Riot strikes Viper with meta-defining nerfs in VALORANT 8.08

Riot Games has reined in Viper’s power with venomous nerfs in VALORANT Patch 8.08. From her strategic prowess to her ability to control the battlefield, the agent’s dominance in the pro scene and below has been undeniable—but it will soon no longer be her world.

These changes to the poisonous controller focus on reducing her total stalling uptime and forcing players to manage her abilities more strategically. Patch 8.08 should make Vipers’ weaknesses clear, pushing her to commit to her positioning while trying to manage shorter individual up times per smoke use.

Opening ceremony for VALORANT Champions 2023.
Viper graced the opening ceremony for VALORANT Champions 2023. Photo by Stefan Wisnoski via Riot Games

Riot has reduced the cooldown on reactivating her smokes and wall from 5.5 to five seconds and increased the minimum fuel required to activate them by 10 percent. Additionally, Viper can only pick up Poison Cloud during the Buy Phase.

Her Snake Bite ability has also been adjusted, reducing the number of charges to one and increasing the duration of the acid pool by a whole extra second. According to Riot, making Snake Bite only usable once means Viper can’t rely on it as much when her smokes are gone—a change made to make fuel management more crucial. Making it last longer means it’ll be lethal to all opponents who stay in the acid pool for its full duration.

In the past, Riot admitted to unintentionally nerfing Viper with changes to her smoke duration and cooldown in Patch 7.09. But despite the changes, Viper continued her dominance over most VALORANT maps, even after the introduction of Clove.

The heavy nerfs coming with Patch 8.08 will most likely alter her playstyle, refining her role in the meta. Yet Viper will probably remain a formidable pick in both professional play and solo queue—when in the right hands.

Although these changes won’t immediately be introduced to pro play, VALORANT players can expect Radiant stars to pick up the agent to test lineups and strategies, finding the best way to keep her a strong Controller pick.

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