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It’s been over 18 months since Riot Games launched its superb tactical shooter Valorant. Several major updates since not only shifted and changed the Agent meta but have also added all-new Agents that have, at times, turned the meta on its head. With the launch of Episode 4, Act II, we’re back again to re-rank Valorant’s Agents into Tiers, according to the big recent meta shift. Without further ado, here’s who we consider the best Agents in Valorant Patch 4.04.
The meta is trying to shift away from Sova following a nerf to his owl drone and shock darts, but Sova remains a king at the very top of the tier list.
Thanks to his ability to illuminate enemy targets with both his surveillance arrow and owl drone, Sova offers important intel for his team, allowing them to catch attacking rushes before they happen or recon sites for enemies before his team enters. He is invaluable on almost every map in the game.
Sova is an Agent who is both fantastic to learn as a beginner and equally a useful part of any high-elo squad. He’s the eyes of the team, making it easier for both yourself and everyone else to spot targets. And when you want to strike back at targets, his Ultimate is a powerful offensive attack that can blow through walls. This can be used at the start of a round to gain a pick or more defensively to either attack or defend the spike plant/defuse.
Outside of games played on Split and Fracture where his darts offer less value, you won’t see many professional games at the pro esports level that don’t feature Sova. For this reason, he’s an easy S-Tier pick.
Another Agent who has been recently nerfed, Jett is now less capable as a defender and operator player but remains incredibly powerful as the game’s best overall duelist.
Still, Jett’s ability to quickly dash, jump, and glide allows her to move across the map quickly and hold what would typically be suicidal angles for other Agents. This makes her a superb Operator player, and even after the introduction of Chamber, whose teleport ability and Ultimate is strong enough on paper to replace her in this role, she remains a preferred pick for many ‘oppers’ in both ranked and pro esports.
But her kit isn’t limited to sniping. In fact, that’s really just a sideshow to what it’s actually designed for. Jett is supposed to be used primarily as an entry fragger. That’s because she can smoke and then dash quickly onto a site to force an opening for her team.
When it comes to using her ultimate, Jett players need to be sure they have excellent aim since her Blade Storm is a one-hit kill if you can score a headshot. What’s more, it’s accurate even while on the move, and she’s able to unleash all five knives with a single right-click for close ranges. The flipside, though, is that if you miss your shots the ultimate has done nothing useful for your team.
Still, with a utility kit that’s both excellent for Jett and useful for her team, she’s easily one of the best Agents in Valorant, albeit not a great one for beginners.
Valorant’s latest Agent Fade brings another initiator Agent to the game for the first time since KAY/0 way back in June of last year, and she’s proven a huge success immediately.
Fade’s abilities are quite unique, but her focus on intel-gathering makes her most comparable to Sova. Unlike Sova, though, Fade’s intel-gathering is much closer ranged, and it’s designed to be played in combination with her Prowlers — an ability similar to Skye’s Seekers. It also doesn’t really require as much practice with lineups to be effective (though you will still have to have a few up your sleeve). As a result, she’s very strong as a sort of pick-up-and-play character, perfectly suited to ranked.
That doesn’t mean Fade is suitable only for Ranked, though. Far from it, in fact. As an Agent for co-ordinated competitive play, her potential is absolutely sky high due to the fact that so much of her utility can be combined with other Agents in the game. There’s just no doubt we’ll see Fade in professional esports play when she makes her debut later this month. Depending on how she performs, we might even see Fade climb up to S-Tier.
Valorant’s big daddy sentinel, Chamber was a very interesting addition to Valorant’s roster toward the end of last year and has firmly solidified his presence in the meta since. This is largely due to the fact that he offers an alternative to Jett for those who like to use the operator, partly because he can quickly teleport away from danger (similar to Jett’s dash) but mostly because he gets an operator for his ultimate.
Chamber’s ultimate, in combination with a scoped Sheriff called the Headhunter, means that he offers a tremendous econ value to his team. Chamber can use powerful weapons when others have to save after a round loss, meaning that he in turn has more money the next round to either rebuy expensive weapons or buy for his teammates. This sort of passive ability is, in some respects, rather boring, but you can’t deny its effectiveness.
Despite his aggressive capabilities, Chamber is a sentinel, a defender, and he is best played as such. Using his Trademark traps to slow rushes or flank watch, Chamber can then use his firepower to lockdown Spike sites. He’s well-suited to those with sharp aim, but playing him properly requires more strategy than you might think.
When it comes to purely offensive utility, there’s no Agent stronger than Raze. Her Boom Bot, Grenade, and Showstopper can kill multiple enemies in a single hit, which not only makes her incredibly strong in a duel but can force enemy teams away from pushing areas for fear of taking damage.
