VALORANT Introduces Astra, the Newest Controller Agent
Controller players rejoice, a new agent for the galaxy-brain VALORANT players out there has been released. On Feb. 27, Riot Games showed off the controller Astra for the first time. She joins fellow controller agents Brimstone, Omen, and Viper. She’s the latest agent to be released after Yoru.
Astra’s Cosmic Ability Kit
Astra’s abilities are quite literally out of this world. She equips Stars that can be placed on any flat surface on the map while in her Astral Form. In her Astral Form, she can see the entire map around her, but her body is left vulnerable and unattended while doing so. Once a star is placed, she can activate one of three abilities on it; Gravity Well, Nova Pulse, and Nebula.
Gravity Well sucks players into the center of the well before it exploded, leaving the affected players vulnerable afterwards. If you’re an Overwatch player who’s seen or used Zarya’s ultimate, it’s similar to that. Nova Pulse is a concussive charge that disorients the players caught in it when it goes off. Players who’ve been hit by Breach’s ultimate will know what being concussed in VALORANT looks like. Finally, Nebula is a smoke much like fellow controllers Brimstone and Omen utilize.
Astra earns two free Stars per round and can purchase additional Stars at 200 credits each up to a total maximum of five. These stars can be used for any combination of abilities, and since each of the three abilities has a ten-second reset timer, you could spend all five Stars in a round just using that same ability five times. That could be five Gravity Wells, five concussive Nova Pulses, or five Nebula smokes. For an ultimate, Astra utilizes the Cosmic Divide, an infinite cosmic wall that blocks bullets and dampens sound near it.
One of Astra’s designers, Jordan “Riot Wrekz” Anton, said that the team had a “global presence” envisioned for her from the beginning. He spoke about how they wanted her utilized in-game.
“We wanted her skill expression to be about gathering information and turning that into a plan, where the execution phase is less about precisely targeting a grenade throw and more about seeing if your read on the enemy came together how you hoped.”
Astra’s character comes from Ghana, as Characters Producers John “Riot MEMEMEMEME” Goscicki said “African Futurism was a huge inspiration for us when it came to designing Astra’s thematics.” Space was also a huge them for her character design.
The new agent Astra will release on March 2nd, 2021, along with Episode 2, Act 2.