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Valygar: Good Strategies?

Discussion in 'BG2: Throne of Bhaal (Classic)' started by Death Rabbit, Jun 17, 2003.

  1. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I really see the potential to kick some serious boo-tay with Valygar, but for some reason never have. The few times I've had him in my party were the first few times I played through SoA. I misused him as a straight melee fighter only, and became frustrated easily with his less-than stellar armor class. Bear in mind, too, that the first time through I thought the wardstone in the Shadow Dungeon was a 'hint' that the dragon was unbeatable, and had no idea about the location or existance of Celestial Fury. I also never used him for backstabbing...not once.

    So my next time through I definitly will take him along. But I'm feeling dreadfully uncreative and lazy and would like a suggestion or two, preferably from personal experience, on how to kick some ass with the moody stalker. :)

    Thanks.
     
  2. Harkle Gems: 16/31
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    Use him as backstabber/melee fighter and take two katanas (his own and Celestial fury). The backstab damage is double for level 9-16 and triple for level 17+.

    He gets also few mage spells (Haste, Protection from normal missiles and Minor spell deflection), when he reaches level 12, but I've never used them.
     
  3. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Umm.... stalk? He's got a fine stealth level, a good backstab and comes conveniently equipped to use Celestial Fury. Use him like you'd use a F/T, hide and slink up to the spellcaster of your choice and skewer the mage with the katana. End of mage. Then, with the handy boots of speed you've given him, to paraphrase Monty Python, "run away, run away, brave Sir Valygar will run away." Lather, rinse, repeat.

    (With the items mod, by the way, you can take that shadow dragon armor, combine it with Valygar's Corthala armor and have a pretty nice situation, as long as you don't have a thief that needs the other armor. That's the problem with the items mod: yes, it creates some powerful things, but you need to combine a couple of useful things to make one.)
     
  4. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Yes dmc, it's actually the Item Upgrade mod and all the cool stuff upgradable to the NPCs that made me rethink my Valygar policy a bit. It's true about the big trade-off you mentioned in the mod too...not to mention the often heavy pricetag that comes along with them, so you definately don't feel like you're outright cheating.

    What are some of the best items to give him, could you elaborate a bit more on the whole sneeking around stabbing mages thing? I've never really been good at backstabbing and therefore never used it...so I assume I'm doing it wrong. I know you hide, stand in back, attack...but it never seems to work right for me. :(
     
  5. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    I was always under the impression that you cannot backstab with a katana. Is this just some strange glitch in my twisted brain?
     
  6. Rastor Gems: 30/31
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    Yes, yes it is.

    You can backstab with any thief-useable weapon, including katanas.
     
  7. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I've got Valygar in a party I'm playing off and on with. He has his armor upgraded with the shadow dragon armor, dual wielding Celestial Fury and his Katana (I couldn't bring myself to keep that acid katana as it unbalances the whole game), he's got the improved belt (-3 AC), ring of Gaxx, boots of speed coupled with boots of avoidance (whatever it's called), I forget which helm (hey, I wonder if I give him Vhailor's helm can I create the simulacrum and have them both backstab at the same time, leaving the simmie to soak up the retribution -- ooh, gotta try that out), a ring of air control, cloak of Balduran, 19 strength belt, I forget which amulet. And I think that's it. I'm pretty far in the game (going through watcher's keep before giving the Lanthorn back) and he's way up there in levels (it's just him, my multi cleric-mage, and Nalia, so the experience is rather abundant). He's deadly.
     
  8. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    He does need a strength enhancement and the best armour he's elligible to wear. With these conditions met he makes a nice dual katana fighter. Imagine the damage. Of course you can give him that head-cutting halberd or Ixil's Thorn if you like. However, Minsc isn't less useful, you get him from the beginning, probably know him from BG1 (I didn't, I had Kivan), so why not Minsc instead.
     
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    Why not Minsc? Because his spellcasting ability is awful and he is a boring character. Of course this doesn't apply to ToB where Minsc spellcasting ability will be almost as good as Valygars.

    My vote goes to Valygar all time.
     
  10. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    For the purposes of comparing Minsc to Valygar, I will say this. Minsc can't backstab, his low intelligence and wisdom are a big liability IMO unless you have some kind of mind-protection on him, and his stealth isn't that great, which also doesn't matter (for this particular game) because he can't backstab anyway.

    True, Valygar is a bit limited in armor choices and doesn't have Minsc's strength, but soon after you pick up Valygar you get the Gauntlets of Ogre Power, and soon after that you have enough dough to get the Girdle of Hill Giant Strength, so the strength issue isn't a real biggy to me. I will be using the Ease-of-Use mod and the Item Upgrade mod, so he will eventually upgrade his armor to 0 (IIRC) and wear magic rings. Plus, like dmc pointed out, I'll be using him for speedy mage killing most likely.

