Valorant Closed Beta Agent Tier List: From Best to Worst


by in Valorant | Apr, 16th 2020

Valorant has been in public hands, well for those who got a beta drop on Twitch, for a week now. We’re finally getting to see how the game’s Agents truly play out in a more general environment. With abilities ranging from flashbangs to Molotov’s, dashes, and even an orbital laser, every Agent feels unique and situationally useful in the game, and none truly so overbearing as to detract from the game’s true reliance on shooting mechanics and twitch reactions (except for maybe Raze). Not all Agents are created equal so we’re going to look at each of them and give you our tier list for them in the Valorant closed beta. So, which Agents may need a nerf soon and which sound good in theory but terrible in practice? Read on below to find out.

Valorant Agent Tier List: S-Tier

Raze

  • Strengths: High damage, impossible to get the drop on, doesn’t really need to aim her abilities well to pick up kills
  • Weaknesses: Little actual utility

Raze was the only operator we knew nothing about heading into the launch of the closed beta last week after Breach’s reveal during the content creator day, and it may have been for good reason why Riot decided to hold her back a bit from the community. This Valorant Agent is the strongest in the game right now and on our tier list, considered by many to be broken, with her entire kit being able to dish out major damage and able to take out targets without much skill required. Her basic abilities she can buy, Boom Bot and Blast Pack, don’t provide much utility on their own but, coupled with their ability to do damage, they make it nearly impossible to hold positions she’s pushing or catch her by surprise.

Boom Bot especially is incredibly powerful with its ability to scout an area and lock onto targets, upon whom it detonates if it reaches them, doing a large amount of damage depending on your armor. Her Blast Pack only does a bit of damage to targets hit, knocking targets and Raze up and away from the blast, though Raze won’t take damage from it, functioning as more of a repositioning device and allowing her to reach unexpected places and angles. The real threats, though, lay in her signature ability and ultimate, Paint Shells and Showstopper, the former of which chucks a grenade that blows up into smaller ones, and the latter which shoots a giant rocket that explodes on impact in a huge area.

Raze’s damage is just so high on her abilities, and coupled with their massive explosion radiuses make her a nightmare to deal with, even in multi-man attacks on her. It’s easy for her to flush enemies out of hiding spots and holds on her own, and she can clear a good portion of sites and chokepoints without putting her in real harm’s way. This is something most other Agents have limited to their ultimates or having some other caveat attached to, like Vipers toxin level or Brimstone’s need to bring up the minimap, while at most Raze just needs a moment or two to pull the item out. Whether you’re mechanically gifted or learning shooters for the first time, you’ll easily be able to pick up many kills a game with her right now, and she’s a character to pick-up if you want to do well right now.

Valorant Agent Tier List: A Tier

Brimstone

  • Strengths: Lot of utility, smoke lasts a long time, ult has a big area and high damage
  • Weaknesses: No mobility, requires good game sense to not be a hindrance to team

Brimstone is one of the best utility Agents in the game right now, with a kit loaded with area denial and the ability to control enemy rotations. His signature ability, Sky Smoke, allows him to set three smoke grenades anywhere on the map, which each last quite a while and block a large area of vision, while his basic ability, Incendiary, allows him to shoot a Molotov out that creates a zone of fire that harms anyone who walks over it. His other basic ability, Stim Beacon, allows him to drop a device that gives doubles the fire rate, recoil recovery, and reload speed of all players located inside, while his ultimate, Orbital Strike, drops a laser strike on a large area that does high damage over time.

While he would seem like more of a defense orientated Agent at first glance, with his ability to smoke off enemy entry points to slow pushes and allow your team time and safety to rotate, he’s also effective on offense for much the same reason, blocking vision lines of enemies holding points and allowing his team to safely push long, exposed paths. His Molotov is great for clearing out enemies holed up behind cover or around sharp corners, and his ult can clear heavily fortified areas with ease.

The biggest drawbacks to Brimstone, beyond his lack of mobility, is his susceptibility to aggressive pushes due to needing time to set up his abilities, and how careful he has to be when using said abilities. A bad smoke could completely stop your teams push and allow your opponents time to escape a bad situation or reposition better, while a badly timed Stim Beacon could completely mess up your teammates firing rhythm. Despite these though, in the right hands, Brimstone is one of the game’s most effective utility Agents and a great addition for anyone looking to control the flow of the game.

