As is custom with every nascent professional scene, meta changes are aplenty in the early days, and Valorant is no exception. The latest point of scrutiny in search of balance is Brimstone. Boasting a lowly pick percentage of 1% at the Renegades x NSG Invitational, questions need to be asked about what is lacking, why is he not favoured, and how can he be fixed.
Brimstone’s biggest weakness: Omen
Omen, in comparison to Brimstone, is an absolute no-brainer of a pick. In terms of a direct comparison, Omen’s smokes are superior to Brimstone’s in almost every way. Omen’s smokes are lower in number against Brimstone’s three, but here’s why they’re better - they’re free, they last one second longer than Brimstone smokes, and regenerate mid round after a 35 second cooldown, once again, for free. Brimstone’s other abilities also seem pale in comparison to Omen’s teleport and flashes, making him the better all round pick for the team.
Brimstone’s current state
While Brimstone’s kit can be quite powerful in some contexts, like mollying someone out of hell on Split, it’s not something that can’t be achieved by a breach stun or even an omen flash.
As has been perfectly summarized by Reddit user u/obstan,
"Too many downsides to using him. His only strong point is triple casting smokes. Other than that: he’s slow to use, he makes a directional noise when he smokes, all his utility is long cast time, he’s even more telegraphed than viper now. They really just need to tweak his cast times+ smokes making no noise imo. It’s super hard to balance around omen rn being godlike because he has the best flash in the game."
The combat stim isn’t a saving grace either, except for post plants where a player is turreting back site, but that too is flawed, as it gives away one’s position with the visible stim ring. Brimstone’s three smokes are just not compelling enough when put up against Omen’s arsenal of utility, and without some significant changes, he may not be viable for a while to come. That being said, Brimstone’s ultimate is very effective in post plant situations, and is pretty viable even in higher tier competition.
A good starting point to fixing Brimstone, as backed up by members of the community, would be to make his smokes regen too. With the addition of larger maps like Icebox, more smokes are definitely needed to eliminate certain angles. Since Brimstone gets three smokes, upping the regen timer to 45 seconds and bringing his smokes to 15 seconds bloom, at par with Omen, could be the starting point of finding Brimstone’s balance.
Adding a slow heal to his stim beacon could also be a welcome change to what is currently a rather underpowered agent. Alternatively, a second molly could be an option to consider, although that could turn out to be way over powered. (try getting out of a molly back site and a link on haven).
At the end of the day, we know that Riot Games keeps its ears to the ground when it comes to community opinions, and that they keep a close on eye on the meta. This likely means that we’re bound to see some changes being made to Brimstone's kit sooner rather than later.Published 21 Oct 2020, 21:31 IST