Pokémon GO Giovanni Counters (June 2023)

Guide on how to defeat Team GO Rocket Boss Giovanni in Pokémon GO during the month of June 2023. Includes current Giovanni's Pokémon line-up, best counters, best teams to use, and rewards for defeating Rocket Boss Giovanni.


Discover the ultimate strategy for finding and defating Giovanni in Pokémon GO throughout June 2023. Learn how to pinpoint Giovanni’s location, how to defeat him, and which Pokémon are the best counters for Giovanni’s Pokémon. Defeating Giovanni rewards 4× Shadow Shards.

Giovanni makes a comeback in June 2023, armed with the elusive Shadow Regice and a handpicked lineup of Shadow Pokémon, including Nidoking, Kingler, and Kingdra. 

As the notorious Team GO Rocket Boss in Pokémon GO, Giovanni commands the relentless Team GO Rocket Leaders Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra. Don’t miss our comprehensive Grunts Lineups and Counters Guide for more insights and tips to enhance your gameplay.

💡 Note: In Trainer Battles, counters need not always be Pokémon that do super-effective damage. We include Pokémon that are more viable to defeat Giovanni, rather than those who do maximum damage.

Giovanni’s Shadow Pokémon Line-Up

Giovanni uses the following Shadow Pokémon during the month of June 2023:

  • Giovanni’s first Pokémon is Shadow Persian
  • Giovanni’s second Pokémon can be Shadow Nidoking, Shadow Kingler, or Shadow Kingdra.
  • Giovanni’s third Pokémon is Shadow Regice

In order to find Giovanni, you need to complete the From The Shadows Team GO Rocket Special Research.

Best team to defeat Giovanni

To beat Giovannni’s current Pokemon, you need to exploit their weaknesses and use best counters you can use to defeat each one. One of the best Teams you can use against Team GO Rocket Giovanni in Pokémon GO is Machamp, Primarina, and Tyranitar.

  • Machamp – or any other strong Fighting-type – is a great choice against Giovanni, as  Persian and Regice are weak to Fighting-type moves, and you more or less want a Fighting-type on your team.
  • Tyranitar is an amazing Rock and Dark-type that will easily counter Persian, and do strong damage against Nidoking and Regice. A combination of Rock-type quick move and Dark and Rock-type charge moves is perfect.
  • Primarina is a strong choice to defeat Giovanni’s Nidoking and Kingdra, with some use against Persian, and Kingler. Primarina is a great Fairy and Water-type hybrid, which can carry a lot of this fight on it’s own.

Best Pokémon to defeat Giovanni’s Persian

Persian (Shadow)

Open with a strong Pokémon that can burn Giovanni’s shields efficiently – the aim is at least one. Since we are always facing Persian, we strongly recommend going with a strong Fighting type.

Persian is a Normal-type Pokémon. It is weak to Fighting type moves. It takes reduced damage from Ghost type moves.

Persian Counters
Pokémon Moves
Terrakion Double Kick, Sacred Sword, Rock Slide
Tyranitar Smack Down, Crunch, Stone Edge
Lucario Counter, Power-Up Punch, Shadow Ball
Machamp Counter, Close Combat, Stone Edge

Additional picks include Breloom (with Dynamic Punch) and Galarian Zapdos with Ancient Power, but also the good ol’ Scrafty with Counter and Power-Up Punch. Some of these will be great for Cloyster and Regice as well.

Defeat Giovanni’s Nidoking, Kingler and Kingdra (Second Pokémon)

Follow up with a Pokémon that is super effective against Giovanni’s pick, but be careful who you are against. Nidoking is weak to Ground and Water, and then Kingler is weak to Grass and Electric, and Kingdra is weak to Fairy and Dragon, so there’s quite a lot of variety.

Nidoking counters

Nidoking (Shadow)

Nidoking is a Poison and Ground-type Pokémon. It is weak to Ground, Ice, Psychic, and Water type moves. It takes reduced damage from Bug, Fairy, Fighting, Rock, Electric, and Poison type moves.

