What MASTERING Sage Looks Like On Valorant
While VALORANT definitely rewards precise gunplay, Riot put a unique twist on a tactical shooter by incorporating player abilities. One of the game’s starting agents is Sage, who was clearly inspired by Overwatch’s Mei and Mercy. This support character can heal, resurrect, slow, and zone, making her a must-have on any team.
Here are some tips for playing VALORANT’s support agent.
Barrier Orb (C)
Sage’s Barrier Orb creates a solid wall that can only be cracked by bullets, reminiscent of Mei’s Ice Wall. This nifty ability can be used in a multitude of ways to help you and your teammates stay out of trouble.
If your team is pushing a point and you can’t afford to worry about a flank, for example, place Barrier Orb as your first line of defense. A flanker would have to shoot through the ice to get to your team, alerting you of their position and ruining the surprise.
Another possible use for the skill would be to block a lane and sightlines. This can be thrown out at the start of the round to cut off the enemy team’s path, blocking snipers for picking off your teammates. And if things get a bit dicey, a well-timed Barrier Orb can give you time to heal, resurrect, or guide your team’s retreat.
Finally, the ice wall allows you to reach high vantage points and take out unsuspecting victims. By looking down while casting Barrier Orb, the wall will rise and take you with it. This can help you jump on higher ground and surprise your enemies.
Despite all Barrier Orb’s benefits, it does have a pretty big drawback—you can’t uncast the ability. An uncareful cast could box a teammate out and lead them to their death. And the only way for your team to get through a lane would be to shoot through your wall. But mastering the spell isn’t too difficult and its positive benefits outweigh the occasional troll cast.
Slow Orb (Q)
Slow Orb continues the Mei inspiration with another zoning tool. The orb detonates to create a frozen field of ice that slows anybody who steps in its path for a set amount of time.
This ability’s use is similar to Barrier Orb in that it can be used to cut off a flank or zone enemies away when your team is looking to retreat. Casting the spell on a bunch of grouped up opponents will make it difficult for them to position themselves. If an enemy is slowed in the ice field, they can easily be picked off by your team.
But also similar to Barrier Orb, this skill has a major flaw. The ability affects Sage and allies the same way it would an enemy. This means that you have the potential to throw your entire team under the bus. The orb needs to be thrown carefully as to not disrupt your teammates’ agenda. Players would benefit from using it the same way they would use a grenade in other first-person shooters.
Healing Orb (E)
Healing Orb is the skill that allows the agent’s supportive kit to thrive. The ability can be used to heal damaged allies or yourself, restoring health over time. Though it sounds simple enough, it has a fairly long cooldown—so use it wisely.
The more selfish players can play aggressive, retreat, and heal up before rejoining the fight. But Sage’s kit is more useful when played defensively. Sage is more optimal from the backline, healing teammates when they get low and zoning out flankers or fraggers. If an ally is sniping, for example, Sage can watch the flank and alert their teammate. And if sniping doesn’t go too well, the medic can heal up their ally and let them try again.
This is especially useful during a firefight when multiple players are damaged. A Sage can give you an instant advantage by restoring an ally’s health. And if you’re the last player left, fight, retreat, heal, and fight again.
Any Overwatch fans will immediately recognize this ability. Just like Mercy’s ability to revive a fallen teammate, Sage can bring an ally back to life.
This is a powerful tool, which means Sage’s life is instantly worth more than most of her allies. It’s important to stay safe in the backline when your ultimate ability is up because dying with it is a waste. If players need to clutch a round, Sage can easily turn a one-vs-one into a two-vs-one to secure a victory.
While this ability can certainly give your team an instant player advantage, the casting distance is short. Players basically have to be standing on top of their ally to resurrect them. But for such a potentially-overpowered ability, that requirement is necessary to maintain game balance.
Luckily for Sage, her entire kit can help you position properly to not get shot down while reviving your teammate. Players can put up a barrier to block enemies’ line of sight, allowing you to get the resurrection off without any issues.Players fortunate enough to have been granted closed beta access can jump into VALORANT now, where it’s set to run until the game’s official launch this summer.