Pokémon GO Giovanni Guide

How to defeat Team GO Rocket Boss Giovanni

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Defeat Giovanni in Pokémon GO! A guide on how to defeat the Team GO Rocket boss Giovanni in Pokémon GO. This page describes how to find Giovanni, how to defeat him and which Pokémon are the best counters for Giovanni’s Pokémon.

Giovanni has returned, equipped with Shadow Latios and a select few Shadow Pokémon. Our guide has been updated accordingly.

💡 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 Pokémon Lineup

GO Rocket Leader Giovanni uses the following Pokémon: Persian as his first Pokémon,  Nidoking, Machamp or Rhyperior as his second Pokémon and Shadow Latios as his final Pokémon.

Countering Giovanni’s Shadow Pokémon

Persian

Persian

Weak to Fighting, resist Ghost.

Persian uses Dark and Normal fast moves, and it uses Dark, Rock or Fairy charge moves. This combination makes Lucario, Machamp, Buzzwole and Galarian Zapdos some of the best counters for Shadow Persian. Melmetal needs to have Super Power Fighting to be effective. The aim with Persian is to get those shields down as quickly as possible, if it has Scratch it is going to hit hard, so be warned!

Recommended counters

Pokémon Fast move
Lucario
  • Counter Fighting
  • Power-Up Punch Fighting
  • Aura Sphere Fighting
Buzzwole
  • Counter Fighting
  • Power-Up Punch Fighting
  • Superpower Fighting
Zapdos (Galarian)
  • Counter Fighting
  • Ancient Power Rock
  • Brave Bird Flying
Machamp
  • Counter Fighting
  • Cross Chop Fighting
  • Rock Slide Rock
Hariyama
  • Counter Fighting
  • Close Combat Fighting
  • Heavy Slam Steel
Tyranitar
  • Smack Down Rock
  • Crunch Dark
  • Stone Edge Rock

Nidoking

Nidoking

Giovanni’s Shadow Nidoking is weak to Ground, Ice, Psychic and Water types. There are many powerful options for these types, so Shadow Nidoking shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Recommended counters

Pokémon Moves
Rhyperior
  • Mud Slap Ground 
  • Surf Water
  • Rock Wrecker Rock
Empoleon
  • Waterfall Water
  • Hydro Cannon Water
  • Flash Cannon Steel
Excadrill
  • Mud Slap Ground 
  • Drill Run Ground
  • Rock Slide Rock
Jirachi
  • Confusion Psychic
  • Psychic Psychic
  • Doom Desire Steel
Swampert
  • Mud Shot Ground
  • Hydro Cannon Water

Rhyperior

Rhyperior

Giovanni’s Shadow Rhyperior is 2x weak to Grass and Water moves, but also 1x weak to Ground, Fighting, Ice and Steel! We will use these weaknesses heavily to counter it, while also leaning into Pokémon which take reduced damage from its fast moves.

Rhyperior’s pool of charge moves is pretty wide and scary, so it’s better to shield and defeat it before he has a chance to use it.

Recommended counters

Pokémon Moves
Torterra
  • Razor Leaf Grass
  • Frenzy Plant Grass
  • Stone Edge Rock
Kyogre
  • Waterfall Water
  • Surf Water
Swampert
  • Mud Shot Ground
  • Hydro Cannon Water
Gyarados
  • Dragon Breath Dragon
  • Aqua Tail Water
  • Crunch Dark
Shaymin (Sky)
  • Hidden Power Grass
  • Grass Knot Grass
  • Energy Ball Grass

Wild pick: Empoleon with Waterfall and Hydro Cannon

Machamp

Machamp

Giovanni’s Shadow Machamp is weak to Fairy, Psychic and Flying types. Your best bet is to stick with those high damage Fairy counters as Machamp doesn’t really have answer to a Fairy type like Gardevoir. However, Rock Slide can deal massive damage to Togekiss and other Flying types; so be wary of that. Mewtwo is always reliable.

Recommended counters

Pokémon Moves
Mewtwo
  • Psycho Cut Psychic or Confusion Psychic
  • Psystrike Psychic or Psychic Psychic
Gardevoir
  • Charm Fairy
  • Psychic Psychic or Synchronoise Psychic
  • Dazzling Gleam Fairy
Togekiss
  • Charm Fairy
  • Dazzling Gleam Fairy
Sylveon
  • Charm Fairy
  • Moonblast Psychic
Rayquaza
  • Air Slash Flying
  • Hurricane Flying

Wild picks: Moltres, Primarina, Honchkrow.

Latios

Latios

Giovanni’s Shadow Latios is weak to Bug Dark Dragon Ice Fairy and Ghost. As such, there are a wide range of counters to choose from. With access to Dragon type moves, it may be worth skipping your dragon counters as it will quickly decimate them. However, certain new dragons in the town are worth going with if Shadow Latios is using Psychic moves.

Recommended counters

Pokémon Moves
Togekiss
  • Charm Fairy
  • Ancient Power Rock
  • Flamethrower Fire
Primarina
  • Charm Fairy
  • Moonblast Fairy
  • Hydro Pump Water
Sylveon
  • Charm Fairy
  • Moonblast Fairy
  • Psyshock Psychic
Gardevoir
  • Charm Fairy
  • Synchronoise Psychic
  • Shadow Ball Ghost
Ninetales (Alola)
  • Powder Snow Ice
  • Weather Ball (Ice) Ice
  • Psyshock Psychic

Other options include Togekiss with Fairy moves, any other powerful Dragon types or Dark type like Weavile or Darkrai.

How to find Giovanni

In order to find Giovanni, you need to complete a currently active Special Research. Depending on the time you played, this can vary. Once you complete a particular step of the 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 receive Giovanni Special Research once per month. Currently, Giovanni has returned with Shadow Latias as part of the All-Hands Rocket Retreat Event.

More Team GO Rocket Guides

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