The COMPLETE Vandal Guide to Play Like TenZ in VALORANT
August 7, 2021
Now since the beginning of beta the vandal and the phantom have swapped back and forth into the meta and back out over and over again proving that both guns are very strong, and comes down to personal preference. but preference is the wrong word, it’s more about personal playstyle because using the Vandal how the Vandal is meant to be used, and using the phantom how the phantom is mean to be used is the key to making both of the weapons excel at their role. which is why today I’m going to be going extremely in depth covering the Vandal, and the mechanics and tactics you need to be implementing to make the Vandal so effective, and analyzing pro players like Tenz to give even more insight and show you exactly how you need to be using the Vandal to boost those kills per game and increase that win percentage. But as always before we get too deep in to today’s video we have to go over our question of the day, and today I wanted to ask you guys, how do you feel about Kay/O in the meta right now?
Personally, I think there’s no denying that Kay/O is a strong agent by any means, I’m
just not sure how well he fits into a team comp in ranked.It seems like in Ranked you’re always going to need 2 duelists, sentinel, smokes, and a sova, except for on split but aside from split I think every position is pretty much vital depending on the map, and I’m just not sure you can substitute anyone out to make room for Kay/O because to get real effectiveness out of his kit, you need a good bit of team play to make it work. but I’m sure you guys have a ton of different opinions than me on this, which is exactly why I want to hear from you, so let me know in the comments down below, what do you think about Kay/O in the current meta. Alright now let’s get down into the details and first off we’re going to compare the phantom and the Vandal by the numbers because they are each other’s competition and it’s important to know.
Now let’s start off with the base level Pros and Cons The Phantom has a 30 round clip which is 5 more bullets than the Vandal, it also has a suppressor which makes it where the gun can’t be heard at certain ranges, and has no bullet tracers meaning it’s much more difficult to tell where you’re being shot from, and more difficult to shoot back at an enemy through smokes. The phantom also has a significantly higher fire rate, and a slighly easier to control recoil pattern.
The Vandal on the other hand has no bullet drop off ranges so it will consistently 1 shot enemies in the head from any range, and 4 shots to the body as well. meaning the phantom has a ton of niche benefits that add to the usefulness, but in pure firefight potential, the Vandal should take the cake, especially when you look at time to kill.
Now, assuming the enemy has 150 Health and you hit all body shots, at closer than 15 meters the phantom is going to come out ahead with a .27 second time to kill, while the vandal has a .31 second time to kill, meaning the vandal is .04 seconds slower.
Now compare this tiny margin to the time to kill at all distances further than 15 meters where the Vandal stands strong with it’s .31 second time to kill, and the phantom drops to a .36 second time to kill, meaning the phantom has a .05 second slower time to kill. and these numbers may seem minimal, but when you take into account that most of your fights, especially on defense, are going to take place past 15 meters, and with the phantom you have to hit an extra bullet, the Vandal is going to win out heavily. because having to hit an extra bullet not only means your time to kill is going to be lower, your accuracy also has to be higher to even come close to matching a vandal. so in essence, in most of your firefights you have to perform better with the Phantom, only to still come out slightly slower. BUT there is one more thing that makes the Vandal so unique compared to the phantom that we have to go over, and this is a stat that most people don’t even know exists. and that’s called the “Tap Efficiency Rating” to my knowledge this stat has only been brought up in patch 0.50, which was right in the middle of the Beta, and never brough up again, but that patch states that the Vandal’s tap efficiency rating was incresaed from 4 to 6, while the Phantom’s was increased from 3 to 4. and the higher the tap efficiency rating, the lower the rate of inaccuracy accrual. which basically just means whenever you shoot your gun again before your accuracy fully resets, you’ll receive less accuracy penalty depending on how high your tap efficiency rating is.
so long story short, the Vandal can get off more tap fires and bursts in a short period of time without becoming wildly inaccurate, whereas the phantom struggles with being able to get those extra bursts off because of the accuracy penalty. Now I do have to point out that the Vandal has a .375 gun recovery time to the phantom’s .35 gun recovery time, meaning you have to wait 20ms longer for your accuracy to fully reset when using the Vandal, but the whole point is that we don’t want to have to wait that duration anyway. and this is one of the biggest things we see Vandal players abusing, and is the main reason .
