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

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

Published: 12/Nov/2020 2:30 Updated: 12/Nov/2020 15:44

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.

So which Agents 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.

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.

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: 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 and is a leading cause for the Flash meta prevalent in Valorant at the moment.

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 devastated 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 Duelist’s dream. He can block-off sight lines, clear multiple corners at once, or split entire Reactor Sites on a 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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B-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 high B-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: 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 ulti 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 Turrent 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 prower 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.

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: 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 Cloudburts are great for setting up dashes — since you’re able to guide them into place.

That being said, without learning the basics for map awareness, Jett has huge potential to fall flat on her face. Dashing into a corridor full of enemies is only going to end one way.

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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C-Tier: Sage

Valorant's Sage.

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Sage lands at our lowest tier for the highly impactful nerfs Riot casted down on her in the 1.07 patch, which not only drained her Healing Orb’s prowess but also her Barrier’s stopping power.

Yes, she still has the unique, round-changing Resurrection ultimate. But it’s only valuable if Sage can rack up enough points for it. Since her self-heal nerf hit, Battle Sages can’t readily take multiple, high-percentage duels to rack up the 7 points needed for her ult.

While she still has a place in Valorant, solo queue players will have a much better time leaning into the Flash meta with other champs rather than trying to make an underpowered Sage work.

Unless Riot completely reworks the character now that she’s out of the limelight, expect her to be scarce among solo queue players until the devs give her a much needed buff.

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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 its 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.

Valorant

How does the Valorant Champions Tour work? Dates, format, regions, more

Published: 24/Nov/2020 16:07 Updated: 25/Nov/2020 9:38

by Andrew Amos

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The Valorant Champions Tour is set to define the outlook of Riot’s flagship FPS from 2021 onwards. The esport scene has been divided into three stages, giving players from grassroots to top-tier a chance to shine. Here’s how it works.

The Valorant Champions Tour is here to revolutionize professional play for Riot’s hit FPS. After a year of domestic tournaments and regional leagues, there’s now hope of getting a dose of international play in 2021.

However, the Valorant Champions Tour announcement is a lot to digest. If you’re left confused by the announcement, we’ve broken down each tier of play here, and how the entire system works, as simply as possible.

Valorant Champions Tour format
Riot Games
The Valorant Champions Tour is divided into three tiers: Challengers, Masters, and Champions.

Valorant Champions Tour regions

Before we can dive into what each tier of the new Valorant Champions Tour means, we need to break down who’s participating. There are seven regions looped into the Valorant Champions Tour ecosystem.

  • North America (includes Oceania)
  • Europe, Middle East, and Africa (includes CIS, Turkey, and MENA)
  • Brazil
  • Latin America
  • Japan
  • South-East Asia
  • Korea

It’s a similar spread compared to Riot’s handling of League of Legends. Bigger regions, like North America and Europe, will have more slots at the bigger international events.

Smaller regions, like Oceania and CIS, don’t have a direct path to qualification through their domestic events. They will instead have to make it through specified events in North America (OCE) and Europe (CIS), on top of making it through their home region.

Valorant-Champions-Tour-Timeline
Riot Games
Here’s how the Valorant Champions Tour circuit is shaping up for 2021.

What is Valorant Challengers?

Valorant Challengers is the domestic level of Valorant competition. Each region ⁠— regardless of size ⁠— will have a Challengers event.

Each Challenger event takes place over six weeks with three open qualifiers. It’s similar to the First Strike format: play through Opens, make it to Closed Qualifiers, and if you perform well enough, you make the Challengers Final.

Valorant Challengers format in Valorant Champions Tour
Riot Games
A step-by-step guide to the VCT format.

Eight teams will qualify for the Challengers Final. This is the path towards the international Masters-level events. The top teams from each region will earn themselves a spot at the next Masters event:

  • North America (and OCE): Top 3 teams
  • Europe (and CIS, Turkey, and MENAI): Top 4 teams
  • Brazil: Top 2 teams
  • Korea: Top 2 teams
  • Japan: Top 2 teams
  • South-East Asia: Top 2 teams
  • Latin America: Winner of Valorant Challengers

There will be three Valorant Challengers events throughout the year (February, May and August), each running into their respective Valorant Masters event.

What is Valorant Masters?

Valorant Masters is the first stage of international play in Valorant. The best teams from each region will qualify for one of three Masters events, spaced out across the year. The teams will be decided by their placements in Valorant Challengers.

Teams will earn points based on their performance at Masters-level events. These points will be put towards qualifying for the end-of-year Valorant Champions event ⁠— the World Championship.

Due to the current global situation, Masters events may remain at a domestic level for now, and emulate the format from Valorant Challengers. However, making it to Masters and performing well will still be the key to making the big Valorant Champions event.

What is Valorant Champions?

Valorant Champions is the biggest event on the calendar. It’s essentially the Valorant World Championship. After a year of competition, the top 16 teams around the world will duke it out for the biggest prize in the circuit. It’s set to be a “massive” two-week long event.

There will be 12 direct invites into the Valorant Champions event, based on Masters performances. However, this isn’t the end of the line.

Valorant Champions and Masters format for Valorant Champions Tour
Riot Games
Qualifying for Valorant Champions isn’t easy, but it’ll be worth it.

Four more slots will be up for grabs in regional last chance qualifiers. These last chance qualifiers will be split across: North America, Europe, South America, and Asia-Pacific. Here’s the regional breakdown.

  • North America (and OCE): 4 slots
  • Europe (and CIS, Turkey, and MENAI): 4 slots
  • Brazil: At least 2 slots
  • Latin America: At least 1 slot
  • Japan: At least 1 slot
  • South-East Asia: At least 2 slots
  • Korea: At least 1 slot
  • Masters 3 Winner: Direct invite

Putting it simply, the Valorant Champions Tour gives teams of all levels a chance to go from grassroots to glory. From small local Challengers events, all the way through to the Champions Final, there’s a clear path to the top no matter if you are a big organization or a small pub-stomping team. Of course, you still have to meet that Immortal 1 minimum threshold!

The Valorant Champions Tour is set to kick-off in February 2021 with the start of Valorant Challengers Season 1 across the world.