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Knives out: Guide to the duelist Jett

By Will HarrisonAugust 14, 2020
In many ways, the Korean Duelist-type Agent Jett is antithetical to what Valorant is all about. In a world of staring down the horizon of a long corridor and creeping around corners, Jett is an airborne threat and aggressive momentum monster who thrives on forcing her enemies to backpedal. This is thanks in part to unique and fast movement abilities that allow her to move vertically and unilaterally in ways other Agents cannot achieve. And then there are the knives.
Allow Valorbuff to step you through the basics of playing such an aggressive, sometimes unsafe, Agent. We have tips for economy management, gun selection, and the value in tactically retreating.

PROS

  • Flexible mobility that allows for initiating, as well as leaving gunfights
  • One of, if not the best Shotgun Agents in the game
  • Can save on economy thanks to her Blade Storm Ultimate
  • Can reposition, chase, and retreat easily thanks to her rechargeable Tailwind ability
  • Able to take angles others Agents cannot due to her verticality
  • Can float from high positions with relative silence

CONS

  • Aggressive play sometimes means being the first teammate to die
  • Blade Storm is an all-or-nothing Ultimate with finicky usage
  • Cloudburst is the most difficult-to-use smoke in the game
  • Is most effective at close range, leaving her struggling in later rounds
  • Can accidentally blow all her ability usages in one fight if not managed
  • Vertical set-ups and hiding spots can be obvious on certain maps
We won’t give the full text of the abilities, as you can find them on Jett’s Agent page, but here are some quick and dirty usage tips for Jett’s suite of abilities.

Cloudburst

While Cloudburst is a difficult smoke to deploy thanks to its need to be aimed and steered, this does allow Jett to place smoke in places that other Agents cannot. This behooves her kit, as she can Cloudburst in the air or cover vertical options, either as a set-up or red herring. Take some time in practice mode to work on directing your Cloudbursts, as there’s nothing worse than attempting to smoke a position in a real game only for it to embarrassingly crash against something you didn’t mean to smoke, or worse yet: Inadvertently blocking your own team.
  • Use Cloudburst in situations where you’ve scored a kill when outnumbered to tactically retreat, or to confound the still-alive Agent as to where you’re positioned.
  • Causing a distraction with Cloudburst is a viable tactic and can sometimes be as useful as a flashbang if it makes an enemy Agent look away for even a second.
  • If you’re going to Cloudburst, make it count: Jett has a tendency to burn through her ability charges, so be mindful of having a plan and not just throwing smoke out wantonly.

Tailwind

Jett’s free ability, Tailwind is as likely to get players in trouble as it is to create set-ups or ambushes. The initial urge Jett players have is to use Tailwind to dash in at an opponent or close the gap, but without careful use all you end up doing is getting stuck waiting for the Tailwind animation to finish as you’re shot in the head. Instead, use Tailwind to move laterally, or behind an opponent so that they must move their field of vision in order to spot you. Likewise, remember that Tailwind can be used in any direction, meaning you can backdash out of sticky situations or combine it with Updraft to reposition at a moment’s notice.
  • To make an Overwatch comparison: Tailwind is a lot like Genji’s Swift Strike in that you get a charge of Tailwind back for getting a kill, allowing Jett to snowball a team fight if left unchecked.
  • Fun fact: Jett can also Tailwind diagonally by holding multiple movement buttons.
  • Tailwind makes a lot of noise when activated, so keep that in mind if you’re attempting to use it in the opening seconds of a round to reach a corner before a suspected enemy does.

Updraft

Like Tailwind, Updraft is an ability that gives Jett some of the most unique movement options and lateral choices in the game but also can get her in trouble. It’s a big, noisy ability that can also leave Jett wide open in the wild blue yonder if you just use it right in front of enemies. Cloudburst is best when used with another ability, whether it's covering your point of take-off with Cloudburst, air-dashing like a fighter out of Marvel vs Capcom 2 with Tailwind, or becoming a murder machine by activating Blade Storm.
  • Your first instinct with Updraft will be to try firing guns while floating, and let me tell you: It doesn’t work out well unless you’re up-close and rocking shotguns. In other words: Don’t try to use an Operator while Updraft is active. You’ll waste credits and look dumb in the process.
  • The exception to this rule is her Ultimate, Blade Storm, which retains its pinpoint accuracy even while Jett’s afloat. The threat of Blade Storm opens up some risky, but rewarding plays for Jett when it comes to Updraft and Tailwind. Just be sure to commit.
  • Updraft opens up the ability for Jett to ambush enemies in unconventional places, as well as repositioning to places like Heaven with little fuss, which works well as both an ambush or a temporary retreat.

Blade Storm

Jett’s Ultimate ability is terrifying for both yourself and your enemies. While Blade Storm has the ability to one-shot literally any Agent with a well-placed right-click, you also run the risk of wasting your knife charges and finding yourself whistling in the wind. This is also where Blade Storm can be an effective economy booster, as Jett can plan around using it for a round and avoid a pricey gun purchase that is instead replaced by Blade Storm. The ability is best used with wild west dueling logic: Shoot first, shoot fast, and don’t miss.
  • Remember Jett is a momentum-based character? Blade Storm gets fully recharged with every kill, meaning it may be your best chance to get an Ace.
  • The right-click is a powerful attack, but also increases the shot spread and runs the risk of not killing an enemy and leaving you without any knives out. If you’re going to go for the gold, make sure the shot counts. Otherwise, you’re as sure as dead.
  • The left-click of Blade Storm is one of the most accurate attacks in the game and does 50 damage a knife. They also fire incredibly fast, so keep this in mind if you start panic-firing.
  • With practice, you’ll be able to smoke points with Cloudburst that can catch foes off-guard. Some favorites include the mid-window on Haven, B-Short on Bind, and Mid-Top/Mid-Bottom from the Vent, or vice versa. Use it both as a set-up or as a smokescreen to make enemies think you’re pushing in.
  • We warned against using Tailwind to run-and-gun into enemies' faces, but if used on the diagonal to get behind an Agent, it can be effective and a tide-turner. The Judge is your best friend in moments like this and might be my favorite gun to use while playing Jett.
  • Speaking of Shotguns, don’t underestimate the Shorty as a pistol round option, especially if you’re playing a map or side that allows for some early aggression. And as this footage shows, I’m not only president of the Shorty Club, but I’m also a member.
  • We’ve seen plenty of players who seem to think Jett is the Valorant-equivalent of a Lurker in CS:GO—a player who goes off without the team to cause havoc and catch enemies off-guard. And while that’s fun, remember you’re playing a team-game and being a Duelist doesn’t mean you’re John Wayne. Stay safe out there.
  • Updraft and Tailwind allow Jett some peeking and sight-line options with the Operator in the late game, at the cost of Jett playing a sedentary style. If possible, leave the sniping to other players and allow them to play spotter for aggressive maneuvers.

Is She Gonna Be Your Girl?

Is Jett the type of Agent you see yourself playing? She has a specific game plan that revolves around surprise, aggression, momentum, and retreat. That also means you’ll need to be the one to take that first step into the unknown once in a while and potentially be the first friendly down. If you’re okay with that, then get ready to fly through the air with the greatest of ease. Just remember: When in doubt, knives out.
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