While many Pokémon GO players may have a daily routine of stomping Team GO Rocket Grunts, the GO Rocket Leaders like Cliff and Arlo pose a much greater challenge. As a frontrunner for Giovanni’s second-in-command, Sierra is naturally a threatening opponent.
Sierra can be tricky to fight as she uses two Protect Shields, meaning she will always block the first two Charged Attacks the player throws at her. In order to play around her strengths, here’s what to know about the biggest counters and weaknesses for Pokémon GO Leader Sierra.
The Lone Lioness
Mysterious and alluring.
Growing up under difficult circumstances forced her to be street-smart and to learn martial arts.
She’s since climbed the ranks to become one of Giovanni’s most trusted confidants, but she prefers to be alone.
What is this woman hiding? pic.twitter.com/RPUpGEJAGH
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) November 7, 2019
Like Cliff and Arlo, Sierra only uses one Pokémon consistently in Pokémon GO. In Sierra’s case, that Pokémon is a Shadow Beldum. This Pokémon is fairly predictable, since it is guaranteed to have Take Down as its Fast Attack. Meanwhile, its only potential Charged Attacks are Struggle and Frustration.
Afterward, Sierra will use two of six Pokémon, choosing randomly among three Shadow Pokémon for both of her final slots. These Pokémon will have a randomly assigned Fast Attack and Charged Attack from their overall movepool. As a result, players need to take every possible Pokémon and move combination into account when preparing to fight Sierra.
Here’s an overview of all the Pokémon that Sierra can use in her second and third slots and what moves they are capable of learning:
- Second slot
- Fast – Frost Breath or Water Gun
- Charged – Hydro Pump, Surf, Blizzard, Skull Bash or Frustration
- Fast – Bite or Waterfall
- Charged – Hydro Pump, Crunch, Poison Fang or Frustration
- Fast – Mud Shot or Dragon Tail
- Charged – Earthquake, Dragon Claw, Stone Edge, Boomburst or Frustration
- Third slot
- Fast – Psycho Cut or Confusion
- Charged – Future Sight, Focus Blast, Shadow Ball, Fire Punch or Frustration
- Fast – Snarl or Fire Fang
- Charged – Crunch, Fire Blast, Foul Play, Flamethrower or Frustration
- Fast – Razor Leaf, Feint Attack or Snarl
- Charged – Leaf Blade, Hurricane, Foul Play, Leaf Tornado or Frustration
Pokémon GO Leader Sierra counters and weaknesses
Since Sierra’s Beldum is not particularly threatening, it’s good to lead with a Pokémon that can counter more than one of her Pokémon when you face Sierra in Pokémon GO. The best pick for this is Reshiram. With Fire Fang as its Fast Attack, it can accrue energy fairly quickly and work toward firing off the first two Charged Attacks of the match.
Fire Fang also threatens super effective damage onto Sierra’s Shiftry. Meanwhile, Draco Meteor as a Charged Attack can hit Flygon for super effective damage and the rest of her team for neutral damage. Conversely, you could run Crunch to hit Alakazam extra hard. Importantly, Crunch requires little energy per second, so it is the best option for filling up your meter and getting Sierra’s Protect Shields out of the way as quickly as possible.
As an Ice/Fighting-type, Crabominable is a solid choice for your second team member since none of Sierra’s second-slot Pokémon can hit it for super effective damage. Meanwhile, Crabominable’s same-type attack bonus moves threaten all of Sierra’s second-slot Pokémon. Your Crabominable should know Rock Smash as its Fast Attack to counter Lapras and Sharpedo, and Ice Punch as its Charged Attack to counter Flygon.
Finally, Armaldo is a safe pick for your final team member against Sierra in Pokémon GO. Its ideal moveset consists of Struggle Bug as its Fast Attack and Rock Blast as its Charged Attack. Struggle Bug will deal super effective damage to Alakazam and doubly super effective damage to Shiftry, while Rock Blast will deal super effective damage to Houndoom.
Meanwhile, none of those three Pokémon can threaten Armaldo with a super effective attack themselves.
Related: Learn how to defeat gym leader Giovanni on Dot Esports.
Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.