Nidoking Counters
Pokémon Moves
Rhyperior Mud Slap, Rock Wrecker, Surf
Kyogre Waterfall, Surf, Blizzard
Swampert Mud Shot, Hydro Cannon, Earthquake
Mamoswine Powder Snow, Avalanche, Ancient Power

Kingdra counters

Kingdra (Shadow)

Kingdra is a Water and Dragon-type Pokémon. It is weak to Dragon and Fairy type moves. It takes reduced damage from Steel, Fire, and Water type moves.

Kingdra Counters
Pokémon Moves
Dragonite Dragon Tail, Dragon Claw, Superpower
Togekiss Charm, Ancient Power, Flamethrower
Primarina Charm, Moonblast, Hydro Pump
Gardevoir Charm, Synchronoise, Shadow Ball
Clefable Charm, Moonblast, Meteor Mash

Kingler counters

Kingler (Shadow)

Kingler is a Water-type Pokémon. It is weak to Electric, and Grass type moves. It takes reduced damage from Fire, Ice, Steel, and Water type moves.

Kingler Counters
Pokémon Moves
Kartana Razor Leaf, Leaf Blade, Night Slash
Raikou Volt Switch, Wild Charge, Shadow Ball
Torterra Razor Leaf, Frenzy Plant, Stone Edge
Ampharos Volt Switch, Brutal Swing, Thunder Punch
Sceptile Bullet Seed, Leaf Blade, Dragon Claw

Defeat Giovanni’s Regice

Regice (Shadow)

Finish your Giovanni encounter by dealing large amounts of super effective damage to Regice, which shouldn’t pose a big problem, given it’s weaknesses.

Regice is a Ice-type Pokémon. It is weak to Fighting, Fire, Rock, and Steel type moves. It takes reduced damage from Ice type moves.

Regice Counters
Pokémon Moves
Terrakion Double Kick, Sacred Sword, Rock Slide
Blaziken Counter, Blaze Kick, Blast Burn
Tyranitar Smack Down, Crunch, Stone Edge
Lucario Counter, Power-Up Punch, Shadow Ball
Machamp Counter, Cross Chop, Rock Slide
Entei Fire Spin, Flame Charge, Iron Head

How to find Giovanni in Pokémon GO

In order to find Giovanni, you need to complete a currently active Team GO Rocket Special Research. Depending on the time you played, this can vary. Currently, Giovanni has returned with Shadow Mewtwo as part of the Team GO Rocket Takeover Event, and the Special Research quest is called Ultra Beast Protection Efforts.

Once you complete the fourth step of the current Rocket Special Research, you will get a Super Rocket Radar.

  • It works like a regular Rocket Radar, but it tracks Giovanni, not GO Rocket leaders.
  • The Super Rocket Radar doesn’t immediately lead you to Giovanni; it displays locations of both decoy Grunts disguised as Giovanni and Giovanni’s actual Hideout.
  • You’ll need to approach each PokéStop and investigate yourself to find where Giovanni’s hiding.
  • You can rematch if you lose, and your Super Rocket Radar will be consumed if you win.

Rewards for defeating Giovanni in Pokémon GO

Trainers who manage to defeat Giovanni will receive selection of rare reward bundles, including the chance to get a Legendary Shadow Pokémon.

  • Trainers receive 5,000 Stardust for defeating Giovanni
  • Defeating Giovanni (when available) rewards three item bundles including Max Potions or Max Revives
  • Trainers have the opportunity to catch the Legendary Shadow Pokémon used by Giovanni at the moment of defeating him. 
  • Giovanni does not drop Strange Eggs as a reward, regardless of open egg inventory slots.

Reward bundles


Stardust icon 5000× Stardust

Random drop of three of these (can stack)

  • Revive icon 4× Revive
  • Max Revive icon 4× Max Revive
  • Hyper Potion icon 4× Hyper Potion
  • Max Potion icon 4× Max Potion
  • Unova Stone icon 1× Unova Stone

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.

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