Arlo Counters: Defeating Team GO Rocket Leaders In Pokémon GO

Currently, the only way to obtain Shiny Shadow Pokémon in Pokémon GO is to defeat one of the three Team GO Rocket Leaders: Sierra, Arlo, and Cliff. These three leaders, unlike Team GO Rocket Grunts, employ their shields, making them more difficult to defeat.  In this comprehensive Arlo Counters Guide, Bleeding Cool is here to help trainers take on this villainous leader with the best counters… and potentially catch a Shiny Shadow Pineco.

Arlo Counters guide. Credit: Niantic.
Arlo Counters guide. Credit: Niantic.

Currently, Arlo has three slots of Pokémon, with the following possibilities:

  • SLOT ONE: Pineco
  • SLOT TWO: Charizard, Blastoise, Steelix
  • SLOT THREE: Scizor, Dragonite, Salamence

Unfortunately, these Pokémon don't have an abundance of shared weaknesses in Slot Two. Where we could break down individual scenarios for Sierra's counters, it would be better to understand Arlo's Pokémon individually.

Slot #1: Pineco

Fire-type Pokémon will take down Pineco, but the Pokémon you intend to use against Pineco should not be in your first slot. You want to start off by switching Pokémon immediately (*see below for why), so instead, your Slot #1 should have a Rock-type Pokémon, which will become useful against Sierra's Slot #3 Pokémon. To defeat Pineco, your team should be:

  • SLOT ONE: Tyranitar (Smack Down, Stone Edge)
  • SLOT TWO: Chandelure (Fire Spin, Overheat)
  • SLOT THREE: This depends on what Pokémon is in Arlo's #3 slot

Slot #2: Charizard, Blastoise, Steelix

Keeping the same team as the last time, Arlo's second slot will determine your third. Here are what your teams should look like if Arlo has…

Charizard:

  • SLOT ONE: Tyranitar (Smack Down, Stone Edge)
  • SLOT TWO: Chandelure (Fire Spin, Overheat)
  • SLOT THREE: Rampardos (Smack Down, Rock Slide)

Blastoise:

  • SLOT ONE: Tyranitar (Smack Down, Stone Edge)
  • SLOT TWO: Chandelure (Fire Spin, Overheat)
  • SLOT THREE: Roselia (Razor Leaf, Grass Knot)

Steelix:

  • SLOT ONE: Tyranitar (Smack Down, Stone Edge)
  • SLOT TWO: Chandelure (Fire Spin, Overheat)
  • SLOT THREE: Heatran (Fire Spin, Fire Blast)
Arlo Counters guide. Credit: Niantic.
Arlo Counters guide. Credit: Niantic.

Scenario #3: Scizor, Dragonite, Salamence

Dragonite and Salamence are the Pokémon you want to see last, as your Tyranitar will be able to power through them with Smack Downs and then one final Stone Edge. The only wild card is Scizor. If Scizor is Arlo's final Pokémon, consider replacing Tyranitar in any of the above teams with another Fire-type with Fire-type attacks. In addition to Chandelure and Heatran, viable options are Charizard, Reshiram, Moltres, Darmanitan, and Entei.

Shadow Pokémon help

Use Team GO Rocket's own Pokémon against them. The Shadow boost, as we covered here, makes a huge difference. A Shadow Tyranitar which has been treated with an Elite Fast TM and a Charged TM to have the above combination of Smack Down and Stone Edge will be able to cut through Team GO Rocket Leader Pokémon with far more effectivity than non-Shadows.

Switch as soon as the battle begins

The reason that switching as soon as the battle begins is recommended is that this method freezes up Team GO Rocket Grunts, Leaders, and the Boss for a very valuable beat. This allows a brief moment where you can deal damage and power up Charged attacks without taking any damage. This is essential to defeating these Leaders, who have incredibly powerful Shadow Pokémon that will be able to defeat a glass cannon Pokémon like Lucario without even using a Charged attack. Employ this method as soon as you begin the battle and then, if enough time elapses, again later in the battle.

Don't miss our Sierra Counters Guide!

NEXT: Cliff counters.

About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.