Game Guides

Pokémon GO – How to Beat Giovanni (Early 2020 Update)

The best counters against Giovanni

by Kyle Hanson


Pokémon GO is one of those games that you play and play and play but never quite finish. The goal might be different for every player, when you get down to it, though most are looking to “catch em all” as the series tag line tells them to do. But what does “em all” really mean? Does filling your Poké Dex mean you’re done? Well, not really cause there’s more to do and more versions to catch, most likely. Also, there’s all these special research tasks given to the player, with the biggest and most consequential being the goal to take down Giovanni. Here’s how to beat Giovanni in Pokémon GO.

How to Beat Giovanni

This guide is current as of the early 2020 update which hit before February 2020. We’ll update when his team inevitably changes, but for now this should work for you. And before we dive into the best counters against Giovanni, we should also break down how to even encounter the villainous foe in the game. To do so you need to follow through on the The Take Over Continues special research task given to you by Professor Willow. This has many steps culminating in beating Cliff, Sierra, and Arlo before letting you take on Giovanni.

Once you defeat all three of them you’ll earn a Super Rocket Radar which will track down Giovanni for you. Not completely though, as using it will highlight a few Poké Stops that Giovanni might be hiding at. Head to them and spin the stop to see if it’s him or one of his grunts. Once you locate him the real battle begins, with Giovanni using a powerful team of Pokémon that will take solid counters to defeat. Here’s the best counters against Giovanni in Pokémon GO.

Best Counters Against Giovanni

Giovanni’s team will stay the same for his first and final Pokémon, but the second can be one of three. First off, before making your team you should know about the swap out trick. Basically whoever you want as your first Pokémon should actually go in spot two or three. When the battle begins immediately swap for them, putting them into battle and causing Giovanni to stagger for a bit, giving you free attacks. Now that you know that, let’s get down to which Pokémon to use.

Giovanni always starts off with Persian who is weak to Fighting type Pokémon, so go for one of the following: Machamp with Counter and Cross Chop, Conkeldurr with Counter and Dynamic Punch, or Lucario with Counter and Aural Sphere. Once you defeat him you’ll get either Cloyster, Steelix, or Hippodown as the next foe. Here’s the counters against each of them.

Cloyster: Machamp with Counter and Cross Chop, Conkeldurr with Counter and Dynamic Punch, Lucario with Counter and Aural Sphere, or Venusaur with Vine Whip and Frenzy Plant.

Steelix:Rhyperior with Mud Shot and Earthquake, Charizard with Fire Spin and Blast Burn, or Machamp with Counter and Cross Chop.

Hippodown: Venusaur with Vine Whip and Frenzy Plant, Kyogre with Waterfall and Surf, or Mamoswine with Powder Snow  and Avalanche.

So if you aren’t sure which you’ll be going against you might want to double up on your Machamp, or toss a Venusaur in there. But be sure they’re also ready to take on the last Pokémon in Giovanni’s arsenal, which as of February 2020 is Raikou, the electric legendary character. Ground type attackers are your best bet here, so if you have a Rhyperior on your team just swap to him. Otherwise here’s a few solid counters: Groudon with Mud Shot and Earthquake, Garchomp with Mud Shot and Earthquake, or Exadrill with Mud Slap and Earthquake.

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