For Honor Valkyrie In-Depth Guide
- Basics (Attack speed, movelist, etc.)
- Feat and Perk selection
- Theory and Execution, playing 1v1s
- Your place in 4v4s
- Your Match-ups (Simplified)
- Fighting With Valkyrie
- Closing Thoughts
The goal of this guide is to unite as much knowledge on Valkyrie as possible while also helping you to move your game forwards with the character. Despite being low tier on many tierlists, and having her own variety of unique issues, she is still a fun and very versatile hero offering advantages that others still don’t. If you have some information that may be of use to the guide, feel free to share it here and in the comments.The Basics
|Default Guard Direction
|Off Target Enhanced Attacks
|Lock on Speed
|1.75m/s F, 1.75m/s S, 1.25m/s B
|Forward Dodge Recovery
|Any, Any, Any
^ Unusual behavior on her guard (see below)
- Valkyrie has a Superior Block dodge that guarantees a follow up, Shoulder Pin, for 20 + 25b on hit.
- After Valkyrie’s Superior Block window ends (100-300ms) her guard will fade and attacks will hit her in her dodge. When dodging backwards, she never raises her guard up.
- Crushing Counter lights in all opening directions. These count as chain starters as usual.
- Valkyrie can cancel her forward dodge into a guardbreak starting at 100ms into her forward dodge.
- Valkyrie can soft feint her zone after the first hit into a bash.
- Valkyrie can soft feint her heavies into a bash.
- Valkyrie can enter a stance from back dodge. The stance has fullblock, can be feinted, or released into an unreactable bash that guarantees a 2nd light.
- Valkyrie’s Side Light Finishers (3rd light) stun and deal 80 stamina damage, throwing the opponent in the opposite direction the light came from and wallsplatting.
- Attacks from a guardbreak are 1st in chain, attacks after a throw are chain finishers. Wallsplatting confirms her chain finisher bash for 35 damage.
We’ll talk more about these in a minute, as they are all each critical to understanding and playing Valkyrie in 1v1 and in 4v4. But, for now, we’ll talk about her Perk and Feat selection since that’s one of the cruxes of playing her.Feat and Perk Selection
T1 – Rush, Deadly, Bounty Hunter
T2 – Bloodlust, Bear Trap, Juggernaut
T3 – Javelin, Fury, Sharpen Blade
T4 – Scout, Regenerate, Fire Flask
Valkyrie has a strong selection of feats that most characters would welcome into their collection. Although not all of them are good, many present favorable choices in the general population.
Bounty Hunter, Bloodlust, Javelin, Fire Flask
Bounty Hunter, Juggernaut, Javelin, Fire Flask
Allow me to justify these choices – Valkyrie’s first slot is majorly bogged down by Rush and Deadly. Deadly is, outright, just a bad feat for any character to take. Meanwhile, Rush is an okay feat but not one Valkyrie needs due to having an okay movement speed and in non-comp situations she can access perks to increase her movement speed and seriously boost it. Ergo, between a bad feat and one that’s somewhat pointless, the ability to heal and regenerate stamina are valuable.
Her second slot is full of valuable picks. Beartrap is very strong, and even just to deal damage while stalling, can be useful to ensure you get some time or a teammate gets some damage. Unfortunately for her, she has very little use for Bear Trap as all of her low damage, chain based moves make it difficult to score some good hits in while the enemy is freeing themselves. Juggernaut is a classic pick to stall with, as it presents reusable and controlled damage reduction, making her ability to hold out much better. Bloodlust, however, is my favorite choice overall – as in addition to the Juggernaut effect of decreasing damage by half – it INCREASES her own damage by 50%, making even her basic pokes begin to hurt a lot more and allowing her T3 and T4 feats to shine as genuine threats to the enemy.
The Third Slot is fairly straightforward: Javelin (quick, subtle animation providing 50 damage and cancelling HA), or Fury (quick startup damage reduction and damage increase.) Due to Valkyrie’s ability to increase her own damage/decrease damage taken being present in Tier 2 through Jug and Bloodlust, I’ll be personally recommending Javelin as it is extremely handing for finishing someone off to activate Bloodlust.
