Running the Gauntlet, Part III: Thyra the Valkyrie
Disclaimer: The information in this article was originally written for Arrowhead Studio's original version of the Gauntlet reboot, now under the name Gauntlet: Slayer Edition. Most of the information here still applies to Thyra as far as abilities and tactics are concerned, but some information no longer applies, such as the abilities given out by Masteries. In addition, there is information missing about the new equipment system, where equipping Thyra with different shields will change her Shield Throw to a different ability depending on which shield is equipped.
Back in the Battle, with Shield and Sword!
Hello there friends, and welcome to the third part of Running the Gauntlet, where we will be taking a look at Thrya the Valkyrie, the fearsome female warrior in Gauntlet 2014. Like Thor, Thrya is good for close quarters combat, but abilities like her shield that can block attacks and even reflect shots and ability to crank up the defense when low on HP gives her some defensive maneuvers that Thor unfortunately lacks. However, this means that her sword arm is not quite as good as Thor's ax arm, meaning she deals out less damage. But still, those looking for a character who can take the fight right to the enemies while having the ability to fall back on defenses need look no further. But let's get right to things and see what else makes Thyra different from Thor, and what sort of tactics that brings.
Commanding the Last of the Valkyries
Just like with our other Heroes, you can control Thyra using either the Keyboard & Mouse, or Gamepad. And like with everyone else, Thrya will use a target reticle if you are doing it with the Keyboard & Mouse. Again, it is a tad bit awkward, but if you don't have a gamepad to use (or more preferably, an Xbox 360 controller) you'll get used to it soon enough.
The controls for Thyra are pretty straightforward for both Keyboard & Mouse and the Controller. WASD moves Thyra, while the Mouse controls the target reticle. Left Click to do a Light Attack, and Right Click to Spear Thrust. Space has her do the Shield Throw and Shift utilizes the Shield Block. Q and E use Relics if you have Potions, and F is to interact with the game world. With an Xbox 360 Controller, those commands are: Left Thumbstick to move Thrya, X for a Light Attack, Y for the Spear Thrust, B for the Shield Throw, and for the Shield Block simply point the Right Thumbstick in the direction you wish to block. Left and Right Bumpers use Relics if you have potions, and A is to interact with the game world. Also remember: You cannot change the keybindings for the Controller, only the Keyboard & Mouse!
Like I said, pretty basic and straightforward. So let's get right into Thyra's different techniques!
Disciplines of a Warrior
Thrya has a variety of useful abilities at her disposal which helps her both stay alive longer in battle and aid her fellow Heroes out. Like with Thor, you might find yourself using her Light Attack quite often, which is just her hacking and slashing with her sword. It doesn't do massive amounts of damage, but it's useful for knocking back foes, killing weaker foes, and setting them up for perhaps a Shield Throw or Spear Thrust. This attack is only recommended for foes that will actually be somewhat stunned by this; tougher foes like the Giant Mummies and Orc Juggernauts are not to be taken on with this tactic, as they aren't thrown off by the attack and will continue to swing at you. Even then, Grunt Shamans, Corrupted Mummies, and other tougher monsters take a lot of hits from this attack to bring down.
Fortunately, Thyra has her own powerful attack in the form of her Spear Thrust. This powerful move sees Thrya put up her shield, wind up for the attack, and dash forward with her spear, decimating all but the toughest of monsters in her path. The only exception are the larger and tougher foes like Orc Juggernauts, Giant Mummies, Liches, and so on; instead of going through these enemies, they will bring Thyra's Spear Thrust to a stop if there is not enough room for her to pass through to the other side, but even then they'll still be damaged and most likely momentarily stunned nonetheless. However, if the Spear Thrust would kill them, then she will continue her attack. The Spear Thrust is not unlike Thor's Rush, except that it actually kills monsters most of the time instead of dealing minuscule amounts of damage. It's pretty useful when there's a huge group of monsters that need taken care of. One tactic I like to do is Spear Thrusting through hordes of monsters, especially if I'll end up safe on the other side with plenty of time to either Shield Block, Shield Throw, run away, or even do another Spear Thrust. A word of caution though: While Thyra does raise her shield prior to Thrusting, any attacks that hit her from the back or sides will knock her out of it, and of course you must be weary of where you end your Thrust, as it takes a moment for Thyra to regain herself for her next move; in that moment you are open to attack. Also much like Questor's Tumble and Thor's Rush, this is a useful technique for getting through traps or even dodging attacks.