Viper

  • Strengths: Great round-long site control and vision denial, best bomb planter in the game
  • Weaknesses: Damage is mostly temporary, abilities can harm allies
  • Viper is by far the best bomb planter in the game, and it isn’t even close. Her ultimate, Viper’s Pit, allows her to throw up a huge cloud of toxic gas that reduces enemy visibility and causes temporary damage over time in a massive radius around the initial deployment position, in addition to granting Viper enhanced visibility of enemies inside by highlighting them while she’s in it. The best part though? It lasts until Viper leaves it for a long enough time, which resets if she goes back in. Even on defense, this ability is fantastic for completely stopping an enemy push or forcing them to take a risk charging into a site to plant, delaying them long enough for the rest of your team to rotate over and help.

    Her basis abilities Snake Bite and Toxic Cloud are also great for controlling small chokepoints and entryways, reducing enemy vision and forcing them to again slow down their advance, especially the Cloud since it can be reactivated again and again. The same goes for her signature ability, Toxic Screen, which puts up an activatable barrier of poison gas enemies can’t see through, forcing them to either risk pushing through and getting popped or waiting for her poison meter to run out and drop it.

    There is a downside to all this toxic gas, though, as allies are not immune to the poison damage themselves and can easily end up in a dangerous position if they get caught inside it, especially her ult (her Snake Bite can even hurt her). What’s more, all of her abilities besides Snake Bite only do temporary damage to enemies, meaning an enemy that rushes out of the poison will quickly regain all the health and armor they lost inside, so the risk isn’t quite as high if they pop in quickly to scout for slow-walking allies. While not a direct weakness itself, you’ll also need to be careful managing her toxic levels that fuel both her Cloud and Screen, as they’ll instantly deactivate if you run out and you’ll be forced to wait for it to regenerate before you can reactivate them. Still, these issues are nothing if you and your team are careful about how they play around the abilities, and a good Viper set up can easily win you a round that seems otherwise unwinnable.

    Phoenix

    • Strengths: Ability to heal self, flashbangs hit anyone in line of site, Strong duel and scouting potential with ult
    • Weaknesses: Can easily flashbang self if not careful, can be killed while respawning from ult, obvious when it’s used

    The poster boy of Valorant, Phoenix is a great offensive Agent for players, especially for lurkers and those looking to push. What makes Phoenix so special is his interaction with his signature and basic abilities, Hot Hands and Blaze respectively. The former allows Phoenix to throw a fireball that explodes on contact with the ground (though it will shoot straight down if it remains in the air for a long enough time), leaving a large firey zone that damages enemies that walk across it, while Blaze allows you to create a wall of fire to block enemy vision and damage them (like Viper though this damage is permanent). Phoenix’s hidden passive allows him to stand in either of these and heal himself, giving him a leg up when fighting by allowing him to create distance and recover. His other basic, Curveball, allows him to create an orb that travels in a curve to the left or right before exploding and blinding all players in its line of sight, regardless if they are facing it or not. Combined with his ult, Run It Back, which allows him to resurrect after being killed or the timer runs out in the spot where it was activated, Phoenix can quickly push onto lone enemies, take them out with little risk to himself, or even allow him to hold out against multiple opponents with ease.

    The biggest downside to Phoenix isn’t so much an overall weakness as it is that you have to be very aware of your positioning when using your abilities, especially Curveball and Run it Back. Curveball has a very short range to it, and if you’re even an inch short of the distance to curve it through a doorway, you’ll end up blinding yourself and nearby teammates, even if they’re turned away (though turning away does significantly reduce the time you are blinded for). Also, the respawn point for Phoenix is very obvious if anyone comes across it, and you are vulnerable during the respawn animation, meaning a sneaky lurker can camp it and wait for you to come back to finish you before you can react. The ult itself is also very loud and obvious when you use it, so enemies may also try and wait it out since you’re on a timer. Still, Phoenix is one of the best duelists in the game right now and is great for any player looking to just run and gun.

    Valorant Agent Tier List: B Tier

    Sage

    • Strengths: Resurrection, ability to heal teammates, high utility, can turn a losing fight very fast
    • Weaknesses: Ult strength entire depends on teammates skills, no damaging abilities or mobility

    The most controversial character when they were initially revealed, Sage is the equivalent of Mercy from Overwatch: she’s the team healer and can use her ultimate, Resurrection, to do just as the name says: revive a teammate. Combined with her Healing Orb signature ability, which allows her to heal an ally or herself over-time, and her Barrier Orb that allows her to put up a very tanky and long-lasting wall, Sage is great for providing back-up to teammates in big firefights, and can quickly turn a losing fight. Her Slow Orb ability is also great for slowing the enemy pushes to a halt, as it creates an area that not only slows players inside of it but also makes a large crunching sound, giving away their position to carefully listen to teammates. Her Barrier is also great for boosting otherwise low mobility allies and snipers to hard to reach and often overlooked places, letting them get the drop on their foes.

