Riot Games Settles the Phantom vs Vandal Debate for Valorant Players
Riot Games posted a new where Editorial Writer Kenny “karnifexlol” Cameron, Insights Analyst Chris “Riot Nautisupme” Huang and Researcher Carson “Riot Shinygekko” Dowah shared some important insights about the Phantom and Vandal. While the Vandal is far more popular than the Phantom in both pro play and competitive queue, there are some nuances that were revealed in the blog that show how there are situations where the Phantom might not be too different from the Vandal.
Riot Games breaks down Phantom vs Vandal stats
According to Riot Games’ data Phantom's kills occurred within a range of 15 meters while the Vandal’s kills have a more consistent arch across all ranges, making it a more versatile weapon. When fighting someone at 15 meters or less, the Phantom is the more powerful option.
In close-range spray scenarios, the Phantom reigned supreme in multi-kill situations within 15 meters. This further proves Phantom’s spray control dominance, as spraying tends to only be effective at short range.
In terms of usage rates, over 70% of competitive queue players and pro players prefer the Vandal to the Phantom. While the Vandal still tops the charts in pro play, pro players do tend to adopt the Phantom at a higher rate than players in competitive queue.
For the Vandal, the number of times a headshot doesn’t kill a target remains consistently 0%. That’s because a Vandal headshot does 160 damage at any range without penetration. But for the Phantom, the percentage of headshots that don’t kill their target rises dramatically at range.
The Phantom performs almost equally as well as the Vandal against light-armored opponents but falls to heavy-armored enemies more often than Vandal users. Riot Games Insights Team Researcher revealed, “It really does boil down to your playstyle and confidence as a player. When in the heat of the moment using a Phantom, the average VALORANT player doesn't think to themselves ‘As long as they're less than X meters away, I have a slight advantage statistically.’ If they do, then they've clearly watched their Woohoojin VOD reviews.”
Riot Games did not offer a definitive conclusion but the analysis made it clear that both the Phantom and Vandal are viable in most situations. As long as you understand how to play to the different strengths of each rifle, you will perform well. Weapon usage rates are not everything and players need to learn how to play to their strengths.