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Sell me Valygar

I find Valygar as insipid as Cernd. Took him a couple of times but I can't seem to understand what makes him appealing. I've played him even with mods to no avail.

Tell me why you like Valygar and what makes him an interesting character, please...



  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 579
    Also I’m fresh out of Valygars but I can sell you two Anomens, two Minscs, a Keldorn or a Mazzy?

  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,035
    I never brought Valygar in my BG2 parties myself, so I'll let others do the answering here. ;) That said, I did enjoy making him dual-wield Celestial Fury and his starting katana.

  • InKalInKal Member Posts: 149
    Valygar as Wizard Slayer (mod) can be quite a monster if played correctly, not that hard. ;p

  • OrlonKronsteenOrlonKronsteen Member Posts: 788
    From a power-gaming standpoint, if you eventually give him points in scimitars, he can dual-wield Celestial Fury and Belm in the off-hand. With the aforementioned dragon armours you have a machine of death. He can run in stealth mode or tank.

  • ReticentReticent Member Posts: 109
    Mechanically he's pretty good, only a few SoA NPCs are clearly better than he is.

    As a character though, he has the most forgettable personality in the game.

  • ReticentReticent Member Posts: 109
    It isn't so much a problem that he's down to earth, as that he feels less fleshed out than other characters. Outside of the Planar Sphere quest it tends to feel like his character interactions are mostly being carried by whoever the other npc involved is.

    That's not a moral judgement on him or anything, just the way it happens to come off even when you compare him to other "low key" npc personalities.

  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 579
    At least the first time through the game I picked the people I would actually want to travel with and have my back when very powerful forces have captured my oldest companion. On that basis alone I think Valygar is a very sound pick. Based upon the info available about the npcs pre launch, I had intended to take Keldorn over him and/or Mazzy but from a story point of view I ended up leaving Keldorn and working both Mazzy and Valygar into the team. Mazzy is awesome

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,277
    @Reticent I think that most BG2 npcs who aren't from BG1 have this kind of problem. Mazzy, Cernd, Valygar and Haer D'Alis have very little content apart from their own quests and maybe a sidequest or two , gladly weve got friendship mods !

  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 579
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    Valygar is basically fantasy Blade. But instead of vampires, he hunts mages.

    And he hates their golems, whilst Minsc actually does hate vampires

  • steelchasersteelchaser Member Posts: 47
    i would have to replace Minsc or Coran. I play an Inquisitor with Coran, Minsc, Neera, Jaheira leaving a space open for Imoen.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 670
    Why Valygar? I believe at some point in ToB, his hide in shadows (with items) was approaching 150. The guy could stand in brought daylight and disappear. I can probably count on my hands the number of times he failed a save while scouting, which meant I could send him into areas without potions or magic. With the cloak of non-detection, he was a ghost. Oh, and he could take down a fair number of enemies with a single-back stab.

    Even once he reemerged for battle, he could stand toe-to-toe on the front line with anyone else, and that was usually Mazzy. Those two made an awesome team.

    However, I mostly took him for ironic reasons, as my PC's are always magic users. Towards the end, he kept my namesake PC (Maur'vir - female conjurer) honest.

  • iosfrustrationiosfrustration Member Posts: 132
    He’s a bit boring from a character perspective. And since pretty much everyone is OP in the vanilla game anyway, bring boring is a good reason to drop him.
    However if you want some reasons to keep him...

    Dead or alive you’ll need him to get into the planar sphere. The Sphere contains both the boots of speed and the short sword of +1 APR. If your PC is a mage the sphere stronghold quests can also give access to extremely powerful spells like ADHW and extremely powerful items like the ring of wizardry very early in the game. So for these reasons you’ll want to have some interaction with him (although possibly bloody and violent)
    He can use hardiness, Defender of Easthaven and Armor of faith for very high physical resistance, and with the right gear + AOF can get very high elemental resistance without too much trouble
    He’s a natural fit Celestial Fury which is very powerful and available very early
    So in theory he’s a good all rounder, allows you to access and use some very powerful items very early, and hits very hard from backstab

  • ithildurnewithildurnew Member Posts: 212
    edited November 2019
    Huh, and I thought kids these days absolutely loved the brooding Batman-esque type...

    Ok, so he's not as fleshed out as DC's dark grim Plotman (one game vs decades of material will do that), but realistically not every bioware NPC is going to have equal content obviously. Regardless, characters don't have to be talky talky to be interesting. It's kind of refreshing to have a guy who isn't yapping his head off with crazy verbage like Jan or Minsc (I also enjoy both of these guys) and is more of a grim, silent, strong type which fits his class and background.

