Valentine is a tragic character from the Skullgirls game. She was a member of Last Hope, a black-ops Anti-Skullgirl Lab team, but due to the activities of Marie, the latest Skullgirl, Valentine is now the only surviving member of the team. Generally speaking, she is considered a villain in the game and features in most of the characters’ story playthroughs.
Valentine is typically stoic and unfeeling, but it is believed that this belies a genuine concern for the people that matter to her. Valentine, though working for Brain Drain, tends to act on her own and does things out of her own sense of justice.
Valentine has some serious ninja skills meaning she is a competent fighter. On top of that, she has had some modifications done to her by Lab 7, which help augment her fighting abilities.
Valentine is what you’ll call a selfish character in Skullgirls. This is a character that doesn’t play nice with others and is something of a soloist. Most people using Valentine use her as the main force of their team, with other characters simply acting to support her and help her achieve her goals in the fight. Valentine has poor assists and no reasonable DHC to speak of, which is why she is considered best as a solo fighter. Her mobility and air speed make her very difficult to deal with and lends itself well to both offensive and defensive playstyles.
With Valentine, like with most other characters, your aim is to combo your opponents to death, but what makes Valentine such a fun character is her ability to mix her opponents to oblivion without using too many resources. She can combo safely and can really mix up opponents. She has vials with different properties, with her level 5 vial capable of bringing characters back from the dead. However, this is not a feature you will often see as Valentine is most likely the character to bite the dust first, as she usually is the first to be used.
Valentine’s Best Buttons
Valentine, as mentioned earlier, is a very mobile character. She has a couple of really good buttons, which we’ll look over here.
c.LP: This is a swift move that is great due to its mix-up potential. Also, frame data wise, this is a very safe move as it is +7 on block. The relatively quick start-up also makes it appealing.
c.HP: So, the thing with Valentine’s c.HP is that it isn’t safe on block. But its huge hitbox means you can catch opponents flinching from quite a distance. Unfortunately, many players tend to overextend themselves and get punished when using it. When I said it was unsafe on block, I wasn’t kidding; it’s -19 on block. But, this is mitigated if you cancel into her Savage Bypass, which makes it only -4 on block. It’s a good move as it launches opponents, and you can get some great combos off of it.
s.LP: Another of Valentine’s fast moves, which is also plus on block. It is typically used to catch opponents on their landing.
j.MP: This is another of Valentine’s good buttons. She can use it to get past projectiles, including those that come with assists. Also, it can catch an opponent in the air, bring them down, and then perform a combo. It should be noted that this will not always be successful, as some other characters can counter it with their moves. In addition, you can combo opponents after avoiding their projectiles using this move.
j.HK: This move involves Valentine opening a body bag and using the cadaver o hit the opponent. It hits twice, which is always good and also has a long active time. Now, this is both good and bad. It’s good because it will trade with many other moves and, in a sense, keeps the opponent at a distance. On the flip side, if used carelessly, it can be punished with a much faster normal.
Now let’s take a look at some of Valentine’s specials.
Vial Hazard: For this move, Valentine loads up a vial with some poison. She has to load it up thrice before it has any effect and different colors that appear behind her indicate different effects. The last poison loaded is the one recognized. So, for instance, if you load Green-Yellow-Purple, the effect attached to the Purple color will be the one that is cast on the opponent. The Purple color is the most used as it buffs her damage in combos. Generally, the poison effects wear off when Valentine is hit, with the exception of the Yellow vial, which only wears off when Valentine is hit with a snapback or super.
Dead Cross/Flew Shot: Depending on her state, when the controls are input, Valentine will either throw a shuriken or a syringe. If she has Vial Hazard loaded, then she tosses the needle and otherwise will throw out the Shuriken. This is something of a projectile, and while it doesn’t particularly do the work of a projectile damage-wise, it does help her control the space around her. She can throw this out in the air, too, meaning that players trying out something under her will get hit with the projectile.
Savage Bypass: For this move, Valentine uses her bone saw to hack through the opponent. It is an excellent move as she dashes and covers a respectable distance to get to the opponent. The speed, strength, and damage depend on the level of ‘L’ used. The move can also be performed in the air, and it is generally agreed that the air version is much better as it is less likely to get punished. The grounded version has some use too, but is to be used with some caution as only the LK version of the move is relatively safe on block. The others can be punished, and if you aren’t using it in a combo, the grounded version should be used sparingly.
Mortuary Drop: This is Valentine’s command grab, and she wraps her opponent into a body bag and slams them into the ground from above. Once successful, Valentine becomes invincible and can follow up with a super, dealing a decent amount of damage. The problem lies in how difficult it is to get a successful one and the risks involved if she misses. If Valentine cannot pull off the grab, she is opened up to a variety of attacks which is why it is advised that the Mortuary Drop be used sparingly in situations where the opponent does not expect it.
Checkmate Incision (Lv. 1): This is a straightforward super as Valentine throws eight scalpels which can hit up to eight times. It can also be used in the air, in which case she will throw them downwards. The move doesn’t do much damage and depending on how tall the character is, they might not be hit by all the scalpels. Typically, is is best used at a distance and can be useful if you are looking for a chip kill.
EKG Flatliner (Lv. 1): Another of Valentine’s blockbusters. This is a favorite for many because of how useful it is as a combo ender. It involves Valentine doing 12 savage bypasses with a 13th one to finish off the opponent. Using it puts the opponent at full screen, so it is commonly advised that it be used against an opponent you’re sure will die from the move.
Acquisitive Prescription/Countervenom (Lv. 2): This blockbuster is a rather risky one but could be a very useful counter to the opponent. For this blockbuster, Valentine fakes her death and freezes her opponent. If you have a vial loaded, it will be used in the move and will launch the opponent in the air. It does a chunk of damage when it connects but will only do 50% damage if used as a counter to an opponent’s super. It must be used wisely considering it costs two bars of meter and doesn’t have a big active window.
Dead on Arrival (Lv. 3): Perhaps the most interesting thing about this blockbuster is that it is the only one in the game with a cinematic. In it, Valentine does the Mortuary Drop, but this time lands the opponent behind a partition and does a bloody operation on them. It’s dark and grisly and costs three bars. However, it isn’t the strongest super and puts the opponent at full screen. Like the Flatliner, it is advised that you use it when you are finishing up an opponent, or at least use it as a DHC, which can make it an effective move. Also, if you hold down the punch button, it will load up a level of poison.
Forbidden Procedure/Rebirth Ex Machina (Lv. 5): Here, Valentine thrusts some defibrillators into the ground dealing damage, but also with the possibility of reviving 33% of a fallen ally’s life. But its cost, and the fact that Valentine is usually the first character to die anyway means that you will rarely use this.
Valentine’s Pros and Cons
Valentine is a great character, but this does not mean she is flawless, and in this section, we’ll look at Valentine's good and not-so-great parts.
An excellent starting character who can handle opponents on her own
Excellent space control
A level 5 blockbuster that could bring a teammate back to life
Relies heavily on assists
Very poor defensive options
How to Fight Valentine
Valentine is a good character with excellent mobility and some decent damage. So, what do you do when you are up against her? Well, the most important thing is to ensure she does not control the neutral. Valentine relies on controlling space, and she struggles when she doesn’t have that. Getting into her face is great, as she doesn’t have many great up-close attacks. Also, she doesn’t do well under pressure, as she has very few defensive tools. If you can cut her off from most of her tools, you should have an easier time defeating Valentine.