Pokemon Go Team Rocket Grunt lineups & counters (May 2023)

Team Go Rocket Grunts and a Shadow Snorlax in Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go players can battle Team Go Rocket Grunts to catch and purify different Shadow Pokemon. Now that there’s also a chance to catch Shiny Pokemon this way, here’s every possible Team Rocket Grunt lineup and best counters in May 2023 so you can stay a few steps ahead.

Trainers can find Team Go Rocket Grunts taking PokeStops or flying in hot air balloons in Pokemon Go during the day. Battling Grunts gives players a chance to catch powerful Shadow Pokemon to purify and use in battles.

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The Rising Heroes season introduced the possibility of these Pokemon being Shiny, something that was reserved for Team Go Rocket Leaders until recently.

With the new prospects this brings, we’ll cover every possible Team Go Rocket Grunt lineup. Since every different Grunt has a unique taunt, players can predict their preferred type and Pokemon team they’ll bring to battle, allowing you to choose the best counters each time.

Here are all of Team Go Rocket Grunts’ taunts, possible teams, and best counters to use.

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Pokemon Go Rocket Grunt taunts, lineups & counters

Below is every Team Go Rocket Grunt taunt alongside their main type, possible team, and best counters in Pokemon Go updated after the Team Go Rocket Takeover event in March 2023.

Players can face Team Go Rocket Grunts to get a piece of the Rocket Radar.

“Normal does not mean weak”

  • Type: Normal
  • Weaknesses: Fighting
  • Counters: Machamp, Breloom, Lucario, Conkeldurr, Sirfetch’d
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This Grunt shouldn’t be too tough since Ursaring is the only Pokemon that could be somewhat challenging. With the right Fighting-type counters, there’s no way to lose.

Victory reward: Shadow Pidove, Whismur, Patrat, or Loudred encounter.

“Go, my super bug Pokémon!”

  • Type: Bug
  • Weaknesses: Fire, Rock, Flying
  • Counters: Charizard, Moltres, Entei, Ho-Oh, Houndoom
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While Bug-type Pokemon have three different weaknesses, this Grunt’s lineup calls mostly for Fire-type Pokemon.

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Victory reward: Shadow Skorupi, Shuckle, Joltik, Beedrill, Weedle, or Kakuna encounter.

“Wherever there is light, there is also shadow”

  • Type: Dark
  • Weaknesses: Fairy, Fighting, Bug
  • Counters: Sylveon, Gardevoir, Togekiss, Machamp, Lucario
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Alolan GrimerMukAlolan Muk
Alolan RattataAlolan Raticate

Fairy-type Pokemon are ideal for taking on this Team Go Rocket Grunt, but Fighting and Bug-type Pokemon will also work well.

Victory reward: Shadow Alolan Grimer or Rattata encounter.

“ROAR! …How’d that sound?”

  • Type: Dragon
  • Weaknesses: Fairy, Dragon, Ice
  • Counters: Sylveon, Gardevoir, Togekiss, Glaceon, Mamoswine
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Alolan ExeggutorAlolan ExeggutorDragonite

Fairy-type Pokemon are perfect for this as well as Ice-type Pokemon. Using Dragon-type Pokemon to take down other Dragon-type Pokemon is always risky so we don’t recommend it here.

Victory reward: Shadow Dratini or Alolan Exeggutor encounter.

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“Get ready to be shocked!”

  • Type: Electric
  • Weaknesses: Ground
  • Counters: Garchomp, Groudon, Rhyperior, Hippowdon, Mamoswine
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Since Electric-type Pokemon’s only weakness is Ground-type moves, there isn’t much to think about here. Being a dual Ground and Dragon-type Pokemon, Garchomp is ideal for this battle.

Victory reward: Shadow Shinx, Mareep, Blitzle, Electabuzz, or Voltorb encounter.

“Check out my cute Pokémon!”

