Morello explains how to counter Killjoy
TheAct 2 of Valorant is fast approaching and it will mark the arrival of Killjoy, the new Agent. The character has been teased for several weeks, then officialy unveiled last week. Now that we know her abilities, many players are worried about the mechanics she will introduce in Valorant. Riot Morello, lead character designer addressed gamers' fear during one of his streams and explained how to counter Killjoy.
At first, Morello confirmed that Killjoy will be a Sentinel. Her role within a team is therefore comparable to Cypher. But where Cypher only takes information and slows down his enemies to give his team time to react to that information, Killjoy creates timings of vulnerability for his enemies that push her teammates to be more aggressive.
Even if Killjoy's abilities seem extremely powerful, they are not without weaknesses. They will just require new reflexes for players.
Nanoswarm is a very powerful ability that can be countered. Killjoy has to activate the trap manually for it to be of any use. While the device is invisible on the ground, opponents can still see it appear when approaching, and therefore destroy it, much like Cypher's Trap Wires.
Alarmbot can also make itself invisible, but the only way to reveal it is to trigger it. When an opponent enters the bot's range, it deploys and walks towards its target. This gives enemies a handful of seconds to react and destroy the bot before it explodes.
Turret is arguably the thing that worries Valorant players the most. It's an ability that has been found in FPS since the Laptop Gun of Perfect Dark 64 and has raised Team Fortress 2 and Overwatch players' hackles. Killjoy's turrets, however, have the two classic weaknesses associated with such tools.
The Turret's first weakness is thatit can be destroyed by abilities. If a Raze grenade should suffice, we can also imagine that if Killjoy becomes popular, Agents like Breach and Viper could find their way in the meta to counter her gadget.
The second weakness is the sliver-peek. Turrets only target fully visible opponents. Sliver-Peek consists in getting to the corners of an obstacle just enough to see what's behind it, but not enough to trigger the automatic targeting of turrets. In this way, by being careful, it's possible to destroy the turrets without them being able to fight back.
Killjoy's turrets have an additional weakness unique to Valorant: their field of vision functions the same as a player's field of vision. This means that turrets will not be able to fire if they are flashed or if a player is hidden by a smoke. Throwing the smoke directly on the turret is therefore a good solution to temporarily neutralise them.
Lockdown is an ultimate ability that can turn the tables of a game. When Killjoy deploys it, it explodes 13 seconds later in a very large area, slowing any enemies hit. The slow is so strong that it almost is an immobilisation.
According to Morello, Lockdown is very easy to avoid. Whether opponents prefer to stay in the background or rush to destroy it, these are two perfectly viable strategies. However, if the opponents get hit by the explosion, it's as if they've lost the round.
As a reminder, Lockdown has 150 HP, so it's completely destructible. Much like the turret, it's ability-sensitive. It can therefore very easily be countered by the Ultimates of Sova or Brimstone.
Morello explains that there will never be a more crippling ability than Lockdown in the game and that no ability can ever stun a player and prevent them from moving or turning their heads.
It's clear that Killjoy's abilities are intimidating and will force a change of pace in Valorant. We will have to wait until the character is available to get a real idea of her power. However, if every new character in Valorant is able to shake up the meta, it could turn out some very interesting things in the esports scene.