Can Neon replace Jett or be your primary duelist: VALORANT's latest agent Neon has been previewed to the public, and boy has it looked intriguing! All the content creators have been given the green light to release their content and show off the sixth duelist in VALORANT, Neon to their viewers. Gamzo has been no different, and with our preview access, we played a bit of Neon in order to get an early understanding of how and where she would fit in the game currently.
Neon is the 18th agent released in the game, hailing from Manila, Philippines. She is designed to be a fast-paced hyper entry duelist, who is semi self reliant with her sliding movement and concussion grenades.
Her preview text read, “Filipino agent Neon surges forward at shocking speeds, discharging bursts of bioelectric radiance as fast as her body produced it. She races ahead to catch enemies off guard and then strikes them down quicker than lightning.
FIRST LOOK: NEON - All abilities of Valorant's newest agent
E — HIGH GEAR
“Instantly channel Neon’s power for increased speed. When charged, use Alt Fire to trigger an electric slide. Slide charge resets after two kills.”
Neon's first ability is the ability to considerably speed up her movement; as in a sprint feature, whilst also being able to perform a sliding movement which can be performed every 2 kills similar to a Jett dash. You can not have your gun out whilst you are sprinting, and will have to re-equip it in order to fire at opponents.
Q — RELAY BOLT
“Instantly throw an energy bolt that bounces once. Upon hitting each surface, the bolt electrifies the ground below with a concussive blast.”
The “concussion grenade” that was referred to earlier, this is a nade that bounces off a surface and concussues both the original point of impact and the final position of the nade as well.
C — FAST LANE
“Fire two energy lines forward on the ground that extend a short distance or until they hit a surface. The lines rise into walls of static electricity that block vision and damage enemies passing through them”
Neon brings up two fiery-blue walls making a Moses-esque tunnel of fire. These walls provide safe passage blocking vision and damaging any enemies that would like to push it.
X — OVERDRIVE
“Unleash Neon’s full power and speed for a short duration. Fire to channel the power into deadly a lightning beam with high movement accuracy. The duration resets on each kill.”
Neon’s ultimate grants her higher speed and a slide boost similar to her first ability, but with bioelectric radiance beam gun that allows her to shoot with full accuracy moving and not. The damage drops off over distance, the bursts can be infinitely long and don’t run out other than time.
Viability of Neon
Neon’s first ability allows her to play a very effective rotator role, as the second player on bombsites or in the middle of maps. Her rotations can be extremely quick and she can help her teammates under pressure, whilst also falling back off again and regenerating her sprint charge, if the Attackers don't commit to the bomb site she rotates to.This also allows her to be an effective entry on the Attacking side due to her high mobility. Although she can speed up and get to positions before the average attacker to catch defenders off-guard, she can’t have her gun out whilst in this state so is prone to danger.
Her slide is also not a very high speed in comparison to a Jett dash, so I don’t think she completely replaces Jett in an attacking composition. Her concussion grenade or bolt allows her to entry site and/or support anchoring teammates on site, with her throwing it toward entrances and bouncing it off to stun large entrances and break apart the attack of the attackers. This allows her to support her teammates effectively whilst also being the focal point of the attack. She can be quite self reliant in ranked with her ability to at best take out two positions of a bomb site with her stun, allowing her to create unique and pre-rehearsed effective entry path ways into site.
This could help her take the place of a Reyna/second duelist on a map, but there’s still alot of positives for a Raze/Reyna on the map instead of the Neon.
Fast Lane is the Neon version of the Jett Cloudbursts, allowing her to access the Chaos of a chaotic bombsite take, helping her get in weird positions and play mind games with the ability to push either side of the wall and/or not push through her wall at all. It also generically grants her safe passage allowing her to get to site and perhaps get a plant down. On a map like Breeze, if your Viper goes down early, Neon could use her wall to get to site and confirm the spike plant. She could also fake site takes, by conditioning oppoents to get use to her actually pushing the walls, especially with the help of something like a Yoru footstep or a Jett fake dash.
Overdrive is her ultimate, which is a Jett knives-eque ability that allows her technically get a free weapon on ult rounds. This in combination with Chamber and Jett can allow a team to get a shocking three weapons on rounds where they may not have any. This can be a game changer for the economy of the game and how its currently understood. Although the ult isn't perfect, the damage drop off is significant and the damage per second is definitely not the highest, but its an extremely forgiving version of the Jett knives.
With this ult you’ll find it hard to straight up out-duel someone without exploiting the movement of the agent, but if you catch them with their backs turned or in an off angle, your kill is guranteed.This in combination with a Jett / Raze on the T side can be extremely dangerous helping her move with extreme mobility and finish off low opponents, or even fully healthy ones. The pace of the round can change completely with a fast site take with Neon ultimate and Jett or Raze ultimate comboed with a Skye dog or ultimate.
I think Neon is definetly an important addition to the arsenal of agents, but does not offer too much variability or new ideas in to the game. It feeds into the trope of running and gunning cheese gameplay, without much of skill ceiling or floor. The ultimate is easily usable for any player and very forgiving, whilst also not being hard enough to master and show off your specialty in it.
I think she has a place in the game, but I don’t think she can fully replace a Jett or any other mobility duelist. She can combine with them yes, but I think she’ll mostly be picked by angry Jett mains who got their Jett picked already. In the competitive scene, she will definitely have a place. I think she isn’t what VALORANT needed as of right now, but she does a job in opening up the options for the Jett players, but not in the most meaningful way. Regardless we’re extremely excited to see how she plays out, and cant wait to play her next act!