All VALORANT Agent Ability and Ultimate Costs (Which Are Cost-Efficient?)

All VALORANT Agent Ability and Ultimate Costs (Which Are Cost-Efficient?)

Which VALORANT Agents Have Justified Ability and Ultimate Costs?

This article will explore the cost changes made to agents’ abilities and how this has affected them. After Patch 3.00, amendments were made to the majority of agent’s ability prices.

Some can definitely be considered nerfs, whilst others may be indirect buffs.

The end of Act 3 Episode 1 is nearing, and I believe a substantial amount of time has passed for us to now look back and judge whether these changes are justifiable or not.

Remember this is just my opinion on how the agents are faring, I’m interested in hearing yours too!

valorant agent ability costs

Astra

Astra Mobalytics Valorant agent card

  • Stars: 1 free + 4 purchasable stars (150 each)
  • Gravity Well, Nova Pulse, Nebula/Dissipate: Require a star
  • Total cost: 600
  • Ultimate cost: 7 orbs

The start of this Episode saw the price of Astra’s stars decrease from 200 to 150. The rest of the balance changes made to her kit were nerfs so it is justifiable that stars are slightly cheaper.

Her potential to gain map control right upon the barrier dropping from buy phase was nerfed since she must wait 1.4 seconds to use any abilities at the start of the round.

On top of this, she has a greater recharge time when recalling a star.

I believe the intent behind these adjustments was to retain the widespread map control Astra has, since she can use up to 5 stars in a round. However, the developers wanted to decrease the speed of her plays a little so that you have to be much more deliberate and thoughtful when using her stars rather than spamming them and or gaining instant map control upon barrier drop.

Vote: Justified

Breach

breach agent card

  • Flashpoint: 2 charges x 250 = 500
  • Aftershock: 1 charge x 200 = 200
  • Fault Line: Free, 40 second CD
  • Total cost: 700 credits
  • Ultimate cost: 7 orbs

Many people have been complaining about Breach having one too many flashes and the developers finally heard this. This episode saw a price increase to Breaches flashes as well as only having two flashes as opposed to three. Given the fact that he received quite a few other buffs to the fluidity of his kit it’s safe to say that these slight nerfs regarding cost are justified. The charge time of his signature ability was decreased, the width of his daze abilities was increased, and he can now reequip his gun faster. These changes are significant buffs and outweigh the slight nerfs towards his flashes.

Vote: Justified

Brimstone

brimstone agent card

  • Stim Beacon: 2 charges x 100 = 200
  • Incendiary: 1 charge x 250 = 250
  • Sky Smoke: 1 free + 2 charges (100 each) = 200
  • Total cost: 650 credits
  • Ultimate cost: 7 orbs

Last Act Brimstone was considered a sub-par controller pick in contrast to Astra, Omen and Viper. Despite this, he still received a 50 cost increase to his Incendiary ability which is questionable. It would have been nice to see the price of his molly remain unchanged and maybe even for him to receive some buffs so that he can hold his own against other controllers.

Ultimately, Brimstone can no longer purchase a molly and 3 smokes on the pistol rounds. He has to opt for 2 smokes instead if he wants to purchase his Incendiary. This is a little frustrating mainly because he was ever a meta pick compared to the others.

Vote: Not justified

Cypher

cypher agent card

  • Trapwires: 2 charges x 2 cost = 400
  • Cybercage: 2 charges x 100 cost = 200
  • Spycam: Free (45 sec CD)
  • Total cost: 600 credits
  • Ultimate cost: 6 orbs

Cypher didn’t receive any cost changes to his regular abilities. In fact, he received a small buff since he only needs 6 ult points as opposed to 7 to use his ult, Neural Theft. The fact his abilities remained the same price and didn’t increase compared to most other agents can also be considered an indirect buff of some sorts.

With the introduction of KAY/O this episode and his suppressive powers the developers must have felt as though the sentinels within VALORANT will be affected most by this. Maybe that is why they gave him a small buff.

