Sage vs Cypher in Valorant: Which Sentinel is the better pick for Icebox?

Is Sage a better Sentinel than Cypher in Valorant's Icebox map? (Image via Sportskeeda)
Is Sage a better Sentinel than Cypher in Valorant's Icebox map? (Image via Sportskeeda)

Icebox is the second addition to Valorant's map pool since introducing Bind, Split and Haven in the game's beta run. Set in the arctic tundra of Bennet Island, Russia, Icebox is unlike any other map in Valorant.

The structure of Icebox compels players to know every corner of the map, as they can easily expect anything from a silent flank to a vertical attack. Players can also expect close-range combat in pivotal areas like the A bomb site, B Kitchen and B entrance.

The features of the map urge teams to strengthen their defensive element. This article compares Sage and Cypher, with respect to their ability to play as a Sentinel for Valorant teams in Icebox.

Sage vs Cypher in Valorant: Facts, abilities, skills and pick rate


Sage is a Chinese Valorant agent (Image via Riot Games)
Sage is a Chinese Valorant agent (Image via Riot Games)


Since: Beta

Role: Sentinel

Origin: China


Basic Ability 1 (C): Barrier Orb

Sage can align her marker within range and erect a wall that lasts for 40s. Once erected, each segment of the wall takes 800 HP damage to break.

Basic Ability 2 (Q): Slow Orb

Sage can throw a slow orb that reduces agents' movement speed by 50% for 7 seconds.

Signature Ability (E): Healing Orb

Sage has the ability to heal herself or a teammate by gradually increasing their health by 60 HP. While it takes her 10 seconds to heal, teammates recuperate in 5 seconds.

Ultimate Ability (X): Resurrection

One of the most effective ultimate abilities in Valorant allows Sage to resurrect one of her fallen teammates. The revived agent will have 100 HP. The ability requires 8 ultimate points.


Sage's skillset requires her to play a very passive role for the team. Her barrier orb (C) is the most expensive agent ability on Valorant and rightly so due to its ability to single-handedly disrupt the enemy's movement by blocking off areas of the map.

Her healing orb (E) allows the duelists to aggress, while her resurrection (X) can be an instant gamechanger when performed.

Pick rate

During the Valorant Champions Tour Stage 3: Masters Berlin, Sage experienced a pick rate of 44% across all maps, which increased to a whopping 85% on Icebox. As for Valorant's casual gamers in competitive matchmaking, Sage is one of the most popular agents with a 74.5 % pick rate across all maps, increasing to 79.7% in Icebox, according to stats from valorbuff.


Cypher is a Moroccan Valorant agent (Image via Riot Games)
Cypher is a Moroccan Valorant agent (Image via Riot Games)


Since: Beta

Role: Sentinel

Origin: Morocco


Basic Ability 1 (C): Trapwire

Tripwire that can connect 2 horizontal or vertical surfaces with a maximum length of 9m. Enemy agents will alert the tripwire if within 4m of its vicinity. Once triggered, the wire stuns the subjected agents for 3 seconds, dealing 5HP in damage.

Basic Ability 2 (Q): Cyber Cage

Cypher can toss a device onto the ground, which he can activate within its range to form a cylindrical cyber cage that works similar to a smoke ability in Valorant. Enemy agents who pass through will have their vision reduced, while alerting Cypher of their presence.

Signature Ability (E): Spycam

A hidden camera that can be placed in various locations all over the map. Cypher can mark enemy agents with a dart through the camera, which reveals their location. Although destroyable, spycam can be redeployed.

Ultimate Ability (X): Neural Theft

Cypher has a window of 20 seconds to use neural theft on a fallen enemy agent. This ability discloses the location of the remaining enemy agents for 2 seconds. Cypher requires 6 ultimate points to perform Neural Theft.


Cypher has a complete toolkit designed for recon, making him an irresistible addition to the team. His spycam (E) allows him to engage in situations from afar, while his trip wire (C) alerts the whole team of the enemy's movement in crucial areas.

His cyber cage (Q) is a versatile ability that can obtain info while acting similar to a smoke screen. Cypher can change the tide of the game with his ultimate (X), as it discloses the location of the enemy agents.

Pick rate

For the Valorant Champions Tour Stage 3: Masters Berlin, Cypher had a pick rate of 20% across all maps, with 0% on Icebox. In Valorant's competitive matchmaking, Cypher has a 17% pick rate across all maps, which decreases to 9.2% on Icebox, according to valorbuff.

Is Sage better than Cypher as a Sentinel in Icebox?

Icebox was the first map in Valorant to introduce vertical ziplines (A site). Due to wall extensions, the placement of crates and boxes in the map, players have a lot more angles to cover. The distance between the two sites makes it convenient for defenders to rotate fast to either engage in a rear-attack, or support the team from the site.

Generally, Cypher offers equipment that can prove pivotal in alerting backstabs. However, he cannot use his abilities to the best potential in Icebox. Both bomb sites are structured with multi-level spike planting areas.

Cypher doesn't have enough defensive equipment to prove effective in defense. His trapwires (C) can be avoided easily, similar to his cyber cage (Q).

Compared to Cypher, Sage offers more on the defense. Her wall (C) is capable of slowing down the enemy's entry, while her slow orbs (Q) can be used efficiently in the narrow pathways of the map.

As an attacker, Sage can use her wall to temporarily block off parts of bomb sites to enable a plant. Her ability to heal and resurrect is valuable irrespective of the map.

Cypher is the best recon agent in Valorant. However, his abilities fail to outshine his fellow Sentinels in Icebox. Sage, on the other hand, can use the verticality of the sites and narrow corridors of the map to her advantage, making her an ideal choice for Valorant players in Icebox.

Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul
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