    That’s not to say she’s without any weaknesses, though, as just like Mercy in Overwatch, her Healing Orb and Ressurection are only as strong as the teammates she uses them on, meaning if your team isn’t performing very well these abilities could be almost useless for you. Additionally, she is often susceptible to characters like Raze, Jett, and Omen who can easily get through or over her wall and leaving her exposed with no mobility to escape. She and her teammates are also affected by her Slow Orb, so you have to be extra careful with where you toss it to prevent trapping your teammates or giving away their position.

    Overall, though, Sage is a great addition to any squad in a match, and a valuable ally to have around if you have a teammate or two who are fragging out in the game to keep their rampage going.

    Jett

    • Strengths: High mobility, great dueling potential, can get into unexpected places to catch enemies from, good escapability
    • Weaknesses: No damage abilities besides ult, has to pull back out weapons after dashes and jumps, needs a strong fragger to be effective

    My favorite Agent in Valorant, Jett is a quick dashing duelist who excels at lurking and catching enemies off guard from unexpected angles. Another poster child for the game, Jett’s is iconic from the game’s reveal for her two mobility abilities, Updraft and Tailwind. The former is a basic ability that allows her to dash high into the air, while the latter is her signature ability that allows her to quickly dash forward, backward, or to the side, and resets every two kills. Combined with her ultimate, Blade Storm, which allows her to gain 5 floating knives she can quickly throw at enemies and reset on kills, Jett is a fantastic lurker that skilled players can quickly flank with and is capable of taking entire teams by themselves by herself with ease. Jett also has an unwritten passive mechanic, allowing players who hold down the jump button to slowly glide to the ground, allowing you to rather quietly reposition or get down from ledges that would otherwise cause you major damage.

    Her biggest issue holding her back from A tier is that she requires a lot of precision and awareness to be effective, and if you’re a bad shot there isn’t much you can fall back on to help you out since her only other ability beyond the dashes and ult is a set of smoke grenades she can control the flight path of, and while they are great, they’re just smokes and nothing more. Also, players new to Jett will find themselves watching their allies feeds a lot as they dash at opponents without realizing she needs a moment after her dashes to pull her gun back out. Her ult can also be a bit hard to use if you can’t aim well since it as a small aim reticle. Jett is an Agent that does best when put in the hands of a strong fragger in a match, but otherwise is just an okay character to play.

    Sova

    • Strengths: Great vision control and scouting power, long-range ability to pick off enemies through walls with ult
    • Weaknesses: Requires good aim to be effective, abilities easy to deal with, ult requires good coordination with team

    Sova is the recon Agent of Valorant and it shows in his abilities. His Recon Bolt and Owl Drone allow him to get reads on enemy locations without putting himself in harm’s way, while his Hunter’s Fury ultimate allows him to snipe at targets through walls most of the way across the map, making him difficult for entrenched defenders to reach and take out. Players utilizing his drone can lead the charge for the rest of the team, scouting for enemies ahead and checking for traps through smokes.

    While Sova is a great scout, he does have a couple of problems holding him from being a truly great pick. His Recon Bolt is very visible to anyone around, takes one shot to destroy, and it only marks enemies in a direct line of sight, meaning an enemy behind a box in its range won’t be detected by the bolt. The Owl Drone is also easy to quickly take out itself, and the target revealing dart it shoots can be a bit hard to hit, especially as the drone is a bit awkward to control. His Shock Bolt ability is also rather easy to dodge (in over 40 hours of play I’ve yet to be hit by it once)and doesn’t appear to do much damage from those I’ve seen hit by it.

    His ult also has a wind-up animation and self-slow before firing and is very visible in the path it’s going to fire, making it a poor tool for close quarters and rather easy to dodge even at range. If enemies fail to dodge it, though, you’ll still need to take at least another shot to kill them, as the ability does rather low damage and can’t one-shot full health enemies, especially if they have armor. He’s great as a foil to teams with stronger lurkers and gaining vision as your team moves forward, but he doesn’t have good clutch potential compared to other Agents.