Fourth Slot is very, VERY straightforward. After the huge nerf to Scout, and Regenerate being trash, you’ll be taking the Viking specialty of Fire Flask. With a boost from Fury should you take it, or Bloodlust, you’ll be able to come up with extremely high damage numbers that make an already clutch and game ending feat more overbearing than ever.
All in all these feat selections turn Valkyrie into someone capable of surviving being outnumbered and going the distance without retreating to heal – she can reduce damage taken, increase damage dealt, heal and regenerate stamina from kills, and even lash out with high damage feats to keep enemies dead or off of her.
Grey/Gray: Radiant Rebound, Remedy, Feline Agility
Purple: Clever Tactics
Orange: Rising Dawn
Mint: Rapid Refresh
Just like her Feats, Valkyrie’s perks present a surprisingly powerful and somewhat flexible array that genuinely allow her to tailor her playstyle and her feats to become even more effective.
Radiant Rebound, Remedy, Rapid Refresh
Feline Agility, Remedy, Rising Dawn
One of the main things that seriously support Valkyrie here is being a character with normal movement speed that can go above that with Feline or Radiant, achieving impressive movement and allowing her to rotate or quickly go where she needs to from spawn. As a rotate based character, as well as one that is able to quickly clear mid, she should always take at least one option that improves upon her movement. Next, having Remedy means she heals that much more off of kills that feed back into her Bloodlust and Fury sustain in combat, and Rising Dawn is simply useful. Rapid Refresh being the other mention as her extremely potent T3 and T4 throwables recharging faster is always useful, especially as the perk triggers on assists.Theory and Execution, playing 1v1s
Valkyrie is consistently listed “Low” on the scale of 1v1s, and this is not without reason. Valkyrie suffers from much lower damage than many of the heroes on the cast (yes, you might write that this will change with the CCU, but that’s not now is it?) and insanely high stamina use relative to the pay off. Not only that, but she suffers from lack of meaningful chain and chain finisher pressure without careful control of the enemy’s movement. In this section I hope to help you get to where you’re going in more ways than one.
Your playstyle is defensive, and to stall or whittle away.
Valkyrie has a myriad of things that help her when she is the one on the defense. This includes one of her own things that can be used offensively too.
No. 1 Back Dodge Fullblock (Shield Tackle Stance)
This move is at the core of Valkyrie’s ability to escape certain abilities of other heroes, as well as stall someone out. This requires the most amount of reading, and around the most stamina to use. Due to a lack of safety in some areas, it’s not even safe to use and you might not consider doing so against some opponents for entire sets.
So then, considering that, how do you apply it? The move is activated during 400-500ms durin the back dodge, and gives fullblock the entire time. This makes it useful for disabling mixups reliant on mixups that do not use unblockables, even if they can use GBs as a potential mixup, since it still covers more than one avenue. By activating the stance before the parry window, it’s possible to escape mixups such as:
- Aramusha’s Deadly Feints
- Shaman and PK’s bleed dagger soft feints
- Jiangjun’s dodge attacks
- Raider’s heavy mixups
It’s important to note though that these all leave you vulnerable to GB (most of the time), since the back dodge distance was nerfed to make it easier to catch Valkyrie with GBs instead of them always whiffing. They do still, however, get OSed and lose two of their options as even if they track forwards they will instead collide with the fullblock which guarantees a light.
Not only that, but simply doing this move from neutral is very easy to repeatedly buy time. Despite the 4 stamina per second cost of maintaining it and the large cost of feinting or letting it go, it’s unsafe to approach as the bash is unreactable and when released isn’t going to get GB’d at all. The distance it covers is long, longer than the soft feint, and even though it can’t chain on whiff it can certainly make the enemy wary of approaching since it’s very difficult approach compared to punish.
To use the bash offensively, simply release the hold button and feint it after she stands up. She will still scream her line, but the enemy is likely to dodge at this point. Utilizing her forward dodge GB cancel will give you the punish you’re looking for.
No. 2: Crushing Counter lights in all directions
Like all crushing counter lights, these make it no good to attack Valkyrie with blockable offense or heavies as they will be negated. Her light damage becomes 27, and they can even ledge an opponent. They can be baited and parried, but they are some of the more favorable neutral CCs to have.
