Giovanni Battle Tips For Pokémon GO Players: April 2021

This month, Niantic switched things up with Team GO Rocket in Pokémon GO. Instead of a multi-part Special Research culminating in a battle with Giovanni, earned through defeating all three Team Leaders… we had a one-page Timed Research that tosses players a Super Rocket Radar to find Giovanni after tasks that could be completed in ten minutes. Weird move indeed, but nevertheless, Giovanni still must be defeated. Here is everything you need to know about Team GO Rocket's Giovanni, including his entire line-up, the best counters, and which Legendary Pokémon you can encounter once you've defeated him during April 2021.

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

Giovanni's April 2021 line-up in Pokémon GO consists of:

  • Slot One: Persian
  • Slot Two: Kangaskhan, Nidoking, Garchomp
  • Slot Three: Zapdos

Here are suggested counters for each of his 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)
  • Zapdos: Rhyperior (Smack Down, Rock Wrecker), Rampardos (Smack Down, Rock Slide), Galarian Darmanitan (Ice Fang, Avalanche)

Giovanni's team may or may not have shared weaknesses this month depending on who is in the middle soot, 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)

Personally, I was able to use just Lucario and Rhyperior against Giovanni with no shields, using Power-Up Punch to take down the first two, charging up the power of his Counter as I went along, and finishing off Zapdos with a Rock Wrecker from Rhyperior.

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.

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. This is why our second option is Machamp rather than Conkeldurr, as Machamp's Cross Chop will charge faster than Conkeldurr's Dynamic Punch.

About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.