Giovanni Battle Guide For Pokémon GO Players: May 2021

Giovanni, the villainous Team GO Rocket Boss of Pokémon GO has a new line-up of Shadow Pokémon. Here is everything you need to know about Team GO Rocket's Giovanni, including his entire line-up for May 2021, the best counters, and which Legendary Pokémon you can encounter once you've defeated him.

Giovanni in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic
Giovanni in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic

Giovanni's May 2021 line-up consists of:

  • Slot One: Persian
  • Slot Two: Kangaskhan, Nidoking, or Garchomp
  • Slot Three: Moltres

Here are some top suggested counters for each of the boss's possible Pokémon:

  • Persian: Lucario (Counter, Power-up Punch), Machamp (Counter, Cross Chop)
  • Kangaskhan: Lucario (Counter, Power-up Punch), Machamp (Counter, Cross Chop)
  • Nidoking: Mewtwo (Confusion, Psystrike), Galarian Darmanitan (Ice Fang, Avalanche)
  • Garchomp: Mewtwo (Confusion, Ice Beam), Galarian Darmanitan (Ice Fang, Avalanche)
  • Moltres: Rhyperior (Smack Down, Rock Wrecker), Rampardos (Smack Down, Rock Slide)

Giovanni's team may not have many overlapping weaknesses depending on who he throws out in that second slot, so there are a few different ways that you can go. Based on the above counters, a few great line-ups to use whenever fighting Giovanni would be:

  • Line up #1: Galarian Darmanitan (Ice Fang, Avalanche), Rhyperior (Smack Down, Rock Wrecker), Lucario (Counter, Power-up Punch)
  • Line up #2: Mewtwo (Confusion, Ice Beam), Rampardos (Smack Down, Rock Slide), Machamp (Counter, Cross Chop)

As a bonus, unlocking two moves on Mewtwo so that you can use both Psystrike and Ice Beam is a terrific idea. These teams are suggestions, though, and can be mixed and matched. Also, if you have a preferred Ice-type, Fighting-type, and Rock-type with a Charged Attack that powered up quickly, feel free to swap out. Personally, I sometimes go with Conkeldurr which will have a strong Fighting-type Fast and Charged Attack but which can also learn Stone Edge, which will one-hit-KO Moltres.

Finally, three tips are essential to keep in mind when fighting Team GO Rocket Leaders and Giovanni. These tips can be used when fighting Grunts as well.

  • Switch Out: Notice in the above-suggested line-ups that the Pokémon in Slot One is not the ideal counter for Giovanni's Slot One Shadow. This is because you must start the battle with the "Switch Out" method. Put your counter to Giovanni's Persian in the third slot and, as soon as the battle begins, switch to that Pokémon. This switch will freeze Giovanni up for a moment, allowing you to deal damage without taking damage.
  • Power Up: Shadow Pokémon are incredibly powerful and will hit harder than most. Your best bet, beyond going in with top counters with their ideal movesets, is to completely power up your Pokémon. It may take a lot of Stardust, but the difference between a maxed-out counter and a lower-level counter may just win you the battle.
  • Fast Charged Attacks: You may have another species that you prefer to your Lucario as a Fighting-type, but keep in mind… Giovanni has two shields. You want, first and foremost, a Pokémon that will be able to charge up their Charged Attacks quickly so that Giovanni's shields can be taken down and real damage can be done.

Giovanni's current Pokémon that can be caught as a Shadow Legendary is Moltres.

About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.