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Viper in Valorant: Why is she still not picked?

Viper still has the lowest pick rate across all Valorant rank tiers (image credits Riot Games)
Viper still has the lowest pick rate across all Valorant rank tiers (image credits Riot Games)
ANALYST
Modified 12 Oct 2020, 14:05 IST
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Even after receiving buffs worth “200 years of Aphelios experience”, Viper still remains the least picked Agent in Valorant. 

Valorant patch 1.09 sought to over-buff the poison lady to the point of giving her one of the most broken kits in the game. From zone control and damage to boasting equal amounts of attacking and defensive potential, Viper’s kit is stacked.

However, even with Riot Games showing so much love to Viper, she barely sees any playtime, and it has been the case since Valorant’s official launch in June.

In our previous Viper pick rate discussion, we talked about how even after getting a huge boost to her capabilities in patch 1.07, she hardly ever sees a 2% pick rate, according to blitz.gg.

The trend seems to be continuing into 1.09 as well, and we don’t feel that it will be changing any time soon.

Viper still remains the least picked Agent in Valorant

Vipers pick rate in Immortal rank (image credits: blitz.gg)
Vipers pick rate in Immortal rank (image credits: blitz.gg)

The recent blitz.gg charts hardly show any changes in Viper’s pick rate from 1.07. There is perhaps a 0.2% increase across all ranked tiers but the percentage of people who opt for her is abysmally low.

Breach was another Agent who had a pick rate almost as bad as Viper but Riot Games were successfully able to pull him out of the gutters, and he now sees a fair amount of screen time during professional competitions as well.

So, why is Viper still so disliked? 

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In a recent Reddit post, a Valorant player who goes by the handle of eheiwkmm, opened up a discussion into what the community feels is wrong with Viper at the moment. Higher skill expressions and difficulty in execution seem to be the most common complaint among players. 

Here are some of the community comments that shines some light on the Viper pick rate issue:

Deva_Way writes:

“EXTREMELY hard to use, while most agents make it easy to use smokes like brimstone or omen, eliminating the line ups from CS: GO, Viper is, in my opinion, is the hardest agent to use. Not saying that she is meta if someone knows how to use it, just that is hard to use, and people don't want to play like that.”

Another Valorant player highlights the fact Viper does a lot of what Brimstone and Omen does but they simply outclass her:

“The thing is Viper is classified as a controller but whenever she puts her wall or poison orb, she can only do that from a small distance so she kinda gives her position away which isn't good for tactical reasons. Her mollies are good but her ultimate is kinda double-edged sword and the main thing is she has to compete with Brim and Omen who just outclass her.”

Ainevanko then lists the qualities that he thinks makes Viper have such a low pick rate:

  • Has the most difficult and single smoke to deploy and is the slowest smoke
  • Most underperforming molly out of all agents
  • Ult that is hard countered by Sova(soon Skye too)/allies don't know how to play in it
  • All utility instantly stops the moment she dies
  • Works best with a second controller and at that point, anyone else is a better pick
  • Requires a lot of teamwork like Breach
  • A lot of work for little benefits
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He adds:

“The only good thing about Viper is her wall and even that you need to know how to use it. There's some really good feedback about Viper in the specific sub for her. I do like playing Viper, but for now, I pick omen over her because he's just a better pick period. Hope to see better changes for her.”

YungHiro97 writes:

“Viper has to be alive to use her smokes. If you die your smokes are gone. You basically have bait hard with Viper. Brim can execute on a site, use all his ultimate then die and still be helpful to the team, similarly, Omen can put up 2 smokes and flash in an exec and be fine if he dies rushing in. If Viper dies in an exec you lose all your smokes right away. Imagine running in A Splitt with the wall up and then Viper randomly dies ramp then heaven can just see everything? It's just like oops? I'm sorry LOL! Her smokes are really good but the fact that she has to be alive limits her play. There might be a world where she is viable, but would either be paired with brim/omen and use heavy fakes on attack or if she is solo you have to play around the fact that Viper will always be the last one in.”

jrushFN writes:

“In terms of high-level play, she cannot be the primary controller and it often doesn’t make sense to have Omen + another controller, except for on Split (for the one-way potential) and maybe on Bind/Ascent where she can take more of a sentinel/secondary smoker role. In terms of regular ranked play, she’s not picked a lot because she requires a ton of teamplay that you rarely find with randoms.”
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The comments thread provides a lot of insight into what is making Viper the least picked Agent in Valorant at the moment. Unfortunately for her, each of the reasons provided by the community is valid, and it’s not just one specific issue that is the cause of her incredibly poor playtime.

Riot Games might just look to overhaul her entire kit in the coming months.

Published 12 Oct 2020, 14:05 IST
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