No. 3 Dodge OS with Superior Block
Valkyrie has one of the strongest superior block/deflect moves in the game, clocking in at 45 damage or 58 against Reflex Guard characters. This makes her defense when combined with her dodge attack lights hard to break when she tries to fish for Superior Block attacks. The dodge attacks themselves are highly telegraphed, not guaranteed on superior block, and mediocre damage while punished with a light parry. One should take care to applying them, but never forget what kind of reward the heavy input on Superior Block gives.
No. 4 Zone OS that can be soft or hard feinted
This didn’t exist until recently. Well, recently is now. Valkyrie’s zone is somewhat slow, making it easy to parry, but it now functions like a bog standard Zone OS with the added benefit of being able to hard feint after the first hit, or soft feint between swings into a shield bash to further her pressure. It costs an unholy amount of stamina, but it helps whittle the enemy away slowly as previously stated.
Okay, so you know how to play defensively. How do you apply pressure if you need to?
This is probably one of the biggest ticket questions for Valkyrie players, getting your feet off the ground and actually fighting them from neutral. Your primary tool for trying to attack the enemy as the initiator is your heavy/bash mixup. The problem with this move, is that due to the almost nonexistent and difficult to use delay window you almost always throw it at its face value of 500ms – but due to its strict timing and placement in the animation of the heavy, higher level players will be able to dodge it on reaction, shifting the flow of how to use the mixup. I’ll try to lay it out for you below:
Heavy commit > they dodge > chain heavy if you think they’ll GB
Heavy bash > they dodge > buffer a feinted heavy to nullify most options and guarantee a GB on a whiffed GB
Heavy bash > they dodge > buffer a heavy to nullify light parries and GB
Heavy bash > they dodge > buffer a light to nullify neutral bashes
Heavy feint > they dodge > guardbreak
Heavy feint against someone who keeps at range and walks backwards > forward dodge GB cancel
Heavy feint against someone when using left chain heavy (more on this later) > forward dodge GB cancel
The main problems with the bash is that it deals low damage on confirm (13) while consuming a very large amount of stamina. Mixing up with the bash or doing it in chain (heavy/bash opener > light > finisher heavy mixup) leave you constantly begging for stamina on a character whose only relief is getting a kill with Bounty Hunter. This creates very short turns for Valkyrie despite having an infinite loop for mixups, everything costs too much to maintain.
Identifying and Dealing with your main weaknesses
My 2nd and 3rd left heavies don’t have GB tracking.
This is unfortunately true. In order to effectively use them against back dodgers, you need to use her forward dodge GB cancel. [Next statement needs further testing with humans] You can also do this with side dodges, but it requires frame perfect inputs so as to not catch them outside of side dodge recovery. The problem is that if you aren’t using your left heavy, or you’re never feinting your left heavy, you might be seen as predictable. Plus, you might just end up using it without realizing, and you don’t want to get screwed by lacking a GB option.
My Side Finisher Lights and my Sweep never land.
The problem with both of these is that they are reactable, making it harder to use effectively. Delaying your side lights will help against dodge attackers trying to avoid your top light or your sweep early, but if they have static guard you’re likely to have them merely blocked. Delaying the sweep also causes it to lose against backwalking if they got hit by a heavy beforehand. This causes Valkyrie to need to be a character that fights enemies at walls, which means she needs to figure out how her enemy moves to control them. Do they dodge backwards? Send them to the wall! Get a guardbreak? Throw them towards or into the wall, you want them to be near objects and corners and all manner of things that can snag and cancel their frames out from under them. Doing so means your Sweep is more lethal, and removes the need for conditioning your opponent by doing things such as ending your turn before the end of the chain and making them “not expect” the sweep.
My Fullblock Stance keeps getting guardbroken during the dodge.
You need to be careful with it, it’s easy to GB during startup because it’s used from a dodge and it’s just a fullblock before you have the chance to release it. If the opponent is reading a guardbreak on you, ask yourself if they’re doing it because of your continued use of the backdodge, or if that’s their preferred method. What would work better? Waiting to see what they do, or trying to light attack them because of the perceived guardbreak? Dodge attacks, parries? It’s a mixup, all the same, but if you want to select something weak to GB, you need to be reading that GB, this is not exclusive to the backdodge FB Stance but to all basic theory when reading against a mixup.
