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You've been playing Omen all wrong in Valorant

Every hero shooter needs a dark and mysterious edgelord with shadow powers and a hooded cloak. For Overwatch, that role falls to Reaper, and Omen fills those shoes in Valorant. While both Reaper and Omen can teleport and sound like they smoke a pack of Marlboros a day, Omen is more about deception and spreading chaos than shotgunning enemies in the face. Although, Omen can still do the latter.

In Valorant, Omen is classified as a controller, which means he specializes in manipulating the flow of battle. By default, Omen can toss out orbs that erupt into smoke clouds. He can also purchase the abilities to teleport short distances and shoot debilitating shadow balls. Plus, he can eventually unlock the power to appear anywhere on the map. These skills don't deal damage on their own, but in the right hands they turn opponents and their fears into their own worst enemies.

You might want to play Omen in a straight forward manner, but his powers aren't designed for that kind of linear thinking. Instead, they are made for mind games, and Omen excels with players who think outside the box. Here are the mistakes you've been making with Omen, and the adjustments you need to master the shadowy Agent.

Not using Omen's Dark Cover to play shell games

Omen's Signature ability, Dark Cover, lets him temporarily blanket patches of the arena in supernatural darkness. Since every Omen starts a match with two Dark Cover charges and can regenerate one charge every 30 seconds, feel free to pop these out like evil little bubbles. Well, strategically pop them out.

You can toss out a Dark Cover to break line of sight with enemies, but that still reveals your general location. Instead, use the ability as misdirection to bait your foes. Turn the smokescreens into distractions that draw attention away from impending danger. You can teleport beside enemies and introduce them to your shotgun or sneak up behind them with allied players — it doesn't matter as long as enemies pay attention to the Dark Cover and not you.

Not smoke hopping with Omen

Say that, hypothetically, you enter one of your own Dark Cover orbs. You can't see outside the orb and vice versa, so what do you do? You could throw a Paranoia ball and hope it hits someone, or you could teleport under cover of darkness. Since Dark Cover is a smoke ability, some players call this trick "smoke hopping."

You can pair Omen's Dark Cover with his Shrouded Step or From the Shadows abilities, as each provides similar results. Once you enter the orb, teleport out of it and behind enemies. If opposing eyes are glued to the Dark Cover, you have a window of opportunity for a quick kill. 

Alternatively, if enemies are getting wise to using Dark Cover as a distraction, throw them a curve ball and teleport into one. Since they will expect an attack from behind, they will assume the smoke is a red herring and face away from it, believing the assault will commence from that direction. But once the cover drops, you are free to shoot their unprotected rears, ironically confirming their suspicions.

Of course, you don't have to teleport out of or into an orb for a smoke hop. Instead, you can toss out some Dark Cover to provide, well, cover, and teleport behind them so enemies don't have line of sight. Get creative and opponents will spend too much time wondering where you went or came from to defend themselves.

Not fake teleporting with Omen's Shrouded Step

If you find yourself on the Bind map, you might be tempted to use the teleporters. By all means do, but if you also play as Omen, you can combine the teleporter with his Shrouded Step ability for the ultimate fake out.

Before you enter a teleporter, select a point on the map you want to teleport to with Shrouded Step. As you cast the ability, jump into the teleporter. If you cast the ability in midair, your momentum will carry you into the teleporter while casting. In one second, you will be right back where you started, give or take a few feet.

You might wonder what the point of this tactic is. Isn't the ability to teleport supposed to beam you to a different location, not to the same one? Well, if you are chased by enemies and try this trick, they won't know where you are since fake teleporting breaks Shrouded Step's normal distance limits. Opponents will look in the wrong direction and give you a precious few seconds to hopefully finish them off.

Not turning Omen's Dark Cover into one way smokes

Normally, Omen's Dark Cover acts as a two-way line of sight denier — you can't see your enemies, and they can't see you. Neither team has the advantage unless they have another pair of eyes. However, despite being an ethereal patch of pure darkness, Dark Cover is still subject to the whims of gravity and collision detection, which can be used to create a (semi) one way smoke.

While most players lob the Dark Cover onto the ground, a properly angled orb can stick to a ledge and hover above the ground, You might assume this tactic doesn't make for good cover since anyone can crouch under the orb and take potshots at each others' feet, but that is only true for flat terrain.

Certain areas of Valorant's maps offer a bit of vertical variety, sometimes as boxes, other times as ramps. A Dark Cover that clings to a ledge near these areas lets Omen players see underneath the orbs without exposing their vulnerable faces, which allows them to take the aforementioned foot potshots. While proper placement is key to ensure they aren't exposed, Omen players who use this trick can be the proverbial bullet enemies didn't see coming. 

Remember that Omen can scale boxes unaided thanks to his Shrouded Step ability, so don't be afraid to try this technique in unexpected locations.