Best Valorant Agents to use in Solo Ranked: Agent tier list - Dexerto
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Best Valorant Agents to use in Solo Ranked: Agent tier list

Published: 13/Mar/2021 22:50 Updated: 13/Mar/2021 22:54

by Alan Bernal

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Trying to climb in Valorant’s Competitive matchmaking by yourself can be rough, so we’ve compiled the ultimate Agent tier list to help you along the quest for Radiant!

While every player should go into a match with team-play in mind, not all solo queue games tend to go that way. Ranked matches go much better when you have an Agent that’s built with enough tools to hold down a Site, stay alive, and clutch up if need be. Mind you, all Agents have that to a degree, but some are fitted better than others.

These rankings aren’t to determine the best Agent in the game. Rather, it’s to talk about the best characters and their abilities, which, if used correctly, can make up for the lack of natural team synergy that can often be amiss when solo queuing in Competitive.

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So which Agents after patch 2.04 should you main if you’re going in as a one-man army?

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S-Tier: Raze

Valorant's Raze.

Raze’s kit is doused with lethal abilities perfect for an S-tier rank among solo queue Agents. Riot meant for Valorant to be an aim-dominant shooter, with a secondary emphasis on utility disguised as abilities, but this Agent hits different.

“Raze’s goal is to be a highly-threatening Duelist that punishes enemies posted in predictable positions,” the devs said in the April 21 patch notes during the beta.

Not only do her abilities give her some of the best mobility in the game when creatively used, but every one of her moves can easily deal a fatal blow.

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With only six Orbs needed to equip the blink-and-you’re-dead Showstopper rocket launcher, a Boom Bot that clears out entire entryways, and Paint Shells that make quick work of complacent opponents, Raze packs enough heat that’s difficult to deal with at any rank.

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S-Tier: Omen

Valorant's Omen.

Omen lets people pick between a lone-wolf approach in a round or a ghastly Agent to lock down a site on either side.

His Shadow Step used in tandem with Dark Cover is versatile enough to bait entire low-elo teams and powerful enough to warrant the respect of higher ranked players.

While the update to his Paranoia made it easier to discern what its actually flashing, its still one of the most punishing flashes in the game. From the Shadows will punish uncoordinated teams and make light work of any stragglers.

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Omen lets players switch up their playstyle depending on what the match needs, giving solo players a highly versatile Agent to queue up as.

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S-Tier: Jett

Jett has been getting really popular in high Elo and pro play for good reason. Jett’s abilities are all about complimenting the player that picks her. She has the best movement of all the Agents and her Ultimate rewards great aim, as well as decision-making.

Solo queue players can use her Updraft and Tailwind to break through tight chokeholds, and her Cloudbursts are great for setting up dashes — since you’re able to guide them into place.

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That being said, without learning the basics for map awareness, Jett has huge potential to fall flat on her face.

But a good understanding can go a long way to make her a versatile Op-er, or a fun option to get behind enemy lines. Though she’s becoming popular for players that prioritize high mobility, be careful not to use that agility to dash toward a quicker death.

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S-Tier: Breach

Valorant's Breach.

Breach used to be good in solo queue, now he’s great. The Swedish engineer has been the happy recipient of meaningful buffs to an already-potent loadout since patch 1.07 and is a leading cause for the prevalent Flash meta in Valorant.

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While his Flashpoint charges have always been a pain to avoid, now he’s equipped with a max capacity of three. This means that opponents will see a white screen for the entirety of a site push until they die, if used correctly.

The reason he ranks so high in this tier list is because he can easily isolate members of the other team if they’re stretched too thin. Breach has so many ways for solo queue players to force picks or push the initiative on a site.

His Rolling Thunder can devastate entire sites to make retakes easier or claim a spike plant. His concussive effects are also one of the only surefire ways of displacing pesky Operators.

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A-Tier: Phoenix

Phoenix is a Duelist with carry-potential who can also heal himself. In theory, that sounds overpowered for solo queue, but only if used correctly.

His Curveball is great and excels at clearing a single close-corner. It’s not the best flash in the game by any means, but it’s still highly effective during a rush. His Hot Hands projectile and Blaze wall can somewhat heal Phoenix, but it comes at the cost of important utility (not to mention, you’re telling the other team where a low-health player is).

