After much anticipation, Riot Games has finally shared details on the new agent joining the fold in VALORANT.
Yoru, the Radiant infiltrating duelist hailing from Japan, is built to deceive his opponents and keep them guessing at all times. Let’s highlight a few of his abilities, and some of the finer details that come with them.
Yoru’s Gatecrash, a rift tether he sends out that you can teleport to within a time window, is excellent for getting deep behind enemy lines, but there are nuances that come with it. Once you place a rift, it’s only available for a limited period of time. Furthermore, if an enemy gets close enough to it, they can see it and will continue to see it as long as it's in direct line of sight regardless of distance for a few seconds. This means that Yoru can set up a deep Gatecrash and think they’re getting the jump on their opponent just to find out someone was waiting for them all along. Yes, this may have happened to me. If an opponent has less of a flair for the dramatic, they can always just shoot it out and avoid that altogether.
Fakeout, an echo that mimics footsteps when activated, might seem slightly underwhelming at first in relation to the rest of his kit, but I would argue is one of his stronger tools. Yoru can mimic up to two sets of footstep sounds on the map. He can choose to drop and send them instantly, or prepare them for later use. Where it gets interesting is in how the ability interacts with the kits of his peers. Fakeout is intended to mimic an agent, which means almost anything that an agent would interact with, Fakeout does too. Raze roomba? Targets his footsteps. Killjoy turret? Yep, that too. His Fakeout even triggers a Cypher Trapwire if it’s low enough.
Things get interesting when we start to think about his kit in a competitive setting. Let’s say you’re playing attack on Bind and want to use roomba to clear Hookah at the beginning of the round. A defender playing in Hookah can tell his Yoru playing at A to merely send his footsteps through teleporter and trick roomba. No information gained.
Multiple times throughout the week I sat back to think about Yoru's place in a competitive setting. Sure, he’s fun—but how does he fit at the highest level of play? Where does he shine most?
My initial thought was how good he could be playing along an agent like Brimstone or Omen with their smokes. Their smokes synergize well with both Gatecrash and Fakeout for the same reasons. The battle for information is often something that goes underappreciated in VALORANT, and Yoru is fundamentally built to deceive and infiltrate. Anything that can be done to add an additional layer of information denial or quite literal smokes and mirrors to help accentuate his deceptive playstyle gives him even more room to shine. In the same vein, anything that can be done to aid in infiltration such as providing cover for his teleport will keep opponents on their back foot.
Imagine a scenario where you’re playing defenders side on top ramps by A site on Split as Yoru. Round after round your Brimstone smokes out A lobby and you send your Fakeout down there as well to lead them to think that you are playing aggressively. After a few rounds, it’s inevitable they find out you're just sending your echo to trick them into thinking you’re there when you really aren’t. Having conditioned the opposing side into thinking that it’s a fake, you now have the freedom to actually thunderstep your way into their spawn and hopefully catch them off guard. Alternatively, you can utilize that same smoke to cover your Gatecrash. The possibilities are endless.
My initial thought was how good Sova would be with Yoru, namely his Gatecrash. Sova’s recon dart removes the guessing game on whether it’s safe to take a Gatecrash deep into enemy lines. It seems like a perfect combination, but it was actually Temp from Moon Raccoons who enlightened me on a possibly more optimal choice.
The problem with the Sova dart is that while you are gathering information, it can be shot out, and it offers no additional crowd control. Skye, on the other hand, offers a lot of the same information with added layers of security. Her flash audio cue gives you information on if anyone is around the Gatecrash like Sova’s recon dart does (admittedly without telling you how many or where), and it flashes them out at the same time, giving Yoru more room to work. Combine that with some of the smoke conditioning that I mentioned above, and you can begin to see just how limitless his options are when paired with the right agents.
This really just begins to scratch the surface on what you can do with Yoru. He’s different from other duelists in that agents like Jett and Reyna really shine in the hands of a highly mechanically gifted player. Yoru, in my opinion, will shine brightest not in the hands of a talented individual player (although that will certainly help), but more so in the hands of highly organized teams. That’s something that I, for one, cannot wait to see.