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Sage, Killjoy nerfed; Breach buffed: VALORANT pros react to latest patch

Could we see the rise of a Breach meta in high-level VALORANT? Riot Games

On Tuesday, Riot Games issued its latest patch notes for VALORANT, which included significant changes to multiple agents, including Sage, Breach and Viper.

Sage's received a nerf to her slow orb radius and the amount that she heals, while her barrier orb was reduced in cost -- instead of starting at full heath however, the barrier will start at 400 HP and double after three seconds.

Killjoy's Nanoswarm received a 20 damage per second reduction, with a windup before damage begins.

Viper received a number of buffs. She can now place her Toxic screen during the buy phase, through spawn barriers and it now goes up faster. Decay on all smoke abilities no longer affects teammates, only enemies. Viper's ultimate deployment is now seen on the team's minimap.

Breach's flashpoint charges increased from two to three, and their windup time was reduced by .1 second.

For Sova, the physics on his cape were updated so it will not move outside of his hitbox as much as before.

There were also changes to certain weapons in the game. Shotguns were nerfed to varying degrees, including reduced tagging at range. Additionally, the Judge was increased to 1600 credits. The Vandal was buffed, with an increased firing rate from 9.25 to 9.75, with Riot's goal being bringing the Vandal closer in competition to the more popular Phantom.

ESPN contacted pros to get their thoughts on the buffs and nerfs:

Ardis "ardiis" Svarenieks, G2

"They've destroyed Sage. It feels like [Riot] nearly nerfed her into the ground but we'll see how it plays out. The wall nerf was understandable and kinda good. Breach buff was not needed but will 100% improve his pick rate in EU. Not sure about NA since they love Phoenix. Killjoy is literally not playable anymore, so will be back to Cypher 100% pick rate."

Josh "shinobi" Abastado, C9

"My general thought is Sage is for sure completely obsolete and Breach is going to be a staple pick for most teams. Three flashes and the new stun is super overpowered to deal with OPs."

Yassine "Subroza" Taoufik, TSM

"Riot Games definitely went a little too hard on Sage and completely forgot about Jett, simply based off of their pick percentage. I'm really liking the Vandal buff, the Killjoy nerfs and the shotgun nerfs. Also very excited to see new compositions with Breach now that he's getting some action, I always thought that agent had potential but just was missing a little something!"

Andrew "Blank" Leverette, head coach, Gen.G

"It looks like Riot is continuing its mission to make sure every agent is viable and that no agent is a must-pick for any team. I think the Sage changes are going to force teams to try other comps even if they have been loyal to her [thus] far. I think we are going to see a Breach and Vandal meta in competitive play which I like. I am excited to see what teams come up with after practicing with Breach. I think he is one of the agents that allows much more creativity from round to round. Overall I really like Riot's approach of keeping everything balanced but unique. It allows every player and team to have their own play style based on the agents and weapons they choose."

Yannick "KOLER" Blanchette, Immortals

"Good. we will see more agents being played now like Breach, maybe some Viper. Sage won't be there. Good patch."

Anthony "gMd" Guimond, Gen.G

"I think they needed to buff Breach, I don't really know why they had to nerf Sage again. Overall I love how they're trying to balance everything but the Sage nerf I really don't get."

Mehmet Yağız"cNed" İpek, free agent

"I think Sage is going to [go] out of meta and Breach is going into meta. Vandal buff is not enough I think. Damage upgrade should be more I think, a little bit."

Adam "aKis" Kisseberth, Team Envy

"I think the update in general gives me mixed feelings. On one hand I like that they're fixing things like Sova cape and the Breach buffs are huge but the fact that they're still nerfing Sage and already nerfing Killjoy when most pro teams don't even use her is strange to me."

Danny "fRoD" Montaner, head coach, T1

I think it's great. Shows they are actively changing things and listening. Just really wish they would fix coaching tools so there is more we can do like observe the team, timeouts, etc.

Peter "Asuna" Mazuryk, Immortals

I don't think Sage or Klljoy deserved those nerfs, Sage doesn't feel like she will be in the meta very shortly and that just nailed the coffin. Killjoy as well had a 25% pick rate in Flashpoint and she just got nerfed so I doubt she will become extremely viable anytime soon. I think the buffs were good for Viper and Sova's cape ... however I think Viper still needs more to be viable. Breach, I feel he was about to start becoming meta and now this buff might carry him over that hunch and make him a pretty consistent agent. The shotgun nerf was needed and I'm glad they did it. The Vandal buff was good as the Vandal was barely being used. I doubt it will be enough to make it the go to gun or even overtake the Phantom but it will help it out for sure. Wish they did something about Jett, but (maybe) next patch. Lastly this is all just from me looking at the patch, I will still need to test it out.