New VALORANT Agent Abilities – Iso
Iso is the newest duelist added to Valorant’s agent pool. This new duelist has new, unique aspects to his kit and appears to be a good Reyna alternative in ranked play.
This guide will go over how to best maximize Iso’s utility and how to play him in your ranked and premier games.
Here are Iso’s four abilities. Each section will give an explanation of the ability as well as how best to use it, any unique interactions, etc.
Ability 1 – Double Tap (E)
Ability Description: START a focus timer. Once completed, enter a flow state during which downed enemies you kill or damage generate an energy orb. Shooting this orb grants you a shield which absorbs one instance of damage from any source.
Charge Count: 2
Activating the ability is very similar to a Jett dash. There is an initial windup and then a window in which the effect is active. Once active it is very similar to a Reyna orb. If you get a kill or an assist while the ability is active, an orb will appear. Shooting the orb will refresh the ability timer and give a shield that will negate the next instance of damage.
Using Double Tap
Playing around this ability is very similar to using a Jett dash where you should activate it once you are about to push aggressively into an area or enemies are pushing into you. The timer is rather generous so feel free to lean towards using the ability rather than holding onto it if you sense an engagement may be coming. This ability is also best used with some sort of cover as you should strafe in and out of cover to get the kill and shoot the orb due to the time it takes for the orb to appear. Once you have a shield you have the ability to aggressively face-check and swing areas to scout for an Operator or shotgun. This ability isn’t an excuse to wide-swing 4 enemies, but it is something that should be taken advantage of to snowball kills.
Ability 2 – Undercut (Q)
Ability Description: EQUIP a molecular bolt. Fire to throw it forward, applying a brief FRAGILE to all players it touches. The bolt can pass through solid objects, including walls
Charge Count: 2
The trajectory and area of this ability are very similar to Omen’s Paranoia. When an enemy is hit by the ability they take double damage for 4 seconds. It is important to note that this can hit allies. Unlike Omen’s Paranoia, this hits allies directly in front of and right next to Iso. Be sure to throw Undercut while in front of all of your teammates.
To get the most out of this ability it can be paired with other teammates’ damaging utility or sent through walls at a perpendicular angle to set up teammates. This ability really sets Iso apart from Reyna in the team support it can provide. For example, if Iso is defending B site on Haven, he can assist teammates on A by throwing Undercut through the wall to hit enemies entering site. For utility combinations pairing Undercut with damaging utility is good for securing kills. Sova’s ultimate can one-shot enemies hit by Undercut which makes it a great tool for trap plays and site executes with Sova’s ult. When paired with Raze’s Paint Shells, shock darts, etc. it can highly damage or straight up kill an enemy that both pieces of util hit. This is also a strong tool to pair with post-plant lineups. An Aftershock, Shock Dart, and Hunter’s Fury can all one-shot an enemy hit by Undercut which prevents them from getting the spike to half. It will also supplement molly damage to tick faster.
Ability 3 – Contingency (C)
Ability Description: EQUIP to assemble prismatic energy. FIRE to push an indestructible wall of energy forward that blocks bullets
Charge count: 1
The shield blocks all bullets and is not transparent. Enemies and projectiles can pass through. The speed of the wall moves roughly the same as sprint speed with a weapon and the wall cannot be stopped. Once it reaches the end of its path it disappears.
The main uses of Contingency are to scale onto sites or down corridors and to block crossways. When using down corridors it allows you and your team to clear areas to the sides without worrying about getting shot at the end of the corridor. This is a great way to close the gap on an Operator. This ability is best used to scale down narrow areas that are common Operator spots. On defense it can be used to throw at a chokepoint as if it is going towards an enemy you will see their gun barrel before they see you. This gives the advantage in a fight and it prevents teammates behind from trading due to the wall blocking. Contingency can be used to block a crossway. For example, when attacking on Haven placing a Cypher cage or Jett Cloudburst is very common in A Lobby. This will block the vision of a player near the ult orb, but won’t block any spam. Contingency will not only block vision, but it will prevent damage from spam.
Ability 4 – Kill Contract (X)
Ability Description: EQUIP an interdimensional arena. FIRE to hurl a column of energy through the battlefield, pulling you and the first enemy hit into the arena. You and your opponent duel to the death.
