Long overdue since Melee 2.0 – but now it is finally done! Please read and enjoy this in-depth guide for “Valkyr”.
Disclaimer: This guide aims at Warframe beginners or players with some experience that want to get some info about a new Warframe before buying or building it. The content of this guide is written under the mindset to “get the most benefit with relatively minimal effort”. If you are looking for a guide describing the one perfect, maxed-out frame and never want to look back again, please search somewhere else. 🙂
Introduction – Why play Valkyr?
Since her release Valkyr has always played a niche role. You can’t kill tons of enemies with the press of a button like the other caster Warframes. Her kit of abilities was heavily focused around mobility and close combat instead. The main problem with Valkyr was, that melee was just not viable in the high-end content of Warframe. But fortunately this has changed! With the release of Melee 2.0 and some rework on the armor system, Valkyr has gotten some long-deserved buffs. So if you are the kind of Tenno that likes to go close and personal with your enemies, that crazy beast could be your frame of choice.
Valkyr has a very unique set of abilities that take some getting used to.
- “Ripline” for example can be used to either pull-in enemies or to propel you over gaps or towards your foes (which usually is the more favorable choice) . While not as comfortable to use like teleporting abilities (see Nova or Loki), “Ripline” allows you to gain momentum and reach remote places quickly, allowing Valkyr to move in and out of combat.
- “Warcry” is your bread-and-butter spell when going full melee with Valkyr. Not only does it greatly accelerate your melee speed but also increase your armor by a great deal, allowing you to go in and take a lot of punishment. Warcry is the skill you want to choose when playing Valkyr in her main role – which is that of a melee powerhouse.
- “Paralysis” is another spell which can be difficult to understand at first. It uses almost no energy, but drains your shields to do stun and damage your opponents in a frontal cone. While the damage part is rather low, the stun can be really helpful to stun bigger opponents and follow-up with a melee finisher.
- “Hysteria” is basically a big “WTF” button. It renders you invulnerable for quite a long time, allowing you to revive teammates or eradicate huge groups without the fear of punishment. The only downside to this skill is that you cannot use your rilfes and sidearms but instead use energy claws. Also, once used, Valkyr remains in hysteria until the ability wears off. However you can still use all of your other abilities, which leads to devastating combos when you use “Warcry” and “Hysteria” in combination.
All the melee things left aside, Valkyr is also pretty capable and versatile in solo, high mobility or ranged combat situations. If you can work around and manage her low shield and health levels she can be a useful addition to every team. Feel free to go crazy with her builds and you might be surprised how the play style can change.
- “Tank and Spank” monster. If you want you can build for “Hysteria” duration and be invincible forever.
- Her high base armor values make the use of “Steel fiber” mods extremely useful
- Ideal candidate for the steel charge aura as it also increases her “Hysteria” ability
- Offers a huge buff for melee focused teams
- Can slow down nearby enemies (especially useful against infested)
- Very good solo character due to her high mobility and invulnerability
- Tons of fun to play when mastered
- Can resurrect teammates and roam through crowded high-level enemy groups, something which usually is limited to stealth frames, Rhino or Trinity.
- Can still work relatively well without energy and abilities
- Very low health and shield values even at level 30 force you to mod around those weaknesses
- Does not offer big “room cleaning” abiliteis or huge crowd control
- Higher skill cap due to the lack of “easy to use” fire and forget abilities
- Requires a certain set of mods and auras to be very efficient
- Melee focused abilities and auras limit her use in teams with ranged/rifle focus
- Shield mods like “Redirection” have little to no value in her builds
Valkyr is very difficult if not the most difficult frame to grasp at first. In low level play you barely have any health AND shields to work with. This makes the use of “Hysteria” and “Ripline” a key element to gain levels while staying out of harms way. In the early levels i would also avoid using mod points on other skills and focus on rifle-based combat instead, unless you really feel save and agile enough to avoid gunfire while meleeing down your enemies. Mods like “Rush” highly compliment Valkyr’s mobile playstyle and should be taken next.
Once those weaknesses of the first levels have been overcome, Valkyr begins to shine and show her strengths. Apply “Vigor” and “Vitality” mods to make your high innate armor values count, then follow-up with her other abilities. Since Valkyr does not have a very huge energy pool, the use of energy efficiency mods may be a good choice, especially to make “Ripline” spammable.
Power strength and range mods do help some of her abilities, but i cannot really recommend modding and playing Valkyr as a “caster” type frame, as her “Paralysis” and “Hysteria” just aren’t great enough sources of damage. You can even avoid those abilities completely and just rely on Valkyrs health and “Warcry” to remain tanky almost permanently by maximizing power duration instead.
Some basic points to get you going with Valkyr:
- “Rage” is a great mod to counter Valkyrs low energy pool and utilize her low shields. Using “Paralysis” can be a good way to “expose” your health for “energy replenishment” with the Rage mod.
- It may sound counter intuitive, but “Natural Talent” is a great mod to use if you use Valkyrs abilities a lot. It makes the use of “Ripline” a lot more fluid as well.
- Maximizing power efficiency is highly recommended to make “Ripline” spammable. You can also utilize the momentum to do fake “wall run” attacks just after propelling yourself forward.
- “Ripline” and “Heavy Impact” synergize quite well, but the combo is rather difficult to pull of. However you can use the ability to position yourself for huge jump AoE attacks – for example when using a heavy weapon.
