Valorant’s American chemist, Viper, has an array of poisonous abilities to support her Controller playstyle, but what is it about the Agent that makes her stand out from the rest?
Viper is a Controller Agent, which means that she can control the battlefield with her array of chemical devices, which allow her to distribute her toxins all over the map in a variety of ways.
With a highly poisonous set of abilities to utilize, Viper can come up clutch when the odds are heavily stacked against her. Given her potential to change the landscape of a round, let’s take a look at what makes Viper so deadly.
Two of Viper’s abilities rely heavily on her toxin reserves (we’ll touch on this later), so you’ll need to keep track of exactly how much fuel you have when using them. All of her abilities are detailed below:
- Ability 1 — Snake Bite (100 Creds): EQUIP a chemical launcher. FIRE to launch a canister that shatters upon hitting the floor, creating a lingering chemical zone that damages and slows enemies.
- Ability 2 — Poison Cloud (200 Creds): EQUIP a gas emitter. FIRE to throw the emitter that perpetually remains throughout the round. Reuse the ability to create a toxic gas cloud at the cost of fuel. This ability can be reused more than once and can be picked up to be redeployed.
- Signature Ability — Toxic Screen (1 free): EQUIP a gas emitter launcher. FIRE to deploy a long line of gas emitters. Reuse the ability to create a tall wall of toxic gas at the cost of fuel. This ability can be reused more than once.
- Ultimate Ability — Viper’s Pit (7 Points): EQUIP a chemical sprayer. FIRE to spray a chemical cloud in all directions around Viper, creating a large cloud that reduces the vision range and maximum health of players inside of it.
Viper’s Poison Cloud can be used to cover one specific chokepoint (such as an entrance to a Reactor Site), but will cost Viper fuel from her reserve. When activated, the cloud will deal damage over time to an opponent that chooses to walk through it — which, on paper, should be enough to ward them off pushing through.
Perhaps Viper’s most valuable asset, though, is her Toxic Screen. The line of gas emitters can be used to divide a portion of the map in two. Mastering lineups with this can be extremely useful when trying to take control of certain portions of a map, as it will reduce the amount of areas you need to look.
Snake Bite will provide a quick and effective way to clear out a corner or patch where you think an enemy has set up shop. You’ll be able to buy two of these in a round, and at 100 Creds a pop, they’re a worthwhile piece of kit to have in your utility.
Former Counter-Strike pro, Mathieu ‘Maniac’ Quiquerez, showcased exactly why Viper can be considered a solid choice for any team.
Right off the bat, it’s clear to see that Viper’s Ultimate Ability is he biggest trump card. Maniac manages to deploy Viper’s Pit at the 1:12 mark (in the embedded video above) when attempting to retake a Reactor Site.
As soon as the opponent enters the toxic cloud, their health is immediately reduced (although enemies cannot die at the hands of the poison). With that in mind, the Ultimate will still require you to be a sharpshooter, or else you can still get caught off-guard, just as Maniac did in the clip.
At 4:14, we see this more effectively to take control of a Reactor Site. As Maniac deploys Viper’s Ultimate to push A-Long on Haven, the cloud highlights the precise location of the Defender on-site. One slight caveat to the Ultimate is that it requires Viper to stay inside, otherwise it begins to fade away.
Dexerto’s take: Hard to master, but could be worth it
Maniac touched on his difficulty mastering Viper, describing her as “one of the most complex Agents” in Valorant’s roster of characters, despite having an “overpowered” Ultimate.
Quiquerez even compared the learning process of getting to grips with Viper to learning to fly a spacecraft, which is highlighted by the “cognitive burden” imposed by having to activate/deactivate an ability to ensure you don’t completely deplete your toxin fuel reserves.
Even at the 2:45 mark, one of Maniac’s enemies pushes through their poisonous cloud of smoke, which is perhaps due to the fact that “people just don’t fear it, because the damage is over time.”
Given Viper’s steep learning curve, it is clear to see why plenty of players might struggle getting to grips with her comparatively complex ability set. With there being minimal trade-off for the cognitive investment required to utilize some of Viper’s abilities, it’s clear to see why she might not be for everyone.
Viper essentially bridges the gap between Controller and Initiator Agents, as she can both disrupt and shape the battlefield simultaneously.
So on the whole, if you’re willing to put in the time to master Viper’s poisonous arsenal and get the timing of when and where to activate her toxins down to a tee, this Controller Agent might be the one for you.