    I mean, think about his backstory, uber stealth, warrior with tricks motif, vendetta after family tragedy, grim obsession with opposing xyz, etc . He's the BG2 Batman. All he needs is 50 writers/modders coming up with story after story where his tragedy is highlighted and he overcomes impossible odds ad nauseam just because ... and voila!

    Powerwise, someone competently dual wielding CF with an offhand weapon that grants a bonus attack is about as dangerous as you can get as a meleer pre-ToB (when you start needing +4 weapons to hit a lot of guys); with improved haste or Whirlwind attack that's 6 to 10 times/round chance to stun the target. You don't even need to put stars in scimitar or short sword; a penalty to THAC0 with that one single attack with Belm or Kundane isn't really going to matter, especially when you're stunning foes left and right.

    That said, as much as I like Valygar I tend to drop him in the long run; just not enough room for front liners between Keldorn with Carsomyr (always gets the nod with SCS installed), Anomen wielding FOA with grand mastery, and Minsc for comic relief, plus that nasty sibling in ToB. I'll opt to keep him for SoA over Anomen if I have MC wield FoA one of these days.

    Post edited by ithildurnew on
  • Skatan wrote: »
    Hello! I find his blade to be absolutely excellent, as said by @ilduderino. It's a great mage killer thanks to the bleed effect.


    The bleed effect is great. I made a club for my cleric/thief with bleeding damage. Backstabbing mages in BG1 to disable them for a few seconds.

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,407
    edited November 2019
    dunbar wrote: »
    Thanks to all the input given in this thread I've just started using Valygar 'properly' for the first time and I really wish I hadn't been ignoring him all these years - he's an awesome addition to the frontline.

    I totally agree. This combined with @JGP's insightful contribution to the thread below has made me want to give stalkers a proper go. (I've never really tried one but then I have only been playing the game for twenty years)

    Post edited by Permidion_Stark on
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,621
    with a couple of mages spending on him cheap invisibility spells he can pull out 2 stabs/round on top of the other regular attacks, 3 in the initial round as he should always go to battle while hidden.
    i assume that he has also been improved hasted and is DW celestial fury and a +1apr OH weapon.
    if you want also to use invisibility potions or items he will fight with 3 stabs/round, 4 in the first one.

    this makes him possibly the most damaging frontliner possible for the hardest battles against what is not immune to stabs. he carves trough the enemies hp like a hot knife carves trough butter.

    almost every npc has his power uses, and this imho is the way to use him at best.

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 1,041
    @gorgonzola That implies that your mages are continuously casting Invisibility. That is not necessarily a bad idea, but usually there are better choices.
    With Celestial Fury, a cast of Invisibility would be worth about 12.5*2=25 points of damage. If you have Improved Alacrity running, sure, that is a good investment of a level 2 spell slot. But otherwise a wizard can probably do more damage than that per round.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,621
    edited November 2019
    invisibility is a lev 2 spell, i value better a stab more from valygar then a melf magic arrow, and both can work as antimage spell thanks to the bleeding effect of the sword or the stun of celestial.
    if the mage has to do something more useful, like casting a lower resistance, a breach or maybe an ADHW, i can live with a stab less or our ranger can quaff a potion or activate a ring for that round.

    my point is that invisibility is a cheap spell and that having 2 mages investing in it you have a potential of 2 stabs/round with a stabber that has a good thac0 to actually hit even well armored opponents, not only mages that lack of ac, without having the ranger relocate to hide again.

    when your mages have something other to do valygar can fight normally, flanking if there is a tank or even tanking if uses aof and the defender for damage reduction.

    and as i have anyway a proper thief in the party almost every run i find very powerful also ambushes with 2 stabbers when i chose to use skirmish tactics instead of a regular battle.

    also for those that use nalia or imoen as thief he covers all the exploring and stabbing tasks those 1/2 thieves (but outstanding mages) can not cover, and with a bow he can give a strong ranged support.

    i don't use valygar often, but when i do i really appreciate his contribution, and the multiple stabs are his personal special move, even if he needs mages help to do it.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 670
    I know this may sound weird, but I just like Valygar's character. He provides that counter balance to a typically magic-heavy party and I actually find his taciturn personality calming. However, I know a lot of people prefer more up-beat folks, like Edwin... ;)

    Personality aside, he's a strong NPC who, when used properly, can go the distance. I've had a party take him all the way to the throne, through WK, and win. For parties who like to scout ahead and know what is coming, he can't be beat.

