Valerie Character Guide (rush job draft)

Discussion in 'Puzzle-Strike: Bag of Chips' started by rabid_schnauzer, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. rabid_schnauzer

    rabid_schnauzer Well-Known Member

    Valerie Strat Guide (rush job draft=feedback highly desired)

    Valerie is the ultimate in flexibility. She doesn't just go both ways, she goes all three, having a solid game in rushdown, economy and defense.

    Diagram:

    Smack dab in the middle.

    Strengths
    • Moderate to Good Economy
    • Moderate to Good Engine potential
    • Decent attack chip synergy with her red arrow and the ability to play Chromatic Orb off of many attack chips
    • Chromatic Orb pile control gives her a viable rushdown option and top notch defense against rushdown

    Weaknesses
    • She does not excel at any single strategy, thus any opponent who can execute their ideal strategy will be doing whichever strategy that happens to be better than Val can
    • Lack of thindecking options and need for cycling leave her vulnerable to wounding.
    • Usefulness of the extra arrows on Three Colors is highly variable with the bank.
    • Easy to lose a match playing Valerie without realizing you've lost it. Naive Valerie rushdown or cycling can give the opponent a game-shifting height bonus advantage before there's an actual threat of anyone losing the game

    Valerie's General Game Plan:
    Adapt to the bank and the opponent and play to the bank's strength's and the opponent's weakness.

    Chips Valerie Loves:
    • Chips for Free, Now or Later These chips give added draws to speed up Val's cycling and also can be used for deck improvement, thereby mitigating one of Val's bigger vulnerabilities.
    • Risky Move This chip gives Val added economy while building her height bonus, making it very useful for both Econ and Rushdown play.
    • Training Day Another deck improvement chip, this one lets Val pig chips in order to line her fork up with the appropriate enders.
    • Self Improvement Another chip that covers Val's susceptibility to wounding. Val can play this off of her blue arrow for deck-thinning, or she can usually play the extra chips she draws from the reaction.
    • Bang Then Fizzle Val's combination of Chromatic Orb and fast cycling means she has better early game pile control than just about anybody, she is very likely to be able to keep her pile below 4 for the first few turns and profit greatly from this. On the downside, she doesn't have any innate way to trash or train it away after the early game, so she does need to be careful to be able to keep the advantage this can give her.
    • Improvisation This chip can wash Val's blue arrow into any other playable chip. It also can give Val even faster cycling and serves as a psuedo-fork in conjunction with her character chips, Combines or other chips with arrows on them.
    • Chip Damage: This is a decent attack, and more interestingly, Val can follow it with Chromatic Orb or Creative Thoughts to draw the chip she puts atop her bag. If her chips line up correctly she can use Three Colors before Chip Damage and either of her other character chips after in order to be able to immediately play whatever chip she returns to the top of her bag, Occasionally this chip even allows Val to use red centered engine building to cause her opponent(s) to discard most of the their hands every turn.
    • Color Panic This is a strong attack, which can wash Val's red arrow into a black arrow and it gives a hand peek to determine if an opponent will be able to countercrash Val's Chromatic orb or not.
    • Ouch!, Stolen Purples These two strong attack chips are great use or Val's red arrow and Val can almost always afford them with her opening buy.
    • Axe Kick, One of Each, Roundhouse It's Combo Time These premium cantrips help to speed Val's cycling up further and provide virtual deck shrinkage for her. Many of them also wash the brown arrow from Three Colors into a black arrow she can use to crash.
    • Knockdown, Dashing Strike These attacks can wash Val's red arrow from Three Colors into other colors, which can open up useful combos for Val.
    • Pick Your Poison This is a red chip which has not just an arrow, but also a pig and a draw, making it a useful engine component for Val and it can pose a double threat if chained with Sneak Attack or Chip Damage.. However if played early on, it is very likely to just give Val's opponent a bigger height bonus advantage.

    Chips Val Fears:
    • Really Annoying, Just a Scratch, Ouch! Wounds really mess with deck cycling and make it far less likely for Val to draw Three Colors along with chips that let her use multiple arrows from it.
    • One True Style This chip gives Val's opponent access to the same tri-color fork that Val has, and also serves as a decent defense against rushdown. Since it's purple, Val can't play it off of Three Colors. Thus while it can be good for Val, it's almost always better for her opponent.

