Controller Agents in VALORANT are generally known as “Smoke Agents.” Due to their ability to cover and support their teammates with various types of smokes.
Controller Agents like Brimstone, Omen & Astra are the primary Smoke Agents in VALORANT, their presence is vital in the game. Besides them, Viper & Jett can also utilize their ability as a supplement for the smoke.
In any 5v5 competitive FPS title, Smoke is crucial to gain early map control. VALORANT has been offering Smoke Agents since its Beta. While Duelists are needed in the frontline, Controller agents draw the blueprint for success. A comfortable entry into any site requires carefully planned Smokes. Without proper Smokes, it’s easy to get eliminated by enemy Operators and defenders.
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In this guide, we’ll be making a Tier List of the best Smoke Agents based on their impact, abilities, smoke durations & presence in S Tier tournaments. Primary contenders are Brimstone, Omen, and Astra.
Table of contents
All the Smoke Agents
Released during Beta, Brimstone is a Controler Agent with the ability to deliver 3 clouds of smoke known as the “Sky Smoke.” These Smokes are dense, brown in color, and can be delivered precisely on the map. Once inside the smoke, players are left with minimal vision which turns off the option to hide inside the smoke to catch someone off-guard.
Sky Smoke Delivery Method
Brimstone’s Sky Smoke
Also released alongside Brimstone, this Radiant with a Tragic backstory appears as a mysterious figure in the game. Omen’s smoke is known as Dark Cover. With a Violet outline and a hollow inside, Dark Cover allows for a good amount of flexibility.
Dark Cover Delivery Method
Astra is the new Smoke Agent in VALORANT. Released during the first quarter of 2021, Astra offers a plethora of opportunities in both defense and offense. Her Smoke is designated as “Nebula.” Nebula’s outline and color are inspired by the stars & outer galaxies. Nebula can be placed anywhere on the map whenever a Star is available.
Astra Star Delivery Method
In some form or shape, Viper is also considered a smoke agent. Her Poison Cloud & Toxic screens provide sufficient covers from the opponent’s line of sight.
Viper Poison Cloud Delivery Method
Viper’s Toxic Screen Delivery Method
Viper’s Poison Cloud
Viper’s Toxic Screen
Equipped with a self-defensive smoke known as Cloudburst, Jett is somewhat of a smoke agent herself. Jett is classified as a Duelist.
Jett’s Cloudburst Delivery Method
Brimstone’s Skye Smokes can stay in place for 19.25 seconds. Considering the length of a round in VALORANT, 19.25s is a huge time. Additionally, he can buy three Skye Smokes in total.
The Dark Cover is equally effective, but it has a slightly lower duration of 15 seconds. Two Dark Covers are available at the start of a round, and it takes 40 seconds to regenerate a Dark Cover.
Once deployed, her smoke will last for 14-14.25 seconds. It is designed to block vision and trick the enemy before returning at the same time. Astra’s other utilities are really effective too. However, Astra offers the hardest learning curve among all Smoke Agents.
Not a primary Smoke Agent, but Viper’s Poison Cloud and Toxic Screen are not to be underestimated. The Poison Cloud is an interesting alternative to Dark Cover or Skye Smoke. It has a minimum duration of 2 Seconds after deployment and a maximum of 15 seconds. After usage, it can be picked up and deployed to another place.
Although classified as a Duelist, Jett’s Cloudburst is an insanely fast deployable smoke that guarantees personal safety for her. Cloudburst’s duration is only 4.5 seconds, but it’s enough to create a temporary cover to block off certain choke points. Jett’s smoke is easily deployable and requires no idle period.
Best Smoker in VALORANT
- Best (S-Tier): Astra, Omen
- Good (A-Tier): Brimstone
- Average (B-Tier): Viper
Astra & Omen
While Omen is a pretty easy-to-learn agent, mastering Astra’s abilities takes time. In the current North American VALORANT scene, both Omen and Astra have high pick-rates in VCT events. Although teams change their Agent compositions based on the opponent, Omen and Astra are present in most of their compositions. However, it’s not the high pick-rates that make these two agents so great. Starting with Omen, it’s clear that his Paranoia acts as a supplement when a team is running a Single-Duelist composition. With that, lurking with Omen is definitely the best choice in maps like Haven, Icebox, Ascent, or Split. On the other hand, the new meta after the release of Episode 3 has been favoring Astra in some specific ways. Teams like Sentinels or 100T have picked Astra over Omen in most of their critical Matches during VCT events.
Playing Astra can be quite difficult in regularly ranked matches since her abilities require precise communication from teammates. Without a proper strategy, playing Astra can be really one-dimensional. That’s exactly where our preference for Omen comes in. Omen might not have the fanciest abilities like Astra, but he is still able to create enough obstacles for the opponents to gain the necessary momentum for them.
Brimstone’s strongest part is the duration of his Sky Smokes. It can be quite difficult to get used to Brimstone’s unconventional way of deploying smokes; A few days of practice are required before mastering Sky Smoke’s usage. Even though Brimstone’s smoke outlasts all other smokes in the game, his other abilities are not quite efficient for the team or even himself. For example, the Stim Beacon barely has any realistic applications, and his Ultimate is a hit or miss kind of ability. It’s the primary reason why Brimstone has been largely ignored by NA and other regions, except for the European Region.
Picking Viper for the sole objective of acting as a Smoke Agent is definitely not a good idea. IN defense, Viper can serve as a Sentinel in some cases, but her Poison Cloud offers little to no value during the attacking phase. Obviously, the Poison Cloud is a sticky bomb that has huge potentials in post-plant scenarios. Then again, relying solely on Viper’s Toxic Screen or Poison Cloud is not a reality yet.
Honorable Mention: Jett
Jett’s Cloudburst is nowhere near an alternative to a Dark Cover, Nebula, or a Sky Smoke, but it has some applications during the Attack phase. Jett is a fast-moving character; she relies on her speed to create chaos. Cloudburst is the perfect temporary smoke that allows her to move with greater safety. Does the team benefit from Cloudburst? In most cases, no. Nevertheless, Jett’s smoke is controllable to a certain extent.
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With that said, it’s time to reflect on other purposes of playing a Smoke Agent. Since VALORANT is entirely based on teamwork and coordination, picking a Smoke Agent will require you to be communicative, responsible & cautious. Unlike the Duelists tasked with entry fragging, a Controller agent must act smart and deliver smokes where necessary. It’s not always up to individual skill levels and prowess; playing a Controller requires you to think critically.