New ‘Valorant’ patch nerfs Sage and Killjoy, buffs Brimstone

Shotguns have also been weakened further

Riot Games has released patch 1.07 for Valorant, which features the first major update for new agent Killjoy, alongside noteworthy nerfs and buffs for Sage, Viper and Breach.

Leading the changes is yet another round of major nerfs for Sage, whose abilities have all been weakened, except for her ultimate. The agent’s Heal skill will now only recover 60 damage over five seconds, as compared to 100 previously.

The time it takes for her to self-heal has also been doubled from five to 10 seconds. “Our goal is to reduce the amount of healing done throughout the round. Disincentivize Sage from self-healing and make it more expensive to do so,” Riot explained.

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In addition, the size of her Slow Orb has been lowered by 30 per cent in order to “reduce the power of Slow Orb and increase intentionality”. Sage’s Barrier Orb will also now be formed at a lower 400HP first, before being fortified to 800HP after a 3-second-delay, but also costs 100 less credits.

Valorant Sage
Sage. Credit: Riot Games

Killjoy, who was added to the game when Episode 1, Act 2 launched in August, has received a nerf for her Nanoswarm ability. The skill now does 40 damage per second, down from the original 60, with a brief windup added before damage is applied. The grenade’s visuals have also been tweaked to make it easier to spot.

“Killjoy’s Nanoswarm has been a terror to play against. It’s meant to be a strong stalling and post plant tool, but we feel it’s currently dealing far too much damage and players aren’t able to engage in the desired counterplay,” Riot Games stated. However, the company has also made Killjoy’s Turret ability undetectable by Sova’a Recon Bolt and more effective when shooting at enemies.

Patch 1.07 also includes more buffs for Viper, whose kit was previously improved in patches 1.02 and 1.04. The agent’s Toxic Screen ability can now be placed during the pre-round buy phases and will activate quicker. Other changes include tweaks to her Decay debuff, which no longer affect allies, and to her ultimate Viper’s Pit, the area of which will show on her team’s minimap.

Valorant Viper Buffs
Viper. Credit: Riot Games

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Last up for agent changes is Breach, who is likely to receive more updates in future patches. Riot Games notes that “these are not all the potential Breach changes we want to do, but as part of our ease-in, intentional-balance philosophy, we want to be measured”.

The agent’s Flashpoint ability will now “match [the] behaviour of other flashed in the game” and apply a minimum amount of flash more aggressively. The number of charges available per round has also been increased from two to three, while the windup reduced from 0.6 to 0.5 seconds.

The delay between blasts of Breach’s Rolling Thunder ultimate has also been reduced from 0.3 to 0.255 seconds. Plus, the Concussion debuff that is applied when players are hit by the ability will now de-scope players and prevent re-scoping.

Valorant Killjoy
Killjoy. Credit: Riot Games

A slew of weapon updates also accompanies Patch 1.07, mostly to the shotgun class, which were previously nerfed in Patch 1.06. Tagging for all shotguns – namely the Shorty, Bucky and Judge – will now be applied differently from other weapons if shot beyond 10 meters. The shotguns will also only slow targets 30 per cent for half a second.

“The goal of these changes is to improve the feel of playing against shotguns and to ensure that they don’t end up doing odd things,” Riot Games said. “For example, tagging or aimpunching people from longer than expected ranges and then a teammate ends up killing someone who’s debuffed, or makes it hard to fight back against a weapon that should be deadly up close but fairly non-threatening outside its effective range.”

The Shorty will also require players to be “a tad closer to their target” to get headshots. Additionally, the price of the Judge has also been increased from 1,500 to 1,600 credits, in order to “see if giving the Judge a little hit… moves the needle when playing against this gun”.

On the other hand, the rifle Vandal has received a slight buff this time around. The gun’s firing rate has been bumped up to 9.75 from 9.25, while damage is a smidge higher at 40, from the original 39. The changes are to “bring the Vandal in closer competition with the Phantom”, Riot explained.

Patch 1.07 also introduced the choice to remake a match if a game begins with lopsided teams, such as 4v5. There are also changes to visual effects when bullets hit enemies, alongside incognito mode, quality of life changes and bug fixes. Check out the full patch notes here.

Last week, Riot Games addressed players’ criticism of Valorant’s in-game sounds. Audio director Peter Zinda had admitted that “there is truth to” feedback from fans who have said that they “have a hard time telling how far away a footstep is”, but added that the current sounds optimisation is to ensure “footsteps are heard, as opposed to optimising for portraying distance”.

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