An overview of Giovanna with some observations and tips to play her.
Giovanna, the other hot witch on the roster, starts with a 20% bonus to movement speed, which is kind of cheating for her since she’s flying on a broom instead of running around. She is one of the faster characters to use, similar to Pugnala, and her mobility is one of her strengths. However, movement speed isn’t her only advantage. Giovanna also gains a 1% increase in projectile speed as she levels up. It doesn’t take Giovanna long to surpass characters like Dommario, who have high starting projectile speed, as she just needs to reach level 41. She will need the projectile speed because of…
Gatti Amari… There’s no weapon in the game as fickle as this one. Gatti Amari is a summon weapon that summons meowing cats via hexagrams on the edge of the screen. Early on, they are as much of a hindrance as they are helpful due to being as random as possible. They tend to walk in straight lines but change direction here and there. They do attack, if they feel like it, and aren’t too partial to whether it’s an enemy or Giovanna, dealing twice as much damage to her as they do to enemies. They also engage in fights with each other, creating a big ball of violence (B.B.O.V.) fight cloud. A common strategy with Giovanna is to enter the B.B.O.V. when a breather is needed, as it lasts for a bit and is initially fairly large. Moreover, there’s a good chance that if you start getting more luck and amount upgrades, the B.B.O.V. will happen more frequently.
That said, the cats have another function as well. They eat pick-ups off the ground, and depending on the pick-up, they can:
- Explode, similar to the effects caused by Heart of Fire, including the area of effect, from Nduja Fritta Tanto.
- Freeze in place, as with the effect of the Ologion.
- Run twice as fast, like both the Little and Gilded Clover Drops.
- Gain damage from Floor Chicken, often at the worst possible time when Giovanna has low HP.
- Ologion, Rosaries, and Vacuums can be used by Giovanna instead.
- Luck affects the cats as much as it affects the drops in a run. The more luck, the better the chance they won’t attack Giovanna and will go after enemies instead, as well as increasing the chance of a B.B.O.V. occurring.
Evolving Gatti Amari with the Stone Mask turns it into Vicious Hunger. The cats disappear and are replaced by a large cat’s eye that leaves a trail of black smoke behind it. It moves in the same way as Gatti Amari and also consumes things it comes across. However, it no longer gains different effects from consuming items. Instead, it either eats the item, including XP gems, or turns the enemy it killed or the item it ate into coins and money bags. This is fantastic for gold runs but leveling up becomes much slower, as the cats are busy munching on the XP drops. Don’t be surprised if leveling runs grind to a halt if Gatti Amari gets evolved. Normal runs, like with Cross, will go smoother if it’s not evolved.
Giovanna’s increasing projectile speed and greater mobility from her 20% movement speed bonus make her a very versatile character in a run. Slow weapons pack a bigger punch in her hands as she levels up, while fast, low-damage weapons like the Knife and Magic Wand will absolutely overwhelm enemies with their speed. Add in some cooldown reduction, and even elites and bosses can’t withstand the firepower Giovanna is sending their way.
Why not Giovanna?
Gatti Amari can really hinder Giovanna during runs because it’s a fickle weapon. At lower levels, the cats are slow and will attack Giovanna as much as they attack enemies. Maxing out Gatti Amari just means more cats, and they won’t stop attacking Giovanna until they’ve eaten about 25 or so Floor Chicken. This becomes a significant issue as Giovanna has to avoid not only enemies but also the cats. Since the cats grow stronger as they consume Floor Chicken, which could otherwise be used by Giovanna to heal, their double damage makes them just as dangerous as the enemies being fought. Furthermore, the cats force you to give up weapon and passive slots if you want to counteract them eating pick-ups.
How to get
Giovanna is a coffin character, which means you have to find and open her coffin in the Inlaid Library. It’s guarded by gargoyles, but she’s worth pursuing. After finding her, Giovanna is unlocked for 1000 gold before scaling.
Tips and builds
Get a second weapon for Giovanna quickly. Early on, Gatti Amari is too unreliable to attempt a run with. It becomes great later on, but until then, get something that will carry her more effectively. The Magic Wand is a good choice as it frees up targeting, allowing you to concentrate on avoiding the cats until they can be dealt with. Speaking of the cats, they are great to buff up. Enhancing them with area, cooldown, luck, and duration upgrades makes them incredibly potent. Increasing luck also reduces the chance of them attacking Giovanna and increases the chance of Floor Chicken being dropped, which they use to deal more damage the more they eat. Unlike leveling up or evolving, the cats don’t gain damage naturally. If Gatti Amari is not evolved, the cats will continue eating Floor Chicken and increasing their damage. Even after consuming a hundred or so Floor Chicken, they will only slightly slow down their damage gain and will be constantly fighting all around Giovanna, which is both great and amusing to watch.
Money money money! Build:
Weapons: Bone, Garlic, King Bible, Magic Wand, Santa Water Passives: Attractorb, Clover, Endless Tome, Pummarola, Spellbinder, Stone Mask
Giovanna does a decent job of making gold on her own. This build allows her to maximize her gold-making potential while providing great survivability with the Holy Trinity backed up by Bone and Magic Wand. The only thing to keep in mind with this build is to evolve Gatti Amari last. That way, Vicious Hunger will be much stronger, while increased luck will provide better chances for earning more gold.
The **ing cats!!!!!! Build:
Weapons: Laurel, Runechaser Passives: Armor, Attractorb, Clover, Duplicator, Endless Tome, Torrona’s Box, pick up both Metaglios and Silver Ring Arcanas: Beginning, Gemini, Silent Old Sanctuary
As the name suggests, this build relies on the cats for the run, and you’ll have a lot of them. If I remember correctly, there will be around 10 cats running around when Duplicator, Beginning, and Gemini are active. With just Beginning, Giovanna starts with 4 cats, 5 if the amount power-up has been filled. This makes the build a “risk versus reward” build as you work on leveling up Laurel, Armor, and Clover while getting the cats to eat as much Floor Chicken as possible. By the time you have both Beginning and Gemini, you should have decent armor and have evolved Runechaser into No Future, making it easier to take on the guardians with the sheer number of cat fights happening around Giovanna. You can then evolve Laurel and enjoy a screen-covering B.B.O.V.
When I unlocked Giovanna, I was initially put off by Gatti Amari. A weapon that damages its user is not something you want to use. However, it wasn’t until Trouser was added that I started to see just what Gatti Amari could do for gold runs. After that, I began to enjoy playing Giovanna more. Like Poe, she takes a bit of practice and has her drawbacks. But with some planning, she’s a powerhouse of a character who effortlessly flies around on her broom while her cats absolutely decimate anything that dares to appear on the screen. Besides, playing the hot witch barefoot waifu is a joy in its own right.