How to beat Cliff in Pokemon Go (February 2024): Best counters & weaknesses

Ezequiel Leis
team go rocket leader cliff in pokemon goNiantic/The Pokemon Company

Team Go Rocket Leader Cliff is one of the toughest battles for Pokemon Go players thanks to his powerful team of Shadow Pokemon. So, here’s a complete guide for beating his February 2024 team, including the lineup, its weaknesses, and the best possible counters.

After Pokemon Go players collect all pieces of the Rocket Radar, they’ll have to get ready to battle one of the Leaders: Cliff, Arlo, or Sierra. These villainous characters are strong and can surprise unprepared players with their powerful Pokemon lineup that changes after Takeover events.

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In this guide, we’ll cover Cliff’s February 2024 Pokemon lineup and help you build the best Pokemon Go team you can use to defeat him, including details on their weaknesses as well as the best counters in the mobile game.

How to beat Cliff in Pokemon Go

pokemon team go rocket leaders promo imageNiantic
Cliff uses some of the hardest-hitting Pokemon in his team.

Cliff continues to be one of the toughest challenges in Pokemon Go, and his February 2024 team will come at you with full force.

After the Team Go Rocket Taken Treasures event in February, Cliff’s lineup changed as seen below:

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  • First Battle: Zubat
  • Second Battle: Kingdra / Gallade / Aerodactyl
  • Third Battle: Tyranitar / Cradily / Crobat

To take down Cliff, you’ll have to make sure that you have Pokemon that can cover various typings, both for defense and offense.

How to counter Cliff’s Zubat in Pokemon Go

Shadow Zubat Pokemon GoNiantic
Shadow Zubat will be Cliff’s main shield breaker, so watch out.

Zubat is a Poison/Flying-type Pokemon, which means it’s weak against Electric, Ice, Psychic, and Rock-type attacks. When picking your Pokemon for battle, you should also consider Zubat can resist Grass, Bug, Fairy, Fighting, Ground, and Poison moves.

If you stick to type effectiveness, you shouldn’t have much trouble defeating Zubat, so we recommend picking Pokemon with Psychic or Rock-type moves. Of course, the battle strategy is up to you. Many players like to use quick openers to spam fast Charged Moves and leave Cliff without shields early in the battle.

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With that said, here are some of the best counters for Zubat:

  • Shadow Mewtwo with Confusion and Psystrike.
  • Mega Latios with Zen Headbutt and Psychic.
  • Tyranitar with Smack Down and Stone Edge.
  • Shadow Rampardos with Smack Down and Rock Slide.
  • Shadow Rhyperior with Smack Down and Rock Wrecker.

How to counter Cliff’s Kingdra, Gallade, or Aerodactyl in Pokemon Go

Cliff First Lineup Pokemon GoNiantic
Cliff will use Kingdra, Gallade, or Aerodactyl on his second turn.

Kingdra

Kingdra is a dual Dragon and Water-type Pokemon, so it’s weak against Bug, Ghost, Dark, Grass, and Electric-type moves. It’ll resist Psychic, Steel, Water, Fire, Fighting, and Ice-type attacks, so you won’t really have many viable options.

Here are some of the best counters to defeat Cliff’s Kingdra in battle:

  • Tyranitar with Bite and Brutal Swing.
  • Gengar with Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball.
  • Xurkitree with Spark and Discharge/Power Whip.
  • Hydreigon with Bite and Brutal Swing/Dark Pulse.

Gallade

Gallade is a dual Psychic and Fighting-type Pokemon, which means it’s weak against Flying, Ghost, and Fairy-type attacks. It’s resistant only to Fighting, and Rock-type moves, so you have a lot of options for dealing neutral damage.

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If you want to bet on Ghost and Fairy-type Pokemon for this battle, here are some recommendations:

  • Togekiss with Charm and Dazzling Gleam.
  • Gardevoir with Charm and Shadow Ball.
  • Xurkitree with Spark and Dazzling Gleam.
  • Gengar with Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball.
  • Giratina with Shadow Claw and Shadow Force.

Aerodactyl

Aerodactyl could be the most troublesome to deal with, as its counter-compatibility with other members of Cliff’s lineup doesn’t match all too well and could mess up your strategy if you encounter it. But we have selected a few safe choices that can also help you deal with some of Cliff’s remaining Pokemon.

