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Published: 17/Mar/2021 7:19by Andrew Amos
The Judge is Valorant’s fully-automatic shotgun, and it packs a punch. You can take down an angry mob of opponents in seconds with the shotgun, especially if they funnel into a choke close to you. Here’s what you need to know about the weapon.
With 17 weapons in Valorant, there’s a lot to choose from. While most just jump right into the rifles (rightfully so, given they usually top the tier lists), there’s some value to be found in the other categories.
The Judge shotgun is one of those hidden gems. Yes, it’s pretty expensive at 1,600 Creds, but in the right situation, it can really shine. No gun is better at mowing down hordes of enemies — not even the Odin — compared to the Judge. Here’s how you can make the most of it.
The fully-automatic Judge packs a punch in close range. Dealing 17 damage per pellet to the body at up to 10 meters, if you land all 12, you’ll absolutely shred enemies — armored or not. That’s not even counting the 34 damage headshots.
However, anything past 10 meters and things get dicey. Not only does damage dropoff become a concern, but so does spread. While it’s a bit tighter than other shotguns, you certainly don’t want to use the Judge at range.
The Judge has a pretty wide spread, as seen in the clip below. On top of that, with the nerf to shotgun accuracy in Valorant patch 1.06, you have to get quite close and personal to beam down enemies.
However, given you’ll want to be within 10 meters of your foes while spraying them down with the fast-firing shotgun, this is hardly a concern.
The Judge is very good when you are in the face of enemies. All it takes is one click, and you can take down a handful at a time. You can often mow them down before they get a chance to fire back, given it’s a fully-automatic shotgun.
On attack, this may seem a little bit ineffective. However, if you have a movement ability — like Jett’s Tailwind, Raze’s Satchels, or even Reyna’s Dismiss — to get into the face of an enemy, you can do some serious work. Plus, you can overwhelm anchors on sites by just holding W and rushing them down.
Where the Judge shines, like most shotguns though, is on defense. The Judge is great for holding chokepoints from up close, mowing down enemies as they funnel through. This makes it a great tool for holding tight corners, like A Main on Ascent or Garage on Haven.
You have to hope you don’t get dislodged by enemy utility, and once they start executing, you can strike from the shadows. The thing with a gun like the Judge is that if you stall time and get a couple of kills, you’ve done your job. Hopefully, by then, your teammates can mop up the rest.
The Judge, at 1,600 Creds, is a hefty investment. For the same price, you can get the much more flexible Spectre. However, if you’re getting rushed down by enemies, you can give them a taste of their own medicine in return. It’s a lot easier to use than an SMG too, that’s for sure.
You won’t be buying the Judge every round — and certainly not on full buys where rifles like the Phantom or Vandal are better. However, if you’re looking to pull off a cheeky strat or two, the Judge is your friend.