Riot Games is testing changes to several agent flashes in the Public Beta Environment, which will likely roll out in Valorant patch 5.07.
The adjustments apply to initiators and duelists alike, including Skye, KAY/O, Reyna, and Yoru. The goal was to sharpen the unique strengths of each role and ensure that initiators were not “outclassing” some of the duelists when it came to creating opportunities for kills off their flashes.
Skye’s and KAY/O’s flashes are being tweaked to facilitate greater value from teamplay, while making it less rewarding to use the flashes selfishly. For instance, the longer unequip delay for both flashes make it more difficult to swing immediately after a pop flash.
All the changes to Skye, KAY/O, Reyna, and Yoru’s flashes in Valorant patch 5.07
- Guiding Light (E) flashbang scaling paradigm changed
- The max flash duration of Skye’s Guiding Light now scales from 1.25s to 2.25s over a 0.75s charge up after being cast
- Guiding Light can no longer be shot and destroyed
- New VFX, UI, and sounds added to communicate new gameplay intent
- Unequip delay out of Guiding Light increased from 0.75s to 0.85s
The biggest change to Skye is the new indestructibility of Guiding Light. Previously, her hawk was too easily destroyed when sent over longer distances.
By rewarding Skye for “bending her birds into the right spots,” Riot hopes to foster more teamwork and better differentiate Guiding Light from other flashes in the game, particularly when compared to duelists.
However, with the flash duration now dependent on how long the hawk flies, Skye’s pop flashes will no longer be as effective when used solely for herself. It now makes more sense to send the hawk over a longer distance to achieve the maximum flash duration, and allow teammates to capitalize on that instead.
- FLASH/DRIVE (Q) underhand (right-click) flashbang max duration decreased from 2s to 1.25s
- Overhand (left-click) flashbang max duration increased from 2s to 2.25s
- Unequip delay out of both flashes increased from 0.6s to 0.85s
KAY/O’s underhand FLASH/DRIVE has been overperforming relative to other pop flashes like Phoenix and Yoru, according to Riot. On the other hand, the overhand flashbang was not generating a powerful enough reward for the “mastery required to get them to pop in the right place.”
The adjustments weaken the right-click throw when compared to duelist pop flashes, because KAY/O “should pay a cost for his versatility.”
- Wind-up of Leer nearsight effect decreased from 0.6s to 0.4s
- Range restriction on Leer removed
- Nearsight unequip delay decreased from 0.7s to 0.5s
- Nearsight unequip delay set to “Instant”
- Duration decreased from 2.6s to 2.0s
Reyna’s Leer underperforms as a selfish entry tool, especially at higher skill levels, said Riot. These changes should give Reyna more agency around how she decides to peek after casting Leer.
At the same time, they are intended to “sharpen Leer as a powerful angle-breaking tool against Operators on maps with longer sightlines.” One example of this would be B Main on Pearl, a traditionally oppressive angle for an Operator to post up.
To balance the buffs, Riot is reducing some of the value Leer has when thrown for teammates, which is why the total duration is decreased.
- Blindside (Q) duration increased from 1.5s to 1.75s
- Flash visual updates: 3P visuals for flashed enemies and allies now render behind the player’s head the moment when the flash starts to fade. This should give a clearer indication if players are full flashed or if the flash has started to fade.
- 1P visuals when fully flashed now shrink over time to give a better indication of when the full flash will end and the flash fading out will begin.
- Increased the window for awarding assists on flashes, nearsights, and concusses from 1s to 3s after the debuff starts to fade.
Riot wanted to balance Yoru around his ability to throw flashes during his Dimensional Drift ultimate. “We opted to go with a simple duration increase for Blindside as we feel the tuning counterplay around his flash and clone is important to avoid excessively frustrating situations,” said the developer.
You can view the full PBE notes here.