VALORANT devs considered flashes for Clove’s post-death kit before settling on smokes

Clove’s butterfly-driven kit has already led to players calling them a broken VALORANT agent. But did you know Riot Games considered giving Clove the power to deploy flashes after death? Well, apparently, a lot of thought went into creating your next main. 

In a post dedicated to how VALORANT’s first non-binary was brought to life, the agent design team shared intriguing tidbits on Clove’s developmental journey, including that it was experimenting with aggressive options for the post-death part.

VALORANT agent Clove in the midst of casting their self-resurrection ultimate ability.
Beautiful death. Image via Riot Games

While Riot considered giving Clove initiator-like abilities, the team realized it’d be unfair for opponents. “Clove being able to flash you after death was extremely frustrating, and Clove being able to stall out chokes after dying was powerful, but not very engaging,” game designer Dan “penguin” Hardison shared in the release.

While stalling out chokes still seems like an acceptable deal, being able to flash your opponents post-death would certainly break VALORANT’s meta—and I am glad the developers skipped on the idea. Releasing a broken agent is not a balanced experience for either of us, the player base and the devs. 

As players, we get attached to our favorite agents emotionally, and every nerf affects us and our gameplay. The devs have to work on toning down an agent, keeping the player base’s feelings in mind—not an easy task either. Riot has been embracing a “launch weaker, buff later” approach for the past few agent releases, and it hasn’t been a great experience for players either.

With Clove’s kit, luckily, things don’t seem too broken. As of now, their post-death capabilities include being able to deploy smokes in a restricted range of their point of death and self-resurrection. While it sounds powerful, all their abilities have fair restrictions. You can and are meant to be aggressive with their kit and find value. But they aren’t as good as Viper, Brimstone, or Astra when it comes to holding down a site—something players usually expect of a controller. 

With advantages matching the number of disadvantages, I’d say Riot has finally managed to release a balanced VALORANT agent for a change, although it’s too early to say for sure.

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