As you progress through the “Looming in the Shadows” Special Research quest, you’re eventually tasked with defeating all three Team GO Rocket Leaders. One of these leaders is Sierra. Here’s how to find and beat her.
How to Find Sierra
According to a new blog post from Niantic, Team GO Rocket Grunts may now drop Mysterious Components when defeated. Assemble six of those to make Rocket Radars that can be used to sniff out the Team GO Rocket Leaders and battle them. Once you craft one, you can equip or unequip it from your bag. Tap the Rocket Radar button below the compass to activate the Rocket Radar. Using the Rocket Radar reveals all the Leader Hideouts in range, according to Niantic’s support website. They resemble regular PokeStops until you get within range of them, at which point the Team GO Rocket Leader will appear next to the PokeStop. Be careful as Leaders are more powerful than the average Grunt. If you lose a battle against the Leader, you can challenge them again until the Leader Hideout disappears from the map. Once you defeat them, the Rocket Radar breaks.
Even though players with Rocket Radars are the only ones able to detect hideouts for the leaders, they can still collaborate since hideouts appear to players in the same places, according to the blog post. After you create your first Rocket Radar, the items will then be available to purchase from the in-game shop with PokeCoins, according to Niantic’s support website. Only players level eight and above can get Mysterious Components and take on the Leaders, according to the website.
According to Pokemon Go Hub, bosses are only available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Update (July 7, 2020): The Team GO Rocket Leaders can now appear in Team GO Rocket Balloons that appear occasionally in the overworld. You have to have a Rocket Radar equipped for that to happen, though.
Best Counters for Fighting Sierra (Update: October 12, 2020)
Drowzee – Giratina, Darkrai, Gengar, Mewtwo (w/ Shadow Ball), Scizor
Exeggutor (Grass/Psychic) – Scizor, Genesect, Pinsir, Resiram, Heatran, Hydreigon, Darkrai, Giratina (Origin), Alolan Muk, Venusaur, Mamoswine, Glaceon Lapras (Water/Ice) – Machamp, Raikou, Zapdos, Electrivire, Venusaur, Tyranitar Sharpedo (Water/Dark) – Togekiss, Machamp, Raikou, Zapdos, Electrivire, Scizor, Genesect, Virizion, Tangrowth
Shiftry (Grass/Dark) – Scizor, Genesect, Pinsir, Togekiss, Machamp, Reshiram, Heatran, Mamoswine, Alolan Muk, Venusaur Houndoom (Fire/Dark) – Togekiss, Machamp, Groudon, Garchomp, Rhyperior, Tyranitar, Kyogre Alakazam (Psychic) – Darkrai, Hydreigon, Giratina (Origin Form), Mewtwo (w/ Shadow Ball), Pinsir, Scizor
Below is the team composition we recommend for the initial fight. If you get defeated, you can retry with a new team that will be more optimized since you know what Pokemon Sierra is actually using and so know what counters to use.
Machamp – Counter & Cross Chop/Rock Slide
Scizor – Fury Cutter & X-Scissor/Night Slash
Togekiss – Charm & Dazzling Gleam/Flamethrower
Break through Sierra’s shields with Cross Chop while taking down Lapras. Then switch to Scizor for Exeggutor and Shiftry or Togekiss for Sharpedo, Houndoom, or any other Pokemon that doesn’t resist its attacks.
Tips for Defeating Sierra
Unlike standard Team GO Rocket Grunts, Leaders can use Shields. Leaders will use up one of their shields every time you use a Charge Move, so it’s good to have a Pokemon with a Charge Move that has a low energy requirement – such as Machamp with Cross Chop – so you can burn through their shields quickly and hit their later Pokemon hard with a stronger Charge Move with a higher energy requirement.
According to a set of tips from user Paraprosdokian7 and LanAkou, the Pokemon used by Team GO Rocket Leaders have souped up attack stats. That means that it’s not only important to use Pokemon that can deal super effective damage but ones that can resist their attacks. You can bait the leaders into using up all their shields quickly if you use fast charging Charge Moves constantly in the beginning. That way your more powerful Charge Moves can hit the opponent without a hitch. If you can kill a Pokemon easily with Fast Moves, save up your Charge Moves for the next Pokemon they send out especially if that Pokemon isn’t weak to your Fast Moves. Click on the links on each user for more info.
Rewards include 1,000 Stardust and two of the following rewards: one Unova Stone, one Sinnoh Stone, one Max Revive, three Revives, one Max Potion or three Max Potions according to The Silph Road Subreddit. You’ll also get to capture one of the Shadow Pokemon used by the leader with a chance of them being shiny, according to Pokemon GO Hub.
Best Counters for Fighting Sierra (Pokemon GO Fest 2020)
Beldum (Steel/Psychic) – Darkrai, Giratina (Origin or Altered), Groudon, Garchomp
Houndoom (Fire/Dark) – Machamp, Conkeldurr, Kyogre, Swampert, Groudon, Garchomp, Rhyperior, Terrakion, Tyranitar(
Shadow Zapdos (Electric/Flying) – Mamoswine, Glaceon, Rhyperior, Tyranitar, Terrakion
Below is the team composition we recommend for the initial fight.
Giratina (Origin Form) – Shadow Claw & Shadow Ball
Groudon – Mud Shot & Earthquake
Rhyperior – Smack Down & Rock Wrecker
Two of Sierra’s Pokemon are weak to ground while Zapdos is weak to ice and rock, so have those Pokemon on your team.
Best Counters for Fighting Sierra (Original: November 7, 2019)
Here are all the Pokemon Sierra is known to use according to reports. We also included the best counters to use against them:
Sneasel – Machamp, Rampardos, Tyranitar, Metagross, Dialga, Moltres, Blaziken
Hypno – Giratina (Origin Forme), Darkrai, Tyranitar, Mewtwo (w/ Shadow Ball), Metagross
Lapras – Machamp, Magnezone, Raikou, Metagross
Sableye – Gardevoir, Togekiss, Granbull
Alakazam – Giratina (Origin Form), Darkrai, Tyranitar, Mewtwo (w/ Shadow Ball), Metagross
Houndoom – Machamp, Rampardos, Tyranitar, Groudon, Kyogre
Gardevoir – Metagross, Dialga, Giratina (Origin Form), Mewtwo (w/ Shadow Ball), Roserade (w/ poison-type attacks)
To take on Sierra, you’ll need at least one really good fighting-type and at least one really good rock-type. Tyranitar is a good choice for taking on Sierra’s Pokemon that are weak to rock- and dark-type moves, namely Sneasel, Hypno, Lapras, Alakazam and Houndoom. Sableye is only weak to fairy-type moves, so having a fairy-type on your team isn’t a bad idea thought it might be better to include a ghost or dark-type instead for more coverage.
Here’s the team composition we recommend: Machamp, Tyranitar, Mewtwo (w/ Psycho Cut & Shadow Ball)/Metagross. You’re welcome to make your own team, of course.
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