How to play as Phoenix: Valorant's fiery Duelist Agent - Dexerto
Valorant

How to play as Phoenix: Valorant’s fiery Duelist Agent

Published: 2/Jun/2020 17:15 Updated: 2/Jun/2020 17:30

by Andy Williams

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Phoenix is Valorant’s hot-headed Duelist, who can literally change the landscape of a round with the snap of his fingers. But what is it about the British Agent that makes him so special? Let’s take a look… 

Consider yourself a bit of an entry fragger? Or just have a gung-ho playstyle that often puts you in the thick of the action? Look no further than Phoenix. The fiery Duelist sports an impressive utility that can benefit your team on both Attack and Defense!

If you find yourself asking what sets Phoenix apart from the other Duelists in Valorant, this guide will attempt to answer that. We delve into the specifics of the Agent and break down everything that you need to know, to have you throwing curveballs at your enemies in no time.

Phoenix’s abilities

Valorant's Phoenix.

Phoenix’s abilities are all fire-based, so it’s no surprise that in ‘Hot Hands’ he has a skill similar to a Molotov grenade in other games. His Signature Ability ‘Curveball’ allows him to blind opponents, by curving a flare orb either to left (Mouse 1) or the right (Mouse 2) — ideal for catching an enemy off-guard around a corner!

  • Ability 1 — Blaze (200 Creds): EQUIP a flame wall. FIRE to create a line of flame that moves forward, creating a wall of fire that blocks vision and damages players passing through it. HOLD FIRE to bend the wall in the direction of your crosshair.
  • Ability 2 — Curveball (200 Creds): EQUIP a flare orb that takes a curving path and detonates shortly after throwing. FIRE to curve the flare orb to the left, detonating and blinding any player who sees the orb. ALTERNATE FIRE to curve the flare orb to the right.
  • Signature Ability — Hot Hands (1 free): EQUIP a fireball. FIRE to throw a fireball that explodes after a set amount of time or upon hitting the ground, creating a lingering fire zone that damages enemies.
  • Ultimate Ability — Run it Back (6 Points): INSTANTLY place a marker at Phoenix’s location. While this ability is active, dying or allowing the timer to expire will end this ability and bring Phoenix back to this location with full health.

Phoenix’s Blaze ability will throw up a flame wall, which will segment the map so you can push with your remaining abilities and really take the fight to your foes.

On paper, Phoenix is a Jack of all trades. But his most powerful ability is undeniably his Ultimate. ‘Run it Back’ temporarily grants the Agent a free life, during which he can act without consequences, as when it expires he’ll be returned to wherever he started with full health — even if he dies during it. This is perfect for an aggressive play into a Reactor Site that would otherwise be punished.

Phoenix gameplay

As one of Valorant’s resident Duelists, it’s no surprise that Phoenix is at his best when battling enemies head-on. That doesn’t mean that smart play won’t be rewarded, though. By making the most of his utility, Phoenix can not only gain major advantages in a one-versus-one, but also remain almost entirely self-sufficient by being able to take territory, hold that space, and even heal himself alone.

Phoenix using Run it Back in Valorant.
Riot Games / Dexerto
Run it Back will grant you eight seconds of a ‘free life.’

At 4:13 in the embedded video above, former Counter-Strike pro, Mathieu ‘Maniac’ Quiquerez, shows exactly how effective Phoenix’s Ultimate is. Suspecting that the enemies would be pushing from A-Short on Bind, Maniac tapped into his Ultimate to counter-aggress without the consequences.

By granting himself a free life and taking the fight to his opponents, he takes his team from a 3v3 to a 3v1 situation — changing the tide of the round in his team’s favor. Be careful where you deploy it, though, as if your enemy is the quicker draw, you might be caught with your pants down when you respawn on your marker.

Phoneix' Blaze ability in Valorant.
Riot Games
You can curve your flame wall by dragging your mouse in the direction you want it to curve while holding down Mouse 1.

Phoenix really comes into his own when you combine his abilities. At 2:31, Maniac uses Blaze to create a curved flame wall (which acts as the perfect barricade between him and A-Bath on Bind). After this dies down, the CS legend uses Hot Hands to prevent the enemy from pushing just when they think the coast is clear!

Dexerto’s take: Perfect for aggressive players!

As Maniac explains, Phoenix is perfect for those who want to play with aggression. His Curveballs are perfect for advancing into enemy territory, allowing him to blind enemies holding angles before moving around corners and take much more favorable peeks.

Without a doubt, Phoenix’s Ultimate is the most handy tool in his arsenal… Plays that should be high-risk/high-reward can be made without the risk! Phoenix can also use it to make a solo entry into an enemy-controlled area, and then trade with his own ‘death’ if he’s unable to win the duel the first time around.

So, that just about wraps up everything you need to know about Phoenix. If you plan on being the first one into a Reactor Site for your team, Phoenix is definitely your go-to Agent.

Gaming

Valorant continues smurf crackdown with Ranked change coming patch 1.13

Published: 30/Nov/2020 6:11

by Brad Norton

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Riot Games has announced yet another step to reduce the number of smurf accounts in Valorant’s ranked experience, with the next change coming in patch 1.13.

Smurfing is always going to be an issue in highly competitive titles. Especially games that are free to play with no added costs for making multiple accounts. Players that want to grind at different ranks, or have multiple Radiant accounts, have been able to do so without much difficulty thus far.

Up until now, so long as you register a separate email address, playing on a fresh account couldn’t be easier. 10 Unrated games and you’re off to the races, tearing it up in the competitive playlist.

However, Riot has just announced the next step in its plan to combat the issue. While it may seem like a simple change, patch 1.13 should help cut back on the ever-growing number of smurf accounts in the FPS.

Riot Games Valorant account
Riot Games
Creating a new account in Valorant is as simple as signing up with a new email address.

As soon as the next major update arrives, things will be a little different for fresh accounts. Whether you’re swapping over to a new smurf, or booting up the game for the first time, all Valorant accounts will need to meet one criteria; rather than playing 10 Unrated games, every account will now have to win 10 Unrated games.

This may come across as a minor tweak at first, though it should lead to a bigger impact than first meets the eye. When creating a smurf, grinding out those 10 games can be done fairly quickly. There’s no need to play well and no need to strive for a victory. You could theoretically hold your ‘W’ key down each round and be done in a few hours.

That won’t be the case once patch 1.13 is deployed. Smurfs will need to actively pursue wins no different to everyone else in the lobby. There won’t be anymore handouts on the grind to unlocking the competitive mode.

As the community suggested such a change, Riot’s very own Game Producer ‘npcSara’ confirmed that “[they’ll] be doing this in the next patch.” There’s no date set in stone just yet, but we’re now three weeks removed from the latest Valorant update. So expect to see 1.13 relatively soon.

If you’re wanting to create a secondary account in future, this change should give you pause. It’s a much bigger time commitment to win 10 games than it is to simply play 10 games. So the increase of smurfs should be noticeably smaller moving forward.

Keep your eyes peeled for any additional tidbits over the coming days as we approach the next update. Valorant’s 1.13 patch could be the last before Episode 2 kicks off in mid-January 2021.