VALORANT Agent Guide: Harbor (Abilities, Tips, and More)
Now that Harbor has been out a couple of weeks, his role in the game is becoming more defined.
Harbor has yet to be played in an official VCT game due to his release being in the offseason, but with time comes more theory-crafting and play in tier 2 events.
Harbor is a hard set controller that is best for fast retakes and site executes and has difficulty with slowing and stalling pushes.
Cascade (C) – Equip a wave of water. Fire to send the wave rolling forward and through walls. Re-Use to stop the wave. Players hit are slowed.
- The wave can be sent through walls, and sent while behind cover.
- Recasting the ability stops the wall, the wall lights up once it is stopped
Cascade is a unique controller ability. In an Operator, Chamber heavy meta, this ability is great for scaling on to a site with protection from an Operator.
Otherwise, this ability is best served when moving up long corridors on offense or to place at a choke point on defense.
Cascade Use Cases
1. Moving down a long corridor, and clearing angles to the left and right.
2. Slowly pushing forward on to a site to avoid an Operator.
- If Chamber continues to be meta, this ability will be a great counter to him as it allows multiple people to take ground with the cover of the wall while Chamber can set up in front of other controllers’ static vision blocking utility.
3. On defense, placing at a chokepoint to block enemies coming on to site.
- Although the wall is always the same orientation, it can be used to assist allies in other lanes if they need a vertical wall if High Tide is on cooldown.
- This ability can be shot through, so it can be combined with Fade or Sova to kill enemies through it.
Equip a sphere of shielding water. Fire to throw. Alt Fire to underhand throw. Upon impacting the ground, spawn a water shield that blocks bullets.
- The shield lasts 14 seconds, and there is a 1 second period at the end in which the shield is down, but the vision blocking water is still up.
- The shield has 500 hitpoints, and can be destroyed. If the shield is destroyed, only the water will remain for 1 second, and then disappear. This happens no matter how much time is left on the ability.
- No hitscan bullets nor abilities (Neon, Chamber, and Jett Ultimates) can pass through, but projectiles can pass through such as Shock Darts and snake bites.
Cove can be played similar to a Viper Toxic Orb, but it has its differences you should take into account when using it.
Cove blocks bullets, so using it to block site lines has the added benefit of not being able to be spammed through a smoke. The downside is that once the shield on Cove is broken, the ability will fade shortly after.
Thinking of using this ability more so as a sage wall rather than a traditional orb smoke will help you get more value out of it.
Cove Use Cases
1. Blocking site lines like a traditional smoke. Lineups will most likely be needed for this.
2. Blocking crossfires when clearing angles and taking ground.
- This example allows you to clear front site without worrying about someone from back site trading you out.
3. Give coverage for plants and defuses.
4. Relocate defensively by getting out of an area when pinned, drop down from a ledge, or throw on site to play around.
5. Set up at the end of a choke point on offense to pop flash out of.
- Cove allows you to walk down a long corridor and popflash out of a smoke without getting spammed inside of the smoke.
- This ability can be used with a Sage wall to allow the Sage Wall to fully form inside of Cove. The two abilities combined force enemies to use more than an entire magazine from a rifle to be able to shoot the person defusing or planting the spike.
- If an enemy is destroying Cove this gives information of an enemy location and allows you to swing that enemy while their spray is not yet reset and inaccurate.
- If creating line ups, Cove has the exact same travel distance as a Viper Toxic Orb.
High Tide (E)
Equip a wall of water. Fire to send the water forward along the ground. Hold Fire to guide the water in the direction of your crosshair, passing through the world, and spawning a wall along the water’s path. Alt-Fire while bending to stop the water early. Players hit are Slowed.
- The wall lasts 14 seconds and recharges every 40 seconds.
- This ability can be sent through walls, is activated on the highest wall it passes through like Viper’s Toxic Screen, and curved like Phoenix’s Blaze wall ability.
High Tide should be viewed as a dynamic version of Viper’s Toxic Screen. This ability can be used the same as Toxic Screen to block long sight lines such as through Breeze A site or Icebox B site.
The main advantage Toxic Screen has being used in this manner is that Toxic Screen can regenerate much faster, while High Tide has a much longer cooldown.
The advantages of High Tide is that once it recharges it can be reused in a different place, it can be curved, and it can be ended early to be placed faster.
High Tide Use Cases
1. Blocking site lines in a straight line similar to Viper’s Toxic Screen
- This can be used for executing sites, to block off a chokepoint an enemy is about to push through or to help a teammate who is pinned escape
- Curve the wall to cover multiple choke points at once
3. Create pockets for you or your teammates to hide in to catch opponents off guard.
4. Curve the wall to isolate off certain angles for taking ground without being exposed to other angles.
- On a retake, this wall allows a player to isolate angles into back hall and cuts off opposing players offsite, allowing the site to be retaken with fewer angles to clear.
