VALORANT doesn't need another flash duelist, but we're not complaining about Yoru.

VALORANT doesn't need another flash duelist, but we're not complaining about Yoru.
image via Riot Games

The exciting new agent kit definitely delivers.

The second episode of VALORANT started today with the Japanese duelist Yoru, increasing the list of agents to 14. And while the tactical shooter is in dire need of a fix for controllers, the insider still delivers unique gameplay that's sure to excite the fraggers.

Yes, Yoru is a duelist. And yes, he has a flash. But he offers enough variation to make you stand out from other agents in his cohort. If Jett is one of the more mechanically intense agents, then Yoru is perfect for seasoned manipulators.

Does VALORANT really need another duelist?

Screengrab via Riot Games

With Jett, Phoenix, Raze, Reyna, and now Yoru, Duelists are easily the largest class in VALORANT. And while some players might have hoped for a new controller, adding another duelist isn't exactly a bad idea.

In a typical team build, squads have two duelists (three if you're TSM), a sentry, a controller, and a launcher. Obviously, this can vary from rating to rating, but there are always at least two duelists per squad. Due to the current meta, VALORANT inherently needs more duelists to provide a better variety from game to game. And casting Yoru only increases the diversity of the class.

The problem, then, is not that Riot released the fifth duellist. It's just that one of VALORANT's classes has been unbearably stagnant for months: controllers.

Through First Strike: North America, Omen appeared in 99 percent of the games, according to Viper and Brimstone were selected less than five percent of the time. It is clear that smokers are necessary to execute coordinated attacks or defend against rival teams. But among the limited pool of controllers meta-agents and tough sentinel nerves in October, the power of the duelists is only increasing.

It is true that releasing another controller would not fix the problem, but would simply place a band-aid over an open wound. Riot clearly understood this going into episode two and finally targeted the controllers in today's patch 2.0. With nerfed Omen, upgraded Brimstone, and the "underperforming" Viper on the radar, Riot may have bought enough time for a potential new controller in Act II.

Yoru's kit lends itself to outplays

Although adding a fifth duelist might have been difficult to sell, Yoru can quickly win over the VALORANT community. He is calm, elegant and the perfect complement to the charming largemouth Phoenix.

The Japanese duelist's blindside isn't exactly revolutionary. The flash only fires if it hits a hard surface, but it can be thrown relatively far. Yoru's power instead comes from the mind games that he can play in opposing squads.

In the hands of a player with a particularly high IQ, Yoru has the potential to be a threat. As the name implies, Fakeout can absolutely fool opponents with missteps that can go in any direction, and its uses are unlimited. Whether you want to fake a run, pretend to retreat, or briefly interrupt your enemy's sights, the ability is subtle but powerful.

Image via Riot Games

Gatecrash and the Duelist's Dimensional Rift can be used in conjunction with the Fake Steps, drawing your opponents' attention elsewhere before you sneak up behind them. However, there are some built-in counters.

Gatecrash can be fired by opponents and the dimensional shard becomes visible if it gets too close. Yoru's latest reveals it similarly if he gets within range of an enemy, though he still maintains invulnerability. And each skill emits a sound signal that can point enemies in your direction.

Even with those minor drawbacks, it's hard to imagine a team composition that Yoru doesn't fit into. He can lay down devastating flanks, stalk to take out stragglers, and blink and teleport in. Pair it with an Omen and enemies won't know which way to look. Also, a five-duelist competition is finally possible.

Yoru may not be what players need, but he will be what players want.


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