VALORANT ACT 3 EPISODE 3 brought some impressive improvements to the game. Earlier this month, Episode 3 was released ahead of the Champion’s schedule in December.
With the biggest tournament of VALORANT kept in mind, Riot didn’t experiment with anything in order to keep the game stable. As Episode 3 has been out for 3 weeks now, it’s a perfect time to re-evaluate the status of each agent. The introduction of Chamber will allow the players to widen their pick options and strategies. Since Chamber is a new Sentinel agent with a fearsome anti-eco capability, players will have to rethink their old approach to the game and construct new metas.
Riot makes sure that teams and players can never settle in or find comfort in a particular playstyle for too long. So, these modifications are kind of expected & VALORANT players are used to it. If we take a look at the current status of the agent pool, right away, we can spot some differences in pick-rates & individual abilities.
VALORANT Best Agents Tier List
- S-Tier (Best): Jett, Sova, Astra, Killjoy, Sage, Chamber
- A-Tier (Good): Raze, Omen, Reyna, Cypher, Skye
- B-Tier (Average): Phoenix, Breach, Viper, Brimstone
- C-Tier (Poor): Yoru, Kay/O
As long as VALORANT needs a duelist, Jett will always hold her ground as a top pick. Now that the Operator doesn’t break the entire team economy anymore, Jett is free to perform whatever she wants. Thanks to her Tailwinds, and Blade Storm, Jett’s ability to protect herself from danger is second to none.
Sova is an essential agent and his necessity remains the same across all maps in VALORANT. Even though his Owl Drone now costs 400 creeds, it’s a vital investment to gather information. Additionally, Sova’s ultimate ability “Hunter’s Fury” makes him a great post-plant agent. If you happen to love passive plays, then Sova is a good pick.
Astra is simply Riot’s best-made Controller agent so far. Surely Omen & Brimstone has their own special traits, but Astra is on a level of her own. During the release of Patch 3.0, her Gravity Well and Nova Pulse received some nerf, but that didn’t diminish her importance as an agent. Astra’s abilities can be remotely activated when needed, allowing the team leader to come up with creative plans.
A timeless agent with unique abilities to stop anything that comes in her way. Killjoy as a Sentinel has been one of the most picked agents in VCT events so far. Her Nanoswarm & Alarmbots are basically a cheat code for the defenders. Recently, Killjoy’s Turret received a severe nerf which reduced its efficiency. Although, Killjoy’s Turret is still not replaceable with any other ability, so it won’t be a heartbreak for the Killjoy mains.
The de-facto agent for the IGLs of all S-Tier teams around the world. Sage’s task as a Sentinel is very different from Cypher or Killjoy as she is primarily a healer. There is no doubt that Sage is right now the best healer in VALORANT. As the Champions is approaching, it’s expected that we’ll get to see a lot from Sage throughout the tournament. In the beginning, Sage was an extremely overpowered agent so Riot had to deploy some patches to specifically nerf Sage to make her stable. Even after receiving numerous nerfs, Sage’s relevancy hasn’t dropped even a bit.
Chamber’s position in S-tier might surprise some people, but he has a hidden charm that Riot practically intended us to experience. Chamber’s Anti-eco capabilities are extraordinary, to say the least. Chamber has similar abilities to Yoru, Sage & Sova but his way of dealing with enemies is quite different. His HEADHUNTER & TOUR DE FORCE is basically Anti-eco abilities that can safeguard a team from growing even in the direst situation.
Raze players often follow a stereotype that forces them to play aggressively. Sometimes to a point where teammates can’t keep up with the speed and agility of a skilled Raze main. Such solo playstyles are no longer a viable option to the presence of a new Sentinel, Chamber.
Along with Chamber, VALORANT has changed a lot in the last few months. Unless you pre-plan your Satchels, Paint Shells & Boom Bot, chances are that you’ll be wasting the team economy. In Patch 3.05, Riot also nerfed the Boom Bot, making it difficult to buy. So, the best approach is to plan the entry paths with your teammates during the buy phase as Raze is expected to make way for others.
There is not a single shred of doubt that Omen has a league of his own when it comes to maps like Bind, Heaven, or Ascent. However, his position as a Controller is not the same anymore, thanks to Astra. New & upcoming players do tend to play Omen as it’s easier, but in the Tier-1 scene, Omen is not the primary option anymore.
