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Valorant: Why does Viper remain the most unpopular Agent in the game even after recent buffs?

Even after recent buffs, Viper remains one of the most unpopular Agents in Valorant (Image credits: Riot Games)
Even after recent buffs, Viper remains one of the most unpopular Agents in Valorant (Image credits: Riot Games)
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 08 Sep 2020, 11:01 IST
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When it comes to Agent pick rates, Viper sits at the bottom of the Valorant tier list across all competitive and unranked divisions. 

She has remained the most unpopular Agent in the game ever since Valorant’s closed beta release and has hardly seen the light of day on the professional stage.

Viper
Viper's dismal pick rate according to blitz.gg

In platinum alone, Viper has a measly pick rate of 0.8 per cent, which is the lowest out of any Agent in the game. This fact also remains true for the other ranked divisions, and Viper remains the most disliked Agent from Iron 1 all the way to Radiant, according to blitz.gg.

Viper’s recent buffs didn’t help her popularity at all

Viper received a lot of buff to her kit in the recent patch (image credits: Dignitas)
Viper received a lot of buff to her kit in the recent patch (image credits: Dignitas)

Viper’s abysmal pick rate was a grave cause of concern for the Valorant devs, and Riot Games tried to provide her with a substantial amount of playmaking and power to improve her popularity.

Patch after patch, she kept getting a buff, and from getting a complete overhaul to her passive, she even received some outright damage buff and quality of life changes in Valorant patch 1.07 alone.

She received the following changes to her kit in the patch:

Toxic Screen

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  • Can now be placed during the buy phase of rounds, through spawn barriers.
  • Toxic Screen now goes up faster along its full length, once it starts to form.

Decay

  • Decay on all smoke abilities no longer affects allies.

Viper’s Pit

  • The area of Viper’s Pit is now shown on her team’s minimap when deployed.

The new Decay and Toxic Wall buffs did give Viper a lot of agency and substantially improves a lot of her playmaking potential.

Then why is she still the most unpopular Agent in the game?

Why does Viper have the lowest pick rate in the game?

The Valorant community is slowly turning Viper into something of a meme, and even professional players like TSM Subroza are taking to social media to talk about just how disliked she is.

According to Subroza, even if Viper was to get a global map encompassing ultimate, people will still not play her, and to us, there are three reasons why that is the case.

1. The lack of an ability recall

Unlike Agents like Killjoy or Cypher, you will not be able to recall any of Viper’s abilities. So, once she uses her Toxic Screen and Poison Cloud in a particular location, she will not be able to move her set of utilities to another plant site.

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Moreover, Viper’s strengths particularly lie in her utilities and how she works around them to gain map control.

2. Viper is only good at Attack

Viper’s weakest weakness is during defence. As she needs to preemptively lay down her screen during the buy phase or as soon as the round starts, the attacking enemy will know her exact location on the map and which side she is defending. They will subsequently be able to play around her utility.

3. There are other Agents who do exactly what Viper does, but better

Viper has an incredibly high skill ceiling and she indeed comes with a lot in her kit, which will require an incredible amount of synergy between her and other teammates.

Most of the time, her kit is more of a liability to the team than a boon, and Agents like Phoenix, Brimstone and Cypher do a lot of what she does, but better.

Published 08 Sep 2020, 11:01 IST
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