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 $5 cost, Val is often better off with a  Gem or cantrip if she's going Econ, with a Combine if she's going Rushdown or another Crash or expensive attack chip if she's going Defense. Sneak Attack, Repeated Jabs Val can sometimes use these non-countercrashable ante chips to aid her rush. She can play them off her red arrow and follow Sneak Attack up with Chromatic Orb. General Tips What to do as Val: Play a strategy that will beat the opponent's default strategy. If they are an Econ character, then Combine is likely your best starting buy; if they are a Rushdown character, then Stolen Purples or Ouch! is a strong opening, if they are Defense character, then you probably want a  gem. Carefully consider your options with Creative Thoughts. In general +$ +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 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.