Updated: Aug 3, 2021
This was actually supposed to be my first premium guide for monthly subscribers only but I decided to release it to everyone. If you subscribe (even a Tier 1 subscription) these are the types of guides you will have access to. The monthly subscriptions also come with a lot more than just guides depending on which Tier you go with.
I've been super excited to start working on this series because after you get your Aim, Crosshair Placement, and Movement Fundamentals down, learning how the game should be played strategically is the next step.
Every guide in the "How to attack" series will have the same format. It's going to start with which agents are most commonly used and how to utilize each agent in a default. Then work into a couple of examples of what defaults can be used, how site takes can be initiated (mid-round), and effective post-plant setups.
Haven Attacker Default
First, let's cover the basics. You run a default for a couple of reasons. All of these points below are true on every single map.
Wait for the defense to push into you and hope they make a mistake so you can identify a gap in the map and take advantage of it. Since Haven has 3 bomb sites if you get a pick early in the round to make it 5v4 there will be a gap somewhere. A large one. You just have to identify it and take advantage of it.
Slowly begin to take map control away from the defenders.
Gather information and communicate it back to your team to make an informed decision on where to go and what site to hit.
Conditioning your enemy. The goal with conditioning is to make things seem a certain way when they are actually not. It gives you more freedom as you move into the later rounds of the half.
I'll break down agent composition into the most used in each class. If your agent isn't listed in the top 3, that doesn't mean it's not viable. It just means that they wouldn't be considered meta and the pro teams haven't found a way or even taken the time to utilize that agent to the best of their abilities.
The primary goal of a Duelist on Haven is to take map control from the defense with the help of the Initiator.
The Initiator will be supporting the Duelist in taking map control in various areas.
The Controller is used for conditioning and smoking choke points mid-late round when the team decides which site they want to hit.
The Sentinel should be setting up their utility to watch for pushes, flanks, and at the same time getting into spots that will allow them to lurk. Most times it's outside of B or Garage.
Example 1 - Default
Omen smokes top C every round to block vision from the defenders (conditioning). This will set your team up to farm the orb if needed or a potential C-pop strat in future rounds.
Killjoy sets up her Turret to watch the garage peek and anyone trying to walk down Middle. This will give your team information that Middle is clear and you won't get flanked if you decide to hit A.
Sova darts Long-A to see if anyone is peeking the angle to look into A-Lobby.
Jett smokes the A cross and can either swing out of the smoke to challenge an enemy Long-A if the Record Dart gets a ping, or she can cross safely into Short-A.
Raze sends her Boom Bot towards Short-A to make sure no one tries to get aggressive and follows the Jett.
If we take a look at this default setup and compare it to the reasons above as to why you run a default.
Waiting for pushes. All your grounds are covered if you hold these positions. The defense can't push Long C because Omen is there. They can't walk down Middle or peek garage cause Killjoy's Turret is there. If they try to push Short or Long A there is a Recon Dart and a Boom Bot waiting for them.
Slowly take map control away. In this default, you're slowly taking map control away from the defense at A.
Gather information. You're gathering information at all these points on the map. If there's nothing Long-C you know they are playing on the site. If no one pushes middle or garage you know you can safely walk to bottom Middle and start challenging angles at B. If you run into resistance at A you'll be able to call which agents they are and make a decision based on that.
Conditioning. The 2 smokes (Omen and Jett) on this default would be used for conditioning. If you smoke the top of Long-C every round the enemies have no idea what's behind it. There could be no one behind it, or your whole team can be behind it ready to pop out. If Jett continues to smoke the cross at A, even when you guys have no intention of going there. The enemy team may think you have crossed into Short-A. They won't be able to know for sure.
Example 2 - Default
Astra smokes top C and drops a star on top of the C site box and pulls it back at the start of the round. The reason you do this is that the height of Astra's smoke isn't as tall as Omens and someone can easily see over it.
Jett 1 way smokes the garage door to make sure no one pushes and takes control of Middle with Skye/Phoenix from various points.
Skye gets ready to Trailblazer either Garage or B so the Jett and Phoenix can take space.
Phoenix flashes out of the Window to make sure no one is walking down or peeking from B.
Cypher cages the A cross and throws his camera towards short A to make sure no one is getting aggressive.
Again, if we take a look at this default setup and compare it to the reasons above as to why you run a default.
Waiting for pushes. Astra has Long-C. Jett/Skye have Garage. Phoenix will have Window. Cypher has all of A.
Slowly take map control away. In this default, you're slowly taking map control away from the defense in Middle and Garage.
Gather information. Your main points of information gathering in this default are towards Garage, B, and A.
Conditioning. The Astra smoke at Long-C, the Cypher cage at A, and even the Jett smoke at Garage are all used for conditioning.
There's no right or wrong way to run a default as long as you're not caught off guard if the defense makes an aggressive play and pushes, you are actively working to take map control away (you can't sit in spawn all game as an attacker), you are gathering information to make a decision mid-round, and you're conditioning. If you play on a team, these are the things you want to think about when determining what default works best for you and your squad.
