[2023] How to Successfully Beat Giovanni in Pokemon Go

Simon Crawford | Mar 02, 2023

Gamer and big fan of Pokémon Go. Also, a copywriter who consistently shared tips & tricks about Pokémon Go since 2017, helping new trainers become experts.

Are you gearing up to face Giovanni in Pokemon Go? If so, you should brace yourself for a tough fight and ensure you have a powerful roster before jumping into the battle. Beating Giovanni will require you to know the best lineup of counters and moves.

Now, if you need to learn how to plan your attack, this article is for you. In this guide, I will explain how to beat the Team Go Rocket boss successfully. Keep reading.

Team Go Rocket leader Giovanni

Team Go Rocket leader Giovanni

Basic Information About Giovanni

Giovanni is the boss of Team Go Rocket on Pokemon Go and is one of the most challenging characters to beat. He was a secretive Gym Leader of the Viridian Gym and would hand out the Earth Badge to Trainers who beat him. As a Gym leader, Giovanni also specialized in Ground-type Pokemon, but with a master plan of collecting any rare Pokemon.

To win him, you need to beat his lineup, which is not fixed. On November 14, 2023, his team was changed and updated.

The 3 Phases of Beating Giovanni on November 14, 2023

Phase 1 Giovanni always starts with Persian
Phase 2 He will select a random Pokemon from a pool of ‘Nidoking, Machamp, and Rhyperior’ or ‘Nidoqueen, Steelix, and Rhyperior’
Phase 3 Giovanni had Shadow Latios until November 14th, but he may have changed to another Shadow Pokemon.
Ultra Hero medal

Ultra Hero medal

Now that you know Giovanni's background and what you stand to win by defeating him and his team members, let us look at the three phases you must conquer to beat him.

Phase 1: Defeat Persian

Giovanni opens up fights with Persian, and this is generally the easiest phase. Since Persian is a normal-type Pokemon, it is weak to fighting type attacks but resistant to Ghost-type attacks. This makes it easier to decide which Pokemon to use against it.

Persian Pokemon

Persian Pokemon

Below are the counters you should use when fighting Persian to stand the best chance of success:

Recommended Counters Recommended Moves
Conkeldurr Counter (Fast Move) and Focus Blast (Charge Move)
Hariyama Counter (Fast Move) and Dynamic Punch (Charge Move)
Lucario Counter (Fast Move) and Aura Sphere (Charge Move)
Machamp Counter (Fast Move) and Dynamic Punch (Charge Move)
Breloom Counter (Fast Move) and Dynamic Punch (Charge Move)

Phase 2: Beat Hard-hitters With Lots of HP

Once you are done with Persian, Giovanni summons stronger attackers with many Hit Points (HP), so you should be ready.

I have created a suggestion matchup based on past experiences.

a. Nidoqueen Counters

This is a ground-type Pokemon which means it is weak against ice, psychic, ground, and water-type moves. On the other hand, Nidoqueen is immune to fairy, electric, bug, poison, rock-type, and fighting attacks.

Nidoqueen Pokemon

Nidoqueen Pokemon

Recommended Counters Recommended Moves
Mewtwo Psycho Cut (Fast Move) and Psychic/Psystrike (Charge Move)
Kyogre Waterfall (Fast Move) and Surf (Charge Move)
Garchomp Mud Shot (Fast Move) and Earthquake (Charge Move)
Glaceon Ice Shard (Fast Move) and Avalanche (Charge Move)
Galarian Darmanitan Ice Fang (Fast Move) and Avalanche (Charge Move)

b. Steelix Counters

Steelix is a Steel and Ground-type Pokemon with a vast pool of moves, high defense, and strong damage output. The counter you pick heavily depends on its first move. Steelix is weak to water, fire, fighting, and ground moves.

Steelix Pokemon

Steelix Pokemon

Recommended Counters Recommended Moves
Conkeldurr Counter (Fast Move) and Dynamic Punch (Charge Move)
Darmanitan Fire Fang (Fast Move) and Overheat (Charge Move)
Reshiram Fire Fang (Fast Move) and Overheat (Charge Move)
Swampert Water Gun (Fast Move) and Hydro Cannon (Charge Move)
Entei Fire Fang (Fast Move) and Overheat (Charge Move)

c. Nidoking Counters

Nidoking is a Ground and Poison-type Pokemon that is weak to ground, ice, water, and psychic-type moves.