This allows Raze to control entire areas and win space for her team, whereas other duelists’ utility tends to help only at the individual level.
Raze’s most unique ability is her Blast Pack which boosts her (or another player) in a direction, either upward, sideways, or forward. This gives Raze the ability to reach areas of the map other Agents can’t, as well as quickly escape or fast-entry, similar to Jett’s Dash. In a pinch, you can even use it offensively to damage enemies or send them flying away.
The Blast Pack works best, though, in combination with Showstopper ult. It’s best used to elevate her into the air after bringing out the rocket launcher so she can better spot targets.
Raze isn’t the best duelist pick on several maps, but she has a few home grounds where she’s particularly strong, including Bind, Split, and most recently, Fracture.
Omen is back! Finally, the Agent’s buffed utility following Patch 4.04 has, in combination with Astra’s big nerf, brought the mysterious controller into the meta. Omen can now smoke faster and for longer, while his teleports are also speedier.
Overall, Omen is an extremely versatile Agent who can be played somewhat passively as a controller or aggressively thanks to his teleport trickery. His greatest asset is that he can both smoke and flash. Further, both those abilities are arguably the most powerful of their type in the whole game — Omen’s smoke can reach almost anywhere on the map from any position, and his flash can travel through walls and blind entire teams.
Omen’s ultimate is still a little underwhelming since most enemy teams will be wise to his position after teleporting. However, it is occasionally useful for a quick rotation, and since Omen can see the area he’s teleporting into, it can actually be deployed simply to gain intel on the enemy’s whereabouts before quickly canceling.
After patch 4.04’s big buff, Brimmy with the stimmy is no longer a meme: he’s legitimately one of the best controllers in the game. His smokes now deploy faster, are larger, and last for even longer. But the big change is to the stim beacon itself, which now boosts player movement speed as well as the rate of fire. If you want to fast execute, Brimstone is the controller for you.
As with any controller, Brimstone is all about controlling the maps with his utility, blocking off sightlines with his smokes, and flushing enemies out with his Molly. The key difference with Brimstone in comparison to Astra and Omen is that his smokes have a limited range. It’s a disadvantage that doesn’t make him viable on some maps, but the speed with which his smokes deploy –now enhanced after the latest patch–, and their overall effectiveness at blocking lines of sight, make him superb for explosive executes.
Brimstone’s Orbital Strike ultimate is, of course, his most powerful asset, and you can get creative with its use. You could, for example, instantly take out an entrenched enemy position, or you could save it for a post plan situation and activate it when the enemy is attempting to defuse.
KAY/0’s arrival to Valorant’s roster wasn’t an immediate hit, but a buff to his utility soon after his launch has made him much more powerful. Although, it’s taken time for players and professional teams to wake up to KAY/0’s potential — he was more or less written off as less capable than Skye and Breach after his initial arrival, and it’s only recently that he’s appearing in more and more games at both the professional level and higher elo ranked games.
KAY/0’s strength is his ability to suppress enemy utility using his Zero Point knife, which also has a dual purpose in that it gathers intel as well. This, in combination with a flash that can be used either aggressively or as a support for teammates, makes KAY/0 powerful for sight entries. His ultimate takes suppression to the next level, nullifying utility in a radius around him while increasing his own rate of fire. If KAY/0 is downed, he can be revived, Fortnite-style! His suppression continues all the while…
On defense, his intel gathering is useful for obvious reasons, while his flashes and frag/ment molly are useful for slowing enemy pushes. Altogether, KAY/0 offers a unique set of attributes to any team composition, and he’s viable on every map in the game. All of this makes him easily an A-tier agent.
Skye has been knocked down a little over the past 12 months from what was at one point a near S-Tier status. That’s because flash is not quite as powerful as it once was, and because KAY/0 has surged into the meta following a buff toward the end of last year.
Even so, in comparison to other initiators, Skye does offer more utility than KAY/0, if not quite as much as Sova. Not only do her flashes blind enemies but they actually telegraph their location with a voice cue that Skye’s entire team hears. Her Trailblazer, too, is a fast-moving scout similar to Sova’s drone that can actually inflict damage and stun, while her ultimate ability also seeks out enemy positions. Skye also benefits from her ability to heal teammates, which makes her unique amongst the initiators.
Skye arguably possesses the most diverse range of utility in Valorant, capable of supporting and playing aggressively in equal measure, which makes her an A-Tier choice.
There was a time when Sage was very much at the top end of Valorant’s meta, but she’s fallen from grace a little recently due to a combination of nerfs to her kit and the fact that there are other Agents (specifically, sentinels) with more useful utility.
