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Valorant guide: How to choose between the Vandal and Phantom

Valorant guide: How to choose between the Vandal and Phantom

Joey Carr


A huge debate surging through the Valorant community is which assault rifle is considered “S Tier”. In other terms, many are wondering which rifle is better, the Vandal or the Phantom. Both cost the same amount of credits and have incredibly deadly accuracy. However, the Vandal does have one-shot kill potential to the head at all ranges while the Phantom shoots a bit quicker, allowing for faster kills. The two rifles are solid in their own right, but is there one you should be choosing over the other at the buy menu? Run It Back takes a look at the top ARs in Valorant.

Making the case for the vandal

At the start of Valorant, the Vandal was by far the more popular choice among players. Taking on the appearance of an AK-47, most recognized its capabilities from CSGO. Since it’s a dominant weapon in that FPS, it was most player’s first option in Riot Games’ newest FPS.

This was in no means a bad decision either. The Vandal can kill in one shot to the head, as it deals 156 damage at all ranges from the neck up. Also, the leg and body damage is the same as the Phantom with no damage drop-off.

Image via Riot Games

Pair these aspects together and you’ve got a powerful machine. Although, the Vandal does do some things poorly when compared to its class counterpart. The rate of fire isn’t as fast, which means if you’re not hitting headshots, you might lose some close engagements. Something minor to also note is the Vandal has five fewer bullets in every magazine compared to the Phantom.

Even with all of that, the Vandal should be your weapon of choice if you’re confident in your ability to hit headshots consistently.

making the case for the phantom

On the other side of the spectrum, we have the Phantom. Essentially an M4A1-S from CSGO, the Phantom is a fantastic weapon despite its lackluster headshot damage output from medium to long-range.

The headshot damage from 0-15 meters is 156, which is the same as the Vandal. However, from 15 meters and on, the damage drops off by 16 up until 50 meters. So, this essentially means that you’ll need two headshots or one headshot and a body shot to kill an enemy with a Phantom beyond 15 meters.

Image via Riot Games

While this does affect the Phantom negatively, it does make up for it by having an increased fire rate. Shooting around 2 more rounds per second than the Vandal, the Phantom can kill enemies quicker if you’re aiming for the body.

Of course, you still want to aim for the head in every situation. Though, this statistic does help less mechanically-inclined players kill enemies quicker.

the conclusion

All in all, you can’t go wrong with either assault rifle. Both have their advantages and disadvantages in gunfights. However, if you feel more confident in your ability to hit headshots with rapid success, your choice should be the Vandal. If you struggle hitting headshots in succession and are more comfortable aiming for the body, then the faster-firing Phantom may be the way to go.