Some of your favorite Agents are getting balance changes for Patch 5.07.
Patch 5.07 is here, and it comes with some much-needed balance changes that will see some of your favorite Initiators bonked by the mighty nerf hammer while some Duelists get some much-needed buffs.
Lately, Riot Games has noticed an imbalance in Agent roles that they attributed to some buffs that they made to some Agents to make them more relevant in the meta. In one way, Riot succeeded in bringing some overlooked Agents into the forefront, but now the roster is in an awkward position where some Initiators have gotten too good at doing things Duelists should be excelling in.
The following Agent changes seek to balance out VALORANT’s roster and bring some Agents moonlighting as Duelists back to their respective roles.
Agent Balance Changes
Four Agents got the balance treatment for Patch 5.07, namely Skye, KAY/O, Reyna, and Yoru. The keen-eyed among you will immediately notice a glaring similarity between these four Agents – flash abilities.
All four Agents feature some of the best flash abilities in VALORANT. There’s Skye’s versatile Guiding Light, KAY/O’s CSGO-esque pop-flashes, Reyna’s powerful entry Leer, and Yoru’s crippling Blindside.
Unfortunately, among these four Agents, two Initiators have been much better at 1v1 duels than the other two Agents in Reyna and Yoru. Riot Games attributes the discrepancy in Skye and KAY/O’s more powerful flash abilities that allow them to take risky 1v1s.
This resulted in KAY/O and Skye playing the Duelist role better than other Duelists can. Obviously, this isn’t how it is supposed to be, which is why Skye and KAY/O will be receiving nerfs in Patch 5.07.
To accentuate the change further, Riot Games went ahead and buffed Reyna and Yoru’s flash abilities to cement their place in the Duelist role.
Skye Guiding Light
- Guiding Light flashbang scaling paradigm changed.
- The max flash duration of Skye’s Guiding Light now scales from 1s to 2.25s over a .75s charge up after being cast.
- Guiding Light can no longer be shot and destroyed.
- New VFX, UI, and sounds were added to communicate new gameplay intent.
- Unequip Delay out of Guiding Light increased .75s >>> .85s.
More than just a nerf, Skye’s Guiding Light’s whole gameplay mechanic has been changed to differentiate it from a Duelist-esque flash ability.
Gone are the days when you can use Skye’s flash as a pop flash that you can peek out of. With the changes above, Riot Games aims to incentivize the use of Guiding Light as a long-range flash ability by pinning the ability’s duration with the distance traveled.
By changing the flash duration scale, making Guiding Light invulnerable, and increasing the unequip delay of the ability, Riot Games has effectively made the personal use of Guiding Light less rewarding, forcing Skye players to use Guiding Light for their team rather than for themselves.
- Underhand (right-click) flashbang max duration decreased 2s >>> 1.25s.
- Overhand (left-click) flashbang max duration increased 2s >>> 2.25s.
- Unequip delay out of both flashes increased .6s >>> .85s.
KAY/O is arguably the worst offender when it comes to having a flash ability that he can use to entry-frag or outduel other Agents in 1v1 situations.
FLASH/DRIVE got a powerful buff a few patches ago that sped up the flash activation significantly. KAY/O could really use it like a CSGO right-click flashbang in that sense, which made it a powerful pop-flash ability for site entry.
Riot Games does not see KAY/O as that type of Agent, which is why they have decreased KAY/O’s right-click flash duration and increased the left-click duration instead. This should help promote a type of gameplay where KAY/O flashes for his teammates rather than for himself.
Like Skye, KAY/O is also getting an unequip delay increase that should make his flash less suitable for duel purposes.
- Wind-up of nearsight effect decreased .6s >>> .4s.
- Range Restriction on Leer removed.
- Nearsight unequip delay decreased .7 >>> .5.
- Duration decreased 2.6s >>> 2.0s.
Reyna is getting powerful buffs for her Leer in Patch 5.07. While the original Leer was not bad at all, Reyna’s flash ability should now activate faster, and allow Reyna to start shooting sooner. The Leer range restriction has been removed as well, which should help Reyna place her Leer in more strategic spots upon site entry. To balance things out, Riot Games has reduced Leer’s duration from 2.6 seconds to just 2.0 seconds.
- Blindside duration increased 1.5s >>> 1.75s.
- Flash Visual Updates
- 3P visuals for flashes enemies and allies now render behind the player’s head the moment that the flash starts to fade. This should give a clearer indication of whether players are fully flashed or if the flash has started to fade.
- 1P visuals when fully flashed now shrink over time to give a better indication of when the full flash will end and the flash fading out will begin.
- Increased the window for awarding assists on flashes, nearsights, and concusses from 1 >>> 3 seconds after the debuff starts to fade.
Yoru is one of the most complex Agents in the game in terms of gameplay. He sits high up the upper echelon of Agents that are super hard to learn yet are very rewarding once you know how to use them.
Yoru’s Blindside is essential for his style of gameplay, so for Patch 5.07, Riot Games opted to increase his flash ability’s duration. In addition, a host of third-person and first-person visual updates should help Yoru players play around Blindside’s duration more easily.
Fans of Skye and KAY/O’s previous gameplay will be saddened by the changes introduced in Patch 5.07. However, these are necessary to keep the balance in roles in check. Initiators can be great entry-fraggers, but Riot Games envisions a roster where Initiators are there to help their teammates successfully secure areas around the map with their utility; rather than use them for themselves.
You can read the full VALORANT Patch 5.07 Notes here.
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