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Pokémon GO Giovanni Counters (November 2023): Best Pokémon To Beat Team GO Rocket Boss

Team GO Rocket's fearsome leader, Giovanni, can be a challenge for many Trainers but can be defeated with the right Pokémon line-up this October 2023.
Pokémon GO Giovanni Counters (November 2023): Best Pokémon To Beat Team GO Rocket Boss
(Picture: Niantic / The Pokémon Company)

Team GO Rocket's Boss Giovanni poses a significant challenge to Trainers brave enough to face him and his Shadow Pokémon. After facing his Grunts and their leaders, Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra, the time has arrived to face their Boss and successfully defeat him in battle.

As facing Team GO Rocket Grunts and Leaders in battle is a task that can be achieved quite easily; however, facing Giovanni requires the right counter line-up. In this guide, we'll outline how Trainers can prepare for battle against the fearsome Team GO Rocket leader, including his current line-up, best Pokémon counters, and the best team to use.

2nd November 2023 Update: This guide reflects the new Pokémon lineup and possible counters when encountering Team GO Rocket boss Giovanni in battling encounters during Pokémon GO's Season of Adventures Abound. The original reporting continues below.

Pokémon GO Team GO Rocket Boss Giovanni: Current Line-Up & Counters

pokemon go counters season of adventures abound team go rocket boss giovanni shadow regirock
Giovanni can be quite challenging to face, but with the right line-up, Trainers can easily counter his Pokémon. (Picture: Niantic / The Pokémon Company)

Trainers will only be able to battle against Team GO Rocket Boss Giovanni after defeating Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra, in which you can acquire a Super Rocket Radar and track him down. His line-up has changed on a monthly rotation, in which a notable Pokémon source, PokémonGOHub, supplies all data.

Below is the current Shadow Pokémon line-up for Team GO Rocket Boss Giovanni for November 2023:

  • Giovanni Battle Phase 1: Persian
  • Giovanni Battle Phase 2: Garchomp / Kingler / Nidoking
  • Giovanni Battle Phase 3: Regigigas

Best Persian Counters:

Persian is usually a Normal-type Pokémon, but since Giovanni is its Trainer, it also boasts Dark, Fairy, and Rock-type attacks. Luckily, Persian is vulnerable to Fighting and Ghost-type attacks, which can help bring down its shielding abilities, but it will need to have a Fast or Charged Attack to counter Scratch if learned.

All Pokémon GO Persian Counters:
  • Breloom (Grass/Fighting): Counter (Fast Attack); Dynamic Punch, Grass Knot (Charged Attack)
  • Keldeo (Water/Fighting): Low Kick (Fast Attack); Hydro Pump, Sacred Sword (Charged Attack)
  • Lucario (Fighting/Steel): Counter (Fast Attack); Dynamic Punch, Shadow Ball (Charged Attack)
  • Pheromosa (Bug/Fighting): Bug Bite (Fast Attack); Focus Blast, Close Combat (Charged Attack)
  • Terrakion (Rock/Fighting): Smack Down (Fast Attack); Rock Slide, Sacred Sword (Charged Attack)

Best Garchomp, Kingler & Nidoking Counters:

Round two will see Giovanni bring one of three Shadow Pokémon, Garchomp, Nidoking, or Rhyperior, to the battle. Garchomp is a Dragon/Ground-type Pokémon who’s weak to Dragon, Fairy, and Ice Pokémon, while Kingler is most vulnerable to attacks from Electric and Grass types.

pokemon go battling guide season of hidden gems team go rocket boss giovanni best counters unbound hoopa
Unbound Hoopa's Psychic attacks can counter Giovanni's Nidoking's dual typing. (Picture: Niantic / The Pokémon Company)

Nidoking, which shares similar counters to Nidoqueen, is vulnerable to attacks from Ground, Ice, Psychic, and Water Pokémon. This should help Trainers know which Pokémon should help them prepare for either encounter or defeat them.

All Pokémon GO Garchomp Counters:
  • Galarian Standard Darmanitan (Ice): Ice Fang (Fast Attack); Avalanche (Charged Attack)
  • Glaceon (Ice): Frost Breath (Fast Attack); Avalanche, Ice Beam (Charged Attack)
  • Jynx (Ice/Psychic): Confusion, Frost Breath (Fast Attack); Avalanche, Psyshock  (Charged Attack)
  • Mamoswine (Ice/Ground): Powder Snow (Fast Attack); Avalanche (Charged Attack) 
  • Weavile (Dark/Ice): Ice Shard (Fast Atatck); Avalanche (Charged Attack)
All Pokémon GO Kingler Counters:
  • Kartana (Grass/Steel): Razor Leaf (Fast Attack); Leaf Blade (Charged Attack)
  • Raikou (Electric): Thunder Shock (Fast Attack); Thunderbolt, Wild Charge (Charged Attack)
  • Rayquaza (Dragon/Flying): Air Slash (Fast Attack); Dragon Ascent, Hurricane (Charged Attack)
  • Sceptile (Grass): Bullet Seed (Fast Attack); Frenzy Plant, Leaf Blade (Charged Attack)
  • Xurkitree (Electric): Spark (Fast Attack); Discharge, Thunder (Charged Attack)
All Pokémon GO Nidoking Counters
  • Alakazam (Psychic): Confusion (Fast Attack); Future Sight, Psychic (Charged Attack)
  • Attack Forme Deoxys (Psychic): Zen Headbutt (Fast Attack); Thunderbolt. Psycho Boost (Charged Attack)
  • Azelf (Psychic): Confusion (Fast Attack); Fire Blast, Future Sight (Charged Attack)
  • Mewtwo (Psychic): Psycho Cut (Fast Attack); Ice Beam (Charged Attack)
  • Unbound Hoopa (Psychic): Confusion (Fast Attack); Psychic, Shadow Ball (Charged Attack)

Best Regigigas Counters:

The final round will see you finally face Shadow Regigigas, which you’ll need to defeat before purifying the Pokémon and ridding itself of the Frustration Charged Attack. While Legendary and Shadow Pokémon can be used in battle, Regigigas is weak to attacks from Fighting Pokémon.

All Pokémon GO Regigigas Counters:
  • Blaziken (Fire/Fighting): Fire Spin (Fast Atatck); Blast Burn, Overheat (Charged Attack)
  • Keldeo (Water/Fighting): Low Kick (Fast Attack); Hydro Pump, Sacred Sword (Charged Attack)
  • Machamp (Fighting): Counter (Fast Attack); Dynamic Punch, Close Combat (Charged Attack
  • Rayquaza (Dragon/Flying): Air Slash (Fast Attack); Dragon Ascent, Hurricane (Charged Attack)
  • Terrakion (Rock/Fighting): Smack Down (Fast Attack); Rock Slide, Sacred Sword (Charged Attack)

This battle against Giovanni may not have a large pool of Shadow Pokémon, but unlike his Grunts or Leaders, Giovanni does boast powerful Shadow Pokémon. With the right counters, you should be able to defeat Giovanni, which we suggest bringing Terrakion (Persian & Regigigas), Glaceon (Garchomp & Nidoking), and Raikou (Kingler).