After a few months in Closed Beta, Riot Games finally unleashed Valorant. With the game's official launch today (2nd June 2020) comes buffs and nerfs to five Valorant Agents.
Here's a look at all Valorant Agent buffs and nerfs, including significant changes to how Omen works after the launch update.
Valorant Agent Raze nerf
The launch update nerf to Valorant Agent Raze is probably the simplest to understand. Riot reduced the Blast Pack damage radius from 2 to 1 meter.
This means while players can still boost jump with the Blast Pack, the average damage output of this ability should be reduced.
Riot explains: "The Blast Pack has proven to be quite strong, especially when chained back-to-back. By reducing the inner maximum damage radius, we hope to reduce the average damage output of this ability while still keeping it powerful."
This should make the Blast Pack ability less of a damage-dealing option, while still retaining the movement it provides.
Valorant Agent Jett buffs
Jett has received some very nice buffs which could make her one of the strongest Valorant Agents, since many tactics rely heavily on line of sight denying.
Jett's Cloud Burt ability, which was already quite handy, has been buffed to last seven seconds, up from four in the Closed Beta.
Riot explains: "We feel like Jett has a strong, irreplaceable value in terms of her ability to deny trades. But we think her team-oriented output is a little too low. This should give her and her team a little more time to work off of her smokes."
Further, Jett's Tailwind automatically breaks Cypher’s Trapwires after being briefly revealed, making Jett even better.
Valorant Agent Sage nerfs
It was pretty clear that Sage was one of the Valorant Agents who definitely needed a nerf or two.
Poor old Sage got quite a few nerfs in the Valorant launch update, both to her Healing Orb and Barrier Orb abilities.
- Healing Orb cooldown increased from 35 to 45 seconds
- Barrier Orb segment health reduced from 1000 to 800
- Barrier Orb duration reduced from 40 to 30 seconds
- Friendly Barrier Orb walls now show on the minimap
While the nerfs to Sage are quite big, she will undoubtedly still be a useful pick in most lineups. Her Healing Orb ability will be used less in matches due to the cooldown increase, making it even more important to use it efficiently.
Valorant Agent Phoenix changes
Phoenix has received several changes to his abilities, with some being nerds and others being buffs.
First up, we see a duration increase in his Blaze ability, which goes hand-in-hand with the recent damage-over-time (DoT) changes.
- Blaze duration increased from 6 to 8 seconds
- Blaze damage: 15 every 0.25s to 1 every 0.033 seconds
- Blaze healing: 3 every 0.25s to 1 every 0.16 seconds
- Hot Hands healing: 3 every 0.25s to 1 every 0.08s.
- Curveball max flash duration increased 0.8 to 1.1 second
- Run it Back automatically reloads all weapons on respawn
Riot explains the changes to Pheonix's Blaze and Hot Hands abilities: "These Damage over Time/Healing over Time models are updated to match the recent changes to our other DoT abilities.
"Additionally, we’ve matched the damage/healing values to be half as effective as Hot Hands, primarily so that the total healing output of these two abilities is at parity (50 health each). We’re also doing this so that Blaze doesn’t become the de-facto “healing” ability compared to Hot Hands."
Overall, Pheonix seems to have received some very nice buffs in the Valorant launch update.
Valorant Agent Omen changes
Lastly, we come to Omen, the Valorant Agent who has seen every single one of his abilities tweaked. Omen should play quite differently in the launch version of the game, compared to the Closed Beta.
Many of the Omen changes could be seen as quality-of-life improvements.
- Paranoia - Now equipped instead of quickcast, and hit detection improved, especially at close range
- Dark Cover - Omen now enters a “phaser” world where he can see through walls to place his smokes and pressing RELOAD toggles between phased and normal targeting.
- Dark Cover - Controls have been updated where Omen can now increase smoke distance with PRIMARY FIRE, decrease it with SECONDARY FIRE, and throw smoke with the ABILITY KEY.
- Shrouded Step - Omen can now see his teleport location on the map and receives an in-world indicator of where he’s targeting when his vision of the point is obstructed.
- From the Shadow - Omen can now cancel his teleport while in Shade form by pressing the ABILITY KEY again—Omen still loses all of his ult points if he cancels.
Riot explains the change to Omen's ultimate: "We want Omen to attempt plays and create fear for his opponents with his ultimate. Previously, the punishment for using the ult was almost certain death if caught by an enemy, and it pushed the ability into more niche use.
"Allowing Omen to cancel his ult if he’s in danger at the cost of his ult points will hopefully open more possibilities and value, while still pushing him to try and pick the best teleport spots possible."
These changes to Omen should make the Valorant Agent smoother to play, and his ultimate could be much more useful now, in certain situations.