Phoenix was one of the most popular Agents from Valorant's roster and was highly picked when the shooter dropped back in 2020. His popularity skyrocketed with the release of the game. Unfortunately, his pick rate has taken a downfall over the course of two years due to various reasons.
Valorant has seen a huge shift in meta in the past two years. Players have taken an interest in Agents that can serve multiple purposes rather than just one. Phoenix has been a part of the power creep in the game, which has had a negative impact on his pick-rate.
He used to be a versatile Duelist who players would pick more often. Yet, his list of drawbacks right now outweighs the decent abilities he can provide to the team.
Note: This article is subjective and reflects the writer's views.
What are the reasons for Phoenix's low pick-rate in Valorant?
Phoenix is failing to withstand the current meta in the game for various reasons. Some of these issues are directly related to his utility and his inability to adapt to the balance in Valorant.
Two years ago, Phoenix was the perfect Duelist that players wanted. Over time, the Agent lost his abilities to some other fellow Initiators and Duelists who can do his job better than he does in every instance possible.
Mentioned below are five major points that are causing players to pick the flaming Agent fewer times in both matchmaking and professinal play with every Episode.
1) Phoenix's Flash
While his Flash is much easier to use compared to some other Flash Agents, it is also poorly designed. Players always need to be around a corner to use it. Else, they have a high chance of blinding their team, along with themselves.
Players these days are getting creative with the reverse-flash technique so they can capitalize on a confirmed kill as soon as they use it. These reasons limit his pick-rate by a larger margin, as players can choose a different Duelist with a better blinding ability.
2) Run it Back's drawbacks
Phoenix's Run it Back is undoubtedly one of the best Ultimates in Valorant. With that being said, it comes with some serious downsides. While using the ability, the Agent becomes extremely vulnerable, making it easier for enemies to back stab him.
Along with that, Phoenix also messes up the pacing of his team when using his Ultimate. If the Duelist is helping his team gain control of a site using his Ultimate, there is a good chance that he will be shot. This will result in him going back to the spot where he activated the ability, forcing him to make the trip to the site all over again.
3) Limited aggression
Unlike Reyna and Jett, Phoenix does not possess the ability to escape after getting a kill. This limits his aggression, as players have to think much more methodically before making an aggressive play.
His Ultimate is the only factor which allows him to go gun-blazing on enemies. Players can pick Reyna for her escape Orbs or Jett for her ability to dash out or updraft while picking fights. This makes Phoenix a lot more under-picked.
4) Power creep
Valorant currently features 19 playable Agents that come with various unique abilities. Most of the utility that Phoenix provides can be given by some other Agent with better efficiency.
KAY/O, Reyna, and Skye are known for their better flashes. Furthermore, KAY/O's Ultimate is better in every way possible as it suppresses the enemies. He also does not require any teammates to watch over his body.
5) Weak signature ability
Phoenix's Hot Hands molly may be a good healing ability for himself, but it offers the team much less value than some other Duelists in Valorant.
As a Duelist, the main focus of the Agent should be to have utilities that help a player with their gunfights. With mollies as a signature ability, players don't often use it in gunfights, but go for it during postfight to heal themselves. Agents like Skye and Jett outshine him in this scenario as they have much stronger signatures.