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Valorant: Will Riot ‘over-buffing’ Viper in patch 1.09 update help her pick rate? Probably not!

Image Credits: Riot Games
Image Credits: Riot Games
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Modified 30 Sep 2020, 12:30 IST
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Riot Games is on the warpath of making Valorant’s Viper a very sought after Agent in the game, and they are willing to go far enough to make her as broken and as overpowered as possible.

Viper has been getting significant buffs to her kit over a series of recent Valorant patches. And it was not just her utility that got strengthened, but even the amount of damage and zone control that her abilities did were turned up several notches.

So, did the slew of changes help her pick rate go up? No, it absolutely didn’t, and Viper remains the least liked Agent according to blitz.gg.

Now the second question that we need to ask is, will the recent Valorant patch 1.09 buffs help her? Well, we feel that the chances of that are rather slim.

In a previous discussion on the whole Viper pick rate conundrum, we talked about the significant problems affecting this Agent’s pick rate at the moment, and in patch 1.09, Riot doesn’t seem to have addressed those issues.

Viper buffs coming in Valorant patch 1.09 update

Viper gets a significant quality of life boost to her ultimate skill, ‘Viper’s Pit,’ in Valorant patch 1.09. She will:

  • Have her movement speed doubled while casting
  • Be able to fast equip her weapon after casting; re-equip times vary per gun — but on average will reduce her weapon downtime by 0.4 seconds

In the official patch notes, Riot said:

“The combination of a slow placement and re-equip time was resulting in Viper players getting too hurt or killed while casting ults in a situation we felt should be pretty safe. This change should increase the positional options available while casting, and get your weapon up sooner.”
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In terms of utility and damage, Viper currently has the most stacked kit of all Agents in the game. The extra quality of life that patch 1.09 brings for her will indeed be overpowering her even more.

But does it solve the pick rate issue? Probably not.

Problems with Viper’s kit

In the previous discussion, we talked about three specific areas that made Viper have the lowest pick rate in Valorant:

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 move her set of utilities to another plant site.

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

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2. Viper is only good at Attack

Viper’s weakest weakness is during defense. 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 precisely 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.

Riot doesn’t seem to have addressed any of the above issues in patch 1.09, and all they are doing with these buffs is giving Viper more power to be as obnoxious in the servers as possible. 

Hence, we don’t feel that Viper’s pick rate will be going up anytime soon.

Published 30 Sep 2020, 12:30 IST
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