I want to try something a little different with this one…
I find a lot of the time on SRK and in the FGC in general, we tend to focus a little bit too much on combos, tricks, loops, etc and not enough time on truly understanding or mastering a character. I saw it in Third Strike, I saw it heavily in all versions of SF4, and I see the beginnings of it in Skullgirls. But I want to try to make a change this time.
Skullgirls as far as I see is a really good game. Very deep and high potential. But I really don’t think the game is all about combos. This is my first Marvel style game so I might be wrong with my thinking, but I feel that because of all the options available, and the incredible accuracy of the hitboxes in this game, you can really play this game truly as though you’re mastering each character and all of their nuances. Just like games like 3S. That’s how I’ve been tackling the game so far with Valentine and that sort of study is what I want to do in this thread.
I want this thread to be a repository for Valentine related info of different types related to match info, normals, general quirky things, character theory, whatever. Things that you’ve discovered in your matches through experimentation or otherwise. We as players can then assimilate that information, and use that in our matches to improve.
For now I’ll share what things I’ve discovered in play that can be useful. These might be things you “know already” but I feel that the more info we share the better we all can improve. So no matter what info you have, nothing is useless :).
Note: This info is going to be very random, sporadic and broken. I’m just more or less iterating random things about Valentine.
General Character Synopsis from my Perspective
Valentine in my opinion is a very mindgame and corner oriented character. She has long air combos, and ground combos, and many of her multi hit normals scale the hell out of her damage if you use them early. Plus its pretty easy to have your opponent drop out of air combos due to the nature of a lot of her normals. As a result, I personally don’t think her primary focus is “air combos”. It’s an element of her game, of course, but there are other characters who are stronger at this than she is. What Valentine succeeds best at doing is tricking the opponent, and putting heavy pressure and mindgames on them at different points on the screen.
Her basic design even reflects this: When she stands normally, her stance is very large and fat…gigantic honestly. I think she might be fatter than Double. But when she crouches, all of her hitboxes become incredibly tiny. More importantly her grab box shrinks too! Something that I think only a few characters do when crouching. Because of those two elements, just crouching low can beat out a lot of people’s normals in footsies.
She’s really good at rushdown, but I think some characters are a bit better at it than she is. Filia for example…but she’s definitely no slouch. Midscreen I dont think she’s extremely powerful against very mobile characters, but thats why her HK target combo knocks people far and is untechable: to take advantage of the corner.
There are a lot of other reasons I think this way, but I’ll note them later.
IAD = Instant Air Dash
AD = Air Dash
s. lp * 1 - This normal is really fast, and really good. It’s excellent for punishing whiffed air or ground moves and chains into her other normals such as c. mk.
s. lp * 2 - Contrary to what you might think, but this s.lp is a totally different normal from s. lp * 2. Even though it looks similar the hitboxes are slightly different (smaller but hits higher up I think?). Because of that s. lp * 2 can sometimes miss crouching characters. I forget which chars I’ve missed and in what situations, but for this reason I tend to stick to s. lp 1.
s. lp * 3 - I miss this tons on crouching characters, and I still haven’t found a great use for this yet. I’m wondering if I can use it for frame traps somehow. Absentmindedly using this move has gotten me killed since it has long delay on a whiff…
s. lk* - This move is one of the reasons I feel Valentine is fit for mindgames. She raises her foot towards herself and then stomps. If anyone was trying to hit you low, depending on the spacing, you could actually punish them for it. This move actually links to s. hp if you cancel it quickly, which can lead to TONS of damage. Don’t sleep on this move!
s. mp** - This move is relatively quick, and I think it works good as an anti wakeup masher tool. It’s invincible in the front, so it can be used for long range ground game (sort of). Combos into s. hp only after the 4th hit.
s. mk - I want to love this move so badly, but it keeps costing me games. This move is valentine’s second most damaging ground normal on the first hit(400 dmg), which makes it great for initial combo starters for maximizing damage. However this move has a really big hitbox near valentine’s thigh, but it gets really small near her foot, where the pinwheel is. So on crouching characters a lot of the times you’ll whiff if you put it in combos, which can make you take sooo much damage. I’ve recently opted to use c. mk * 1 (350 dmg) in my ground combos as a combo starter instead for this reason. I will use s. mk only if I confirm that they are standing when I started the combo.
s. hp - This move is the best ever. Like really this move is the best! When Valentine does s. HP, she steps back all the way past her current position, and then swings her sword in after stepping backwards all the way. Kinda like Dudley’s Backswing Blow from Third Strike. This makes is so that if you’re playing footsies on the ground, you can beat out a LOT of shit and make them whiff. s. hp can then be cancelled into HK dash xx super for 5k ish easy confirm damage, or a green syringe for tons more damage. This move is applicable in a lot of situations, a lot more than seems viable actually. It has a lot of range as well, about as much as her s. HK or maybe a little more. Her sword swing is invincible for the most part, only Valentine’s body is vulnerable. Right now this is the main move I’m attempting to master. Does 975 damage which makes it her most damaging single hit ground normal.
s. hk * 1 - This move is actually an excellent footsie tool on the ground, and an okay anti air on the first swing. Unlike s. hp, this move actually steps forward a bit so its bad at beating low moves in footsies, but its great for outpoking people in other situations.
This move is very punishable on block however, try not to use it too randomly. Works best at keeping your opponents honest.
s. hk * 2 - This move pokes out a lot farther than s. hk *1, and acts as a weaker Anti air than s. hk * 1, but I find it works good as a poking tool. If you’re giving them a hard time to get in and they dont have any super yet, you can whiff s. hk * 1, and let them come in. s. hk * 2 will usually hit them as the range is unusually long and deceptive. Confirms into s. hk * 3.
s. hk * 3 - This is the finisher for s. hk * 3, and is more punishable on block than the other two from my tests. Works great as a combo finisher for an untechable knockdown. Untechable knockdown stays as long as you haven’t done any OTG stuff yet, otherwise they can tech your s. hk * 3. The untechable nature of the move gives you enough chance to load a syringe and pursue them before they get up all the way.
Normals Section Work In Progress
VS Filia on Defense: j. HK does really well against Filia’s dash j. hp at about 1/3rd or more screen distance away if you can predict it. It’s a bit unsafe (you can take a j. hp as a reset if you whiff), but if you get a few successful ones, you can make them second guess their mindless offense and force them to fight on the ground. This lets you get in much more easily to start your own offense.
I feel that when it comes to “starting offense” Filia is much better than Valentine. And Valentine doesn’t really have any good answers for it, so having a tool like j. hk to stop her offense from coming is a lifesaver.
j. lp can do it too, but its really hard to time.
Note also: After getting hit by j. hp at any point in time, it seems liek you cant really really follow up against Filia at all. You have to either jump and block, or stay on the ground and block/push block.She just comes too fast to deny her. It’s better to not let her start her game to begin with.
VS Filia on Offense: s. HP does really good against Filia’s ground normals. They have enough distance to beat all her normals out, even at close range. In order to hit you, they’ll have to commit to something like s. rh or hairball to connect, and both of those normals are very risky. Note for testing: s. hp (wait) on reaction to hairball/s. hk/dash jump hp -> xx Parry super.
More notes coming later when I’m less tired.