Valorant has released a new map called Sunset with the Episode 7 Act 2 update, and this guide will feature the best strategy, Agents and compositions on this map in order to understand and play the map well. The LA-themed map has unique characteristics like the wide choke points and the pillar in the middle of B site so players need to adapt to the new map in order to find consistency. This guide should help players get a head start over their competition and will feature vital information to find success on the new map.
Strategy and Characteristics
Sunset’s map-specific characteristics include the wide choke points giving attackers plenty of space, the cubbies next to each site that need to be cleared for both plants and retakes and the numerous corners around the maps that players can hide behind for an easy kill if it isn’t checked. This means that Agents with good clearing or flushing ability will be important, and there are many walls so abilities that can go through them are also very strong.
A feature of the map is that the barriers are very close to each other. This encourages early fighting and teams that want to fight will easily be able to enforce early aggression if they win their duels and trades.
In this sense, the tempo of the map should be higher than other maps where sometimes large areas of the map that are two or three corners away need to all be fully cleared before an attacker can even catch the line of sight of a defender defending their default position. This closeness of the barriers means if teams on both sides try to push space onto each other, one side of the map can be lost and the other side easily won making it volatile to play on. I think conceptually this is fun, and this means any passive information gathering at the start is worth its weight in gold.
The main areas I think that will be initially contested are A and B Main. Both of these areas have barriers close to each other, and Agents that have good in and out ability or clearing ability should contest these angles on both sides as control over these areas is the most important for default pushes onto the site. B feels like it needs to be split pushed into from Main and Market at least, with perhaps a late lurker around Mid Top. A looks like the two corridors on the left and right of Main give attackers plenty of options and angles to push onto the site. I think A can be rushed with numbers pretty effectively while B can be delayed or slowed with good utility usage from the defenders. From this perspective, A will more likely be about retakes and B more about fighting on-site.
In terms of rotations, the fact that Mid Top is a prime rotation spot between sites makes it possible for attackers to catch rotations and punish anyone going through this area. Going around Defender Spawn around the back is safer but adds major time to the rotation and will make any retake slower and burn time off the clock for defenders. In this sense, Mid-control is very important for both sides as attackers can catch a lot of passive information and can hear noise if they control Mid, and defenders can gain safe rotations and know sites won’t get pinched if they have Mid-control.
Catch some rays on new map Sunset, take in some new Agent changes, and say hi to the official launch of Premier in Patch Notes 7.04.
— VALORANT (@VALORANT) August 29, 2023
A Site looks like a default site and reminds of B Site on Ascent and A site on Split. The boxes in the middle provide opportunities for shotguns to be useful, and the corridor on Elbow is also deceptive as it has two major corners players can rat in. A Main to A Link looks like it could be a good sightline for an Operator, while Alley looks like a weaker place to defend attackers from as there is major cover on-site, and pushing onto site will allow attackers ample time to punish this sort of aggression as the cover is closer to Main side rather than Alley side.
Retaking A site itself doesn’t seem too difficult but it’s more about the adjacent Elbow and Main areas that should give defenders headaches. Getting onto the site with enough people and utility shouldn’t be too difficult, but attackers have ample opportunity to lurk in these adjacent POIs to stop the defuse, and retaking these areas should be difficult as it will be difficult to determine how many players are waiting on each side of the site.
I mentioned previously that since the barriers are closer to each other, the map can be volatile and this means momentum can be easily swung and round to round, players may find they have a numbers disadvantage when attacking or defending. From a defensive perspective, retaking B with a numbers disadvantage looks kind of impossible. Outside of the wide choke in B Main and the fact that defenders have to re-clear Market, the way the pillar in the middle of the site is structured allows attackers to play ring around the rosy with defenders and make them burn valuable time especially if they’re down in manpower.
From an attacking perspective, B site itself shouldn’t be impossible to push with a numbers disadvantage, but they will need to be wary of a defender sneaking a look or onto the site through Market as it will be close to impossible to keep a watch over this area with a numbers disadvantage. In this sense, B looks like a site that favours attackers especially after the spike has been planted as it will be difficult for defenders to retake Main and there is a lot of potential for attackers to give defenders headaches due to the design of the site.
This part of the guide will feature the best Agents to play on the map to find the most success in either competitive queue, or in a team setting like Premier. This map has clear characteristics that make specific Agents suited towards the map and others weaker compared to their counterparts.
There are two parts to the argument of why Raze should be the preferred choice of Agents on Sunset for the foreseeable future for most players. Raze’s major competition in Jett got nerfed into the ground this update, making Raze the de facto most powerful Duelist in the game. Another reason is the fact that Raze suits this map with her Paint Shells, Boom Bot and Blastpacks all have the potential to provide immense value and get her teammates onto the site and into space safely.
She could send a Boom Bot down Elbow while Blast Packing onto the site, or could blast pack onto B site from Main and blow someone up with the Showstopper. I think her strength will lie more around the sites as her utility has limited value around the open site lines of Mid. Still, the fact she is useful around both sites and she even has the potential to be good around B Tiles not making her useless in any part of the map is a big reason why she stands out among her peers in the Duelist class as the clear favourite for this map.
