Why is Viper underused?
Viper is easily the least picked agent in all of Valorant. But why? Her abilities can certainly rival other agents in terms of viability. Is she too far gone, though? It could very well be too late for Viper to change any minds. It took multiple patches in order for Viper to even step foot on anyone’s radar.
Viper can control a site no matter if it is attack or defense. Her Toxic Screen can be used to separate enemy teammates and essentially give a smoke across the map forming a long line. Her Poison Cloud can be used as a One Way Smoke or just a regular smoke in order to block vision. Viper’s Snake Bite is a molly that not only damages enemies, but applies Vulnerable which doubles their damage taken while active. Lastly, her Ultimate Ability, Viper’s Pit encases the surrounding area in poisonous gas. Viper is then able to see a colored outline of enemies if they have entered. It lasts forever or until Viper has been outside of it for 15 seconds.
On a map like Split, Viper can be invaluable. Her screen can cover spawn barrier to spawn barrier. This gives her team ample time to make a push. On other maps, Viper can be just as important to team composition. Igniting Viper’s Pit on one site could force the enemies to the other site, with teammates waiting to finish the job. The buffs she has been given have made her a force to be reckoned with.
Unfortunately, Viper has as many negatives as she does positives. The negatives don’t necessarily come from her abilities and their usefulness, but rather a lack of it compared to other agents. As previously mentioned, the fixes that make Viper a powerhouse have come too late. The changes to cool downs, fuel usage, and friendly decay did not send players flocking towards Viper.
The toxic controller does not have a flash. She does not have a healing ability. She doesn’t even have more than one Poison Cloud. Brimstone and Omen get multiple smokes. Phoenix can put up a wall, throw a molly, flash, and even heal himself. Other agents have their mollies alongside of these other more useful ability types.
She requires her contract to be activated in order to unlock her for play. If she was available from the start, one could imagine that Viper’s usability would be much higher. Needed changes would have been noticed sooner. She would would not have been overshadowed by the base agents of the game.
Several professional players have made tier lists, ranking the agents of Valorant. Every single one has Viper in the lowest tier available. People are just not a fan of her. She started with a bad reputation and has not been able to shake it. There are times where she appears in competitive play, but her usage rate is laughably smaller than every other agent in Valorant.
Is there really any way to make Viper more useful in the eyes of the players? They have buffed her repeatedly, but she is still scarcely found in team compositions. She would not need a complete overhaul, but she would definitely need even further changes. Her abilities do need to get massive boosts.
Viper’s Toxic Screen would need to last longer. On top of that,need more Poison Cloud devices to throw or more Snake Bite mollies are required to make her noticeable. Her gas would need to do some serious damage, rather than just chip away and allow regeneration. Yassine “Subroza” Taoufik might be right, though. Even if Viper’s Pit covered the whole map, people probably still wouldn’t pick her.
Brandon "Mothman" Moore
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