Pokémon Go Fest 2020 — Team GO Rocket Leaders

Pokemon Go Fest 2020 Look Closer
Pokemon Go Fest 2020 Look Closer (Image credit: Niantic)

Pokemon Go Fest 2020 Rocket Invasion Banner (Image credit: Niantic)

Pokémon Go Fest 2020 is finally here, but Team GO Rocket is trying to spoil our festivities! Whether you're a ticket holder or not, you can help fight back against Team GO Rocket to reclaim the Pokémon Go Anniversary. We here at iMore have everything you need to know for challenging Team GO Rocket today.

Team GO Rocket hijacked Pokémon Go Fest 2020?!

Pokemon Go Fest 2020 Rocket Invasion (Image credit: Niantic)

You heard that right, Trainers! Team GO Rocket has hijacked the biggest event of the year. They're taking over day two of Pokémon GO Fest 2020 and it's up to us to stop them in their tracks! If you're a ticket holder, you will have access to the Rocket Straight to Victory Special Research and you'll see Team GO Rocket has vandalized our Virtual Team Lounges; however, there is plenty of battling to be done for everyone.

Benefits for all players

Regardless of whether you have a Pokémon GO Fest 2020 ticket or not, the following will be available during the take over:

  • More Team GO Rocket balloons will be appearing in the skies.
  • More Team GO Rocket Grunts will be capturing PokéStops.
  • Charged TMs can be used on Shadow Pokémon.
  • The confetti from the first day's festivities will be replaced by Team GO Rocket confetti.
  • A GO Rocket Box in the shop featuring four Rocket Radars, 20 Max Potions, two Star Pieces, and 20 Max Revives can be bought in the PokéShop for only 480 PokéCoins!

Note: If you're having trouble taking on Team GO Rocket, the battles will get progressively easier throughout the day. Make sure to try again later in the morning or afternoon.

Team GO Rocket Leaders

In addition to fighting many Grunts, Trainers will also have the opportunity to challenge the Team GO Rocket Executives and Giovanni, himself. During the Take Over, Trainers will earn twice the Mysterious Components (as well as double Stardust) so you'll be able to challenge the Executives and Giovanni multiple times.

Although many Trainers have challenged the Leaders of Team GO Rocket before, for today only they're bringing in different Shadow Pokémon from their current line ups. Lucky for you, we have the best counters for each Executive.


Team Go Rocket Cliff (Image credit: Niantic)

For day two of Pokémon Go Fest 2020, Cliff brings these three Pokémon into battle:

  • Pinsir: a Bug type, Pinsir is weak to Flying, Rock, and Fire, and Ghost types' resistances provide solid counters. The best counters include Ho-Oh, Moltres, either forme of Giratina, Togekiss, Lugia, Chandelure, Charizard, Gengar, Drifblim, and Crobat. You could also do well with Shadow Moltres or Shadow Charizard.
  • Tyranitar: a Rock and Dark type, Tyranitar is weak to Ground, Bug, Steel, Water, Grass, and Fairy, and has a quad weakness to Fighting. The best counters include Conkeldurr, Heracross, Machamp, Hariyama, Regirock, Regice, Poliwrath, Registeel, Lucario, and Virizion. You can also do well with Shadow Machamp or Shadow Poliwrath.
  • Articuno: an Ice and Flying type, Articuno is weak to Electric, Steel, and Fire, and has a quad weakness to Rock. The best counters include Heatran, Metagross, Melmetal, Aggron, Regirock, Omastar, Terrakion, Entei, Tyranitar, and Kabutops. You can also do well with Shadow Metagross, Shadow Omastar, Shadow Raikou, Shadow Machamp, Shadow Tyranitar, or Shadow Magnezone.


Team Go Rocket Sierra (Image credit: Niantic)

For day two of Pokémon Go Fest 2020, Sierra brings these three Pokémon into battle:

  • Beldum: a Steel and Psychic type, Beldum is weak to Ground, Ghost, Fire, and Dark. The best counters include both formes of Giratina, Gengar, Drifblim, Groudon, Golurk, Dusnoir, Regirock, Rhyperior, Regice, and Galarian Stunfisk. You can also do well with Shadow Tyranitar, Shadow Dusknoir, or Shadow Scizor.
  • Houndoom: a Dark and Fire type, Houndoom is weak against Fighting, Ground, Rock, and Water. The best counters include Kyogre, Terrakion, Rhyperior, Garchomp, Tyranitar, Swampert, Regirock, Reshiram, Machamp, and Haxorus. You can also do well with Shadow Omastar, Shadow Swampert, or Shadow Tyranitar.
  • Zapdos: an Electric and Flying type, Zapdos is weak to Rock and Ice. The best counters include Rhyperior, Zekrom, either Kanto or Alolan Golem, Hippowdon, Regirock, Dialga, Garchomp, Rhydon, Aggron, and Landorus. I really wouldn't recommend any Shadow Pokémon for this fight.

