Valkyrie has a new purpose in life. Once before, she would have been content with finding out the reason for her father’s death – and getting vengeance on the man who leads to his demise. But now, it’s different. A fateful encounter was all it took for Kairi to stop living in her father’s shadow. This little viper is about to prove her worth and begin the process of forging her own legacy.
Kairi Imahara, callsign Valkyrie, is the latest addition to the ever-growing roster of Apex Legends. Supremely confident, Valkyrie will not hesitate to dive into the fray – if it brings her one step closer to glory and victory. What remains of her father’s Northstar titan is part of her arsenal. More than just a memento, the modified backpack allows Valkyrie to have free reign of the skies over the battlefield. Coupled with its missile swarm tactical, it is surely a formidable combination.
As a recon Legend, Valkyrie truly shines when she’s marking targets for death, from above. Her Ultimate functions as an on-demand jump tower, ready to ferry her teammates to the thick of the action. (Or as a means of a hasty escape.) Anyone caught out in the open is more than likely going to expect the sudden arrival of Valkyrie and her teammates.
Unlike most other legends, Valkyrie becomes useful at the very start of the match. From the moment her team leaves the dropship, Valkyrie lowers her pilot visors, marking targets for her and her team. This information is paramount in choosing a potential landing spot. During a match, should Valkyrie use a jump tower to skydive back to the ground, her visor allows her to spot targets too small for normal eyes to see. The same applies when she uses her Ultimate ability.
Valkyrie’s passive is her VTOL jets. Pressing the jump button while in the air activates the jetpack. She cannot use weapons as long as the ability is in use. She can quickly change direction in mid-air. At the cost of fuel. Each tap of the jump button burns a chunk of fuel. It takes around 8 seconds after landing for the fuel bar to recharge.
The missile swarm tactical covers a wide area. Holding the tactical button will mark the intended area. Releasing the button will cast the ability. When used properly, the attack can potentially stun enemies long enough to secure the kill. Alternatively, the barrage itself is good at forcing enemies out of cover out of fear of being stunned.
Each missile hits for 25 points of damage on a direct hit. 6 points for splash damage. The ability can only fire a set distance away from Valkyrie, making close-quarter encounters rather uncomfortable for her. The casting range also seems to be quite significant.
From our tests with the legend, we’ve discovered that using her jetpack actually cancels out her tactical. Fortunately, the lengthy 30-second cooldown doesn’t begin until all the missiles are shot. So, there’s that. Finding the timing to use the tactical in the air will take some getting used to. Judging distance is going to be very important in most situations. Should the player misjudge the distance, the ability may be used to its full potential and leave Valkyrie close to enemies without a follow-up.
The Skyward Dive Ultimate is Valkyrie’s ace in the hole. Essentially an on-demand jump tower, the Ultimate allows Valkyrie to ascend very quickly and to cover vast lengths in a short amount of time. Teammates wanting to join her need only get close and attach to her during the initiation phase. Canceling the ult reverts the meter back to 75%. As a final note, upon landing, Legends need to bring up their guns again. This is useful information for those who think that they can just land and get into the fight from the get to.
Valkyrie’s playstyle depends on the player who’s using her. Aggressive players can use her ability to fly in and drop quickly to land the fatal blow. Players who want to maintain range can use the ability to put some distance between themselves and the enemy. In any case, Valkyrie draws in a lot of attention. The jetpack is audible from a distance. It’s practically an invitation for a third party… or a fourth party even.
The supportive nature of her kit shines when she’s in the skies keeping an eye out for fights in the distance. The missile swarm forces enemies to scatter around. It’s a good initiator for a coordinated attack.
Valkyrie owns the open spaces on every map. Enemies caught out in the open will most likely be spotted from afar. With her ability active during skydives, there is no escaping her sights.
The VTOL allows movement with bursts of speed. It is great for flanking and retreating as needed. The outplay potential is there for those who can master Apex’s movement abilities alongside what Valkyrie brings to the table.
Tactical is a great way to flush enemies out of cover. Leaving them open to follow up damage.
Valkyrie sees limited usage in close quarters without her tactical to bail her out. Indoor settings mitigate her entire kit. It gets even worse when the fight calls for the team to go underground.
She is vulnerable in the air while using her jetpack. Also, flying in the same direction makes Valkyrie an easy target to shoot. In the worst case, easy to predict movements make her the biggest clay pigeon on sight.
Relying too much on the VTOL essentially removes Valkyrie out of the combat whenever it is active. And the fact that she can’t use weapons during flights leaves allies exposed to flanks.
Movement slow abilities like Caustic’s gas and Wattson’s fences render her movement to a near standstill. Keep that in mind before trying to contest a well-held position.
One of the earliest tricks with her is to hold the boost button to maintain a view of the target’s movements. Quickly tapping the jump button again allows her to close the distance as the momentum carries her over before the enemy has time to process what’s going on.
Making use of other Legends’ abilities to conserve jet fuel is something for all Valkyries has to look out for. Most notably Horizon’s gravitational elevator and Octane’s jump pad.
Remaining in cover is essential for the successful use of her ultimate. Her entire team is vulnerable before going to rapid ascension. Otherwise, using a Gibraltar bubble to block incoming damage is going to be very important.