The COMPLETE Vandal Guide to Play Like TenZ in VALORANT
we see Tenz talking about how good the phantom is on paper, but he constantly reverts back to the Vandal over and over. Ad Alright now let’s get down to breaking down the Vandal’s unique mechanics based off the way Tenz so masterfully dominates with the weapon.
Now let’s start with Shot Pacing, Tenz has a very specific shot pace that he uses with the Vandal and it’s become second nature to him and he does it virtually every time he shoots unless he has to commit to the fight instantly.
Tenz starts off with a 2-3 round burst, and he then follows that up with either another 2-3 round burst, or a full spraydown, and he chooses which of these 2 to do depending on whether or not the enemy is firing back at him, or if they’re hitting him. if the enemy is already shooting or spraying at him then he commits to the spraydown, if the enemy is still caught off guard, Tenz would rather stay light on his feet and keep bursting to pick up the kill so he maintains as little risk as possible if he gets peeked again. and the reason this is so effective is because of that tap efficiency rating, because if you were using the phantom instead of the Vandal that 2nd burst would be less accurate, and that third burst would have heavy recoil inaccuracy problems, but the vandal stays somewhat close to the target, and only needs slight adjustment. But there’s more to this shot pacing than it seems, and that’s the movement that he incorporates with the shots as well. watch closely as Tenz takes his first burst on an enemy, He will almost always strafe left or right, the opposite direction of the way he was moving, while he gets those first few shots off, and this is because while you’re changing directions you’re fully accurate.
it’s only once you reach a certain speed threshold do you become inaccurate again, and Tenz stops shooting before he reaches that threshold, slows back down and gets his next shots off with another strafe or a crouch. if you thought you got shot while the enemy was full running in your games, playing against Tenz is like having that happen every single time the guy kills you because he has mastered the movement, and the movement synergizes so well with the stats of the Vandal. So effectively Tenz is able to get 3 shots off fully accurately while moving, get 3 more shots off while changing directions, and then commit to a full spray while you’re left shooting at a full moving target, and we all know how difficult that can be. But that’s what makes Tenz so effective. He’s the counterstrike pro that came over to Valorant and left counterstrike in the past, and fully embraced the unique mechanics that Valorant has to offer, and that exactly what you need to be imitating in your game to make you even more effective.
But there is one more huge benefit we have to talk about when it comes to the Vandal over the Phantom, and that’s the Pixel Peek. and there’s two main ways to do this, and we call it the pixel peek because you want to see and let the enemy see the smallest amount of each other’s head or body as possible. the first way is like Hiko shows us here, where he’s playing on top of Boiler and peeks up to see the tiniest portion of Jett’s head and hits that one tap because you’re basically putting yourself in a spot where it’s difficult for you to pick up the kill, but it’s almost impossible for the enemy to kill you, and you can fall back at any time. Think about using the Phantom in this position, you’re not relying on being able to get a bodyshot off afterwards so hitting the head isn’t going to get the kill in almost any situation, but when using the Vandal you can go for that quick tap to reposition and increase your odds of getting lucky and winning a round off of a quick pick.
adn the other way to do this is to hold a very tight angle like the short peek on Bind, you can hold very far back where the Vandal one shots to the head and the Phantom doesn’t, and go for a quick little one tap on the enemy as they peek from the right side. if you miss the shot then no harm no foul just fall back to safety and play to defend the site like normal, but whenever you manage to pick up these quick early kills it wins you rounds because it destroys the enemies push just like that. And this is one of those things you have to play with to figure out your own skill level with, some people are going to need a bigger gap to work with so they have more time to react, and some people are just better at anticipating based off of sound. but the biggest thing is make sure to fall back to safety as soon as you get that shot off, because the whole point is to put yourself in as little danger as possible, adn give yourself that opportunity to pick up the freekill.