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Valorant: How to play Phoenix

Our evolving agent guide for Phoenix.

Probably one of the most Counter:Strike-y of the lot (because he has flashbangs, alright), Phoenix has a fantastic toolkit for people who like to scout ahead, get into scuffles, and lead the charge.

Below we’ll glance over Phoenix’s abilities and provide some strategy advice to help you get the most out of them. He’s a lot of fun to play as his skills force you to be proactive and take the fight to the enemy. Of course, you can use them defensively too, but getting stuck in is definitely his playstyle.

Also, Phoenix’s voice acting is sublime - yet another reason why you should master him.

How to play Phoenix

Blaze [C] (200 Credits)

Activate this ability and Phoenix conjures a flaming wall in front of him that can be curved with your mouse as it’s being raised. It damages enemies who pass through it, but will heal you, which is nice.

You’ll find it’s main use lies in obscuring vision so you can semi-safely enter a site by reducing the number of angles you need to worry about. It’s also not bad for using as a peeking device, as you can dart in and out of the wall to keep track of enemies or potentially get a pick.

If an ally is planting or defusing, you can also use this wall to protect for a short period of time. What’s more, if you know roughly where an enemy’s located, you can curve the wall around them to box them in, which might cause them to panic and peek right into your crosshair.

Curveball [Q] (100 Credits)

Phoenix clicks his fingers and a flashbang/orb appears. Left click to send it curving around a corner to the left and right click to curve it right.

So, the pros. It’s quick and snappy, meaning enemies you catch unaware likely won’t have time to avert their eyes. This means you can send it curving round a corner, wait for the explosion, and quickly run in to capitalise on anyone who’s been blinded.

It’s great for pushing aggressively into defenders, or as a counter attacking tool if you hear a bunch of footsteps - simply wait round the corner, curve it round, and clean up.

However, we’ve found it tricky to utilise under pressure and we reckon it lacks versatility. First off, you can’t throw it forwards or bounce it off objects. It’s limited to a corner curve, so if you know an enemy is lying in wait in front of you, you’ll need to awkwardly stand to the side and curve it in their direction, which is less than ideal!

There’s also no range indicator, which makes it incredibly easy to accidentally curve it into the wall you’re meant to be curving it around and blinding yourself in the process. Sure, it’s something you’ll gradually master, but if you’re in a pinch it’s unnecessarily ambiguous.

Hothands [E] (Cooldown)

Incredibly similar to Brimstone’s molotov, this is a flingable, fiery ball that’ll deal AoE damage to those who stand in it. If you choose to wander about it in, though, it’ll heal you up nicely.

This is a great tool to quickly flush out opponents from hiding spots, block chokepoints to prevent pushes, or even as a way of topping up your health if there’s no Sage on your side.

More essential Valorant guides:

Run it Back [X] (6 Orbs)

In our opinion, this is one of the easiest, most enjoyable ultimates to use in Valorant. Activate this ability and you’ll create a clone of yourself, while your original body stays put. You’ll take control of this clone for a short period of time, in which you can’t use any abilities, but you can still shoot and scout ahead with giddy abandon. If you get killed in clone form you’ll exit the ability and return to your original body.

When you activate this ability, enemies will know about it, but it’s still gloriously effective. You can use it to push forwards and gather intel on enemy whereabouts, or even take duels without any consequences.

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Ed Thorn avatar

Ed Thorn

Senior Staff Writer

When Ed's not cracking thugs with bicycles in Yakuza, he's likely swinging a badminton racket in real life. Any genre goes, but he's very into shooters and likes a weighty gun, particularly if they have a chainsaw attached to them. Adores orange and mango squash, unsure about olives.

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