My Experience with Clove in Valorant: Enough to Shake the Meta?

In Short
  • Playing Clove for close to a week has convinced me that this agent could shift the Valorant meta for good.
  • Whether instant overheal or decay, they possess both utilities that can be brutal, especially in pistol or thrifty rounds.
  • The most utility of playing Clove will be post-death smokes, as they might make teams opt for a double-controller comp.

Valorant is a tactical shooter unlike any other. Like a chameleon, the game keeps shifting its colors with every act. This is most prominent after the release of a new agent or map. It seems after a fair half of VCT revolving around the retake meta, Valorant’s meta is ready for another seismic shift yet again. The turning of tides this time can be credited to the game’s newest controller agent Clove.

Thanks to Riot Games, I had the opportunity to not only playtest the agent early but I’ve also been playing Clove for the last week to see how they might fit into the competitive meta. After spending multiple matches testing out Clove’s abilities, I’ve started to think the new agent is here to shift the meta for controller players.

While I already discussed Clove’s abilities, this is more about how the agent will feel in the game. I also share what some high-ranking players think about Clove’s utility in a team’s composition. So, with that, let’s begin.

Peddle to the Meddle for Faster Kills

The first and obvious thing I want to mention is that decay abilities in Valorant are strong. So, be it Fade or Viper, they would always be a nice agent for quick AOE damage; especially when combined with Raze grenades, Sova’s shock dart, or any other damaging abilities.

However, agents that come with the decay also have a few negatives. While Fade is supposed to buy the prowler for a pistol round, she cannot use the ability. On the other hand, Viper can only decay enemies through her toxin passive. This makes Clove the perfect candidate for using their Meddle ability for the pistol round or early in the game.

Meddle decays enemies instantly and can take their health down to 10 if they lack armor. That is why you can just go in with a classic in hand in the first round for some early frags.

In one of the games, I combined Raze’s Paint Shells with Meddle to secure 2 kills by doing only 20-odd damage, thanks to the decay effect.

A Little More Aggression than Reyna?

One of Clove’s abilities that I fell in love with was Pick-Me-Up. Besides stealing life essence, the overheal gives you solid strength to fight after you lose your own HP. You also get a huge movement boost that sparks Clove’s inner duelist. Furthermore, the key strength behind Pick-Me-Up is that it does not require a line of sight and heals you instantly.

I found this far better than Reyna’s healing, where she needs to be in sight of the orb while absorbing health. Despite being a controller, Clove has a better overheal mechanic that will come handy when challenging enemies. However, the heal amount goes up to 100, and it is temporary. But hey, who fights for a long time when entering a site anyway, right?

Smokes After Death: A Bit Overpowered?

Besides decaying enemies or stealing their life force, Clove’s biggest advantage is their Not Dead Yet ability, which brings them back to life. You would want to pick them as your controller because they can add a lot of value to a composition despite falling early.

In a practical scenario, I died early while entering the site but still could provide enough cover for my teammates to pull off a round win. This can be a huge shift in controller play. Thanks to Clove, I won’t be staying in the back to smoke anymore. It’s my time to shine on the frontlines or from the grave.

But is the smoke after death overpowered? Many people will ask that question. First and foremost, the importance of having Clove on your team is how they help you even after dying. It gives your other players still room for protection.

However, the range of casting smoke after death is small. This somehow balances this ability in a sense. I still believe the smoke replenishment timer is a little on the lower side.

“Thanks to Clove, I won’t be staying in the back to smoke anymore. It’s my time to shine on the frontlines, or from the grave.”

Do note that Clove is not good on all maps. Even if you pick them in Breeze or Lotus, dying at the right spot will come into play. However, Bind, Ascent, or Split can be great Valorant maps for them, as Clove can be the team’s flex controller. These maps have shorter entry points, and even if you die a little far from the site, you will still manage some useful smoke cover.

Overall, I still think controller mains will hugely accept the ability to smoke after death in Valorant. Clove’s self-revive can be huge even in clutch situations. This can also make competitive teams put two controllers on the team if they haven’t already.

We have already seen many compositions in which teams played Viper and Harbor or Omen and Viper. I would not be shocked if teams prefer Clove over Viper from now on. This comp will be able to offer more aggression and coverage with tons of combos to make out of it.

What do you think Clove will offer in Valorant? Do you think Clove can shift the meta of Valorant? Try it for yourself, as Clove has already been released, and do share your opinion in the comments below.

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