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The rise of Viper: Valorant’s once least-picked Agent is now an S-tier God

Viper has risen from the ashes in Valorant (Image via Riot Games)
Viper has risen from the ashes in Valorant (Image via Riot Games)
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Another pro, Hiko, in September 2020, pointed out the reason behind Viper’s failure in climbing the agent tier list. He stated that her ultimate was a liability to the team.

However, he felt that experimenting with her abilities might make her useful in Valorant. He noted:

“Starting with the D Tier, I think the obvious one, I have to put Viper in the D Tier. I personally don’t think Viper is terrible. They made her a little bit better, and teams are still not playing her. In theory, she’s good, but her ult is not good. Her ult is, most of the time, a liability. I feel like a lot of times, it’s actually like you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage instead of being helpful. And maybe that’s because most teams haven’t really experimented enough with her and haven’t got enough good things with her, but I do think that she’s good in theory.”
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The new Viper meta in Valorant

Even after several buffs, Viper didn’t see any rise in the pick rate. Riot devs worked hard on the agent for a long time after notifying the Valorant community in the 2.0 patch notes.

Finally, the buffs in the 2.06 patch brought a massive change to Viper. Her Poison Cloud, Toxic Screen, and Snake Bite abilities caused a minimum of 50 health decay while crossing through. As a result, the controller could hold a site for a longer time than before. This buff made Viper effective and more robust than before.

Players are now able to hold the site for a longer time. “Sabine” is now strong in both defense and attack. She resists the enemies from rushing into the area and blocking their sight with her abilities.

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There was a spike in the Viper’s pick rate after the 2.06 patch. It increased in the NA VCT Stage Two: Challengers Two Open Qualifier.

As per VLR.gg, players used Viper 19% of the time at the NA VCT Stage Two: Challengers Two Open Qualifier.

Viper’s pick rate in NA VCT Challengers 2 qualifier (Image via VLR.gg)
Viper’s pick rate in NA VCT Challengers 2 qualifier (Image via VLR.gg)

However, Viper’s pick rate varies, depending on the map. In Icebox, there is a 5.4% pick rate, followed by 4.7% on Bind and 4.6% on Split. She doesn’t seem much effective in Ascent and Haven, but the toxic agent has become one of the best picks in Icebox.

In the 2.07 patch, tweaks and bug fixes were again made, and this agent was enhanced. However, in the 2.09 patch update, Viper was nerfed for the first time. Her passive and Toxins were lowered a bit.

In the VCT Pre-Masters stage, popular esports outlet Upcomer found Viper, who was once the least picked agent, to be in Tier S. This means she has become one of the top controller picks in Valorant.

The agent has proved her efficiency in maps like Icebox and is helpful in that game for her site-taking ability. Hence, making her one of the most effective agents in Valorant in the competitive scene today

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Edited by Ravi Iyer
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