Killjoy, VALORANT's new agent, lives up to her name

Aug 05 2020 5 min read

Killjoy, VALORANT's new agent, went live yesterday, August 4, and her reception has been quite poor.

Killjoy, VALORANT's new agent, went live yesterday, August 4, as a part of Patch 1.05, and her reception has been quite poor. Her debut rose many concerns throughout the community, and now that she is in action, those concerns became a reality. 

Killjoy, VALORANT's new agent

The new "OP" punching bag

Remember in Closed Beta when Raze was everyone's "OP" punching bag? Well, Killjoy has stolen that title and may even sport it better than Raze ever did. Riot even commented on Raze's hate and tried to convince the VALORANT community that Raze wasn't as viable at top-level play as she was at lesser levels. While I don't think Riot was being disingenuous, they were mistaken, as Raze has seen tons of top-level play. We saw Raze make many appearances in the WePlay! VALORANT Invitational and the agent pick stats from Radiant ranks speak for themselves.

Raze pick-rate

What she does

Now that I have used my expert journalism skills to convince you to think just like me, I, at least, give you the reasons I feel that way. Let's take a look at what Killjoy does to be a complete killjoy.

Killjoy, VALORANT's new agent


Her first basic ability is Nanoswarm, which costs 200 credits, and two can be held. Nanoswarm is a grenade that, when thrown, will go covert where it lands and wait for Killjoy to detonate it. Once detonated, a crapton of nanobots swarm an enemy in proximity, not a fun way to go out. 

This ability can be extremely strong with proper grenade line ups due to it laying dormant until she detonates it. Once information is gathered from your Sova or Cypher on player positions, it can be used to displace defenders or ruin attackers' pushing efforts. It wouldn't be so terrible if it was just a standard grenade that exploded shortly after impact, but it's not.

Killjoy Nanoswarm ability


Next up for basic abilities is an Alarmbot, which costs 200 credits. The Alarmbot goes covert after being thrown and activates once an enemy walks in its radius of activation; it can also be picked back up to redeploy. If the Alarmbot explodes on an enemy, it will apply the Vulnerable debuff instead of dealing damage. The Vulnerable debuff makes it so that agents with it take double damage while the debuff is active.

This is another ability that makes Killjoy a defensive powerhouse. This Alarmbot will ensure Killjoy and defenders on-site with her have a favorable gunfight, since the attacker will more than likely try to shoot it before getting exploded on, or will have Vulnerable applied, which, once again, favors the defending Killjoy and defending teammates. The advantage it gives to the on-site defenders is truly alarming... I'll show myself out.

Killjoy Alarmbot ability


And now the signature ability for Killjoy, Turret. Turret is exactly what it sounds like; the ability deploys a turret that automatically fires at enemies in a 180-degree cone. It can also be recalled and deployed in a different place.

If Killjoy didn't have enough abilities to make her an insane defender, let's just add another one that requires her to take zero risks while still providing damage output and ruining enemy crosshair placement. This isn't a one-shot-to-kill turret either; this damn thing has 125 health too. 

I truly don't understand nor agree with the addition of an automatic turret in a tactical FPS game. And, to throw more gasoline on the flames, this is her SIGNATURE ability, meaning she never has to buy it, and will even have it on pistol rounds. The turret's damage output is minimal, but its purpose isn't damage output. It is information obtained at no risk and something that enemies must shoot, ruining crosshair placement while shooting it.

Killjoy Turret ability


And now for the cherry on top. Killjoy's ultimate is Lockdown, which deploys a device that, after a wind-up, makes it so that all enemy agents within it's rather large radius cannot use abilities. The device can be destroyed by enemies, but it bolsters 150 health, so it's also not a one-bullet break type deal.

This is a whole new level of defender advantage and even retaking; attackers can also benefit greatly from it. You can use this ultimate to help hold a site, or you can save it for when your team attempts a retake. A huge contributor to the skill gap in VALORANT is ability usage. Now, at the top-level, players can and do use their abilities to their maximum potential along with their nutty aim. This ultimate literally allows a team to remove a vital element of the game at will, and in situations when they are needed most. 

Think of the game in two stages; Entry/Defending and Hold/Retake. Very few agents in VALORANT have a kit that is extremely viable in both stages, but those that do are essential and highly picked. Killjoy then laughs, puts down her homemade EMP, and laughs again. She removes the ability aspect of the game, and that, along with the gunplay, is most important.

Killjoy Lockdown ability

I am not a professional VALORANT player, hell I'm probably not even an above-average one. But, Killjoy has elements and things in her kit that I think truly take away from the game. Raze was a pain point for everyone due to the lethality of her kit, and while Killjoy's kit isn't directly lethal, it is chock-full of things that players must interact with. Entries for attackers are already hectic and unfavorable given the speed and precision required to clear a site, and Killjoy makes it even more so. I could be wrong, but I believe Killjoy will be an essential part of the Defenders meta, and may even tilt some Attacker sided maps to be equal, or Defender favored. Thanks for coming to my Killjoy killjoy TED Talk.


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