Still, Sage is a strong pick for solo queue ranked play and also slots easily into many compositions in the scrim/esports environment. Beyond her ability to heal and revive, her wall is extremely useful for entering sites and using as a shield to plant the spike. Even with the latest changes to Icebox, she’s still likely to prove a must-pick on that particular map.
Of course, her slowing orbs are also very handy for halting rushes and preventing peeks from defenders. They take the sting out of onrushing attackers or interrupting any defenders looking to enter a Spike site and defuse. They can also be combined with other utility that inflicts damage, such as Brimstone’s molly/ultimate, in clever ways.
Breach has fallen in and out of favor since Valorant’s launch, and he’s never really been a universally popular pick at the pro level. Things are starting to change a little recently though, as we’re seeing more and more EMEA and NA teams pick Breach where it was just Eastern team that did before.
At the ranked level, Breach is a powerful supporting Agent that can be used at all elos effectively. He’s the ultimate rush initiator thanks to his unique utility that flashes, concusses, and even damages enemies through walls. You want Breach leading the charge and then setting up teammates across the map to combo utility.
His most powerful asset is his flash, which makes peeking around corners easy. They’re best-used in tandem with other teammates, with Breach flashing and then a teammate quickly peeking to get a frag.
There’s just no better Agent for clearing an awkward corner, and his utility is effective in so many other situations, like disrupting a rush or a Spike plant.
The limited range of her utility, and the fact that it can be easily destroyed by other Agents’ utility, means that Killjoy only has limited application in the current meta. That being said, she’s very strong on the maps she’s good at,such as Ascent, Split, Icebox, and Haven.
Indeed, Killjoy is arguably still the ultimate Agent for locking down a Spike site. Her Turret, Alarmbot, and Nanoswarm make life extremely difficult for enemy teams to breach her site, while her Lockdown will send entire teams running for the hills to avoid being detained and easily killed.
Killjoy isn’t likely to score high frags in a game, but then again she doesn’t really have to. She’s a team player, facilitating other players to go and make plays while they rely on her to hold the rear or defend the site.
Up until recently, Viper would have probably made our A-Tier, but a recent nerf has sent her tumbling down to B. Wielding poisonous utility that is designed to control areas of the map for her team, Viper can block off areas with her wall and smoke, and then stain the floor with a deadly toxin that does damage to anybody caught in its puddle.
Unfortunately, though, her poison now drains faster than before, and both her wall and orb suffer from a longer cooldown. Her molly, too, which was one of the most effective post-plant weapons, has been reduced in time by a second.
We still expect Viper to remain a must-play on maps like Icebox and Breeze for her wall’s ability to block a huge sightline, but her overall strength has definitely been taken down a notch.
The current meta, which now includes the latest sentinel, Chamber, doesn’t leave much room for poor old Cypher. Still, though, there are certain maps, such as Split, Fracture, and Breeze, where Cypher is still very viable at all levels of play.
Like Sova, Cypher is all about adding situational awareness, adding your party’s dynamic by providing valuable intel. His abilities allow you to track and locate enemy teams while covering a completely different area, meaning Cypher can lock down entire Spike sites solo.
He’s trickier to use than Sova, though, since a good Cypher has to understand where to lay traps and cameras effectively. It’s especially hard to implement his abilities when playing on the attacking half.
Still, once you’ve learned how to use him effectively, Cypher is a strong sentinel. His kit is more effective for flank watching than any of his rivals, though Killjoy is perhaps better at defending a Spike site, and Chamber can be played much more aggressively.
Oh dear, the age of Astra is over. After dominating the meta for nearly a year, and more or less changing the way Valorant is played at high elo and pro esports level, the big Astra nerf has knocked her all the way down to C. A month ago, she would have easily made our S-Tier.
If you haven’t read the patch notes for 4.04, Astra’s ability to constantly smoke, suck (Gravity Well), and stun enemy teams as they enter chokepoints has been throttled. She now only has 4 stars instead of 5, and the cooldowns for all of her abilities have been increased across the board.
By design, Astra is supposed to be the ultimate controller-type Agent, with her Astral Plain ability giving her a tactical view of the battlefield to lay down flashes, smokes, and a gravity pull that sucks enemies into its path. Her ultimate, meanwhile, sections off areas of the map, blocking bullets and audio to disguise rushes or whatever plan she’s masterminded.
Astra can still do all of this, but she’s just much less effective at it. We can still see her being played on maps like Ascent and Fracture, but elsewhere, Omen and Brimstone are likely to replace her moving forward.
