How to defeat Cliff in Pokemon Go (February 2020)

Paul Cot
Defeat Cliff Pokemon Go

The Team Rocket leader with the incredible PokeBall beard has once again switched up his Pokemon lineup for February 2020. Here we breakdown how to defeat Cliff in Pokemon Go.

Along with fellow leaders Arlo and Sierra, Cliff begun battling trainers in Pokemon Go in November 2019. While the battles have are similar to the Rocket Grunts, Cliff and his other leaders have much more powerful Pokemon and have the ability to use Protect Shields. If you don’t have a plan beforehand, the battle can prove even more tricky.

Another difference between the leaders and Grunts is the former use a variety of Pokemon types. This means you need to have a varied team yourself but also means you can get caught out. Knowing which species Cliff can use is vitally important before going into battle.

Cliff Pokemon Go
Cliff’s Pokemon are as powerful as he looks…

[ad name=”article1″]

Here are all of Cliff’s potential Pokemon and which types you should use to counter them. A lot of this strategy comes from LanAkou, so thank you to them.


Pokemon 1 Pokemon 2 Pokemon 3
Pinsir Electivire, Marowak, Omastar Swampert, Torterra, Tyranitar


On paper defeating big-type species is a simple task. You need to look no further than a strong fire-type.

However, strong fire-types are few and far between, with a lot of them just not being strong enough. Even with the type advantage, Pinsir’s fighting-type Fast or Charge Move will prove too powerful.

As a result you’ll need one of Heatran, Ho-Oh, Moltres or maybe a very high level Charizard to take down the Stag Beetle Pokemon. Giratina, Togekiss and Dragonite are other alternatives.

[ad name=”article2″]

Electivire Pokemon Go
Use grass-types, and not ground-types, against Cliff’s Electivire…


The Gen 4 evolution of Electabuzz is yet another problematic Pokemon. It should be susceptible to ground-types but the possibility of it having an ice-type Charge Move negates that advantage.

If it doesn’t then, yes, a ground-type is the way to go here. The alternative is grass whereby Venusaur and Torterra are the best options. Once again though, an ice-type Charge Move will scupper them.

The ‘all bases covered Pokemon’ would once again be Giratina. While not many trainers have the Renegade Pokemon, it’s an excellent species to have in your arsenal as it doubles up against the aforementioned Pinsir.

[ad name=”article3″]


As the Team Rocket leader’s Pokemon go, Marowak is one you’ll hope to come up against. It uses fighting or ground-type Fast Moves and is guaranteed to use a ground-type Charge Move – making preparing for it a lot easier.

Venusaur and Torterra are once again solid options here but the water-types Kyogre and Swampert with the right moves are also excellent options. Articuno is another good choice as it is resistant to ground-type moves.


Omastar is another Pokemon you’ll want to come up against as it is doubly weak to grass-type moves. The original Fossil Pokemon is a water and ground dual type – which are both weak against grass.

This means Venusaur and Torterra match well against each of Cliff’s second potential Pokemon. There aren’t many other grass-types to go for here as the likes of Virizion has poor attacking stats.

[ad name=”article4″]

Elsewhere, Breloom is rated highly but just doesn’t have anywhere near the defensive stats to be competitive here. Roserade and Sceptile are options if you’re desperate but don’t expect them to do wonders.


Swampert is another Pokemon countered by the likes of Venusaur and Torterra. At this point they are becoming imperative in order to defeat Cliff.

Once again, you can look elsewhere but if you’re thinking about an electric-type then the potential for Swampert to have ground-type moves can ruin that plan very quickly. Stick with a grass-type here.

Torterra Pokemon Go
Torterra seems to be a must have Pokemon against Cliff…


How dangerous Cliff’s Torterra is largely depends on whether it has the Fast Move Razor Leaf. Regardless, you’re looking at using an Articuno with two ice-type moves or another powerful fire-type.

If you already have a fire-type the chances are Pinsir would have done a lot of damage already and it isn’t wise two use two of them unless you know Cliff’s selection ahead of time.


Experienced Pokemon Go trainers will be well aware just how strong Tyranitar is. It also has a variety of different type Charge Moves, too.

The aforementioned grass-types can work well against the dual rock and dark-type Pokemon but Lucario is arguably the best option. It is resistant to Tyranitar’s Fast Moves and has powerful attacks of its own.

In comparison to Arlo, Cliff is seemingly an easier leader to defeat. It’s clear Venusaur or Torterra are must haves. Alongside them you should choose Articuno, Giratina (if possible) and/or your most powerful fire Pokemon.