How to defeat Cliff in Pokemon Go - Best counters (July 2020) - Dexerto

How to defeat Cliff in Pokemon Go – Best counters (July 2020)

Published: 21/Jul/2020 2:02 Updated: 21/Jul/2020 17:11

by Paul Cot


Cliff has returned to Pokemon Go and although the Team GO Rocket leader may not pose the same threat as Giovanni, or even Sierra, you’ll still need to prepare ahead of time to defeat him.

As is the case with other Team Rocket leaders, Cliff will use one of two Pokemon as his first choice and then one of three possibilities for his second and third Pokemon. You can encounter Cliff by clicking on either Team GO Rocket PokeStops or hot air balloons.


Cliff won’t appear until you have clicked them. Additionally, you will need a Rocket Radar equipped in order to find him.

Defeat Cliff

Cliff’s Pokemon will be as follows:

  • 1st Pokemon: Pinsir or Grimer
  • 2nd Pokemon: Electivire, Machamp or Omastar
  • 3rd Pokemon: Swampert, Torterra or Tyranitar


Pinsir will always be Cliff’s first Pokemon if battling Cliff through a PokeStop. The pure bug-types weaknesses are fire, flying and rock attacks.

A flying-type Pokemon is your best choice here as it will be resistant to all of Pinsir’s Fast Moves. Many guides list the likes of Moltres and Chandelure and while these are good choices there are better.

Charizard is perfect because it has a double resistance to bug, as well as resistance to fighting moves. On top of this, it has a fast charging Charge Move in Dragon Claw, which is perfect to waste Cliff’s Protect Shields.

Grimer Cliff
Try and get Cliff to use his Protect Shields against Grimer (or Pinsir)…


Conversely, if battling through a hot air balloon you’ll be guaranteed to encounter Grimer. It is weak to ground and psychic-type moves.

Interestingly, Grimer is a rumored contender to headline one of the two upcoming Pokemon Go Community Days. The strategy remains the same as Pinsir – resist its Fast Moves and waste Cliff’s Protect Shields early.

Unfortunately there is no way to definitely resist Grimer’s Fast Move as it will use either Mud Slap or Poison Jab. If using Mud Slap you’ll be forced to decide whether you want to waste a Protect Shield too.


The two types that cover most bases are ground and ghost. Mud Slap will let you take out Grimer quickly but won’t bait the Protect Shields. On the other hand, Mud Shot will get rid of them but you risk coming up short in that first battle.

Groudon and Swampert are excellent choices but Mewtwo with Psycho Cut is also a good option.



Electivire is weak to ground-types which dovetails brilliantly if battling Grimer beforehand. However, Swampert obviously wouldn’t be one of them due to its water-typing.

That leaves Garchomp and Mamoswine are good choices for the both of them. There are two that are even better – Excadrill and Rhyperior. The latter is so effective and strong it’s arguably a must-have pick here.

The Thunderbolt Pokemon will use either Thunder Shock or Low Kick as its Fast Move. It primarily uses electric-type Charge Moves but you’ll need to watch out for Ice Punch which is effective against ground.


If you give it a chance, Machamp will deal a lot of damage. The iconic fighting-type has excellent attack but with the right typing it can be tamed with relative ease.

Its weaknesses are fairy, flying and psychic. This makes the aforementioned Charizard or Mewtwo good options. However, if using Charizard you’ll need to be very careful of Machamp’s Rock Slide Charge Move as it will deal 256% damage.

In terms of specific counters there are plenty of good options. These include both Giratina forms, Lugia and Togekiss, all of which have have double resistances to fighting moves.

Omastar Cliff
Pokemon Company
Cliff’s Omastar is more awkward than it looks…


Omastar may not look as scary as Electivire and Machamp but it is certainly a threat. It is weak to electric, fighting and ground attacks – and doubly weak to grass.

The Kanto Fossil Pokemon will use either a ground or water attack for its Fast Move. The former has high energy gains (4.5 EPT) which should be noted.

Grass is the obvious choice here but this may not be ideal when going into the battle blind. Any of Abomasnow, Leafeon, Torterra or Venusaur will defeat it with ease.

Elsewhere, Excadrill and Rhyperior are good alternatives. These also cover Electivire.


