VALORANT Patch 7.0 introduced us to the new Agent, Deadlock. As the new Sentinel since Chamber (2021), her role in the VALORANT Agent pool may shake up the meta soon. In this in-depth article, we’ll look at Deadlock’s origins, abilities, and strategies to optimize her use.
Who is Deadlock?
VALORANT Protocol’s 23rd Agent, Deadlock (real name: Iselin), hailed from Norway and was part of a local security force called Ståljeger who escorted a Project Landfall scientist to The Vault, which is in the far northern part of Norway. However, the facility containing them exploded and, upon Sova’s investigation, found Iselin as the lone survivor, with her left arm missing.
It was later revealed that Project Landfall had experimented with a bear that the Project’s scientists had transformed. As Iselin’s team checked the area, they found the bear had broken from its enclosure. The bear attacked the team and a Landfall scientist, killing them instantly. As Iselin tried to confine the creature, it bit off her left arm and put her in a state of delirium which the Landfall scientist, on their last breath, shot the bear and put Iselin back to consciousness. Her last action before collapsing was to put a distress beacon which Sova found as he investigated the laboratory.
As Sova took her back to VALORANT HQ, they gave her a new purpose as VALORANT Protocol’s 23rd Agent, with the codename “Deadlock.” However, her colleague, Gekko, still gives her a sense of uneasiness because of his Creatures, who are part of Project Landfall’s experiments. To Deadlock, the Creatures are not as friendly as they think.
This story now ties two Agents in the Project Landfall lore: Gekko and Deadlock, the new Agents introduced in VALORANT for 2023.
Deadlock’s abilities are a crossover of Sage, Cypher, and KAY/O. Here are her abilities:
- Gravnet (C) Deadlock equips a throwable grenade that detonates upon landing. Enemies caught in its area of effect will move slowly and crouch involuntarily.
- Sonic Sensor (Q) – A placeable sensor that attaches to walls, similar to Cypher’s Tripwire. However, instead of relying on visual cues, Sonic Sensor detects sound from enemies. The sensor in its rectangular-like area will pick up any sound source from them. Enemies caught in its area will be concussed for 3.5 seconds.
- Barrier Mesh (E) – Places a barrier that nothing can pass through, except bullet fire. The orbs surrounding the barrier can be shot to decrease its HP, similar to Sage’s Barrier Orb.
- Annihilation (X) – Places a Nanowire entrapment and places an enemy in a cocoon state. This cocoon will travel a path that, when it reaches its end, will instantly kill the enemy. The cocoon is destructible by the enemy’s teammates. It costs seven ultimate points.
Her abilities, while a crossover of interesting properties of other Agent abilities are also unique because they fit well with the Sentinel role. This makes Deadlock an interesting Agent to learn.
I find Deadlock to be useful in wider maps like Fracture, Lotus, and Pearl. However, she also has a huge value in Team Deathmatch, where her Barrier Mesh can block most chokepoints to isolate duels. In standard VALORANT matches, Deadlock can be the replacement Agent for Sage, especially in Split, Ascent, and Bind. In the current meta, I think she still can not excel as a solo Sentinel Agent and will have to be a secondary Sentinel to either Killjoy or Chamber, as Deadlock’s abilities rely more on team coordination and taking opportunities opened up by her. An entry using Gravnet can initiate site-clearing on both attacking and re-taking situations. But this will require a coordinated effort.
I am guessing that Deadlock will share the pick rate with Cypher in the future, given her power level trajectory being the same as Cypher’s when he was first released. We will see if her usage in professional tournaments impacts her power level, and if she needs tweaks. But, as of the current meta, I think she’s fun to use as an alternative to Sage. What are your thoughts on Deadlock, and how do you use her? Let us know in the comments. We love to hear and share strategies.
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