- “Hysteria” is a good tool to resurrect teammates or draw attention away. It is best used in narrow corridors and choke points.
- Remember to use “Warcry” when lots of enemies and teammates are nearby, as it affects them both.
- Do not spam “Paralysis” as it always uses your current shields for damage and stun/push effect calculations. “Paralysis” is a good opener before going in with melee as you can start with finishing moves. It’s also a great tool to stagger a group of “Ancient Disruptors” before they can deplete your energy pool.
- Weapons that have high finisher damage (or are modded towards it) can be used in conjunction with “Paralysis“.
- Some of the newer melee 2.0 stances require some timing to pull off. Keep in mind that your attack speed drastically changes once you are using “Warcry“. Because of this it can be beneficial to equip combos that are easier to use.
Loadouts – Now with Melee 2.0
Since Valkyr is a natural frontliner, weapons that have high close combat damage are a preferred choice. However If you chose to go full melee, your rifle weaponry might as well complinent your choice, allowing you to pick-off targets from afar when you can’t spare the time or enery go visit them yourself. As this choice really depends on your personal taste here, i highly recommend reading my weapons guide for suggestions.
In terms of melee weaponsry, Dual Ichors are a very good choice since they attack very fast and allow you to move around quickly. Add staggering effects and/or “Warcry” to the mix and you can perma-stun enemies wita blur of movements. As you will be fighting huge groups of enemies, weapons with a huge reach and capable of hitting multiple enemies are a great choice. The Galatine and Orthos are great choices due to their easy combos, but also slow weapons work well when combined with your “Warcry“.
A key element to any melee build with Valkyr should be either “Hysteria” (as it allows you to regen health) or the “Life Strike” mod. You don’t need to increase this mods capabilities all too much, but remember that you need to channel warframe energy (glowing effect) into your weapons for the mod to be useful. When combined with a high health pool and “Rage“, this combo makes you near invincible.
When going full melee, having a close-combat sentinel like “Carrier” is highly recommended with Valkyr, as it not just does high damage but also sucks in all the items you gather from killing enemies melee. “Shade” or “Dethcube” sentinels are also great second choices, but keep in mind that you are usually the tank of the team and don’t want enemy attention drawn away from you by cloaking.
- When you consider going “all-in”, consider taking hard-hitting shotguns or stream-based weapons such as the Amprex, Ignis or Flux Rifle.
- The “Carrier” sentinel is a great choice as it is both fast-firing and good at close range. It also collects items for you to keep the energy-pool up for further casting.
- Additional sentinel mods like “Coolant Leak” can help slowing enemies, effectively decreasing your melee damage intake.
- If you’re a real hotshot you can damage yourself intentionally by using the Penta grenades or Castanas, replenishing your energy with the “Rage” mod.
Valkyr is not really suitable for defensive plays, but here are a few suggestions:
- Want to play safe? Use power efficiency and “Hysteria” to be perma-invulnerable
- More of a sniper type? Use “Ripline” to reach remote places and fire away.
- The use of a “Shade” sentinel might be useful
- Using faster shield recharge and power strenght mods can increase your “Paralysis” effect
Note: The following builds are meant as suggestions for Valkyr beginners, but with a heavy focus on melee. Forma is optional to achieve the effects shown, but an Orokin Reactor is considered my minimum to work properly. Every build is situational in its own regard, so feel free to start with the suggestions below and modify as you see fit.
Loadout A like: All-rounder
This is a well-rounded build, good for starters. “Continuity” helps using your “Hysteria” and “Warcry” for longer periods of time, but you can change that with power strength if you want. The use of “Rage” allows you to use your 4 abilities more often, since you don’t have any power efficiency mods installed. The use of “Vigor” “Vitality” and “Steel fiber” makes you extremely sturdy.
This build is giving you a lot of everything, including mobility and a versatile set of skills. If you don’t have some of the rare mods (Rage and Vigor) available, you can also go with “Constitution” and “Intensify” as a good second choice to boost most of your abilities.
Loadout B like: Berserker
This build is just a slight modification of build A to make use of corrupted mods to maximise power efficiency. By using Fleeting Expertise you grant yourself spammable abilities and high utility which is needed when going in full melee. The “Continuity” mod counters the huge negative effects of the corrupted mod, making your “Warcry” long enough for a group of enemies.
“Rush”, “Rage” and the “Steel Charge” Aura are key components to this build as you want to focus on going in and out quickly and efficiently. This build is a lot of fun and doesn’t sacrifice too much of Valkyr’s abilities while still keeping her durable.
Loadout C like: Can’t take me down!
This build also makes use of rare mods such as the infamous “Quick Thinking” and “Rage” immortal combo, which in combination with a melee-equipped “Life Strike” mod and “Flow” basically turns you into a huge Life/Energy battery, which is exceptionally nice in combination with a Melee 2.0 “Channeling” heavy build. Just be careful when encountering those pesky energy-sucking enemies, as they quickly stop your killing spree.
The use of “Flow” might be questionable, but you can easily mitigate the lack of sprinting mobility with “Zorencoptering” as well as using “Natural Talent” to speed-boost your use of “Ripline“. Try this build with good melee weapon and you will have a blast cutting through tons of enemies.
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