When it comes to Valorant Agent tier lists and Agent popularity, Viper does indeed sit in a very awkward spot.
Even after repeated buffs throughout the closed beta and official game patches, Viper remains the most unpopular agent in the game and is the least-picked in both pro play and normal matchmaking.
Viper is primarily played by one-tricks. The Valorant devs want to change that by making her a more viable option when it comes to both casual and professional players.
However, the devs have their work cut out as no matter how many changes they bring to Viper, her pick-rate never seems to go up. In Valorant patch 1.04 and patch 1.07, she received a lot of additional power to her kit, and currently, she is incredibly strong and boasts enough potential to be an S tier Agent. But she is still hardly ever picked up.
The Valorant devs might be buffing Viper beyond repair
In a Reddit post on Valorant’s patch 1.08, the Riot developer who goes by the Reddit handle of Altombre, put out a lengthy post about what they have planned for Viper in the coming months. The Valorant dev says:
“I do think that historically, (as in, going into Closed Beta) we expected Viper to be stronger than she was due to a couple of prolific Viper players internally. However, since we've launched to live, Viper has underperformed for quite some time despite a series of fairly substantial buffs. We don't balance off of gut feels like that. We balance off of data, and the data doesn't carry those same biases."
"Personally, I'd argue that we gave Viper several sets of 'greatly buff' changes with her wall going through walls, being able to maintain fuel on her Q and E at once with no penalty, applying fragile to her Molotov and stopping decay on allies... but she just hasn't seen the same success that Omen and Breach have.”
According to Altombre, Viper, like Breach, is an agent who has “the highest burden of coordination”. Though the breach buffs in 1.07 have done an incredible job in making the Agent a more viable pick, Viper, on the other hand has shown no such success. That is precisely why Altombre suggests what the Valorant devs plan to do with her:
“Continue to make changes to the agent to get her into a good spot, and while she is improving steadily, she's not there yet. We're actively playtesting further buffs to ship, but generally speaking, we prefer to make more measured, methodical changes than large sweeping ones, especially when we're dealing with a character that's too weak (Viper, Breach) compared to characters that are too strong and warping the meta (Sage, Killjoy).”
We can't help but feel that Riot is opting to over buff Viper to the point of making her the most broken Agent in Valorant. Currently, her kit is very strong. It’s just the lack of recall abilities and the fact that other Agents can do her job better than her, which makes her one of the least-picked characters in the game.
We feel that Riot should tweak her entire kit and give her abilities a much-needed makeover as buffing her outright will not solve the problem any time soon.Published 18 Sep 2020, 12:05 IST