Viper is Valorant’s most under-loved Agent. The American scientist hasn’t really seen the light of day in Riot’s FPS title, and is woefully underpowered compared to others. However, in Valorant Patch 1.04, that could change, with more buffs on the way.
Viper is widely considered to be Valorant’s weakest Agent. She is picked by less than 2% of players, according to stats site Blitz.gg, and that number only goes down in higher ranks. In pro play, she is picked once in a blue moon.
While Riot made some changes to her kit in Patch 1.02, giving her Snake Bite molotov extra damage by adding a ‘fragile’ debuff, and making her Toxic Screen wall penetrate through all walls, it hasn’t been enough to bring her to the forefront.
That’s going to change in Valorant Patch 1.04 though. Riot have been keeping their eyes on the Agent, and are looking at adding even more power to her kit. There’s plans in the works, but what they are yet hasn’t been publicized.
“The balance team has been talking about Viper a lot. If all goes as planned, there’ll be more buffs for her next patch,” said Valorant developer Coleman ‘Altombre’ Palm.
“I don’t want to share any specific details or hard commit to it because it’s not all set in stone yet, but that’s the plan.”
Altombre went on in further detail about Riot’s goals with the under-utilized agent. Riot has struggled to carve out her “zone control” identity and conveying that to players. It all feels too high risk for the Viper, and too low risk for her enemies.
“She has the highest commitment of any of our controllers because her smokes get placed for the entirety of the round, minus picking up and reploying her Q. She’s not as good at faking between multiple sites, but can exert a ton of pressure on her chosen areas indefinitely.”
While her kit is very static once it’s placed down, with her Snake Bite molly proving to be her only ‘dynamic’ zone control tool, it can be pretty easy to just set and forget with Viper.
On top of that, once players discover the angles she’s holding, it can be easy to counter her. Riot are looking at all these factors when considering new buffs for Viper in Patch 1.04.
“We don’t want Viper to feel like a sentinel who ‘sets up’ an area like Cypher and then just defends it,” Altombre added.
“Being proactive and taking ground with her smokes is key on top of exerting control in that area once you’ve claimed it. It’s a delicate balance to strike and something we’re clearly still trying to fine tune”
Valorant Patch 1.04 should be released around July 21. Riot has been patching the title every two weeks so far, and if that trend continues, we should be in for the next set of changes next Tuesday. We will update you with more specifics as they arise.