Another great skill Thyra has is her Shield Throw, performed in a manner not unlike a familiar Marvel Superhero. When used, Thyra takes her shield and tosses it, turning a defensive shield into an offensive weapon that deals a good amount of damage.The shield will also return to Thyra on its own, so there's no need to go out and retrieve it. The Shield Throw is an interesting technique, as it will simply fly straight forward and back if you do not move, however you can alter its course by throwing it and running around, as the shield will fly around as it tries to make its way back to Thyra, of course dealing damage to anything within its path. This is really great when there's long chains of monsters, as you can Shield Throw and flee while the shield returns back to you on an extended route, knocking out anything in its path. This also works on Summoning Stones as well, and I'll often throw the shield in the direction of one and continue to run if I'm being chased by hordes of monsters. Master this chain reaction property of the Shield Throw as this can make it even more powerful than it already is. Obviously, Thyra cannot Shield Block while the shield is out and flying, so make sure to take that into account when deciding on using this technique! Once she has it back, you can resume using Shield Block - and please note that you do not need to wait for the Shield Throw to cool down to use the Shield Block as the cool down pertains to when you can re-use the Shield Throw again only.
Also, there is a Mastery tied to this technique: The Captain's Special. By ranking up this Mastery you will reduce the cooldown time for the Shield Throw.
The Heir of Valhalla's Other Skills
In addition to the above, Thyra has a great defensive maneuver in the form of her Shield Block. When this technique is activated Thrya raises up her shield to block any and all attacks. No matter what the attack is, you can guarantee the shield will more than likely block it. Not only that, but Thyra will also push back with her shield when it's hit, knocking foes back which makes this technique great when you need to push back some of the horde in order to get some breathing room. A good thing to remember is the Shield Block's pushback will actually kill the Skeletons. The Skeleton Knights aren't killed, only stunned, but the normal foot soldiers are actually killed which makes dealing with these foes a little less difficult. If you rank up the Eye for an Eye Mastery you can also gain the ability to reflect any shots back at the opponent who launched them, making it an excellent way for dealing with those pesky foes who launch arrows, fireballs, and spell blasts.
When Thyra's health falls below 30% her Heir of Valhalla ability, pending of course if you have it at least Bronze Level, will take hold. What this does is reduce the amount of damage Thyra receives while her health is below 30%. At Bronze Level, you get a 50% damage reduction; Silver gives you an impressive 65% reduction; getting Gold ups this to an impressive 80%! While I personally like Thor's Hardened Champion ability better, or even Questor's Mysteries of the Elf Folk, this ability seems like a good one once you reach the Silver and Gold Levels with it.
Just like with the other three Heroes, Thyra has her own unique set of Masteries. And similar to Thor, anything past the first column is the same for all of the other characters, so to save time and space I will not be going over the non-Thyra specific Masteries. I will be doing a Mastery-Specific article at some point in the future, but for now if you wish to take a peek at any non-Thyra specific Masteries you'll have to refer to Part I. Due to my not having unlocked all of Thyra's Masteries, the levels that these are at will vary; Eye for an Eye is at Gold (and will thus have the Gold requirement and effect listed), The Captain's Special is not even at Bronze for me, but the game lets you know the next level you need to unlock, so I'll have the Gold requirement but the Bronze effect, and Heir of Valhalla is only at Bronze, but I do have the info for Gold Level available, so the listed info will be Gold Level and requirements.
I'll also be including some tips of my own or that I've seen on how to get these Masteries unlocked faster.
Eye for an Eye
Block 10 projectiles with Shield Block
Blocked Projectiles are reflected back at the attacker.
If you're able to get an enemy that uses projectiles one-on-one this is easy to do. The first Corrupted Mummy you encounter is an easy freebie for this.
The Captain's Special
Kill 12,000 monsters with the Shield Throw
Shield Throw cooldown reduced by 5% (Bronze Level)
If you end up with a huge following of monsters, just toss toss toss that shield at them. You'll surely get this in no time.
Heir of Valhalla
Take 12,000 cumulative damage as the Valkyrie
When below 30% health - All damage taken reduced by 80%
This will unlock in due time, as you're sure to take plenty of damage. If you want to make this quicker, take damage from Traps and monsters when there's food around. Simply let yourself get beat up, and then just heal with food (or the Siren's Lute Relic)
Well, that brings us to the end of this part. I hope you enjoyed getting more familiar with the Last of the Valkyries who's out for vengeance. And now with this info, you'll definitely be able to help Thyra achieve that. Like with Questor and Thor, I've also got a handy YouTube video up recorded courtesy of one my own character Razzle Joestar that recaps the Valkyrie's abilities and also gives a demonstration of those abilities in Gauntlet's Colosseum mode. Make sure you join in for Part IV, where we will be taking a look at Gauntlet's arcane master, Merlin.