Radiant Viper useful at last?

By Stephanie RoehlerApril 21, 2021
Radiant Viper useful at last?
For a very long time, Valorant’s poisonous Controller, Viper, has lived at the bottom of the tier list. The agent has struggled to find her place in the game. Of all the original characters, Viper and Breach flopped the most, to the point where players knew them as the worst two of the OG agents.
However, in the past few weeks, she’s had a fascinating status boost in the Radiant tier of competitive play.
Let’s talk about it.

Explanation of stats

The stats are the best place to start when analyzing Viper’s new place in the game. In the Radiant tier, she has the highest win rate among all agents: 51%. In every other rank, that title goes to Sage or Killjoy (the top Sentinels), so it’s a pretty big deal for Viper of all agents to be beating them out.
She also has a solid KDA and first blood rate at 1.06 and 15.7%, which puts her in the top third of Radiant agents.
Despite these great stats, though, Viper is one of the bottom 6 agents in pick rate. Hers is at a painful 4%. Players may be finding ways to make Viper a winning agent, but it hasn’t quite caught on yet.

Why is her win rate so good?

Well, an easy part of the answer is that (considering the 4% pick rate) a handful of very skilled Viper players are doing a great job in the top tiers of competitive play. Much like our discussion on Killjoy, her preparation-heavy skills can work really well in a cooperative, organized team.
You want to prepare a deadly escape route to bait out the enemy? Viper’s got you covered with her poison.
Also, as Valorant’s meta gameplay evolves, the popularity of Controllers is growing. No, they aren’t quite as powerful and beloved as Duelists and Sentinels, but Viper was known for being the bottom of the barrel when the game came out. While they aren’t at the top of the tier lists, Omen is one of the top agents for competitive play, Viper has her Radiant stats, Brimstone has a solid top 5 win rate for competitive, and Astra, despite having such a low pick rate, is one of the top 5 agents in KDA, so with some time might become a decently popular pick.

Why it works

Cloud9’s Keeoh is a huge fan of Viper. If you watch through his Viper gameplay, you’ll find out he likes her because of the exact thing most people hate about her: the cost of her poison abilities.
At first glance, the fact her poison fuel makes her seem like a weaker agent. However, you can use her abilities to prepare certain chokepoints, by leaving an unactivated screen or poison cloud at various points around the map. It can set up Viper well for pre-prepared choke points and give the agent significant ways to manipulate the map before the enemy can react.
For example, if he prepares a poison cloud canister in an alley behind him, he can engage the enemy, then back up, and without having to worry about any animation times or tells, activate the poison cloud as they approach, giving him an advantage in the fight.

Conclusion: Try out Viper

While she may not be beloved like her controller peer, Omen, Viper has her merits. She has a preparedness to her kit that a lot of other agents can’t achieve. Furthermore, you also can take her poison down at will, giving a second layer of control over whatever map situation you create. While Viper doesn’t have the teleportation mobility of Omen, she can do a lot to warp the vision situations on each point.
So, instead of avoiding Viper because of the tier lists, why not try her out? You just might fight a new favorite agent to take control of every fight.
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