The Pokemon that Cliff uses in Pokemon GO changes fairly often. In this guide, I’ll explain how to beat Cliff in Pokemon GO with his current lineup (May 2022).
This strategy will involve bringing in Pokemon types that counter the majority of his Pokemon. On top of our roster, we will put an emphasis on the fast and charged moves we bring against Cliff, and trick him into making himself vulnerable.
Before that, though, let’s take a look at Cliff’s team.
What Pokemon Does Cliff Use?
Cliff will always start with a Cubone, but his 2nd and 3rd Pokemon are semi-random. Cliff has three options for Pokemon #2 and Pokemon #3, so it is not as simple as choosing direct counters.
Pokemon #1 – Cubone
In the past, Water-type Pokemon were the best against Aerodactyl. Cliff hasn’t changed much, but instead of Aerodactyl, he opts to send in a Cubone first.
Cubone is a Ground-type Pokemon and shares many of the same weaknesses as Aerodactyl. So if you knew how to defeat Cliff in Pokemon GO in the past, not much has changed.
Cubone is a pure Ground-type and always goes first, so it is fairly easy to counter. Ground-type Pokemon are weak against Water, Grass, and Ice attacks so you’ll want to start with one of these.
Keep in mind that the counters listed in this guide are in the context of the entire battle. Any Grass-type Pokemon will counter Cubone, but these counters are the ones that will work best against Cliff’s team as a unit.
Pokemon #2 – Omastar, Luxray, or Electivire
|Omastar||Fight, Ground, Grass (x4), Electric||Normal, Flying, Poison, Fire (1/4), Ice|
|Luxray||Ground||Flying, Steel, Electric|
|Electivire||Ground||Flying, Steel, Electric|
- Mamoswine (with Bulldoze)
- Mamoswine (with Bulldoze)
Pokemon #3 – Swampert / Charizard / Tyranitar
|Swampert||Grass (x4)||Poise, Rock, Steel, Fire|
|Charizard||Rock (x4), Water, Electric||Fighting, Bug, Steel, Fire, Grass, Fairy|
|Tyranitar||Fighting, Ground, Bug, Steel, Water, Grass, Fairy||Normal, Flying, Poison, Ghost, Fire, Dark|
Best Team For Cliff (Cliff Counters)
|Pokemon||Fast Attack||Charge Attack|
|Sceptile||Fury Cutter||Frenzy Plant|
|Rhyperior||Smack Down||Stone Edge|
This is an example of a solid team to take against Cliff.
Start with Machamp and spam Cross Chop as much as possible. Sometimes you may even be able to KO his entire team with just a strong Machamp. At the very least, you will get rid of his shields and set him up for the rest of your team.
Sceptile has the potential to counter Cliff’s entire team if luck is on your side. Finally, Rhyperior’s Rock-type moves will take quick care of Charizard.
Machamp or another Fighting-type Pokemon that can learn a spammable move like Cross Chop. This will bait out Cliff’s shields.
Once his shields have been baited out, you can switch to Pokemon #2, which would preferably be a Grass-type
Another reason Fighting-type Pokemon are so strong against Cliff is that his final Pokemon has a 1:3 chance to be Tyranitar, which is 4x weak to Fighting.
Any Grass Type Pokemon will be fantastic in this spot. Cliff’s first Pokemon will always be weak to Grass. Cliff’s second Pokemon has a 1:3 chance to be weak to Grass moves, so with a little bit of luck, you could end the battle with just this Pokemon.
Even if Cliff uses one of his Electric Pokemon, you will still be in a nice spot to tank some hits, and maybe even bait out a charged attack.
For your final Pokemon, you’re going to want a Ground-type. There’s not a lot of strategy behind why just simple statistics.
Cliff’s second Pokemon will most likely be an Electric-type (Luxray, Electivire). So by keeping a Ground-type on your team, there’s a really good chance of landing a free KO.
On top of this, only one of Cliff’s Pokemon is going to be strong against Ground-types (Swampert), and it isn’t even a guaranteed opponent.
- Darmanitan (Galarian)
As you can see, stick with these typings, you can get away with almost any Pokemon. Don’t forget that your Pokemon need to have strong moves as well that counter Cliff’s Pokemon (ie your Aerodactyl should have Rock Throw and Rock Slide)