Over a month into the closed beta of VALORANT and people still can not get enough of Riot Game’s new tactical shooter. The same can be said for us here at Hotspawn, and as part of our VALORANT agent series, we’ll be dissecting the shadowy agent, Omen.
Thanks to recent community tournament and invitationals, most of analysts pit Omen on the lower-end of the agent spectrum. Much less to do with the agent’s viability it seems as Omen is among the most difficult to master. So what gives him a competitive edge in the server?
Omen is one of the few agents without any damage-inflicting abilities, but makes up for it for his playmaking potential. The ghostly character is the perfect agent for players who like to break off from the pack and disrupt rounds on their own terms. Not to exhaust the parallel to Counter-Strike, but we’d like to say he’s the perfect lurker.
Omen’s abilities makes for a non-lethal combination that is an underestimated addition to any five-man team. At his core, Omen is a brilliant support character, but with these types of roles, it requires a pristine level of coordination from teammates to make effective.
Omen’s ghoulish visuals transpire beyond his looks. This agent is perfect for instilling fear into an opposing team; and when players are fearful, they typically make mistakes.
Paranoia is a blinding ability, but it differs from the effect dealt from Phoenix’s flash. Instead, this ability nearsights opponents, essentially making it so players on the receiving end can only see within a few feet in front of them. For enemies hit by this ability while out in the open, it’s most certainly a death sentence.
As with Omen’s smoke, Paranoia can travel through walls – a key element to this ability. With the right positioning, Omen can blind opponents with a great degree of success. This component can also give teams room to peek difficult angles and gain dominance with very little risk. The trick to Paranoia is using it in choke points, or angling it to Omen’s advantage to space enemies.
When this shadowy orb is approaching an enemy, a large indicator will appear on the player’s HUD; it doesn’t travel fast either, so when used improperly, it can be quite easy to navigate around. On the other hand, when an enemy is pinned, Paranoia can force them out of position, leaving them exposed or blinded. Either way, it’s a win win scenario, but again, it relies on the compliance and coordination of a team to capitalize on.
Shrouded Step is an ability which allows Omen to teleport a short distance and go under the radar of his opponents. With Shrouded Step, Omen can navigate around entry points and even be positioned on top of objects for otherwise unreachable verticality. Although, with its sound cue, it’s very clear for an opponent that is near to hear when exactly Omen has used Shrouded Step, and can cause them to be more vigilant than normal.
In conjunction with his other abilities, Omen is able to quickly slip into the shadows; either out of harm’s way or cleverly behind his opponents. Shrouded Step can be used either aggressively or defensively. On the one hand, an offensive push can be quickly thwarted by a nicely timed teleport which avoids enemy surveillance; though, it is typically a high-risk, high-reward play to make. In the higher ranks, it’s a progressively more dangerous play to make.
Defensively, and in post-plant scenarios specifically, Omen can truly use Shrouded Step to shine. Whether teleporting above a players line of sight or staying in place to fake out an enemy – it can buy some time and keep opponent’s on edge, which again, is what Omen is becoming known for. It’s a best-in-class bait ability, and when in the right hands, can be an utter gamechanger.
In layman’s terms, Omen’s signature ability, Dark Cover, is a smoke. As a signature ability, Dark Cover will restore itself so that it can be used multiple times during a round; and in the latest patch, this ability received a considerable buff. The duration of Dark Cover has been increased from 12 to 15 seconds, while the projectile’s speed has also been increased.
Since this ability can travel through walls and be placed a significant distance from Omen, it makes for the perfect fake tool. When utility is being poured onto a site, it’s a pretty clear indicator that enemies are nearby and readying a big push behind enemy lines. But with Dark Cover, a smoke signal can be sent across the map, leaving enemies on edge and taking resources away from the site that’s actually about to be stormed.
Aside from the precision of Dark Cover’s placement, this ability offers a level of verticality. This ingredient can allow Omen to smoke off key points of the map that are either above or below him. However, it can also be rested on small ledges around the map, which can offer some unique one-way smoke opportunities.
From The Shadows
From The Shadows is Omen’s Ultimate ability, which allows him to teleport anywhere on the map. On the surface, it’s an ability with round-winning potential, but in reality, it’s a bit difficult to utilize.
When activated, From The Shadows disrupts the opposing team’s map on their HUD – it’s a nearly impossible indicator to miss. And for that reason, once Omen’s Ultimate is played in a round, it becomes a witch hunt. Rightfully so of course, as having an enemy behind you in any game is likely not a favorable position to be in, and it certainly isn’t in a tactical shooter like VALORANT.
In short, you better have a good strategy if you’re going to use this ultimate ability. While it offers an incredible tactical advantage, it is nerfed substantially by its indicators, and will leave Omen incredibly vulnerable if teleporting within shooting distance of an opponent.
But it’s not all negative for Omen and his Ultimate – in fact, From The Shadows is a great tool to navigate the map on both offense and defense. Entering a post-plant scenario on defense for example can be a daunting task; but for this agent and his ability to position himself wherever he wants on the map, it can be a winning strategy. On either side, Omen can also use his smokes to section off a safe area to arrive at after using his ultimate.
All in all, Omen is a solid agent that probably deserves a bit more respect than he gets. In a world where fragging talks, though, it’s not hard to see how a support player like Omen can (no pun intended) slip in the shadows.
As we’ve made sure to drill in, Omen is a supreme lurker, and that makes him an overall fun agent to use for newcomers and experienced players alike. He’s one that is difficult to master, but incredibly easy and accommodating for new players to get the hang of. We may be a little biased here, but Omen also has a fresh art style, and the fact that he isn’t in rotation much gives players who main him a little bit of street cred in VALORANT.
If you’re looking for a new agent to spice up your play, give Omen a shot. His killing potential is considerably less than most other agents, but his playmaking ability is sky high, and that makes for a damn good addition to any team.