Brimstone’s mega buff surges Valorant controller’s popularity, Astra struggles

Brimstone looking at Valorant's AstraRiot Games

Brimstone’s rework in Episode 4 as part of Riot Games tinkering with the controllers has seen a drastic upwards tick in win and playrates. Players have flocked to the American Agent while abandoning Astra in similar, if smaller, numbers.

Controller agents received some long-overdue love from Riot Games in Valorant patch 4.04.

The seemingly-forgotten Omen and Brimstone have been sitting in the background since the earliest balance adjustments left them both at the bottom of the pick pile.

But now, as these changes are absorbed we’re seeing the impact this is having upon the Valorant meta.

With Riot reducing the deployment time of Brim’s smoke while increasing its height as well as significantly increasing Stim Beacon effects the idea was to allow for faster, more effective use of the agent in tight situations.

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It was only a matter of time for curious players to test the waters, and we’ve seen Brimstone’s playrate has made a solid jump to 23% this patch, with a 50.9% win rate — up from 17.7% and 48.9% in the patch prior.

The rest of the game’s controller’s saw a slight slump too: Omen (26.8%) and Viper (29.1%) still trump him in play rate, but their win rates are both below 50%.

Early responses from players are positive with Brimstone mains declaring the agent “finally feels like a complete character with the stim changes.

Whether we can expect the Valorant pack leader to be claiming his time in the sun as a serious contender for choice on a professional level remains to be seen.

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valorant brimstoneRiot Games
Brimstone is now the best controller in Valorant stat-wise.

It’s worth bearing in mind that if Brimstone’s play rate continues on its trajectory, Riot may be forced into nerfing the American Agent come patch 4.05.

The other big change from this patch so far has seen Astra nerfs lead to players dropping the new agent in significant numbers. The agent has gone from a 13.1% playrate to being picked in just 9.5% of games.

While Astra remains the most popular controller in pro play, that could all change once competitive play shifts onto the patch 4.04 update next week.