Pokemon Go Giovanni counters January 2022: How to beat Team Rocket, Shadow Lugia, weaknesses - Dexerto

How to beat Giovanni in Pokemon Go January 2022: Shadow Lugia counters & weaknesses

Published: 31/Dec/2021 12:31

by Daniel Megarry


Pokemon Go’s notorious Team Rocket leader, Giovanni, has returned with Shadow Lugia in January 2022. 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.


Artwork of Giovanni in Pokemon Go
Niantic / The Pokemon Company
The infamous villain, Giovanni, is back in Pokemon Go for 2022.

Giovanni Pokemon Go counters (January 2022)

Giovanni made his return to Pokemon Go with a powerful new lineup during the Festival of Lights event after an extended absence from the game – and his team has remained the same ever since.

Here’s Giovanni’s current lineup for January 2022 in Pokemon Go:

  • Phase 1: Persian
  • Phase 2: Kingler / Nidoking / Rhyperior
  • Phase 3: Shadow Lugia

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 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.


Persian counters

As a Normal-type Pokemon, Persian is weak against Fighting-types and resistant to Ghost-types, making it a lot easier to know exactly which Pokemon to utilize.

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

Persian Counters
Tyranitar Pokemon Go Tyranitar Smack Down (Fast Move)

Crunch (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)

Kingler counters

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.

Kingler Counters
Zapdos Zapdos Thunder Shock (Fast Move)

Thunderbolt (Charge Move)

Zarude Zarude Vine Whip (Fast Move)

Power Whip (Charge Move)

Raikou Raikou Volt Switch (Fast Move)

Wild Charge (Charge Move)

Torterra Torterra Razor Leage (Fast Move)

Frenzy Plant (Charge Move)

Magnezone Magnezone Spark (Fast Move)

Wild Charge (Charge Move)

Nidoking counters

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.

Nidoking Counters
Mewtwo Pokemon Go Mewtwo Confusion (Fast Move)

Psystrike (Charge Move)

Kyogre Kyogre Waterfall (Fast Move)

Surf (Charge Move)

Excadrill Pokemon Go Excadrill Mud Shot (Fast Move)

Drill Run (Charge Move)

Hoopa Hoopa Confusion (Fast Move)

Psychic (Charge Move)

Empoleon Pokemon Go Empoleon Waterfall (Fast Move)

Hydro Cannon (Charge Move)

Rhyperior counters

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.

Rhyperior Counters
Torterra Torterra Razor Leaf (Fast Move)

Frenzy Plant (Charge Move)

Pokemon Go Kyogre Kyogre Waterfall (Fast Move)

Surf (Charge Move)

Empoleon Pokemon Go Empoleon Waterfall (Fast Move)

Hydro Cannon (Charge Move)

Zarude Zarude Vine Whip (Fast Move)

Power Whip (Charge Move)

Swampert Swampert Mud Shot (Fast Move)

Hydro Cannon (Charge Move)

Shadow Lugia counters

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.

Shadow Lugia Counters
Melmetal Melmetal Thunder Shock (Fast Move)

Rock Slide (Charge Move)

Zacian Zacian Snarl (Fast Move)

Wild Charge (Charge Move)

Magnezone Magnezone Volt Switch (Fast Move)

Wild Charge (Charge Move)

Tyranitar Pokemon Go Tyranitar Smack Down (Fast Move)

Crunch (Charge Move)

Yveltal Yveltal Snarl (Fast Move)

Dark Pulse (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 counters to exploit his lineup’s weaknesses, you will defeat him. If you don’t see any Pokemon that you own on the list above, simply look at our weaknesses chart and match accordingly to what you have.

Best team to defeat Giovanni in Pokemon Go

Kyogre in Pokemon Go
Kyogre is a great addition to your Giovanni-beating team.

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.


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 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.

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, our guide to defeat Cliff, and finally, our guide to beat Sierra.

[Back to top]

So, there you have it, everything you need to know about the best counters to beat Giovanni and Shadow Lugia in Pokemon Go for January 2022.

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

Spotlight Hour schedule | Current Raid Bosses | Best attackers and defenders | Egg chart | 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 | Promo codes for free items