Rocket Leader battles

So, it seems that Rocket Leader battles (rocket battles with Cliff, Arlo, and Sienna) are now a thing provided that you live in or near London UK, Austin TX, San Francisco CA, or Atlanta, GA. Some questions:

  1. To the trainers in those cities: how are they working out? Do you like them? Are the mechanics hard? Are the battles fair, or is it frustrating to go up against Cliff’s Meowth with a CP around 5000? (I don’t know the CP, just guessed at that number.) Do you get components every time you beat a rocket grunt, or only sometimes? Is the selection of Execs reasonable, or are you stuck with just a few in the area? Do the Exec hideouts appear at pokestops, gyms, or at some other places? I assume the fights are like grunt battles, but with the enemy using shields, and trainers having to heal/revive pokemon afterwards.

  2. Have more cities been added to the list? I would have thought a city in Japan would be a no-brainer; Hong Kong would probably overwhelm all the pokemon go servers in the world. How about Europe? Australia? And do we expect this to go live city by city and region by region, or will they just throw the global switch once everything is working properly (wouldn’t that be a pleasant surprise, for a new feature to work right from startup)?

  3. To other trainers: are you annoyed that your hometown wasn’t chosen? Any thoughts on how long this will take to roll out in full? Is this an extended Beta test, or is it a staggered rollout? I would have thought that they would have rolled it out like friends and trading and some other features - first level 40 players, then marching down in level to spread out the load.

Personally, I had a good selection of the Regis already, including a perfect Registeel, I caught enough Darkrai, and Cobalion doesn’t really excite me (although I’m sure I’ll catch 5-10 in the next few weeks). So right now I’m kind of bored in the game, nothing pressing to power up, several lucky trades (9) ready to make but not a high priority, etc. I do PvP, as well as a good number of rocket battles, so I’ve been waiting for this for some time, and am now feeling some frustration (which will pass once it goes live here).


I am definitely looking forward to rocket leaders, but for right now the snow just started falling by me and im loving all the shieldons, swinubs, and magnemites popping up so i can work on better teams for future raids.


I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little surprised that Chicago and no places in Japan got put on that list. Both have been Pokemon Go FEST locations, and in Japan Pokemon Go is absolutely massive. Pretty high playerbase in Chicago too. So yeah, I’m a little annoyed that Chicago isn’t on the list here since I really would’ve liked to give it a try.

Maybe they precisely didn’t want to launch the feature in an area with too many players? They are obviously doing a trial run, better not to trigger too many errors. Maybe these locations are high density (human, not players) urban areas but still with less active players than Chicago?


I’m pretty sure that’s exactly it. Niantic is based in the SF area, I think, and they may have some connections in Austin too. London and Atlanta seem pretty random, though. When I was in London for a few days over the summer, the PoGO scene there seemed pretty well developed, lots of gyms, stops, etc., and what looked like a large player base, so it’s not a small Beta test there. (Sent friends gifts from the stops at the Crown Jewels and the Tower of London. It was ironic that as the tour guide was telling us that the Tower of London has never been captured by an enemy force, there was a Rocket incursion there, …)

I just wish they would be a bit more transparent with letting the rest of us know when this will be live.

I haven’t had the opportunity to battle the Rocket leaders (not available in my area), but from what I’m told, the only big difference between them and grunts is the fact that they use shields. Also, their lineups may be a bit more varied. Cliff was reported using Meowth, Snorlax, Tyranitar, for instance.

As a Chicagoland resident, I too am mildly annoyed by this. My guess is we’ll be able to participate in these battles soon, once Niantic is done with this test phase.

Test time should not be too long, I believe at most it can be is two weeks. this is because they have teased this event so much it would kill the hype if they make us wait for too long. Also a very interesting fact is the Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres on the pokedex are already showing up as a purified option. today I entered the Dex just for a new entry I got with Articuno and it it showed the following:
1 seen/1 captured/0 lucky/0 purified.

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I agree. The most frustrating thing is that every day just after 1:00 PST (4:00 here on the east coast), I’ll be trying to take down a rocket grunt so that I can see if I get a mysterious component. This will continue until it launches. It’s like Christmas morning, but for a kid who doesn’t know from calendars and dates, …


We now have some clarity. The twitter feed mentions Willow decoded a message from Rocket. All he got was ‘the time is now *** 11/7 *** Gvi’. So something is likely going down tomorrow. Happy hunting.

This morning was doing a rocket raid at 9 AM (EST, USA). Won the raid, and caught the shadow pokemon. My timing was such that I got credit for catching the shadow pokemon in the new quest (after 9 AM), but did not get credit for defeating the grunt (which happened just before 9 AM, I guess). No big deal, I can beat three more today.

More importantly, I also got a Mysterious Component. Five more to go, …

I have fight my first rocket leader, Arlo, and he was really difficult: He had Scyther, Crobat and Scyzor. I am a lvl 39 player with a lvl 38 Rampardos, which I usually use to beat Candela for the daily reward, the Scyther has a flying fast move, which Rampardos resist, and even then Rampardos beat it a hit before faint…then the other two mon crush me. I needed to tweak my team a little and then I was able to defeat him.

The difficult lvl is interesting and challenging, at least for now, but currently I can’t imagine casuals having a good time fighting them.

I wonder if Aggron might be a good anchor for that fight. Higher resistance profile and bulk to tank those killer fast moves. As for the ‘casuals’, the Rocket battles are level dependant, meaning a lvl 20 trainer will see lower CP 'mon than you at lvl 39. Still, I like that these require more skill!

Rampardos is a glass cannon and has no use in Rocket Battles. Use a Smack Down Tyranitar or Aggron against non-Bug type moves (can also use A-Golem). Use Heatran against bug type moves.

Ok I will lvl up the Rampardos to lvl 40, because I will jump from a cliff before leveling up and Aggron in pkm Go…and I don’t have a CD Tyrannitar (even the non CD ones, a long with a bunch of Weaviles, become delicious candies after Darkrai release…and I regret nothing!).

Tried Aggron, despite the good matchup, he struggled, and it was a long road to burn Arlo’s shields.

I ended up having the most success with Rhyperior. I’ve powered him up a bit more and bought a second move (Surf) because it’s his lowest energy move. Smack Down will take out Scyther, and Surf will knock out two shields. Afterwards I might even have enough energy to toss a stone edge on the next foe.

Best approach is to take something for Scyther, and two pokemon to get whatever’s next. (Could be Gary, Crobat, or Magnezone.) Then try to take out the third, and if you fail, you exit the battle knowing all three enemies to face. Electric and Ground cover the second possibilities well.

That’s a must-have. I suggest you try and get a purified larvitar from a rocket battle, and if they let last year’s CD moves in for this December, get yourself a good Smacktar. The purified Larvitar I have is also lucky, seems like it will be almost free to power it up. 4000 dust to go from 39.5 to 40, and 13 candy (14?).

Yes, I have been collecting some good Larvitars in case we have a rerun on December(although my hopes are more inclined on Metagross). But even if the rerun happens and a I get CD Tyrannitars I probably will keep them for the possibility of a Mega Evolution.

:joy: Shame. Aggron is pretty beast in PvP/Rocket battles and very cheap to get. Weather-boosted spawns are common and it doesn’t need to be lvl40 to perform, almost all movesets are viable (sans Iron Tail) and 2nd move is cheap. Resistances stack up especially well against common Rocket grunts. Barring Aggron, get a good A-Golem (harder to find at high lvl though).

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I have a near perfect A-Golem for collection, but I will fight blood thirsty sharks in the middle of the ocean before leveling up a Golem.

What if you had the chance to fight a shark on land?