Pokemon GO Giovanni counters & lineup in May 2024

Pokemon GO Giovanni counters & lineup in May 2024
Images via Niantic

Written by 

Daniel Megarry

Last updated 

1st May 2024 09:13


Giovanni is one of the hardest Team Go Rocket Boss opponents you’ll ever face in Pokemon GO, so it’s more important than ever to know the right counters to defeat him and his Shadow Groudon this month.

It’s been a long road to get here, but you’ve finally made it. After taking down loads of Team Go Rocket Grunts as well as the Leaders Sierra, Cliff, and Arlo, it’s time to face off against Giovanni, the mastermind behind this villainous organisation.

Just like in the classic Pokemon Red & Blue games from the old Game Boy era, Giovanni is a formidable opponent with a powerful lineup. It’s not enough to have a strong team on your side, either - you’ll need to target his specific weaknesses.

To help you do that, I've put together a detailed guide with information about Giovanni’s current lineup in Pokemon GO, the best counters you can use for each of them, and one of the top teams you can use to make sure you emerge victoriously.

Giovanni's current lineup in Pokemon GO

When battling Giovanni, he will always send out Persian first and Groudon third, but his second team member can be one of three potential Pokemon, so it’s good to have an idea of what you could be up against.

Here is Giovanni’s current lineup of potential Pokemon:

1st Pokemon 2nd Pokemon 3rd Pokemon
Persian Garchomp Groudon

Giovanni in Pokemon GO
Click to enlarge

Giovanni’s lineup last changed on March 27, 2024, as part of the World of Wonders: Taken Over event. So far, his lineup seems to be the same in May, but if his team gets shaken up again in the future, this page will be updated with all the latest details that you need to know.

Best counters for Giovanni’s Persian

Giovanni's Persian in Pokemon GO
Click to enlarge

The one good thing about Giovanni is that his guaranteed first team member - his loyal Persian - is a pure Normal-type Pokemon, which means it only has one weakness: Fighting-type attacks.

This makes it very easy to plan for this phase of the battle. Here are some of the best counters you can use to defeat Persian:

Pokemon Best Moveset
Terrakion Double Kick & Sacred Sword
Pheromosa Low Kick & Focus Blast
Buzzwole Counter & Superpower
Machamp Karate Chop & Dynamic Punch
Lucario Counter & Aura Sphere
Conkeldurr Counter & Dynamic Punch
Hariyama Counter & Dynamic Punch
Breloom Counter & Dynamic Punch

Best counters for Giovanni’s second Pokemon

Garchomp, Rhyperio, and Kingdra in Giovanni's team
Click to enlarge

Giovanni has three potential Pokemon he can use in the second phase of battle, making it a little harder to plan ahead. You could be up against Garchomp, Rhyperior, or Kingdra.

Garchomp counters

Garchomp is a popular Dragon/Ground-type Pokemon, which means it's weak to Dragon, Fairy, and Ice-type attacks. It takes extra damage from Ice-type attacks, making those the best option here.

Here are some of the best counters you can use to defeat Giovanni's Garchomp:

Pokemon Best Moveset
Baxcalibur Ice Fang & Avalanche
Galarian Darmanitan Ice Fang & Avalanche
Mamoswine Powder Snow & Avalanche
Glaceon Ice Shard & Avalanche
Weavile Ice Shard & Avalanche
Jynx Frost Breath & Avalanche
Cetitan Ice Shard & Avalanche
Avalugg Ice Fang & Avalanche

Rhyperior counters

Rhyperior is a Ground/Rock-type Pokemon, which means it's weak to Fighting, Grass, Ground, Ice, Steel, and Water-type attacks. It's particularly vulnerable to Grass and Water-type attacks, so focus on those.

Here are some of the best counters you can use to defeat Giovanni's Rhyperior:

Pokemon Best Moveset
Kartana Razor Leaf & Leaf Blade
Kyogre Waterfall & Origin Pulse
Zarude Vine Whip & Power Whip
Greninja Water Shuriken & Hydro Cannon
Roserade Bullet Seed & Grass Knot
Swampert Water Gun & Hydro Cannon
Kingler Bubble & Crabhammer
Meowscarada Leafage & Grass Knot

Kingdra counters

Kingdra is a small but mighty Water/Dragon-type Pokemon, which means it's weak to Dragon and Fairy-type attacks. Don't underestimate its power, and make sure you come prepared with a powerful Pokemon.