Things haven’t changed much for Reyna over the past twelve months. She’s one of Valorant’s most popular Agents to play across almost all but the very highest ranks. She’s a favorite for her ability to frag, heal, then frag again. And when she really wants to suck the life out of the enemy team, Reyna’s Empress ultimate turns her into a complete kill machine.
So why is she C-Tier, then? Well, the problem with Reyna is that she’s basically useless unless the individual playing her is popping off and scoring frags. She’s very one-dimensional, and with the exception of her flash, her utility doesn’t help out her team in the slightest. For Reyna to hold sites effectively, she requires teammates to pour utility into helping her.
Reyna’s big niche that does actually make her excellent on certain maps is that she can Dismiss after scoring a frag. This makes her invulnerable for a short amount of time, which means she can frag and then leave an area without taking damage. On a map with lots of corners, such as Icebox, it allows Reyna to land “one and done” kills without dying when other Agents would be instantly traded out.
That’s a small niche, though, and ultimately almost every other duellist offers utility that better helps the whole team.
Valorant’s latest Agent is one of the most interesting additions to the roster yet. Codenamed Sprinter ahead of her reveal, Neon has lived up to her name with a kit of utility designed around her ability to move at lightning speed and even slide along the ground — Call of Duty style. Neon has also made a splash with her ultimate ability, which is essentially a laser beam that’s perfectly accurate while moving.
Neon is extremely fun to play, but the jury is still out as to whether she actually makes for a solid duelist. So far, the consensus seems to be no — Neon’s abilities aren’t good enough to replace Jett, Raze, or Reyna. Her quick rotates are useful but not game-changing, her slide isn’t as impactful as we assumed it would be, and her ultimate is actually not that powerful.
The most useful part of her kit, which has come as a bit of a surprise, is actually her stun. It’s extremely fast, bounces off walls, and it can fired twice to quickly take space from enemy teams. It’s been successful in professional esports competitions the (very) few times we’ve seen it so far, suggesting that there’s potential to be unlocked as players practice using her in unique ways.
Despite that, though, there’s no denying Neon isn’t favored generally speaking. You won’t see her in many ranked games, and duelist mains have continued to stick with the holy trinity of Jett, Raze, and Reyna more or less at every level of Valorant. For that reason, we’re putting Neon down in C for now.
Phoenix has a well-rounded kit of utility, and he’s actually an excellent Agent for newcomers who want to try playing a duelist. However, his kit does have its limitations and ultimately isn’t as useful for the team as other duelists.
In fact, following Skye’s buff last year, it’s not even really as effective as hers, either. That’s the main issue with Phoenix; his kit is really based on flashing out of smokes and around corners to hunt enemies down, but this can be performed just as well by Skye and KAY/0. His molly and wall abilities can be used to heal himself, which is useful, but for actually flushing out enemies or blocking their sightlines, they’re rather underwhelming.
Phoenix’s ultimate was once considered very strong, but despite having not changed at all since then, has fallen out of favor. It’s an interesting situation because the meta has changed in this respect not as a result of any changes to Phoenix’s kit but due to the fact that players have simply become better at dealing with it.
At anything over Platinum elo in ranked, Phoenix is pretty much never seen. In professional esports he’s non-existent. Phoenix is desperately in need of a buff.
On paper, Yoru’s belt of utility, which allows him to infiltrate behind enemy lines and pull off crazy-cool plays, sounds fantastic. In practice, it has proven far too risky to use effectively, and even when mastered, simply not good enough to replace other duelists. Yoru has recently been overhauled with a major rework of his utility that has been much-anticipated by the community, but even after these changes, we’re not convinced he’s going to impact the meta at all.
Yoru’s utility is all about deception, with his teleport allowing him to move around the map and surprise enemies out of nowhere. All too often, though, teleports go spectacularly wrong and Yoru ends up as easy prey for enemies who can hear his teleport orb. His fake footsteps have recently been changed to a body clone that flashes enemies when shot at. This is much improved from before, and it has so far made for some hilarious and fun plays in ranked games, but just as players adapted to the fake footsteps, so too will they likely adjust to the body clone.
Yoru’s ultimate is certainly now much stronger than before given that he can use all his abilities while invisible, but as an entry-fragging tool it isn’t as effective as, say, a Raze Showstopper. Nor does Yoru’s ultimate provide the economic value of a Jett ultimate.
Yoru is a unique Agent, and his utility is capable of producing major wow moments that no other Agent can match. But there’s still too much risk attached to using him over Agents like Jett, Raze, and Reyna.
And that wraps up who we consider the best Agents in Valorant. We’d also like to give an honorable mention to Phoenix, who was excellent all throughout Valorant’s closed beta but has since been nerfed somewhat. Still, he’s a very solid Agent and perfects if you like to push the offensive and lead the team for frags.
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