5 VALORANT agents that need buffs in 2022

Rifat Bin Yusuf
By Rifat Bin Yusuf
8 Min Read
Image Via: Riot Games

Agents in VALORANT are the lifeline of the title, but some of them have already started to lose their charm. 

VALORANT offers a truly competitive & casual FPS experience. Riot has been regularly modifying the game to make it more appealing. VALORANT’s core gameplay is based on its agents & their abilities. It’s the agents that command how the game will be played.  

Over the span of 2 years, VALORANT has grown a lot, but some specific agents require a considerable buff to become effective again. Agent popularity is often judged by their appearance in VCT events. Sometimes, entirely new metas are created based on an agent’s abilities.  

Read More: Best VALORANT Callouts to Improve Gameplay

As of Episode 4 ACT 1, there are 19 active agents in VALORANT. With the release of Neon, Duelists occupy the majority of the agent pool. Following closely are four Controllers, Initaotrs & Sentinels agents. Although players are free to choose from 19 different agents, the choice often comes down to the same set of agents.

Top 5 agents that Riot should buff 

5. Cypher 

Riot has experimented with some of Cypher’s abilities in the past. His effectiveness as a Sentinel has degraded over time. Cypher is continuously losing popularity in the presence of Killjoy. Casual players are more likely to pick Killjoy over Cypher due to her ability to spot & cause damage to the enemy. 

Cypher’s primary ability is the Spycam. Additionally, his other abilities are Tripwire, Cyber Cage & Neural Theft. It’s his ultimate ability, Neural Theft, that needs some serious reconsideration. Upon activation, Neural Theft reveals all enemy locations for a brief period.

Even though it might sound effective, Neural Theft could offer a lot more. Firstly, instead of revealing the enemies for a split second, it should be able to last 3-5 seconds longer. Hence, players will be more aware of the enemy locations and their whereabouts. That would encourage Cypher mains to use the ultimate regularly.

4. Brimstone

Brimstone dominated the post-beta stages of VALORANT. During the First-Strike Tournament, European teams heavily favored Brimstone over Omen, although it wasn’t convincing enough for the North American teams that believed Omen had better utilities. To some extent, the North American argument proved more robust than its counterpart.

Predictably, Brimstone slowly fell behind Omen due to his lack of offensive abilities. Pros & casual players agreed that Brimstone needed a buff, although Riot is yet to deliver any big upgrade package for Brimstone. Brimstone didn’t have much to offer except for his Orbital Strike ability.

Right now, Brimstone’s Stim Beacon is probably one of the least used abilities in VALORANT. Along with the Stim Beacon, his Orbital Strike also needs a buff. Just increasing the time or the radius of the Orbital Strike could make a huge difference. Similarly, the Stim Beacon’s application could use some refinements too.

3. Phoenix

VALORANT players are now free to choose from six different Duelists. Surprisingly, Phoenix is getting sidelined from mainstream tournaments. The agent is losing popularity among casual players as well. Lately, Riot has been way too occupied with newer agents, and as a consequence, players gradually lost interest in Phoenix.

It’s clear that Phoenix’s Curveball, Blaze & Hot Hands needs a small but significant buff. To be precise, Phoenix doesn’t offer anything extraordinary in the presence of Reyna, Neon, or Yoru. Phoenix’s Blaze can be supplemented by Neon’s Fast Lane & his Curveball isn’t better than Reyna’s Leer.

Starting with the Blaze, it can be lengthened in size to offer more protection. Meanwhile, Riot can think about adding one more Curveball to Phoenix’s inventory. Considering his pick rate in the recent VCT events, it’s needless to say that his Ultimate could use some reworks too. In that way, Pheonix will have a shot at regaining his former place on the agent pool.

2. KAY/O

Released during Episode 3 ACT 1, KAY/O had a shaky debut. KAY/O’s presence mostly circled between maps like Breeze, Icebox & Haven. The VALORANT community reacted to KAY/O differently since the agent had unique abilities. Shortly after, pros found a way to play KAY/O like a Duelist.

However, KAY/O’s presence in the casual tier of VALORANT is continuously going downward. KAY/O has some niche applications, but players are finding him less rewarding than other agents. So it’s a tough choice for Riot to do anything about KAY/O since his abilities might affect the core gameplay of VALORANT.

KAY/O isn’t like other Initiators & his playerbase is small & specific. However, the developers can make some changes to his ultimate or NULL/cmd ability & make it last longer. A buff like that can make KAY/O an effective agent for site executions, making him more like a Duelist. Furthermore, KAY/O’s FRAG/ment ability should have a more extensive damage radius.

1. Sage

Sage was once considered the most overpowered agent in VALORANT. During the beta, players were already complaining about the agent’s impact on the game. Characteristically, Sage was a jack of all trades & the pros loved it. Presumably, due to her popularity & balance-related issues, Riot nerfed Sage to oblivion.

Sage is still popular, practical & highly picked. Her presence in VCT events is unquestionably high as it’s necessary to have a Sage for maps like Split, Haven, Icebox, or Ascent. However, it’s widely regarded that Sage is no longer a fun agent to play. Thus, a minor buff can make Sage even better.

A price cut on Sage’s Barrier Orb will allow players to use other utilities. Other than that, the price reduction will also impact the economy. Sage’s Ressurection is perfect & her Slow Orbs are also nicely balanced. In contrast, her Healing Orb is not as compelling as it used to be. Riot should pay some attention to this ability to create a competition between Skye & Sage.

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VALORANT’s gameplay is complicated & fast-paced. By design, the game will orbit around its agent pool & abilities. So, there will always be more room for Riot to modify the existing agent pool. Obviously, such modifications should stay within a limit so that players can adapt to the game faster.

It’s needless to say that Riot has impressed everyone throughout Episodes 1 to 4. Players are continuously coming up with new metas & that calls for more versatilities within the agent pool. While the developers were busy tuning & developing newer agents, some legacy agents became irrelevant. That leaves Riot with some serious reworks to consider in the upcoming ACTs.

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A competitive Sova main Valorant player who wants to write stuff and keep people engaged with gaming. I grew up with a parallel passion for writing and gaming.