Pokemon Go: What types do each Team Rocket Grunt use? (Updated February 2020)

Paul Cot
Pokemon Company

Pokemon Go trainers continue to battle Team Rocket in their quest to purify Shadow Pokemon. The Grunts may be the lowest ranked Team Rocket members but they can prove tough adversaries, especially when you don’t know what type of Pokemon they’ll be using. Fortunately, we can tell you who you’ll be up against before the battle begins.

Among other things, Grunts give you the opportunity to save (catch) a Shadow Pokemon and pick up a Mysterious Component that can be used to find one of the Team Rocket Leaders – Arlo, Cliff or Sierra. 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 can sometimes 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.

@PokemonGoAppTeam GO Rocket Grunts sporadically appear at PokeStops…

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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”.

The Grunt teams have once again been updated for February 2020. Here are those updated Pokemon based on each taunt/type, courtesy of skewtr:

Normal doesn’t mean weak

  • Pokemon 1: Porygon
  • Pokemon 2: Porygon2
  • Pokemon 3: Porygon-Z or Snorlax
  • Shadow Pokemon: Porygon

Fighting types are the most effective against normal types.

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Go, my super bug Pokemon!

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

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

Ke… ke… ke… ke… ke… ke…

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

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.

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ROAR! … How’d that sound?

This Grunt would usually use dragon-types but there have been no reported sightings.

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!

The poison-type Grunt hasn’t been seen either.

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.

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You’ll be defeated into the ground!

  • Pokemon 1: Sandshrew, Larvitar or Trapinch
  • Pokemon 2: Pupitar, Marowak or Vibrava
  • Pokemon 3: Marowak or Flygon
  • Shadow Pokemon: Sandshrew, 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.

@PokemonGoAppGyarados is the perfect counter to ground-types…

Get ready to be shocked!

  • Pokemon 1: Magnemite, Electabuzz or Mareep
  • Pokemon 2: Magneton, Electabuzz or Flaaffy
  • Pokemon 3: Electabuzz or Ampharos
  • Shadow Pokemon: Magnemite, 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: Bulbasaur, Exeggcute or Bellsprout
  • Pokemon 2: Gloom, Ivysaur or Weepinbell
  • Pokemon 3: Vileplume
  • Shadow Pokemon: Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, Oddish, Gloom, Bellsprout or Exeggcute

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.

Battle against my flying-type Pokemon!

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

Use Machamp or at least another fighting-type.

Are you scared of psychics that use unseen power?

  • Pokemon 1: Abra, Wobbuffet or Ralts
  • Pokemon 2: Drowzee, Hypno or Ralts
  • Pokemon 3: Kadabra, Hypno or Kirlia
  • Shadow Pokemon: Abra, Drowzee, Ralts, Wobbuffet 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
Tyranitar is one of the most effective species in Pokemon Go…

Do you know how hot Pokemon fire breath can get?

  • Pokemon 1: Growlithe, Houndour or Vulpix
  • Pokemon 2: Charmeleon, Ninetales or Houndoom
  • Pokemon 3: Charmeleon, Arcanine or Houndoom
  • Shadow Pokemon: Growlithe, Houndour, Vulpix, 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, Hitmonlee
  • Pokemon 2: Hitmonchan
  • Pokemon 3: Hitmonchan
  • Shadow Pokemon: Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee

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

These waters are treacherous


  • Pokemon 1: Carvanha, Poliwag or Mudkip
  • Pokemon 2: Golduck, Poliwhirl
  • Pokemon 3: Poliwrath, Politoed
  • Shadow Pokemon: Carvanha, Poliwag or Mudkip


Not seen so far in February.

Not the easiest of Grunts (not the male) to defeat but if you stick with grass-types you shouldn’t have too many issues.

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.