Pokemon Go Jessie & James guide: Lineup, counters & how to find them (October 2021)

Daniel Megarry
Pokemon Go Jessie and James

Jessie and James are back with their Meowth Balloon in Pokemon Go for October 2021! The Team Rocket villains have a strong lineup of Pokemon for you to defeat, but with the right counters to target their weaknesses, defeating them can be a breeze.

The iconic Team Rocket members, who have troubled Ash for years in the Pokemon anime, first appeared in Go as part of the Battle Go Fest Challenge in July 2020, and they’ve made their return in October 2021 for the Secrets of the Jungle event.

Jessie and James appear in the sky in their Meowth balloon, and if you’re lucky enough to spot them, you’ll have to battle them both, one after the other. Each member has a lineup of three classic Team Rocket Pokemon, such as Ekans and Koffing.

Below, we’re going to explore both Jessie and James’ lineup in Pokemon Go, as well as the best counters you can take into battle to defeat them.


Pokemon Go Jessie and James
Jessie and James have finally returned, and they’re up to no good again.

How to find Jessie & James in Pokemon Go

If you’re looking to find Jessie and James in Pokemon Go, you’ll need to keep your eye on the skyline to make sure you don’t miss them floating by. Unlike the Team Go Rocket Grunts, Jessie and James appear in a Meowth-themed balloon.

The best way to do this is to zoom out (pinch your fingers together on the screen) so you can see the full skyline above your avatar, especially if you notice a shadow on the floor. Once you spot them, tap the balloon to start the battle.

Jessie and James will be appearing in Pokemon Go from Friday, October 1, 2021, at 10am until Sunday, October 10, 2021, at 8pm local time. They spawn four times a day at six-hour intervals, so it’s best to check regularly.

Below, we’re going to explore both James and Jessie’s lineup in Pokemon Go, and the best counters you should be using to take advantage of their weaknesses. So prepare for trouble, and make it double!

Jessie lineup & counters in Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go Jessie lineup
Scyther, Ekans, and Stantler are in Jessie’s lineup.

Jessie’s lineup always begins with Scyther, followed by Ekans and Stantler. Steel-types will be good against all of these, so that’s your best option here. Fire-type and Rock-type Pokemon are good backup options.

You can find the best counters for each of Jessie’s Pokemon below:

Scyther counters

  • Melmetal – Thunder Shock and Rock Slide
  • Excadrill – Mud Shot and Rock Slide
  • Magnezone – Spark and Wild Charge
  • Rampardos – Smack Down and Rock Slide
  • Tyranitar – Smack Down and Stone Edge

Ekans counters

  • Alakazam – Confusion and Psychic
  • Garchomp – Mud Shot and Earthquake
  • Excadrill – Mud Shot and Earthquake
  • Groudon – Mud Shot and Earthquake
  • Hoopa – Confusion and Psychic

Stantler counters

  • Lucario – Counter and Aura Sphere
  • Machamp – Counter and Dynamic Punch
  • Sirfetch’d – Counter and Close Combat
  • Hariyama – Counter and Dynamic Punch
  • Breloom – Counter and Dynamic Punch

James lineup & counters in Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go James lineup
Pinsir, Koffing, and Grimer are in James’ lineup.

James will always start battles with Pinsir, before sending out Koffing and Grimer. There’s not a universal weakness here, but focusing on your best Fire- and Ground-types should be enough to take you to victory.

You can find the best counters for each of James’ Pokemon below:

Pinsir counters

  • Chandelure – Fire Spin and Overheat
  • Rampardos – Smack Down and Rock Slide
  • Darmanitan – Fire Fang and Overheat
  • Charizard – Fire Spin and Blast Burn
  • Flareon – Fire Spin and Overheat

Koffing counters

  • Mewtwo – Psycho Cut and Psystrike
  • Alakazam – Confusion and Future Sight
  • Espeon – Confusion and Psychic
  • Hoopa – Confusion and Psychic
  • Excadrill – Mud-Slap and Earthquake

Grimer counters

  • Mewtwo – Psycho Cut and Psystrike
  • Hoopa – Confusion and Psychic
  • Alakazam – Confusion and Psychic
  • Espeon – Confusion and Psychic
  • Metagross – Zen Headbutt and Psychic

Best team to defeat Jessie and James in Pokemon Go

jessie and james
Having the right team of counters will make defeating Jessie and James a breeze.

The best team for taking down both Jessie and James is Excadrill, Charizard, and Alakazam, as this covers most of the types you’ll go up against. However, any team consisting of a strong Rock-type, Fire-type, and Psychic-type should do the trick.

Compared to other Team Go Rocket Leaders, though, you should have no problem defeating Jessie and James. Even if you don’t have any of our counter recommendations, they’re not too hard to defeat, so using your strongest Pokemon should be enough.

Remember, you’ll also be able to take a break between battling Jessie and James, which is the perfect time to heal up and switch your team around. You’ll then get the chance to catch Shadow Scyther and Shadow Pinsir for winning!

For more tips and guides like this one, make sure you visit our Pokemon Go home page.