Giovanni in Pokémon GO is the leader pulling all of the strings behind Team GO Rocket. You can only fight Giovanni once a month, so you have plenty of time to go after him when you feel you’re ready to face him. Here’s what you need to know about finding and beating 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 Professor’s Work is Never Done. Before you can access this special research event, you need to have gone through Troubling Situation Special Research. Progressing through these two takes you against several Team GO Rocket Grunts and three different Team GO Rocket leaders. The fourth step of A Professor’s Work is Never Done tasks you with defeating the three Team Rocket GO leaders, Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra.
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.
How to beat Giovanni
If you were having trouble with Arlo, Cliff, or Sierra, you might find yourself in over your head with Giovanni. He’s a tough individual, and you’ll need to defeat his Pokémon if you want to encounter the rare Shadow Pokémon he captured.
Giovanni’s first Pokémon remains the same every month. However, his second and third options consistently change with each month. If you fought him in January, he doesn’t have the same rotation of Pokémon in February, but there are some similarities.
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:
- Cloyster a Water and Ice-type
- Steelix a Steel and Ground-type
- Hippowdown a Ground-type
All three of these choices vary in typing, making your choice of Pokémon a little more complicated. Cloyster is weak to Electric, Fighting, Grass, and Rock-types, Steelix is weak to Fighting, Fire, Ground, and Water-types, and Hippowdon is weak to Grass, Ice, and Water-types. Of the three, Hippowdon will prove the most difficult.
For Cloyster, 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, especially a Grass-type, which can withstand Giovanni’s upcoming Raikou attacks.
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). On the other hand, if you want to prepare for Cloyster and Steelix, your first Fighting-type could dish out a series of decent hits to give your second option a running start. You could double-down on the Fighting-type option and have another ready to go.
With Hippowdown only having a single type, your options are a bit more straightforward. 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. However, while Hippowdown is weak to Water-type attacks, you want to avoid using one in your battle, they could quickly lose to Raikou.
After beating whichever the second option is that Giovanni uses, it’s time for you to face the Legendary Pokémon, Raikou. It’s an Electric-type Pokémon, making them weak to Ground-types. You have a handful of Pokémon to choose from to face it, such as Garchomp, Rhyperior, Mamoswine, Excadrill, or even the Legendary Groudon. These are some of the best Ground-type Pokémon to use, but not your only option.
The general strategy to handle 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 Giovanni’s new rotation of Pokémon and what you need to use to defeat them.