During the release of Patch 3.0, Riot modified some of Omen’s abilities like Paranoia and made it easier to purchase. It’s actually one of the reasons why Omen can be a blessing to a team that doesn’t have multiple Agents with flashes. Since his Paranoia is actually a powerful flash itself, gaining entry or making on-the-fly changes to a plan can be done faster.
Reyna as a duelist is a lethal option if you are considering to pick her in maps like Icebox, Breeze, or Heaven. Her Leer is a safe way to assist your team to take control of crucial choke points. However, Reyna’s weak ultimate ability is still an issue for Tier-1 scene where teams look for agents with great team-play potentials. However, if you are aiming for skill improvement without causing a hassle for your team then playing Reyna would be a good option.
Cypher can’t be compared to anyone else, but his current standing in the agent pool is not so great either. Due to the presence of Chamber, Cypher’s application is now more limited. Even though his Tripwares & Spycams are still second to none in terms of effectiveness, but VALORANT now demands more dynamic playstyles compared to Cypher’s static style. Riot needs to buff Cypher to make him a great pick for everyone again.
Skye’s task is not restricted to anything. Anyone with a decent game sense can try out Skye. Although, playing Skye casually is one thing, fitting her in a working agent composition is a whole different game. Skye’s relevancy is still fantastic due to her ability to precisely deliver Guiding Lights where needed. On top of that, Skye’s Regrowth ability is something that many teams look for.
Phoenix’s pick rate in S-Tier tournaments hasn’t been that glorious since last year. The prime cause behind such a strange pick-rate is not yet visible. It’s believed that Phoenix can only do best when a second duelist like Jett or Raze is making more impact. However, Phoenix spot among the duelists is not as firm as before. Specially in the lower-elo lobbies in VALORANT, players often end up hurting their own team by misusing Phoenix’s Curveball. So, you have to be extra cautious while playing Phoenix in random ranked lobbies.
Breach’s effectiveness totally depends on the player’s individual prowess. Episode 3 showed us how any agent can be effective under good leadership. Breach is sufficient on his own, but he team agent at his core. It’s possible that Breach can make entry and assist the Duelists, but his primary ability Flashpoint can cause more damage if saved for mid-rounds or post-plants. His Aftershock is now also a good post-plant ability. So, Episode 3 isn’t going bad for Breach at all.
Viper used to be the least-picked agent in VALORANT. Things have changed drastically when Riot decided to give a second life to Viper. Throughout multiple Patches, Riot finally made way for Viper to succeed in both the casual & pro scenes. Now, Viper is a great Controller, able to slice off different parts of maps and box enemies from within. In maps like Fracture & Icebox Toxic screen & Poison Cloud can provide a huge advantage if used properly.
Unless you are playing with a proper team, picking Brimstone out of the blue would be a wild decision. Brimstone’s potential shines in maps like Bind or Ascent, but he is just a shadow of his former self. As the game now demands fast-paced dynamic playstyles, Brimstone’s abilities are no longer effective options. Except for his ultimate “Orbital Strike” ability & three long-duration Sky Smokes, Brimstone can’t put much on the table.
It’s true that some Tier-1 teams experimented with the agent in multiple VCT Stages, but Yoru never quite got the foothold he needed. His Duelist tag doesn’t speak for itself in front of other agents like Jett, Reyna, or even Breach. Yoru requires a huge boost from Riot, otherwise, his pick rate is going to fall drastically. Yoru didn’t receive any major or minor modifications in the recent patches, but his abilities like Gatecrash or Blindslide are still pretty weak compared to the other available options from other agents.
Kay/O might not be the weakest agent in VALORANT but he is definitely the weakest Initiator. In the beginning, Kay/O showed a lot of promise as his primary job was to disable other agents and their abilities. It was expected that Kay/O ‘s presence would bring some much-needed gunplay focus playstyles back into VALORANT, but sadly, things remained pretty ordinary. His abilities like FLASH/DRIVE or ZERO/POINT are sometimes way too situational to use in normal cases. So it’s hard for teams to find a suitable position for KAY/O in Episode 3.
With the VALORANT Champions starting, we’ll obviously see some breathtaking gameplay from the top Pros, but the state of the game is in a peculiar position for the casual player base. Since Riot is continuously updating VALORANT to prevent players from settling in too much, ranked matchmaking experience hasn’t fulfilled the general expectations. However, on the brighter side of things, VALORANT’s challenging environment is actually good for the community & the player base.