    Other Noteworthy Chips
    • Blues are Good Chromatic Orb is all four colors, so Blues are Good can be used to fetch and play it.
    • Signature Move Since Val's character chips are a washer, a fork and a mini-crash, Signature Move is a very versatile chip for her. However at the $5 cost, Val is often better off with a [3] Gem or cantrip if she's going Econ, with a Combine if she's going Rushdown or another Crash or expensive attack chip if she's going Defense.
    • Sneak Attack, Repeated Jabs Val can sometimes use these non-countercrashable ante chips to aid her rush. She can play them off her red arrow and follow Sneak Attack up with Chromatic Orb.

    General Tips

    What to do as Val:
    • Play a strategy that will beat the opponent's default strategy. If they are an Econ character, then Combine is likely your best starting buy; if they are a Rushdown character, then Stolen Purples or Ouch! is a strong opening, if they are Defense character, then you probably want a [3] gem.
    • Carefully consider your options with Creative Thoughts. In general +$ +Chip is strongest early and +Black becomes more useful later --but that isn't always the case.
    • Pay attention to what Chromatic Orb will draw and whether it will be useful. In the early cycles, [Gem]s and sometimes Creative Thoughts are the only playable chips Orb can draw and it can be problematic to draw an unplayable Crash or Combine from Orb.
    • Remember that Orb always draws a chip, even if you have no [1]s in your pile. This can let Val cycle faster or gain an econ boost without giving her opponent a chance to countercrash.

    What not to do as Val:
    • Don't Crash or Chromatic Orb in the early turns if you already have enough for your buy - Val can get into trouble by giving the opponent a pile height bonus advantage.
    • Don't draw a chip when the odds are good that you can't use it. You do not have to play Chromatic Orb when it is in your hand, nor do you have to choose +Draw on Creative Thoughts.
    • Don't try to play the same strategy as the opponent. Remember that Jaina out-rushes you, Setsuki out-engines you, and Grave out-econs you, so don't try to beat such an opponent at their own game

    Matchups Val Loves

    vs Jaina, vs Midori, vs Troq. Val's great pile control renders her highly resistant to rushdown, and she can usually endure even a full-on Jaina blitz until Jaina loses from self-wounding. Midori and Troq are a little tougher as they have deck-improvement abilities that Val lacks, but Val can easily play the attack chips that give either of them huge problems.

    Matchups Val Fears

    vs Setsuki: In most banks Setsuki has a much better lategame than Val does, so Val should try to rush her down. Even worse, Doubletake lets Sets play some of Val's favorite attack chips earlier and more often than Val can.

    vs Grave: Grave has better Economy and usually a better lategame than Val, and his Reversal means that Chromatic Orb is very likely to run into countercrashes and slow the game down. This is a hard match for Val.

    vs Quince: Flagstone Tax can make Chromatic Orb a liability, and Val should make sure to build her own pile height a bit in this matchup.

    vs Arg: Early wounds cause Val to fall apart. Even worse, counterpicking in blue reactions is questionable since Arg has two blue arrows to Val's one.
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  2. Inkstud

    Inkstud Well-Known Member

    A++
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  3. DooMeeR

    DooMeeR New Member

    Some random thoughts...

    Chip Damage: This is a decent attack, and more interestingly, Val can follow it with Chromatic Orb to draw the chip she puts atop her bag.
    => also works with Creative Thoughts

    Improvisation: it is not only a washer, but also a pseudo-fork.

    I think your guide lacks the fact that Valerie likes all kinds of washers for Three Colors. Here are some of them.

    Pick Your Poison:
    => I think Valerie likes that chip more than other characters, especially when Chip Damage is in the bank. She can play it off Three Colors to cycle until she finds something to use with the other arrows of Three Colors. With Chip Damage you can setup some crazy combos which will make the opponent discard all his hand. And you already noted that Valerie has good synergy with Chip Damage. Don't buy Pick Your Poison at the beginning though, it will help the opponent build his pile advantage.

    Dashing Strike:
    => With Three Colors, this allows Valerie to have a 2-brown fork, which helps her economy while lowering the need for pile control even more.

