Clove’s nerfs in VALORANT Patch 8.11 prove Riot never intended them for pro play—at all

When it comes to agent updates in VALORANT, Riot never fails to surprise the level-headed part of its community—and it’s no different with Patch 8.11 which introduces a couple of Clove nerfs nobody asked for.

In fact, if Clove were to receive tweaks at all, it should have been buffs. Now, many of you may revolt against my claim, saying they are overpowered and highlighting their immensely successful launch. To those people I ask, can you really “control” a VALORANT map with Clove like you can with any of their peers?

As a selfish controller, they were just fine. Image via Riot Games

To give an overview, VALORANT’s Patch 8.11 nerfs Clove’s Pick-Me-Up ability and their overhyped ultimate, Not Dead Yet. Here’s what’s changing: 

Pick-Me-Up (C) 

  • Cost 100 >>> 200
  • Duration 10s >>> 8s 
  • Damaging Assist Time to activate 10s >>> 6s 

Not Dead Yet (X) 

  • Cost 7 >>> 8
  • Unequip Delay .7 >>> .8s

Now, why would you nerf Pick-Me-Up? 10 seconds wasn’t enough on its own. It’s a selfish ability that is supposed to compensate for their lack of controlling abilities. The ultimate nerf doesn’t make sense either when we still have agents like Reyna, Phoenix, and Cypher sitting at six ultimate points. 

The patch also fixes a bug that, ironically, used to make their ultimate slightly less choking. Let’s face it—it’s overwhelming to look for enemies and get a damage assist within 10 seconds, or else you lose your second chance at life. It was powerful for a second after the launch when players were still adapting to Clove’s kit. Now, it just isn’t.

“But Clove can smoke after death which none of the other controllers can.” I know, it’s great to have some cover even if the controller on your team is dead. But how many times have you benefited from it? Their smoke range is limited too, so if you decide to rotate (which happens very frequently) to a different site, there’s no point. 

Wouldn’t you rather have Omen who can offer you cover for a longer time, help the team with abilities that actually control the map, and play aggressively as well? To top it off, Clove’s smokes have the shortest duration among all controllers.

Being a controller main, I was thrilled when Riot announced a duelist-like smoker for VALORANT. I tested them out on day one and even enjoyed playing them for a while. But it wasn’t long before I realized I just didn’t have enough utility to help myself or the team, which was exactly what multiple pros had pointed out after Clove’s launch. 

The controller role in VALORANT is all about brainy plays focused on utility usage. With Clove, however, I get very situational, selfish, and scrap-like powers that let me blindly run into sites—and that’s it. They are like Reyna but worse, now that the latter is getting a buff, too.

Well, now that they are getting a nerf, the chances of Clove making a mark in pro play are thinner than ever, and it certainly looks like Riot had no intention to make that happen either.

In the meantime, Clove should continue to dominate ranked VALORANT lobbies—but maybe a bit less than before.

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