Game Guides

Pokémon GO – How to Beat Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra (January 2021)

Best counters against GO Rocket leaders in Jan 2021

by Kyle Hanson

Pokemon-GO-How-to-Beat-Arlo-Cliff-and-Sierra-January-2021

It’s a new month and a new year which means a lot of big changes in various ongoing video games, including the hugely popular Pokémon GO. Typically the end of the year brings about big events and changes to things within the game. And so, players have a lot to learn getting back into the swing of things after their (hopefully safe) celebrations. So we’ve put together an updated Team GO Rocket leaders guide showing you how to beat Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra in Pokémon GO.

How to Beat Team GO Rocket Leaders

First off, the lineups for these characters change often, but also unexpectedly. As of the writing of this article at the beginning of January 2021 the Pokémon used by Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra are all the same as they were in December 2020. However, that coulc change soon so watch for updates when that happens. We will refresh this guide with any changes or updates to their lineup and provide you with the new counters against them.

So with that out of the way let’s start with some of the usual tips for beating Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra in Pokémon GO. If you just want the best counters against their teams then scroll down for the individual lists.

The best strategy for beating the Team GO Rocket leaders is to get them to use up their shields quickly so your charged attacks land. To do this you can often find a tanky Pokémon with a fast charged attack, such as Melmetal with Superpower or Giratina with Dragon Claw. However, typically your best counters can do the job, so don’t waste a spot on your team if it’s not needed.

The first thing you want to do is make sure your actual lead off Pokémon is in the second or third spot. You do this because switching Pokémon mid-battle causes the Team GO Rocket leader to hesitate and delay their attacks, giving you time to gain energy and deal damage. They also delay after any charged attack so this can create a nice cycle of swap, gain energy, charge attack, they swap, gain energy, charge attack, and so on.

Beyond that it’s all about having the right Pokémon for the matchup, focusing on strong counters especially for the first two rounds. So, here’s all the best counters against Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra in Pokémon GO.

Pokemon-GO-How-to-Beat-Arlo-January-2021

How to Beat Arlo – January 2021

Arlo’s always starts out with Growlithe, which is a weaker Fire type Pokémon, giving you many options.

Round 1

Growlithe Counters

  • Regirock with Lock On and Stone Edge
  • Golem with Mud Shot and Rock Blast
  • Omastar with Mud Shot and Rock Slide
  • Swampert with Mud Shot and Hydro Cannon

Round 2

Next up is either Blastoise, Charizard, or Steelix.

Blastoise Counters

  • Sceptile with Fury Cutter and Leaf Blade
  • Venusaur with Vine Whip and Frenzy Plant
  • Leafeon with Quick Attack and Leaf Blade
  • Hydreigon with Dragon Breath and Dark Pulse

Charizard Counters

  • Regirock with Lock On and Stone Edge
  • Golem with Rock Throw and Rock Blast
  • Zapdos with Thunder Shock and Ancient Power
  • Giratina with Shadow Claw and Ancient Power

Steelix Counters

  • Heatran with Fire Spin and Flamethrower
  • Excadrill with Mud Slap and Drill Run
  • Entei with Fire Spin and Flamethrower
  • Swampert with Mud Shot and Hydro Cannon

Round 3

Dragonite, Salamence, or Scizor will come at you next, so here’s some counters but by then you likely are either on the verge of victory or defeat.

Dragonite Counters

  • Dialga with Dragon Breath and Draco Meteor
  • Regice with Lockwithon and Blizzard
  • Mewtwo with Psycho Cut and Ice Beam
  • Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash

Salamence Counters

  • Tyranitar with Smack Down and Crunch
  • Regice with Lockwithon and Blizzard
  • Giratina with Dragon Breath and Dragon Claw
  • Togekiss with Charm and Dazzling Gleam

Scizor Counters

  • Blaziken with Counter and Blaze Kick
  • Charizard with Fire Spin and Blast Burn
  • Entei with Fire Spin and Flamethrower
  • Typhlosion with Fire Spin and Blast Burn

So that’s how to beat Arlo with the best counters. Check out how to beat Cliff and Sieraa below.

Pokemon-GO-How-to-Beat-Cliff-January-2021

How to Beat Cliff – January 2021

Omanyte is weak to grass attacks and will always be Cliff’s first Pokémon.