Ultimate Orbs: 7
This ability suppresses enemies hit by it and Iso himself; knowing this is imperative in getting the most out of it. When in ultimate there are barriers that drop shortly after entering. Iso gets 2 barriers while the other player only gets 1. This is an advantage for Iso as the area he can swing is wider, forcing the enemy to account for a wider width in their crosshair placement. Both players utilize the weapons they have on them and are brought up to 150 hp. The winner returns to their original position with the hp they had prior to the fight.
Using Kill Contract
The suppression of the ultimate makes this a very dynamic ability. The two best ways this can be used is to capture a sentinel to rid of their setup or to shut down an enemy’s ultimate. Sentinels usually solo anchor a site, and using Kill Contract on them will not only open up a site of any players, but it will also shut down and reveal their entire setup. This allows Iso’s team to walk into site. Jett and Chamber are priority targets if they are using their ultimate. When one of these agents uses their ult they typically use it for eco reasons and don’t buy a weapon. When entering the Kill Contract arena, Jett and Chamber lose their ult. This forces them to fight Iso with a classic or whatever weapon they have. Other agents who are mid ultimate such as Raze and Sova are good targets as well because their ultimate will be cancelled.
Even if Iso loses the duel, coordinate with your team of where the opposing player was brought into the ultimate. There will be a purple hexagon on the ground at that location. This way a teammate can camp the other player’s spawn point, so at worst a Kill Contract loss results in a trade. This can guarantee a round win in a 2v1 situation. Iso ults the remaining player and Iso’s teammate runs towards the enemy’s spawn point. Either Iso kills the player or the teammate gets a free trade when the enemy spawns back in.
The final aspect of this ult is the information it gives. If no one is captured by the ult it can clear a lane or area of site. It also travels out in a wave starting at Iso and picks up the first person it hits. An enemy hit at the very end of the range alerts your team that there aren’t other players any closer to them than that.
Iso is meant to be played as part of a team comp very similar to Reyna. He is a duelist and should be the first in an area in most situations. He should be performing an entry with double tap active, putting pressure on enemies with Undercut, and scaling with Contingency. For the most part, Iso is self-sufficient as his kit has a debuff. His Undercut is the portion of his kit that has a high ceiling for team play. Using Undercut through walls is a great way to set up and support teammates.
Iso pairs well with Raze as her grenade can get extra damage with Undercut and her movement with Blast Packs can make space with Contingency while Iso and the rest of the team enter through the choke point. In general, Iso has a difficult time as the primary duelist due to being unable to make space. But with a Jett or Raze, he can be a good compliment as a secondary duelist. This makes him a little better in ranked than he is in premier where play is more coordinated and dive duelists are mandatory and Initiators and double controller have high value.
Iso’s Best Maps
The best maps for Iso are those that work well in double-duelist compositions. Iso has a unique kit and isn’t a direct replacement to another agent in any meta compositions. There are maps that have geometry and layouts that work well with Iso’s kit.
Split is the first map where Iso shows good potential. This is a very common double duelist map with Raze and Jett. The small areas and overlapping walls make it easy to hit enemies and set up teammates with Undercut. Contingency is strong on both sites when attacking. It can be used on A to move up ramp or through A Heaven to get access to ropes. On B site it can be sent straight forward to avoid being swung from default. The best use of Contingency on B site is throw it to the right to block the sightline from B Heaven and Hell.
Bind is the other map where meta comps have an open flex spot that Iso can fit in. Undercut can cover all of Hookah and most of B Site. Contingency is a great tool for pushing up B Long which is commonly held by an Op and A Short which is exposed to many angles.
Haven is the final map that has geometry that fits well with Iso’s kit. Contingency is able to take A Lobby control by sending it down A Long and block operators C Long. It is also a good tool to scale into garage. The site of Haven are also very small which makes it easy to hit enemies with Undercut.
Best Agent Combos wth Iso
Raze is a great pairing with Iso. The movement of Raze makes up for Iso’s lack of dive utility. Raze’s Paint Shells are also great to pair with Iso’s Undercut to deal double damage with the grenade.
Sova also has damaging utility that pairs well with Undercut. Shock Darts and Hunter’s Fury can one-shot enemies if they hit with Iso’s Undercut. Sova is also able to get information for Iso on enemy locations for him to hit with Undercut or Kill Contract.
Iso’s integration into pro play will be interesting to see. The inability to make space will prevent him from being a mainstay, but he does have unique elements to his kit that can make him an interesting niche pick. Once he is available there we’ll have you updated with any new Iso tech and uses.