Pokémon GO Giovanni Counters December 2021 - Best Pokémon and All Rewards

Do you have the best Pokémon GO Giovanni counters on hand? Defeating the top dog of the game's evil organization will depend on it. He's a tough cookie, but at least investing in something to take on his staple first Pokémon can make a big difference in one of the hardest fights in the entire game.

Persian, your first hurdle in this rare Pokémon 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.

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If you're a fresh-faced player with no Giovanni wins under your belt, you're probably wondering why you'd even bother attempting to take him down. Giovanni keeps a prized Legendary Shadow Pokémon as his final partner. Beat him and you'll get to claim it as your own. Right now, it's Shadow Lugia, and it's very strong.

How Do I Fight Giovanni in Pokémon GO?

Once you've defeated the Team GO Rocket Leaders like Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra, you'll be able to track down Giovanni using the Super Rocket Radar. 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 Pokémon GO Giovanni counters all leveled up and ready to go. Even if you're not gunning for a legendary Shadow Pokémon, you'll want to take him on for the rare 12km Strange Eggs or to complete the Inter-Egg-Sting Development Quest.

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What Is the Pokémon GO Giovanni Team for December 2021?

First Slot Second Slot Third Slot
PersianKingler / Rhyperior / NidokingShadow Lugia

Giovanni will always use Persian as his first Pokémon. For Giovanni's second Pokémon, he will either use Kingler, Nidoking or Rhyperior. For his third Pokémon in November 2021, Giovanni will have Shadow Lugia.

What Are the Best Pokémon GO Giovanni Counters for December 2021?

Now you know which Pokémon Giovanni will use, you just need to know how to beat them. The best way to do that is to use specific Pokémon to counter, so below you'll find a list of the best Pokémon to counter Giovanni and the most effective moves against each of his possible Pokémon, as of December 2021.

First Giovanni Pokémon Counters


Persian Counters

Pokémon Fast Move Charged Move
LucarioCounterPower-Up Punch / Aura Sphere
MelmetalThunder ShockThunderbolt
MachampCounterCross Chop
RhyperiorMud SlapStone Edge
ConkeldurrCounterDynamic Punch

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. That makes beating up Shadow Lugia much easier.

Second Giovanni Pokémon Counters


Kingler Counters

Pokémon Fast Move Charged Move
Thundurus (Therian)Thunder Shock / Volt SwitchThunderbolt
ZarudeVine WhipPower Whip
RoseradeRazor Leaf Solar Beam / Grass Knot
RaikouVolt SwitchWild Charge

Kingler is easily crushed by the same counters as Rhyperior, another creature this Pokémon GO Giovanni iteration can offer in the same slot. That means you have better chance of bringing a perfect Pokémon to this battle that'll only be called into question if Nidokind decides to show up instead.


Nidoking Counters

Pokémon Fast Move Charged Move
SwampertMud ShotHydro Cannon
MewtwoPsycho CutPsystrike
GarchompMud ShotEarth Power

Nidoking is to Ground, Ice, Psychic, and Water-types. Here's a list of Pokémon and their moves that counter Nidoking. Nidoking is weak to some pretty common Pokémon, so you should have one of these powered up nice and high.

Rhyperior Counters

Pokémon Fast Move Charged Move
RoseradeRazor Leaf / Bullet SeedSolar Beam / Grass Knot
KyogreWaterfallHydro Pump / Surf
ZarudeVine WhipPower Whip

Rhyperior buckles under the weight of water and is easily shredded by the Grass-type Pokémon its own Ground and Rock moves will struggle to break down. Bringing your own Kingler can help, but only if you happen to have a rarer Crabhammer version. For others, Roserade or Kyogre can help. And if you got Zarude recently, bring that along. Pick your team based on the weather.

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Shadow Lugia is coming soon to Pokémon GO. Here's how to counter it.
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What Are the Best Shadow Lugia Counters?

Pokémon Fast Move Charged Move
ZekromCharge BeamWild Charge
RhyperiorSmack DownRock Wrecker
MelmetalThunder ShockRock Slide
YveltalSnarlDark Pulse

Shadow Lugia is an interesting Psychic and Flying-type hybrid. There's a common misconception that it's a Water/Flying-type Pokémon. It may have access to some Water-type moves, but it won't doubly weak to Electric-type attacks.

In the case of Shadow Lugia, the best Pokémon GO Giovanni counters are the bulky kind. Gengar may be a good choice in raid battles, but its terribly low HP and Defense means it's likely to get annihilated before it can do much good. Instead, look for tougher counters like Rhyperior, Melmetal, and a couple of easily accessible legendary Pokémon.

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