Starting on June 1, Giovanni will have Shadow Zapdos on his team when players encounter and battle him. Shadow Zapdos will leave his grasp for the time being after June 17 when the rotation changes to an unannounced Shadow Pokemon.
In order to encounter Giovanni, players in Pokemon GO need a Super Rocket Radar. To get one, a set of Special research called 'The Higher They Fly' can be completed. It will typically include beating the Team GO Rocket leaders Cliff, Sierra, and Arlo.
How to counter and catch Shadow Zapdos in Pokemon GO
With a Super Rocket Radar in hand, players can begin their battle with Giovanni. His team won't always be the same, however, he starts with Persian and will end with Zapdos for this encounter. His second Pokemon is a gamble between Nidoking, Garchomp, and Khangaskhan. A guide can be found here for their counters.
Shadow Zapdos counters
Zapdos is weak to Ice-type Pokemon and Rock-types, so teams should be built around those types.
- Mamoswine - Powder Snow (Fast Attack) + Avalanche (Charge Attack)
- Rhyperior - Smack Down (Fast Attack) + Rock Wrecker (Charge Attack)
- Glaceon - Frost Breath (Fast Attack) + Avalanche (Charge Attack)
- Rampardos - Smack Down (Fast Attack) + Rock Slide (Charge Attack)
- Weavile - Ice Shard (Fast Attack) + Avalanche (Charge Attack)
- Tyranitar - Smack Down (Fast Attack) + Stone Edge (Charge Attack)
Once players defeat Giovanni, they will be rewarded with a Shadow Zapdos encounter. Depending on performance, a number of Premier Balls will be rewarded. It's possible to lose the encounter, so curve balls and berries are important. However, it shouldn't be as difficult as a raid encounter.