Vote: Justified

Jett

Jett Medium difficulty card

  • Cloudburst: 3 charges x 200 cost = 600
  • Updraft: 2 charges x 150 cost = 300
  • Tailwind: Free (2 kill recharge)
  • Total cost: 900 credits
  • Ultimate cost: 7 orbs

Jett was a meta pick since release and as long as her signature dash manages to avoid any changes and nerfs I can see it staying this way. Her mobility is unparalleled and the way she is able to play for free picks and dash away is something unique and influential in gunfights. I feel as though she was in a very strong place and the cost increases to her kit are justified.

For her to be able to spam 3 smokes for only a cost of 300 was always kind of overpowered. Her smoke costs have doubled from 100 to 200, her updraft has gone from 100 to 150 and her ultimate now requires an extra ult point. She is still quite a meta pick and has a valid place in most team compositions despite these nerfs so I’m going to have to say that these are respectable nerfs.

Vote: Justified

KAY/O

Kayo agent profile pic

  • FRAG/MENT: 1 charge x 2 cost = 200
  • FLASH/DRIVE: 2 charges x 2 cost = 500
  • ZERO/POINT: Free (40 sec CD)
  • Total cost: 700 credits
  • Ultimate cost: 7 orbs

Before the release of KAY/O I think most of us were assuming that this agent’s abilities are absolutely insane and he is going to be seriously strong.

Personally, I believe KAY/O is actually quite balanced and that his abilities which seemingly were going to be overpowered actually aren’t. His signature ability, ZERO/POINT which regenerates throughout rounds does more for information gathering as opposed to restraining enemies from using abilities in my opinion. I thought this was going to be providing easy entries onto site by crippling sentinels and their defensive powers. Instead, to my surprise I saw this knife being stronger for defense in revealing fast rushes and enemy locations.

I believe the cost for his ultimate has been calculated sensibly at 7 points. His flashes are also understandably 250, the same as most other agents like Phoenix, Reyna, Yoru.

The only thing I can think of is maybe his FRAG/MENT cluster is a bit of a bargain since it packs a lot of damage and spatial pressure on the map for only 200.

Vote: Justified

Killjoy

Killjoy Easy difficulty card

  • Nanoswam: 2 charges x 200 cost = 400
  • Alarmbot: 1 charge x 200 cost = 200
  • Turret: Free (20 sec CD)
  • Total cost: 600 credits
  • Ultimate cost: 7 points

The price for her kit remains unchanged and I believe this is because she is quite well balanced at the moment. I am sure most of us can agree that Killjoy has stayed relevant and meta without being too overpowered.

Vote: Justified

Omen

omen agent card

  • Shrouded Step: 2 charges x 150 = 300
  • Paranoia: 1 charge x 300 = 300
  • Dark Cover: 1 free charge + 1 purchasable (100 cost) = 100
  • Total cost: 700 credits
  • Ultimate cost: 7 orbs

I don’t believe that the cost adjustments to his Paranoia or Shrouded Step have altered his position in the hierarchy amongst other agents. Omen’s ability to continuously recharge his smokes at no cost seemed a little overpowered compared to other controllers like Brimstone, so the fact he has to fork up 100 now for a second smoke is understandable.

Vote: Justified

Phoenix

Phoenix easy difficulty card

  • Blaze: 1 charge x 200 = 200
  • Curveball: 2 charges x 250 = 500
  • Hot Hands: Free (2 kill recharge)
  • Total cost: 700 credits
  • Ultimate cost: 6 orbs

Phoenix has been and still is a strong pick for most team compositions. His flashes have a lot of potential. We recently have seen Pro Korean players in VCT showcase new ways of utilising his flash. (Flashing behind yourself when taking peeks.)

Considering how vital his flashes are to his kit, it’s understandable that they received a slight price increase.

His ultimate, which remains at 6 points, keeps Phoenix in a very strong position since it allows multiple opportunities across both attacker and defender halves to gain intel or opening picks.

Vote: Justified

Raze

raze agent card

  • Boom Bot: 1 charge x 400 = 400
  • Blast Pack: 2 charges x 200 = 400
  • Paint Shells: Free (2 kill reset)
  • Total cost: 800
  • Ultimate cost: 8 orbs

Raze was one of the agents that had the most significant changes to the cost of her abilities. Her Boombot was always considered strong to gain intel, distract enemies and potentially even damage or kill them. The devs must have decided that it was too overpowered for the cost of just 200. I can agree with them in regards to the fact that you can safely gather info on defence and or pressurise enemies on attack, and for only 200 that is kind of overpowered.