    I used to always take Minsc, but in nearly every fight where the enemy fired some mind effecting spell (confusion, charm, etc.) Minsc would almost always fail his save. I'd rather not take him along this time around. He's not as interesting to me as he used to be. Plus, I just think Valygar is cooler, and I've never been able to get the most out of him.
     
  11. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    If this is becoming Minsc v. Valygar, I think it boils down to some pretty simple questions: Who's using the mace of disruption, who's using Celestial Fury, do you have a separate thief character who can effectively backstab, do you have an unhealthy affinity for rodents?

    If there's someone else for the mace, no one else for the katana, and no other backstabber, Valygar's your man. If there's no other character with maces and your protagonist is wielding the katanas in this party (see, e.g., Beren's walkthough), leave Valygar out of it.

    If the rodent gets on you nerves . . . the choice is obvious.

    Having played through with both, I can honestly say that I am sick of Minsc, his battle cries, and his rodent. I also find that, properly equipped, Valygar is by far a better fighter type for me. (Remember that I'm one of the proponents of summoned fodder and that even your front line guys should not soak up all that much damage.)
     
  12. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    To set the record straight, having played both I also prefer Valygar to Minsc. I only don't feel like dumping people because I've just found a better ranger - RP-wise it's not really fun. Anyway, next time I'm playing Minsc will be left behind immediately after Irenicus's dungeon.
     
  13. Platypus Gems: 4/31
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    Anyway, after that little hamster-themed :yot: diversion...

    Valygar is one of those characters who you need to get the knack of using, and that knack basically boils down to whether or not you can backstab. IIRC, you need to hit first time from behind while still invisible to have a chance, but Valygar's Katana proficiency does make him an excellent candidate for backstabbing fun. He has a tendency to get splattered in straight combat, however, so don't use him as a fighter: use him, indeed, as a "stalker" and you'll find that he's really quite good.
     
  14. Subra Gems: 8/31
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    I like Valygar's basic weapon configuration. Spear, Katana and Longbow. Valygar is a very effective stealth scout plus he can haste himself. If your protagonist is your stealth character then you don't need Valygar, otherwise Valygar is the stealth guy of choice for me. Use the katana for the initial backstab, perhaps to "pull" the selected bad guy back to the party in ambush where Valygar will switch to a spear for the ability to hit from the second rank so to speak, while the real tanks in plate armor stand toe to toe and do their job.

    With a high damage spear to follow up after a backstab, Valygar can score some good kills on his own. I find celestial fury to very out of balance and tend not to use it.

    With boots of speed, Valygar can run out of melee range and pump arrows after the initial backstab.

    He's just a very flexible adventurer. You can mix and match stealth, melee and range tactics with him.
     
  15. christopher_c_pitzer Gems: 5/31
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    Basically, I give Valygar all the gear that Jeheria needs to be useful: The Hill Giant Strength belt, any extra AC gear that I can find to help him out(Cloak of the Sewers, etc.), Boots of Speed.

    For weapons, I give him profiency in Long Swords, that way he can wield Daystar if he fights undead. Otherwise, he uses the best weapons that I can get him at that time.

    The only bad thing that I found with him is the leather armour restriction, but he can still get a fairly decent AC if you get the Shadow Armour and some other AC enhancing gear. He is a machine of death and it's fun watching bodies get hacked up by him when he is stacked.
     
  16. Tayja Gems: 6/31
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    What blunt weapon do you like to give Valygar, for the occasional golem-fest?
     
  17. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Keep Celestial Fury for that. It stuns even adamantine golems and that's worth much more than any damage he'd do with a blunt weapon. While they're frozen the rest of the party can take care of them.
     
  18. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    I usually give him Flails, as I often run him alongside Minsc, who has the Maces. There's some underused flails out there, IMHO -- I like Wyvern's tail for the early parts of the game -- in ToB, Ice Star and the Flail of Ages is nice, and I've had some nice success having old Valygar backstab with that Dagger of the Star.
     
  19. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    One other thing: With the item upgrade mod you can make a dagger called, I think, Quietus, which has the nifty benefit of increasing your backstab multiplier by one. Equip it in his off hand so he's backstabbing with a katana but at an increased multiplier.
     
  20. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Oooooh - that's a good idea dmc, especially since IIRC Valygar comes with ** in daggers when you pick him up, right? Doesn't Quietus do something else too?
     
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