How do I deal with Valerie?

Out of all the characters in Fantasy Strike, the only one I can’t seem to wrap my head around is Valerie. I don’t understand how to fight as her or against her! The only reason I beat her in Arcade as Rook and Grave is because of how good their C specials are, so when I tried Arcade as Setsuki I couldn’t get more than one or two rounds in two attempts at beating her.

I know that some people have said she’s sort of like Fei Long, but I’ve only played a single round of SF2 in an arcade I visited with a friend once (neither of us enjoyed it enough for a second round, so I played Donkey Kong instead). In other words, I have no experience with Fei Long either, and the only fighting games I’ve ever played at any length – Smash Bros. and Pokken – don’t have anything like this either. I pretty much understand the other characters even if I’m not that good with them, but it feels like nothing I do can stop her when I’m fighting against her.

Before anyone tries giving me advice, I will say that I’ve gotten reasonably good at blocking her attacks (except for when Rainbow Stroke decides it wants to crossup seemingly at random). Rather, I need an explanation of her basic game plan and how to do something other than block forever. Thanks in advance!


Sorry for the delay on this! I’d figured someone else might come answer your questions. ; )

Her game plan is built around getting close and then just overwhelming the opponent. Her BBB chain can cross to the other side with the third hit, which won’t combo but does have to be blocked in the other direction. She gets a degree of invincibility with the startup on her ground C, which you can use to bait out a desperate attempt at a counterattack and then keep up the pressure by hitting again. You can also cancel the end of her ground A into B or C to continue adding pressure, too.

Her air C lets her get close from pretty much anywhere, while her air B does a tricky thing where it doesn’t actually hit until after she lands, and the opponent has to block based on which side she lands on, not which side she started on. Also, her air A hits a very wide area, making it great for jumping over the opponent and hitting just after you cross to the other side, so the opponent has to block “toward” Valerie (known as a cross-up).

Basically, the idea behind Valerie is that she can be very oppressive when she gets in close, to the point where it’s a relief for the defending player that the life bars are so short. ; )

To play against her, you generally want to find ways to keep her away, or find your own attacks that can win out against some of her offensive options. Grave, Rook, Midori,* Jaina, and maybe Geiger all have very good ground C moves to get her off them, but they tend to come with drawbacks, especially if you get predictable. You can also try throwing, since it happens fast enough to grab her out of the startup of some of her attacks, but that’s also not a sure thing. Broadly speaking, your best hope is to simply avoid letting her get close.

*Midori’s ground C actually beats most of Valerie’s gameplan outright, making this a matchup where Midori generally has little interest in dragon mode. Valerie actually has to play very carefully against a decent Midori because that C parry is very good against basically everything in her repertoire.

Whoops! Forgot that you’d clearly indicated that you know what crossups are at the end of your post. Didn’t mean to come off like I might be talking down to you! Mostly I just remembered seeing that you hadn’t played much SF2 and my brain was like “oh, that means they haven’t played many fighting games, so I should try to be as clear as possible just in case”


No worries! If someone even less experienced comes along, I’m sure it’ll help them. I’ll admit that even though I understand how crossups work, things happen fast enough that I’m not always able to switch directions in time. AI Setsuki is really good at landing her Teleport Kick on me… But I’m sure I’ll improve at that as I play more.

So, keep her away or use a fast/invulnerable option to get out. Where does that leave poor Setsuki? I guess she has to grab, since her fastest attack seems to always be either out of range or not fast enough to avoid getting hit first. But that means her throws are probably either out of range as well or able to be easily stopped by a Yomi Counter, which would make the situation worse (knocked down with full meter for Valerie). Setsuki can’t really keep her out since they’re both rushdown, but it feels like Valerie has enough anti-air moves to shut down my options almost completely…

Valerie Gameplan:

She wants to use B,B (hold forward during those to get more range) to threaten to poke for 2 damage, or at least do 2 levels of block damage if they block. After that she can either do C (safe, and gives you a full chunk of block damage on block) or B (can crossup).

Valerie also wants to do air B and air super any time she can get away with it. Air B is a crossup that’s good vs people who are getting up from a knockdown, and if it hits, then B,B combos for a total 3 damage. Air super can completely wreck them you catch them in it and then do stuff like air B once or twice if they block, or B,B,B.

If Valerie is far, she can use air C to get in. If it hits an airborne opponent, they get knocked down which lets her do air B or air super as they get up. She can also use ground C to get in sometimes, and the startup of it goes through fireballs.

Beating Valerie:

You already heard about keeping her away or using invulnerable moves. The OTHER main way to win is rush her down so hard that she can’t do anything. That’s what Setsuki does. For example, Setsuki air C, cancel to divekick, land and neutral A kick, then C starlight tumbler. At this point, Setsuki can either finish with the C tumbler throw or go for a divekick. If she divekicks at the earliest moment, it beats anything Valerie would do (including jump!) other than ground super. It’s an oppressive lockdown and puts you in control as Setsuki. Get Valerie to be afraid, then use the C throw option, and that leads to a reset where she’s stuck in all this again. This forces her to ground super, but you can try to bait it / get her to waste it. And even if you get hit by it, you have several seconds where you can rush down Valerie again without worrying about her super.


