Pokémon

Pokémon GO Giovanni August 2021: Team Updates and Best Counters

Pokémon Team GO Rocket Boss, Giovanni, has switched up his team again for August 2021, offering a new legendary Shadow Pokémon to challenge.
Pokémon Team GO Rocket Boss, Giovanni, has switched up his team again for August 2021, offering a new legendary Shadow Pokémon to challenge. / Photo courtesy of Niantic Labs

Pokémon Team GO Rocket Boss, Giovanni, has switched up his team again for August 2021, offering a new legendary Shadow Pokémon to challenge.

To find and challenge Giovanni, trainers will need to get their hands on a Super Rocket Radar either by recovering pieces of one after battles with Executives Cliff, Sierra, and Arlo, or by being gifted one. Several quests offer a Super Rocket Radar as a reward, making encountering Giovanni a much less daunting task than fighting him.

Here's the breakdown of what to expect from Giovanni this August 2021.

How to Beat Giovanni in Pokémon GO August 2021

We've broken down the Giovanni fight into three tiers based on each round. For those unaware, Team GO Rocket's boss has updated his team with the following Pokémon:

  • His first Pokémon will always be Persian.
  • His second will be Machamp, Golem, or Cloyster.
  • His third will be Ho-Oh (until Sept. 1).

First Pokémon—Kanton Persian

Giovanni will always use his partner Pokémon, a Kanto-regional Persian, first. Long-time fans of the series should remember this Persian from the animated series thanks to its longstanding rivalry with series regular and Persian's pre-evolved form, Meowth.

As a pure Normal-type, the best counter choices for Persian are Fighting-types, such as:

  • Machamp (Counter + Dynamic Punch)
  • Lucario (Counter + Aura Sphere)
  • Conkeldurr (Counter + Dynamic Punch)
  • Breloom (Counter + Dynamic Punch)

Second Pokémon—Machamp/Golem/Cloyster

Machamp is a pure Fighting-type. Therefore, it's most vulnerable to Fairy, Flying, and Psychic-types. The most effective counter choices for this Pokémon are:

  • Yveltal (Gust + Hurricane)
  • Staraptor (Wing Attack + Brave Bird)
  • Delphox (Zen Headbutt + Psychic)
  • Lugia (Extrasensory + Aeroblast)

Golem is a Rock- and Ground-type, and is therefore extremely vulnerable to Water- and Grass-types. Trainers should pick one of the following Pokémon:

  • Kingler (Bubble + Crabhammer)
  • Kyogre (Waterfall + Hydro Pump/Surf)
  • Roserade (Razor Leaf + Solar Beam/Grass Knot)
  • Sceptile (Bullet Seed + Frenzy Plant)

Cloyster is a Water- and Ice-type, which means Fire-types are entirely out of the question. Instead, it is most vulnerable to Fighting-, Electric-, Rock-, and Grass-types, such as:

  • Lucario (Counter + Aura Sphere)
  • Zekrom (Charge Beam + Wild Charge)
  • Thundurus (Thunder Shock/Volt Switch + Thunderbolt)
  • Rampardos (Smack Down + Rock Slide)

Third Pokémon—Ho-Oh

The legendary bird, Ho-Oh, is Giovanni's final Pokémon. It is a Fire- and Flying-type and is therefore extremely vulnerable to Rock-types. Electric- and Water-types will also do just fine.

The best counter choices against Ho-Oh are:

  • Manectric (Charge Beam + Wild Charge)
  • Hippowdon (Thunder Fang + Weather Ball)
  • Kingdra (Waterfall + Hydro Pump)
  • Rampardos (Smack Down + Rock Slide)

Conclusion

Based on Giovanni's team and the list of counter choices trainers will find the most success with, we believe the cornerstone of a winning strategy is Lucario. This Fighting- and Steel-type is effective against both Cloyster and Persian, but should be shelved immediately when Ho-Oh comes out. Second, we recommend a Water-type like Kingdra or Kyogre, to cover Ho-Oh again and Golem.

The third Pokémon is really up to a trainer's preference, but we recommend sticking to a Psychic- and/or Flying-type such Lugia. The two are often depicted as natural opposites, after all.