How to Play Sage

Zakaria Almughrabi  | 

Sage is an essential agent in any VALORANT team composition. (Photo courtesy Riot Games)

Sage is VALORANT’s healer agent. However, she is far more than just a support character. Her kit features a combination of abilities and mechanics that, while aren’t new to the FPS genre, work together to form one of the most versatile agents in the game.

Sage’s ability to heal teammates with Healing Orb, makes her a very important agent by itself. Even though she is a healer, Sage is no slouch in the fragging department either. Barrier Orb allows her to block a choke point for a prolonged period of time. She can also boost herself on top of it, opening up infinite potential for aggressive angles and gun fights. Essentially Sage, is an expert at setting her and her team up for success. She is best played as a back liner. This is to ensure that she gets off as much healing and utility as possible.

Heal Sage’s Wounds

Sage Heal Orb

Sage’s signature ability is Healing Orb. When held out, left clicking on an injured teammate will restore them back to full health. Sage must have line of sight to heal a teammate. Right clicking will heal Sage herself. The heal is not instant, instead taking place over a short time, and it does not restore armor.

Healing Orb is a very straightforward ability. A simple left click or right click is all it takes to use it. The only real nuance comes when deciding how to use it. Healing Orb has a 30 second cooldown. If the round timer ticks all the way down with a spike plant, Sage can theoretically get three heals off assuming she’s alive the entire time. Since armor is not restored, using Healing Orb on a teammate at over 90 HP could come back to bite her.

Since Sage can heal herself, many Sage players will try to take early fights or take aggressive peeks. The ability to give herself a second HP bar at any time makes her an agent with a lot of agency. Just make sure that you’re out of sight before switching off of your gun to cast heal.

Sage Can Wall Them Out

Sage’s first ability is Barrier Orb. Only one can be purchased per round for 300. When held out, a holographic rectangle is displayed on the floor. Left clicking will place an ice wall at the displayed location. Right clicking rotates the wall target by 90 degrees. Holding the ability key will allow the player to freely rotate the wall by moving their mouse horizontally. All players can stand under the wall when it is created to be boosted up with it. The wall lasts for about 45 seconds, but can be broken earlier.

Barrier Orb is far and away the most complex part of Sage’s kit. How players use this skill can completely change the flow of the round. On defense, the wall can be used to block off any choke point. Sage can also boost herself on top of the wall at the same time, giving her unique peeks from those chokes. Sage can also choose to save the wall for later in the round. A late Barrier Orb on the attacker’s entryway is a death sentence for their push. The enemy team can opt to break it early for free if it is placed too far away from defensible positions. This will take away a very important piece of utility.

On offense, Sage should always be one of the later agents in a push so she can live to place Barrier Orb on a route to the site for the retake defense. Since it lasts 45 seconds, a full spike explosion timer, defenders must either break the wall or choose a different way in. Sage can also place the wall earlier in the round to boost herself and others to take new sightlines or positions. Barrier Orb can be used to block off a defender’s line of sight from a deceased teammate so she can revive them.

An Icy Path

Sage’s second ability is Slow Orb. Sage holds up to two orbs at a time. The cost of each Each orb is 100. Firing Slow Orb sends it in an arc towards the target location. Slow Orb can bounce off walls and will detonate when it hits the ground. All players caught inside the area will be slowed. Running through the Slow Orb will make noise, while walking will not.

If used properly, Slow Orb brings some of the most oppressive utility in the game. An attacking side telegraphing their push in any way can easily be shut down by a single Slow Orb. Since players have a hard time moving inside of the slow zone, they are sitting ducks for spray and damaging utility such as fire and Orbital Strike. Sage’s defense power is so strong because even after her wall is broken, she can continue stalling pushes with consecutive Slow Orbs.

Using them on offense is a bit trickier. Since your team needs to run in, Slow Orbs are best used on top of frequent defender positions in order to put them at disadvantages. They can then be easily flushed out by follow-up utility and trades. Once her team has the site, leftover Slow Orbs can be used to stall retakes. Sage just needs to make sure that she isn’t blocking her own team when she throws them out.

Back from the Dead

Resurrection is Sage’s Ultimate ability. It takes seven Ultimate points to charge and she can cast Resurrection over a fallen teammate. Sage’s ally is brought back to life with full HP after a short duration. Resurrection restores HP but it does not restore armor.

The ability to revive a teammate can be incredibly strong in the right circumstances. The thing that matters most when deciding to use Resurrection is knowing what can be gained off of it. If a round becomes winnable with that extra player, whether its because they’ll bring enough firepower or they have valuable abilities left, it’s a good revive target. Resurrection is used in a line of sight to bait the enemy into shooting at them so Sage can close out the round.

One of the lesser known usages for Sage ultimate is an economy resurrection. Since the economy can be so brutal in VALORANT, taking an extra rifle into an important round can be a good choice, especially if players are frequently dying in un-revivable locations.

Sage is one of the most important agents in any VALORANT team composition. The vast amount of utility she brings allows her to control the entire pace of the game. On top of that, she has some of the most unique mobility and defensive angles. Even on offense, she brings post-plant value in spades. A good Sage will be finding all sorts of success by staying alive and clutching out rounds.

Zakaria is a former professional TF2 player turned caster and analyst. He has had a passion for gaming and esports for years and hopes to use his skills and experience to convey why gaming is so great. His specialty games are League of Legends, CS:GO, Overwatch, Super Smash Bros, and PUBG.