How to beat Giovanni in Pokemon GO in May 2021

Giovanni in the anime (Image via The Pokemon Company)
Giovanni in the anime (Image via The Pokemon Company)
Modified 02 May 2021

Pokemon GO temporarily suffered the loss of Team GO Rocket battles due to issues in the game last month, but the villains have returned along with their boss Giovanni in May 2021.

Before a player can get the opportunity to battle Giovanni, they must first get their hands on a Super Rocket Radar device. In order to do so, a trainer will be required to complete the Team GO Rocket special research task, "The Higher They Fly."

Supposedly, a new task that rewards players with the Super Rocket Radar will be added along with the arrival of the Luminous Legends X event, though the details of the task are yet to be announced.

Simply finding the head honcho is a hassle, but once a player reaches him, they must be ready for an even more difficult battle.

Here's how to emerge victorious against the Team GO Rocket boss.

Related: Top 5 male characters from the Pokemon anime

How to counter all of Giovanni's Pokemon in May 2021


Persian in the anime (Image via The Pokemon Company)
Persian in the anime (Image via The Pokemon Company)

As always, Giovanni will be sending out his prized Persian as the first Pokemon in this battle. Persian is a Normal-type Pocket Monster that can use Fairy, Dark, and Rock-type moves.

A strong Fighting-type Pokemon is the best option to use against this cat-like opponent.

Here is the list of the best Pokemon to counter it:

  • Lucario
  • Hariyama
  • Machamp
  • Blaziken

Kangaskhan, Nidoking, or Garchomp

A Garchomp in the anime (Image via The Pokemon Company)
A Garchomp in the anime (Image via The Pokemon Company)

While the first and last Pokemon that Giovanni will use in May 2021 is known for certain, the middle Pocket Monster remains a mystery. However, players can still prepare by knowing the correct counters to use against the three potential Pokemon that the Team GO Rocket Boss is most likely to send out.


Garchomp is likely the most challenging to counter. Players don't need to worry, though, because Garchomp is a Dragon/Ground-type. The key to taking it out is by using an Ice-type Pokemon.

Here is the list of Pokemon a player should send out:

  • Articuno
  • Alolan Ninetales
  • Mamoswine
  • Glaceon


A Normal-type Pokemon, Kangaskhan is only weak against Fighting-types. If a player used a Fighting-type against the previous Persian and it isn't too weakened after the battle, it's not a terrible idea to keep them in.

A few great Pokemon choices if Giovanni sends out Kangaskhan are:

  • Lucario
  • Machamp
  • Conkeldurr
  • Heracross


A Ground/Poison-type Pokemon, Nidoking is most helpless against Psychic, Ground, Water, and Ice moves.

Players should try using one of these Pokemon against Giovanni's Nidoking:

  • Alakazam
  • Empoleon
  • Swampert
  • Kyogre

Shadow Moltres

Moltres (Image via Niantic)
Moltres (Image via Niantic)

The last Pokemon that Giovanni will use has changed now that it is May. Players will now face-off against the Team Go Rocket boss' Shadow Moltres. Keeping in mind that the Legendary Pokemon is most vulnerable against Water, Electric, and Rock-type attacks, the best counters to send out are:

  • Rhyperior
  • Tyranitar
  • Golem
  • Rampardos

Upon defeating Giovanni's last Pokemon, players will get the opportunity to catch it. Preparing for all of the possible Pocket Monsters the boss can use will allow them to not only defeat him but also claim his Shadow Moltres for themselves.

For trainers who are disappointed about missing out on catching Giovanni's Shadow Zapdos in April due to the battles with Team GO Rocket being disabled, there is some good news coming this June.

Trainers will now gain the opportunity to battle and add the Flying/Electric-type Legendary to their team next month.

Check out this article: What are Zapdos' weaknesses in Pokemon GO? to prepare for June's encounter.

Published 02 May 2021
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