Thanks for the tips, @GRAG and @Sirlin. I still feel like Setsuki has a really hard time against Valerie if she uses Rainbow Stroke (the hitbox seems to beat almost everything I try), but I was able to beat her and finish Arcade mode. Best moment was getting a Perfect against Arcade Midori, so I’ve definitely improved a lot. The reminder about Starlight Tumbler as an option out of the Flying Fox combo really helped!

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I’m also struggling versus Val, except in my case it’s as DeGrey and against human opponents. DeGrey has no invincible move (without super) to deter her offence. On top of that, I don’t really know what situation I’m meant to be punishing her in - compared to other characters, a lot of the moves she throws out are safe on block, even when she’s pressured. It’s hard to even create that pressure since she outranges and outspeeds DeGrey’s normals, and his other means of approach - ground/air B - can be easily stuffed by her far-reaching moves on reaction.

Also, her air super feels like a death sentence for DeGrey. The fact that you can’t walk out from under it even if she simply jumps forward and uses it raw (pressing back puts you straight into block, I guess due to the proximity of the projectile) means that as soon as it comes out I’m eating several chip damage at best. If I myself am airborne at her startup I should be able to use my own air super, but unfortunately it’s bugged right now and the game freezes for several seconds if DeGrey ever uses it against Val.

How can I punish/safely get in on the painter?

Valerie’s AA game isn’t that good, getting in the air should work. If she uses fB to stop you jB, try sending the ghost while in the air and using the block advantage to use BxxA on the ground.

Also DeGrey can punish the yellow hit of Valerie’s BBB string with BxxB.

Super wise I suggest you keep the ground one, she really has to respect it.

When I jump Val seems to just react with j.C which either beats me out or goes over me, escaping the intended pressure. If I’m reacting to her jump it’s already too late to get an angle which favours me, air to air. I haven’t really seen Val try and stay grounded to AA me except with Chromatic Orb.

Does Pilebunker punish both the forward and backward options on her BBB? I’ve seen it work vs. Val’s backdash option, but I assumed the crossup version (and even the neutral) would hit DeGrey during the initial backwards dash. Guess I’ll try and work that more consistently into my game. Thankyou very much for the tips.

Don’t forget that DeGrey can use BC to hit her out of her offense. The first kick is invulnerable.

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That’s true, although if she’s approaching along the ground then it’s unsafe and has to be done far enough away (so as to not get poked out of it) that you won’t connect until the second kick, giving plenty of time to block.

If she’s approaching in the air (whether with j.B, j.C or descending j.AA) then the angle is somewhat awkward since only the second kick hits above DeGrey and she tends to fall on you from a steep angle.

Once she’s in on you, or worse, activates Rainbow Disc, then DeGrey’s B options in general feel pretty useless, particularly in the corner. If they don’t get poked out of startup she can either hit the dash coming back in before the actual move you choose comes out, or make the correct decision with plenty of time should you commit to an option from outside her poke range.

I’ll try and make sure my timing is as good as possible in case I’m misreading these scenarios though. This is where a “record inputs” option for the dummy would complete what is an otherwise perfect training mode.

I was pretty sure you can still use his B options and still have his first kick (or pilebunker) connect outside of her poke range. I just tested it in training mode and confirmed it. In neutral, his B and C options have quite a lot of range. You can use them without getting poked out of it (unless Val does a hard read on the intial backdash) unless you’re pretty close already. For me, personally, spacing is very important against Val. I have to beware of her fA range. I also like to try and bait it specifically so I can use his B options against her. I use ghost liberally just to help limit her options.

His AA game isn’t very good. I can’t really give any recommendations on what to do there. My goal is usually to try not to let them jump in on me. Again, ghost is good for that using spacing to my advantage.

However, I’m not a high level player yet. I also saw some matches between @Aphotix’s DeGrey and @Leontes’s Valerie. That was interesting to see since I remember DeGrey had to adjust a bit for this matchup. But, it was still very doable. Sadly, the video is no longer up on Aphotix’s twitch stream.

Alright, so I just need to tighten up my spacing on the B. I agree this definitely requires a different approach to other matchups as DeGrey, which I have found remarkably fun and intuitive after learning everyone’s moveset.

Shame those matches aren’t still up. Maybe I’ll record some of mine (obviously much lower level) and see if watching them back with fresh eyes reveals any more mistakes I can clean up. Thanks for your thoughts as well.

Dunno if anyone’s mentioned this yet, but you can grab her before the third hit of her BBB chain if you block the first two, that helps a LOT.

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