This is the part of the round that happens after your default. I would consider anything after 1 minute and 10 seconds to about 30 seconds in the round timer "mid-round". The reason is if Omen is your Controller and uses his smoke at the start of the round you won't have 2 smokes until about 1 minute into the round. If you have Sova in your composition the Recon Dart will be recharged by his point as well.
You've established your default, you should have some form of map control with your Duelist(s) and Initiator(s). Now what? Communication is key during this part of the round. With all the information gathered from your default, you need to talk to your teammates about the next steps. This is also the time you want to get the rest of your team involved and get ready for a site take, especially the Controller because regardless of which site you hit you need the choke points smoked.
Example 1 - Mid-Round
Killjoy places an Alarm Bot to make sure no one pushes from Long-C and flanks the team. While she works her way to B-Cubby and prepares to flank the enemies as her team takes A. If you play this position make sure you don't go too early and don't go too late. An easy way to tell what pace you should move at is to look at how many people are alive on your team vs theirs. If you have the advantage you can take your time. If you are down numbers you need to speed up.
Sova moved into Short-A and to Owl Drone Raze up. Remember the Boom Bot Raze threw at the start of the round? This ensures that Sova can Owl Drone from that location safely if no one on the defense fights for this space.
Omen leaves Long C after the Alarm Bot is placed by Killjoy to join Jett at Long-A and get ready to smoke the choke points (Heaven, Lower CT).
Jett was taking space as part of the default then held and waited for her team to join her. Once the smokes are down she Cloudbursts the default box and Tailwind's into it to create space for her team.
Example 2 - Mid-Round
Astra uses her initial smoke at top C to get into the C-Long Cubby and waits for her team so she can smoke Garage Window and CT.
Skye flashes into Garage and Jett/Phoenix follow to kill anyone playing in there.
Phoenix takes the lead once they are in the Garage to come up the connector and throws a Curve Ball out to make it easier to enter into C.
Cypher pulls back his camera from Short-A after he's sure no one is pushing and uses it to watch B and get ready to lurk through Garage or B.
The defaults and mid-rounds won't always work out to exactly what I have mapped out here but I wanted to show you the basics of what you are trying to achieve and ideas on how. Things change quickly in VALORANT but there are always ways to adapt through communication.
The first thing I want to cover is spike plant spots on every site. These are the spots that are most common or make the most sense.
I'm not going to tell you exactly how to play a post-plant setup because a lot of the time they are situational. It really depends on how many teammates are alive, what agents are still alive on the enemy team, what utility your teammates have, and more. The absolute basics of post-plant situations are setting up Crossfires, Contacts, And Baits. When I coach teams I always talk about "power positions". These are positions that I want people in no matter the situation. Let me show you some power positions based on the examples above.
Example 1 - Post-Plant
In this scenario, I'm going to assume my Jett died entry fragging. The spike is planted and my power positions are Hell (Omen) and Default (Raze). The idea behind this setup is Raze will Jiggle Peek from Default and let Omen know when to use his Paranoia. After the enemies are all flashed Raze and Omen can start to swing and take gunfights. Sova is spotting Heaven but him being alive is more important than actually taking a fight because of his ability to delay using Shock Darts. Then we have the Killjoy as an insurance policy for the round win. Given where the spike is planted she can take her time and work through A-Link for a nice flank. If the spike was planted Default, I would actually suggest the Killjoy not flank and come back with the team taking a position at Short-A somewhere with Nano Swarms on the bomb.
Example 2 - Post-Plant
Let's take a look at example 2. Someone died when they executed at the C site, it was the Phoenix cause he was leading the pack. After the spike is planted the power positions in this post-plant are back site where Jett is, and Default (Skye). The Jett spots an off-angle and once she takes contact the Skye will throw a flash and peek the right side of Default. Astra is Long-C and playing the Spike, and the insurance policy in this play is the late flank from Cypher through Garage. Take notice of where the spike is planted though, it's visible from the Garage. If the spike was planted in the back closer to Jett then the safer play is to have Cypher come back and join Astra at C-Long to secure the round.
Now that you have an understanding of how to attack on haven, let's see it in action. I was watching the Champions Tour North America Stage 3: Challengers 2 Grand Final of TSM vs FaZe. TSM was on the attack. Look at this clip of their default.
The agent composition isn't exactly as I described above in my examples but can you see the similarities of how TSM is approaching this attack round?
Astra (Controller) is defaulting towards Long C to make sure no one is pushing.
Killjoy has a Turret down watching Garage and any pushes down Middle.
Sova Recon darts Long A and Skye flashes over the wall for anyone trying to peek and they start working A and taking map control away from the defenders.
As you watch professional games you will see variations of the defaults, mid-rounds, and post-plant setups but now you have insights into why.
That's it for How To Attack On Haven! I hope you enjoyed it and found a lot of value from this.
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