Here’s why new Deadlock buffs will finally make the agent viable

Valorant Deadlock agent

Massive Deadlock buffs have finally been revealed for Valorant Episode 8 Act 1, and the agent might now actually become viable as a result. 

Despite receiving minor improvements in her kit in Valorant patch 7.10, the sentinel agent continues to struggle and the buffs have barely had any impact, leaving her at the bottom of the game’s barrel alongside Indian controller Harbor. Over the few months since her release, many casual players and pros alike have been requesting sufficient buffs or a kit rework to make her viable in a meta that is being ruled over by Cypher and Killjoy. 

But in Valorant Episode 8 Act 1, Riot seems to be heading in the right direction as the patch will introduce changes to Deadlock’s abilities that aim to strengthen her role as a sentinel significantly. 

Valorant update brings buffs to Deadlock abilities

In the upcoming Valorant Episode 8 Act 1, two of Deadlock’s basic abilities, Sonic Sensor and Barrier Mesh, are set to receive buffs. These adjustments are anticipated to enhance her ability to deter enemy pushes and to better punish opponents attempting to attack the site she’s holding.

These new Deadlock buffs mean that she can now recall Sonic Sensors mid-round after deploying them, similar to how Cypher’s Trapwire works. Moreover, the pickup range has been extended from 12m to 27m. This change prevents Deadlock from wasting a solid utility should the enemies attack the site she’s not holding.

This ability also becomes more effective in deterring pushes with a faster trigger time and a decreased time for enemies to destroy the trap upon setting it off. With this change, even agents with high mobility such as Jett and Raze will not be able to so easily get away from being concussed after triggering the trap. 

Barrier Mesh (E) will also see significant alteration with the max length increasing from 6m to 10m, capable of splitting an entire site in half. Compared to the previous version of her ability, her new signature ability will now cover larger areas that even Sage’s Barrier Orb cannot block. 

valorant deadlock

It’s important to note though that the upcoming changes do not extend to how Sonic Sensors are triggered. The trap can only monitor sound from the enemies, which means that the ability remains somewhat unreliable for watching flanks as enemies can opt to move silently to avoid detection by Sonic Sensors. 

Currently, Deadlock has a niche use and is only utilized as a secondary sentinel, in large part because her information-gathering ability is inferior to that of either Killjoy or Cypher. In the 2023 VCT, she failed to make an impact as none of the teams chose to pick her. But with these changes lined up for the next patch, players might be able to see more of Deadlock’s power and an increased pick rate for her in the competitive scene moving forward.

When will Valorant Episode 8 Act 1 release?

Valorant Episode 8 Act 1 is slated for release on January 10, 2024. 

Aside from the Deadlock buff, the new episode will also introduce a plethora of fresh content, including the new Outlaw sniper rifle, the Kuronami no Yaiba skin bundle, and a brand-new battle pass. This patch will also mark the return of Icebox and the arrival of some Lotus and Icebox map changes. Players can immediately explore these new changes and additions once they hit the live servers on January 10.

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Written by Nina Forneloza

Niña Forneloza has a love-hate relationship with role-playing games, gacha games, and first-person shooters. In her free time spent gaming, you'll usually find her either whiffing her shots in Valorant or recovering from her latest massive tilt.

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