Giovanni in Pokémon GO is the leader pulling all of the strings behind Team GO Rocket. You can only fight Giovanni after completing the monthly research event for Professor Willow. You need to have done any of the previous research events to encounter him.
How to find Giovanni
To work on your journey to encounter him, you’ll need to progress through the Special Research event called A Shadowy Threat Grows. Before you can access this special research event, you need to have gone through Troubling Situation Special Research and A Professor’s Work is Never Done. You will battle multiple Team GO Rocket grunts and the three different leaders.
After you beat them, you’ll receive a Super Rocket Radar, similar to the Rocket Radar you used to locate the Team GO Rocket leaders. To use the device, you need to go into your bag to equip it. It should point you in the direction of Giovanni. However, a handful of Rocket Grunts have disguised themselves as fake Giovannis. You need to visit captured PokéStops to find out which one is the real Giovanni.
Giovanni weaknesses and Pokémon counters
Giovanni is a tough fight and is far more difficult than the other Team GO Rocket leaders. Prepare yourself accordingly for this encounter.
Giovanni’s first Pokémon remains the same every month. However, his second and third options consistently change.
The first Pokémon Giovanni always uses is Persian, a Normal-type Pokémon. The best Pokémon to use against it are durable Fighting-types, such as Conkeldurr, Heracross, Gallade, Machamp, And Passimian.
The next Pokémon choice for Giovanni can be any of these three options:
- Kingler a Water-type
- Steelix a Steel and Ground-type
- Rhyperior a Ground and Rock-type
All three of these choices vary in typing, making your choice of Pokémon a little more complicated, but they share a small shred of weaknesses. Kingler is weak to Electric and Grass-types, Steelix is weak to Fighting, Fire, Ground, and Water-types, and Rhyperior is weak to Fighting, Grass, Ground, Ice, Steel, and Water-types.
For Kingler, you want to try and use powerful Electric-types like Jolteon, Ampharos, Electrabuzz, or Grass-types like Venasaur, Exeggutor, and Sceptile. These options should prove reliable as a second option, however, you want to be careful when using a Grass-type as they will likely be extremely weak when battling Entei.
If Giovanni uses Steelix, you might want a powerful Ground-type as your second, such as Rhyperior, Excadrill, Garchomp, or Swampert (a Water and Ground-type). You could double-down on the Fighting-type option and have another ready to go. It could make you hesitant to using an Electric-type to prepare for Kingler because Steelix and Rhyperior are both resistant to them. However, not to Grass-types, which complicates the matter, given Entei is the final fight.
With Rhyperior, you have several options. You want to rely on Ice-types like Jynx, Sandslash (Alola), Piloswine (an Ice and Ground-type), or Swampert, who works excellent against Steelix, too. Rhyperior is extremely weak to Grass and Water-types, so you could easily prepare for both Kingler and Rhyperior using the same mindset. Overall, Grass or Water-types feel like the best option to battle Giovanni’s second choice.
After beating whichever the second option is that Giovanni uses, it’s time for you to face the Legendary Pokémon, Entei. It’s a Fire-type Pokémon, making them weak to Ground, Rock, and Water-types. You have a handful of Pokémon to choose from to face it, such as Swampert, Feraligatr, Gyarados, Tyranitar, or even the Legendary Groudon.
The general strategy for battling Giovanni is taking your time and relying on defensive Pokémon. Yes, you want to take down his roster quickly, but relying on straight damage won’t win the day. It’s a battle of attrition. You need Pokémon capable of withstanding a substantial amount of damage and dealing enough back to put a dent in Giovanni’s options.
We’ll be updating this piece every month to learn about Giovanni’s new rotation of Pokémon and what you need to use to defeat them.