With Challengers LCQ wrapped up and São Paulo on right now, professional Valorant has returned in full force. For the less-professional Valorant player, Season 6 brings with it a new opportunity to climb the ranks and finally reach the rank of your dreams.
Patch 5.12 brought a huge shakeup with Chamber’s rework opening up the door for true duelists to return to the spotlight.
Scaling up utility health while decreasing utility damage, along with the removal of Breeze and Bind and the addition of Lotus into the competitive rotation, the initiator meta has drastically changed.
Luckily, I’ve ranked the best initiators to play right now with the following tiers!
S - Near must pick, offers a clear advantage over the others
A - Very good pick that still offers a lot
B - Okay pick that can work in some situations
C - Less successful pick that will usually struggle
Breach - B
Changes - Increased the cost of Rolling Thunder to 8 ultimate points.
Strengths - Breach’s kit excels at disrupting and displacing enemies, making him great for pushing into an area. He is one of the best initiators for clearing corners, as any of his abilities can effectively disable an enemy so it can be cleared. Rolling Thunder is a great initiation ultimate for taking or re-taking a site. He is honestly a pushing team’s dream.
Weaknesses - The major downside is half his kit requires a wall or cover to be used. This can make it hard for him to get the maximum value and presents a challenge for newer players. Focusing on firepower, he has no recon abilities, making it hard to convert if he doesn’t know where enemies are and easy to waste abilities on an empty site. Lastly, while still encumbering, stuns are not as effective as blinds at disabling players.
Overall - Breach is a good secondary initiator to supplement your team with strong pushing power. His unique playstyle can be challenging for new players and his lack of recon abilities hurts his viability, but when the situation calls for firepower, he’s your man. Read on to find some initiators who don’t need as much experience to succeed.
Skye - B
Changes - Trailblazer’s cost was increased to 300 credits while Regrowth was reduced to 150.
Strengths - Skye is a solid jack of all trades, able to flash, heal, and recon, which makes her able to single-handedly support a push onto a site. Her flash is good for getting information (as her voice line will reveal if any players were flashed), it also has the ability to recharge over time. She excels at split-pushing sites or supporting her team from the back.
Weaknesses - Jack of all trades, master of none. While Skye has varied utility, all of it is slow. Particularly the Trailblazer leaves her vulnerable while scouting, relying on nearby teammates for defense. Her flash does take time to reliably master and the risk of team flashing is always a danger. Her Seekers are also underwhelming as they randomly hunt down nearby enemies but are easily destroyed and can be hard to follow up on.
Overall - Skye offers a lot of varied utility that excels when playing off her team. Her diverse kit means she can support a split-push easily or be backing up a duelist diving into site, but her slower deploy time for utility, plus the Pathfinder cost increase, can make it hard for her to push into a site first. She is a good supplemental initiator, but read on to see which initiators are even stronger.
KAY/O - A
Changes - Increased Zero Point’s health in line with the other utility changes and NULL/cmd was increased to 8 ultimate points.
Strengths - KAY/O is another jack of all trades, with recon, a molotov, and flashes. His ability to suppress opponents is very strong for shutting down sentinel setups, particularly for Chamber’s and Jett’s ultimates. He can clear corners with his flash or molotov, making it easy for him to push onto the site. His varied utility makes him good at supporting pushes and taking space.
Weaknesses - KAY/O’s biggest weakness is his skill gap. Mastering his flashes can be hard and team-flashing, again, is always a risk. Knowing lineups is valuable information, meaning it can take time and practice for players to get the most out of him.
Overall - With the rise of Killjoy, KAY/O gets a bump in power as he can reliably disable or destroy her setups. While it can take time to master and his recent ultimate cost increase doesn’t help, his kit is incredibly strong, making him a solid initiator. Read on to see who else can offer such good value.
Fade - A
Changes - Prowler’s health was reduced to 60 HP.
Strengths - Fade is great at getting information, whether it be with her Watcher or clearing corners with her Prowler. Her Prowlers being able to track down marked enemies gives her an opening to enter onto sites, while her Seize acts a sudo-molotov to stop enemies from pushing an area. Nightfall is excellent for taking or retaking a site, making her an overall solid agent for pushing.
Weaknesses - Fade lacks a proper molotov, meaning she can’t disrupt a sentinel setup. Especially with the Prowler health decrease, her kit is vulnerable to being destroyed before it can get value and her Watcher’s throw range isn’t as far as you think, meaning studying lineups are a must.
Overall - Fade is a good pushing agent whose utility is quick to grasp. While destructible, her utility can get her team on the site or at least track down any enemies. She is a solid initiator pick, but read on to see who our best initiator is right now.
Sova - S
Changes - Recon Bolt’s health was increased in line with other utility changes.
Strengths - Sova is the king of recon. Between his Recon Bolt and drone, he can quickly find enemies on the site so his team can push in. Shock Bolts give him the opportunity to destroy enemy utility, check corners, or play post-plant situations. His ultimate is an easy way to get an opening pick on a site if an enemy gets tagged.
Weaknesses - He lacks a stun or flash, making it hard for him to lead the charge onto a site. He is reliant on his team for playing off the information he gets and his recon bolt and drone can both be destroyed
Overall - With the recent Fade and KAY/O nerfs, Sova is the best initiator. His kit is easy to pick up with room to be mastered through countless lineups. While he relies on his team for follow-up, he presents opportunities for skilled players to make cool plays with his excellent recon abilities. Definitely try picking up the Russian archer if you are looking to climb right now.
Thoughts? Disagree? Leave a comment down below!