Moving onto Cliff’s third choice Pokemon – the first of which is Swampert. The popular water-type starter is a common sight in GO Battle League and for good reason – it is effective.

Like Omastar, Swampert is doubly weak to grass. This means any of the above grass-types will beat it easily.

Its only weakness is indeed grass but bug and flying types may have some success.


Cliff may use another starter Pokemon – Torterra. Ice attacks are best here but that doesn’t align with the Team GO Rocket leader’s other potential selections.

Torterra’s other weaknesses include bug, fire and flying. This means Charizard is once again a great counter and should probably be on your options to begin with.

Togekiss is seemingly an option at all times – it’s just one of those species! The dual fairy and flying type matches up well with Machamp and covers all three of Cliff’s third choice Pokemon – more on that below.


Tyranitar is a beast but with the right type is actually a comfortable ‘mon to beat. Togekiss is one such option.

However, there are better and that is fighting type species – or at least those using fighting moves. Naturally Lucario and Machamp are the first to come to mind.

Tyranitar does have a lot of weakness, though – a lot more. Bug, fairy, grass, ground, steel and water attacks should result in the victory against the Armor Pokemon.

Like any Team Rocket leader lineup, there are plenty of high level Pokemon to deal with. If you can put together a team of these counters though, Cliff is actually pretty simple to overcome, at least in comparison to the other leaders.

If you can’t beat him the first time, take note of his choices (for that particular encounter) and rearrange your team accordingly.


Pokemon Go November Community Day rumors: Who will headline?

Published: 7/Oct/2020 14:59

by Paul Cot


The Pokemon Go November Community Day is still a good month away, but that hasn’t stopped trainers speculating as to what the headliner could be.

November is of course the penultimate Pokemon Go Community Day of the year. It is also the last one in which Pokemon fans will try to predict the headliner.


That is because the December CD is traditionally a mega Community Day of sorts. It brings the previous headliners from that year and makes them all available in one event.

Presumably, it will be the same for 2020. It is a day in which Pokemon Go trainers of all levels do their best to make sure they don’t miss out on!


Before we get there though, we still need to find out what the 10th headliner of 2020 will be. That isn’t a typo, as there will only be 11 in total this year because March’s CD was canceled due to the global health crisis – you may have heard about it.

No vote for November?

Niantic have made it a habit of letting us decide which Pokemon headline Community Days in 2020. In fact, 5 of the 10 from 2020 have been decided via vote.

The latest two votes however, have decided the following two Community Days. With October already in place with Charmander, there is only November to decide.


While that doesn’t rule out another vote entirely, it would seemingly make it less likely November’s would be decided by one.


So, if it isn’t to be decided by us, who are the contenders. The one that first comes to mind is Snivy.

Ever since Piplup headlined in January, we haven’t had another starter, at least a new one. At the time it was expected Snivy would be the featured ‘mon for March, which would have been in line with Niantic’s pattern of alternating between starter and non-starters.


Snivy may have been delayed because the Pokemon Go developers realized they were running out of starter ‘mons to use. Of the released Pokemon in the mobile game, it is only the Gen 5 starters that haven’t headlined, although Gen 6’s introduction is expected soon. So, 10 months on from the last one, it could be time for the Unova grass-type starter.

Snivy Pokemon Go
Snivy would seemingly be the leading contender for the November CD…

Deino or Gible?

Deino and Gible are two of the more popular Pokemon in the entire franchise and have been rumored as headliners. Unfortunately, that is why either of them making an appearance may be wishful thinking.


Both are super rare spawns and putting them as a featured Pokemon for a Community Day would certainly take away from their current allure. Besides, Niantic likely knows they can rely on them to boost other events, even if they do remain rare spawn rates.

Hopefully, they will headline a Community Day at some point in the future but 2020 seems unlikely at best.

Other contenders

The other most likely candidates for November are Exeggcute and Starly. Both were previously revealed to be included in another vote which never materialized.

Bulbasaur and Magikarp were also in there but the latter has already headlined in 2020, and Bulbasaur seems an unlikely option outside of a vote.

The Pokemon Go CD will likely take place in the second half of November. The 22nd seems the most likely day as this would keep distance between the previous one and adhere to alternating Saturday and Sundays.