Valorant’s most controversial Agent, Raze, is set to receive yet another nerf, following continued community backlash surrounding her damage output.
Right at the inception of Valorant — affectionately referred to as ‘Project A’ — Riot Games’ CEO, Nicolo Laurent, sent out a Tweet reassuring those eager to get their hands on the first-person shooter that Agent abilities would simply “create tactical opportunities.”
“You don’t kill with abilities,” said Laurent. “Abilities create tactical opportunities to take the right shot. Characters have abilities that augment their gunplay, instead of fighting directly with their abilities.”
Fast-forward to almost two months after the official release and Raze is dominating the Valorant meta across all levels. Why? Because her utility allows the character to dish out an incredible amount of damage.
To be clear, in Project A, shooting matters. You don’t kill with abilities. Abilities create tactical opportunities to take the right shot. Characters have abilities that augment their gunplay, instead of fighting directly with their abilities.
— nicolo (@niiicolo) October 16, 2019
Riot Games nerfing Raze in Patch 1.05?
Aside from her Blast Pack and Paint Shells, the explosive Duelist can strike fear into the most skillful of opponents when the already infamous “fire in the hole” voiceline shudders around the map.
While the feisty Brazilian Agent’s Showstopper Ultimate was made slightly less accessible in Patch 1.04, her damage output can still completely swing the most improbable rounds back in the favor of her squad. With that in mind, Valorant Character Design Lead, Ryan ‘Morello’ Scott, has pledged to make further adjustments until the right balance is achieved.
Detailing the impact of her Blast Pack and Showstopper abilities, Morello stated that “we’ll be fixing those as part of our commitment to tactical play.”
Two issues where I see this not being true: the current satchel in-combat use (don't worry boosting/zooming is fine) to kill in a gunfight, and some cases where you can't do anything about the rocket. We'll be fixing those as part of our commitment to tactical play.
— Morello (@RiotMorello) July 29, 2020
Morello’s thread of Tweets touched on how Raze’s Boombot and Paint Shells work to achieve their objective with the character: to create pressure, which can ultimately lead to area control.
On paper, this is exactly what Duelists are designed to do. But it’s easy to see past that, when an Agent like Raze sits head and shoulders above the rest at applying said pressure.
With that in mind, Valorant might just be about to undergo its biggest meta shift yet. Killjoy is tipped to join the ranks in Act 2, alongside a brand new Competitive system being introduced in Patch 1.05. So a Raze nerf during the same update would give a lot for players to digest in one go. Who knows, perhaps Riot will hold off on the nerf for another patch.