I keep running out of stamina.
Valkyrie’s stamina is one of her most limited resources, despite technically having the tools necessary to begin the offensive, so she does have to back off. The thing you learn first is that maintaining the offensive is very difficult and often very short, especially since being punished can sometimes end up losing stamina for you as well (GB throws, hit during an attack that is not finished.) which makes her fragile economy fall apart fast. Valkyrie is very much a character that kills the enemy through a thousand stabs, but she’s kitted out to be able to do that with offense and defense, if you can’t keep it up, don’t feel pressured to. In a 1v1 you can still pull back and try to defend if they’re able or willing to attack. If they aren’t, then take your time to regenerate, the character won’t perform any better if you are tired.
I have no OOS pressure, because my bash does not pause stamina.
This is unfortunately true, as you can usually only hit two bashes when someone is OOS before they’re back up and running. Most players might face tank it, but if they’re low on health, you still have a legitimate GB potential. The problem, for the live game, is that your damage is still not going to be exemplary.Your place in 4v4s
Valkyrie is a troubled soul when it comes to playing in 4v4s. She has multiple areas where she could potentially be good, that all seem to start falling short. Nonetheless, the character isn’t completely dead yet, and we’ll focus on why that is starting now.
What IS Valkyrie good for?
Valkyrie provides excellent mid clear for when the primary midlaner is busy. She has no Body Count, and her lights are bad at clearing as opposed to her fantastic zone hitboxes and wide enough heavies – this means that while waiting for stamina to use she’ll take a few dings, provided she isn’t just passing through and needs to kill a few more. Having access to her mobility Perks help solidify the role of someone moving around the map a lot, but they’re not entirely necessary and you should not rely them if your focus is competitive play (as they are banned in competitive scrims or games.)
Valkyrie’s feats turn her into someone who can buy you a lot of time, and her kit for 1v1s being as solid as it is defensively means she can also challenge the limits of the enemy’s patience. By waiting in her fullblock stance and accessing feats like Juggernaut, killing this 120 HP character can become a surprising hassle provided she isn’t trying to run you down either, and is merely trying to keep you from getting points or waiting for backup. Because Bloodlust only works on final hits, she often needs to “steal” kills by quickly jabbing an enemy or throwing a Javelin at them, but this shouldn’t be disregarded – it makes her offense deal a lot more damage while still protecting her from bodily harm. When out numbered, the range on her 2nd lights allows her to move between her two enemies, while the huge and misleading hitbox of Sweep can sometimes be utilized as a “keep off” move due to having larger range to her sides and minor range directly behind her.
Need to catch someone’s attention or stop them from running away from you? Valkyrie’s forward dodge light, especially when chained into her 2nd and 3rd top lights, give her serious forwards momentum and have decent tracking to call someone back to the battlefield and keep them trained on her. While not the most risk-free moves, or threatening externally, she’ll stop someone from realizing they left the oven on and need to leave the current exchange.
Need to murder an entire family? Throw a Javelin… then throw a Fire Flask.
Alright, what’s the catch – what ISN’T Valkyrie good for?
Unfortunately, her weaknesses can get pretty big as soon as you start tallying them for Dominion. Although she’s blessed by her stall, sometimes when you want to actually kill someone, you will find yourself unable to really do it on a schedule.
Next, Valkyrie majorly suffers from a lack of any threat when fighting with teammates. A 1v2 gank where you’re being attacked by Valkyrie is one of the least intimidating things you could be stacked up against, her lack of pressure from the sides other than a revenge feeding shield bash seriously stacks the cards against her favor. Although idling in fullblock stance can make an enemy trying to target swap trigger something they didn’t want to, it doesn’t really provide anything of value. Her enhanced off-target attacks and decent range pokes might make her seem good in theory, but the constant threat of sweeping her own allies (bash revenge feed) really lowers her worth because the higher damage you get off of it still gives revenge – the sweep doesn’t revenge bind either. Its primary ability is often enabling unique floor punishes like Eagle’s Talon or Hamarr Slam, but considering how much it takes to get there, it’s not fantastic as an opener either really.
