MultiVersus arguably started with what’s known as the Ultra Instinct Shaggy meme. Derived from YouTuber Midya’s edit of an episode from Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur—where a hypnotized Shaggy single handedly defeats a biker gang—it was a viral hit that some felt culminated in the creation of WB’s free-to-play brawler. This is why it was a shock to learn that Velma Dinkley is actually the standout Mystery Inc. fighter in MultiVersus and not Shaggy.
Actually, I’m inclined to go a step further. Velma is one of the best characters in the game by a huge margin. Powered by her inquisitive nature and supportive skills, she offers fans a unique way of play. Velma doesn’t throw hands for instance, instead relying on her words during a fight. Her bright ideas can sing rivals flying while her motivational speeches can heal allies. Essentially, Velma will watch your back and if forced to, will knock the everlasting “Jinkies” out of unsuspecting foes.
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Velma is a force to be reckoned with in the right hands. This is in spite of her lack of physical prowess. She isn’t as fast (or deadly) as Arya Stark and doesn’t offer the explosive power that Steven Universe does. That said, she still outclasses them both when it comes to being a proper teammate. That’s the thing about MultiVersus. While it has solo and free-for-all options, the main mode of play is its 2v2 team battle format. There’s a give and take. Synergizing one’s abilities with that of a partner to overcome the opposition. Velma does that with ease.
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As a support character, Velma’s main role is to provide aid during a battle. This is done by buffing allies and damaging/debuffing enemies. One of the things that makes her stand out is the level of support provided and overall strength of her various abilities. Take Velma’s neutral attack and special abilities. By rapidly tapping the attack button you can send out her Supportive Words projectiles that seek out targeted friends and foes. If these word bubbles hit an enemy, they’ll juggle them around while doing a decent amount of damage. This effect changes if an ally is targeted; when hit, they’ll not only become hastened (able to move faster) but also spawn additional word bubbles to attack enemies and heal Velma.
Velma’s neutral special move, called Motivational Speaker, is also a solid ability. This move sends out a beam of encouragement that repeatedly hits opponents, damaging them while also applying a debuff called “weakened”—a debuff that makes them receive additional damage and knockback from attacks for a limited time. If it lands on an ally, they’ll not only be healed but send out a stronger version of the beam.
What’s so great about these attacks (aside from the obvious)? Well for one, they both provide healing. They also compliment one another. The “you can do it!” beam doesn’t just weaken rival players but also makes them targeted for Velma’s Supportive Words. Most of her other moves are similar in this regard. Each offering a solid bit of damage, more so when amplified by a teammate, while also providing strong buffs. The only drawback being cooldown timers that prevents Velma from spamming the better parts of her arsenal.
This type of synergistic play can be found in other characters. Again, Steven Universe comes to mind. But none of them offer as many buffs and debuffs as Velma. She can give her team armor and health, grant boosts in speed, apply stacks of ice (to slow and eventually freeze players), and weaken enemies all while doing a ton of damage. Velma can even educate folks—by throwing a book at her teammate, she can reduce the team’s cooldown durations, something no other character can do without using a perk/item. Basically, Velmla proves to be a powerful ally no matter the circumstances.
Known Youtuber and fighting game expert, John Crofts (jmcrofts) also believes that Velma is “insanely powerful”. In his video below, not only can you see him proving this notion true by dealing out nearly 400 points of damage, but he also makes mention of how well she supports the team and that she “has the potential to be top tier.”
The ability that really puts Velma over though has to be her Snooping passive. During a match, certain moves have a chance to spawn evidence. Collect enough of it and she’ll be able to summon a police car to come and incapacitate the closet player on the opposing team. It’s similar to Steven Universe’s bubble ability, except that the cop car will try to remove them from play if they can’t break out, while the bubble just holds people in place. Seeing someone get scooped up and carried off the stage is as comical as it is effective.
Now, this move might seem unfair. I mean, initiating a fight and then calling the cops is certainly some Karen-type shit. That said, it takes a while to collect the needed evidence to make that call. And if Velma dies before summoning the car, she’ll have to start all over when she respawns.
There are other cons to worry about as well. For one, Velma is always a target. Removing her from play also removes her buffs and debuffs. Expect her to be rushed from the start. She also isn’t very fast or strong on her own; MultiVersus‘assassins will round circles around her, making her a bad pick (in most cases) for 1v1 matchups. Lastly, her Up Special doesn’t cover much ground. Velma players will need to properly utilize her jumps and dodges before using that move in order to survive being knocked off a given stage.
Even with her limitations, Velma is that chick. EVO champion SonicFox seems to agree. While he tends to destroy opponents no matter who he’s using, his video entitled “Velma Might Be the Way” showcases how great she can be during a fight. Whether by playing keep-away using word projectiles or up close and person with her bright ideas. She even gets the better of Arya Stark despite her superior speed.
Velma’s powerful attacks are bolstered by her supportive abilities, making her one of the best characters in Multiverse. In the right hands, she’d be nearly unbeatable regardless of who she’s teamed with. We all thought it would be the Shaggy show. And in some aspects, he is definitely a solid pick for solo and team-based fights. But Velma is the true representative of Mystery Inc. She embodies the iconic animated series (like Shaggy) while also bodying anyone foolish enough to rattle her stylish frames.
Kenneth Seward Jr. is a freelance writer, editor, and illustrator who covers games, movies, and more. follow him @kennyufg and on Twitch.