Round 1

Omanyte Counters

  • Venusaur with Vine Whip and Frenzy Plant
  • Torterra with Razor Leaf and Frenzy Plant
  • Roserade with Razor Leaf and Grass Knot
  • Ludicolo with Razor Leaf and Energy Ball

Round 2

Next will either be Electivire, Machamp, or Onix, which offer some interesting counter choices.

Electivire Counters

  • Garchomp with Mud Shot and Sand Tomb
  • Giratina with Dragon Breath and Ancient Power
  • Rhyperior with Mud Slap and Stone Edge
  • Flygon with Mud Shot and Earth Power

Machamp Counters

  • Mewtwo with Psycho Cut and Psystrike
  • Lugia with Extrasensory and Sky Attack
  • Togekiss with Charm and Aerial Ace
  • Giratina with Shadow Claw and Shadow Ball

Onix Counters

  • Torterra with Razor Leaf and Frenzy Plant
  • Venusaur with Vine Whip and Frenzy Plant
  • Kyogre with Waterfall and Hydro Pump
  • Empoleon with Waterfall and Hydro Pump

Round 3

Finally either Swampert, Torterra, or Tyranitar will appear. These are tougher foes so be careful.

Swampert Counters

  • Leafeon with Quick Attack and Leaf Blade
  • Roserade with Razor Leaf and Grass Knot
  • Meganium with Vine Whip and Frenzy Plant
  • Venusaur with Vine Whip and Frenzy Plant

Torterra Counters

  • Moltres with Fire Spin and Sky Attack
  • Articuno with Ice Shard and Ice Beam
  • Heatran with Fire Spin and Flamethrower
  • Entei with Fire Spin and Flamethrower

Tyranitar Counters

  • Lucario with Counter and Power Up Punch
  • Heracross with Counter and Close Combat
  • Machamp with Counter and Cross Chop
  • Virizion with Quick Attack and Close Combat

And that’s how to beat Cliff using the best counters in Pokémon GO, but Sierra could still show up any time.

Pokemon-GO-How-to-Beat-Sierra-January-2021

How to Beat Sierra – January 2021

Sierra has gone from one of Pokémon GO’s toughest enemies to one of its easiest. Her lineup hasn’t been too difficult lately, starting out with Drowzee through January 2021.

Round 1

Drowzee Counters

  • Tyranitar with Bite and Fire Blast Crunch
  • Giratina with Shadow Claw and Ominous Wind
  • Hydreigon with Bite and Dragon Pulse
  • Darkrai with Snarl and Dark Pulse

Round 2

Exeggutor, Lapras, or Sharpedo will be your next foe. Hope you don’t see Lapras though, as he can take some time and deal a lot of damage, even with the best counters.

Exeggutor Counters

  • Volcarona with Bug Bite and Bug Buzz
  • Genesect with Fury Cutter and X Scissor
  • Escavalier with Bug Bite and Megahorn
  • Scizor with Fury Cutter and X Scissor

Lapras Counters

  • Dialga with Dragon Breath and Draco Meteor
  • Lucario with Counter and Power Up Punch
  • Melmetal with Thunder Shock and Rock Slide
  • Regice with Lock On and Focus Blast

Sharpedo Counters

  • Lucario with Counter and Super Power
  • Machamp with Counter and Close Combat
  • Raikou with Volt Switch and Wild Charge
  • Zapdos with Thunder Shock and Zap Cannon

Round 3

Finally you will face off against either Alakazam, Houndoom, or Shiftry.

Alakazam Counters

  • Darkrai with Snarl and Dark Pulse
  • Hydreigon with Mud Shot and Power Up Punch
  • Tyranitar with Bite and Crunch
  • Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash

Houndoom Counters

  • Swampert with Mud Shot and Hydro Cannon
  • Poliwrath with Mud Shot and Power Up Punch
  • Machamp with Counter and Cross Chop
  • Tyranitar with Smack Down and Stone Edge

Shiftry Counters

  • Togekiss with Charm and Ancient Power
  • Ho-Oh with Hidden Power and Brave Bird
  • Yanmega with Bug Bite and Bug Buzz
  • Volcarona with Bug Bite and Bug Buzz

Hopefully this helps explain how to beat Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra in Pokémon GO in January 2021. Be sure to check back here if their lineup changes and we’ll have all the latest counters against their teams.

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