Note: Sierra's lineup are all weak to Rhyperior. If you participated in the Rhyhorn Community Day, you could likely face her with a team of three Rhyperior.


Pokemon Go Team Rocket Arlo (Image credit: Niantic)

For day two of Pokémon Go Fest 2020, Arlo brings these three Pokémon into battle:

  • Mawile: a Steel and Fairy type, Mawile is weak to Ground and Fire, but some of the recommended counters are based on resisting its attacks as opposed to doing the most damage. The best counters include Regice, Kyogre, Raikou, Heatran, Blaziken, Magmortar, Entei, Origin Forme Giratina, Rhyperior, and Hariyama. You can also do well with Shadow Raikou, Shadow Magmortar, or Shadow Entei.
  • Scizor: a Bug and Steel type, Scizor's only weakness is Fire, but it's a quad weakness. The best counters include Reshiram, Heatran, Entei, Darmanitan, Ho-Oh, Moltres, Arcanine, Blaziken, Emboar, Salamence, or Chandelure. You could also do well with Shadow Entei, Shadow Arcanine, Shadow Moltres, Shadown Salamence, Shadow Charizard, or Shadow Magmortar.
  • Moltres: a Fire and Flying type, Moltres is weak to Water and Electric, and has a quad weakness to Rock. The best counters include Rhyperior, either Kanto or Alolan Golem, Zekrom, Kabutops, Omastar, Tyranitar, Carracosta, Regirock, Gigalith, and Kyogre. You could also do well with Shadow Raikou, Shadow Omastar, Shadow Tyranitar, or Shadow Electivire.


Pokemon Go Team Go Rocket Giovanni (Image credit: Niantic)

The head honcho himself, Giovanni has a new lineup during the Take Over, and that you'll be able to rescue Shadow Persian after defeating him. His Pokémon for day two are:

  • Persian: a Normal type, Persian's only weakness is Fighting types; however, Shadow Persian's attacks are mostly Dark, with a Rock, Fairy, and Normal type move thrown in every so often. The best counters include Tyranitar, Conkeldurr, Obstagoon, Dialga, Togekiss, Heracross, Hydreigon, Lucario, Hariyama, and Machamp. you can also do well with Shadow Tyranitar, Shadow Machamp, or Shadow Dragonite.
  • Sandslash: a Ground type, Sandslash is weak against Water, Grass, and Ice. The best counters include Kyogre, Empoleon, Swampert, Lugia, Feraligatr, Leafeon, Rayquaza, Tangrowth, Salamence, and Articuno. You can also do well with Shadow Venusaur, Shadow Swampert, Shadow Gyarados, Shadow Blastoise, Shadow Weaville, Shadow Dragonite, or Shadow Mewtwo.
  • Mewtwo: the Legendary Psychic type, Shadow Mewtwo is a brutal fight. Weak to Bug, Ghost, and Dark, the best counters include Origin Forme Giratina, Darkrai, Chandelure, Hydreigon, Weaville, Mewtwo, Tyranitar, Houndoom, Gengar, and Pinsir. Shadow Pokémon make especially powerful counters here so if you have one of the following powered up with a Dark, Ghost, or Bug type Charged attack, they can work very well: Shadow Mewtwo, Shadow Tyranitar, Shadow Houndoom, Shadow Pinsir, Shadow Weaville, Shadow Raikou, Shadow Sharpedo, Shadow Scizor, Shadow Gardevoi, Shadow Absol, or Shadow Mismagius.


Do you have any questions about fighting Team GO Rocket during Pokémon Go Fest 2020? Which Shadow Pokémon are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check out our Complete Pokédex, as well as our in depth coverage of Pokémon Go Fest 2020 so you too can become a Pokémon Master!

Casian Holly

Casian Holly has been writing about gaming at iMore since 2019, but their real passion is Pokémon. From the games to the anime, cards and toys, they eat, sleep, and breathe all things Pokémon. You can check out their many Pokémon Go and Pokémon Sword and Shield guides and coverage here on iMore.