Pokemon Go Giovanni counters November 2021: How to beat Team Rocket, Shadow Ho-Oh, weaknesses - Dexerto

How to beat Giovanni in Pokemon Go November 2021: Best counters & Shadow Ho-Oh weaknesses

Published: 29/Oct/2021 9:10 Updated: 29/Oct/2021 13:57

by Brent Koepp


Pokemon Go’s notorious Team Rocket leader, Giovanni, is nowhere to be seen in November 2021. The iconic villain usually can be beaten with the best counters and lineup, but where has he disappeared to?

Team Rocket’s Giovanni is usually tough competition in Pokemon Go, and knowing the best counters is vital. Back in March 2021, Giovanni made his epic return to the game as part of its Seasons of Legends. The antagonists’ three-month campaign featured him battling with Kanto’s Legendary bird trio.

Now, with the beginning of the Season of Mischief, the iconic character has vanished from sight. As details on his return, Pokemon roster, weaknesses, and the best counters to use remain shrouded in mystery, let’s break down what we know so far.


Additional reporting by Ava Thompson-Powell.


Artwork of Giovanni in Pokemon Go
Niantic / The Pokemon Company
The infamous villain, Giovanni, is currently missing in Pokemon Go for November 2021.

Where is Giovanni in Pokemon Go? (November 2021)

While Giovanni usually can be found by obtaining a Super Rocket Radar, things are slightly different in November 2021, as the iconic villain has disappeared from the game!

There’s no indication yet as to when he’ll return, with Niantic only stating that “we hope he’s not planning something in the shadows!”

The information below is based on Giovanni’s most recent lineup before he disappeared. When he returns, we’ll update this page if any changes occur.

Giovanni Pokemon Go counters (November 2021)

Before September 1, 2021, Trainers were able to face off against Shadow Ho-oh, alongside Persian and three other potential ’mon encounters to take down. Giovanni’s lineup of Pokemon was previously:


  • Persian 
  • Cloyster / Golem / Machamp
  • Shadow Ho-Oh

How to beat Giovanni in Pokemon Go

To stand a chance at defeating the villainous Giovanni in Pokemon Go, you’ll need to know the counters and weaknesses to both protect your ‘mon and deliver that final attack with confidence.

At the start of every battle, Giovanni will always throw out his signature ‘mon, Persian. The Normal-type can be brought down with Fighting-type characters. The second Pokemon he chooses is from a pool of three and is completely random.

Persian counters

As a Normal-type Pokemon, Persian is weakest to Fighting-types, making it a lot easier to know exactly which ‘mon to utilize due to no dual-typing.

Use these counters against Giovanni in Pokemon Go to stand the best chance of winning:

Persian Counters
Breloom Pokenon Go Breloom Counter (Fast Move)

Dynamic Punch (Charge Move)

Conkeldurr Counter (Fast Move)

Dynamic Punch (Charge Move)

Hariyama Hariyama Counter (Fast Move)

Dynamic Punch (Charge Move)

Lucario Lucario Counter (Fast Move)

Aura Sphere (Charge Move)

Machamp Machamp Counter (Fast Move)

Dynamic Punch (Charge Move)

Cloyster counters

As a dual Water and Ice-type Pokemon, Cloyster is best attacked with Electric, Fighting, Grass, and Rock move.

Be wary, though, as while Grass moves are strong against Water, it’s super susceptible to Ice.


Cloyster Counters
Conkeldurr Conkeldurr Counter (Fast Move)

Dynamic Punch (Charge Move)

Electivire Electivire Thunder Shock (Fast Move)

Wild Charge (Charge Move)

Lucario Lucario Counter (Fast Move)

Aura Sphere (Charge Move)

Thundurus Therian Thundurus Therian Volt Switch (Fast Move)

Thunderbolt (Charge Move)

Zekrom Pokemon Go Zekrom Charge Beam (Fast Move)

Wild Charge (Charge Move)

Golem counters

Golem is a dual Rock and Ground-type Pokemon, making it particularly susceptible to both a whole host of type attacks, from Grass, Ground, Ice, Fighting, Steel, and Water moves.

