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Best counters, lineups, and more

Pokemon GO wouldn’t be the same game without its antagonists in Team GO Rocket. Led by the wicked boss Giovanni, trainers will have to defeat plenty of underlings before it’s time to take on the kingpin himself. However, once players do so, they’ll notice that, much like other Rockets, Giovanni’s team rarely stays set for long.

As of March 2023’s Team GO Rocket Takeover event, Giovanni’s lineup of Shadow Pokemon has changed again. If trainers have battled Giovanni since then, they may know what to expect from him. However, some players may not know what the villain’s battle party holds.


Since this is the case, it isn’t a bad time to take a look at how to counter Giovanni’s current lineup in Pokemon GO.

Note: Parts of this article are subjective and reflect the opinions of the writer

All players need to know about countering Giovanni’s current team in Pokemon GO as of May 2023


As some Pokemon GO players are well aware, Giovanni doesn’t have as large of a pool of Shadow Pocket Monsters to use compared to his underlings. Since only three Pokemon can be used at a time in battle, he only has five total options to slot into his team, and two creatures are guaranteed to appear on each lineup.

Trainers should always expect to see Giovanni’s Persian as well as the Legendary Pokemon that rotates through his lineup every few months. Currently, the Team GO Rocket boss is using Regice as his Shadow Legendary.

Giovanni’s team and appearance chances in Pokemon GO

  • Slot One – Persian (100%)
  • Slot Two – Nidoking (44%), Kingler (33%), or Kingdra (23%)
  • Slot Three – Regice (100%)


The good news is that since Regice and Persian are guaranteed to appear in this Pokemon GO battle, trainers can easily counter them. However, Giovanni’s choice of Nidoking, Kingdra, or Kingler will complicate things a bit.

Obviously, trainers can always enter the battle and then exit it after seeing which Pokemon Giovanni is using in his second slot. This should help them decide which counter to use. The most obvious selection that players should bring in this battle is a powerful Fighting-type Pokemon, as they’re capable of countering both Persian and Regice.

Here is the recommended Pokemon GO team to beat Giovanni in May 2023:

  • Slot One – Blaziken, Lucario, Keldeo, Chesnaught, or Conkeldurr
  • Slot Two – Tapu Lele, Tapu Bulu, Gardevoir, Zekrom, Reshiram, or Palkia
  • Slot Three – Groudon, Darmanitan, Gallade, Machamp, or Metagross


With the recommended options above, trainers should have a very well-balanced team when it comes to countering Giovanni in type matchups in Pokemon GO.

Persian and Regice can easily be countered by the Fighting-type options. However, there are also Fire and Steel-type picks, like Reshiram, Blaziken, Darmanitan, and Metagross, that can also counter Regice.

Several Dragon-type creatures are listed that can counter Kingdra. A few of Alola’s Guardian Deities, like Tapu Bulu and Tapu Lele, can also deal with Kingdra, thanks to their partial Fairy typing.

Since Nidoking is weak to both Psychic and Water-type moves, trainers can opt for picks like Keldeo, Palkia, and Gallade/Gardevoir, who can manage it well in most situations. Gardevoir’s partial Fairy typing also gives it some play against Kingdra.

As a partial Poison-type creature, Nidoking is also susceptible to Ground-type attacks. This makes Groudon a great pick as well since it can also deal Fire damage to contend with Regice.


That just leaves Kingler, which can easily be dispatched by a Grass-type creature like Chesnaught or Tapu Bulu. Electric-type picks like Zekrom should be able to handle the job as well.

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh

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