    Knockdown:
    => You want to play Three Colors, but you also want to use your Crash Gem? Knockdown is your friend! Especially when rushing: the opponent cannot counter-crash (which helps with your Chromatic Orb also) and you don't need a good economy to play Knockdown.

    For instance, Valerie can fork Three Colors into a mix of disruption and cycling (with Pick Your Poison to disrupt and draw, Chromatic Orb and Creative Thoughts to draw) with rushing (with Knockdown to end the Pick Your Poison combo into an uncounterable Crash, and Chromatic Orb). She does not need economy for that as she can affort those chips easily.

    General Tips:
    Be careful when playing Chromatic Orb in the first turn. Consider carefully what are the odds of drawing something useful. In fact the only useful chip it can draw in the first turn is money.

    Don't play Chromatic Orb or your Crash if you don't need the money at the beginning; you'll use that pile height bonus better.

    You have a chance at a 6$ opening. If your starting hand is 1111+CT, and you play CT as +1$+chip, then you might draw another 1. This is quite rare and the bank does not always has a 6$ chip though.

    The opening hands are very stable; you can almost always ensure consistent 4 buys in the first two turns, sometimes 5.

    Matchups:
    Versus Rook: you usually want to send a lot of 4-gems, which is not helped by your Chromatic Orb, so this matchup feels hard (although I mostly played it in the original base set with the old reflect).
  4. Aesa

    Aesa Well-Known Member

    I feel like Val should be really good vs. Rook. Reflect change is extra-relevant in this matchup.
  5. DooMeeR

    DooMeeR New Member

    Yes I agree, this change is probably very helpful for Val. I was not able to test it on the server a lot though. Take the last paragraph of my post lightly :)
  6. Kdansky

    Kdansky Banned

    What I find really hard with her: Sticking to a plan. I often end up buying a bit of everything, wanting to use all colours at once, and then five turns later, my deck (while theoretically full of good chips) is just way too inconsistent to actually win. Just because you can do everything doesn't mean you can do everything at once.

    And as a side-note: She is the base set character that probably loves all the new redesigned chips the most. Better reds and blues make her so much more interesting to play than before. One-color characters (Setsuki) are much more easily hurt by off-color banks where everything is either red or blue, but Val adapts really well. She's a great relief character when the bank is a huge mess. I actually think she is strongest when the bank is just outright bad for everybody, because she is more likely than her opponent to make it work anyway.
    Only one exception to this: The bank offers wounding, but no training and purging. Because that's the only thing she really can't do.
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  7. ChumpChange

    ChumpChange Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Edited Val guide. The forum software might have messed with the line spacing.

    Valerie is the ultimate in flexibility. She doesn't just go both ways, she goes all three, having a solid game in rushdown, economy and defense.

    [Triangle: Almost smack dab in the middle, just barely leaning towards defense]

    Strengths:
    - Moderate-to-good economy
    - Moderate-to-good engine potential
    - Decent attack chip synergy with both reds and blues
    - Chromatic Orb pile control gives her a viable rushdown option and top notch defense against rushdown

    Weaknesses:
    - Does not excel at any single strategy
    - Vulnerable to wounds as a combo-based character
    - Usefulness of the extra arrows on Three Colors is highly variable with the bank.

    Gameplan
    Valerie is a jack of all trades, but a master of none. Build combos that play to the bank's strength's and the opponent's weakness.

    Chips Valerie Loves:





    - Chips for Free, Now or Later, Training Day
    These deck improvement chips mitigate one of Valerie's bigger vulnerabilities while speeding up her deck. Chips for Free and Now or Later chips give added draws to speed up her cycling, while Training Day lets her put new chips in her hand, potentially playing them off of Three Colors.

    - Self Improvement, Thinking Ahead

    Not only do these chips protect Valerie from attacks that would slow her down, she can make great use of their main actions with Three Colors. Self-Improvement’s deck-thinning properties are obvious, but Thinking Ahead and a solid economy let her build up incredibly fast.


    - Bang Then Fizzle, Risky Move

    Normally, Valerie doesn’t want to crash too much in the early game. However, frequent Chromatic Orb play can make either of these chips unusually safe buys.

