Pokemon Go: What types do each Team Rocket Grunt use?

by Paul Cotton
Pokemon Company


Pokemon Go trainers continue to battle Team Rocket in their quest to purify Shadow Pokemon. The Grunts are tough battlers though, especially when you don't know what type of Pokemon they'll be using. Fortunately, we have the answers.

Despite being the lowest in the Team Rocket hierarchy, even the Grunts can prove tricky to beat. Nobody wants to lose a battle that with a little care they could have easily won. After all, using those revives and potions mount up.

If your Pokemon are a high enough level you should be able to blast through their team regardless, but if not you'll need to utilize the type advantages. Check out our Pokemon Go type effectiveness charts if you're unsure as to which types holds an advantage over another.

Team GO Grunts will taunt you ahead of the battle. It is this taunt that indicates what type of Pokemon they'll use and the pool they'll choose from. They'll send out one Pokemon from each number at random and will drop one listed under "Shadow Pokemon".

Team GO Rocket Grunts sporadically appear at PokeStops...

Normal doesn’t mean weak

  • Pokemon 1: Rattata or Zubat
  • Pokemon 2: Rattata or Raticate
  • Pokemon 3: Raticate or Snorlax
  • Shadow Pokemon: Rattata, Zubat or Raticate

Fighting types are the most effective against normal types.

Go, my super bug Pokemon!

  • Pokemon 1: Weedle, Venonat or Scyther
  • Pokemon 2: Kakuna, Venomoth or Scizor
  • Pokemon 3: Beedrill, Scyther or Scizor
  • Shadow Pokemon: Weedle, Venonat or Scyther

Use fire, flying and rock-types against these bugs.

Ke… ke… ke… ke… ke… ke…

  • Pokemon 1: Sableye, Shuppet or Duskull
  • Pokemon 2: Sableye, Banette or Dusclops
  • Pokemon 3: Sableye, Banette or Dusknoir
  • Shadow Pokemon: Sableye, Shuppet or Duskull

Ghost-types are weak to other ghost-types, although there's the contradiction of your Pokemon also being weak. Therefore, dark-type species are probably the most effective.

ROAR! … How’d that sound?

  • Pokemon 1: Dratini
  • Pokemon 2: Dragonair or Flygon
  • Pokemon 3: Dragonair or Dragonite
  • Shadow Pokemon: Dratini

Ice-types are the best option here but fellow dragon-types and more so fairy are also what you want to use here.

Coiled and ready to strike!

  • Pokemon 1: Zubat, Venonat or Grimer
  • Pokemon 2: Golbat, Grimer or Grimer
  • Pokemon 3: Golbat, Venomoth, Muk
  • Shadow Pokemon: Zubat, Golbat, Venonat, Grimer or Muk

Tyranitar, as it often is, is a good overall option here. With the inclusion of the Zubat line though a strong electric-type wouldn't go-a-miss.

You’ll be defeated into the ground!

  • Pokemon 1: Cubone, Larvitar or Trapinch
  • Pokemon 2: Cubone, Marowak or Vibrava
  • Pokemon 3: Marowak or Flygon
  • Shadow Pokemon: Cubone, Larvitar or Trapinch

If you've put the time in catching Magikarp, then using Gyarados is a no-brainer here. It's double resistance to ground and fighting moves make it the best counter. Other than that, most grass and water-types will naturally hold a type advantage.

Gyarados is the perfect counter to ground-types...

Get ready to be shocked!

  • Pokemon 1: Electabuzz or Mareep
  • Pokemon 2: Electabuzz or Flaaffy
  • Pokemon 3: Electabuzz or Ampharos
  • Shadow Pokemon: Electabuzz or Mareep

As all of these are electric-types, the counter is a pretty simple choice — ground-types. There's plenty of options here but the most powerful is Groudon.

Don’t tangle with us!

  • Pokemon 1: Turtwig, Cacnea or Seedot
  • Pokemon 2: Gloom, Ivysaur or Bulbasaur
  • Pokemon 3: Cacturne, Shiftry or Vileplume
  • Shadow Pokemon: Turtwig, Cacnea, Seedot, Gloom, Ivysaur or Bulbasaur

With all of these having a grass-type association, you don't need to look any further than a fire-type. Charizard, Entei and Moltres are the first species that come to mind.

My bird Pokemon wants to battle with you!

  • Pokemon 1: Zubat or Golbat
  • Pokemon 2: Golbat, Scyther or Crobat
  • Pokemon 3: Gyarados, Dragonite or Crobat
  • Shadow Pokemon: Zubat or Golbat

With such variation here, Tyranitar is once again the safest bet. Electric will do well against Zubat and co but ice-types are also a good backup.

Let’s rock and roll!

  • Pokemon 1: Larvitar
  • Pokemon 2: Larvitar or Pupitar
  • Pokemon 3: Pupitar or Tyranitar
  • Shadow Pokemon: Larvitar

Use Machamp or at least another fighting-type.

Are you scared of psychics that use unseen power?

  • Pokemon 1: Abra, Drowzee or Ralts
  • Pokemon 2: Drowzee, Hypno or Ralts
  • Pokemon 3: Alakazam, Hypno or Kirlia
  • Shadow Pokemon: Abra, Drowzee, Ralts or Hypno

Another Grunt, another time Tyranitar is effective. If you haven't noticed the trend already, make sure you get the go-to dark-type Pokemon!

Pokemon Fandom
Pokemon Fandom
Tyranitar is one of the most effective species in Pokemon Go...

Do you know how hot Pokemon fire breath can get?

  • Pokemon 1: Charmander, Houndour or Magmar
  • Pokemon 2: Charmeleon or Houndoom
  • Pokemon 3: Charmeleon, Arcanine or Houndoom
  • Shadow Pokemon: Charmander, Houndour, Magmar, Charmeleon or Houndoom

What puts out fire? Water! And it's no different here. Kyogre is the most powerful water-type that comes to mind but Tyranitar is also good to have, too.

This buff physique isn’t just for show!

  • Pokemon 1: Hitmonchan
  • Pokemon 2: Hitmonchan
  • Pokemon 3: Hitmonchan
  • Shadow Pokemon: Hitmonchan

Psychic types are the natural counter to fighting and there is no better than Mewtwo.

These waters are treacherous

  • Pokemon 1: Psyduck, Poliwag or Magikarp
  • Pokemon 2: Golduck, Poliwrath or Magikarp
  • Pokemon 3: Poliwrath, Politoed, Magikarp or Gyarados
  • Shadow Pokemon: Psyduck, Poliwag or Magikarp

Not the easiest of Grunts to defeat but if you stick with grass-types you shouldn't have too many issues.

Thanks to PokemonGoHub who got the data for what species each Team GO Rocket Grunt will use. Become familiar with each taunt and you'll be able to rack up a lot of Shadow Pokemon before you know it!

If any of this is outdated due to a Pokemon Go update, please let us know.