As Valorant’s most fiery operator, PHOENIX focuses on flame-based abilities. His name is quite literal, as he actually rises from the ashes. Fire heals PHOENIX and hurts his opponents (and teammates).
It’s a pretty interesting concept that’s rare in video games, especially in the online shooter world. The fire hazard we are trained to avoid at all costs heals us. Let’s explore this hotheaded agent and see what fires him up.
Basic Ability – Curveball
This power is basically a flashbang operating on Looney Tunes logic, just like most of Valorant. PHOENIX has the ability to throw this ball of fire that curves left or right midair. When it finishes its trajectory, the curveball will blind anyone looking directly at it, including you or your teammates. It’s a short-ranged ability meant for close-quarters combat. Curveball costs 100 credits.
The skill is perfect for aggressive players that want to organize intense pushes. Blinding the enemies at close range and descending on them is the most appropriate strategy. Of course, it’s not the only way to use Curveball. Quick retreats can also work – blind your enemy and disappear. You can fire left or right, up or down. Enemies can hear and see the fireball being, well, fired.
It may be best to keep tight angles and position the curve right on an edge. This gives your enemies less time to see the fireball and turn away. Curveball is best used with a coordinated team. However, the fact it also affects friendlies makes communication even more important. Blinding your friends instead of your enemies is the exact opposite of what you want to do, so make sure you don’t throw it in your team’s line of sight. Talk to them and play to your character’s strengths.
Basic Ability – Blaze
This ability is pretty cool for three reasons. First, it’s a wall of fire that causes damage to anyone caught it in. Makes sense. The second reason is that it provides cover, neither you nor your enemies can peek through the firewall. Third, it actually heals PHOENIX. Did the agent’s name start making sense now?
Anyway, that’s not all. Another cool feature of Blaze is that you can curve the trajectory of the wall, making it possible to cast it on places you’re not seeing. Valorant is an unforgiving game and every little bit of safety is useful. Learn how to curve the path of Blaze and utilize cover. It can be very useful when planting or defusing.
It can also be used to trap enemies in a given spot. They won’t be able to see outside the wall of fire and you can rush them. Remember, Blaze not only doesn’t affect PHOENIX, it also gives him a slight heal. It’s a great asset you can use while playing aggressively. Just make sure you’re not setting your teammates on fire and you’re all good. You have your own, personal, portable wall of cover that’s also a medkit. How cool is that?
Special Ability – Hot Hands
Hot Hands is basically a magical fireball grenade. You throw it directly on the ground or bounce it off walls. When it hits the floor, the fireball creates a circle of fire. It damages friend or foe, while healing PHOENIX. It’s a great ability to flush enemies out of cover or even to heal some damage you have suffered. Gravity affects the fireball once it’s thrown. It’s similar to grenades. However, after a certain time in the air, the fireball will drop straight down, losing momentum.
This means you can’t spam it across the map or even too far. Hot Hands is best used strategically. You can use it to prevent plants or defuses, control enemy pathways and assist your team. Again, friendly agents do suffer damage, so watch your fire. Literally.
The ability recharges. Don’t be shy about using it as your own personal healing spot. It can also be used in pushes. Blocking the paths of enemy chokepoints will make them think twice, but the damage isn’t devastating. This ability is more of a damage nudge than a devastating attack. Don’t forget the bounce and reach some interesting angles. It’s all up to your pyromaniac creativity.
Ultimate Ability – Run It Back
This ability is very interesting and quite useful. It basically grants PHOENIX a second life during that round. When activated, Run it Back creates a sort of identical clone of yourself. You can still use all of PHOENIX’s abilities and gear. You can plant, defuse, gather intel and do pretty much everything you’d otherwise do. Only this time, when you die, you’re not done for the round, you get a second chance.
In a game without respawning, this can be like having an extra player on your team. The rather aggressive fire abilities PHOENIX compliment this second chance quite well. You can take risks you wouldn’t otherwise attempt when playing with different characters. The ability costs 6 ultimate points and no matter what you do when you activate it, PHOENIX can rise from the ashes and be reborn.
As with most abilities, it goes well when you communicate with your team and coordinate your assault. PHOENIX can be the vanguard, gathering Intel and inflicting damage. He’s a sort of intel-gathering kamikaze. Tell your team where the enemy is. Alternatively, you can plant or defuse the spike without the pressure of losing a life or, indeed, losing the round. All in all, there’s very little not to love about this ultimate ability.
PHOENIX rises from the ashes as a great pick for aggressive players
One of Valorant’s best features is the fact you can be aggressive or defensive no matter your objective. But PHOENIX is definitely a dynamic agent meant for quick pushes and high-risk play. Don’t shy away from damage or from making mistakes. Of course, measure your risks. Communicate with your team.
Sometimes all you’ll be doing with PHOENIX is gathering intel with your own, personal photocopy kamikaze clone. Make his artificial life count and help your team reach victory.