    - Chip Damage, Ouch, Stolen Purples

    All of these attacks are easy to afford and great for her red arrow. Valerie can follow Chip Damage with Chromatic Orb or Creative Thoughts to draw the chip she put atop her bag, sometimes playing it immediately.

    - Knockdown, Dashing Strike, Color Panic, Improvisation

    These attacks can wash Val's red and blue arrows into other colors, opening up useful combos for Val.

    - Pick Your Poison

    A red chip that both draws and links into Chromatic Orb makes a perfect combo ingredient for Valerie in the midgame. Buying this too early lets your opponent benefit from the height bonus.

    Chips Val Fears:

    - Really Annoying, Just a Scratch

    Wounds really mess with deck cycling and make it far less likely for Valerie to draw Three Colors along with chips that let her use multiple arrows from it.

    - One True Style
    This chip gives Val's opponent access to the same tri-color fork that Val has. It can be good for Valerie, but it's almost always better for her opponent.

    General Tips

    - Don't try to play the same strategy as the opponent. Against econ characters, Combine might be your best starting buy. Against rushdown, Stolen Purples or Ouch is a strong opening. Against defense, you probably want a [3] gem.
    - Carefully consider your options with Creative Thoughts. In general +$ +chip is strongest early and +arrow is more useful later – but that isn't always the case.
    - Pay attention to what Chromatic Orb will draw and whether it will be useful. It can be problematic to draw an unplayable Crash or Combine.
    - Don't Crash or Chromatic Orb in the early turns if you already have enough for your buy - Val can get into trouble by giving the opponent a pile height bonus advantage.
    - Remember that Orb always draws a chip, even if you have no [1]s in your pile. This can let Val cycle faster or gain an econ boost without giving her opponent a chance to countercrash.

    Matchups Val Loves

    Valerie's great pile control renders her highly resistant to rushdown, and she can usually endure even a full-on Jaina blitz until Jaina loses from self-wounding. Midori and Troq are a little tougher as they have deck-improvement abilities that Valerie lacks, but Valerie can easily play the attack chips that give either of them huge problems.

    Matchups Val Fears

    As a well-rounded character, Valerie has no outright bad matchups. Still, Setsuki and Grave have a much better lategames than she does. Even worse, Double Take lets Setsuki play some of Valerie's favorite attack chips earlier and more often than Valerie can. Quince’s Flagstone Tax can make Chromatic Orb a liability.
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  8. NateLinhart

    NateLinhart New Member

    I've been having some trouble lately with Val against Grave and Sets and need some advice. Especially when forks and draw three is in the bank, its insanely hard to take them out quickly. What's the best chip or strategy against that? I thought the ultimate rushdown chip would be 'risk to riskonade', but letting my opponent draw two extra typically allows them to have a giant buy like a super early DCG at some point, and then I get screwed. So does anyone have advice how counter a Sets and Grave with Val, especially with forks and draw chips in the bank? I know it varies dependent on the bank, but I'd appreciate some suggestions. :)
  9. Vauceene

    Vauceene Active Member

    If you have any replays I could watch I could give more specific advice besides "you need to rushdown, here's how!"
  10. NateLinhart

    NateLinhart New Member

    haha i don't probably. i haven't played with val in a couple days, unfortunately. have you been playing val of late vauceene? i'll stalk your replays if you have.
  11. Star Slayer

    Star Slayer Well-Known Member

    Going heavy read, either with additional ante or concentrated discard seems to be the right way to approach those match-ups. Of course, that is not possible in all banks.

    Knockdown, Sneak Attack, Chip Damage, Stolen Purples, Dashing Strike, Repeated Jabs, Color Panic, Ouch! and Pick Your Poison are the chips you want.
  12. rabid_schnauzer

    rabid_schnauzer Well-Known Member

    Those are both hard matchups for Val, but you're probably throwing Orb too early and too often, you want the height bonus on your side and you damn sure don't want either of those two to be able to slow the tempo with early countercrashes.

