Ultimate deployed: The best time to press X for every agent

By Will HarrisonOctober 19, 2020
Ultimate deployed: The best time to press X for every agent
You may not realize it, but there are two economies at work in Valorant that players must master. The first, and more obvious is the gun economy. The flow of knowing when to save and when to spend your credits can literally win or lose a game for your team. The other economy involves Agent Ultimate abilities, how to effectively fill your meter, and how to hit the X key with utmost efficiency. This isn’t always easy and, in fact, many low-level players will simply try to hold onto that Ultimate for the best possible moment and then never end up using it.
And that’s where Valorbuff is here to help. We’re going to give a hot tip for each current Agent and their Ultimate, and hopefully provide some clarity on when it’s best to hold ‘em and when it’s best to deploy.
Now isn’t the best of times to be a Breach player, but there’s still one thing the Swede excels at: initiating that big push. Rolling Thunder is a big, noisy Ultimate that, with some team coordination, can be used in tight-cornered Sites to provide your side with an easy in. Areas like B Site on Ascent are perfect fodder for catching hiding enemy Agents because there’s nowhere to go. Also, much like Brimston’s Ultimate, it can be used effectively when the opponent has planted while having a player-advantage.
Speaking of Brimstone, Orbital Strike is rife with potential big-brained shenanigans, including using it as cover for a sneaky disarm maneuver. However, the most obvious (so obvious your opponents may see it coming) use is after your attacking team has planted and you’re attempting to keep the enemy off-site long enough to put the bomb past the point of no return. If you’re going to Orbital Strike, just make sure you know for sure there’s somebody there, as the ability has a high false-positive rate and you could end up zapping nothing at all.
Neural Theft is a tough Ultimate to set up because, in addition to needing a full bar, you also need an enemy corpse. Use that as a sign that Cypher’s Ultimate is best used to snowball an advantage and to catch a rotating or cornered team with its pants down. Sure, you can use it when the enemy has a player advantage, but stop and think: Is it better to know where the entire team is when they know you’re coming or when they’re backpedaling for safety.
Speaking of economy, Jett’s Blade Storm might as well be the de-facto economy Ultimate due to the fact that it can save you an all-in buying round. Look at it like this: There’s no reason to buy the biggest guns if you let Blade Storm and its high damage, high accuracy attacks do the work for you. So, pop it at the start of a lean-credit round and along with a smaller gun such as the Sheriff or Shorty. Use the fact that a kill refreshes your knives to your advantage and save some dough in the process.
Real talk: Killjoy's Lockdown is currently the most obtuse, hardest to use Ultimate in Valorant. At low levels, this leads to many held, unused Ultimate charges. So, don’t think — do. If on Attack, start the round off immediately with a big push into a safe, Site-adjacent area, plant, and use the fear of being detained as a sort of breach. At worst the enemy team will vacate the Site and give your side an easy plant. At best, you’ll end up with some easy and detained enemy Agents. Just don’t overthink it.
The obvious use of From The Shadows would be to pull a shifting swap-a-roo with the Spike, going from one side of the map and to the other, away from the enemy team. However, consider using that expected move as a double fake by using Omen's Ultimate to go to the side where the enemy was already at. It’s a risk, but you could catch the team rotating to the other side as a reaction and leaving you to plant and then set up on Site.
Phoenix's Run It Back is a big, obvious Ultimate with a lot of disadvantages, but one thing it does provide is feedback. Using the doppelganger-producing attack can let your team know how many enemies are on a Site and draw them out of position, allowing your side to push in and follow up. That said, don’t end up on the opposite side of a highlight video where your original body gets knifed by an uppity enemy because someone saw you activate the Ultimate.
Everyone loves an explosion, so go with the flow and start a round off by jumping into the line of fire and shooting off a big, ole’ rocket. If you can predict where an enemy team might start their attack push you can Satchel Charge jump into the fray, potentially catching an entire cadre of enemy Agents off-guard. Sure, it’s absolute suicide. However, it’s better than the alternative of panic-using Raze’s Ultimate and missing an easy shot because you didn’t activate it on your own terms.
Reyna isn’t a team player, but Empress is best-used to snowball an early-round pick, much like Cypher’s Ultimate. It can be used much like a breach, especially given the fact that Empress refreshes with each kill. You would think that this would make it a great comeback mechanic skill, but quite the opposite: Save the Ultimate for when you have plenty of victims to keep the hype train rolling.
Sage’s Resurrection skill can go wrong incredibly fast if used at the wrong time. I’ve seen plenty of times when a player has been brought back from the dead, only to immediately die once again because Sage used it out in the open. Don’t do that. If you’re going to necromance, then do it safely. Also, consider using it to either even out the teams or give your team a late-round advantage. But, really: don’t get them killed immediately because you rezzed someone out in the open. Not cool.
Hunter’s Fury requires map and game awareness on the part of its user, meaning that it’s potentially a waste of an Ultimate from lower-level players. If you want a safer situation to deploy Sova’s Ultimate, try to use it in conjunction with teammate skills that provide vision or information. A triggered Killjoy Turret or Alarmbot or a Cypher Neural Theft provide great potential to secure a kill. It’s also an excellent Ultimate for when you have your back against the wall while on securing a plant and you know the enemy is coming.
Viper’s Pit looks situational on paper but is actually one of the most sure-thing, round-securing Ultimates in the game. This is especially true now that Viper has a certain amount of time to leave the fog and come back in without the Pit vanishing. Use this to your advantage to immediately cover a Site or protect a planted Spike. Much like Lockdown, Viper’s Pit has strength in being used immediately at the start of a round. This is especially true on B Site of Haven, where Viper’s Pit basically covers the entire room with little space to spare.
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