The Phantom or the Vandal? The age-old question of which weapon is better.
Both weapons cost the same amount and are the best weapons in the game. Their power and accuracy are second to none compared to other weapons.
While some say the choice is preferential, both weapons have pros and cons.
We’ll discuss these pros and cons and let you know which weapon to master.
The Best AR
In Valorant, the Phantom and the Vandal are two of the most powerful assault rifles available.
But which one is better? Well, the honest answer is they’re both equally capable of being the best – depending on how you use them.
Aside from having the same credit price, the Phantom and Vandal are very different guns. Both guns have their advantages and disadvantages. These will depend on your playstyle if you’re attacking or defending, and your role within your team.
All weapons in Valorant have different stats and attributes. During the buying phase, hover your mouse over a gun, and it’ll show the stats on the right side of the buy screen.
Here is the stats overview of the Phantom vs. Vandal:
|Fire Rate (Primary/Hip Mode)
|Fire Rate (1.25x Zoom Mode)
As you can see, both guns cost 2900 credits. Both of them are also fully automatic, and both have medium wall penetration.
Without considering the damage, Phantom looks like the clear favorite. The fire rate is heaps better, with five more extra bullets.
Even with the better fire rate, the Phantom’s recoil is easier to control too.
The silencer also helps mask the sound of the shooting. The biggest benefit is hiding the tracers. With a silencer, you can shoot through smoke without letting the enemy know where it is coming from.
The spray patterns are completely randomized after the first few bullets on both guns.
Phantom wins this section by a wide margin.
Now let’s take a look at the damage output for each gun.
Damage dealt differs depending on how far you are from your target and which part of the body you are hitting. The same goes for Valorant’s FPS counterpart, CS:GO.
Most of the time, a direct hit to the head will result in an instant kill or headshot, while hits to the body and legs will give less damage.
Note that the arms and hands are also part of the torso hitbox and will take the same damage.
Here’s the damage difference between the Phantom and Vandal:
|Head – 156
Body – 39
Legs – 33
|Head – 156
Body – 39
Legs – 33
|Head – 140
Body – 35
Legs – 30
|Head – 124
Body – 31
Legs – 26
As we can see, the Phantom’s damage decreases the further you are from your target. If an enemy agent is wearing a heavy shield, you can no longer kill them with a headshot beyond 15 meters.
This is a massive disadvantage if you are on the defending team because you’ll be forced to fight closer to your enemy.
On the other hand, the Vandal deals the same damage to the head, body, and legs at 0-50 meters. This means that even at a distance of 50 meters, the Vandal will still kill an agent wearing a heavy shield with a headshot.
The one-tap headshot from any range is what actually matters for some.
When it comes to total damage output and range, we can say that the Vandal is the better gun.
How to Decide When to Use the Phantom or Vandal
Now that we know every stat about the Phantom and the Vandal, it’s time to discuss when to use them.
Consider the following:
- Are you spraying or tap-firing?
- Which map are you playing on?
- Are you attacking or defending?
- What agent are you playing?
- How would the round go? Ultimates executions?
Spraying vs. Tap-Firing
Spraying is when you hold the M1 button and let the gunfire in full-automatic mode. If you know how to spray control, we recommend using the Phantom since it has a faster fire rate and a reduced bullet spread.
The Vandal is best used for tap-firing because it’s much harder to spray and can fire fewer bullets per second. The Vandal’s damage output also offsets the reduced rate of fire since fewer bullets are needed to get a kill anyway.
There are situations that helps spraying than one-tapping. Reyna, with her Empress activated, benefits from spraying with the Phantom.
Using Viper’s Pit also entices players to use the Phantom inside the pit.
How Pros Play
The high-rank lobbies or pros always use tap-firing. They mix tap-firing with counter-strafing when fighting duels.
Tap-firing is highly accurate, but only when you stop moving. When you combine it with counter-strafing, you shoot 1-3 bullets – strafe – another 1-3 bullets.
It looks like you are dancing with the enemy. It seems like a tough way to play if you are not used to this. Enemies tend to miss a lot against players strafing, but if you compare it to spraying, you’ll be an easy target.
Spraying is entirely acceptable if the enemies are incredibly close. If they are within 20-30 meters, spraying is decent if you use the Phantom.
There are a lot of different maps in Valorant, like Ascent, Split, Bind, and Haven. You must be familiar with the map and the common spots for players, so you’ll know which gun to use.
Each map has different layouts and advantageous spots. For example, Split has many tight corners and short corridors. Duels are often in close quarters. In such situations, it’s best to use guns like the Phantom, where you can fire much faster.
If you’re playing on a map with many wide spaces and long pathways, we recommend using the Vandal for its superiority in long-range engagements.
Attacking vs. Defending
You’ll be peeking at many corners when you’re attacking, especially if you’re playing as a duelist.
Sometimes, your teammate will also call to rush a site. And because you’re attacking, you’ll want to take the site as fast as possible before the defending team can rotate. That’s where those five extra bullets from the Phantom will come in handy.
On the other hand, defending sites will often require you to remain in certain spots and wait for the enemy to peek at you. In most cases, it’s best to pick a place where you are far away from the attacking team’s entry points.
That way, you’ll avoid getting ganked when they decide to attack. Positioning yourself far away from entry points will also allow you to find cover when you miss your initial shots. You’re better off using the Vandal as a defender for these reasons.
So, what is the best assault rifle in Valorant? Despite having a slower fire rate and fewer bullets, we’re picking the Vandal as the best AR in the game. The Vandal wins over the Phantom with its 50-meter headshot capability and better damage potential.
However, depending on your own play style, you might prefer the Phantom. At the end of the day, much of this comes down to your personal preference, ability, and in-game strategy.