Home Editor Picks How to beat Cliff in Pokémon Go: Best counters, team lineup, and strategy (April 2024)

How to beat Cliff in Pokémon Go: Best counters, team lineup, and strategy (April 2024)

How to beat Cliff in Pokémon Go: Best counters, team lineup, and strategy (April 2024)


Taking down the Rocket Leaders each month is the joy of being a trainer. Here’s how to defeat Cliff in Pokemon Go.

How to Counter Cliff in Pokémon GO (April 2024)

Cliff is essentially a slab of muscle and so are his Pokémon. But don’t think you won’t need a strategy to bring him down. The best Pokémon to field against Cliff in Pokémon Go are:

  • Metagross with Zen Headbutt or Bullet Punch, Meteor Mash.
  • Rayquaza with Air Slash, Dragon Ascent or Ancient Power.
  • Lucario with Bullet Punch, Power-Up Punch.

How to defeat Cliff’s first Pokémon in Pokémon GO (April 2024)

Machop in Pokemon GO
Image by Pokemon GO (Niantic)

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty details. Cliff’s first Pokemon will be a Machop, which you’ll be able to capture if you beat Cliff. And, yes, Machop can be Shiny. Because it’s only a first-form Pokémon, you should have no trouble taking it out. Metagross can wipe the floor with Machop, while still having plenty of health to take on Cliff’s second or third Pokémon and is easily the most versatile Pokémon of the recommended three.

But if you don’t have a Metagross Mewtwo with Psycho Cut and Shadow Ball can be a good substitute.

How to defeat Cliff’s second Pokémon in Pokémon GO (April 2024)

When fighting Cliff’s second Pokémon, you may find yourself fighting Kingdra (Shadow), Aerodactyl (Shadow) or Gallade (Shadow).

Kingdra is a Water and Dragon-type Pokémon that is weak to both Dragon and Fairy-type moves. To that end, Rayquaza is absolutely ideal, as its Dragon Tail attack can turn Kingdra into sashimi. But if you haven’t had the chance to tame the Sky High Pokémon, Dragonite is a good substitute that functions similarly. Just put Dragon Tail on Dragonite’s quick move and Hurricane on its main move to ensure it can counter two of Cliff’s possible Pokémon.

Aerodactyl has ample weaknesses. But, for our purposes, the easiest ones to exploit are Steel. At least if you have Metagross or Lucario on your team. Beyond that, these two, there isn’t a perfect substitute. So, if you have neither of these Pokémon, try to tank Aerodactly the best you can with your beefiest Pokémon.

Gallade may be Cliff’s strongest Pokémon for the second round. And it doesn’t help that it’s only weak to Fairy, Flying, and Ghost-type moves. To that end, Rayquaza or even Dragonite are good choices. So long as they have Air Slash or Hurricane in their move set.

How to defeat Cliff’s third Pokémon in Pokémon GO (April 2024)

For Cliff’s third Pokémon, you’ll have the chance to encounter Tyranitar (Shadow), Cradily (Shadow), and Crobat (Shadow). This is a diverse and powerful lineup, so bring your heavy hitters out.

Cliff's third line up in Pokemon Go
Image by Pokemon GO (Niantic)

If you’re facing Tyranitar, you can exploit its Fighting and Steel weaknesses with Metagross and Lucario. Metagross is truly the star of this team, as it offers so much. But beware. It’s possible Tyranitar will have a Dark-type attack, which can brutalize Metagross. To that end, Lucario has the highest chance of surviving this fight, as it takes reduced damage from Tyranitar’s Rock and Dark-type attacks.

If Cliff calls on Cradily, you’ll be calling on the same Pokémon. Metagross and Lucario can take advantage of Cradily’s weakness to Fighting and Steel-type attacks. To be honest, Cradily isn’t a powerhouse, and is one of the easier Pokemon to fight in this final match. So, brute forcing it if you don’t have a counter is just fine. But keep in mind that Cradily takes reduced damage from Electric and Normal-type moves.

The final Pokemon Cliff can have in his arsenal is Crobat. This Poison and Flying-type Pokémon is weak to Psychic and Rock type attacks. If you have Metagross or Mewtwo in your arsenal, you should have no problem clipping Crobat’s wings. But if you don’t, Rayquaza with Ancient Power will ground it – literally.

Once you bring Cliff to heel, you’ll receive the following rewards:

  • 1,000 Stardust
  • Two items with the possible drops being:
  • The opportunity to catch Shadow Machop

Shadow Machop has a 1 in 64 chance of being Shiny, so may the odds be ever in your favor. But if you’re note sated with a handful of revives, why not grab a few items with some Pokémon GO codes? Or take a stab at getting a Shiny Castform?

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