How to beat Giovanni in Pokemon Go (September 2023): Shadow Regirock weaknesses & counters

pokemon go giovanni team rocket leader promo imageNiantic

Beating the Team Go Rocket boss Giovanni is one of the toughest challenges in Pokemon Go and players are looking to defeat him as he continues sneaking around the game. Here’s our complete guide to help you conquer his Shadow Regirock as well as the rest of his tricky September 2023 team.

Pokemon Go players are always up for a battle as Team Go Rocket members appear out of the blue to challenge them with strong Shadow Pokemon. But none of these battles are as difficult as going up against their intimidating boss, Giovanni. Niantic keeps on changing the Pokemon that he uses and in September 2023, players will go face-to-face with his fearsome Shadow Regirock.

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However, thanks to the type effectiveness-based combat system in Pokemon Go, even the strongest species can be defeated with a solid strategy through which you can take advantage of the opponent’s weaknesses by using a carefully selected team.

So, here’s everything you need to defeat Team Go Rocket Leader Giovanni, including the weaknesses and best counters for all of his Pokemon Go team in September 2023.

How to beat Giovanni in Pokemon Go

Every encounter with Team Go Rocket Leader Giovanni in Pokemon Go has one constant, he will begin the fight by unleashing his prized Pokemon — his beloved Persian.

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Topple his precious pet and it’ll be onto a fight against a random Pokemon chosen from a specially selected pool of top-tier species— Nidoking, Rhyperior, or Garchomp.

Lastly, if you make it to the third and final battle, it’ll be time for an intense battle against Shadow Regirock, and our in-depth guide will walk you through each one of these tough phases.

team go rocket leaders in pokemon goNiantic/The Pokemon Company
Team Go Rocket leaders are fierce competition in Pokemon Go.

Best team to defeat Giovanni in Pokemon Go

Some teams that are balanced enough to survive Team Go Rocket Leader Giovanni in Pokemon Go under any circumstances are Machamp, Kyogre, and Mamoswine, or even Lucario, Swampert, and Mewtwo.

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It is worth noting that using these Pokemon won’t guarantee success every time you face Giovanni. It largely depends on the attacks his Pokemon are using and there is always an element of luck involved when it comes to a Pokemon battle.

Even if you lose to Giovanni, just make the right changes and properly study the type of attacks his Pokemon are using. With the right strategy, even non-specialist Pokemon for the job can defeat the Team Go Rocket leader in Pokemon Go.

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How to counter Persian in Pokemon Go

Persian is a Normal-type Pokemon which makes it vulnerable to Fighting-type attacks. It can also resist Ghost-type moves. Accordingly, we recommend using your best Fighting-types with the best stats in Pokemon Go.

Ideally, these should be any of the following:

  • Lucario with Counter and Aura Sphere.
  • Hariyama with Counter and Dynamic Punch.
  • Conkeldurr with Counter and Dynamic Punch.
  • Machamp with Counter and Dynamic Punch.
  • Breloom with Counter and Dynamic Punch.
pokemon go giovanni species persian in pokemon animeThe Pokemon Company
Persian is always Giovanni’s opener.

How to counter Giovanni’s Nidoking, Rhyperior, or Garchomp in Pokemon Go


Nidoking is a unique Poison and Ground-type Pokemon that is vulnerable against Ground, Water, Psychic, and Ice-type attacks in Pokemon Go. It can learn Bug moves that are super effective against Psychic Pokemon and its Iron Tail Fast Move is effective against Ice-type Pokemon.

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Accordingly, using the likes of Mewtwo and Glaceon could be a hit or miss depending on Nidoking’s first couple of attacks.

Water-type Pokemon are the strongest against Nidoking, and here are some of the safest picks for you to consider:

  • Kyogre with Waterfall and Hydro Pump/Surf.
  • Mewtwo with Confusion and Psychic.
  • Glaceon with Ice Shard and Avalanche.
  • Swampert with Water Gun and Hydro Cannon.


