VALORANT Patch 8.08 could finally end Cypher’s reign of terror

If you, like most VALORANT players, are tired of being tormented by Cypher’s invincible trap setups, Patch 8.08 finally bears good news. With Episode Eight, Act Two, Riot Games has added some much-needed balancing changes to the sentinel’s kit, toning down his dominance for good.  

Starting VALORANT Patch 8.08, Cypher’s Trapwires now take longer to rearm after trigger, as well as inflict its Slow effect for a shorter duration than before. In addition, his Spy Cam plays a noticeable audio cue when Cypher uses it to watch enemies. Well, Riot clearly heard what the community had to say about the Moroccan spy not having enough counterplay.

Cypher in VALORANT cutscene
The nerfs were bound to happen. Image via Riot Games

For those wondering, here’s what the patch notes say about Cypher: 

Trapwire (C)

  • Re-arm time increased from one second to two seconds.
  • Slow on Trapwire reduced from two seconds to 1.25 seconds.

Spycam (E)

  • Enemies now hear looping audio when they are actively being watched by Cypher from within the Spycam (E).

“Since his updates in 7.09, we’ve been excited to see Cypher solidify a stronger spot on the Sentinel roster, but feel it’s pushed his stalling power further than we’d like for an Agent that specializes in global information,” Riot explained in the patch notes. “Additionally, we’ve seen play patterns around Spycam (E) that lack counterplay for the enemy team”

The primary goal of these changes was to cut players dealing with Cypher some slack while keeping Riot’s initial plan to buff the sentinel meta intact. Increasing the rearm time to two seconds allows enemies a little more time to break the wires, and the reduction in slow waives the punishment slightly for when they fail to break the trap. Spy Cam playing a looping audio when used makes it easier for enemies to counter Cypher’s mind games. 

As disheartening as they may sound to Cypher mains in VALORANT, these changes look pretty balanced. We can’t deny how broken he had become after Patch 7.09 boosted him to the top of the sentinel meta. Some updates were necessary to bring him to par with other sentinel agents, and Patch 8.08 seemingly nails the motive. 

Cypher’s Trapwires still rearm if not broken. Even if they take a second longer to rearm, it isn’t going to make Cypher any less useful. Yes, enemies will have more chances to break them, but when triggered, the wires will still reveal the enemy for you to spam back. Some Trapwire placements will continue to remain “unbreakable” technically (there’s no way to break the wire without triggering it). 

As far as the Spy Cam change is concerned, it should only affect low Elo lobbies where players are still learning the mechanics, so having an audio cue when being watched really changes the game. Tricking a high Elo player with the Spy Cam was never easy—and an audio cue isn’t going to make it worse either.

I’m just surprised Riot managed to keep the changes subtle and so incredibly balanced with Cypher, considering how they have been nerfing “broken” VALORANT agents to the ground. I mean, look at the Viper nerfs that were shipped in the same update: It looks like Riot had a personal vendetta against her.

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