Valorant is a team game at its core, but finding players to team with can be pretty difficult. As a result, the vast majority of Valorant’s population will spend a fair bit of time in solo queue. Solo queue presents unique communication problems that are often extra apparent during the Agent pick screen. Few things are more frustrating than having three teammates instantly lock in a Duelist. Other than maybe locking in a Duelist yourself only to have three other players lock in Duelists as well. Luckily, there is an Agent in Valorant that is perfectly suited to solo queue and the harsh reality that most players believe that their own K/D ratio is the only thing that matters.
Valorant has different classifications of Agents for a reason as every round requires specific jobs to be done by the players. Someone has to attack the site first, someone has to watch the flank, someone has to smoke or blind the other team, and still someone else has to plant the bomb. In pretty much every case, certain Agents will be better suited to doing these jobs based on their arsenal of abilities. Most players have probably run into the scenario where taking or defending a site feels impossible because certain utility is lacking on the team. This scenario is frustrating because a bad Agent composition basically makes the game harder than it needs to be. It is also a scenario that can be almost completely avoided by just locking in Omen every single game.
I initially gravitated towards Omen because he reminded me of Reaper from Overwatch. I’d also be lying if I denied that his edgy aesthetic appealed to my metalhead sensibilities. The more Omen I play, though and certainly after watching the pros utilize him during First Strike, where he sported a nearly 100% pick rate across all maps in all regions, it’s pretty clear that Omen is an especially powerful Agent. Omen seems to have answers for nearly every situation you’ll commonly encounter in Valorant, and that is pretty empowering.
First of all, let’s touch on each of Omen's abilities and their counterparts in other Agents.
Shrouded Step is a very versatile movement ability that gives Omen a lot of positional freedom. While it is not as spontaneously effective as Jett’s Updraft or Raze’s Blast Pack boosts, the short-range teleport allows Omen to reach similar vertical areas of the map. In many cases, Shrouded Step is even more effective than these other mobility tools because you can reposition across a line of sight without being seen. Shrouded Step can be used to set up and escape as an Operator user, sneak behind enemy lines or a lurking play or even quickly reach cover to plant the Spike. Basically, mobility = good.
Paranoia has been one of the more oppressive abilities in the game to defend against, ever since being buffed. Equally useful for stalling out a push or executing one, the long-range of Paranoia and the complete sensory deprivation makes surviving an Omen led attack extremely difficult. As a result, Omen can push defenders off of angles with ease and gain entry to the site for his team. Paranoia definitely excels on the attacking side but can also be used in some defensive scenarios to keep attackers off the site long enough for reinforcements to arrive. With a blind in his kit Omen can take the lead as an entry fragger if your Phoenix or Reyna teammates prefer to cosplay as a lurking Cypher instead.
Dark Cover is simply the best smoke ability in Valorant right now. When the game initially came out, Brimstone was the favored provider of this crucial bit of vision-obscuring utility. While several other Agents provide some kind of barrier to sight, none can really match the ease of execution that Omen and Brimstone bring to the table. Old man Brimstone can almost instantly place up to three smokes but must be relatively close to the target location.
Omen’s ability to reach place smokes pretty much anywhere on the map from pretty much anywhere else on the map is really powerful. This global reach lets Omen create distractions on the other side of the map from his team, lurk behind enemy lines, and even reinforce a defensive position while he rotates to help. On top of that, Dark Cover is a signature ability meaning that not only are they free every single round, but they regenerate as well, letting you place three or even four smokes total.
It’s this smoke versatility that has really led Omen to almost fully replace Brimstone in professional Valorant. The hollow nature of Omen’s smokes also makes them a bit easier to play with. The more opaque Brimstone or Jett smokes can cause you or teammates to lose spatial awareness and accidentally poke out the other side. Omen’s hollow smokes allow you to set up inside them perfectly for sneaky plays and generally provide more beneficial cover in most situations.
From the Shadows is the one part of Omen’s kit that doesn’t have much of a parallel with any other Agent ability. Most people will rate Omen’s ultimate quite low in a coordinated team environment because it does no damage, costs a lot of orbs, and is pretty easy to counter. However, in solo queue the ability to almost instantly reinforce a site or make a critical offensive rotation goes a long way to combat poor play or communication by teammates. It’s almost as if Riot is saying, “hey, your teammates are going to be bad sometimes, so here is an ability to make up for their mistakes.”
In professional teams, the Omen tends to be a supportive player who sets up attacks onto a site with smokes and his Paranoia blind. At the highest level of play, this role is not set in stone however, as some players prefer to lurk and flank while others frag out with the Operator. The fact that there is so much versatility even on this optimized competitive stage goes to show how flexible Omen can be.
It’s the flexibility of the Agent that has convinced me of his prowess in solo queue. No matter how good or bad your team's Agent composition is, there is always a job or six for Omen to perform. In some games, you’ll have Duelists lurking back and afraid to die. Luckily you have a high-powered blind, smokes, and an aggressive mobility tool to break the site open. In other games, you’ll have four players charging forward and blinding each other while the spike sits in spawn. Here is when you sit back, place good smokes, and trade out the defenders to gain an advantage.
All in all, Omen is the most well-rounded Agent in the game. When you’re thrown into the mix with four other wild animals, it helps to have the ability to adapt to whatever crazy situation arises as a result.