A new Episode means a new meta to explore. Only a day into the patch, and players are already calling for a nerf to the newly-buffed Ares.
In this piece, we'll be looking at the current landscape of agents in Valorant, ranking them in the traditional tier list so you know who to grind this ranked season.
Phoenix and Yoru are the only current residents of the D-tier, with both suffering from similar problems.
Yoru has been at or near the bottom of the agent list since his release. He offers a good amount of outplay ability for those who regularly use him, but he's the weakest duelist in nearly every department.
Phoenix has been nerfed a few times as the meta has shifted, but his dominance has mostly been curbed by the release of other agents.
Despite having one of the best ultimates in the game, Phoenix was picked 0 times throughout Valorant Masters, confirming that most teams are happy to move on without him.
The C-tier is occupied by agents that don't fill their roles as well as others on the roster.
Omen and Brimstone are both outshined by Astra. KAY/O has a similar situation with Skye and even Breech.
Brimstone still gets some play on Bind and, to a lesser degree, Fracture. Omen hardly sees any picks at the pro level, but a lot of lower-ranked players still choose him as an easy-to-understand smoker.
KAY/O gets some map-specific picks as well, but is far less versatile than his initiator counterparts.
B-tier holds most of the map-specific picks like Breech, Sage, and Cypher.
All of these fall into the "must-pick" category on different maps at the pro level. At the same time, you'd be hard pressed to see pro teams play Sage on Haven or Cypher on Icebox.
For the Duelists in the tier; all of them experience a high pick rate in ranked and a lower selection rank at the pro level. Reyna and Raze are map-dependent duelists, despite their ability to carry teams in the ranked scene.
Neon is Valorant's newest agent and we've yet to see her full potential. Still, without flashes, it seems more likely that she'll have a 100% pick rate in ranked and hover around 20% at the pro level.
A-tier is home to the meta picks - specifically, Skye, Viper, and Killjoy. All three of these work on almost all of the maps and see a near 50% pick rate at the pro level.
Killjoy barely edges out Cypher for the sentinel role, while Viper arguably sits at the top of the A tier. She's viable on almost every map in the game.
Skye was always stuck in the team-dependent role. She was great in the pro scene but was more likely to flash her team in PUG situations.
Now, with some of the more recent changes, Skye works like an off-duelist as much as an initiator for her team. She's part of the reason Phoenix has fallen so far down in the rankings.
Chamber has yet to see any major tournament action, but his economy control abilities are enough to bring him to the A tier. I mean, he has an Op in his pocket for his ultimate ability.
S-tier is the cream of the crop: the agents that do what they do better than anyone else on the roster.
Astra has been the best smoker in the game since she came out. Lower-level ranked players probably don't get the most from her kit, but that doesn't take away from the massive skill ceiling she offers.
Jett remains the best Op character in the game. Her ultimate nerf did nothing to change her pick rate at all levels of play. Neon's introduction won't do anything to disrupt Jett's dominance, either.
Sova is still the best information gatherer in Valorant. KAY/O and Skye fill his role to a degree, but not nearly as effectively. The only time you'll see a Sova-less team is on Split and Fracture - with the latter meta still developing.