You shouldn’t give up on Valorant’s Iso so soon, but he’s struggling in the current meta

When we were all gearing up to jump into Valorant Episode 7 Act 3 a little over a week ago, new agent Iso looked like a Duelist ready to give the dominant Reyna a run for her money and shake-up the meta. Now, though, looking at current Valorant stats tells a different story altogether. The impact he’s had on the meta has been disappointing to say the least, and he’s statistically one of the worst agents available at the moment – but, we don’t think he should be.

If you’re trying to climb the Valorant ranks right now, you might want to consider staying away from Riot Games’ newest Valorant agent Iso. While unique agents like Iso do help make this one of the best FPS games out there at the moment, the stats don’t lie and he’s far from one of the best Valorant agents available at the moment – despite presenting players with a kit packed with potential. Where we thought Duelist players would drift away from Reyna and Jett to the newcomer – even just to try someone new in the first week or two – that has not been the case.

As the current stats on Tracker Network show, Iso is suffering from the lowest pick-rate in Valorant right now with just 0.6% of players choosing to play as the Duelist. Given how new he actually is, this is quite surprising; other hero shooters like Apex Legends often see new characters enjoy a ‘honeymoon’ period of popularity before seeing any decline – if they’re not up to scratch, of course.

However, Iso has clearly failed to capture players early on. This could just be down to players not having access to Iso yet, as you need to either purchase new agents or unlock them through a fairly lengthy process of earning XP, but fellow hero shooters Overwatch 2 and Apex Legends also employ similar systems. So, while it’s unfair to state that this is the sole reason why he’s so unpopular, it has to play a part. Although, other key stats don’t paint a nicer picture.

Iso currently has the third-worst win percentage in Valorant, only fractionally beating KAY/O and Harbor with 46.6%. Not only this, but he’s also one of the worst Duelists when it comes to kill-death ratios. His current K/D ratio of 1.00 does put him in the middle of all the available agents, but he’s the second-worst Duelist – a class where players are explicitly expected to seek out eliminations – and a far cry from Reyna.

She actually boasts the second-highest win percentage with 50.2% and the highest kill-death ratio in Valorant with 1.14 – a decent jump ahead of fellow Duelist Jett’s 1.09 K/D ratio in the second spot. The numbers make it quite clear, then, why Iso is struggling – a Duelist where players struggle to get kills isn’t a Duelist anyone wants to be using. However, that really shouldn’t be the case when you look at what Iso can do. A quick search on YouTube will show you countless videos of players making quick work of their opponents with Iso’s aggressive kit, but why is the general playerbase struggling so much?

Well, a major reason for that is the fact that Iso’s kit exposes you to your enemies; if you’re not ready to throw hands, so to speak, you’re going to find yourself caught out quite a lot.

Iso’s Kill Contract ultimate ability, for example, throws you into a closed-off one-versus-one duel with an unsuspecting enemy. If you’re not prepared, this is a very quick way to get yourself killed. This Iso ultimate ability counter can even be used to bait over-confident players into exposing themselves without risking your own life in his arena. Sure, in the right hands, this can be an effective way to secure an elimination. However, if you’re not as confident as you could be in close-quarters combat, it rules out a huge part of his kit. Making sure you’re using one of the best Valorant crosshair codes will help a bit, but reactions – and some luck – are just as important in these situations.

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When you couple this with the fact that both Double Tap (which lets Iso absorb energy from damaged enemies and convert them into shields) and Undercut (an ability that lets Iso apply the ‘fragile’ status effect to enemies) promote aggressive gameplay, it’s all too easy to feel pressured into pushing while you’re playing; you just don’t feel like you’re making the most of Iso otherwise. This Reddit post also highlights that the shield Iso can spawn using Contingency only makes him easier to spot at a distance.

If you exercise restraint and work on your timing, Iso can be an effective Duelist. However, you need to make each push count and clearly tweaks need to be made to his kit. We think extending the duration of Double Tap – to make it a little more forgiving – and actually making the shield Contingency spawns a little smaller would go a long way in improving Iso. Throwing yourself into a one-versus-one duel with another player in such a small space is always going to be tough, though. We don’t think buffing Iso in these instances would keep things fair enough for the opposing players – as much as it would be nice to be effectively guaranteed a kill every time you use it.

We don’t know whether Riot Games will make changes to Iso, but we think some minor buffs might be on the way given how much he’s struggling. While we wait to find out more about that, though, recent Valorant leaks reveal a new weapon is in the works and you can find out more about the next set of Valorant Night Market dates and times right here. Don’t give up on Iso yet, but maybe spend some time with him in Unrated before you try a more competitive scenario.