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]
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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  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 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.
Guide originally written by rabid_schnauzer, as edited by ChumpChange