Will Yoru be a viable agent in VALORANT?
Episode two of Valorant has launched and with that, Yoru now comes into play. A Duelist-type agent that will focus on stealth and misdirection. With abilities like Fakeout and a stealth ultimate, distraction and diversion are key for this new agent. This article dives into his abilities as a whole, which agents play best with him, and if he is a viable competitive pick.
Abilities: Distract and Strike
First and foremost we’ve got his Q, Blindside. It acts like a flash, but with a twist. The condition here is that it will only activate once it has collided with a hard surface. A nice benefit is how the flash is invisible until after collision. This means it’s more difficult to use, but it offers a lot more opportunities. The delayed pop can lead to more inventive angles to flash yourself into a bombsite; it is vital however that you know how to manipulate this, otherwise it is wasted.
Moving on to E with Gatecrash. Reminiscent of Omen’s Shrouded Step, but with more speed. The teleport action is faster and the way the orb moves across the map allows for far more distance. The downside is that it will be far easier to anticipate by enemies; they can hear it coming. However, it only becomes visible when they are close to it. ScreaM also showed on stream why the improved distance of Yoru’s teleport might just outmatch Shrouded Step.
Then comes the C, Fakeout. Perfect for creating a distraction and throwing people off. It mimics the sound of footsteps and is the tool to confuse your opponents by making them think a rush is coming. You can set the ability out in front of you, or you can drop it at your current location (it will go in the direction you were facing) and then activate it later from a distance. This is excellent for making people waste abilities or expose themselves.
Which leaves the Ultimate X, Dimensional Drift: I have to admit, this is probably one of my favourites. It reminds me of my past days playing World of Warcraft and skittering around as a Rogue. So, on that note, this ability gives you stealth. Yoru becomes invisible for 9 seconds and can move freely, out of sight of other players until you get too close to them. As such you have to keep a wide berth and maintain distance from potential targets. This Ultimate can have incredible playmaking potential and could create some interesting strategies.
Partners in crime
There are a few agents to highlight that can interact with Yoru’s abilities. In general it is a good thing to keep in mind that Fakeout can trigger several other agents’ abilities, such as Killjoy’s turret but also Cypher’s Trapwire (depending on its height, obviously). It will however be stopped by Sage’s wall.
VALORANT Patch Notes 2.0
🔹 New agent: Yoru
🔹 Changes to Brimstone and Omen
🔹 Changes to Classic
🔹 Regional leaderboards
🔹 New ranking system
— Liquipedia VALORANT (@LiquipediaVAL) January 12, 2021
Also consider the pairing of Yoru along with Omen. Two agents that can teleport around the map to cause mayhem stemming from smokes, that provide excellent cover for Yoru’s own teleport. This can allow for a lot of unexpected flanks and potentially surprises your opponents. Brimstone offers the same capacity for smokes, but it’ll remain to be seen how his recent buff affects him in competitive play. A potential third agent to throw into the mix is Jett; especially if you want to put more pressure on the offensive and are looking for high-paced plays. The trade-off is that you’re leaving Yoru exposed. The ideal supporting agent compensates for the lack of defence Yoru suffers from.
Viability in competitive
At the end of the day the question to ask is: does Yoru have a place in competitive? I believe he does. The strength of his diversionary tactics is unmatched. One of the two Duelist spots in usual competitive teams and pro play (or three, if your name is TSM), could certainly be grabbed by Yoru. It will be with some delay, as he is still a fresh agent and teams need to get used to him and perfect playing with him. It will be interesting to see a month or two down the line if Yoru will have been embraced by the community just like Reyna has, or if he will end up at the bottom of the list, neglected like Brimstone.
All in all, keep close tabs on this agent! He has powerful abilities and if you fancy playing a true master of evasion and stealth, he is most certainly your guy. But equally, if you see him on the opposing side, pay close attention and do not be fooled by the fake footsteps you might hear rushing to your bombsite!
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