The growing pool of Valorant agents expands further as Riot Games officially released their 24th agent ISO on October 31, 2023. This new release comes after a series of leaks, a reveal trailer, and a gameplay trailer. Episode 7 Act 3 is off to a good start, thanks to some crazy ISO gameplay. The hired assassin is dominant enough in Valorant lobbies. Now that we have played over a week full of ISO, let’s have a look at his abilities, origin, tips and tricks in Valorant.
Valorant ISO: Abilities
As a duelist, ISO was speculated to be focused on gunplay and sharpshooting. With the reveal trailer, Riot has cemented that and declared him an assassin but instead of taking up arms like Chamber, he’s more focused on protecting you against enemy fire. Let’s check out all of ISO’s abilities here:
You can equip this ability to assemble a prismatic energy. Once done, press fire to send forward an indestructible wall of energy. This wall blocks bullets and destroys itself after reaching the endpoint. Sounds overpowered? Well, not your guns, but you can still use your abilities through the wall. That makes it a little bearable, right?
ISO equips a molecular bolt that you can throw in a direction. It travels in a straight line, and the bolt applies a brief fragile effect to all the enemies it touches. This fragile effect applied by ISO is similar to Valorant agent Killjoy’s alarm bot. You can throw this molecular bolt through any object. This includes boxes, structures, or even walls.
Double Tap (E)
Tapping the signature ability button will start a timer called the focus timer. During this timer, you enter a flow state wherein if you kill an enemy, they generate an orb similar to Reyna’s purple orb. If you shoot the orb, it grants you a purple shield. While you’re in this shield state, you can evade any damage once, including Raze’s showstopper (shown above) or an instance of Sova’s hunter’s fury.
Kill Contract (X)
ISO creates an interdimensional arena in the Valorant battlefield using his ultimate. Once it is activated, you can launch a column of energy through the battlefield. This pulls you and the first enemy it hits into an arena. In this arena, you and your enemy stay until one of you wins the duel by combat.
No other player can interfere until the duel is over. If no one wins, both vanish and die in the dimensional arena. If you get a kill, you have a little timer to shatter an orb before the dimension closes. The orb will provide you with an instance of Double Tap armor.
ISO Gameplay Role and Style
Although ISO looks cool and has a good fashion sense, it is too early to expect him to go in the best duelists list in Valorant. His fun abilities and no-nonsense gunplay make him a great gunslinger. ISO can be put in the S-tier in a Valorant tier list just for the fun he provides for all Valorant players with good aim. However, there are plenty of things that can be hard if you have not tried ISO yet. So, if you have unlocked ISO and want to make your way to the top, we have the best tips and tricks for you.
ISO is the perfect explanation of what a tank character should be like in FPS games. When you jump into a game with ISO, you’re a duelist with sustainability. That changes with the skillset ISO comes with. His approach should be aggressive and kill-focused.
Duelists usually shine with good support and ISO is no exception. So, even if you have protective skills, never try to take the fight where it is unnecessary. Never hesitate to use your utilities before you peek or take a fight. Remember that you are a better agent with the skillset with your gun game.
Best Maps & Agents to Play with ISO
Before we jump into ISO’s ability usage, pairing him with solid maps and agents is important. One of the key things you have to remember is ISO can be amazing in 100% probability angles. This means if you play him in such maps, you will find more success. Some of these maps include Haven, Sunset, and Bind. These three maps provide you with cover and a proper angle for a gunslinging duelist.
When it comes to agent pairing, ISO can be strong with any Valorant agent that feeds him information. You also have to remember that ISO can be vulnerable if he is focused on multiple duels at a single time. That is why it is always preferred to have a Reyna or Phoenix on your side.
As ISO lacks flashes, these duelists can provide that flash entry easily. For location purposes, Skye and Sova can provide you with valuable information for you to pre-aim angles. You can also get a Viper or Breach in your team to combine their AOE damage abilities.
ISO Ability Usage Tips and Tricks
Using ISO’s abilities is pretty straightforward. All of his abilities allow him to take on fights in front of him without hesitation. More like Reyna, ISO needs to be accurate with the aim to bank on his abilities. Find out more about his ability tips and tricks we have noted down below:
- Utilise the wall often: The contingency ability provides you wall or a cover that moves forward. This helps you push into a site or enemies as per your will. The wall prevents bullets from passing through which helps you push through sites with an operator agent. Sites like Haven C site or Bind A site can be easily breached thanks to ISO’s wall.
