Riot Games released a trailer for the hotly anticipated new Valorant agent, Skye. But even though the video only shows gameplay, details have emerged on Syke’s new abilities, ultimate, and the agent’s Contract skins.
Skye will be Valorant’s next agent. Skye’s kit makes her a jack of all trades, helping teams find and eliminate enemies while also helping them stay alive. Skye’s pickrate will likely be high even after the initial bump with her release, and her ultimate makes Omen look lame. Despite being a healer, Skye is a true hybrid character and officially classified as an initiator.
But the “hybrid” part an ability that could shift Valorant’s meta.
Skye will be the first new Valorant agent to offer an area-of-effect heal alongside offensive abilities. She has a unique set of skills that brings together different elements of Valroant’s agents, making her a versatile choice that could be a go-to at all levels of play.
The pack leader is on your tail.
Heal your allies and tear down your foes as Skye on October 27th. https://t.co/jGlCXjgBr6
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) October 8, 2020
The healing skill is called Regrowth, and it heals all friendly targets that are in Skye’s line of sight and within range its range. Regrowth comes with a tradeoff; while it heals her allies, it doesn’t heal Skye. So the ability can bring a teammate back from the brink of death, but she’s more vulnerable than Sage in exchange.
It’s a scary proposition. Sage has already received nerfs to her slows, and Valorant stat trackers still have her as the most-picked agent. The introduction of Skye could mean a the majority of teams might include these characters in a meta that already favors one of them. To make matters worse,
Regrowth uses a system similar to Viper’s poison, where players can choose to toggle it on and off at will. The tooltip for the ability says that Skye can use it until “her healing pool is depleted, making it sound like once Skye’ shealing pool runs out, it’s out.
The issue with Skye’s heal isn’t that it heals. It’s how large of a range it heals. while players still have to be within line of sight, Valorant’s tight corners can make that easy to do. Thankfully, Riot’s announcement trailer shows that the heal’s AOE starts small and grows wider as well as potentially being a channeled ability. If that’s true, Riot balance team deserves some serious credit. In the end, WIN.gg’s analysis of the new trailer showed its maximum range at about 50% of the area Sova’s Recon Bolt covers using Skye’s position on Ascent as a starting point.
But that’s just the start of what makes Skye a potential winner. .Guiding Flash is exactly what it sounds like, a controllable flashbang. Users send out a spectral bird that will in the direction of the player’s cursor, meaning that a proficient player could maneuver the flash over and under obstacles. By clicking, Skye can detonate guiding flash whenever she likes. No other agent has that ability, and with Valorant’s flashes playing a large part in its current meta, this ability will be early and often.
TrailerBlazer is next up and it shows off Skye’s wolf from her launch trailer. Although her heal is the strongest ability in her kit, TrailBlazer gives her some breacher elements. Like Sova’s under-used drone, the ability leaves Skye vulnerable as she controls the wolf. A left-click will launch the wolf forward and allow them to deal with what Skye’s trailer visualizes as a “Dazed” or “Concussed” status effect. But in an interesting way to limit the potential effect of TrailerBlazer, Skye’s vision is decreased while controlling her totem wolf. The sight restriction forces Skye to use the ability when they’re sure of an enemy’s location
Skye’s Ultimate: Seekers
No one thought Riot could make “Nearsighted” a more frustrating mechanic, but Skye’s ultimate “Seekers” is here to prove them wrong. While Omen’s ability that applies Nearsighted can go through walls, those who main the agent are usually guessing where to target. Nearsighted is a powerful debuff as it reduces a player’s vision, and Skye’s version sounds a little overpowered, even for an ultimate.
“Seekers” sends out three totems that move towards the three closest enemy players around Skye. If a seeker reaches an enemy, they’re afflicted with Nearsighted. The range is unclear, but common sense says that it is at least slightly wider than that of the debuff. On the other hand, a smaller range would place Skye and her healing ability in harm’s way, a game design choice from Riot to give the power agent some disadvantages.
Unfortunately, that’s unlikely. As an ultimate, Seekers will be a deadly tool late in the rounds, and already has the power to change a one versus three into a one versus one.
October 27 can’t come soon enough for Valorant players, who are looking forward to a new map, a new battle pass, and several new skin bundles with the release of the game’s Act 3.