Team GO Rocket Cliff Battle Guide For Pokémon GO: February 2023

This Team GO Rocket Cliff Battle Guide for Pokémon GO will help you grind for Shiny Shadow Magnemite during the Team GO Rocket Takeover.

There has been a shakeup with the Team GO Rocket Leaders' line-ups in Pokémon GO now live as of February 20233. Not only do they have different teams, but the potentially Shiny Shadow Pokémon that you can encounter after defeating them has also changed. With this battle guide, you can build a team to defeat Team GO Rocket Leader Cliff and earn an encounter with a Shiny-capable Shadow Magnemite.

Team GO Rocket Cliff in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic
Team GO Rocket Cliff in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic

Here is a breakdown of Cliff's team and possible counters. This time, to help our readers build their own teams from a diverse selection of possible Pokémon, I will suggest multiple counters for every possible Pokémon he will throw out. These are based not only on type effectivity but also shared weaknesses of other species on these teams and the speed of your counter Pokémon's attacks, which we'll get to below.


  • Magnemite: Excadrill, Garchomp, Lucario


  • Pinsir: Reshiram, Chandelure, Moltres
  • Venusaur: Reshiram, Chandelure, Moltres
  • Omastar: Lucario, Conkeldurr, Machamp


  • Tyranitar: Lucario, Conkeldurr, Machamp
  • Sharpedo: Lucario, Conkeldurr, Machamp
  • Camerupt: Kyogre, Kingler, Swampert


  • Reshiram with Fire-type moves
  • Conkeldurr or Machamp with Fighting-type moves
  • Lucario with Counter and Power-up Punch
    • Excadrill with Ground-type moves would be a fine replacement as it would get rid of Magnemite faster but would have less overall use

Final tips for Pokémon GO players

  • When building a team before you know the exact line-up of Slots Two and Three, aim for general overlapping weaknesses that the options will have. For example, Cliff has a ton of Pokémon weak to Fighting-types. That's why we double up on slots with Fighting-types. These Pokémon will also not be weak to Cliff's other choices with the exception of Lucario and Camerupt, so the overall Defense here will be strong too.
  • Switch Out: Don't put your counter to the first Pokémon in your first slot. Instead, start the battle with the "Switch Out" method. Put your counter to Arlo's first slot in your second or third slot and, as soon as the battle begins, switch to that Pokémon. Hence: Lucario (or Excarill) in the final slot when you should be using it against Magnemite and deploying the fast-charging Charged Attack of Power-up Punch to increase Lucario's Attack power. (In the case of Excadrill, this will charge slower and won't add to the attack, but will deplete Magnemite's health much quicker). This switch will freeze Cliff up for a moment, allowing you to deal damage without taking damage. He will freeze after every switch and also after every Charged Attack. Utilizing this freeze is essential to defeating these powerful Shadows.
  • Get the Shields Down: Keep in mind… Cliff has two shields. You want to choose a Pokémon that will be able to charge up their Charged Attacks quickly so that Cliff's shields can be taken down and real damage can be done. The faster the attacks, especially with your first choice, the better off you will be. Hence Lucario over Excadrill while, again, both have their strengths.

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Theo DwyerAbout Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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