Team Go Rocket Leaders and a New Special Research

After a lot of weird stuff going on in Pokemon Go’s Twitter page, we now have a lot of sneaky shadowy Team Go Rocket stuff going on, with the appearance of three Team Go Rocket Leaders to complete against the normal Leaders of Instinct, Valor and Mystic, as well as rumours of Giovanni hiding in the shadows.

This Pokemon Go update comes in two forms: firstly there’s a new Special Research, which no one really knows much about because the second stage is “spin a Pokestop for 5 days in a row”, which means that no one can race ahead and find out what the rest of the research is. Technically Monday should reveal more but I’m on day 4 of 5 at the time of writing, so I have no idea and neither does anyone else. Step 2 also requires purifying 15 shadow Pokemon, so make sure you save those crappy Zubats. Apparently this quest will lead to a special Super Rocket Radar item which will help you find Giovanni and hunt him down.

But in the mean time, we’ve got Team Go Rocket Leaders to deal with. There’s two men and one woman, designed to be opposites of the three Team Leaders, and they’re all both hidden away and loyal to Giovanni. The way you find them is pretty interesting.

Team Go Rocket Leader map view
The map view from using the 6 mysterious components.

What you need to do is fight 6 Team Go Rocket Grunts, all of whom will drop a Mysterious Component. You can then combine the Components into a special Team Go Rocket Radar tool which gives you a top-down map of the local area. This map will highlight three nearby Pokestops, which work as Leader Hideouts and, once equipped, appears underneath the compass in the top right hand corner.

Each of the three Pokestops will have one of the Team Go Rocket Leaders to fight. Unlike Grunts, Leaders have the ability to use Protective Shields, but they will blow them on the first two attacks the same way the Team Leaders do. Each Leader has their own guaranteed first Pokemon (Meowth, Sneasel, Scyther) and a pool of six random Pokemon for their next two slots – the Leader I fought, Cliff, used Meowth, Flygon and Tyranitar.

Basic guide to Team Rocket Leaders, via reddit
Basic guide to Team Rocket Leaders, via reddit

These Leaders ARE tougher than normal enemies but the way to defeat them is pretty simple – get them to blow their shields on the first Pokemon and make sure you take as general a counter as possible for the other two Pokemon. I took Kyogre and Machamp who would have been strong against the second and third Pokemon and I used Giratina against Meowth only because his fast attacks charge really quickly and I don’t have a Shadow Sneak one powered up yet. Only took me two attempts to beat Cliff.

What do you get as a reward? Apart from the shadow Pokemon (with potential shiny chance), you also get some minor rewards and 1000 stardust. Doesn’t count as a raid but it’s like doing a level 1 raid except harder.

Team Go Rocket Leader defeated
Cliff is defeated by me.

Honestly, I like all this stuff. My only problem is that Team Go Rocket Grunt spawns are very erratic which means if you want a shiny shadow Pokemon, you REALLY gotta work for it. But this is apparently all part of something much larger, involving shadow Legendary Birds Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres.

So yeah, interesting times ahead.


Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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