Valorant

How to play as Raze: Valorant’s explosive Duelist Agent

Published: 14/Jun/2020 1:30

by Brad Norton

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Raze is undoubtedly the most explosive Agent in Valorant. Not only can you manipulate her abilities to kill, but they can also be used for some fancy movement, putting you one step ahead of the competition. Here’s an in-depth look at the Duelist.

All Duelists in Valorant are designed to pack a punch. Rather than scouting out enemy positions, placing traps, or holding down a particular Reactor Site, Duelists should be looking for map control and ultimately, kills. Through the use of Raze’s kit, you can get to surprising spots on every map and blast down enemies in an instant.

While things might appear simple on the surface, there is just as much depth to her arsenal of abilities than any other Duelist Agent. Here’s a detailed breakdown so that you can explode to the top of the scoreboard.

Raze’s abilities

Riot Games
Raze explodes into combat in Valorant.

Raze’s kit is designed with an aggressive playstyle in mind. Each ability (including her Ultimate), are all intended to clear out areas without even needing a direct line of sight on the opposition.

  • Ability 1 – Boom Bot (200 Creds) — EQUIP a Boom Bot. FIRE will deploy the bot, causing it to travel in a straight line on the ground, bouncing off walls. The Boom Bot will lock on to any enemies in its frontal cone and chase them, exploding for heavy damage if it reaches them.
  • Ability 2 – Blast Pack (200 Creds) — INSTANTLY throw a Blast Pack that will stick to surfaces. RE-USE the ability after deployment to detonate, damaging and moving anything hit.
  • Signature Ability – Paint Shells (Free) — EQUIP a cluster grenade. FIRE to throw the grenade which does damage and creates sub-munitions, each doing damage to anyone in their range.
  • Ultimate Ability – Showstopper (6 points) — EQUIP a rocket launcher. FIRE shoots a rocket that does massive area damage on contact with anything.

Raze is able to remain in a relatively safe location and utilize her abilities to find picks. Instead of peeking around corners and risking death, she can drop her Boom Bot to scout it out. Instead of flanking into a room with multiple enemies, she can throw her Paint Shells and dish a plethora of damage. Each ability can be used to find eliminations without actually needing to shoot a single bullet.

Her ‘Showstopper’ Ultimate is aptly named, as it can shut down entire enemy attacks with a single click. The explosive is near impossible to avoid once it’s coming your way. Regardless of how much armor you may have, it won’t mean a thing if this six-point Ultimate connects anywhere close to your character.

The most overlooked aspect of her kit, however, is the ability to uniquely maneuver through any given map with her Blast Packs. While they can be used for small amounts of damage to the opposition, they’re best used to launch yourself into crafty spots or boost your momentum around certain angles.

Raze gameplay

No different from every other Duelist, Raze won’t be all too effective if you’re playing overly passive. Without any vision-obscuring abilities or blinding utility, Raze shouldn’t be the most aggressive flanker on a team. It can be difficult to win 1v1s without this kind of kit. Conversely, she also shouldn’t be sitting in the backlines and letting her team push ahead. There’s a perfect middle ground to strive for.

Abilities should largely be used to push the pace, taking new space for your team as you advance. For instance, deploying a Boom Bot around a corner or into unknow territory can certainly be helpful. But you can get far more value from the ability if Raze or another Agent pushes up along with this explosive drone — enemies will be overwhelmed having to shoot down both the deadly robot and another player at once!

It’s that type of momentum that can leave opposing teams struggling. The same logic applies when using her Blast Packs. Rather than throwing them out for a low amount of damage, Raze can drop them at her feet – or even on nearby walls – and use the detonation to reach new areas. Just be wary of how short the distance of her throw is… You will not be able to chuck these explosives all too far.

Riot Games
You can play aggressively with her Boom Bot to enter a site.

Enemy Agents might be holding down a particular angle. Instead of jiggle-peeking it, Raze can explode well beyond their expected fire and catch them by surprise. Before they’re able to readjust their aim, Raze can be in prime position to shoot them down.

Dexerto’s take: Great for blasting through enemy lines

In order to get the absolute most out of Raze, you’ll want to using her utility to catch the enemy off-guard. While a large majority of Agents can mask their entry and stun their way around a corner, Raze doesn’t have that luxury…

But the Brazilian Duelist does have her own options. Try to Blast Pack your way into off angles, beyond the sightlines your opposition will likely anticipate… Or toss a Paint Shell into an area where you’re expecting an enemy to be. 

Raze's Paint Shells in Valorant.
Riot Games
Raze’s Paint Shells have a lethal area of effect and are perfect for clearing out a room.

You can also combine her Blast Pack and Showstopper Ultimate into one smooth sequence, to give yourself the perfect leverage. Detonating yourself into the sky before unleashing a devastating rocket down on your helpless foes. 

Ultimately, Raze should not be played like any other Duelist in Valorant — she’s separate from the pack with a completely unique arsenal of abilities. The explosive Agent will require you to out-think your opponent, but comes fully equipped with a set of abilities that will keep the enemy guessing if you use them correctly. 

Valorant

Valorant devs confirm new Sage buff on the way in patch 1.13

Published: 2/Dec/2020 5:12

by Brad Norton

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While Sage was an insta-lock in the early phases of Valorant, the Sentinel Agent dipped drastically due to a series of hefty nerfs. However, Riot Games has confirmed she’ll be getting some love in the next major update.

When Valorant launched, Sage was the only Agent in the game capable of healing allies. Others were capable of healing themselves, but her kit provided something entirely unique. Combined with an extremely chunky Barrier Orb that could block off a certain path, and you had an “out of control” Agent that was picked in almost every match.

It took multiple balance updates and various ability reworks to bring her back down a notch. Since then, along with the introduction of new characters, Sage has seen her pick-rate drop tremendously. The Agent has only seen play in two professional matches over the past 60 days, according to VLR.

In attempt to find a middle ground and get Sage back on track, Riot has confirmed a new buff is on the way. Here’s what we can expect in Valorant’s 1.13 update coming soon.

While it was a critical Killjoy bug that stole the spotlight on November 30, Sage was also in focus due to an issue with her wall. Thanks to the Barrier Orb being placed pre-round, she could help a friendly Omen teleport across the map and quite literally break the game.

As a result, the Agent will no longer be able to place a wall down before a round gets going. This may have seemed like a temporary fix, though Riot soon clarified it “will be sticking around in the next patch.”

“Don’t worry,” they stressed. Sage isn’t being properly nerfed again. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Despite this adjustment, a “small balance change” is in the works to “put a little power back into her barrier.”

There’s no telling exactly what that looks like just yet. Whether it’s more health, added size, or something new altogether, we’re yet to find out. Though it’s only a matter of time until Sage’s wall is stronger than it’s been for the past few weeks.

It’s clear Riot doesn’t want a repeat of Sage’s dominance. So they’re playing things safe for the time being. Instead of buffing the Agent in a number of ways, Riot confirmed a singular buff to her Barrier Orb and her Barrier Orb alone.

There’s no date announced for patch 1.13 just yet. Though we do already know something else on the way. The incoming update looks to address the smurfing issue once again, cracking down on those making secondary accounts.