Do you also feel guilty each time Sage yells, “Must I do everything?” in Valorant? Technically, it’s not her job to break into the enemy lines and draw first blood in the FPS game, but she doesn’t have an option. Valorant’s ‘middle-seat mommy’ is a jack of all trades; Riot gave us a tender-hearted healer, and we whipped up an aggressive battle Sage out of it.
In the current Valorant meta, Sage does everything, and it’s refreshing to have an agent other than a duelist to own up to the game. In Ascendant ranks, Sage is the second most-picked agent with a stellar win rate, which proves that duelists are no longer the key to winning; players will prefer a support agent if they have a viable toolkit.
Despite the stats, Valorant doesn’t have another agent like Sage. No other support can supply healing and bring back the dead. In order to have a balanced roster, one of the three Valorant agents slated for 2023 has to be a healer.
Valorant needs more variety
Valorant has seven basic abilities that straddle almost all agents: smokes, molotovs, stuns, intel-gathering gadgets, movement tactics, crowd control devices, and healing. There are at least three options for each power, except for healing.
Sage’s healing is perfectly balanced yet powerful, while, by contrast, Skye’s healing is powerful but not viable compared to Sage’s. The initiator agent can heal teammates, but her dwindling oxygen tank of mysterious healing juice doesn’t quite do enough. Even a Skye needs a Sage – meaning that, to keep her alive, you must pick another healer. Now, Skye’s ample healing tank sure makes up for her inability to patch herself up, but she’s still a bad pick for solo games.
For this reason, Sage’s presence overshadows Skye, leading to poor playtime for the latter. Why would anyone in a fast-paced ranked match pick up Skye? Sure, she’s a smart pick in a full stack or professional games, but she comes up short in a brutal ranked race.
Skye may be a decent healer, but she doesn’t compare to Sage, and it has nothing to do with her revival abilities. Considering all this, Valorant’s healer protocol lacks variety. Sage is the ultimate and only option for hybrid players, and it’s not exactly a good thing.
Resurrection would be a bonus
Understandably, resurrection is Sage’s unique power, just like how Omen is the only agent who can teleport. But adding another res to the fray would be awesome now that Sage is almost three years old.
Sage fits right into brutal ranked Valorant, but at higher five-stacks, players go with Sage for her revival abilities. Again, she’s the only option. Kay/o’s revival barely ever helps given that the war machine often finds the riskiest and most exposed spots to die, making it impossible to fix his core.
No one else in Valorant is capable of doing what Sage is doing, which is why she’ll always overshadow fellow healers unless Riot develops a similar medic: an agent that is self-sufficient and allows players to create their own style.
But it’s also worth noting that having more than three simple, Sage-like healers in Valorant could similarly spell disaster. If a five-stack duelist isn’t already a pain, the full healer lobby will be a nightmare – but this still isn’t reason enough not to add variation to the protocol.
Riot has confirmed that Valorant will get an initiator and a sentinel in 2023. Let’s just hope our sentinel is a Sage dupe – or at least has a healing tank that doesn’t discriminate.