake or Fire Punch (Charge Move)
  • Tyranitar - Smack Down (Fast Move) + Crunch or Stone Edge (Charge Move)
  • Landorus (Therian) - Mud Shot (Fast Move) + Super Power or Stone Edge (Charge Move)
  • Rhyperior - Mud Slap (Fast Move) + Rock Wrecker or Surf (Charge Move)

If Drapion appears in Sierra's lineup, you're laughing. Just use those Ground-type counters you brought for Sneasel, Ampharos, and Houndoom.

Hopefully, this helps you defeat and takedown Rocket Leader Sierra. Best of luck!

If you still haven't beaten Giovanni, then you'll need to take down each Rocket Leader (including Sierra) in order to find Team GO Rocket's infamous leader.