VALORANT Patch 8.08 Viper nerfs explained

VALORANT Patch 8.08 may not have a long list of new changes or exciting additions like a new weapon, agent, or map, but it is easily one of the most impactful updates in a long time.

The focal point of Patch 8.08 is the collection of changes implemented to Viper, who has notably been the focal point of the competitive VALORANT meta for a long time. These changes will make Viper’s utility less powerful and overwhelming, and should drastically change how she’s used and how often she’s used in competitive, Premier, and pro play.

Let’s break down the Viper nerfs in VALORANT Patch 8.08, and how these changes shape her viability as an agent and her place in the meta.

All Viper changes in VALORANT Patch 8.08

Snakebite nerf drastically decreases Viper’s post-plant prowess

A lineup for a Snakebite throw from A Heaven to site on Split.
Only one, so make it count. Screenshot via Dot Esports

As of Patch 8.08, Viper will be limited to just a single charge of Snakebite instead of two. The single charge costs 300 credits, and the ability’s duration has been increased from 5.5 seconds to 6.5 seconds. But with the number of Snakebite charges being halved, the increased duration is like a band-aid on a bullet wound if you’re a Viper main, as you’re now stuck with 6.5 seconds of Snakebite usages instead of 11.

Using molotovs to play post-plant is a staple of VALORANT and other tactical FPS titles, but for a long time, Viper has had a distinctive advantage. Aside from Killjoy, whose Nanoswarms can be broken before detonation, every other agent with a Molotov-like ability can only use one, while Viper had two. Viper can also combo the Snakebit with the decay from Poison Cloud to give her team more of an edge.

Less uptime, longer delays between Toxic Screen and Poison Cloud

Viper wall active on Sunset.
You’ll be seeing a lot less of this during rounds. Screenshot by Dot Esports.

The maximum amount of time that Toxic Screen or Poison Cloud will stay up at once has been reduced to 12 seconds, and the minimum percentage of fuel Viper needs to reactivate them has been increased to 30 percent.

The amount of time Viper can now stall for when choking off angles has been reduced, and enemy players will have more time to push Viper when her cover abilities are down since she needs to wait longer to reactivate them. Viper has been able to keep her smoke abilities up for a huge portion of a round’s duration, forcing enemy VALORANT teams to frequently need to push her smokes just to make a play. With these changes, sites where Viper is anchored aren’t nearly impossible to break into anymore.

Poison Cloud can’t be picked up mid-round

Viper Poison Cloud on Breeze.
Choose wisely. Screenshot by Dot Esports.

The Poison Cloud emitter can now only be picked up during the buy phase, meaning once it’s placed during the round it cannot be picked up.

This change isn’t quite as substantial as the other two, but it will force Viper to be more decisive with where she wants to place her smoke. This means Viper will be more locked to a specific site, so if an enemy team baits out Poison Cloud, Viper won’t be able to pick it up and bring it to the other site, or move it to another entry.

What do the Patch 8.08 nerfs mean for Viper?

Viper will still be a popular choice among controllers, as she still has smoke abilities that cover lots of space and apply the decay debuff. Even with just one Snakebite, Viper players can still use the Poison Cloud to set up a nasty post-plant situation.

But these changes stop Viper from being an overwhelming force that can be impossible to overpower in certain situations, and she can no longer rely on having Toxic Screen or Poison Cloud up for so long during a single round.

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