With the launch of Valorant Episode 7 Act 3, quite a few new bits of content have been announced. The most important one is launching the new duelist class character in the game: Iso. We take a closer look at all of his unique abilities and his ultimate. Analyzing his traits and then predicting how he might catalyze a new meta.
Who is Iso, and what are his unique abilities?
Iso is based in China, the same region as the character Sage, known in the lore to be a bulletproof assassin. In the past, we’ve looked at some of the best secondary duelists in the game. With Iso now in the mix, there is a higher possibility to see this strategy more in ranked matches.
Image Credit: ValorLeaks
Iso's first ability Contingency. This ability launches a prismatic wall in front of the character that pushes forward for 5 seconds and covers 30 meters. Similar to Harbor's cascade ability, but with the significant difference being that Contingency protects you from bullets. There's only one charge for this ability, costing you 250 credits. Its most exciting aspect is that it doesn't collide with any walls and, as such, will simply go through walls.
As such, it is a practical ability to use to walk up long paths on a map. This could be either C Long in Haven or even on A Long. On a map like Bind, Contingency will be helpful for B Long, a typical spot for an operator to hold an angle on. There's no health for the wall; as such, it will last the entire 5, even with an Odin spamming into it. Ideally, to use it to its highest potential, stay as close as possible to the wall as it moves forward.
Next up in Iso's kit is Double Tap — his signature ability. This is activated in a similar fashion to the way you activate Jett's Dash ability. Being his signature ability, you'll get one use of it free each round, but you can also buy another charge for 150 credits. One option is to activate a shield when it's active for each kill or assist in the round. This shield can only be activated after shooting the orb that is present near a dead opponent's body. The orb will be present for a maximum of 2 seconds. Shooting the orb grants a shield which protects from one instance of damage. This could be a shot from any weapon in the game or any damage-based agent ability. For example, with Double Tap, even a direct impact with a Showstopper by Raze won't inflict any form of damage on Iso.
Image Credit: ValorLeaks
The activation time for Double Tap is 15 seconds, but the exciting part is that this counter gets reset. The reset only takes place after the orb has been shot and the shield has been activated. And the timer can only be reset 3 times in a single activation period.
There's another hidden mechanic that Double Tap has in correlation to Iso's ultimate, which we'll get into soon. First, it's worth noting enemies can break Iso's orbs as well, which could result in Iso not being able to activate the shield after getting a kill.
Double Tap looks like a powerful ability, but perhaps seem unappealing compared to Reyna's spin on a similar mechanic. Firstly, unlike Reyna's orbs, you have to be looking at the orb to activate your shield. As for Reyna, healing can be activated even without her looking at the orb. Secondly, Reyna's orbs are present for a more extended period, thus allowing players to stack them up for given scenarios while entering the site.
The third ability in Iso's kit is called Undercut. No, it isn't about the F1 terminology used during Pit Stops. This ability fires an energy orb that moves forward quickly. Any opponents in contact with the orb get the fragile debuff for 4 seconds. This orb can also go through walls, making it quite valuable for the known wall bang spots on specific maps, like A Tunnels on Ascent. Undercut has 2 charges with a range of 35 meters, costing 200 credits each.
The fragile debuff doesn't affect an opponent's aim, it makes them take double damage. But this fact may now bring about changes when it comes to weapons and their use case. An example could be a Marshal, which usually hits the body for 100 HP. But if the opponent has fragile and gets hit in the body, they lose 200 HP, resulting in them being one shot. Another example could be the Bulldog. A headshot will damage the opponent for 115 HP, however, with the fragile debuff, that's another one shot. This could also be clubbed with damage-based abilities for other agents, such as Raze's nades or even Sova's shock darts.
Do we finally have the Gulag in Valorant?
Finally, we come to Iso's Ultimate — Kill Contract. This ultimate requires 7 ult orbs to be available for use. It's quite a unique ability and it brings something similar to the Gulag, from the popular Call Of Duty: Warzone. Iso equips Kill Contract and sends it forward. The first opponent to come in contact is then pulled into another dimension with Iso. Once inside, both characters will have the weapon they had equipped before teleported and a particular energy wall is placed in front of the opponent and two walls for Iso. Within the ultimate, neither player can use these abilities, making it similar to a cowboy standoff, a 1v1 between the two characters, with the player who dies in the alternate dimension will dying in the round while the other will be back on the map to regroup with their team. The range on Kill Contract is almost 50 meters.
Even though this ability costs 7 ultimate orbs, there's something quite interesting: after using the ultimate, Iso will still have 1 ultimate orb. Whether Iso or their opponent falls during the duration of Kill Contract, it generates one ult orb. However, if no player dies during the Kill Contract period, both Iso and the opponent die in the round.
Another aspect of this ability works in tandem with Double Tap. If Iso manages to kill his opponent during Kill Contract, he gets another charge of Double Tap. This allows the ability to be activated up to three times in a given round.
Image Credit: ValorLeaks
All in all, Iso is quite the interesting new addition to Valorant's agent roster. Having the protective wall from Contingency, he can be supportive while pushing onto the site or defusing the spike. His Double Tap ability, can make players with excellent aim into monsters.
If we look at the meta, it seems safe to assume Iso will be used as the secondary duelist in most team compositions, with a fairly high chance of seeing Iso as a secondary duelist and Raze as the primary duelist.
Feature Image Credit: Riot Games