VALORANT players mourn Viper after brutal Patch 8.08 nerfs: ‘The day we all witnessed a murder’

Riot has never been very empathetic toward the VALORANT community when nerfing agents, and it’s no different with the latest Patch 8.08, which nerfs one of the shooter’s best agents, Viper, to the ground. As expected, players can’t wrap their heads around the changes.

After Riot announced the patch notes for VALORANT’s Episode Eight, Act Three on April 30, players wasted no time calling the developer out for targeting Viper so frequently and “unnecessarily.” From lamenting Viper’s supposed “death” in the meta to accusing Riot of “unfairness,” the fandom seems to firmly believe the nerfs went too far this time.

Viper in VALORANT, wearing a blueish suit and mask, with short cropped dark hair
Done and dusted? Image via Riot Games

“Only 1 molly now is a crazy nerf, especially on top of all the other nerfs here,” one player wrote on X, highlighting that Viper has just one Snake Bite to spare going forward. Others were broken over the change to her Poison Cloud, which can no longer be picked up outside the Buy Phase. But these aren’t the only changes for Viper. Since Patch 8.08, her smokes can stay up for a maximum of 12 seconds, down from 15 seconds, and the minimum fuel needed to deploy her wall or orb has been increased, too. 

While it can be difficult to predict how the VALORANT meta shifts after updates, it’s pretty evident Viper’s pick rate will be heavily affected in ranked and pro play after Patch 8.08. Some players even went on to predict that she will likely become the least-played controller in the game. Well, we don’t know about that as long as we have Harbor and Astra, but it will surely cause a significant dip in her popularity, especially in ranked games. 

Players also took the opportunity to call out Riot for embracing an annoying approach toward balancing VALORANT’s meta, which includes nerfing powerful agents to the ground to passively buff weak agents. They also highlighted its obsession with balancing the esports meta over nurturing the ranked meta. “Well, it’s a good time to quit the game. This isn’t a balance, you literally killed an agent to make the competitive more watched,” one player tweeted, suggesting the changes are only meant for esports. 

Being a pseudo sentinel, Viper’s design is meant to be much more versatile than other agents in her class. Besides offering powerful vision-blocking utility, she is great at locking down sites with her smokes and mollies. It’d be wrong to say that she wasn’t a strong agent, but she definitely seemed balanced in ranked VALORANT games where double-controller team comps aren’t meta. 

This isn’t the first time Riot has targeted Viper. She has undergone several nerfs over the past couple of years, each intending to “balance” her. In fact, low to mid-Elo players prefer playing Clove, Brimstone, or Omen, thanks to how immobile and inflexible Viper’s kit has become over time.

Well, while the nerfs are disheartening, to say the least, Viper still seems to be the best pick for maps like Breeze and Icebox. Then again, only time will tell how the update actually affects the way people play her going forward.  

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