Sage has been one of, if not the most powerful Agent in Valorant ever since the game’s release. Despite Riot’s attempts to nerf her previously, the developers have admitted she’s “out of control,” and is in need of more changes in the next patch.
If you aren’t picking Sage, you’re doing something wrong in Valorant. That’s been the community consensus since the game’s launch.
The Sentinel Healer provides an immense amount of utility — through her heals to other Agents, walls that take dozens of bullets to take down, incredible slows, and the ability to resurrect an ally and create a 6v5 scenario.
All this and more has made Sage a must pick at all elos, and in all situations. She has the largest pick rate out of all Agents according to Blitz.gg, with her being picked by 20% of players — making for a practical 100% pick rate.
Previous nerfs haven’t hit her hard enough to force her out of the meta, so Riot are changing tact. They know Sage is “out of control,” and they are planning on smashing her.
“Sage needs pretty big work,” Valorant character design lead Ryan ‘Morello’ Scott admitted. “Sage still is really out of control, and we don’t think it’s the healing.”
Morello did say that while they are looking at all possibilities, they are wary of the fact that nerfing Sage too hard will be problematic too.
“I think we’re going to have to get a little bit creative. There’s some point where you just neuter her to where she’s not fun to play at all, and she’s already a character that can risk being too flat,” he added.
Despite that, Riot still want to be “extreme” with the nerfs. He admitted that it was ‘unhealthy’ for Valorant to have an Agent as strong as Sage, and that if they overnerf her, they can always compensate with buffs.
“We have to be a little bit extreme on how we hit her because the problem might be a lot more extreme than we originally thought,” he stated.
Sage’s slow radius and amount could be up on the chopping block. While Sage’s wall was nerfed most recently, a possible health nerf on it could also be on the cards. Optionally, Riot could even gate Sage’s ultimate behind an even bigger eight or nine-point cost.
Morello didn’t expand on exactly what will be nerfed, but he did say that Riot were working overtime to try and get something done as soon as possible. This means we could see more Sage nerfs as soon as Patch 1.04, due on July 21.
If you’re a Sage one-trick, it might be worth finding a new Agent to master, because it’s very likely she will be dashed out of the meta in the coming weeks.