How to Beat Giovanni in Pokémon Go: All Giovanni Counters

We've found a list of the best counters to use against Giovanni's Pokemon! Check them out below.

In Pokémon Go, you'll find that to get specific Pokémon, you'll have to defeat the Team GO Rocket grunts and bosses. The leaders (Cliff, Arlo, Sierra, and Giovanni) are often the most difficult, but provide the greatest rewards. In this guide, we will focus on how to defeat Giovanni and which counters are best against his new Pokémon.

Quick Notes

  • This list is not permanent. Giovanni's most recent lineup change was in May 2021. When his roster changes, so do the techniques and Pokémon you need to use to beat him. We strongly recommend you check back to this guide regularly to be up to date on the best ways to win!
  • Giovanni's first and last Pokémon are always the same, but his second Pokémon isn't. The first Pokémon he uses will always be Persian. For his second Pokémon, he will use Nidoking, Kangaskhan, or Garchomp. For his last Pokémon, he will use Zapdos.
  • The counters we include aren't synonymous with weaknesses. Sometimes these counters will be mentioned for things other than being the opponent's weakness. Other examples may include their movesets or the fact that they're naturally resistant to their opponent.
  • These lists are not ranked from best to worst. While we can provide the best counters to use in any match, there is no guarantee which order they should fall. The effectiveness of each Pokémon largely depends on your play style and battle technique. This being the case, we have instead opted to list the counters alphabetically.
  • Giovanni uses very powerful Pokémon. Many of his Pokémon have high Attack, HP, and Defense, so you'll have your work cut out for you. However, if you follow this guide, you'll have no problem.
  • Best team setup: There are a few Pokémon types that we recommend adding to your team, since they do well against many of the Pokémon in Giovanni's lineup. It's best to have some combination of the team listed below. Still, if you only have two of them, you should hold fairly well against him.
    • Your choice between a Fighting or Dragon Pokémon
    • Your choice between an Ice or Psychic Pokémon
    • Any strong Rock Pokémon

Round 1 Pokémon

The following list has all the options for this gym leader to use as their first Pokémon.

Persian

  • Type: Normal
  • Weak Against: Fighting
  • Resistant Against: Ghost
  • Notes: If you don't have any of the Pokémon listed below, we recommend using a Fighting Pokémon against Persian since it does well against many of Giovanni's other Pokémon.
PokémonFast AttackCharge Attack
Conkeldurr in Pokemon.
Conkeldurr
CounterDynamic Punch
Stone Edge
Lucario in Pokemon.
Lucario
CounterAura Sphere
Power-Up Punch
Machamp in Pokemon.
Machamp
CounterCross Chop
Rock Slide
Melmetal in Pokemon.
Melmetal
Thunder ShockThunderbolt
Super Power
Swampert in Pokemon.
Swampert
Mud ShotHydro Cannon
Muddy Water

Related: Pokémon Go: 41-50 Leveling Guide - Pro Game Guides

Round 2 Pokémon

The following list has all the options for this gym leader to use as their second Pokémon.

Kangaskhan

  • Type: Normal
  • Weak Against: Fighting
  • Resistant Against: Ghost
  • Notes: If you don't have any of the Pokémon listed below, we recommend using a Fighting Pokémon against Kangaskhan since it does well against many of Giovanni's other Pokémon.
PokémonFast AttackCharge Attack
Conkeldurr in Pokemon.
Conkeldurr
CounterDynamic Punch
Stone Edge
Dragonite in Pokemon
Dragonite
Dragon BreathDragon Claw
Outrage
Gyarados in Pokemon.
Gyarados
Dragon BreathCrunch
Aqua Tail
Hariyama in Pokemon.
Hariyama
CounterDynamic Punch
Superpower
Machamp in Pokemon.
Machamp
CounterCross Chop
Close Combat

Nidoking

  • Type: Poison, Ground
  • Weak Against: Ground, Ice, Psychic, Water
  • Resistant Against: Electric, Poison, Bug, Fairy, Fighting, Rock
  • Notes: If you don't have any of the Pokémon listed below, we recommend using an Ice Pokémon against Nidoking, since it does well against many of Giovanni's other Pokémon.
PokémonFast AttackCharge Attack
Garchomp in Pokemon.
Garchomp
Mud ShotEarthquake
Outrage
Groudon in Pokemon.
Groudon
Mud ShotEarthquake
Fire Punch
Mamoswine in Pokemon.
Mamoswine
Powder SnowAvalanche
Bulldoze
Metagross in Pokemon.
Metagross
Zen HeadbuttPsychic
Earthquake
Mewtwo in Pokemon.
Mewtwo
Psycho CutPsystrike
Ice Beam