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Here are some recommended Pokemon to beat Cliff’s Aerodactyl:

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  • Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash.
  • Swampert with Water Gun and Hydro Cannon.
  • Mega Blastoise with Water Gun and Hydro Cannon.
  • Shadow Rampardos with Smack Down and Rock Slide.
  • Shadow Rhyperior with Smack Down and Rock Wrecker.

How to counter Cliff’s Tyranitar, Cradily, or Crobat in Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go Cliff third lineupNiantic
Cliff can have Tyranitar, Cradily, or Crobat as his third Pokemon.

Tyranitar

Tyranitar is a dual Rock and Dark-type Pokemon, which means it’s weak against Bug, Fairy, Fighting, Grass, Ground, Steel, and Water-type moves. It’s resistant to Flying, Poison, Ghost, Fire, Psychic, and Dark-type attacks.

With that in mind, you’ll need a very different Pokemon to beat it. Here are some of the best counters:

  • Lucario with Counter and Power-Up Punch.
  • Swampert with Water Gun and Hydro Cannon.
  • Conkeldurr with Counter and Dynamic Punch.
  • Machamp with Counter and Close Combat.
  • Breloom with Counter and Dynamic Punch.

Cradily

Cradily is a dual Rock and Grass-type Pokemon, so it’s weak against Bug, Fighting, Steel, and Ice-type attacks. It’s also resistant to Electric and Normal-type moves, so you’ll have to go with a different strategy here.

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To defeat Cradily you can pick one of these counters:

  • Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash.
  • Lucario with Counter and Power-Up Punch.
  • Conkeldurr with Counter and Focus Blast.
  • Galarian Darmanitan with Ice Fang and Avalanche.
  • Terrakion with Double Kick and Close Combat.

Crobat

Crobat is a dual Flying and Poison-type Pokemon, meaning it’s weak against Psychic, Electric, Rock, and Ice-type attacks. It will resist Bug, Grass, Fighting, Ground, Poison, and Fairy-type moves, so pay attention to your lineup in case you end up having one of these types.

With only a few weaknesses to exploit, it’s always better to pick Pokemon that can also work against some of Cliff’s other Pokemon. These are some of the best counters to use:

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  • Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash.
  • Shadow Rampardos with Smack Down and Rock Slide.
  • Shadow Rhyperior with Smack Down and Rock Wrecker.
  • Shadow Mewtwo with Confusion and Psystrike.
  • Mega Latios with Zen Headbutt and Psychic.

Best team to defeat Cliff in Pokemon Go

Since you can only pick three Pokemon to face Team Rocket Leader Cliff in Pokemon Go, you’ll need to cover different typings to be prepared for whatever he throws at you.

Considering Cliff’s lineup, opening with a Psychic-type Pokemon can be a great move. That way, you can deal with Zubat and Gallade, if that’s what you get. As you can see, Tyranitar is a powerful choice that will help you deal with some of Cliff’s strongest Pokemon. Metagross is another great Pokemon for these battles as long as you have the right combination of Psychic and Steel-type moves.

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Having a Fairy-type Pokemon like Togekiss can be great for dealing with Tyranitar and Kingdra, while a Psychic-type Pokemon can help you take down Gallade and Crobat.

Aerodactyl can be quite troublesome, as it will mess up your lineup, but having Rhyperior or Tyranitar will help you counter it with ease and can serve for the third round if Cliff brings out Crobat.

A team composed of Rhyperior/Rampardos and Togekiss/Metagross should work wonders against Cliff’s lineup for February 2024. Having Tyranitar on your team can’t harm you, but be careful when facing Cradily or Kingdra.

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That’s all you need to know to beat Team Go Rocket Leader Cliff in Pokemon Go. For more Pokemon Go content, be sure to check out our other guides:

Pokemon Go Team Rocket Grunt lineups & counters | How to connect Pokemon Go to Pokemon Scarlet & Violet | How to heal Pokemon in Pokemon Go | How many Pokemon are there? | How to get revives in Pokemon Go | How to get the Master Ball in Pokemon Go | How to get different Vivillion patterns in Pokemon Go & Scarlet and Violet

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About The Author

Ezequiel is a Writer at CharlieIntel. With a great knowledge on gaming, movies and TV, he's focused on Pokemon and Games stories in general. With a journalism degree, Ezequiel has worked on La Cosa and Infobae, two of the most prestigious outlets in Argentina. He joined CharlieIntel in 2023. You can reach Ezequiel at [email protected], or via his Twitter @ExoPLeis.