That being said, you’ll find the most success utilizing Grass and Water-type attacks.

Golem Counters
Empoleon Pokemon Go Empoleon Waterfall (Fast Move)

Hydro Cannon (Charge Move)

Kyogre Kyogre Waterfall (Fast Move)

Surf (Charge Move)

Kingler Pokemon Go Kingler Bubble (Fast Move)

Crabhammer (Charge Move)

Roserade Pokemon Go Roserade Razor Leaf (Fast Move)

Grass Knot (Charge Move)

Tangrowth Pokemon Go Tangrowth Vine Whip (Fast Move)

Power Whip (Charge Move)

Machamp counters

Machamp is a Fighting-type Pokemon, making it weakest to Fairy, Flying, and Psychic-type moves and attacks.

As with Persian, as it’s not a dual-type ‘mon, it’s much easier to choose the best attackers and counters to take down Giovanni quickly in Pokemon Go.

Machamp Counters
Celebi Pokemon Go Celebi Confusion (Fast Move)

Psychic (Charge Move)

Gallade Pokemon Go Gallade Confusion (Fast Move)

Psychic (Charge Move)

Latios Pokemon Go Latios Zen Headbutt (Fast Move)

Psychic (Charge Move)

Metagross Pokemon Go Metagross Zen Headbutt (Fast Move)

Psychic (Charge Move)

Mewtwo Pokemon Go Mewtwo Confusion (Fast Move)

Psystrike (Charge Move)

Shadow Ho-Oh counters

Giovanni’s Shadow Ho-Oh is a dual Fire and Flying-type, best countered with the likes of Electric, Rock, and Water-type moves.


Despite this, you’ll get much better results by utilizing Rock-type moves where possible.

Shadow Ho-Oh Counters
Aerodactyl Pokemon Go Aerodactyl Rock Throw (Fast Move)

Rock Slide (Charge Move)

Landorus Pokemon Go Landorus Rock Throw (Fast Move)

Rock Slide (Charge Move)

Rampardos Pokemon Go Dex Rampardos Smackdown (Fast Move)

Rock Slide (Charge Move)

Tyranitar Pokemon Go Tyranitar Smackdown (Fast Move)

Stone Edge (Charge Move)

Terrakion Pokemon Go Terrakion Smackdown (Fast Move)

Rock Slide (Charge Move)

Compared to Rocket Grunts and Leaders, Giovanni packs a punch. His lineup of Shadow ‘mon will deplete your health quickly if you don’t have the right counters. Don’t panic though, as you can rematch the boss immediately, and make changes to your roster as needed to beat him.

As long as Trainers use the right ‘mon to exploit his character types, you will defeat him. If you don’t see any Pokemon that you own on the list above, then simply look at our weaknesses chart and match accordingly to what you have.


How to find Giovanni in Pokemon Go

Before you can attempt to track down Giovanni, you’ll first need to complete some steps:

  • Defeat Team Rocket Grunts at PokeStops to earn six Mysterious Components and obtain a Team Rocket Radar.
  • Equip the Radar, and take down the three other Team GO Rocket Leaders, Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra (you’ll find these hovering above the ground in hot air balloons marked with the Rocket logo.
  • Make sure that you complete Special Research tasks such as taking down the other leaders, defeating Grunts, and other Team Rocket tasks until you receive a Super Rocker Radar.
  • Equip it, and you’ll have to check out different PokeStops to rule out any potential decoy Giovannis until you encounter the real one.

How to beat Team Leaders in Pokemon Go

If you’re looking to take on the other Team Go Rocket Leaders, check out our guide to take down Arlo, defeat Cliff, and finally, our guide to beat Sierra.

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So, there you have it, everything you need to know about the best counters to beat Giovanni in Pokemon Go for November 2021.

For all of the best tips and tricks to become the very best, make sure to check out our other guides:

Spotlight Hour guide | Current Raid Bosses | Best ‘mon in Go: Attackers and defenders | Pokemon Go Spotlight Hour | Arlo counters guide | Cliff counters guide | How to get free Remote Raid Passes | Sierra counters guide | How to catch Ditto | Shop: Items list, prices, box changes