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June 7, 2024

The Unwarranted Clove Nerfs in VALORANT Patch 8.11: A Misstep by Riot?

Liam O'Sullivan
Written byLiam O'SullivanWriter

Key Takeaways

  • VALORANT's Patch 8.11 brings unexpected nerfs to the agent Clove, which could have benefited from buffs instead.
  • The nerfs target Clove's unique abilities, potentially diminishing their strategic value in gameplay.
  • Despite the nerfs, Clove may still hold a presence in ranked lobbies, though their impact in professional play could further decline.

When it comes to agent updates in VALORANT, Riot Games never fails to surprise the level-headed part of its community—and it’s no different with Patch 8.11, which introduces a couple of Clove nerfs nobody asked for.

The Unwarranted Clove Nerfs in VALORANT Patch 8.11: A Misstep by Riot?

In fact, if Clove were to receive tweaks at all, it should have been buffs. Now, many of you may revolt against my claim, saying they are overpowered and highlighting their immensely successful launch. To those people, I ask, can you really “control” a VALORANT map with Clove like you can with any of their peers?

To give an overview, VALORANT’s Patch 8.11 nerfs Clove’s Pick-Me-Up ability and their overhyped ultimate, Not Dead Yet. Here’s what’s changing:

Now, why would you nerf Pick-Me-Up? 10 seconds wasn’t enough on its own. It’s a selfish ability that is supposed to compensate for their lack of controlling abilities. The ultimate nerf doesn’t make sense either when we still have agents like Reyna, Phoenix, and Cypher sitting at six ultimate points.

The patch also fixes a bug that, ironically, used to make their ultimate slightly less choking. Let’s face it—it’s overwhelming to look for enemies and get a damage assist within 10 seconds, or else you lose your second chance at life. It was powerful for a second after the launch when players were still adapting to Clove’s kit. Now, it just isn’t.

“But Clove can smoke after death which none of the other controllers can.” I know, it’s great to have some cover even if the controller on your team is dead. But how many times have you benefited from it? Their smoke range is limited too, so if you decide to rotate (which happens very frequently) to a different site, there’s no point.

Wouldn’t you rather have Omen who can offer you cover for a longer time, help the team with abilities that actually control the map, and play aggressively as well? To top it off, Clove’s smokes have the shortest duration among all controllers.

Being a controller main, I was thrilled when Riot announced a duelist-like smoker for VALORANT. I tested them out on day one and even enjoyed playing them for a while. But it wasn’t long before I realized I just didn’t have enough utility to help myself or the team, which was exactly what multiple pros had pointed out after Clove’s launch.

The controller role in VALORANT is all about brainy plays focused on utility usage. With Clove, however, I get very situational, selfish, and scrap-like powers that let me blindly run into sites—and that’s it. They are like Reyna but worse, now that the latter is getting a buff, too.

The pro scene has chosen to ignore Clove and rightfully so. Even in their initial state, only one VCT team (FunPlus Phoenix) has picked them so far, so imagine the damage this nerf will cause. Like Shopify Rebellion’s meL told Dot Esports a while back, Clove’s kit just isn’t valuable enough for the esports meta and requires a buff.

Well, now that they are getting a nerf, the chances of Clove making a mark in pro play are thinner than ever, and it certainly looks like Riot had no intention to make that happen either.

In the meantime, Clove should continue to dominate ranked VALORANT lobbies—but maybe a bit less than before. As the dust settles on Patch 8.11, the community waits to see if Riot will reconsider its stance on Clove, or if the agent will remain a shadow of what could have been a more strategic and dynamic addition to the VALORANT roster.

About the author
Liam O'Sullivan
Liam O'Sullivan
About

Liam O'Sullivan, an Irish digital maestro, seamlessly fuses his impeccable command of English with an enthusiastic penchant for online gaming. Highly regarded for his localization expertise, Liam fine-tunes online casino guides, ensuring they resonate profoundly with the diverse English-speaking populace.

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