Sova is one of the most popular and beloved Agents in Valorant. The Russian hunter was one of five original Agents back in closed beta in 2020. Although not the easiest Agent to maneuver, Sova has been extremely popular at all levels of play ever since.
Sova is an Initiator who uses his abilities to gather information on enemy positioning. Although he is capable of making some very good individual plays, he usually works best when enabling teammates. A duelist feels much safer when entering a site knowing Sova can reveal which angle an enemy is holding or clear a tight corner with his Shock darts.
For over a year, Sova was an irreplaceable piece of almost any team comp. His recon abilities were unmatched, especially on maps with wide-open areas like Breeze and Ascent. However, the combination of recent nerfs along with the release of the new Initiator Fade had a noticeable impact on his play and win rate.
Sova Ability Guide
Signature Ability- Recon Bolt: Sova's signature ability is the core of Sova's kit. His entire playstyle revolves around his E, as it is his main source of information gathering.
Sova fires a recon dart that activates when it hits terrain. It reveals the location of nearby enemies caught in the line of sight. The more you charge the ability, the further it will travel, with the option to make it bounce up to two surfaces. Enemies can destroy the Recon bolt by shooting it, and any weapon damage will take it down.
Q - Shock Bolt: Sova's Q works very similar to his signature ability. They have the same charging mechanic and the option to bounce twice.
The difference between them is what happens once the ability hits the ground. Unlike Recon Bolt, this arrow deals AoE damage to all enemies nearby. The damage varies depending on how close the enemy is to the detonation.
C - Owl Drone: Since "Sova" literally means "an owl" in most Slavic languages, it is only fitting for him to have an ability named after it. When used, Sova deploys a drone and controls his movement. While controlling it, you can fire a dart that will reveal the location of any player struck by it.
For the duration of the drone, Sova stays in place and is unable to defend himself, so any damage done to the Agent will stop the cast. The drone can also be destroyed by enemies shooting at it.
Ultimate Ability - Hunter's Fury: Sova equips a bow with three long-range energy beams that go through walls. Each blast deals damage to anyone hit and reveals their location.
How to play Sova
Sova's main objective is to use his abilities to provide info for his teammates. You ideally want to locate the exact position of as many enemies as you can, but even if you don't, your intel can be valuable. Sometimes, knowing that enemies are not in the scouted area can be enough info for your team to take a site or make a rotation.
As Sova, you want to play behind your allies and try to make their life easier. His abilities are great for helping duelists clear corners faster and more effectively when taking/retaking a site. For example, use the Owl drone to lead the way and clear as many angles as possible, so your Jett can pick up an easy kill or take control of the enemy area.
Sova's Shock Dart is a great tool for clearing corners and defending the Spike in post-plant scenarios. Although nerfed, his bolts are still very useful when used the right way.
With 8 Ultimate points needed, Hunter's Fury is one of the most expensive abilities in the game. However, its versatility makes it effective in many scenarios. Sova's Ultimate is good at creating space when attacking a site, defending the Spike, stopping an enemy push, scouting, destroying Killjoy ultimates, you name it. Good Sova ultimate can solely win you a round in many cases.
Sova is an agent with a big learning curve and mastering his kit requires a ton of practice. However, taking the time to learn the lineups and timings of his abilities will be extremely rewarding. Having a great Sova in your team is always a good feeling, as he brings so much to the table.
Team compositions and position in the meta
As we already mentioned, Sova got some fierce competition as a premium info-gathering Initiator in Fade. In addition, the nerfs to most of his abilities on patch 4.08. didn't help either. The community is still trying to figure out how it all affected Sova's place in the meta, but he is surely not a must-pick anymore.
However, it doesn't mean that he shouldn't be played at all, as he still has a clear upper hand over Fade on bigger maps like Breeze. His range is unmatched, and his post-plats are still elite.
Sova is designed to fit in almost all team compositions as his kit can always be useful to the team. As an Initiator, he makes a deadly combo with all meta Agents that can play off his intel, especially duelists like Jett and Raze.