All in all, Valkyrie suffers a lack of presence other than feats, but her lack of Body Count contributes to that lack of presence sadly enough. You’re left with a character whose combined best attributes are essentially other high tier or meta picks, but watered down into a weaker form. Her best chance to be useful is stalling, and sometimes clearing mid, but other heroes including ones that main mid are better at it. Her anti-gank isn’t really anything to write home about, but characters who can already do mid/1v1 stall better are also able to go further with that and stall when being ganked. Even her main advantage, her feats, are still covered by other vikings such as Warlord who can still give themselves damage boosts before throwing Flask.
The worst Dominion character? Far from it… but she’s still not someone I’d ever seriously send into a team when I want or need them to win.Your Match-ups (Simplified)
Valkyrie is a character that can really shine and shimmer or crash and burn depending on the enemy she is up against, to the point where while I will make a couple of generalizations, it’s best to take most characters individually to examine them.
Heroes like Shugoki, Highlander or Warlord that can give you a serious beating or a hard time from neutral because of their immunity to normal attacks have Valkyrie by the neck here. On the defensive, although she can simply block most of these attacks, her offensive is often dangerous due to its length or it being locked behind chains to effectively bash them out of things. Players that don’t like to play aggressive will be hard to bait out for her, and completely unlikely to fall for silly things like Sweep baits.
Heroes that Dodge
Valkyrie can have a tough time getting started when it comes to heroes that try to dodge her as a general rule. Although Dodge Attack Bashers are basically the end of everything (they are for most characters), normal dodge attacks give her a little lee-way. She IS vulnerable to being dodge attacked after Sweep whiffing, but she can easily catch incorrect dodges with her side lights and with her Sweep. This is dependent on the enemy trying to do things in advance, and not on reaction, though as deflects on reaction to 500ms lights are easy to pull off and will still avoid Sweep.
Heroes with Bashes
Valkyrie’s response of dodge attacking heroes with bashes is “functional”, but it’s not extremely powerful for her due to her dodge lights being somewhat lacking. It scrapes the bottom of the barrel, really. Against variable timed bashes, Valkyrie can game their responses with her backdodge fullblock to move out of range of most of their options, creating an additional layer of reading for the enemy. [This may be old, but it should still function on key characters.]
Valkyrie Matchups – Extended
Should the link ever go down, let me know through contact information listed at the bottom and I will create a more permanent solution.Fighting With Valkyrie
If Valkyrie is your teammate, you should be seeking early on in a gank to setup for her as her Sweep gives big damage (35 + your attack) when given the room to be done. The best option to avoid being “betrayed” by your fellow ganker is to try to stand behind the enemy, putting them between you and her, as her Sweep distance to the sides is surprisingly very far.
Valkyrie gets many of her best opportunities to further her usefulness from killing blows, if at all possible, you should try to set her up to get the kill or “allow” her to, even if you have to sacrifice getting an assist by letting your tags decay.
Ask your Valkyrie to cover for you as you retreat, or to stop someone from leaving the fight at all costs. Don’t ask her to lead the way, don’t ask her to do something she can’t normally do. The character will buy you time, keep your enemy anchored, or bust out a few feats. She’s not powerful in ganks or teamfights, so she will need your help – give it to her, because I wouldn’t want to be on the wrong end of a Valkyrie with all of her Feats active.Closing Thoughts
Valkyrie is very much the underrated, under dog of the Viking roster. Many players tend to underestimate her ability to stay alive, or to terrorize you at the wall, or even just her chain finishers in general (80 Stamina damage lights booooy!). But while “catching” someone off-guard just because they have a bias against the character can be useful, it’s not exactly the best or most reliable thing.
Valkyrie presents with Feats and Perks that overall give her versatility to do many tasks such as backcapping, clearing mid, stalling, or keeping someone close to where she is. That being said, many of the things she offers, others do and much better. Although being a Jack of All Trades has its uses, so does being someone with true specialties.
Overall, I’d give her… 3/5 drinking horns. We’ll work on it.