With the start of the Black Desert Online head start program right around the corner, and with launch coming a few days later, a lot of players may be wondering about what class to play. Of course, and as with any MMO these days, there are a number of different ways to experience BDO that are mainly dependent on the role a player wants to take on.
For those Black Desert Online players who prefer a front line tank that wears heavy armor, with the ability to aggro and hold piles of enemies and that has the ability to be a utility (albeit a lightweight) to other players, a survivable, durable presence, a CC-specialist and do some damage in the process, the Valkyrie may be the class of choice.
Valkyries are female locked sword and shield users that are the rough counterpart to the male Warrior, also utilizing sword and shield. The main difference between the two is the number of support skills, healing abilities and damage that the Valkyrie brings to the table. The Valkyrie is a specialist in damage mitigation through blocking, limited but effective movement speed, the ability to survive group fights and as a class that is designed to stand toe-to-toe with the enemy.
The Valkyrie is considered to require a “medium” skill level to play effectively that can be fine-tuned the higher in level and the stronger abilities become. Unlike other classes, however, the Valkyrie fights best using skill combos that cannot be found simply using the skill bar, but instead require nearly constant use of both left and right mouse buttons and any one of a number of other keys to properly string together combos.
The most important thing to do when starting a Valkyrie is to understand her most basic moves. She begins the game, of course, with a sword and shield, arguably the key to her success. Her attacks utilize Divine Power which is generated by some abilities and spent by others.
The Valkyrie’s basic attack will generate Divine Power and can manifest itself in three ways: Up key + LMB (Valkyrie Slash) sends the Valkyrie dashing forward to attack. Forward Slash is a great replacement for the default “Valkyrie Slash” and should, over time, be maxed. Sideways Cut is performed by using either the A or D key plus the LMB, the character will swing her sword in an arc and lunge in the direction chosen (A or D) and it is a great mobility enhancement for the Valkyrie.
As each of these basic attacks are ranked up, players can choose whether or not to boost Divine Power regeneration, damage or attack speed.
It is the shield skills, however, that really set the Valkyrie apart, even from the Warrior. Q puts the character in Shield Block that has a certain amount of ‘durability’. Hits decrease durability and, once gone, no more blocking happens. However, stepping out of Shield Block stance will see the durability regenerate very fast. One of the best reasons to block, however, is for the chance at Divine Power regeneration through the defense bonus gained on successfully blocking attacks. In addition, a successful block leads to pressing “R” to hit and stun multiple enemies – a handy thing when in a large group or when farming.
Other shield skills that are worth noting and that, like most BDO abilities, improve with ranks:
- Shield Strike – spins foes and generates Divine Power
- Shield Push – knocks enemies back
- Shield Throw – the bread and butter of the new Valkyrie; a skill that hits, damages and stuns enemies. It’s even possible to hold down the RMB to make the shield spin in place damaging all within its range
- Guard & Sharp Counter – creates ‘bleed’ on foes and regenerates DP
- Skyward Strike – sprinting forward with RMB pressed knocks enemies into the air
- Shield Charge – a mobility skill that sends the Valkyrie dashing in the direction desired and that ends in Guard
The Valkyrie also has a number of other pretty cool skills with Swords, Kicks and some of the best CC skills of any class in the game.
Swords, Kicks, Passives & Punishment
Swords are a Valkyrie’s constant companion along with the shield, so utilizing several of the better skills that can do some real damage is key:
- Severing Light – Divine Power spender that restores HP that ranks up in amount. This is a critical skill for the Valkyrie’s survivability in battle
- Sword of Judgment – the Valkyrie lunges into a swing with the third hit knocking enemies to the ground with a massive hit. This is a crucial skill to rank up quickly
- Counter – sends enemies flying into the air
- Sharp Light – a fast stab attack that ends in a knock down, has a 100% chance of critical hit
The Valkyrie excels at CC abilities including:
- Punishment uses ‘E’ to grab a foe, slam them to the ground and knock down other nearby foes.
- Heavens Echo draws and keeps aggro as well as applies a defensive buff
- Righteous Charge is used to close the gap between player and enemy
- Glaring Slash creates a vortex that draws all nearby foes into a group surrounding the Valkyrie
- Celestial Spear knocks down an enemy, slows the target, has a wicked short cool down (7 seconds) and grants a crit rate buff
Flurry of Kicks is another knock back ability that can get a Valkyrie out of a tight spot. It also is a Divine Power generator making it very utilitarian. Valkyrie can also perform Flying Kick. A lot of players seem to feel these skills are useless so use your best judgment.
Lastly, it’s important to choose three passives, one each that adds defensive power in melee, ranged and magic.
This is not the ‘end all, be all’ guide to Valkyries, but is designed to set the budding tank on the path to success in both PvE and PvP in Black Desert Online. The key to a successful Valkyrie is understanding Divine Power generators and spenders, learning the best combos and the associate keys needed and in utilizing her amazing CC and survivability to become the game’s most effective tank.
Want to plan out your Valkyrie using an online talent calculator? Head to BlackDesertTome.com and give it a shot!