 Nidoking Pokemon

Nidoking Pokemon

Recommended Counters Recommended Moves
JirachiStee Confusion (Fast Move) & Psychic (Charged Move)
Glaceon Ice Shard (Fast Move) & Avalanche (Charged Move)
Garchomp Mud-Slap (Fast Move) and Earthquake (Charged Move)

d. Machamp Counters

This is a fighting-type Pokemon. Machamp is weak to flying, psychic, and fairy-type moves.

Machamp Pokemon

Machamp Pokemon

Recommended Counters Recommended Moves
Sylveon Charm (Fast Move) and Moonblast (Charged Move)
Gardevoir Charm (Fast Move) and Dazzling Gleam (Charged Move)
Mewtwo Confusion (Fast Move) and Psystrike (Charged Move)

e. Rhyperior Counters

Rhyperior is a Ground and Rock-type Pokemon, which makes it 2x times weak against Water and Grass-type moves. This Pokemon is also vulnerable to Steel, Ground, Ice, and Fighting-type attacks. On the other hand, Rhyperior has a vast pool of charge moves.

Rhyperior Pokemon

Rhyperior Pokemon

Recommended Counters Recommended Moves
Torterra Razor Leaf (Fast Move) and Frenzy Plant (Charge Move)
Kyogre Waterfall (Fast Move) and Surf (Charge Move)
Empoleon Waterfall (Fast Move) and Hydro Cannon (Charge Move)
Zarude Vine Whip (Fast Move) and Power Whip (Charge Move)
Swampert Mud Shot (Fast Move) and Hydro Cannon (Charge Move)

Phase 3: The Hardest Part - Beating Giovanni

The third phase is the last, but it is the hardest since you will fight Giovanni's legendary Pokemon. This is the Pokemon you get to capture once you defeat him.

As I write this article, Giovanni's legendary Pokemon is Shadow Mewtwo, but this character changes over time. You can visit follow the pokemon go updates to track his latest Pokemon.

Mewtwo Pokemon

Mewtwo Pokemon

Recommended Counters Recommended Moves
Darkrai Snarl (Fast Move) and Dark Pulse (Charge Move)
Hydreigon Bite (Fast Move) and Brutal Swing (Charge Move)
Chandelure Hex (Fast Move) and Shadow Ball (Charge Move)
Hoopa Astonish (Fast Move) and Shadow Ball (Charge Move)
Zarude Bite (Fast Move) and Dark Pulse (Charge Move)

Giovanni is a more formidable fighter than the Rocket Leaders and Grunts you fought to get to him. His Pokemons can deplete your health rapidly if you don't have appropriate counters.

But don't worry, you can rematch the Rocket boss immediately. As long as you have the right counters to exploit the weaknesses in his Pokemons, you will beat him.

What's the Best Teams to Defeat Giovanni in Pokemon Go?

Having the right team makes it easier to beat Giovanni. One of the best combinations you can use comprises Conkeldurr, Kyogre, and Hydreigon.

Conkeldurr is effective when fighting Persian, the phase one Pokemon. In phase two's face-off against one of three potential Pokemons, Kyogre, a powerful water-type character, is the ideal fighter.

Finally, a strong ghost or dark-type Pokemon is the best for battling Shadow Mewtwo. For this fight, I recommend Hydreigon, but you can also use Hoopa, Chandelure, or Darkrai.

Hydreigon Pokemon

Hydreigon Pokemon

Steps to Find Giovanni in Pokemon Go

Since Giovanni is the boss, you cannot fight him straight away. You must accomplish a series of milestones before finding him and battling. Below are the steps you must complete to locate Giovanni:

1. Defeat Team Rocket Grunts

You will need to defeat these Grunts at Pokestops to collect six mysterious components which will enable you to obtain a Team Rocket Radar.

2. Equip the Team Rocket Radar

The radar will help you take down three Team GO Rocket Leaders, Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra. You can find them at Pokestops or by hovering over the ground in hot air balloons.

3. Complete Special Research tasks

These include taking down the three leaders, beating the Grunts, and several other Team Rocket tasks. Once you have completed all, you will receive a Super Rocket Radar.

4. Equip the Super Rocket Radar

With this radar, you will have to check out various Pokestops to eliminate potential Giovanni decoys until you meet him.


That's everything you need to know about Giovanni and his rooster. Remember, defeating him will be tough, but you can beat him and his Shadow Pokemon with the right combination of counters and moves.

With the knowledge gained from this article, you should be able to sail through each phase of battling the Team Go Rocket leader. Good luck as you set out on this exciting battle.