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[Fan Character] Valerie, Manic Painter

Note: This is a re-post from the old forum.

As an option for a third neutral hero, I present Valerie, Manic Painter:

Valerie – Neutral Creativity Hero
Level 1-3: 1/3; Valerie counts as being all colors
Level 4-6: 2/4; Valerie counts as being all specs
Level 7: 3/5; Your Tech II and Tech III buildings can produce cards of any spec

Spells:
Creative Thoughts (2 cost)
Pick any two different:
• Deal 1 damage to a patroller
• Put a 0/1 Green Wisp token into play
• Draw a Card
• A friendly unit gains +1 ATK / +1 Armor this turn

Improvisation (2 cost)
Return Improvisation to your Codex, then select a card from your Codex and put it into your hand.

Burst of Speed (1 cost) [edit: down to 1 cost so she isn’t all 2 cost spells]
Your Creativity Hero gains Haste and Swift Strike this turn

Masterpiece (1 Cost) – ULTIMATE [edit: added a cost, because Free is so much less than 1 when you’re talking about Crashbarrow/Blooming Ancient/Grounded Guide]
Put an Upgrade or a Tech II Unit into play from your Codex. Return it to your Codex at the end of the turn, or if it would leave play.

Tech I:
Manic Poet (3 cost, 2/3) [edit: reduced to 2/3 to be closer to Iron Man in power level]
Arrives: Put a +1/+1 rune on another friendly unit

Morose Recluse (2 cost, 2/1) [edit: reduced from 2hp just to reduce Valerie’s overall power level]
Arrives: Put a -1/-1 rune on a unit

Tech II:
Studio (2 cost Building – 4 hp)
Discard a card from your hand -> Gain 2 gold
:exhaust: Draw 2 cards, then trash a card from your hand.

Modeling Clay (4 cost, /)
When you play Modeling Clay it becomes a copy of a unit already in play.

Double Vision (5 cost upgrade)
Arrives: choose 2 different abilities: Overpower, Frenzy: 1, Sparkshot, Resist: 1, Anti-air, Readiness, or Healing: 1. All your units gain the chosen abilities.
Upkeep: you may change your choice.

Mischievous Imp (1 cost, 3/3, Demon)
Stealth.
Arrives: Deal 2 damage to your Base.

Disciple of All (Legendary, 4 cost 5/5)
Disciple of All is considered to be all colors, all specs, and all unit sub-types (eg Illusion, Ninja, etc.), even while not in play. Disciple of All does not die when :target: by spells and abilities.

Tech III:
DiChroma, Rainbow Angel (7 cost 7/7, Legendary Angel)
Haste, Flying, Swift Strike, Overpower, Frenzy 2, Resist 2, Cannot be destroyed except by combat damage.

5 Likes

I vaguely remember this froum the original forum. Thoughts:

  • Creative Thoughts is really, really, really strong. Improv and Swift Strike not so much.
  • Masterpiece seems pretty weak unless you’re playing with Future, Blood, or Anarchy or something. It also has NO in-spec synergy - she has no Upgrades and no T2 units with useful arrives effects or Haste except maybe modelling clay.
  • Manic Poet seems really good, and its restriction to target friendly units seems like an unnecessary workaround to Flagbearers.
  • Morose Recluse is also really really strong. Both of those provide you a body and help you get a favorable trade immediately. The synergy with Orpal is crazy, too.
  • Studio is amazing if you ca get it into play safely. I imagine some fairly degenerate strategies in combination with Vandy. And the extra deck slimming is also really really good.
  • The rest of her tech 2 cards are pretty underwhelming. Modeling Clay is situational. Mischievious Imp is pretty bad. Apprentice Painter can be as big as you can afford (synergy with Studio) but is super-vulnerable to targeted removal.
  • Disciple of All is similarly underwhelming - its got some combos with a few other things, but very few of them are good enough to try to build a codex around.
  • Her Tech 3 is in the second tier of T3s. It gets immediate impact (probably kills 2 things) but doesn’t win the game immediately.

Overall, I think Val as written would be a pretty strong pick for her hero stats and abilities, and her T1 units. Being able to play the spells of another starter without the penalty is good, and being able to play off-spec spells is also good. Creative Thoughts is a ridiculously versatile spell, and her T1 units are strong. But you’d never ever spec into Creativity tech 2. You’d only ever play it off of her maxband.

But because of how strong she is early game and how good she is at enabling combos, I think she’s too strong as a Neutral hero - probably stronger than River by a significant margin.

3 Likes

Enabling combos is the whole point, so if other parts are too generically strong they can be toned down.

Good point about Masterpiece not having an in-spec target. What about this:

Creative Enhancements (5 cost upgrade)
Arrives: choose 2 different: Overpower, Frenzy 1, Sparkshot, Untargteable, Anti-air, Swift Strike, or Healing: 1. All your units gain the chosen abilities.
Upkeep: you may change your choice.

As a hero, I think Valerie is decent. Her stats aren’t great, but they aren’t terrible, either. Valerie naturally wants to stick around and cast spells because of her midband, and her stats are well suited to this role.

I think Creative Thoughts is probably good, but not as good as Caphriel thinks. All of the possible modes are pretty low-impact, so no matter what you do you’re losing out some on efficiency.

I like Improvisation. It’s like a better version of Jurisdiction, since you can get anything. In particular, being able to play this to fetch the ultimate spell of your choice the turn after you maxband Valerie seems nasty.

Burst of Speed is one of the two cards that I don’t really get in the context of the rest of the spec. Also, I think it’s pretty bad. It compares unfavorably to Speed of the Fox, which is already a middling spell. This might be cool at the same cost as a spell that gives a hero or building haste. I’ve always thought that a spell that gave buildings haste would be cool, and it would even have in-spec synergy with Studio.