Finally a good Fade map? Fade’s pick in this is more down to her synergy with Raze than it is about anything to do with her strength as an Agent. Despite this, she’s still good on this map and her Prowlers are good for clearing corners which is an important feature on this map. Compared to the other primary Initiators, her nerfs still don’t make her detrimentally weaker. I think Haunt will have good lineups to clear large areas, and her Seize combined with Raze’s Paint Shells can provide opportunities for easy kills. Another reason why I think Fade is good is her Ultimate suits the sites better than the other AOE Ultimates, and overall, Fade should be a good first option and pretty much a must-pick with a Raze on your team.
KAY/O is both good as a secondary Initiator or fills the role of front liner in a non-Duelist composition. With the overall dearth of power in the Duelist role, playing a no Duelist Composition with Double Initiator and Double Controller will be viable for the added information gathering, utility, and flexibility if no one is comfortable on Raze. His role as a secondary Initiator is also powerful as there are many corners and walls for unbreakable knives, good walls to bounce flashes off, and his grenade can delay pushes or clear corners. I think KAY/O’s strength lies in his kit and what it has the potential to do, while Fade’s strength leans more into her synergy with the map and Raze, and they provide two different but very clear strengths compared to their counterparts at the Initiator role.
Surprise, surprise, Omen is meta on another map. I think Omen mains will like this map as there are one-way smokes, good corridors for Paranoia, and plenty of corners to teleport into. Also, jumping into enemy spawns with his Ultimate will still be a viable strategy as both spawns are relatively safe to teleport to.
His smokes being refreshable is also a major strength compared to someone like Astra who has a finite number of stars she can use. Omen can still keep smoking Mid Top on the attacker side, for example, to keep control over areas where teams have already pushed into and established presence. The Paranoia from A Lobby to Main or from B Market into B Main provides a lot of potential to set teammates up for success, and the sites are shaped so teleports should be effective as there are a lot of corners and sight line cutting areas. Expect to see him get a lot of play on Sunset.
Viper is still one of the most over-tuned Agents in the game, and players should seek to exploit that on the new map. There are multiple Toxic Screens that can provide control over mid and a site, and her Poison Cloud is larger than other smokes so it can cover the large choke points which is a unique characteristic giving other Controllers trouble. Viper’s pit can be used to control both Mains on defence, and the fact that there are so many corners means it will encourage players to buy more shotguns which makes her Ultimate passively more powerful. Viper has been meta for a while and her strength should still not be underestimated as she doesn’t suffer from the limitations of the other Controllers, and it would be wise to pick her up as her overall kit and post-plant and clearing potential are off the charts even now.
This map might be Cypher’s best map yet. He can defend both sites well, get early information on both attack and defence, and his ultimate will be more usable as the map encourages a lot of early fighting meaning he will have a body to use his Ultimate on more early in the round. All of his utility is useful on this map, and it feels like the map has been made for him.
His Spycams are very useful as there are even one-way Spycams that can defend B Site already floating around, or the quick info gathering Cypher can do around A site on both attacker and defender side make him an impossible nuisance as he’s both unpredictable but good in default. Trapwires around the site should be powerful especially around A as the boxes provide clear angles the wires can be bounced off. His Cyber Cage can be tossed from Lobby to Main for early control of the attack, and overall, it feels like his presence can be felt all over the map if he is played correctly.
Is Chamber back again? The Operator should still be fairly powerful on this map, and with the nerfs to Jett, Chamber should be the only one that can hold an Operator and get back to the safety of his team after firing a shot to contest an angle. Since there are a lot of corners around the map, his Trademark should provide a lot of value as both a flank-watching ability and a way for Chamber to easily set up a kill as it can be moved around on the defender side so as to not become too predictable. Mid will be Chamber’s area to shine as both his Headhunter and Operator or Tour De Force play will exert massive pressure over this area of the map, and he can contest both sides on Main on both attacker and defender sides and get out for free with his Rendevous.
Sunset has elements that make it an excellent double Controller or double Initiator map depending on the preference of the players. This is assuming someone is comfortable on Raze, but for teamplay, these types of compositions should be preferred to maximise strategic options and effectiveness on Sunset.
The Composition I recommend is: Raze – Fade – Viper – Omen – Cypher
Raze is the best duelist on this map and her ability to clear space, explode quickly onto sites and put pressure on localised areas works well with the many corners that Sunset has. Fade as the Initiator can back her up by clearing angles for Raze with her Prowler and combing with Raze’s Paint Shells for easy kills with Seize. Viper and Omen are the pair of Controllers of choice as refreshable smokes and long screens can block key POI vision and give a good mix of offensive and defensive utility and postplant options. Cypher can be played as a safe info-gathering and lurking agent to round out the 5.
These 5 work well off each other’s utility and there’s a lot of vision and area denial in this composition which works well on this map. I think one of the Controllers is the free role in this composition and can be swapped out for Chamber or KAY/O depending on the preferences of the players. This comp is built to take space quickly and sustain that space with a mix of vision denial and Cypher and Fade’s utility.
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