Valorant Duelist comparison: Which Agent is best for you? - Dexerto
Valorant

Valorant Duelist comparison: Which Agent is best for you?

Published: 3/Aug/2020 8:57 Updated: 3/Aug/2020 9:00

by Brad Norton

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Valorant currently boasts a roster of four unique Duelist Agents. Jett, Reyna, Phoenix, and Raze all serve a similar purpose in Riot’s FPS, but how do they stack up against one another? Let’s focus on this role in particular and compare each character to find out who’s best.

The four Duelists all come equipped with their own unique arsenal of abilities. Some are more efficient at stunning enemies, while others can rush around a corner with ease. Whether you’re just starting your Valorant journey or you’ve been grinding since the closed beta, it can be a head-scratcher trying to figure out which Agent is the best fit for your playstyle.

Often you can get stuck in your ways and grind things out with the first Duelist you pick. With that said, it’s vital you learn the pros and cons of each Agent in the role as soon as possible. Selecting the right character for the map ahead could just secure the win and bump-up your Competitive rank.

If you’re struggling to weigh-up each option, we’ve got you covered. Let’s take a deep dive into the Duelist role and find out once and for all who stands out from the pack.

Best Duelist Agents on Attack

Jett dashing in Valorant.
Riot Games
Making the most out of your Agent’s abilities will help you on Attack.

While attacking in Valorant, the world is your oyster. It’s entirely up to you and your team how each round unfolds in this half of the game. No matter which site you focus on, or how many Agents you stack together, enemies will have to react to you. This gives you a wide array of options to throw the Defensive team for a loop. But which Duelist Agent fairs best on the attacking side? Let’s rank them from the least effective to most effective.

4. Reyna

Reyna is the newest Agent in Valorant. Though her kit doesn’t lend all too well to competitive play. She can certainly stomp her way through casual Valorant matches, out-aiming opponents, and reaping the benefits of aggressive play. Though her abilities are not quite up to snuff with the best Duelists. 

Her blinding abilities have an extremely short duration and can be shot down with ease. In comparison to the likes of Phoenix’s flash effect, or Raze’s explosives, Leer does little to disrupt enemy defenses. Meanwhile, every other ability is self-centered. If you’re not fragging out, you’re not benefiting your team in any way. Therefore, Reyna isn’t ideal when advancing onto an objective. 

3. Jett

While Jett is often highlighted as one of the weaker Agents in Valorant, she is surprisingly effective at the higher ranks. Unique movement abilities allow her to reach certain vantage points and catch Defenders by surprise. Meanwhile, her brief smokes allow for more tactical and team-oriented play than most Duelists. 

Jett’s entire kit can disorient defending players. While her abilities may not be as impactful as others, creative players will see a lot of value in Competitive play. She can create windows for her team to advance while also gaining a unique position to throw enemies for a loop.

2. Phoenix

Phoenix has one of the most effective flash abilities in all of Valorant. His Curveball will blind anyone that looks in its direction, making it an extremely vital tool when pushing any Reactor Site. No matter where Defenders may be sat, a single ability can give your team a small opportunity to take space and set up. 

If you’re more interested in creating a distraction, Phoenix is more than capable in that regard too. Thanks to multiple self-healing abilities, looking for flanks or taking one-versus-one engagements can still be beneficial. While his kit doesn’t come with much in the way of scouting potential, the Run it Back Ultimate certainly makes up for it.

The six-point Ultimate gives you an extra life to rush any spot on the map and uncover Defensive positions. It’s one of the most valuable in the game today and a big reason why Phoenix is one of the better Duelists while attacking.

1. Raze

Raze is arguably one of the strongest Agents in Valorant at the moment. While her kit is certainly controversial, there’s no denying just how versatile the character can be. Each of her abilities can be used in multiple ways. Whether you’re looking for some flashy movement tech, trying to scout around a corner, or simply going for frags, Raze is more than capable.

Her Boom Bot can be used to detect enemies without actually risking health. Rather than peeking a corner, the explosive bot can do the trick. She can even rush right behind it, discombobulating enemies as they’re forced to shoot at multiple targets. Similarly, Paint Shells are most effective when Attacking. A single ability can force Defenders out of their position and right into your line of sight. 

Blast Packs can damage enemies, though they’re much more effective for catch you opposite number off-guard with the boost they give to movement. A quick detonation and Raze can launch around a corner for a quick kill or two. Her Showstopper Ultimate is also one of the more effective in the game, almost guaranteeing an easy kill (or five) if used properly. There’s no denying that Raze is the strongest Agent on Attack in Valorant today.

Best Duelist Agents on Defense

Phoenix aiming in Valorant.
Riot Games
Playing passive as a Duelist can be difficult, but certain Duelists’ utility can help more than others.

Defending in Valorant requires a completely different style of play. A sharp aim will still get you far, but if you’re not coordinating with your team, enemies will soon overwhelm you. Duelists can’t exclusively look for frags in this half. They’ll need to hold down positions, fend off flanks, and rotate when needed. It’s a big adjustment and some Agents simply function more effectively in one half than the other. Let’s dissect each Duelist once again but this time, ranking their impact on the Defensive side.

