18th June 2021 – 3pm
KAY/O is a rather versatile Initiator, who will make his opponents tremble. He is a very simple Agent to understand and use, but difficult to master, especially for those who have never had fun throwing grenades into small skylights in Call of Duty. If you're used to more mainstream FPS, you shouldn't be put off by his abilities. His gameplay revolves around the use of traditional grenades and a furious desire to force opponents to play the old-fashioned way, by disabling their abilities.
Before anything else, we advise you to familiarise yourself with KAY/O abilities.
FLASH/drive is the closest ability to a traditional blinding grenade. Unlike Phoenix, Reyna, Skye, Yoru or Breach whose flashes all have special curves or conditions of use, KAY/O can throw a blinding grenade naturally and without any special constraints. The flash grenade can be thrown from a good distance and can bounce off walls. It sounds simple, but this is the first time we see such a projectile in Valorant.
With a left click, KAY/O throws the grenade far in front of him. With a right click, he throws the grenade in a bell and it explodes earlier. The grenade cannot be destroyed, but it's quite easy to avoid it. Before it explodes, the grenade glows brightly, which makes it difficult to be blinded by surprise.
Be careful when throwing FLASH/drive. If you throw it directly at an opponent or right under their feet, chances are it won't blind them as it will pass between their legs. It's also possible that the opponent will simply take a step or two forward to ensure that they are not blinded.
FRAG/ment is another grenade, but this one is designed to do a lot of damage. Like FLASH/drive, it's a very classic projectile in its use. The grenade can be thrown with strength forward or in a bell-shaped curve. Unlike other such projectiles in Valorant, FRAG/ment does not have a maximum distance before exploding. It goes off as soon as it hits the ground. It can therefore be thrown very far and bounce off walls without any problem.
Once on the floor, FRAG/ment explodes 4 times at regular intervals, creating a damage zone around the point of impact. The closer an opponent is to its centre, the more damage they take. The circles drawn on the ground around the grenade are good indicators of the percentage of damage the target will take. It's important to note that KAY/O's grenade hurts both opponents and allies, but KAY/O only takes 20 points of damage per grenade pulse, regardless of whether he is close to the centre or not.
Because FRAG/ment remains active for a while after hitting the floor, it's naturally an excellent zoning tool. It can prevent players from crossing a lane without taking damage. FRAG/ment is an ideal post-plant tool, as it can kill any player in just 2 or 3 pulses. If KAY/O manages to throw it at a Spike, it becomes impossible to defuse it for a while.
ZERO/point is KAY/O's signature ability. It's probably the most important ability of the Agent, as it's so unique and powerful. KAY/O throws a knife that sticks to the first surface it hits. After a short delay, the knife explodes and suppresses all opponents in a very large area for 8 secondes. Traps and auto-triggering abilities, such as Killjoy's Turret or Cypher's Trap Wires are temporarily disabled and become visible. Abilities such as smokes, Sage's Wall, or remote manually activated traps such as Astra's Stars are NOT disabled. Also, the silence does not interrupt already thrown abilities like Sova's Drone, Yoru's Ultimate or an Alarm Bot that has already found its target.
Where the knife becomes very powerful is that it reveals to KAY/O all the Agents who have been affected by the ability. It doesn't display them on the map, but the portraits of the affected Agents appear under the mini-map. ZERO/point thus allows to take crucial information, in addition to handicapping the opponents. If KAY/O spots a defending Killjoy, he can naturally deduce that the bulk of the troops are at the opposite point, for example.
Finally, if all that wasn't enough, ZERO/point affects opponents through walls. It's impossible to dodge the effect of the knife as it's so wide. The only way to escape the ability is to destroy it in mid-air or when it hits the wall, like a Sova's Recon Bolt. That said, the knife is very fast, very thin and explodes very quickly. It will therefore require excellent reflexes to get rid of it. In a combat situation, this can be very difficult.
CMD/null is KAY/O's Ultimate ability. After a brief channel, KAY/O goes into overload. In this state, KAY/O emits electrical pulses every 3 seconds, for 12 seconds. Enemies hit by these pulses are silenced for 4 seconds. The pulse covers a very large area, larger than Killjoy's Lockdown. This means that it's almost impossible to escape.
Furthermore, if KAY/O is killed while overloaded, he doesn't die instantly. He deactivates and remains on the ground for 15 seconds. In this state, KAY/O can no longer do anything, but he is still able to see in front of him and take information. Allies then have fifteen seconds to get him back on his feet. Unlike the Spike, the countdown to KAY/O's final death is paused as soon as an ally begins to repair him. The repair can therefore work even if the countdown starts at 0.0001 seconds.
During an assault, KAY/O should be in the frontline to silence opponents and take advantage of a potential repair.
Even though KAY/O is officially an Initiator, he can also act as a Duelist or Sentinel. His flash and his knife allow him to destabilize the opponents' lines very easily, while his grenade and his knife (again!) allow him to greatly delay the enemy's assaults. His ultimate ability forces all opponents to rely only on their shooting skills.
KAY/O has a major flaw that is not necessarily obvious at first glance: he is very noticeable. Indeed, KAY/O is very noisy, both when moving and when using his abilities. Since he is a robot, the noises he makes when walking or jumping are also very distinctive, which makes him easy to identify.
Apart from the sound aspect, he's visually easy to spot too. FRAG/ment is a fluorescent multi-coloured sphere, FLASH/drive glows like a flare and ZERO/point appears on the opponent's mini-map the moment it hits a wall, even if there is no one to see it. Finally, when he uses CMD/null, you only need to see where the pulses are coming from to know the exact position of KAY/O.
While KAY/O can easily take information, he sometimes gives just as much to his opponents.
KAY/O works very well with all agent types, but it has no particular synergies. It's an Agent that is designed to counter opponents, rather than to help allies.
His abilities will naturally wreak havoc against Cypher and Killjoy, but will have less impact on the majority of Agents. It must be said that in a combat situation, very few Agents use their abilities. Apart from the Sentinels, we imagine that it's mainly Jett who will fear the silences, as she will be deprived of her dashes.