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As promised in their previous stream, For Honor dropped a big (almost 2 GB!) patch on August 2. Season 7, Storm and Fury, promised some big changes – and they weren’t playing. Two heroes, in particular, are underperformers and Ubisoft gave them the rehaul treatment.
Warden, the iconic quintessential knight of the respective faction, was in a bad place. With the community joking that his moveset “can be written on a paper napkin” he was in dire need of a rework. Valkyrie, the spear-wielding Viking woman of yore, was in a similar boat. Since the first season, she’s been practically the butt of every joke in discussions. Ubisoft aims to fix that in Season 7.
Season 7 Warden changes
Warden has always been considered the noob hero. After all, he’s the first character to play in the campaign and is practically the icon for the Knight faction. The dev team explained that they also wanted the hero to excel at the highest level of gameplay, something they felt wasn’t happening. Warden has a somewhat limited moveset, and relies heavily on Shoulder Bash and his top light attack. Ubisoft’s intent is to improve the way he plays so that his tools aren’t easily countered. As it stands, most players can dodge/roll to reset. This kills the Warden.
New move for Warden
Ubisoft’s solution to this is to add a new move for the hero. Most of Warden’s previous gameplay got neutralized with opponents rolling away or dodging. This is because it effectively counters both the Guardbreak and Shoulder Bash and resets combat. Their proposed solution to this is “Valiant Breakthrough” – a new ability used by inputting Forward Dodge + Heavy Attack. This new skill allows executions and also can be chained into finishing attacks.
Improved Shoulder Bash
In addition to combating the rolling issue with Warden, the devs now look at Shoulder Bash. While the new move certainly counters evasion, the bash has issues in and of itself. This move has both a quick and charged version, however only the quick version was used. Players could easily just dodge this move, but no longer. With this patch, Warden’s bash tracks into dodging opponents. This makes it a viable ability to use with a considerable amount of threat attached. Warden can now cancel this move later into its animation, making it a viable mix-up option for him.
Finally, a Valkyrie rework!
Valk’s been in a bad spot for a while. Despite having a versatile skillset, it just isn’t viable. Most of her mix-ups were risky, and she was getting crushed in duels. The majority of her moves either opened her up to punishment or didn’t yield any progress. Ubisoft is finally fixing this for Season 7.
Shield Crush revamp
One of Valk’s hallmark moves, Shield Crush, was a risky move at best. Not only did it not result in any damage to the opponent, but if they reacted they could punish her and control the fight. With the rework, she is not only confirmed a light attack but also given the ability to counter any punishment. The intent from the devs was to make this a viable move she can use in her mix-ups. This does come with its caveats, however – she can now only use this after cancelling a heavy attack.
More chain attacks!
In a considerable switch-up for her, Valkyrie now has five more chains:
- Light Attack > Heavy > Heavy
- Heavy > Heavy > Light
- Light > Heavy > Light
- Heavy > Heavy > Heavy
- Heavy > Light > Heavy
The team’s intent behind this was to make her less predictable. Beforehand, her chains were so limited that they practically read her once she launched certain attacks. This would cause her to get immediately parried and take punishment.
Spear sweep changes
One of Valk’s more unique moves – the Spear Sweep – allows her to completely knock an opponent over. The problem with this ability, however, was that it was also quite predictable. Your opponent could also react to any damage following it due to their recovery. In this update, Valk’s sweep is faster, which helps her land it more often. There’s also a new move specifically intended for performing a successful punish. To perform this, throw a heavy attack after landing a sweep. This resolves the issue of any action after this ability being reactable. The downside is the fact that she cannot loop back into a combo afterward.
Shield Tackle nerf?
One of the more controversial moves Ubisoft did was to effectively nerf Shield Tackle. This move could previously be used with her Full Block stance to knock her opponent off balance. This is a move she could charge. It could also be cancelled into a dodge forward attack. This is no longer the case. Players can now still hold the Shield Tackle in place, but not charge it. Ubisoft felt this would make her too overpowered, however, the community has disagreed rather hard on this point.
Some number tweaks for Valkyrie
This update also practically buffs some of Valkyrie’s damage and speed, making her more viable and less easily punished. Here’s the full gist of the tweaks:
- Second Top Light is now 400ms (sped up from 500ms).
- Reason: Ubisoft wants to ensure that her Chains are sufficiently dangerous, and this speed increase will help with that.
- Sweep Punish now deals 35 damage (increased from 25).
- Reason: Spear Sweep Punish was a bit underwhelming at 25 since it does end your Chain. Because it replaces what used to be a Heavy Opener, we compensate for the loss of ability to return to the Chain with better damage up front. We feel that Valkyries were not landing much after the Heavy Opener in upper-level games before, so this damage increase should represent a higher damage output than the old behaviour could reasonably net.
- Zone Attack Strikes now both deal 20 damage (up from 15).
- Reason: 15 damage was too weak for how slow the Zone Attack is.
- Guard Break Miss Recovery’s movement has been standardized with the other heroes.
- Reason: there was a bug that caused Valkyrie to move forward more than everyone else on a missed Guard Break, which meant she would often move into a punishable range more often than other heroes.
The full patch notes can be viewed here.
In addition to the reworks, this patch also brought significant gear changes and a new map.
Do you think Ubisoft did Warden and Valkyrie some justice? Let us know!