Masterpiece is cool, but seems very narrow. It’s narrow enough that if you took the Creativity spec and picked two other specs at random, you would have a decent chance of having an entire Codex where Masterpiece does nothing. Like Caphriel, I think you should replace one of the tech 2 cards with something that actually synergizes with this. It might be enough though to let this also grab buildings.

To be fair, the issue that her ultimate is maybe too narrow is mitigated by the fact that she can play other heroes’ ultimates.

I agree that both of the Tech 1 units are great. I don’t know if they’re too good, though. If that’s something you’re worried about, the easiest change would be to change the effects to +1/+1A | -1/-1 until end of turn instead of runes.

Studio is super sweet. This card looks incredibly fun to play, and is probably also very strong. This card’s flavor is also incredible. Imagine playing this with Flagstone Garrison…

Modeling Clay is cool. I mostly imagine this card being used to copy Tech 3 units.

Apprentice Painter seems good. It can be a nice sink for excess gold. This card is probably better than it looks, because you’ll never run into the conflict of having an awkward amount of gold and having to choose between playing this and anything else — you will always be able to play all of your other cards, then dump whatever excess amount of gold you want into this.

Mischievous Imp is the other card in this spec that I don’t get. I don’t see how it fits into the mechanical themes of the spec, and it doesn’t seem like a particularly strong card, either. This is the card I would replace if you wanted to fit in something that synergized with Masterpiece. That upgrade that you just posted as I’m typing this sure looks good though.

I like Disciple of All. You probably never tech this card if you pick Creativity Tech 2 (mostly because of Apprentice Painter), but the ability to play it in other specs is valuable. A 5/5 for 4 is a reasonable rate, and I can imagine some specs teching it sometimes even without any synergies. And in the specs where it does have synergy (Finesse, Ninjutsu, etc.) it can really shine.

There’s not much to say about DiChroma.

Due to other rules clarifications I was having, it suddenly occured to me that Disciple of All would also be a flagbearer, and would be the sole instance in the game where a flagbearer could be in play but without the rules text making things target a flagbearer.

1 Like

[quote=“EricF, post:3, topic:1497”]
Enabling combos is the whole point, so if other parts are too generically strong they can be toned down.
[/quote]Okay, let me be more clear. I think Valerie and her spec (especially her spells and T1s) as written would make the game “Valerie Combodex.” I think she’d be strictly stronger than River, who is already “maybe too strong” for a Neutral hero.

[quote=“cstick, post:4, topic:1497”]
I think Creative Thoughts is probably good, but not as good as Caphriel thinks. All of the possible modes are pretty low-impact, so no matter what you do you’re losing out some on efficiency.

I like Improvisation. It’s like a better version of Jurisdiction, since you can get anything. In particular, being able to play this to fetch the ultimate spell of your choice the turn after you maxband Valerie seems nasty.
[/quote]Creative Thoughts is a really, really strong early game spell. 2 gold and a card for 1 damage to a patroller and +1/+1 enables really good trades. That lets your 3/4 kill their 3/4 squad leader and still have a couple of HP left over. Or your 3/3 kill it and survive. If you’re the defensive player, 2 gold to kill a 1hp patroller or get +1/+1 for a swing and a bonus wisp is also a pretty good deal. It definitely gets weaker in the early game.

Improvisation is a later game spell, and is really, really strong there. But I tend to value things that have impact early more than things that have impact late. Fake-edit: I didn’t realize Improvisation could target anything, I thought it was just spells. Being able to fetch whatever tech 2 unit you want with midband Val? Or any spell, including ultimates? Yeah, that’s pretty freaking strong.

1 Like

a 2 gold tax on ultimates makes a lot of them pretty hard to pull off. Just a thought.

But it’s still weaker than, say, Discord or Fire Dart or if your modes are damage + buff. And weaker than Scribe if your modes are Wisp + draw. The power is in versatility, but every mode on there is what a 1 cost Tech 0 card can give you.

Right. The power is in that you get the effect you want and then some other effect added on. Every single mode is equivalent to a 1-cost tech 0 card, but picking any two of them is substantially better. For one thing, you get two effects for 1 card. For another, you get to pick which two effects. I think a spell that did exactly two of those things for two gold (+1/+1 and wisp) would probably be balanced and reasonably strong. Cantripping isn’t usually going to be the best option, but when it is, having it there makes the card stronger. And unlike Grave’s VS, it’s much less likely to ever be a dead draw where there’s no effect that’s useful in the current board state. If you’ve got 2 gold free, “get a wisp and draw a card” is pretty good if just for the fake slimdecking.

1 Like

The imp is just there to be playful and give Creativity Tech II a little bit of evasion.

My biggest issue is actually thematic. Viewing it as a Realm-style “sketch” ability or just a heavy “any and every color” theme isn’t terrible, but, despite her dualistic nature, I see Val as Whitestar all the way. Geiger was Rook’s science adviser at least partially out of convenience: Whitestar takes in Flagstone fugitives. But the fact that he now reps Vortoss shows that he cares more about the research and tech than politics/morals.

Val, on the other hand, more than anything, wants a place where she can be herself, and Whitestar provides that. There’s a reason the Whitestar Flagbearer has a rainbow flag.
Flagstone would persecute or imprison her for her sexual preferences, Blackhand would reshape her in their image, and Vortoss are too unfeeling and uniform. She might get along well with Moss Sentinals or the Anarchs, but she’s just not neutral.

I could see BBB as a neutral char. (blank slate), or maybe Gloria (I don’t know how she’d get along with Blackhand, but she’d be willing to heal anyone else), but I don’t see it for Val.

6 Likes