Maybe with the hefty price on the boombot it would have been nice to see a slight price reduction for her satchels. What do you think?

This nerf hits her hardest on pistol rounds since a boombot takes up half of her entire spendings for the round.

Lastly her ultimate the Showstopper now requires an extra ult point to be used, bringing it up to a total of 8. A smart and skilled Raze can often confirm a kill or two with this ultimate so in my opinion, I think it’s well suited to 8 points.

Vote: I’m a bit 50/50 with this one. What are your opinions?

Reyna

Reyna Medium difficulty card

  • Leer: 2 charges x 250 = 500
  • Devour + Dismiss (share the same resource pool) = 1 free + 1 purchasable charge (200 cost)
  • Total cost: 700
  • Ultimate cost: 6 orbs

I think the best balance change Reyna has received was the reduction in the soul orbs she can use from round to round from 4 down to 2. This balanced her quite well and ever since she has been in a strong position, one that is not excessively overpowered.

These past adjustments have slotted Reyna into a really balanced position within the meta. In contrast to these previous nerfs which were large, it is understandable to think that a 50 cost increase to her Leer is pretty insignificant and doesn’t change too much about her at all.

Her ult is still 6 points and similarly to Phoenix I believe that this is balanced well. It gives you multiple opportunities across the half to use your ultimate, try and pop off and swing the round in your favour.

Vote: Justified

Sage

sage agent card

  • Barrier Orb: 1 charge x 400 = 400
  • Slow Orb: 2 charges x 200 = 400
  • Healing Orb: Free (45 sec CD)
  • Total cost: 800
  • Ultimate cost: 8 orbs

The cost adjustment nerfs towards Sage frustrated a lot of people within the community. Sage is kinda memed for continuously being nerfed and here we are again this episode. I believe that the increases to the cost of her abilities were just a little too much.

They decided to increase the price of her ultimate from 7 to 8 which is understandable since it is one of the strongest abilities in the game. Additionally, they also increased the price of her wall from 300 to 400 and doubled the price of her Slow Orbs from 100 to 200.

In my opinion this was a little too much and I would have liked to have seen one or the other.

Previously those who chose Sage on defence were able to purchase her Barrier Orb on pistol round as well as a Slow Orb and Light Shield. Now they must choose to omit one of these and I reckon that this is quite a serious nerf.

The hefty price of her kit now means Sage players are sometimes opting to play the round without Slow Orbs or without a wall.

Vote: Unjustified

Skye

Skye Mobalytics agent card

  • Regrowth: 1 charge x 200 = 200
  • Trailblazer: 1 charge x 250 = 250
  • Guiding Light: 1 free charge + 1 purchasable (250 cost) = 500
  • Total Cost: 700
  • Ultimate cost: 6 orbs

Skye is in a really strong position within the current meta. I like the buffs that came her direction in the 3.0 patch. Subsequently, it’s noticeable that she has increased in pick rate from what I have seen across my 100 competitive matches this episode.

Last Act Skye had three birds for the price of 100 each. This was pretty overpowered and the community complained about having a green screen after being spammed by Skye.

The developers heard this and increased the price by more than double and reduced her charges from 3 down to 2. Her Trailblazer (dog) ability also received a slight increase of 200 up to 250. When comparing it to all the other price adjustments other agents received this is all very understandable.

What sticks out the most to me is the fact her ultimate ability is still only 6 ult points. If a Skye player is farming orbs and fragging out you can see her using the Seekers multiple times across a single half which can play a massive role in securing rounds, providing intel or making opponents vulnerable for the kill. I believe at 6 points this is one of the strongest ultimates in the game right now. Despite her strong position in the current meta, I like the changes that came her way and don’t think they are unreasonable.

Vote: Justified

Sova

sova agent card

  • Owl Drone: 1 charge x 400 = 400
  • Shock Bolt: 2 charges x 150 = 300
  • Recon Bolt: Free (40 sec CD)
  • Total cost: 700
  • Ultimate cost: 8 orbs

Sova was previously a strong pick for most maps and most team compositions. The entirety of his kit plays a massive role in gaining information on defence, as well as guiding and initiating his teammates when attacking or retaking.

