Pokemon Go’s notorious Team Rocket leader, Giovanni, has returned with Shadow Lugia in December 2021. With the right lineup of counters, you’ll be able to beat him and his Shadow Pokemon in no time.
Team Rocket’s Giovanni is tough competition in Pokemon Go, and knowing the right counters is vital. During the Festival of Lights event in November 2021, Giovanni made his epic return to the game with a new roster of powerful opponents.
After battling with the Kanto region’s Legendary bird trio in early 2021, Giovanni now has Shadow Lugia in his lineup. We’re going to break down everything we know about his roster, weaknesses, and the best counters to take you to victory.
Additional reporting by Ava Thompson-Powell.
Making his return to Pokemon Go in November after an extended absence from the game, Trainers are able to face off against Giovanni with the Legendary Shadow Lugia, alongside Persian and three other potential fighters.
Here’s Giovanni’s current lineup for December 2021 in Pokemon Go:
- Phase 1: Persian
- Phase 2: Kingler / Nidoking / Rhyperior
- Phase 3: Shadow Lugia
To stand a chance at defeating the villainous Giovanni in Pokemon Go, you’ll need to know the best lineup of counters to target his roster’s weaknesses and deliver that final attack with confidence.
At the start of every battle, Giovanni will always throw out his signature Pokemon, Persian. The second Pokemon he chooses is at random from a pool of three. Finally, you’ll face Shadow Lugia.
As a mono Water-type Pokemon, Kingler is weak against Electric and Grass-type moves, and resistant to Fire, Ice, Steel, and Water-type attacks.
Nidoking is a Poison/Ground-type Pokemon, making it weak against Ground, Ice, Psychic, and Water-type moves but very resistant to Bug and Electric-types attacks.
Rhyperior is a Ground/Rock-type Pokemon, so it’s extremely weak against Grass and Water-type moves, and also weak against Fighting, Ground, Ice, and Steel-type attacks.
Giovanni’s Shadow Lugia is a Psychic/Flying-type, which means it’s weak against Dark, Electric, Ghost, Ice, Rock-type moves and very resistant to Fighting and Ground.
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.
One of the best teams you can use to defeat Giovanni is Tyranitar, Kyogre, and Magnezone. Tyranitar will help you take down Persian with ease, and can also be saved as a backup for battling Lugia.
Next up, Kyogre is very effective at taking down two of Giovanni’s potential second Pokemon, Nidoking and Rhyperior. Round your team out with Magnezone, which is a great counter for both Kingler and Lugia.
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 at PokeStops or hovering above the ground in hot air balloons.
- 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.
So, there you have it, everything you need to know about the best counters to beat Giovanni and Shadow Lugia in Pokemon Go for December 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