Valorant Patch 4.08 introduces some Sova nerfs for the Russian initiator. Enzo “Fea” Mestari, Fnatic replacement player and former Alliance IGL, was one of the first to notice the changes, pointing out the nerfs for Shock Dart and the Drone.
The nerfs could encourage players to play the new Initiator agent, Fade, which is scheduled to appear sometime in Episode 4 Act III. With the introduction of a new agent focused on gathering intel, Sova may finally have some competition as an initiator on most maps.
Sova nerfs for shock dart and drone coming
Sova’s Shock Dart now does less damage at only 75 instead of the usual 90, which could be the end of the Double Shock Dart era. The drone’s duration has also been shortened, now lasting eight seconds instead of 10. In addition, marked enemies are now pinged only twice instead of three times, and there is a longer delay between marking an enemy and the first ping.
The changes to Shock Dart are particularly significant, as they greatly reduce Sova’s strength in post-plant situations. You must now land two direct shock darts to reach the maximum damage of 150 and kill an enemy. If you miss even a little bit and the opponent has full health, they can just pull off the Defuse.
ALLRIGHT THIS IS A SOVA NERF LOL
DRONE is so so much worse!
— G2 Lothar (@LotharHS) April 24, 2022
Also, the drone’s price-performance ratio is much worse now. It still costs 400 credits, but the shorter flight time increases the likelihood that it will be a wasted investment if you don’t spot anyone. Also, the drone has less life.
Shock dart animation won’t be changed after all
Separately, Riot Games changed the animation for Shock Dart, which led to a lot of negative criticism from the community as it would destory many Sova lineups. Fortunately, the developer has since rolled back the animation changes, so you can still play your lineups.
Sova has remained relatively unchanged since his release as part of the original Agent lineup in 2020. He has only received slight nerfs in the past, such as a price increase for Shock Dart and his drone in patch 3.0. In the same patch, the number of Ult Points required for Hunter’s Fury was increased from seven to eight, while the cooldown for Recon Bolt was increased from 35 to 40 seconds.
We've heard your concerns about Sova's new animations disrupting lineups. Based on that feedback, his animation changes will be removed from Patch 4.08.
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) April 25, 2022
Sova isn’t the only agent to receive a nerf in patch 4.08. Jett’s Tailwind Dash has also been reworked and can now no longer be performed on command with a single button press. You now have to activate the Ability in advance and then have 12 seconds to use the Dash. If you don’t use it in those 12 seconds, it simply expires.