- On the defensive side, using this wall before starting the defuse can help you win rounds. The defuse takes up to 7 seconds and the ISO wall stays up for 4.6 seconds. This helps you get the spike defuse to half and play accordingly. It forces the opponents to either push forward or take some kind of action while the wall is up, helping you gain the advantage.
- Double tap is overpowered: Valorant broke the game for bad aimers with ISO’s double tap ability. This ability helps ISO gain an instance of shield that prevents damage from almost anything. Yeah, even the Showstopper from Raze. If you are focused on aim and have been getting a lot of kills, do not forget to shoot the orb after a kill.
- Also, make sure you use double tap before starting a peek or you will have a wasted kill. ISO gains a heavy advantage of sustainability through his signature. That is why for good aimers double tap can seem overpowered. Just keep an eye on the timer! Also, if you have the shield and you use the ultimate, you get into the dimension with a shield on you.
- Take unfair advantage of the ultimate: Although ISO comes with different types of remodeled skill sets, one that stands out is the ultimate kill contract. This ability takes you into another dimension along with an opponent. In the dimension, you get two covers as ISO whereas the enemy gets only one. Use this advantage to confirm the kill. Once the kill is confirmed, you will get a free double-tap orb inside the dimension. Yes, that too without activating the double tap. This helps you instantly jump into a fight right after getting out of the contract.
- Apart from getting kills, the ultimate provides a lot of different broken advantages. The first thing is inside the dimension every agent will have zero ability advantage. This means even if Jett, Neon, or Chamber had their ultimate ready, they would end up with a purchased gun within the dimension. Another advantage this creates is when you push a site consisting of two defenders, you can end up making it a 4 v 1 for your team as another enemy defender will be with you in the dimension.
- Take away the diffuser off the spike with your ultimate. This sounds fun and is more fun when you execute it in the game. A lot of time you might end up in a 1v1 situation where the opponent is trying to diffuse the spike. In such a case, instead of relying on the gunfight, go for the ultimate. This will grab the enemy with you inside the dimension. Now, the more time you spend inside the dimension is less time he has to diffuse the spike. Tough to clutch, right?
- Eco-round undercuts: Undercut can be a strong utility for a tanky duelist. But this ability helps your whole team moreover. In the eco or pistol round, you can grab an undercut ability and throw it towards a confirmed enemy spot. This allows vulnerability to enemies. Now, no matter which gun you are using, it has the potential to get kills, even if you are dealing with body shots. An undercut-affected enemy can die from one guardian body shot.
ISO Weakness and Counters
As you can read above, ISO can dominate Valorant lobbies, but there are restrictions and counters to the agent as well. Before jumping into lobbies, make sure you know all the counters and weaknesses.
- The first thing you should remember is that ISO’s double tap has two kinds of timers with different periods. This makes it confusing for players to understand how long a shield will run for and they have to constantly keep an eye on the hud. Looking at different parts of your screen might end up distracting your aim.
- Yoru is a formidable opponent for ISO. As you already know, ISO has one of the best ultimate in the game now. However, nothing is perfect and that is why you might end up grabbing Yoru’s illusion inside the dimension. This ends up offering you zero kills or a free double-tap orb.
- Kay/o is another agent that can be a nightmare for ISO. Kay/o’s ultimate or even the zero/point can disable the double-tap or even the ultimate before casting. This makes him vulnerable and hard to push as a tanky duelist.
- The last thing you need to remember is the shield deflects one instance of damage. This means any kind of AOE damage will destroy your shield and HP at the same time. Just make sure you do not end up running over any swarm grenade, incendiary or hot hands.
Valorant ISO Voice Actor, Story & Origin
ISO (codenamed Architect) is originally from China. He is a Chinese Fixer aka assassin for hire who also ends up getting a contract to kill Omen. In the game, ISO is a Duelist agent with an aggressive gameplay approach with a lot of sustainability. ISO’s voice sounds fluent in Chinese with a lot of resemblances to voice actors from anime related to Attack on Titan or Jujutsu Kaisen. We will update the name of the voice actor as soon as Riot Games confirms who did the voice acting for ISO.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is ISO’s real name?
ISO’s real name is Li Zhao Yu.
Is ISO a good agent?
ISO can be a fun agent to play with. However, if you are new to Valorant, avoid unlocking ISO. If you have good aim and tap a lot of heads, he might be your favorite agent in the game.
Who is the best duelist in Valorant?
Jett can arguably be the favorite duelist for her mobility. However, ISO can put the Valorant locker room on notice now that the mysterious duelist has arrived.