Valorant’s new Agent Harbor sucks at launch [UPDATED]

It’s been about a week since Riot Games launched Valorant’s newest agent, the water-bending controller called Habor, and I think it’s safe to say that its impact on the meta has been underwhelming so far. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that he might be the worst performing agent at launch the game has seen to date, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he gets a buff in a short amount of time.

Update 11/15: The latest Valorant Patch 5.10 brought a buff to Harbor. His Cascade (C) ability now has two charges instead of one. What do you think? Is this likely to change Harbor’s place in the meta? We’re not sure, but at first glance the buff doesn’t seem to be enough. We’ll revisit this topic soon, once we’ve had a chance to play with him.

The problem with Harbor’s gear is multifaceted, but mostly boils down to the fact that he’s a controller that can’t really control areas of the map very effectively. Ironically, almost all of his abilities focus on blocking vision, and yet he doesn’t work in the defensive half at all. He’s much better suited to attacking when he’s almost feeling like an initiator. As a result, on most maps, Harbor is only really viable as a secondary controller when an Omen, Brimstone, or Astra takes on the defensive heavyweight with traditional smokes.

To be fair to Riot Games, the development team behind Harbor stated prior to its release that the Agent was always intended as a new option on maps where Viper sees a pick rate close to 100%. And of course, Habor performs best on Breeze, Icebox, and Pearl.

Still, I don’t see him as a better choice than Viper the way his kit is currently, and my experience playing Immortal Elo ranked matches over the past week suggests that he is. Not to mention that he’s a lot less fun to play than Viper and a lot harder to use effectively.

It’s all a bit disappointing to be honest as we’ve been waiting for a new controller in Valorant for so long and Harbor has shown a lot of promise. He was once codenamed Mage and had us all inventing cool arcane abilities that would shake up the meta badly, but his release was far from fascinating. Aside from my complaints about the effectiveness of his kit, I can’t say I’m that excited about his inevitable buff either. He’s just a little boring.

Maybe that’s too hard. If his kit actually works more effectively, I might be more enthusiastic and expect the inevitable buff to come soon. I think we’ll see his High Tide (E) and Cascade (C) abilities last longer and maybe slow enemies down more since that aspect of the kit is comically weak.

I’d like to see Cove’s (Q) bulletproof smoke buffed as well, ideally keeping the shield as is but modifying it so the smoke persists even after it breaks. It probably shouldn’t cost anywhere near what it does now, either.

You can always run away with Harbor.

The only aspect of Harbor’s gear that I find effective, unique, and exciting is Reckoning (X), his ultimate ability. It’s a great tool for site runs and replays, and it’s just plain fun to use as if your skills are finally having a tangible impact on the ebb and flow of a round. It’s the only piece of Harbor’s gear that enemies seem to respect at the moment, while everything else just drives through or gets destroyed.

In truth, Harbor certainly won’t be the first agent to hobble into the meta and need a buff before finding his spot on the list. We’ve seen Agents like Skye, Kayo, Phoenix, Yoru, and Neon all need buffs in similar ways.

Only in those cases did their launch feel at least effective; They felt useful and exciting to play even if their skills needed attention to make them truly competitive. Harbor just feels outclassed and largely useless. It’s not the debut we just wanted for the second new agent in 2022. Valorant’s new Agent Harbor sucks at launch [UPDATED]

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