    Valorant Agent Tier List: C Tier

    Omen

    • Strengths: High mobility, ability to block vision from behind walls, great flank and lurk potential, can blind enemies vision and maps
    • Weaknesses: No damage abilities, high learning curve, easily pressed, buggy, ult can be canceled if not positioned well

    Omen is very close to being an A-tier Agent but is held back by the game’s arguably highest learning curve making him difficult for many players to effectively use. His abilities require you to set them up ahead of time due to slow travel and are a bit obvious to see coming, and nothing on his kit provides any damage. His only non-ult mobility has a pretty short range and a very long wind-up and animation, during which you can be shot and killed without being able to react. It feels especially strange to have on his kit as well considering it’s just a much weaker version of his ult. There’s also a bit of an issue with his signature ability, Dark Cover, as the giant dark smoke screen is affected by gravity and slowly sinks to the ground, and can sometimes go straight through it, cover little more than small bump where it should be. His ult is a bit buggy too, as sometimes he can come out of the teleport and be invulnerable for a couple of moments, while other times he can be gunned down instantly.

    Getting used to knowing when and how to best use Omen‘s abilities can take quite a while, but once you’ve mastered it he’s quite the nuisance to enemy teams. His basic ability, Paranoia, allows him to reduce significantly reduce the vision range of any players it hits, and both it and Dark Cover can be cast through walls, allowing you to gain the edge on opponents thinking they have a position covered. The ability allows him to teleport anywhere on the map and blind his opponent’s minimaps and is great for flanking enemy positions or getting behind that pesky sniper watching your lane of attack. Omen’s all about making opponents panic over where could pop out or blind them from next, and if you can get in their head, you’ll easily be able to lead them along.

    With a fix of his bugs he could easily be up in B tier, and in the right hands with a lot of experience possibly A tier. As of now, though, he’s a C tier Agent and is best for just those teleport flanks every few rounds.

    Breach

    • Strengths: Great for hitting hiding enemies and setting up pushes, lots of crowd control, large area of effect on ult
    • Weaknesses: Abilities are very telegraphed and easy to dodge, abilities aren’t great in the open

    Revealed during the content creator day event, Breach is a great Valorant Agent on our tier list. He sets up pushes and provides crowd control. His signature ability Fault Line allows him to daze players in a line after a short delay, making their vision blurry, while his basic ability Flashpoint allows him to shoot a charge through walls and blind enemies on the other side. His Aftershock does something similar, though instead of blinding targets it does heavy damage, while his ultimate, Rolling Thunder, allows him to send a rolling earthquake forward that knocks up targets and dazes them.

    Breach’s biggest issue is that his abilities are very telegraphed and take some a couple of seconds before going off, meaning enemies can easily dodge them as long as they’re paying attention. His basic abilities also require him to use them on walls and are useless out in the open leaving him exposed, and the only damage he has is locked into Aftershock which is, although doing almost guaranteed fatal damage, again hard to hit. He doesn’t see much play, though and is great right now as a pick to catch enemies unaware of his abilities off guard.

    Valorant Agent Tier List: D Tier

    Cypher

    • Strengths: Good at keeping track of flanking enemies, can slow enemies across the map
    • Weaknesses: No damage abilities, abilities can easily be destroyed, ult is incredibly weak, feels useless for half the game

    I had a lot of hope for Cypher going into Valorant. He’s the most R6 Siege-like Agent on the roster, with lots of traps and vision control that on paper looks amazing. Unfortunately, he’s by far the weakest Agent in the game, and even in a competitive environment probably wouldn’t be above C or possibly B tier. While his Trapwire can slow enemies down and reveal their positions, they’re not overly difficult to spot and can quickly be disabled, meaning you almost never will get the daze off. His Cyber Cage basic ability is great for slowing down enemies and blocking their vision, and can even be activated across the map, but having to look towards them and manually activate the cage means you have to set them up well ahead of time and hope there’s an enemy around when you activate it.

    You could gain vision of these areas where you’ve deployed them by using your Spycam, which you can set invisibly on walls and activate again to take control of, but they glow a bit when it in use and are easy to spot and take out with a single shot, really limiting their effectiveness. His ult is also deceptively bad, as it requires you to stand close to a dead enemy body to use and only reveals the position of an enemy for a single moment. No knowledge of if they’re crouched or not, no indication if they’re moving, just a stationary character model where the enemies are. Considering players in this game tend to group on offense, you’re seldom going to get in range to use it unless they drawback or there’s only a single enemy left, but even then you’re only getting the one blip and smart foes can easily fake it back to draw you off-site, making his ult useless in most rounds. There’s no reason to pick Cypher other than to wean you from Siege to this, and in almost any case you can pick him you’re better off taking Sova.

    Do you agree with our Valorant Agent tier list? Think we rated someone too high or your favorite Agent too low? Let us know on social media. Until next time, enjoy Valorant and watch out for stray Raze rockets.

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