4. Jett

Switching onto the Defensive half can be rough for Jett-mains. She has little in the way of utility to stall or shut down enemy attacks. Temporary smokes can allow for a quick adjustment, though they’re never quite enough to stagger the opposition. If an entire team is rushing a particular Reactor Site, Jett will have to rely on her weaponry more so than her abilities to shut them down.

Holding an angle with an Operator and dashing to safety can be effective once again on this half. Though many of her unorthodox spots are easy to predict after a few rounds. She’s extremely limited on Defense and that’s why we’ve ranked her as the least impactful Duelist in this section.

3. Reyna

If you’re defending as Reyna, you’ll often need to reconsider your playstyle. After finding an elimination, more often than not, you should look to heal and retreat, instead of turning invulnerable and pushing up further. A single pick can keep enemies at bay for a short while, allowing the rest of your team to rotate with reinforcements. Therefore, she can be quite impactful during this half if played the right way.

Leer can be useful when large groups are rushing a singular route and you’re force to take the gunfight. Enemies will have to stop and deal with the blinding eye, giving you a brief window to buy some time, find a kill, or reposition. Her Ultimate can also be a fantastic tool on Defense. If the opposing team is aware of a buffed Reyna on one site, there’s a good chance they back away and hit a different objective. Ultimately, she has more potential on Defense, though Reyna still isn’t quite as impactful as other Duelists here.

2. Phoenix

Phoenix-mains have a good amount of freedom when it comes to defensive playstyles. You can hold-off Attackers with his area-of-effect Hot Hands ability, or place a temporary wall of fire with Blaze. In a similar vein, you can also play to counter enemy flanks, using your blinding Curveballs and shut opponents down. Phoenix can be very effective during this half thanks to his versatile kit. Even if you’re defending a site without a friendly Sage nearby, his kit allows for a good amount of self-healing. 

He’s one of the few Agents in the game that feels equally comfortable on both sides of the map. Switching from Attack to Defense shouldn’t feel as jarring here as it can with other Duelists.

1. Raze

No different to her versatility while attacking, Raze stands out from the pack on Defense too. Every ability can be used in a unique way to reposition, halt an attack, or find quick kills. She can hold angles extremely well, use various resources to scout enemy plans, and get out of a rough spot on a dime. While Raze’s kit doesn’t come with any kind of vision-obscuring ability, her kill-potential more than makes up for it.

If you know that the opposing team is rushing onto a site all at once, Raze is exactly who you’d want to counter this aggression. With Paint Shells or her explosive Ultimate, multi-kills are extremely common on Defense, as Attackers tend to bundle up. Therefore, Raze is our pick for the most impactful Duelist in Valorant when it comes to the defensive half.


So there you have it. At the time of writing, this is how we rate every Duelist Agent on both Attack and Defense. As Competitive play evolves and more professional tournaments get underway, there’s a good chance balance updates could alter these rankings. With certain characters almost being instant-locks in any composition, nerfs might be on the way and others may be buffed to find their footing.

If you’re a Duelist at heart, you should be able to transfer over to any of the Agents without adapting your play-style all too much. Hopefully, with this list in mind, you’ll be climbing the ranks and reaching Radiant in no time.

Valorant

Riot will create a Valorant test server similar to League of Legends PBE

Published: 23/Oct/2020 1:01

by Alan Bernal

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Riot Games announced plans for a test server in Valorant that would contain pre-release builds for official game patches. These limited servers will perform a function similar to League of Legends’ Public Beta Environment that lets Riot detect bugs and receive player feedback sooner.

Riot Senior Release Manager, Corrie Hardin, said that the PBE is targeted for an early 2021 release. Just like in LoL, there’s going to be a certain amount of time before a PBE patch will go to the live servers; typically two weeks.

In simpler terms, this will be the safe space Riot uses for testing anything from new Agents to crucial bugs before sending the patch out to its millions of players.

Crossover players from League of Legends who’ve tried out the PBE, a separate download from the main client, will be all too familiar with the shenanigans that players can come across on the beta servers.

Valorant Skye
Riot Games
Depending on how Riot structure it, a Valorant PBE could see early tests for new Agents.

It’s unclear if Riot would also use the PBE to test out new cosmetics as well. There’s been a couple of instances, as fixable as they were, where a new skin presented a competitive advantage or brought along with it a new bug that could have been spotted in a testing phase.

Regardless, Valorant’s sister title has benefited from the PBE in the past, especially in the way of character balances. In a tactical shooter like this, this could also apply to specific weapon balances or creative strats that need to be tweaked before they harm live Ranked games.

“We hope to expand on what we have learned and provide an early access experience that does not drastically differ from the live version of Valorant, but still allows for a glimpse into what we are working on,” Riot said in their Ask Valorant Q&A blog.

Omen Valorant
Riot Games
Early access to Valorant patches would be perfect to sniff out Omen bugs.

There has been a trend of Omen bugs appearing soon after a new map or update releases. The PBE servers would be the perfect place for players to rip apart a proposed patch for any potential game-breakers.

The early access arena will be a popular destination for pros and casual players to refine feedback for changes that need to be made in Valorant.

Expect Riot to release more information as we get closer to the release window, sometime in the early year within Episode 2.