Here are some of the best counters you can use to defeat Giovanni's Kingdra:

Pokemon Best Moveset
Origin Forme Palkia Dragon Tail & Spacial Rend
Origin Forme Dialga Dragon Breath & Roar of Time
Enamorus Fairy Wind & Dazzling Gleam
Rayquaza Dragon Tail & Breaking Swipe
Garchomp Dragon Tail & Outrage
Dragonite Dragon Tail & Draco Meteor
Gardevoir Charm & Dazzling Gleam
Togekiss Charm & Dazzling Gleam

Best counters for Giovanni’s Groudon

Groudon in Pokemon GO
Click to enlarge

Giovanni’s final team member is Groudon, a Ground-type Legendary Pokemon that's weak to Grass, Ice, and Water-type attacks. While this is a strong opponent, its weaknesses make it easy to prepare for.

Here are some of the best counters you can use to defeat Groudon:

Pokemon Best Moveset
Kartana Razor Leaf & Leaf Blade
Kyogre Waterfall & Origin Pulse
Baxcalibur Ice Fang & Avalanche
Zarude Vine Whip & Power Whip
Galarian Darmanitan Ice Fang & Avalanche
Roserade Bullet Seed & Grass Knot
Mamoswine Powder Snow & Avalanche
Swampert Water Gun & Hydro Cannon

What is the best team to defeat Giovanni in Pokemon GO

Terrakion, Origin Forme Palkia, and Kyogre in Pokemon GO
Click to enlarge

One of the best teams to defeat Giovanni is Terrakion, Origin Forme Palkia, and Kyogre. From my own experience, these are three incredibly powerful Pokemon that perform very well in battle - as long as you've got them powered up, and they know their optimal movesets.

The most important thing you’ll need on your team to defeat Giovanni's current lineup is a Fighting-type Pokemon. This is because his first team member is the Normal-type Persian, whose only weakness is Fighting-type attacks. Terrakion is a good choice, as it can also be used to counter Rhyperior.

Up next, I'd recommend a Dragon-type Pokemon, as this will give you coverage against two of Giovanni's potential phase two Pokemon: Garchomp and Kingdra. The best options now are Origin Forme Palkia and Origin Forme Dialga, but if you don't have those, any strong Dragon-type Legendary will do.

For your final team member, go with a strong Water-type Pokemon like Kyogre. This is essential for defeating Giovanni's final team member, Groudon, but it can also be used against Rhyperior if you need extra help. If you don't have a strong enough Water-type, you can use a Grass-type Pokemon instead.

The good news when fighting Giovanni is that you can re-battle him as many times as you need using a single Super Rocket Radar until you win. This allows you to experiment with different teams and make sure you’re targeting all of his weaknesses.

How to find Giovanni

A Super Rocket Radar in Pokemon GO
Click to enlarge

In order to find Giovanni in Pokemon GO, you'll first need to get your hands on a Super Rocket Radar - and you can only get one of these by completing a Team GO Rocket Special Research quest.

These are given out during special Team GO Rocket Takeover events, which usually last around a week in the game. There's typically one of these per season, so you shouldn't have too long to wait for the next one.

Chances are, though, you've already got an active Team GO Rocket Special Research quest in your Special Research menu:

  • To access this, tap the binoculars from the map screen and scroll right to the 'Special' tab
  • If you're relatively new to Pokemon GO, keep in mind that you'll need to complete the A Troubling Situation Special Research quest (unlocked at Level 8) before you can access the current Team GO Rocket quest

As you work your way through a Team GO Rocket Special Research quest, such as the Showdown in the Shadows quest, you'll have to defeat several Grunts and all three of the Leaders: Sierra, Cliff, and Arlo.

Once you've done all of this, you'll be rewarded with a Super Rocket Radar that lets you locate Giovanni when activated. You can tap on the Super Rocket Radar from the map screen to see any nearby hideouts.

Giovanni won't always be at these hideouts. Sometimes there will be a decoy Team GO Rocket Grunt instead. But if you keep looking for them, eventually you'll find Giovanni and your difficult battle can begin.

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That's everything you need to know to defeat Giovanni in May 2024! Make sure you visit our Pokemon homepage for the latest guides or check out the current Raid Bosses and the Spotlight Hour schedule.

Daniel Megarry
About the author
Daniel Megarry
Daniel is GGRecon’s Deputy Guides Editor. He graduated from university with a degree in Journalism & English Language before covering video games and LGBTQ+ culture at publications including Gay Times and Dexerto. His favourite games include Pokemon, Kingdom Hearts, Resident Evil, and anything Nintendo. You can reach him on [email protected].
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