Pokemon Go Leader Giovanni counters, team, and weakness (February 2023) - How to beat Giovanni

share to other networks share to twitter share to facebook
Giovanni in Pokémon GO.
Thumbnail for video
February 3, 2023: Giovanni's February 2023 team is live. Learn how to counter his new lineup below.

Do you have the best Pokemon Go Giovanni counters on hand? Defeating the top dog of the game's evil organization will depend on it, and his Shadow Mewtwo team used in the Rocket Takeover event is no laughing matter.


Persian, your first hurdle in this rare Pokemon Go battle, is a major point of trouble for most players. If you can push through its incredibly powerful scratches, you'll have a solid chance of taking home the prize. It's worth the effort.

For more on Pokémon GO, check out our Team GO Rocket Leaders like Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra for the counters you'll need to take them on., you'll be able to track down Giovanni using the Super Rocket Radar once you do.

Pokemon Go Leader Giovanni team (February 2023)

First Slot Second Slot Third Slot Reward
PersianNidoking, Cloyster, GarchompRegisteelRegisteel

Giovanni will always use Persian as his first Pokemon. For Giovanni's second Pokemon, he'll bring out either Nidoking, Garchomp, or Cloyster to soften you up for his final legendary Pokemon - Shadow Registeel.

Counters for Giovanni's first Pokemon


Pokémon Fast Move Charged Move
TyranitarSmack DownCrunch, Stone Edge
TerrakionSmack DownRock Slide, Cross Combat
MachampCounterCross Chop, Rock Slide
LucarioCounterAura Sphere, Power-Up Punch
ConkeldurrCounterDynamic Punch, Stone Edge
HeracrossCounterClose Combat, Megahorn

Persian is only weak to Fighting-types. Here's a list of Pokémon and their moves that counter Persian. We love leading with Lucario in this encounter.

While Persian can really pack a punch, once you've charged up a Power-Up Punch you can nearly stun-lock it and take out Giovanni's shields nice and early. Make sure not to use any Ghost moves, as they are resistant to Ghost-type moves.

Counters for Giovanni's second Pokemon


Pokémon Fast Move Charged Move
MewtwoPsycho CutPsystrike
GarchompMud ShotEarth Power
GlaceonIce ShardAvalanche

Nidoking returns from his rest, letting Nidoqueen lie down for a bit. This one is primarily bested by Psychic-type Pokemon, so Mewtwo is the go-to again, with Alakazam being a glass cannon counter. Ice, Water, and Ground will work, so consider Glaceon and Garchomp for fast counters, or Kyogre if you need a bulky option.



Pokémon Fast Move Charged Move
MewtwoConfusionIce Beam
GlaceonFrost BreathAvalanche
MamoswinePowder SnowAvalanche
AbomasnowPowder SnowWeather Ball
ArticunoIce ShardIce Beam
GlalieFrost BreathAvalanche

Garchomp can't take the chill of an Ice-type Pokemon, but its Rock-type moveset can shatter them, too. It's all about who has the fastest finger here. Stack the Changed Attacks and come at this with Glaceon, Kyurem, or Mamoswine to deal a decisive blow.

As usual, Ice Beam Mewtwo can put a good bit of work in here, too.


Pokémon Fast Move Charged Move
TerrakionDouble KickSacred Sword
MachampCounterDynamic Punch
ConkeldurrCounterDynamic Punch
VenusaurVine WhipFrenzy Plant
AbomasnowPowder SnowWeather Ball
LucarioBullet PunchAura Sphere

Cloyster can come at you with some very fast attacks, but it's a brittle clam most of the time. Anticipate its ice-type attacks and counter with Electric or Fighting. Grass can work, but most of the powerful Grass-type Pokemon will fall like blades to a lawnmower, so try a different approach.

Giovanni as seen in Pokémon GO.

Counters for Giovanni's third Pokemon


Pokémon Fast Move Charged Move
CharizardFire SpinBlast Burn
MachampCounterDynamic Punch
ConkeldurrCounterDynamic Punch
LucarioCounterAura Sphere
MoltresFire SpinOverheat

Registeel shouldn't be too difficult to deal with unless it comes packing Ancient Power to deal with some of the stronger Fire-type Pokemon out there that happen to fly in the sky. Without it, Moltres and Charizard will work wonders, with Entei and Blaziken being good secondary options.

Outside of that, common picks for this fight like Machamp and Conkeldurr will stand their guard, punching through Registeel's metal body with nothing but raw power. Lucario should even resist a fair few of its attacks.

How do I fight Giovanni in Pokemon Go?

Fighting Giovanni means battling your way to the top by tracking down (and winning against) Rocket Grunts and Rocket Leaders. Beating Grunts cause the leaders to show up, and beating them builds up your Rocket Radar. Repeat this enough and you'll track down the head honcho himself.


It's not quite as easy as it sounds, though. Some Rocket Grunts will disguise themselves as Giovanni, which will obviously stop you from claiming the real prize. When you do eventually find the real big cheese, you'll want to have your best Pokemon GO Giovanni counters all leveled up and ready to go.

For more mobile gaming guides, check out what we know about Peridot - Niantic's latest creature game. You can learn how to get your Peridot pre-register sorted, and how to walk in Peridot when you're eventually able to download it.

An earlier version of this guide was written by James Wright.