Cliff is one of the three leaders of the Team Go Rocket group in Pokémon Go. You need to battle him if you want to go after the group’s boss, Giovanni, and attempt to rescue the latest legendary Pokémon that’s been turned into a shadow version. You can find him once you create a Rocket Radar, which you receive when you defeat six Team Rocket grunts by visiting Pokéstops or if they appear in a hot air balloon. Once you have the Rocket Radar equipped, you’ll be pointed in the direction of a Team Rocket lair, and Cliff might appear.
He can be one of the tougher battles because of the first Pokémon he uses, Aerodactyl, and trainers typically struggle in taking him down.
The first Pokémon Cliff uses in battle will be Aerodactyl, a Rock and Flying-type Pokémon. Aerodactyl is weak to Electric, Ice, Rock, Steel, and Water-type moves. There are several Pokémon you can use against it, but make sure it as any of those attacks to take advantage of Aerodactyl’s weaknesses. We recommend using Metagross, Rhyperior, Terrakion, Magnezone, Swampert, Raikou, or Galarian Darmanitan.
These are the potential choices for Cliff’s second Pokémon that he could use against you during the battle.
- Gallade (Fighting and Psychic-type)
- Cradilly (Grass and Rock-type)
- Slowking (Psychic and Water-type)
Based on what we know about Cliff’s current choices, these Pokémon are weak to Bug, Fairy, Flying, Ghost, Ice, and Steel-type attacks. You have multiple options available to you. We recommend using Melmetal, Metagross, Excradill, Cobalion, Aggron, Scizor, Escavalier, Lucario, Bisharp, or Registeel.
Here are the final choices for Cliff’s third Pokémon that he might use against you in the battle.
- Dusknoir (Ghost-type)
- Tyranitar (Dark and Rock-type)
- Mamoswine (Ground and Ice-type)
Given the knowledge we have about Cliff’s last choices for Pokémon, these Pokémon will be generally weak to Fire, Fairy, Grass, Ground, Steel, and Water-type moves. We recommend using Blastoise, Gyarados, Milotic, Suicune, Swampert, Omastar, Metagross, Melmetal, Togekiss, Gardevoir, Tangrowth, or Torterra.
After you defeat Cliff, you’ll have a chance to capture his Aerodactyl, which is one of the better shadow Pokémon you can use in a variety of Battle Leagues or even in raids as a PvE choice. There is a chance this Pokémon can appear as the shiny version.
With Cliff defeated, you’ll be one step closer to encountering Giovanni and completing The Higher They Fly special research quest. For March 2021, Giovanni has a shadow Articuno that you can catch and potentially save.