  • Type: Fairy
  • Weaknesses: Poison, Steel
  • Counters: Metagross, Melmetal, Dialga, Gengar
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While this is a tough Grunt to beat, any Poison or Steel-type Pokemon should work well. The only thing to keep in mind is that Mawile isn’t weak against either Poison or Steel-type moves, so you should bring a Fire or Ground-type Pokemon just in case.

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Victory reward: Shadow Snubbull, Mawile, Ralts, or Kirlia encounter.

“This buff physique isn’t just for show!”

  • Type: Fighting
  • Weaknesses: Flying, Psychic, Fairy
  • Counters: Sylveon, Gardevoir, Togekiss, Alakazam, Mewtwo
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Flying, Psychic, and Fairy-type Pokemon are super-effective against Fighting types and also resist damage from Fighting-type moves, so any pick should be fine against these heavy hitters.

Victory reward: Shadow Makuhita, Hitmonchan, or Hitmonlee encounter.

Trainers can find Team Go Rocket Grunts in black PokeStops.

“Do you know how hot Pokémon fire breath can get?”

  • Type: Fire
  • Weaknesses: Water, Rock, Ground
  • Counters: Gyarados, Swampert, Rhyperior, Garchomp, Kyogre
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While some of these Team GO Rocket Grunt picks can be tough opponents, exploiting Fire-type Pokemon weaknesses will lead you to victory.

Victory reward: Shadow Torchic, Numel, or Vulpix encounter.

“Battle against my Flying-type Pokémon!”

  • Type: Flying
  • Weaknesses: Rock, Electric, Ice
  • Counters: Magnezone, Raikou, Rhyperior, Tyranitar
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Since Gyarados could decimate any Rock-type Pokemon you bring into battle, Electric-type Pokemon are your best option for this Grunt in Pokemon Go.

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Victory reward: Shadow Natu, Ducklett, or Zubat encounter.


  • Type: Ghost
  • Weaknesses: Ghost, Dark
  • Counters: Darkrai, Weavile, Hydreigon, Gengar, Tyranitar, Absol
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As with Dragon-type Pokemon, Ghost types are a risky choice to take down other Ghost-type Pokemon, so we recommend using Dark-type Pokemon for this battle. Keep in mind that a lot of other Pokemon can also learn useful Dark-type moves like Bite and Crunch.

Victory reward: Shadow Shuppet, Drifloon, or Duskull encounter.

“Don’t tangle with us!”

  • Type: Grass
  • Weaknesses: Fire, Bug, Poison, Flying, Ice
  • Counters: Charizard, Moltres, Ho-Oh, Gengar, Talonflame, Heatran
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Since there are many dual Fire and Flying-type Pokemon you can pick, we recommend this approach. These Pokemon will not only be super-effective against this Grunt’s Shadow Pokemon, but they’ll also resist most of the damage coming their way.

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Victory reward: Shadow Treecko, Oddish, or Cacturne encounter.

“You’ll be defeated into the ground!”

  • Type: Ground
  • Weaknesses: Water, Grass, Ice
  • Counters: Torterra, Kyogre, Mamoswine, Swampert, Gyarados, Venusaur
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Any Grass or Water-type Pokemon should be able to take this Grunt without much trouble.

Victory reward: Shadow Hippopotas or Phanpy encounter.

“You’re gonna be frozen in your tracks”

  • Type: Ice
  • Weaknesses: Fire, Fighting, Rock, Steel
  • Counters: Charizard, Arcanine, Machamp, Tyranitar, Aggron
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Alolan SandshrewAlolan SandslashLapras
Alolan VulpixAlolan NinetalesCloyster

Fire-type Pokemon can wipe most of this Grunt’s Pokemon, but Lapras can complicate things. The same goes for Rock types. So Fighting-type Pokemon can really shine here against Lapras and the rest of this lineup.

Victory reward: Shadow Swinub, Alolan Vulpix, or Alolan Sandshrew encounter.

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“Coiled and ready to strike!”