  • ithildurnewithildurnew Member Posts: 212
    edited November 2019
    Again, Valygar is the BG2 poor man's Batman. He doesn't have say, the raw power of Ftr/Mage, F/C or pure casters, but he's got a rather versatile mix of skills and abilities with a personality that fits. Just make sure he has the right tools/utility belt.
    As for spending Invisibility castings on him, why in the world would you do that when he can quaff a couple of pots? Pretty early in the game it's easy to aquire 30+ invis pots for free. With silly vanilla/non-SCS a.i. you can have the party break for teatime if you like while Valygar solos a lot of the tougher encounters with a couple of invis items and Celestial Fury/Belm, maybe the short sword that casts Mirror Image as insurance (he can take a few hits with warrior HD but he's a striker not a tank). CF stun still hits through stoneskin and such btw; you can switch to family sword when the skins are gone to ensure bleed/constant disruption of casting, though chances are by that point a vanilla a.i. mage is pretty much dead...
    Different story with SCS and to a lesser extent vs ToB foes (CF isn't as effective in ToB), but in vanilla SoA, Valygar makes the game Storymode easy if properly used.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,621
    As for spending Invisibility castings on him, why in the world would you do that when he can quaff a couple of pots? Pretty early in the game it's easy to aquire 30+ invis pots for free.
    because a mage at lev 10 can cast 4 lev 2 spells and at at lev 13 can cast 5.
    so having 2 mages you have a potential of 8-10 stabs/day + the ones he can get trough potions.
    stabs during the fight, not the ones he can get hiding, that are potentially unlimited.
    even if there are a lot of potions they are limited in number.

    but mainly because to drink a potion is considered a magical action, so he can drink it only once in a round, and if he does it and the 2 mages cast invisibility on him, very precise timing is needed for it, he can get up to 3 stabs in a single round that combined to the high apr that he has (OH speed weapon and improved haste if not GWW are welcome) can make him a killing machine in some fights where multiple enemies are fought at once. or he can do 2 stabs and drink an healing potion, use the images from that sword or whatever.
    having him in the party probably no other lev 2 spell can be so effective as invisibility cast on him, at least in many situations, surely not against dragons or other foe he can not stab.

    i agree with you that in vanilla he does not really need it, probably a valygar like charname could solo the whole game without much effort.
    but there are situations where the tactic that i propose is actually very helpful, let's take the first room in the slavers ship in the slums. there you find multiple enemies, some at the front and 2 flanking you, he can kill the later ones in less then 1 round if you manage to let him do multiple stabs.
    and this is also true at higher levels, like in the oasis when your mage's PI can flood him with invisibility spells, and he probably has GWW at that point, so he can stab the boss and all the first wave while the PI kill also the ranged flankers with some skull traps, while the other party members drink a tea.

    i mean, you don't have to do it every time and not every time is the best use of the lev 2 spells of your mages, but it is a tactical option that having him or a FT in the party gives, why don't use it when is tactically worth and you decide to go that route?

  • AerieAerie Member Posts: 154
    He makes a sick coconut marinated chicken.

  • ithildurnewithildurnew Member Posts: 212
    edited January 23
    For people who think Valygar doesn't have a personality, he is officially the only character in all of the game that is capable of shutting Jan up, rebuking him, and leaving him speechless (don't get me wrong, I love Jan, but he went too far this one time). Not even the grizzled veteran paladin Keldorn or troll queen Viconia are capable of such a feat. It's worth having Val and Jan in the party for an extended bit of time sometime just to see this exchange. Bonus: if you have Banterpack installed they have another (this time amusing) exchange involving a new gnomish invention that's worth seeing.

  • DinoDinDinoDin Member Posts: 841
    Selling Valygar is easy. Ranger stealth helps you to speedily plow away some of the tedious aspects of the game. You can sneak ahead on every fight in wilderness areas. In dungeon areas with traps, a leapfrogging strategy of inching your ranger-scout and your trap finding thief is the best, safest way to clear a dungeon. This is especially effective long term strategy on limited reload or no reload challenges.

    Seriously, if you don't heavily rely on ranger stealth in your playthroughs, you should give it a chance and Valygar is the top NPC in the game to do this. Once you start doing it, playing without an easy stealth member will no longer seem as fun! You can do it with a second thief as well, but nothing does it as efficiently as a ranger, who also gives you a better thaco and hp piece in combat.

    Valygar can be kitted out decently well with his pips, if you grab him early. The EE versions make switching between two weapon and two handed weapons way more effective now, which has greatly boosted Valygar's combat potential. If you grab him at level 8, you can get two points in quarterstaff and one point in two weapon style, by level 15. By about the start of ToB you can max him with a katana/longbow/quarterstaff option from his weapons, with a final point in two weapon style. Dual katanas for regular fighting, quarterstaff for backstabbing and for slash damage resistant monsters. Longbow for a third option. He'll be able to contribute in every fight with that setup with zero tedious weapon swapping.

    Unless I'm playing a ranger, or using Minsc, every single good or neutral playthrough ought to be using Valygar, he's a must have for his capacity to play safely but also not tediously.

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