The agent was just too good!
Riot Explain the Sage Nerfs in Patch 1.07
Valorant’s patch 1.07 arrived yesterday and it included various changes for numerous agents. There’s no doubt that Sage was hit hard by nerfs and Riot explain why!
Valorant’s closed beta is all but forgotten by now but there’s something important to take from it. The most popular agent in the early stages of the tactical shooter was Sage. A support character that was an optimal pick and a good choice in every team line up. Fast forward to the present day (before 1.07) and you’ll notice that months later Sage is still enjoying quite a lot of popularity, especially in pub matches. Her presence in the competitive scene is also big but teams tend to sometimes leave her behind in favor of other agents.
Many players expected Sage to get nerfed much sooner, with patch 1.05 when Killjoy was released. That didn’t happen though. The most recent thing that was nerfed for Sage was the range you can cast Barrier Orb from. With patch 1.07 the devs really outright murdered her.
Valorant’s patch 1.07 hit Sage where it hurts, here all the changes:
- Heal reduced from 100 over 5 seconds >>> 60 over 5 seconds
- Self heal reduced from 100 over 5 seconds >>> 60 over 10 seconds
Our goal is to reduce the amount of healing done throughout the round. Disincentivize Sage from self-healing and make it more expensive to do so.
- Size reduced by 30%
This should slightly reduce the power of Slow Orb and increase intentionality. Right now, slow orb unintentionally covers a lot more ground than it should be if aimed properly.
- Cost reduced from 400 >>> 300
- Fortifying Barrier: Wall forms at 400 HP—after a 3-second delay, the wall becomes fortified to 800 HP
Our hope is to increase counterplay on Barrier and reduce the strength of the wall during reactive use.
Sage is dead, or is she? The nerfs on the agent are quite hard, but she still retains the integrity of her kit. It’s just the numbers that get tweaked for the worse. Sage no longer heals to full health and it’s much faster on teammates. Slow Orb might not be able to cover some previously possible locations, but the biggest change by far is the Barrier Orb. The wall’s hp drops to half for the first three seconds, so enemies will have a chance to deal with it and rush to a site. Previously, doing 800 damage (1000 before another nerf) to a wall wasn’t something you’d consider.
As you can imagine, most players were sick of seeing Sage and her wall every game so the nerfs were quite welcome. In a Reddit post, a Riot employee explained why the changes were necessary
There's a chance we have hit Sage a bit hard so we will be keeping an eye on Sage for the next few patches. If we hit Sage too hard, trust that we will be working hard to ensure she finds the right tunings and finds the right balance on the roster.
In conclusion, Sage was just too good in every aspect of the game. She had good utility that could block bombsites, insane healing for both herself and teammates, and an even crazier pick rate. When a character has a 90% pick rate and over 50%-win rate you just know something isn’t right. Hopefully, Sage will now truly fulfill the role of a support agent instead of competing with the duelists. Furthermore, with the various nerfs to her healing maybe we can expect another healer on the way? Supports are lacking in Valorant and maybe it’s time for Riot to step up the numbers.
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