    Against Sets, you want to do all you can to increase the tempo of the game and prevent countercrashes. For increasing Tempo you have Sneak Attack, Pick Your Posion, Repeated Jabs, Ouch!, Ebb or Flow, Risky Move and if you absolutely have nothing else Riskonade (but be aware it's a "least bad" option, not a "good" option). For preventing countercrashing: Knockdown, Color Panic, Combine and Stolen Purples are your go to chips - but track Set's crash and washers.

    Against Grave Val can use similar rushdown options, being even more careful not to Orb into Reversal early. But Grave's use of Martial Mastery to improve his deck requires him to burn chips from his hand, so using discard disruption can cripple his econ - Chip Damage becomes very useful here (and can combo well with the red rushdown chips mentioned above)
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  13. NateLinhart

    NateLinhart New Member

    I'm actually very careful with the orb. i never use it early against econ and most characters. The problem is I don't know if like its better to go for sneak attacks or chip damage against grave/sets? ive seen chip damage do really well against grave. but especially with sets i have trouble rushing him fast. if self-improvement is in the bank then i seem to stand no chance with reds. especially when sets gets great use of double-taking self-improvement as well. maybe im not buying combines at the right time.
  14. NateLinhart

    NateLinhart New Member

    ouch seems to be the best red chip against Grave, but i cant figure out the best ones against sets in this terrible matchup.
  15. Vauceene

    Vauceene Active Member

    This past time has been dedicated to Rook, however send a message whenever you see me idle.
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  16. NateLinhart

    NateLinhart New Member

    sounds good
  17. DrFaustus

    DrFaustus Active Member

    Against Self-Improvement, red rush is suicide.

    Rabid listed Ebb&Flow for ante. It's a bit weaker than riskonade, but the opponent doesn't get to draw. I really like it when playing Zane. Val has a blue arrow, too, so that might work.
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  18. rabid_schnauzer

    rabid_schnauzer Well-Known Member

    Fortunately, Self-Improvement's main is stupid good for Val - as thindecking makes her more likely to be able to use her innate fork and her innate draws in the same turn. In SI pools she should rush by buying a SI and a Combine right off the bat and purging her :ps1gem:s ruthlesslessly with SI

    As for Ebb or Flow, the Ante a :ps2gem: option is pretty good for a Val rush -- sadly the trash a :ps1gem: option is Doubletakeable pile control for Sets, meaning that it's not safe to counterpick in, but if it's in the initial bank, you should consider using it.
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  19. NateLinhart

    NateLinhart New Member

    Thanks everyone! I'll test it out.
  20. mediohxcore

    mediohxcore Active Member

    The best rushdown strategies for non-rushdown characters against econ characters usually involve a combination of ante red chips and countercrashing prevention. Although stolen purples and color panic can be strong at preventing countercrashes, discard spells like color panic and stolen purples usually slow down the game rather than speeding it up, and can fall victim to an opponent who just buys a lot of money. The best way to prevent countercrashes are checking your opponent's discard pile, knockdown, and buying early combines to build 4-gems.

    Knockdown is especially powerful, because valerie and onimaru have character chip crashes, and perse has a red arrow that is great to wash into purple even if it's just to combine.

    Ouch is great to buy one of, as it stops your opponent from combining defensively, but it competes at 4 with combine.

    Dashing Strike is fine if you can use the arrow, but it competes with combine as well, and hurts your pile bonus.

    PyP also competes with combine, and gives your opponent the discard option. You usually have to buy money to get enough of this chip to really punish someone with it. I avoid it if possible most of the time, (though oni can effectively use it in conjunction with knockdown to cycle quickly and pig to set up frequent uncounterable double-slashes). Not really sure about this chip with val, but I suspect it is not much stronger than buying a lot of combines.

    Sneak attack is always an all-star in these situations. I find that you can frequently win games with BBB, Oni, Perse, or Val against econ characters buying almost nothing but sneak attacks.

    Repeated jabs is fine, but it usually needs support in the form of an incidental red arrow, (gem essence, three colors), and it won't get the job done by itself.

    Self-Improvement is a monster against discard, but it doesn't always work that well against an ante rush. A deck full of sneak attacks can just ignore it most of the time.
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  21. NateLinhart

    NateLinhart New Member

    i've found pyp to be a great val chip. but with self-improvement in the bank, its obviously terrible. maybe i should try more sneak attack strats.

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