Team GO Rocket Leaders Update

Be alert, travelers! We received a report that Jessie and James are planning more hijinks, so we compiled a dossier to help prepare you for another Rocket invasion.

Since the introduction of Rocket bosses in 2019, Silph Road Researchers have allied to battle the combined forces of Jessie, James, Boss Giovanni, and the Team GO Rocket Leader trio of Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra over 12,000 times. Thanks to those researchers’ dedication, we’ve been able to compile an accurate picture of the rewards travelers can earn, including items and shiny Shadow Pokémon. Let’s take a look at what they’ve found!

Key Findings

1. Shiny-eligible Shadow Pokémon most likely use the “permaboosted” shiny rate of 1 in 64.
2. Defeating Arlo, Cliff, or Sierra rewards two item bundles including Hyper Potions, Max Potions, Revives, Max Revives, Unova Stones, or a Strange Egg.
3. Defeating Giovanni (when available) rewards three item bundles including Max Potions or Max Revives.

Shadow Pokémon Shiny Rate

Shiny Shadow Pokémon can be found after defeating either a Team GO Rocket Leader (Arlo, Cliff, or Sierra) or the troublesome duo of Jessie and James.¹ After careful data collection from Silph Researchers, we can confirm that the probability of receiving a shiny Shadow Pokémon is approximately

1 in 64

(the exact observed rate was 1 in 59 with a 95% confidence interval of 1/52 to 1/68)

which matches the permaboost category of our shiny database.

There was no difference in the shiny rate between Shadow Pokémon rescued from Jessie/James and those rescued from the Team GO Rocket Leaders. Shadow Pokémon from Jessie and James were shiny 66 times in 4,233 encounters, for an observed rate of 1/64 (95% CI of 1/52 to 1/84), while Shadow Pokémon from the Rocket Leader trio were shiny 140 times in 7,825 encounters for an observed rate of 1/56 (95% CI of 1/48 to 1/67)

Item Drop Rates

In addition to the updated information on the rate of shiny Shadow Pokémon, we also gathered intelligence on item drop rates from the Leader trio and Boss Giovanni. Silph Researchers recorded item reward data from the most recent 1,166 Leader battles and 219 Giovanni battles.

Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra

Defeating one of the Team GO Rocket Leader trio earns you two item bundles. If at least one of your egg inventory slots is open, a 12km Strange Egg is guaranteed to replace one of those two bundles. With that exception, reward bundles can be any combination of items from the eligible bundles shown in the chart below. Receiving a Strange Egg does not have an effect on which item bundle drops alongside the egg.

Item Bundle Quantity Observed Drop Rate Suspected Weight
Hyper Potion 4 31.32% 6/20
Max Potion 2 18.80% 4/20
Revive 4 28.61% 6/20
Max Revive 2 15.41% 3/20
1 5.86% 1/20


Defeating Team GO Rocket Boss Giovanni yields three item bundles, each of which has an equal chance of containing 4 Max Potions or 4 Max Revives. As an example, a typical reward drop might contain 8 Max Potions and 4 Max Revives. A Unova Stone, five Rare Candies, one Charged TM, and one Fast TM were additional guaranteed rewards until July 2020. Giovanni does not drop Strange Eggs as a reward, regardless of open egg inventory slots.

Parting Words

Thanks to the dedication of our Silph Team, you now have inside information on the workings of the nefarious Team GO Rocket. We have fought hard, but Team GO Rocket continues to menace the safety of Pokémon across world. Until next time, get out there and battle!


Author: Lead Researcher DeeDillyDawn
Analysts: Scientists Draxado, Pancake, and Titleist
Project Leaders: Scientist Draxado and Lead Researcher AlertedFancy
Artist: Scientist WoodWoseWulf
Editors: Scientist Cham1nade and Senior Researcher JinianD


¹The only exception to this rule is on rare occasions when Male and Female Grunts rewarded Pokémon in one shadow rotation that were to be used by Rocket Leaders in the next rotation. During the brief periods between activation of the shiny and line-up change, those specific shiny Shadow Pokémon could be obtained from Male and Female Grunts. Niantic has also made the mistake in reverse, when from October 21 through October 28, 2020, shiny Shadow Pokémon were unobtainable.

²This chart breaks down the number of observed shiny encounters for each shiny-eligible Shadow Pokémon.

Species Total Seen Total Shiny
Absol 130 1
Aerodactyl 358 6
Bagon 103 1
Beldum 878 18
Carvanha 444 12
Drowzee 618 16
Ekans 1,290 16
Grimer 470 10
Growlithe 574 13
Koffing 1,277 16
Lapras 714 10
Mawile 228 3
Meowth 223 5
Omanyte 580 6
Pineco 580 16
Pinsir 1,020 19
Scyther 1,048 21
Seedot 332 5
Sneasel 691 9
Stantler 84 0
Venonat 416 3
Totals 12,058 206