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Pokémon Go Giovanni counters, team line-up in September 2023

How to beat Team Go Rocket’s boss, Giovanni, this month

Giovanni and Regirock on a purple and blue gradient background Graphic: Julia Lee/Polygon | Source images: Game Freak/Nintendo, The Pokémon Company

Giovanni’s team had a refresh in Pokémon Go following the arrival of the “A Shadowy Disturbance” quest.

As it stands in September 2023, following an update rolled out on June 21, Giovanni’s team sees several new possibilities, including a finale against Regirock, the latest legendary to see the Shadow treatment.

For those who want to catch Shadow Regirock, try to get it done sooner than later, as there will likely be another Team Rocket refresh in coming months that’ll swap out the legendary for a new one.

However, know that whenever you face Giovanni, he’s a tough opponent to battle, and this page will list out his current team and counters if you’re having trouble.

How to find Giovanni in Pokémon Go

Team Go Rocket boss Giovanni is typically only available to battle while completing Team Go Rocket Special Research. We get a new set of this type of research every few months, typically with a new Shadow legendary Pokémon as a reward at the very end.

From late June 2023, this quest is “A Shadowy Disturbance.”

As part of the quest, after beating all three Team Go Rocket leaders, you’ll get a Super Rocket Radar, allowing you to hunt down Giovanni.

Just like the leaders, Giovanni will appear in Team Go Rocket balloons or at taken over PokéStops if you have the Super Rocket Radar. Once you find him and use the radar, you can battle him as many times as it takes to beat him (as long as you’re within distance of the PokéStop), which is great, because he is typically a pretty tough battle.

Pokémon Go Giovanni team line-up

Currently, Giovanni will have the following team:

  • Persian (normal)
  • Nidoking (poison/ground)
    Rhyperior (ground/rock)
    Garchomp (dragon/ground)
  • Regirock (rock)

Pokémon Go Giovanni counters

Because there are fewer potential party options for Giovanni than there are for the Rocket Leaders, he’s actually easier to plan against, even if his Pokémon are much stronger. You will need to bring the strongest Pokémon you have and your A-game in order to take him down.

For opener Persian, bring a fighting-type, such as:

  • Terrakion with Double Kick and Sacred Sword
  • Machamp with Counter and Dynamic Punch
  • Lucario with Counter and Aura Sphere
  • Conkeldurr with Counter and Dynamic Punch

If during the second encounter he uses Nidoking, consider ground-types such as:

  • Garchomp with Mud Shot and Earth Power
  • Mamoswine with Mud Slap and Bulldoze
  • Groudon with Mud Shot and Earthquake
  • Rhyperior with Mud Slap and Earthquake

If during the second encounter he uses Rhyperior, consider water-types such as:

  • Kyogre with Waterfall and Origin Pulse
  • Swampert with Water Gun and Hydro Cannon

If during the second encounter he uses Garchomp, consider ice-types such as:

  • Galarian Darmanitan with Ice Fang and Avalanche
  • Mamoswine with Powder Snow and Avalanche

For the final encounter against Regirock, you have a number of options to take down a rock-type — we recommend bringing back your fighting-type opener, or if you want a back-up, then a water-type is also a safe bet. You can use the counters we listed for Rhyperior or the following:

  • Kingler with Bubble and Crabhammer
  • Feraligatr with Water Gun and Hydro Cannon

How to beat Giovanni in Pokémon Go

As with fighting the leaders, Giovanni will block the first two charged attacks with shields. As such, you’ll ideally want a fighting-type that can chip away at Persian’s health without relying on them, while also having charged moves to destroy these two shields as fast as possible. From there, it’s a case of switching to the counters which suit the line-up that follows.

After defeating Giovanni, you will get to catch whichever Shadow legendary appears in the final encounter. It’s a guaranteed catch, so don’t forget to use a Pinap Berry to score some extra candy.

Finally, know that winning against Giovanni is an efficient way of earning Shadow Shards for Purified Gems, with each battle rewarding four Shards — enough to make one Gem.

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