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.
Update: This issue has now been fixed and Killjoy is available to pick once again!https://t.co/Wuf9DhLBVG
— Valorant News (@ValorantUpdates) December 2, 2020
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.
The change to Sage's wall will be sticking around in the next patch, but don't worry – we're not nerfing your girl. We have a small balance change planned to put a little power back into her barrier.
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) December 2, 2020
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.