Garchomp

  • Type: Dragon, Ground
  • Weak Against: Dragon, Fairy, Ice
  • Resistant Against: Electric, Fire, Poison, Rock
  • Notes: If you don't have any of the Pokémon listed below, we recommend using an Ice Pokémon against Garchomp, since it does well against many of Giovanni's other Pokémon.
PokémonFast AttackCharge Attack
Articuno in Pokemon
Articuno
Ice ShardIcy Wind
Ice Beam
Dragonite in Pokemon
Dragonite
Dragon BreathDragon Claw
Outrage
Gardevoir in Pokemon.
Gardevoir
CharmDazzling Gleam
Psychic
Gyarados in Pokemon.
Gyarados
Dragon BreathAqua Tail
Outrage
Togekiss in Pokemon.
Togekiss
CharmAncient Power
Dazzling Gleam

Round 3 Pokémon

The following list has all the options for this gym leader to use as their third Pokémon.

Zapdos

  • Type: Electric, Flying
  • Weak Against: Ice, Rock
  • Resistant Against: Bug, Fighting, Flying, Grass, Ground, Steel
  • Notes: If you don't have any of the Pokémon listed below, we recommend using an Ice Pokémon against Zapdos, since it does well against many of Giovanni's other Pokémon.
PokémonFast AttackCharge Attack
Darmanitan in Pokemon.
Darmanitan
Ice FangAvalanche
Ice Punch
Mamoswine in Pokemon.
Mamoswine
Powder SnowAvalanche
Ancient Power
Rhyperior in Pokemon
Rhyperior
Smack DownRock Wrecker
Surf
Terrakion in Pokemon.
Terrakion
Smack DownRock Slide
Close Combat
Tyranitar in Pokemon.
Tyranitar
Smack DownStone Edge
Crunch

Moltres

  • Type: Fire, Flying
  • Weak Against: Electric, Rock, Water
  • Resistant Against: Bug, Grass, Fairy, Fighting, Fire, Ground, Steel
  • Notes: Moltres can throw off the entire match because its weaknesses and strengths counter the weaknesses and strengths of Giovanni's other Pokémon. Still, we recommend using a Rock Pokémon against Moltres since it works well against Giovanni's other possible Legendaries.
PokémonFast AttackCharge Attack
Landorus in Pokemon.
Landorus
Mud ShotSuperpower
Stone Edge
Rampardos in Pokemon.
Rampardos
Smack DownRock Slide
Flamethrower
Rhyperior in Pokemon
Rhyperior
Smack DownRock Wrecker
Surf
Terrakion in Pokemon.
Terrakion
Smack DownRock Slide
Close Combat
Tyranitar in Pokemon.
Tyranitar
Smack DownStone Edge
Crunch

Articuno

  • Type: Ice, Flying
  • Weak Against: Electric, Fire, Rock, Steel
  • Resistant Against: Ground, Bug, Grass
  • Notes: If you don't have any of the Pokémon listed below, we recommend using a Rock Pokémon against Articuno since it works well against Giovanni's other possible Legendaries.
PokémonFast AttackCharge Attack
Landorus in Pokemon.
Landorus
Mud ShotSuperpower
Stone Edge
Rampardos in Pokemon.
Rampardos
Smack DownRock Slide
Flamethrower
Rhyperior in Pokemon
Rhyperior
Smack DownRock Wrecker
Surf
Terrakion in Pokemon.
Terrakion
Smack DownRock Slide
Close Combat
Tyranitar in Pokemon.
Tyranitar
Smack DownStone Edge
Crunch

Once you've found Giovanni (which is no easy task!), you'll now be equipped to handle his Pokémon in battle! Check back with this page for occasional updates when they update Pokémon Go!

Want to see how to counter Pokémon of each type? Check out our lists of Water Pokémon Weaknesses!

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About the Author

Freelance writer and jack-of-all-hobbyist-tech-development-trades (website, game, and program). My passion is to create content that entertains and makes people think critically.

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