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Valorant's latest patch nerfed the floating knife-fiend Jett

Plus tweaks to Skye and Kay/o, and Fracture is in competitive rotation

If you play Valorant, you undoubtedly know one of those Jett players. The sort that will very un-tactfully launch all three of their smokes in a messy line so they can dash into or out of fights, bamboozling their teammates just as much as the enemy team. It should be a little harder for these speedy knife-slingers to perform such daft feats in the future, because Riot Games have taken away one of Jett's smokes, and they've nerfed her knives to boot.

Patch 3.06 arrived in Riot's tactical FPS last night, giving tweaks to a handful of characters. First up, Jett has lost one of her smoke charges, so she'll only have two going forward. The devs say that having three smokes "contributed to a sense that she could get away with using them at any time, have more to spare, or spam them without much thought." Hopefully, Jett players will think a bit more about where they launch them now.

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Jett's ultimate ability, Bladestorm, has also been tweaked. When she uses this, she basically gets to throw five very fast and very precise knives that will murder someone with one hit to the head. Left click throws them one at a time, while right clicking will shotgun all five at once in a less precise action, and getting a kill with either method would reset the knives, giving her all five back to throw again. Now, shotgunning the knives will not reset them, because the developers want to encourage the high-precision gameplay, rather than the low-risk-low reward option.

She has one tiny buff to counteract that though, and that's that the burst-fire knives will now do the same amount of damage as the slow fire. Previously, each burst knife dealt slightly lower damage, and it was confusing trying to figure out how much damage you actually did. These are interesting changes, mostly because I've found that the shotgun-like knife burst was never that useful in the first place. Even up-close, the knives have a tendency to fling off in weird directions and miss your enemies. I'm all for making Jett players be slightly more tactical though, they're almost always the wildcards.

As for other agents, Skye's flashes have been nerfed a little. Riot have increased the time it takes for her to complete a flash, which will hopefully encourage a bit more team play. Skye's main role should be setting up kills for teammates, whereas previously she was a bit too good at demolishing everyone by herself.

Lastly, the new robo-lad Kay/o has been buffed, making his flashes pop quicker. Riot have also made it so when he's using his ultimate (which suppresses enemy abilities in a large pulsing radius, and allows him to just get knocked down when he should've been killed) his suppressing pulse will continue even after he's downed, where previously it would stop. This should make it a little easier to save a downed Kay/o from being thirsted by enemies.

The patch also tweaked a few of the pennable walls and surfaces on various maps. (I call them "bangable" though I realise that could mean something totally different. Basically, stuff wot you can shoot through.) You'll no longer be able to pepper enemies with bullets through some specific crates on Fracture, Haven, Ascent, and Icebox. Do check out the full patch notes to see the pics, but I wanted to draw specific attention to the Icebox one:

B-Site on Valorant map Icebox. A picture on the left has the old bangable box, the right is the no-longer bangable box.
Old Icebox box on the right, new Icebox box on the left.

The right hand side of that box is one of the most common (if not the most) common bomb/spike planting spots on this map. I don't think it needed to be protected further - shooting through that box was one of the only safe ways to stop the plant. I'm interested to see if it makes this site harder to hold. I think it's kind of a shame, because it encourages attackers to keep going to the default area, rather than experiment deeper on the site.

But I digress, the last bit of news here is that the new map Fracture is now in competitive rotation. Fracture is a weird and scary place where defenders spawn in the middle, and attackers can get at you from all sides. It came out nearly two weeks ago now, and it still stresses me out.

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