- Throwing the ability at a higher angle makes it travel slower, allowing you to curve the ability more easily
- When fired, left click can be immediately released and the wall will go its full length in a straight line, allowing you to equip your weapon faster.
- If holding left click, when right click is pressed the wall will end. The advantage of doing this is that the wall will rise faster, as the wall only rises once the orb stops traveling. This timing can make a big difference in helping a teammate get out of cover or executing a site a second or two faster.
Equip the full power of your Artifact. Fire to summon a geyser pool on the ground. Enemy players in the area are targeted by successive geyser strikes. Players caught within a strike are Concussed.
- A total of 3 geyser strikes can be sent per person in the ultimate’s range.
- The ultimate is always sent a few meters in front of Harbor, and cannot be sent across the map.
- After it is cast, Reckoning slowly moves forward while it is active.
Reckoning has the area to take a site like Killjoy’s Lockdown, the stunning ability of Breach’s Rolling thunder, and the information gathering of Skye’s Seekers.
The ultimate is great for taking ground quickly by putting enemies on site in a massive disadvantage in fights or making them flee altogether.
If using Harbor, this ultimate is one to prioritize getting orbs and spike plants on offense to use it as much as possible.
Reckoning Use Cases
1. Taking a site, by using the large area of Reckoning.
2. Retaking a site by using Reckoning on site, and Harbor’s sight blocking utility to isolate the site.
3. Stalling a push to allow for teammates to rotate.
- The timing and spacing of this is important. The Ultimate should be placed partially on site, so enemies do not push past the Ultimate and run over site. Perfect timing is when the enemies begin to use Controller and Initiator utility, as this is an indicator they are starting to execute. If timed and spaced correctly the only options enemies have are to wait out the ultimate and waste the utility they used for an execute, and allow more rotates on to site or to commit to the execute and get hit by the ultimate at the front of site.
- Below is an example of spacing on Bind B site that hits the choke points on to site as well as front site which will hit enemies if they do push through the Ultimate.
- The geyser strikes can be seen and have an audio indicator, this gives your team information where an enemy is.
- The geyser strikes can be dodged if a player is running, so concussing an enemy is not guaranteed.
- If an enemy is slowed they will not run fast enough to avoid the blast. Combo this Ultimate off a Chamber Trademark to guarantee stunning an enemy who is through a chokepoint.
- Use High Tide to wall off the edges of Reckoning to isolate enemies within the ultimate’s area.
- Try to avoid using vision-blocking abilities in Reckoning’s area, this will give enemies extra cover to survive.
Where to Use Harbor
Controllers are best played where a map’s geometry suits them. As of now Pearl and Fracture are Harbor’s two best maps. On both of these maps Harbor can serve as a primary Controller, and on Pearl can serve as a secondary Controller to Astra.
On Pearl utilize the use cases above to take advantage of his High Tide being able to cover many choke points at once, bis Cascade for pushing down B Ramp, and Reckoning covering all of A Site.
As for Fracture, Harbor’s Cascade is fantastic for taking ground early on defense for pinch plays through B Tree and A Halls or to push toward Operators playing on any of the extremities.
High Tide is great for pushing on to sites as it can cut off the defensive links toward the center of the map.
Harbor is also suitable on Icebox and Breeze as a replacement to Viper. On these maps utilize High Tide as a Toxic Screen replacement as well as Cascade as an option to push longer site lines to avoid Operator players.
Harbor synergizes well with Neon and Kay/O. The former is good on both Pearl and Fracture, and can make use of Harbor’s fast-paced utility and setting up pinch plays on Fracture from the opposite side of Harbor.
Meanwhile, Kay/O can flash through Harbors utility, and can even set up a Neon with a flash who is sprinting through a Cascade.
Harbor adds some unique aspects to the cast of Controllers. It is looking as if his role is going to be as a niche pick for aggressive team compositions or as a secondary controller. As of now Harbor is considered to be on the weaker side overall. Some potential buffs in the future to make him more viable could be:
- Increasing the slowing effect of his abilities
- Making the slow not affect allies
- If Cove is broken, the vision blocking component still remains for the full time duration, rather than disappearing in 1 second.
- Giving Cove or Cascade a second charge
- Make pushing through his abilities more punishable on top of a slow for enemies, such as a temporary visual effect or a short water trail indicating where an enemy traveled
We’ll keep you updated on the newest strategies involving Harbor once VCT picks back up, and his role in the meta becomes clearly defined.
For more agent ability info, lineups, and more, head to our VALORANT agents portal.