Being aggressive with Harbor pays dividends.
Players can expect a few days or weeks of experimentation before new Agents settle into a role that works well for the current VALORANT meta. Recent Agent releases such as Neon, for example, quickly settled into a hyper-aggressive Duelist role that complemented her fast-paced gameplay.
Harbor is the newest Controller Agent to be added to the VALORANT roster. If you’ve seen his Agent Trailer, you’ve probably already bought into the “defender” narrative Riot Games gave him.
However, in a recent VALORANT New Act Developer Hangout stream on Twitch, VALORANT devs sat down to discuss what they think is the best way to play the water-based Agent; he’s not a very defensive Agent at all.
Aggressive is the name of the game.
Viper mains will quickly find striking similarities between their favorite Agent and Harbor’s abilities. Harbor’s High Tide draws inspiration from Viper’s Toxic Screen ability visually and functionally with its ability to pass through objects around maps and cover a large amount of area.
In the stream, VALORANT Designer Alexander Mistakdis touched on the similarities between Viper and Harbor but said the latter would be more aggressive. “He can somewhat help with defense, but he’s really good at taking ground, being more aggressive, and spending his resources to get you to move forward as a team.”
Harbor’s Cascade ability quickly comes to mind. With Cascade, Harbor can clear out a big chunk of space around the map; think Breach’s Fault Line and Omen’s Paranoia.
Cascade is incredible for not just driving away enemy team players from within bombsites upon site entry. Still, it can also function as a moving wall cover that your entire team can use upon site entry. On the other hand, Harbor’s Ultimate Ability, Reckoning, can also be used to drive away enemies from within bomb sites.
After Harbor spends his Cascade ability to open up site entry, the most obvious thing to do is throw a Cove over your team’s Spike planter to secure the Spike plant or set up High Tide to provide cover and delay the Spike defuse for 15 seconds.
Harbor can’t do much after using Cove and Cascade since Harbor can only carry one charge of each ability per round. Nevertheless, since High Tide is cooldown-based, this will allow Harbor and his team a second chance at winning through the versatile wall cover it provides.
On defense, Harbor can use his abilities to delay or deter an enemy team rush into his bombsite. Cascade should easily cover entire entryways and punish a team rush on any map. On the other hand, Harbor can use his High Tide ability to block multiple lanes into bomb sites. Defense is where Cove shines, as we can see this ability working very nicely during Spike defuse situations. Lastly, Reckoning might be the ultimate retake ability in all of VALORANT right now, thanks to its autotargeting mechanic.
We can theorize and speculate how the community ends up playing Harbor all we want, but at the end of the day, it will be up to the pros to bring out the full potential of Harbor and how he fits into the current meta in VALORANT.
Until then, keep grinding those daily activities so you can finally unlock Harbor, play him, and decide how you think he is best played in-game.