Pokemon Go Leader Cliff counters, team, and weakness (February 2023) - How to beat Cliff

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Cliff in Pokémon GO.
February 3, 2023: In case you missed it, Cliff's team has changed for the February 2023 Rocket Takeover. Check his lineup below, and come back for counters a little later in the day.

Unless you've got a stacked collection, you'll want to know the best Pokemon Go Cliff counters before you take the big man on. Leader Cliff is a brute, with a team of Pokemon matching his raw strength and brawn, which makes the right strategy backed up with the right Pokemon essential to taking him down.

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Read on to learn how to build your team to defeat Cliff's own. Like the rest of the Team Go Rocket Leaders, Cliff changes up his team slightly with each new Rocket-focused event. Because some of his Pokemon stick around, though, some of the best counters will last for years at a time.

For more Pokemon Go guides, we have the same for each of the Team Go Rocket leaders, so check out our Sierra counters, Arlo counters, and the best Giovanni counters, too. He's coming back with a new shadow legendary Pokemon you'll want to grab before he disappears.

Pokemon Go Cliff team (February 2023)

First Pokémon Second Pokémon Third Pokémon Reward
MagnemitePinsir, Omastar, VenusaurTyranitar, Camerupt, SharpedoMagnemite

For 2023, Cliff has opted to use Magnemite as his starter and battle reward. Fight through that and you'll have to contend with either Venusaur, Pinsir, or Omastar. When he's backed into a corner, Cliff will rely on Tyranitar, Camerupt, or Sharpedo to clutch the win.

Counters for Cliff's first Pokemon

Magnemite

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Pokémon Fast Move Charged Move
RhyperiorMud-SlapRock Wrecker
MachampCounterDynamic Punch
BlazikenCounterOverheat
ConkeldurrCounterDynamic Punch

Magnemite won't take much of a beating from Ground-type moves, and it'll struggle to deal much damage to Ground-type Pokemon. That's your opening. For a backup, come at it with Fighting-type Pokemon to punch through its Steel shell. Fire works, too. Just reconsider Flying-type ones like Charizard and Moltres.

Counters for Cliff's second Pokemon

Venusaur

Pokémon Fast Move Charged Move
MewtwoConfusionIce Beam
CharizardFire SpinBlast Burn
MoltresFire SpinBrave Bird
AlakazamPsycho CutPsychic
GlaceonIce ShardIce Blast
MamoswinePowder SnowAvalanche

Being a dual Grass/Poison-type Pokemon, Venusaur neutralises a few common weaknesses between the two, and its bulk makes it tricky to push through without some strong Charged Attacks.

To deal with it, try Flying/Fire-type creatures like Moltres and Charizard, or powerful Ice-type attackers like Glaceon or Ice Beam Mewtwo.

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Pinsir

Pinsir brings high attack to the fight, but it won't be using many moves to upset the types you'll want to bring to this fight.

Those Flying-type moves used against Machop will work wonders, but its potential Bug-type moves will hurt your Psychic attackers. In their place, powerful Rock-type Pokemon like Rhyperior, or Fire-type Pokemon like Charizard will work.

Omastar

We don't know what it is about fossils that the Go Rocket leaders like so much this time, but here's another. Omastar is a bulky Pokemon with a powerful fast move, so you'll want to burst it down with Charged Attacks -specifically Grass-type attacks.

Abomasnow happens to be the best pick for the job here. It'll resist most of Omastars attacks while dealing 4x damage with Grass-type moves. Venusaur works decently well with Frenzy Plant, but tried-and-true brawlers like Conkeldurr and Machamp might be in a better position to fight against the Pokemon's speed.

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Counters for Cliff's third Pokemon

Tyranitar

Shadow Tyranitar is weak to Fighting, Fairy, Ground, Bug, Steel, Water and Grass-type moves. Here's a list of Pokémon and their moves that counter Tyranitar.

Tyranitar is especially weak to Fighting-type Pokémon, making a bunch of classic raid bosses perfect Pokémon GO Cliff counters. Lucario stands out as a way to burn Cliff's shields.

Despite being shielded, Power-up Punches will buff your Counter and shred through Tyranitar's defences in no time. Tyranitar has a lot of other weaknesses, but we'd target Fighting-types for the added damage boost.

Sharpedo

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Sharpedo is another fast attacker that'll crunch right through any of the Psychic-type Pokemon you brought along for the ride. It won't take kindly to Fighting, Electric, or Grass-types, so look there for counters.

Prime candidates would be the ever-reliable Machamp and Conkeldurr, but Lucario, Venusaur, and Raikou can stand up to it.

Camerupt

Camerupt will fall over with a single use of Earthquake in most cases. If you're bringing a Tyranitar, Rhyperior, or Mamoswine with that especially potent charged attack, you'll be laughing away with your Shadow Machop as soon as you see Cliff pull this one out.

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How do I battle Cliff in Pokemon Go?

To encounter any Team Rocket Leader, you have to defeat six Rocket Grunts. Grunts can be found by interacting with black PokeStops or hot air balloons floating above you on the map.

Defeat six of them to earn Mysterious Components, then combine them into a Rocket Radar. The radar will lead you to one of the elusive Rocket Leaders.

For more mobile gaming goodness, check out what we know about Peridot - Niantic's upcoming creature game. We have a dedicated Peridot pre-order page if you're wondering what you'll get, and a guide on how to walk in Peridot as well.