The new Valorant update is live with new agent Astra who brings flashy new mechanics into the game with her star-powered abilities. She’s a controller agent fully kitted with smokes, concusses, displacements, and the coolest of them all, an ultimate that lets you set a bullet barrier across the entire map.
Astra’s abilities work from her Stars in Astral Form, an ability shared from her ultimate keybind. She can place up to 5 Stars that are used for her other abilities. These abilities have a soft cooldown so you can’t spam one ability 5 times instantly, but essentially all 5 of her Stars could be used toward one ability, giving her a lot of options to be a strong controller.
Nova Pulse—Astra’s first ability detonates to concuss all players in an area. There’s a brief charge-up before the concuss, but the radius is quite large. If you can time this well, it can be used to push an angle where they’re put into a disadvantage. This can combo with Gravity Well and if executed properly seems to me like a pretty free kill.
Nebula—Astra’s second ability creates a Nebula (hollow smoke like Omen’s) from your Star. You can Dissipate the Star to be placed elsewhere, saving you the Star if you need it at a different position. The cool thing about the Dissipate is that it shortly forms a fake Nebula that enemies may think is safe to cross the smoke, but as it drops they’ll be caught in the open for you to fire at. I’m confident this may only work early in her release or in lower-level lobbies, as most players will just wait out the first few seconds of each Nebula to confirm if it’s a fake out or not.
Gravity Well—Astra’s third ability forms an area that sucks in players toward its center. The enemies are trapped in the middle for a short duration. If you know where a player is holding a position, Astra could place two Stars just out of the angle they’re holding—then pull them out of cover with Gravity Well and concuss them with Nova Pulse. This combo is expensive costing 2/5 stars, but the Gravity Well traps them longer than the delay Nova Pulse has, so it seems like a free kill if they’re not well defended.
Astral Form/Cosmic Divide—Astra’s ultimate may be the flashiest one we’ve seen in the game thus far. She enters Astral Form and can choose two points to connect the Cosmic Divide, which blocks bullets and heavily dampens audio. Note that projectiles like Brimstone’s Molly can go through the wall, but the wall completely blocks bullets. Astra can cut a point in half and play bobbing in and out of the Cosmic Divide to find enemies or retreat to safety.