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Sova Guide

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Sova is a strong defensive and offensive information gathering Initiator agent. Initiators are your team’s start to a fight, but not in the same fashion as Duelists. While Duelists go in themselves, Initiators are meant to start a fight from the back lines, using abilities such as Breach’s Flashpoint and Sova’s Recon Bolt. Though the abilities vary greatly when it comes to Initiators, their jobs are one in the same.

Sova Overview Infographic

When you are Sova, or you have Sova on your team, you should expect a fairly constantly flow of information, and extremely high pick potential. Sova is extremely strong in information gathering, and enabling his entry fraggers to have the best chance of opening up a site. You should expect Sova to lead with either his Recon Bolt or Owl Drone to acquire information, possibly following up with his Hunter’s Fury Ultimate. Sova can also clear corners using his Shock Bolt, but it is less effective than other abilities for this purpose, and doesn’t play as hard to Sova’s strengths.

 

Sova's Valorant Overview Infographic for Synergies, Abilities, Strengths and Weaknesses.

Table of Contents

Is Sova Right For You?

When you are Sova, or you have Sova on your team, you should expect a fairly constantly flow of information, and extremely high pick potential. Sova is extremely strong in information gathering, and enabling his entry fraggers to have the best chance of opening up a site. You should expect Sova to lead with either his Recon Bolt or Owl Drone to acquire information, possibly following up with his Hunter’s Fury Ultimate. Sova can also clear corners using his Shock Bolt, but it is less effective than other abilities for this purpose, and doesn’t play as hard to Sova’s strengths.

Strengths

  • Low risk engage with Owl Drone.
  • Very powerful information gathering with Recon Bolt.
  • High pick potential with any of his recon abilities + Hunter’s Fury.
  • All of his abilities have significant usable max range and line-up potential.

Weaknesses

  • Shock Bolt is a very underwhelming ability overall.
  • All of his abilities take some time to use.
  • Easy to get killed while using Owl Drone.
  • Hunter’s Fury is fairly easy to dodge.

Sova's Synergies

Sova is a very support-like character, and does very well with a team in front of him to work off of his information gathering prowess.

Cypher Icon

Cypher

Sova is a very good attack-based information agent, while Cypher is an amazing defensive counterpart. Having these two characters gives a constant stream of information on both attack and defense rounds.

Phoenix Icon

Phoenix

Phoenix is a premiere entry fragger, easily able to work off of a tracking dart from Owl Drone or a scan from Recon Bolt.

Raze Icon

Raze

Raze has extremely high damage and zoning potential from range with her explosives, which are normally sporadic and hard to control. But with added precision from Sova’s intel, she can more accurately send the enemies fleeing with her explosive power.

Omen Icon

Omen

Omen is probably the strongest synergy on this list. After gathering intel, Omen can blind out the target that Sova has found, almost guaranteeing a kill. Along with this, Recon Bolt can find enemies lurking within Omen’s hollow Dark Cover, allowing for free kills on yet another blind enemy.

Sova's Abilities

Basic - Owl Drone

Sova's Ability Named Owl Drone Tooltip
Sova's C Ability Named Owl Drone Animation
Sova's C - Owl Drone

When and how should I use Owl Drone?

 

Owl Drone is one of Sova’s better abilities I would say, but also very underrated. Owl Drone takes a little bit of skill to use properly, as you need to be able to properly aim and shoot your tracking dart quickly before the drone is shot down, which is usually very fast, especially at high levels of play. In unorganized play, even if you see the enemy with your drone, it can be hard to make a proper callout, so just landing the dart simplifies the job. The drone is best used when setting up your entry fragger for a free kill, if you can mark one of the enemies playing a site, you’ve essentially got an entry frag set to start. Defensively, it is simply a really great and safe way to acquire intel on the enemies whereabouts and rotations, just like on offense.

Basic - Shock bolt

Sova's Ability Named Shock Bolt Tooltip
Sova's Q Ability Named Shock Bolt Animation
Sova's Q - Shock Bolt

When and how should I use Shock Bolt?

