Riot Games has revealed Astra, the latest upcoming agent in Valorant.
On one hand, I am happy to meet her. Her design is outstanding, her concept is fantastic, and I’m happy to see another lady agent (especially a black woman, which we don’t see enough of in games). On the other hand, I’m sad. Her kit is so wild. I just know I don’t have the brain cells needed to main a character with such a unique and fascinating playstyle. But will that stop me from trying? No.
The first act of Valorant’s current episode — known as Episode 02: FORMATION — is in the process of wrapping up, with its next act dropping on March 2. The first act arrived on January 12, bringing with it agent Yoru. The second act will introduce players to Astra, a Ghanaian agent who “harnesses the energies of the cosmos to reshape battlefields to her whim.” She possesses “full command of her astral form and a talent for deep strategic foresight,” and is “always eons ahead of her enemy’s next move.”
“You can tell a person’s character by their first action,” says Astra in the opening moments of her trailer. “Check me then.”
After that, I have no idea what happens. I see her do a bunch of cool things on the screen, but I don’t totally get them. I’m too busy focusing on how pretty it all looks. It’s been a while since I played Valorant, but it’s clear the team is eager to explore new gameplay styles that might make battles harder to follow but are much more creative.
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Here’s the information on Astra’s abilities, which you’ll hopefully understand better than I ever will:
- Gravity Well [C]: Players in the area are pulled toward the center before it explodes, making all players still trapped inside Fragile.
- Nova Pulse [Q]: The Nova Pulse charges briefly then strikes, concussing all players in its area.
- Nebula [E]: Activate a Star to transform it into a Nebula (smoke).
- Dissipate [F]: Use on a Star to dissipate it, returning the Star to be placed in a new location after a delay. Dissipate briefly forms a fake Nebula at the Star’s location before returning.
- Astral Form/Cosmic Divide [X]: Astra’s ultimate ability. Activate to enter Astral Form where you can place Stars with Primary Fire. Stars can be reactivated later, transforming them into Nova Pulses, Nebulas, or Gravity Wells. When Cosmic Divide is charged, use Secondary Fire in Astral Form to begin aiming it, then Primary Fire to select two locations. An Infinity Cosmic Divide (a wall that cuts across the whole map) connects the two points you select. Cosmic Divide blocks bullets and heavily dampens audio.
Astra is classified as a controller agent and belongs to the Radiants — a select group of gifted individuals who gained hypernatural abilities following the mysterious First Light event. The event occurred on Earth, spanning the entire globe and leading to total transformations to life, technology, and governmental operation.
The Valorant Protocol, which recruits Agents from all over the world, is the shadow organization created as a response to the First Light. Controller agents like Astra are experts in manipulating dangerous territories so that their teams are poised for success. The other controller agents in the game so far are Brimstone, Omen, and Viper. Out of all of them, she’s by far the most fun-looking for me.
Astra will join the Valorant roster on March 2, the same day as the game’s new battle pass for Act 2 arrives.