Updated: Aug 4, 2021
Sova was the second most used agent at the Valorant Champions Tour Stage 2: Masters Reykjavik. With a 72% pick rate overall and a 100% pick rate on Icebox, he makes for an extremely important agent to any team composition.
What are Sova's strengths?
Sova is an all-around good agent. His strengths are gathering information, delaying, and his abilities make him great in the clutch.
What are Sova's weaknesses?
He's not an entry-fragging agent. He doesn't have abilities to cover space quickly like Jett or Raze. He's also not the greatest lurker mainly because his abilities are meant to be used in coordination with the team.
What maps is Sova good on?
In competitive play, Sova is played on every map except for Split. Instead, other initiators are used such as Skye and Breach, but I still think if you put in enough time with Sova he's viable on Split as well.
Now that you know Sova's strengths and weaknesses let's go into his abilities with examples on how to use them. The definitions below in quotations were taken from the Play VALORANT website.
SHOCK BOLT (Shock Dart)
EQUIP a bow with a shock bolt. FIRE to send the explosive forward, detonating upon collision and damaging players nearby. HOLD FIRE to extend the range of the projectile. ALTERNATE FIRE to add up to two bounces to this arrow.
The official name for this ability is Shock Bolt but I think everyone refers to it as Shock Darts. So you'll see me using that.
Sova's shock darts do AoE (Area of Effect) damage up to 90. The further you are away from the center of the shock dart, the less damage it does. The great thing about this ability is the combination of angles, strengths, and bounces it can be shot at. You will always see good Sova players with lineups for single, or double shock darts (2 shock darts shot at different times but land close or at the same time) depending on the situation.
On defense, they are most commonly used for delaying the spike plant or killing the planter (depending on your timing), but it's not always about kills. If you get the kill on the planter that's great, if you don't and you can stop the attackers from planting even for 3 seconds, it allows your teammates to rotate.
On attack, they can be used for securing rounds in post-plant situations. Being able to shock dart the spike when the defenders are trying to diffuse can waste massive amounts of the timer and deal tons of damage. However, you need good timing when doing this. Most of the post-plant lineups take a second or two (some even longer) before the dart lands. You will have to time your darts properly.
Shock darts can also be used for taking space and getting gimmicky kills. I mentioned earlier that there are plenty of double shock dart lineups that you can learn, like this one that will kill anyone peeking off cat-walk into tiles as a defender. This double shock lineup paired with a smoke in middle could get your team up cat-walk and into tree quickly, without much resistance.
RECON BOLt - Signature Ability
EQUIP a bow with a recon bolt. FIRE to send the recon bolt forward, activating upon collision and revealing the location of nearby enemies caught in the line of sight of the bolt. HOLD FIRE to extend the range of the projectile. ALTERNATE FIRE to add up to two bounces to this arrow.
The recon bolt is great for getting information. As a beginner, it's always good to use the dart at the start of the round because it re-charges after a 35-second cooldown and you'll be able to use it again for more information as the round progresses.
On attack, a perfectly timed recon bolt during an execute adds so much value. It's hard for defenders to shoot the dart while other abilities are being thrown at them and a bunch of agents are rushing them. If they don't shoot the recon, they will be revealed. If they do shoot the recon, you will have an idea of where they are.
One of my favorite things to do as Sova is sit in choke points that are generally smoked off. Wait until the perfect time and shoot a recon bolt behind/above the enemy's heads and try to get kills through the smoke. It's important to shoot the recon behind/above their heads so it makes it as hard as possible to shoot. Whenever you shoot a recon your goal is to get at least 1 ping off.
Here are a couple of examples of the recon being used in a ranked game. I recon darted B main and got a ping and was able to spam one through the wall with a Sheriff. On the last kill, I used the recon as bait because I knew where he was. As soon as he turned to shoot the recon I peeked.
EQUIP an owl drone. FIRE to deploy and take control of movement of the drone. While in control of the drone, FIRE to shoot a marking dart. This dart will reveal the location of any player struck by the dart.
As a beginner one of the most powerful things you can do for your teammates is drone as they follow behind. You get free information and set your teammates up for potential kills if you spot someone in a bad spot and tag them. If you're playing with friends, try combining the Owl Drone with things like Reyna Leer to make it even more difficult for the other team.
HUNTER’S FURY - Ultimate Ability
EQUIP a bow with three long-range wall-piercing energy blasts. FIRE to release an energy blast in a line in front of Sova, dealing damage and revealing the location of enemies caught in the line. This ability can be RE-USED up to two more times while the ability timer is active.
On defense, Hunter’s Fury can be used to delay/kill the attackers when they try to plant the spike. The best thing you can do as a Beginner Sova is hit the CAPS-LOCK button and ping the plant spots before using your ultimate, or have a dead teammate do it. It will make sure that you're shooting in the right place. When there are elevation changes on the map it can get tricky. I've seen tons of Sova's shoot their Hunter's Fury in the floor, or at the wrong height and completely miss.
On attack, Hunter's Fury is another great ability in post-plant situations.
If you want to learn Sova you need to put the time in a custom game to learn lineups. It’s possible to play Sova without, but you’ll be so much better if you can practice before entering a game. The lineups are easy to find, do 1 YouTube search and you'll have more dart lineups than you can handle for a few weeks. Make sure to use them when you play though or else you'll forget them.
That's it for this beginner guide! I hope you found it helpful.
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