Supers are a factor too. Valerie’s air super is one of the most devastating in the game, in that it can lead to massive damage. Usually 2 damage even on block. You need a moment to set it up though and to have positioning right over them. Meanwhile, the ground super is your “get off me” move that you use if you are forced to. Or use vs a cornered jumping opponent so you can juggle afterwards, which gives you 2 damage total.
Air B is also a good source of damage, but requires setup. It can’t hit until she lands (then the paint trail hits). Against a knocked down grappler, you can do it with timing such that when they stand up, you’re safe from their throw, but they are inside that paint trail. If you hit, you combo to B,B for a total 3 damage. If they block, you do B then back+B to do a total of 2 increments of (flashing) block damage, and then retreat to safety.
Jump A,A is generally good. If you happen to catch them in the air, you can land and juggle with neutral A for a total of 3 damage and then cancel that neutral A to either B or forward+B for a mixup that can do an additional 1 damage.
Back+A is throw invulnerable for part of it, so that helps vs grapplers. Plus it does 2 damage and is not only safe on block, but actually you recover first so your next move will beat almost anything they try to do next.