His owl drone increased from 300 to 400 and considering its functionality is similar to that of Raze’s boombot it is to be expected that they are the same price. I believe they both serve a similar purpose: pressurising opponents off of choke points and crucial defensive positions, and or pushing them back to retreat. Prior to engaging in an attack the Boombot and the Owl Drone are commonly used to clear out the area so that attackers can safely and confidently move forward.

Taking this into consideration it makes sense that they are both the same price.

His shock darts were very cheap at the cost of a 100 each last patch. There are a multitude of ways they can be used: post plant situations or aggressively on attack. If used correctly they can drastically reduce enemy health if not grab a kill sometimes. Reflecting upon their potential it is surprising that they are still as cheap as 150 each.

Moreover, one of the bigger talking points was the increase of his ultimate cost, Hunter’s Fury. It is now side by side with the most expensive ultimates in VALORANT: the Showstopper and Resurrection. I believe this is justifiable since there is a lot of post-plant potential with the Hunter’s Fury. Plus, an experienced Sova player often manages to gain an opening pick if they have tagged someone with their owl drone, this can be crucial on attack rounds to harass defenders and open up sites.

Vote: Justified

Viper

viper agent card

  • Snake Bite: 2 charges x 200 = 400
  • Poison Cloud: 1 charge x 200 = 200
  • Toxic Screen: Free, 1 cast then fuel dependent
  • Total cost: 600 credits
  • Ultimate cost: 7 orbs

Trying to retake sites against opponents who have Viper Snakebite lineups waiting to come in was one of the most difficult things to counter in the last act. Riot realised this and decided to ever so slightly weaken Viper’s post plant capabilities. Further, the price of each Snakebite has doubled. Riot have done this hoping to ‘slightly reduce some of her stalling power’.

I believe they have done this successfully. Each molly now lasts 1.5 seconds less and this really assists defenders in potentially getting the bomb half defused and putting the pressure back on the Viper. It leaves Viper players slightly less confident knowing the molly lasts 13 seconds as opposed to a crazy 16.

Nevertheless, the nerfs have not held Viper back too much and she is still a powerful agent.

Vote: Justified

Yoru

Yoru Agent page portal

  • Fakeout: 2 charges x 100 cost = 200
  • Blindside: 2 charges x 250 = 500
  • Gatecrash: Free (40 sec CD)
  • Total cost: 700
  • Ultimate cost: 6 orbs

Even though Yoru was released all the way back at the start of Episode 2 Act 1, it still feels as though people are testing the waters with him and learning more about his potential.

I strongly believe that Yoru has a high skill ceiling. I think that within his kit he is well equipped to trick and deceive opponents as well as gain information and pressure the map. Recently in VCT pro play we have seen teams like Sentinels utilise Yoru on Bind and I think we will be seeing a lot more synergising team plays that kick off with Yoru Gatecrashes or ultimates in future pro play.

My opinion may be an uncommon one though, he is severely under-picked in contrast with other duelists and this may come down to the in-built simplicity that other duelists have. Due to the fact he is so under utilised in team compositions it was a shame to see any nerfs come his way, even if it is as tiny as an extra 50 cost for a flash.

He definitely has not been a meta pick since his release so it was disappointing to see him receive some cost nerfs. His Blindside now costs 250 instead of 200 and this often makes it difficult for him to afford both flashes, especially on pistol rounds if players want to upgrade their shield or Classic.

On a positive note, at least his ultimate Dimensional Drift remains 6 points. For only 6 points it provides a lot of information for his teammates and initiates outplay potential.

Vote: Unjustified

What are your opinions on the cost changes made to abilities and ultimates? You can see that I ended up finding most price alterations justifiable with a few exceptions.

Although it has bemused the community that patch 3.01 and 3.02 didn’t include any balance changes, I think it serves as a statement from developers that they feel the agents are quite balanced right now.

Want to know how these agents and costs fit in the current meta? Stay up-to-date with our VALORANT agent tier list!