VALORANT patch 4.04 dropped today, bringing with it numerous changes to characters that promise to help balance out the controller meta and make Yoru a more viable duelist. The patch brings with it the new rework to Yoru, designed to make him more competitive against Jett, Reyna, and Phoenix. They are also rebalancing controllers, buffing Brimstone and Omen, while at the same time nerfing Astra and Viper in the new patch.
VALORANT reworks Yoru in patch 4.04
Yoru is finally getting the rework he deserves, as previously announced a few weeks ago by Riot. The new rework is designed to make Yoru more viable in comparison to the other duelists like Jett and Reyna, who have been featured much more prominently on both the pro meta and ladder play.
Firstly, his Fakeout charges have been reduced to only 1. Fakeout now sends out a decoy with health points of 150, that can be sent running in a straight line by placing a stationary marker for him to run toward. If the decoy takes damage from an enemy weapon, the decoy will turn toward the enemy and explode, flashing all enemies in its cone area of effect.
Secondly, his Gate Crash ability is also being reworked. The charges for this ability have increased from 1 to 2, and the cooldown charge refresh was removed, switching it back to the previous 2-kill reset version. The time to teleport has been reduced by 1 second, down to .5 seconds, while the teleport beacons in-game audio was also reduced by 10 meters to 12.5m, along with the speed being increased from 675 to 800. Upon activating a fake teleport, the beacon will now create a "small decal" on the floor for 30 seconds to indicate the location of the fake teleport.
Finally, they are reworking Yoru's Dimensional Drift ability too. The duration increased from 8 to 10 seconds, you will not be revealed to enemies, and the unequip delay time was increased from .5 to 1.2 seconds. Yoru will also now be able to cast his utility out of his ultimate. Footsteps can still be heard within 15 meters, and the cast delay has been added upon casting dimensional rift to prevent the invisibility frame on cast.
Overall, this new version of Yoru promises a more effective form of misdirection and confusion for the enemies, and will hopefully make him more viable on maps outside Breeze and Fracture.
VALORANT nerfs Controller agents Astra and Viper
Astra and Viper are all seeing some reductions in their capabilities in this patch, in an attempt to make room for Omen and Brimstone to share more of the spotlight.
Astra received the most changes in this patch, outside of Yoru, affecting her Gravity Well, Nova Pulse, Nebula, and Astral Form abilities.
Her Gravity well had its cooldown increased from 25 to 45, a significant nerf to the ability. The size of the well was also reduced a tad bit from 525 to 475, while the gravity well also no longer affects anyone underneath it, so it will no longer be useful to put on top of containers or other rooftop spaces to affect enemies below. Nova Pulse also had its cooldown increased from 25 to 45, and it will also no longer affect players underneath it.
As for Nebula, its cooldown was increased from 14 to 25, with the nebula cooldowns becoming sequential instead of simultaneous. The size of Nebula, however, was increased from 410 to 475 making is slightly more effective when in use.
Her Astral Form received a few adjustments. While in her Astral Form, her pings will no longer be blocked by geometry that isn't visible. The targeting ring in her Astral Form was reduced to one ring that reflects the newly unified size of her utility. The overlay speed when coming in and out of the form was also increased, making it riskier to switch to in high-pressure moments.
Viper received numerous changes to her abilities to nerf her overall impact on the battlefield. These nerfs while they may seem minor, when added together they significantly decrease the high levels of control that Viper currently has in VALORANT.
Her Fuel drain was increased by 50% when using both Toxic Screen and Poinson Cloud at the same time, encouraging Viper players to select between the two staple abilities. Her Fuel Bar will also now turn red when she doesn't have enough fuel to activate her abilities, as small but welcome quality of life change.
Both her Toxic Screen and her Poison Cloud had their cooldown after deactivation increased by 2 seconds up to 8 seconds total. The Cooldown timers now starts when the smoke is dissipating. The deactivation delay on the abilities was decreased by 20% to .8 seconds and the Toxic Screen and Poison Cloud now have yellow lights that indicate when they are on cooldown. You can also now deactivate them even when suppressed.
Finally, her Snake Bite duration was decreased by a second, down to 5.5 seconds.
VALORANT buffs Controller agents Brimstone and Omen
The devs appear dead set on trying to make Brimstone and Omen more viable in the Controller meta in this patch.
Brimstone received four buffs to improve his performance in the Controller meta, where he is currently not much of a contender. The changes primarily focus on making his Sky Smoke more valuable, and a small change to his Stim Beacon to make it more valuable to players using it.
His deploy time for Sky Smoke was decreased from 2 to 1 second, allowing for quicker deployment. The radio of his Sky Smoke was increased from 5000 to 5500, so it will cover more area. The Sky Smoke was additionally increased in height to match the other smoke abilities
Additionally, his Stim Beacon will now apply a 15% speed boost along with its RapidFire buff. This is a small change, but it could see the Stim Beacon used in more creative ways since improved movement speed allows people to move across open spaces or peak corners more safely.
Omen's new changes are small but will improve the overall feel of using Omen. For his Dark Cover ability, the cooldown has been decreased from 40 seconds to 30 seconds, the cost increased from 100 to 150, and the projectile speed more than doubled from 2800 to 6400.
His Shrouded step ability saw its cost decreased from 150 to 100, with the pre teleport delay also being decreased by 30% down to .7 seconds, allowing for a much quicker and lower risk teleport.His Paranoia also saw a minor adjustment, that adds a forward spawn offset, so players adjacent to omen are not hit. Overall the Omen changes are minor, but will be a small buff for him in the end.
Miscellaneous map changes
There were just a couple of minor map updates in the latest patch as well. On Ascent, the B orb can now be taken from the lower box, rather than requiring the double jump to the box to get it. On Icebox, the devs rearranged one of the doors on the way to B to improve attacker options., as seen below.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.