Settling the Valorant Phantom vs Vandal Debate Once and For All
Valorant has a wide array of weapons, all of which have their place. However, the two most-purchased weapons in Valorant are the Phantom and the Vandal. These two rifles are important to master, and they’re the most well-rounded weapons in Valorant. However, there are subtle advantages and disadvantages that come along with both options. Phantom vs Vandal is a long-running debate in the Valorant community, but one rifle stands above the other in a few key areas.
Valorant’s most-purchased weapon, the Vandal, seems to be the go-to for most players. According to Valorbuff’s database, 34.3% of all kills across Valorant’s competitive playlist are with the Vandal. If over a third of the kills in Valorant are carried out with a Vandal in-hand, it has to be the best option, right?
What Makes the Vandal so Popular?
There’s a lot to love with this rifle. The Vandal feels nice to shoot, and one-tap headshots are oh-so-satisfying. There’s no damage falloff with this weapon, meaning it does well at pretty much any range. Its recoil is a little hard to get the hang of, but tap-firing the Vandal makes it very effective at mid-range. You won’t be outgunning someone with an Operator, but the Vandal outclasses most weapons in Valorant past the 15-meter mark. In the battle of Phantom vs Vandal, many Valorant players would likely prefer the Vandal.
With a fire rate of 585 RPM and a mag size of 25, the Vandal lacks the high fire rate other automatic weapons have. If you want to do well with this weapon, you need those first few shots to count. It’s a 4 shot kill through heavy armor, so tearing through the opposition shouldn’t take long if you know what you’re doing. The Vandal rewards players who have the patience to learn its quirks, and its versatility makes this weapon a viable option at almost any range.
So, what could possibly make the Phantom a better choice?
The Phantom’s damage numbers are near-identical to the Vandal’s. The Vandal does 40 with a body shot, while the Phantom does 39. Both have a 4x headshot damage multiplier, so they’re both capable of one-shotting. The main detractor for the Phantom is its damage falloff at 15 meters. You lose that one-tap potential at range, and this major weakness tends to lead many away from the Phantom.
However, the Phantom has a leg-up on the Vandal in one key area: Ease of use.
Finding an Edge
Ease of use isn’t a concept that’s often thought about in Valorant. However, Riot’s made many weapons harder to use as time has gone on, especially when moving. A myriad of changes to moving accuracy since Valorant’s beta stage has significantly nerfed players’ accuracy while moving. However, even with these moving accuracy nerfs, the Phantom has much better moving accuracy than the Vandal.
This clip of Sentinels’ very own TenZ running down the opposition in a pro game shows how much power the Phantom holds. While it’s true that the damage falloff past 15 meters is a knock against the Phantom, this weapon’s accuracy in close range combined with a fire rate of 660 RPM and a mag size of 30 makes the Phantom so much easier to use.
Personal preference is a definite factor here, but, in the battle of Phantom vs Vandal, the Phantom comes out on top as the best option in Valorant. It’s much easier to put shots on target with the Phantom, and, unless you’re a really good player, the Vandal’s one-tap potential beyond 15 meters doesn’t provide a significant enough advantage to make it worth buying over the Phantom. Until we see some major balance changes, the Phantom will always be a much more well-rounded weapon. It’s the perfect choice for both a player still learning Valorant and a player looking to make the climb to Radiant.