So timing with Phoenix’s utility is key. His Run it Back Ultimate is where he really shines, allowing him to aggressively take duels almost without consequence – just make sure you don’t leave yourself in a vulnerable position.

All in all, Phoenix can be a great, hyper-aggressive Agent if you’re clean with the duels you win, but there are other characters that pack more heat.

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A-Tier: Cypher

Valorant's Cypher.

Contrary to the explosiveness that you’d think a good solo queue Agent would have, Cypher’s value comes in his ability to keep tabs on such a large portion of the map.

On Defense, this lets him completely abandon Reactor Sites to help out another part of the map. On Offense, he can zone in on early picks, work on a push, etc., while knowing that potential flanks are covered by a Spycam with Trapwires scattered throughout.

His Cyber Cage isn’t anything impressive, but it gives him just enough space in case he has to quickly reposition or wait for reinforcements.

That’s not to mention his Neural Theft Ultimate, which gives him all the information he needs to either detect the opponent’s gameplan or become better equipped to navigate a 1vX situation. All in all, Cypher is a great Agent to pick if you’re going in solo.

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A-Tier: Brimstone

Brimstone ranks so high up because of his Sky Smokes. Love it or hate it, his utility is the best in the game.

Then he’s complimented by a fire-and-forget Orbital Strike laser, an Incendiary that can deny an attempt to defuse the Spike, and a Stim Beacon that’s, admittedly, only nice to have if Sage decides to wall something.

The abilities Brimstone comes equipped with are a friendly Duelist’s dream. He can block-off sight lines, clear multiple corners at once, or split entire Reactor Sites in the blink of an eye.

It might be difficult to carry and out-frag some other Agents, but he can definitely be the linchpin to full blown executes or straight up smoke-rushes onto sites, which makes him great for solo queue.

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A-Tier: Reyna

Valorant's Reyna.

The thing with Reyna, is that she can easily be an S-tier Agent, but you need to know that you can carry with her. If you’re picking her for Competitive, then you’re going into the game looking to be the Match MVP.

Reyna is valuable to players who shoot first and ask questions later. She has the best carry-style flashes in the game (Leer), which gives ample room for high-percentage success on wide peeks. She can also heal or take consecutive engagements with Devour and Dismiss, respectively. Her Ultimate, Empress, only makes her more of a deadly, all-around unit.

“If she doesn’t get kills, though, she’s bad. Like, near-useless,” Character design lead for Valorant, Ryan ‘Morello’ Scott, said when explaining the thought behind Reyna. “You’re making a big bet picking Reyna.”

So she lands on our list as a an easy A-tier, since she can completely overtake games; but when she doesn’t, the Reyna on a team becomes noticeably invisible when you’re losing. Her viability, more than any other Agent, is contingent on the player picking her up.

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B-Tier: Sage

Valorant's Sage.

Since Riot rolled back some of Sage’s power in Episode 1, she’s been slowly creeping back up in the rankings. But after multiple iterations, the Stronghold of China is once again a really strong pick for most maps.

Even after nerfs to her Healing Orb and Barrier, they can still impact a round in a moment’s notice. Battle Sages love her Slow Orbs since it gives flexibility on wide peaks or holding an angle.

Then there’s the Resurrection ultimate which can quickly turn the tide of a round or even help a team build up their economy. Sage has a ton of flexibility in terms of playstyle.

While many will miss how strong she was shortly after Valorant’s release, she’s still a great Agent to take into Solo queue.

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B-Tier: Skye

The latest Agent in Valorant, Skye is a welcomed addition to the Initiators of the game but has a heavy reliance on a solid team structure.

Both Trailblazer and Guiding Light are great for pushing around corners, but these are usually to the benefit of a teammate following up the abilities. Regrowth, again, is a fantastic ability but it’s exclusively for her teammates.

Her Seekers ult is great to get vital information for the team, and an aggressive Skye can definitely capitalize off of the sprites.

While her kit is well impressive and can be fully utilized in a ranked environment, an uncoordinated team can easily waste all of the opportunities her abilities can provide.

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B-Tier: Killjoy

Since coming into the playing field, Killjoy has only gotten better. Mind you, she wasn’t as overpowered as some people thought when she first launched with Act 2, but she’s a decent solo queue pick all the same.

Her kit is great to thwart rushes with her Nanoswarm’s area of effect damage or set up a crossfire with her Turret to take a few fights in one engagement. The biggest hit to her solo queue rank is that she has to stay within 40m of her Turret and Alarmbots for them to work, effectively negating her lurking potential lest she goes without her gadgets.