  • Type: Poison
  • Weaknesses: Psychic, Ground
  • Counters: Rhyperior, Mamoswine, Excadrill, Groudon, Espeon, Mewtwo
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Ground-type Pokemon can take care of most of this Grunt’s picks, except for Foongus. Either way, you shouldn’t have much trouble if you face this Grunt in Pokemon Go.

Victory reward: Shadow Foongus or Grimer encounter.

“Are you scared of psychics that use unseen power?”

  • Type: Psychic
  • Weaknesses: Dark, Bug, Ghost
  • Counters: Tyranitar, Gengar, Hydreigon, Houndoom
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Dark-type Pokemon are best suited for this battle because they can resist Psychic-type damage in Pokemon Go.

Victory reward: Shadow Natu, Spoink, Abra, Girafarig, or Ralts encounter.

Team Go Rocket Leaders in Pokemon GoNiantic/The Pokemon Company
After collecting six Mysterious Components from Grunts, players will be able to find Team Go Rocket Leaders.

“Let’s rock and roll!”

  • Type: Rock
  • Weaknesses: Water, Grass, Fighting, Ground, Steel
  • Counters: Kyogre, Lucario, Swampert, Garchomp, Excadrill
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While Rock-type Pokemon have five weaknesses players can exploit, Water, Ground, and Fighting-type Pokemon are the safest bets here, especially against Steelix.

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Victory reward: Shadow Onix, Graveler, Lileep, or Anorith encounter.

“You’re no match for my iron will!”

  • Type: Steel
  • Weaknesses: Fire, Ground, Fighting
  • Counters: Charizard, Moltres, Entei, Blaziken, Swampert, Rhyperior
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Alolan DiglettAlolan SandshrewScizor
Alolan Sandshrew

Pokemon Go players shouldn’t have any trouble facing this Team Go Rocket Grunt with Fire-type Pokemon.

Victory reward: Shadow Alolan Sandshrew, Aron, or Alolan Diglett encounter.

“These waters are treacherous!”

  • Type: Water
  • Weaknesses: Grass, Electric
  • Counters: Sceptile, Torterra, Venusaur, Magnezone, Raikou, Electivire
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The Water-type specialist Grunt can be male or female. While the female will have the Pokemon listed above, the male one specializes in Magikarps and will only face you with Magikarp. So you shouldn’t have any kind of trouble using Grass-type Pokemon.

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Victory reward: Shadow Mudkip, Psyduck, Wailmer, or Magikarp encounter.

“Don’t bother – I’ve already won! Get ready to be defeated! Winning is for winners!” (Female)

  • Type: Typeless
  • Counters: Machamp, Lucario, Magnezone, Electivire, Gengar
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These last two are the toughest challenge Team Go Rocket Grunts can offer. The female one faces players with very powerful Pokemon and demands a balanced team to beat her. Fighting-type Pokemon are the safest bet against Snorlax so that’s a must. The other two Pokemon should include Electric, Ice, and Poison-type attacks if possible.

Victory reward: Shadow Snorlax encounter.

Don’t bother – I’ve already won! Get ready to be defeated! Winning is for winners!” (Male)

  • Type: Starters
  • Counters: Sceptile, Kyogre, Charizard, Magnezone, Raikou, Ho-Oh,
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This male Grunt will attack trainers with different starter Pokemon from different regions. While some of them can be really powerful, it’s easy to pick counters that exploit each Pokemon’s weakness. The tricky part is that you never know what Pokemon you’re going to face, so players should bring a balanced team to battle.

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Victory reward: Shadow Mudkip, Psyduck, Wailmer, or Magikarp encounter.

Now you can face any Team Go Rocket Grunt without much trouble, knowing what you might get. Keep in mind that some Grunts have lower chances of appearing in PokeStops and air balloons.

If you got enough Mysterious Components to build the Rocket Radar, be sure to check how to beat Team Go Rocket Leaders Sierra, Cliff, and Arlo.

For more Pokemon content, check our other articles:

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Image Credits: Niantic / The Pokemon Company

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