If you’re playing Riot’s hyped tactical FPS or you’re updated with what’s going on in Valorant, you would know Sage is dubbed as the most problematic Agent in the current meta.
The Sentinel healer has been considered as the most overpowered (OP) Agent, with insane healing and zone control.
To address this, Riot decided to nerf her in Patch 1.07 for a good reason— they want to bring in more “restorative” Agents like Sage to the game.
Sage’s nerf on Valorant Patch 1.07 greatly affected the Agent’s current skill set, as devs tweaked her Heal, Slow Orb, and Barrier Orb wall.
The nerf also reduced her notorious zone control power and healing.
In the past, Riot already tried to tone down Sage’s abilities but it didn’t stop her from being broken.
If anything, the nerfs were met with positive feedback from the community. The tweaks were heavy-handed, and Sage’s reduced heals meant she couldn’t just out-heal other agents like Phoenix or Reyna, who are Duelists with healing intertwined in their kit.
Furthermore, the sentinel can’t control post-plants and defense holds also with the wall HP reduction.
While Sage was primarily meant to be a defender, she ended up being the best on both sides, as admitted by Valorant developer ‘rycoux’.
As a result, Sage’s current power stunted Riot’s future plans for Valorant.
“Sage had the highest win rate on attacker [side] and only recently has seen a drop but is still in the top 3 of attackers across the roster. She has been on our radar for a long time, now, and we have been very concerned about her game health,”
“The two big goals of these changes are 1) to reduce Sage’s offensive efficacy and 2) analyze and adjust healing on our characters, where needed, to ensure that we weren’t setting an unhealthy standard for healing across the roster 3) Increase decision making as Sage”
Now, Sage is less of a jack-of-all-trades but it opens up more opportunities for new plays with other agents.
Since the nerf, Sage’s play rate might gradually decrease— opening up avenues for new healing Agents to be added in the game.
“Sage healing for 100 up to 3 times a round felt like it was going to start to crowd out future restoration characters and even duelists as she could self heal for 100. Sage, as a restoration character, should want to be healing others, while duelists should feel unique in being able to heal themselves to get back into combat.”
“Where it currently stands, Sage’s heal is a comparable and more reliable self-heal than Reyna and Phoenix, which should not be the case.”
Riot might introduce another team healer to the game soon. However, the kit might be a bit different subset of utility compared to Sage to enable a different style of gameplay.
Sage mains need not to worry, though. The devs confirm that they are keeping an eye on the Sentinel agent as they want her to be “one of the more [mechanically] forgiving characters.”
Meaning, if Sage dives-down into obscurity after the Patch 1.07 nerfs, Riot may consider giving her a buff on the next update.
“There’s a chance we have hit Sage a bit hard so we will be keeping an eye on Sage for the next few patches. If we hit Sage too hard, trust that we will be working hard to ensure she finds the right tunings and finds the right balance on the roster.”