Lockdown is great to blanket an area for the purposes of getting more control on the map or making the other team frantic in a prolonged fight. But if an opponent doesn’t decide to hunt down the destructible Ult, they have plenty of time to exit and regroup around its radius — making it suited for more team-oriented environments.

Now that she can pick up and place her Alarmbot and Turret much quicker, Killjoy’s repositional power has significantly improved.

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B-Tier: Sova

Valorant's Sova.

Sova fluctuates in tier lists so much, and the reason is simple: If you’re going to play Sova, you’ll want to learn some arrow alignments.

You can’t expect to climb far as a solo queue Sova if you’re still trying to ‘eyeball’ how much charge it takes to send a projectile over certain distances, hopping before shooting an arrow to give it that last bit of bounce you think it needs, or walking out of cover to angle the shot into a narrow corridor.

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There are great resources to learn the most effective Recon or Shock Bolt lineups, and players should know at least some of them to make use of his game-best recon kit.

His Ultimate can keep people off the Spike from a considerable range, the Owl Drone is incredible to get intel before a push, and his arrows give him cross-map scouting/damage. Only caveat: Learn reliable lineups.

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B-Tier: Yoru

Yoru is a decent Agent for solo queue. Picks like Jett, Reyna, and now Yoru are centered around empowering what the player already brings to the table. Of them all, Yoru might be the safest for most playstyles, which lands him above the others mentioned.

That said, the player picking him needs to have solid fundamentals in the first place to start climbing in their Ranked games.

The weakest part of Yoru’s kit is his flash. While the ability is great and plays off the intuitiveness of the player, the actual blind isn’t as potent or off-putting as, say, Breach or Skye’s flashes. Gatecrash is only tilting for opponents that don’t take it into account after exchanging blows with Yoru, but even at higher ranks you can blindside someone who has a lapse in judgement.

And then there’s Fakeout. For a game that’s known to have shoddy audio as it is, you can go a long way with Fakeout using a bit of creativity and initiative to push your advantage when you have it. It’s situational, but a proper Duelist can do a lot with the small window it affords you– but again, you need to bring that know-how to the table.

The ultimate, Dimensional Rift, gives you the agency of being a valuable ward or sneaking behind enemy lines. Combine that with Gatecrash, and the possibilities exponentially grow. Notice that Yoru is one of only three Agents that can’t heal or hurt people with abilities; so he can do loads for your solo queue climb, but you just have to use him fairly effectively to start getting consistent returns.

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C-Tier: Astra

Valorant Agent Astra

Astra came out with a ton of people interested in her global ability potential and there are devastating set plays she can perform. Unfortunately, she hasn’t been feeling good without a team around her.

The Stars that she can place can turn into Nova Pulse (an AoE stun), Nebula (a smoke), or Gravity Well (an AoE crowd-control tool). The flexibility of her kit is immeasurable, but it presents similar woes to Viper (see below) in that she’s too reliant on a sound team-structure to be effective.

Take her Stars, for example. While they can be placed at any time, the Agent is left vulnerable while she’s in her Astral form, not to mention that she needs to be funneled info from her team if she’s to use them efficiently across the map.

There’s still a lot of testing left to do with the latest Agent, but Solo queue players could find better options in the rest of the roster.

C-Tier: Viper

Valorant's Viper.

There are so many good things to say about Viper’s abilities, but they mostly apply to a coordinated environment, not solo queue.

Toxic Screen can come up and down at will, which opens up mid or late-round readjustments. Her Poison Cloud is fine and can create fantastic — but obvious — one way smokes.

While her Snake Bite is scarcely usable, her Ultimate can realistically stop the other team’s plans in their tracks.

She sounds like a really well-balanced Agent, but that’s only if you have a team who is willing to have a semblance of cohesion. Solo queue is not an environment where a good Viper can really shine, and that’s why she finds herself rock bottom of our tier list.

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The great thing about Valorant’s Agents, is that anyone is fun and viable in the right scenario. It’s not unusual to find a Sova who routinely uses a Recon Bolt for a double-kill through a wall, or a Viper who can run circles around a Defense’s weak side.

But going into Competitive with a character that offers more tools for a wide range of situations will make climbing the ranks as a solo queued player much more sustainable.