 

Shock Bolt is an ability only as good as it’s user, since it is really Sova’s most difficult ability to maximize use from. Damaging enemies in a firefight with it is very difficult to do quickly. Any line-ups with Shock Bolt are fairly easy to dodge. Shock Dart is a pretty great ability for clearing corners, but is still trumped by AoE and/or DoT abilities. However, Sova’s Shock Bolt has a very unique use. Since it can be shot onto walls, this means Shock Bolt EXCELS at destroying traps. Any decently sized hallway can be cleared completely of traps with one Shock Bolt. However, you won’t always be facing against trap agents, learn how to use this ability quickly, as the time it takes to line-up, charge, and aim are its largest detriments.

Signature - Recon Bolt

Sova's Ability Named Recon Bolt Tooltip
Sova's E Ability Named Recon Bolt Animation
Sova's E - Recon Bolt

When and how should I use Recon Bolt?

 

Recon Bolt is an extremely strong ability, but also very evenly scales with the skill and knowledge of the Sova player. For example, though certain lineups are a lot easier to perform, the bolt can be quickly destroyed before it has any use, so knowing all sorts of angles and lineups for each site on each map can maximize your Recon Bolt usage, especially at higher levels of play. If you’re not leading onto a site with Owl Drone, or if you aren’t sure whether you want to commit to a site, Recon Bolt is a great way to grab some quick information to determine whether to rotate or push for an entry frag.

Ultimate - Hunter's Fury

Sova's Ability Named Hunter's Fury Tooltip
Sova's X Ability Named Hunter's Fury Animation
Sova's X - Hunter's Fury

When and how should I use Hunter’s Fury?

 

Hunter’s Fury is a tricky ability to maximize use of, so it’s good to just get a little from it. Use this ability after you’ve hit an enemy with Recon Bolt or the tracking dart from Owl Drone, or if you are 100% certain of an enemy’s location. Another creative use is to use this ability post-plant to stop an enemy from being able to defuse the bomb, while you are in safety, since this ability goes through all walls. Sometimes it is just best to spam all three shots through a choke point, as no enemy will want to walk through and tank a shot from this ultimate, as they will lose more than half of their health, and be revealed to the whole enemy team.

Sova's Tips, Tricks, and Map Notes

  • Sova’s Recon and Shock Bolts, along with Owl Drone, can be sent through Bind Teleporters.
  • Don’t use Hunter’s Fury without proper cover, as you are extremely weak and vulnerable while casting it.
  • Practice and learn lineups for Sova’s Bolts, and try to create your own. Eventually everyone will know the same run-of-the-mill lineups and will shoot them out, so be sure to innovate.
  • Use Shock Bolts to directly counter Cypher’s Trapwires from safety.
  • Funnily enough, you can actually stick either Bolt ability to enemies. It’s not recommended to attempt, but if you attach a Recon Bolt to an enemy, they actually cannot shoot it off of themselves, and must have a teammate do it, but the bolt will operate as usual, moving with the target.
  • You will use the third charge level and the second bounce way less than you expect on most lineups. When firing bolts, try not to over-do it.
  • Owl Drone’s tracking dart is much better than Cypher’s, as it fires hitscan, and gives live feed on the enemy location for a fixed amount of time, so it can’t be pulled out.
  • Capitalize quickly on Recon Bolt’s information, as it is likely that an enemy will only be briefly scanned once before it is destroyed. Using it to just find what sites the enemy Sentinels (defensive experts) are playing can be valuable information. Recon Bolt also scans Killjoy’s turret!

Sova's Tier Rating

Agent's Tier List

I believe Sova is an underrated A-tier agent. Sova has extremely strong information gathering potential, and while a lot of it is very self-serving, Sova’s utility works a LOT stronger with teammates to help capitalize. This is unlike S-tier Cypher, whos abilities work phenomenally for both himself and teammates when maximized, Sova needs cooperation from his team to maximize his kit. His Owl Drone and Recon Bolt can be quickly destroyed, Shock Bolt is lackluster, and Hunter’s Fury is slow. However, despite all these downsides, I still believe that Sova fills a niche that lots of team compositions need, that cannot be found elsewhere, making Sova an A-tier pick in my opinion.

Comment below what you liked or think should change about this guide. Remember to rate it and share it if you found it useful. Good luck in Valorant!

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