Pokémon GO Giovanni Counters January 2022: Best Team to Beat Giovanni


Team Rocket’s top dog Giovanni is back in Pokémon GO this month, crusading the skies in his hot air balloon and looking for trainers to challenge. The super-villain Gym Leader brings a strong team of Pokémon, including a Shadow Lugia that players will get for themselves as a reward for beating the Team Rocket Legend.

In this guide, we’ll break down how to track down Giovanni, as well as the best counters and overall team for taking him on.

How to Find Team Rocket Boss Giovanni

You’ll first need to get a Super Rocket Radar to battle Giovanni. Unlike the usual Rocket Radar, which allows you to take on one of Team Rocket’s many henchmen, with the Super Rocket Radar, you can go toe to toe with the boss.


To acquire a Super Rocket Radar, you’ll need to gather six individual pieces of the item by beating Arlo, Cliff or Sierra multiple times. This method requires some effort, as to battle each of those lesser Team Rocket Bosses, you’ll have to beat six Rocket Grunts, adding up to over 40 fights to take on Giovanni and Shadow Lugia.

Best Counters for Giovanni – January 2022

The battle with Giovanni is tough, but you can prepare for it. His first and third Pokémon are always the same, so it’s only the second that can offer a surprise, and even then, it’s between one of three. The Team Rocket leader starts with his mascot, Persian, the least threatening attacker of his line-up.

Persian Counters

Shadow Machamp – Counter / Dynamic Punch
Lucario – Counter / Aura Sphere
Machamp – Counter / Dynamic Punch
Hariyama – Counter / Dynamic Punch
Breloom – Counter / Dynamic Punch

After seeing off Giovanni’s pet cat, it’ll be between Kingler, Nidoking, or Rhyperior for the second round of the battle. A Grass-type or a Water-type is a good call for this battle, with Water-types hitting Nidoking and Rhyperior hard and Grass-types doing substantial damage to Kingler and Rhyperior.

If you need to change your counters to suit your opponent, you can restart the battle with a varied team, and Giovanni won’t change any of his Pokémon.

Kingler Counters

Mega Manetric – Thunder Fang / Wild Charge
Zekrom – Thunder Shock / Wild Charge
Raikou – Thunder Shock / Wild Charge
Breloom – Counter / Grass Knot
Mega Venasaur – Vine Whip / Frenzy Plant

Nidoking Counters

Shadow Mewtwo – Confusion / Psystrike
Metagross – Zen Headbutt / Psychic
Hoopa Unbound – Confusion Psychic
Shadow Swampert – Water Gun / Hydro Cannon
Mega Gyrados – Waterfall – Hydro Pump

Rhyperior Counters

Mega Blastoise – Water Gun Hydro Cannon
Shadow Swampert – Water Gun / Hydro Cannon
Mega Gyrados – Waterfall – Hydro Pump
Breloom – Counter / Grass Knot
Mega Venasaur – Vine Whip / Frenzy Plant


The real challenge comes last with Giovanni’s Shadow Lugia. Unsurprisingly, you’re looking at Electric, Dark and Ghost-type Pokémon or attacks to make the most of Lugia’s dual Flying/Psychic typing. While this is the most difficult opponent of Giovanni’s team, you should still be able to take it on if you bring along one of your Legendary Pokémon.

Shadow Lugia Counters

Yveltal – Snarl / Dark Pulse
Zekrom – Charge Beam / Wild Charge
Raikou – Thunder Shock / Wild Charge
Melmetal – Thunder Shock / Rock Slide
Darkrai – Snarl / Dark Pulse

With that, you should be able to beat Giovanni this January in Pokémon GO and take Shadow Lugia for yourself. For more, see our full schedule for all the Spotlight Hour Pokémon this month. Or take a look at our thoughts on this year’s Johto Tour Ticket and what we think of the follow-up to last year’s Kanto throwback offering.

Pokémon GO is available now on mobile devices.


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