How to play Phoenix, VALORANT’s resident flame-wielding dualist

Flashy and fiery plays for all.

Image via Riot Games

Welcome to the VALORANT closed beta, where a lucky few people have gotten the chance to test out Riot Games’ new first-person tactical shooter.

Although not everyone can hop into testing, it’ll be good to know what each agent can do before the official release this summer. Here’s a quick rundown of Phoenix, a blazing agent who can light his enemies up in more ways than one.

Abilities

  • Hot Hands – Throw a fireball that explodes after a delay or upon impact with the ground. The fire zone damages enemies and heals you.
  • Blaze – Cast out a flame wall that blocks vision and damages anyone passing through it. You can bend the wall when casting by turning while holding left click.
  • Signature Ability: Curveball – Cast a curving flare that bursts into brilliant light after a brief delay, temporarily blinding all looking at it. Left-click curves it left, right-click curves it right.
  • Ultimate Ability: Run it Back – Mark your current location. If you die during this ability’s duration or when this ability’s duration expires, you’ll be reborn at the marked location with full health.

Phoenix’s abilities make him a jack of all trades when it comes to going on the attack or defense. He has a Molotov-like ability with Hot Hands that can also heal the player if used underneath them. He also has a flashbang-like ability called Curveball that blinds enemies. Blaze is a great tool to wall off the opposition.

His ultimate ability, Run it Back, is his strongest tool by far since it gives Phoenix a free revive for about eight seconds. During the ultimate, he can run around, shoot enemies, and use abilities before being teleported back to where he started with full health.

Playstyle

Image via Riot Games

On attack, Phoenix plays as an aggressive entry fragger for his team. He can use his various utility to blind or wall off the opposition, giving his team an easy route into the bombsite for a plant. His Curveball is incredibly useful when turning around a corner and Blaze can effectively split a bombsite in half. His ultimate is perfect for scouting defenses and he can even grab a pick or two for free.

On defense, Phoenix has strong abilities to help stop a rush or prevent a group push from an opposing team. Blaze is perfect to cut off entrance to a bombsite or chokepoint, while his Hot Hands ability is also great for zone control. Run it Back can be great when trying to retake a bombsite since Phoenix can run in, try to get kills, and simultaneously relay information for his teammates to go and secure the defuse.

Ultimately, Phoenix players need to stay smart with how they use their utility if they want to get the most out of this fiery agent. It’s easy to overuse abilities at the beginning of the round, leaving you with nothing but your gun to fight afterward.