Valorant’s newest map, Pearl, will likely take some getting used to, even if you’re an experienced player.
With so many twisting corridors on Mid that lead to both spike sites, all corners of the map could have an opponent lying in wait for your team’s possible rotations. In addition, both sites have powerful vantage points that attackers and defenders should be familiar with if they are looking to gain the upper hand.
We’ve ranked the best controller agents to play on Pearl so that you’ll be more prepared when you jump into your next match.
The best controller agents on new Valorant map Pearl ranked
The galaxy-brain Ghaniain agent took a big hit in terms of pick rate after she was nerfed in Valorant patch 4.04. Astra’s overall utility was reduced as her maximum number of Stars was reduced from five to four. The cooldown of her Gravity Well, Nova Pulse, and Star retrieval were increased as well.
These nerfs are the reason why playing Astra on Pearl will be difficult. While she has the advantage of her global reach, which lets her smoke or activate her Stars regardless of her location on the map, having only four Stars each round leaves a lot to be desired.
Astra works best on attack as she can easily set up to smoke off defensive positions like A Link, A Flowers, B Hall, and B Tower. She can also stun or pull the spots Jett or Chamber players often hold, which will help push them off key angles and deny them pick-offs.
However, all four stars are easily used up on a site execute, which means she won’t have any left to hold off defenders as they attempt their retake.
Astra has more to offer on defense since she can slow down attackers with her Gravity Well and Nova Pulse. But since her kit is limited to only four Stars, the other controller agents might make better choices.
That said, Astra may still find use as a secondary controller in a double controller composition, where her limited number of stars can be supplemented with additional smokes.
On the attacker side, Brimstone can smoke A Link, A Flowers, and A Secret at the same time to assume control of the A site. Alternatively, he can block off B Hall, B Tower, and B Link for a B Site hit. Using his smokes on defense may get tricky, especially because of their limited range, but staying in Mid will allow him to aid in defending both the A and B sites as his smokes will be in range.
What gives him the edge over Astra is really his Stim Beacon. The 15 percent speed buff provided by Stim Beacon is great for attackers looking to rush their chosen site. It can also help defenders rotate faster, which can catch attackers by surprise.
Finally, his Incendiary molly and Orbital Strike ultimate are tools players can use to force opponents out of Pearl’s many tight spaces. They’re also the ideal agent abilities to have during post-plant scenarios.
Valorant’s edgy controller has plenty of tricks up his sleeve for Pearl. Omen’s Dark Cover smokes can be cast from a farther distance than Brimstone’s Sky Smokes. His Dark Cover smokes also refresh after 30 seconds, which allows Omen additional flexibility to smoke again mid-round, even if the first execute doesn’t work out.
The hooded controller can smoke the same spots as Astra, but cannot smoke three places at once like Brimstone. However, Omen can hold unexpected angles on Pearl‘s many boxes using his Shrouded Step teleport. He can also exploit corners around the map by fake teleporting in the area. This will force opponents to clear all their corners, which could bait them out into the open.
Omen’s Paranoia flash is also excellent on both attack and defense, since the blinding orb has decent range and passes through walls. This could be especially useful in the narrow lanes at Mid, where it will be hard to dodge a well-placed Paranoia.
At the same time, his From the Shadows ultimate can be used to put opponents on high alert. On a map this size, he could literally be anywhere. He can also pull out the oldest Valorant trick in the book by taking the spike and teleporting to the opposite site, giving him a significant headstart as defenders have a long way to run when rotating.
As a controller, Viper has a lot to offer to agent compositions as she can block off multiple sightlines with her Toxic Screen wall. On top of that, she’s a hybrid agent that can also prevent rushes with her two Snake Bite mollies, just like a sentinel.
The American chemist is the only controller who can block off both A Link and A Flowers using only one piece of utility, her Toxic Screen wall. Her Poison Cloud can then be used to smoke A Secret when pushing the A Site.
The same idea can be used on a B site push. She can cut the site in half by casting her Toxic Screen wall from B Ramp to B Site. This will block off B Tower, B Link, and one side of B Hall. She can then use her Poison Cloud to smoke the other side of B Hall.
Viper’s ability to cut off multiple sightlines is what makes her the ideal controller agent on Pearl. Her one flaw is that with both her Toxic Screen and Poison Cloud up, her fuel drain is extremely high, which means her smokes won’t stay up that long. The best way to maximize her abilities is to pair her with another controller, which will deny vision to the enemy team all over the map.
Her Viper’s Pit ultimate is also one of the best ultimates on Pearl, and is particularly useful for denying control at Mid.