The first official patch of the season is about to get released and while we have no official release date yet, it’s still very exciting! Some of the changes were seen on the PBE and if you’re a KAY/O, Yoru, or Phoenix main, it’s going to be a treat! The rest of us might just need to invest into some eye drops.
KAY/O finally got some changes that should make his playstyle a lot smoother:
Size of diameter reduced
Damage without line of sight required
NULL/cmd(his ultimate ability):
Only allies will hear full audio of revival. Enemies will get a short audio cue.
If, like me, you have never played him, you might not have known that the visual on his grenade (FRAG/ment) doesn’t reflect its actual range. That was surprising to me as it seems like such a simple detail but we should expect the zone diameter to be from 10m to 8m. It also no longer has a line of sight requirement which is a huge quality of life buff!
On the other hand, you might have gotten shot in the head while attempting to revive the KAY/O on your team. This is also addressed in this patch as the cue that your teammate is being revived should only be available to you and your teammate. The enemy team will still hear a sound but it will be more similar to an orb tap.
Sid, Valorant enthusiast, shares his opinion on this change: “I feel like this is an overall buff to the ability and should improve its usability and make it a lot more consistent. For example, if someone was planting the spike near a box, which is the case for a majority of the time, and you threw your grenade to the other side of said box , you would currently deal no damage in game. The current radius UI would make you think otherwise. So even though the radius will be a bit smaller once the patch goes live, you can use your grenade with the confidence that what you see is what you get.
Additionally, his ultimate ability NULL/cmd also got a small tweak. This should make it so that your teammates are punished way less often. Previously, enemies would know for sure if your teammate was committed to trying to revive you and could easily kill them. Now, the situation is a lot more akin to playing around a spike. There’s uncertainty on whether your teammate just tapped you or is committed to your revival. This should result in enemies being less confident and peeking less often.”
Flash duration extended
Flash windup decreased
Weapon equip time decreased after ending wall deploy early
Run it Back (his ultimate ability):
Will now spawn back with the same amount of shield as when ability was cast.
When was the last time you regularly saw Phoenix in competitive matches? I personally cannot remember. I have one friend that will play him as a meme pick and that should tell you the sad state of this agent. He currently unfortunately sits at a 1.2% pick rate but hopefully these changes will bring his initial popularity back and maybe even reflect how epic this character looks in the Valorant cinematics.
His flash is seeing some major buffs as the duration is now longer (1.1s to 1.5s) and it takes less time to activate (0.7s to 0.5s) which should bring him to par to other popular agents. Phoenix will also be able to get back into the fight faster thanks to the changes in his Blaze ability. Not only that but changes to his ult will also make him more durable and overall, deadlier.
Sid, Valorant player extraordinaire shares some of his thoughts: “ The changes to his flash should dramatically improve how useful it is. Currently, his flashes are some of the weakest in the game. Due to the very long windup time, players who are anticipating the flash can easily turn around to not be blinded by it and kill the phoenix instead. Additionally, because of the current short duration, by the time Phoenix can equip his weapon after using the ability, a large portion of the flash’s duration has already elapsed. With the new changes, enemies have a much shorter time to react to the flash which should give phoenix players more opportunities to line up a headshot.
The most crucial thing for a Duelist is to be able to have their gun in their hand, and that is exactly what the buff to Blaze looks to achieve. Combined with the buffs to his flash, you’ll now be able to make very crisp plays such as using your wall to cut off LOS, throw a quick pop flash through it, and peek with your gun out ready to fight anyone on the other side of the wall.
Finally, his ultimate, Run It Back will now spawn him back with the same amount of shields that he had when he initially used his ultimate. Currently in game, while your health gets healed back to 100 once your ultimate ends, you lose any shield that was damaged while you were in your ultimate. This change gives Phoenix a lot more incentive to use his ultimate to create opportunities for his team, without the drawback of losing all shields if he gets shot down.”
Reduced time to exit ult
Last but not least, my favorite snarky boy, Yoru, got some improvement to his ult. It will last longer ( 10s to 12s) and it will take less time for players to come out of his Dimensional Drift. I personally feel that Yoru players always come out of nowhere so I’m unsure how needed this change was but it does sound like it will help polish this ability and Yoru’s overall gameplay.
Back to Sid, our resident gameplay commentator: “The Yoru rework that arrived back in patch 4.04 has been very well received by players overall and has breathed new life into what was once labeled to be a “troll pick”. The new buffs to his ultimate look to further build on that and lends into his identity of creating chaos and making big-brain plays and outsmarting his opponents.Like we said earlier when talking about phoenix, the most important thing for a duelist is to be able to have their gun out, and that is exactly what the changes to his ult look to do. There are currently many situations in game where you flash someone while in your ultimate, and then try to exit it to kill them, but the flash expires before you're able to shoot. Shortening the unequip time should drastically improve that. The increased duration of the ultimate is also a nice quality of life bonus, giving him more time to scout out for other players and to position himself. As someone who recently tried him out and fell in love with him, the most frustrating part of his kit was trying to get value out of his ultimate. I can’t wait for the patch to drop and try out all sorts of crazy new plays!”
For this post, I have enlisted the help of my amazing duo and partner in crime! As a developer himself, he helped me get a better understanding of how the Valorant developers want to impact gameplay this season. To sum it up, some agents were just not up to par yet, but hopefully we’ll see more of them in our matches!