Phoenix & Cypher in line for Valorant buffs, but Riot aren’t rushing them

Andrew Amos
Cypher and Phoenix playing chess in Valorant cinematic

Valorant’s meta is ever changing, but it’s been a while since either Phoenix or Cypher featured. The two Agents lurked around on release ⁠— the latter especially so ⁠— but have fallen into obscurity. Now they’re in line for buffs, but don’t expect them any time soon.

Both Phoenix and Cypher once had a place in the Valorant meta. The former was a flashy duelist, with his ability to gather info and a couple of frags without worrying about dying thanks to Run It Back being very powerful.

Cypher was even more so. You couldn’t play a game of Valorant for the first six months without running into one of his trips or being tagged by his camera.

However, both have since faded away into the background. New duelists have replaced Phoenix, while Cypher’s intel-gathering tricks have been matched by Killjoy and Sova. Even for flankwatch, he’s no equal to Chamber.

Riot have recognized this though, and are finding a way to work the duo of original Agents back into the Valorant meta.

Phoenix in Valorant Duelists trailer.
Phoenix is one of two Valorant Agents earmarked for buffs.

“We are working on Phoenix, but it is too early for us to talk about details of what it may entail,” developer John Goscicki said on Reddit. “Right now we want to take the time to explore everything between number tweaks to something more.”

Designer Jay Watford had the same to say for Cypher: “[He] is in a similar situation. We aren’t prepared to share details or dates but he is definitely on our radar.”

If the ambiguity of the statements wasn’t a clear enough indicator, Riot has urged players to hold tight as these changes aren’t nearing release. They are working slowly to “find the right long-term place” for both of them, and not rushing into any changes that could backfire.

It’s not the first time Riot has really taken their time to mull over character changes. The Yoru rework, finally released earlier in Episode 4, came after months of delays. Viper underwent the same meticulous process nearer to the game’s launch.

While there may be little news now, Phoenix and Cypher mains can get excited about positive changes on their way. We’ll keep you updated with specifics as they become available.

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About The Author

Hailing from Perth, Andrew was formerly Dexerto's Australian Managing Editor. They love telling stories across all games and esports, but they have a soft spot for League of Legends and Rainbow Six. Oh, and they're also fascinated by the rise of VTubers.