Rhyperior is a dual of Ground and Rock-type Pokemon, which means it’s weak against Fighting, Ground, Steel, Water (4x), Grass (4x), and Ice-type moves. It’s also resistant to Electric, Normal, Flying, Poison, Rock, and Fire-type attacks, so be careful who you pick for this fight.

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You’ll deal great damage if you use the following combinations:

  • Kyogre with Waterfall and Surf.
  • Torterra with Razor Leaf and Frenzy Plant.
  • Swampert with Mud Shot and Hydro Cannon.
  • Kingler with Bubble and Crabhammer.
  • Roserade with Razor Leaf and Solar Beam.


Garchomp is a dual Dragon and Ground-type Pokemon that is only weak against Dragon, Ice (4x), and Fairy-type attacks. It’s resistant to Poison, Fire, Rock, and Electric-type moves, so try avoiding these categories for better results.

While you can rely on powerful Dragon and Fairy-type Pokemon for this battle, Ice-types are probably the safest bet. Here are some counters you can use:

  • Galarian Darmanitan with Ice Fang and Avalanche.
  • Mamoswine with Powder Snow and Avalanche.
  • Weavile with Ice Shard and Avalanche.
  • Togekiss with Charm and Ancient Power.
  • Gardevoir with Charm and Synchronoise.
  • Dragonite with Dragon Tail and Superpower.
pokemon go giovanni and shadow regirock promo imageNiantic
You will be able to encounter Regirock after defeating Giovanni.

How to beat Giovanni’s Shadow Regirock in Pokemon Go

The final challenge for Team Go Rocket Leader Giovanni is his Shadow Regirock, which is weak against Grass, Fighting, Ground, Water, and Steel-type moves. As a pure Rock-type Pokemon, it can resist Fire, Flying, Normal, and Poison-type moves like it’s nothing.

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Shadow Regirock can have a wide variety of attacks that might include Rock, Ground, Fighting, Normal, or Electric-type moves, so keep that in mind when picking counters. The best strategy against Regirock, however, is exploiting its weaknesses by spamming both Fast and Charged super-effective Moves.

pokemon go giovanni counter lucario in the animeThe Pokemon Company
Lucario will prove useful against both Persian and Shadow Regirock.

Here’s a high-priority list of some Pokemon that should work great against Shadow Regirock:

  • Machamp with Counter and Cross Chop.
  • Lucario with Counter and Aura Sphere.
  • Kingler with Bubble and Crabhammer.
  • Swampert with Mud Shot and Hydro Cannon/Earthquake.
  • Metagross with Bullet Punch and Meteor Mash.

How to find Giovanni in Pokemon Go

If you’re unsure about where to find the trainer in the first place, then we can tell you that you can come across Giovanni after obtaining a Super Rocket Radar in Pokemon Go.

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Here’s how you can get this item:

  1. Unlock Shadowy Skirmishes Special Research by completing any other Team Go Rocket Special Research stories that you currently have active.
  2. At the final stage of Shadowy Skirmishes, you’ll be asked to defeat Giovanni.
  3. Defeat Team Rocket Grunts in Pokestops or balloons to acquire six Mysterious Components that help in unlocking a Team Rocket Radar.
  4. Equip the Team Rocket Radar to take on three Team Go Rocket leaders called Cliff, Sierra, and Arlo.
  5. They will be hidden in either Pokestops or balloons.
  6. You will earn the Super Rocket Radar after defeating all the grunts and leaders.
  7. Equip it, and Giovanni should arrive in a Pokestop. Be aware of decoys that only pretend to be Giovanni.

And there you have it! This is all you need to successfully beat Giovanni in Pokemon Go. For more on Pokemon Go, be sure to check out our other guides:

How to connect Pokemon Go to Pokemon Scarlet & Violet | How to heal Pokemon in Pokemon Go | How many Pokemon are there? | Best Pokemon for PvP battles in Pokemon Go | How to get revives in Pokemon Go | How to get the Master Ball in Pokemon Go | How to get different Vivillion patterns in Pokemon Go & Scarlet and Violet

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