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VALORANT dictionary: 65 terms you should know

It’s time to brush up on our VALORANT knowledge. Revisit some old terms, and add new ones to the ever expanding glossary so you can stay ahead of the game.
By Samatar Mohamed & Mitchell Newton
28 min readUpdated on
VALORANT has been around for quite a while now. Some of you have been playing the game and are already familiar with a few terms, while some of you have just begun to dip your toes into the vast ocean of knowledge within VALORANT. This guide will help you navigate the vast sea of terminology and game mechanics of VALORANT.

Ability trading

Every agent in valorant has their own unique set of abilities that fills a particular role or job in a team. Some abilities however, can be used to counter, overcome, circumvent, block, or even destroy other abilities. “Ability Trading” is using an ability to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of an enemy’s ability or the advantage said ability creates.
If an enemy agent summons a roaming or seeking damage ability, your team might deploy a wall to prevent the enemy’s ability from reaching you. Another example could be that the enemy has deployed a smoke, to counter your intel gathering ability.

Ace (or Team Ace)

When one player gets all five kills in a round, they get an Ace. Often, you'll see other teammates back off to let a streaking player get the Ace, rather than let someone else get the kill. A Team Ace is when all the players on a team each gets a kill in during the round. Teamwork makes the dream work.


“ADS” is short for Aim Down Sights. Every modern first person shooting game will use this term simply because aiming down the sights of a weapon typically allows for a better zoom in on the target as well as a more accurate or tighter spread to hit your enemies. However, there’s a tradeoff for aiming down sights too.
It comes in the form of a limited point of view, a decrease in overall mobility, as well as slight changes in fire rate and other weapon properties depending on the weapon you’re aiming with. Of course, you’ll want to ADS with the Op but ADSing with pistols is not usually advised. In fact, ADSing isn’t normal to see in Valorant and shouldn’t be done for your average firefight with a rifle unless you’re holding a long range angle.


“Aggro” is a term most commonly used in MMOs or cooperative RPGs, where the tank character gains the enemy’s aggression and keeps their attention focused on them so that their teammates can freely complete their objective or attack the enemy. In VALORANT, getting the enemy’s “Aggro” can sometimes be confused with baiting, however the two are different, mainly in terms of the commitment.
Gaining the enemy’s aggro usually means you are committing yourself completely to pushing forward towards the enemy or to direct their attention elsewhere entirely. This usually comes with a lot of risk but, if done right, can net some elims for your team’s flanker or anchor and create space for your team to interact with the objective on attack or defense.


“Anchor” is a role for players that like to hunker down and hold an angle, spot, or objective. Agents that can set up vision blockers such as walls, or smokes or intel abilities like trip wires or deployables are reliable anchors and have the appropriate tools to enhance such a playstyle.


Unlike Aggro, “Bait” or the act of “Baiting” is to poke, prefire, or use an ability or teammate to wear out your enemies and bait them into bringing the fight to you in a predictable way. Compared to playing aggro, it minimizes your time in harm’s way and enables you to coerce your enemies to peek out from the angle or corner they're hiding in.
This puts THEM in danger, while letting you gain information on the enemy team, and might cause them to use their abilities to trade (or potentially waste abilities without a trade). It adds an extra layer of mind games in a match without a lot of risk but comes at the cost of whatever you’re willing to commit… even your life.


Bunnyhop or Bhop for short, is an intricate jumping technique that lets you hop around the map. Admittedly, you still move faster with your knife out and not jumping than when bhopping across the arena, so it shouldn't really be your go-to form of movement.
However, bhopping does provide a few lessons that will help your overall traversal. It can be used to improve your air strafing skills to help you smoothly jump over objects much better and will also help you strafe around a wall to bait the enemy or even escape while being shot since your movement doesn’t slow down when you’re in the air. All in all, it's a handy tool to have but not a must.


While VALORANT isn’t a survival type game, doing your best to stay alive is important for winning (obviously) but also for at least preserving your weapons until the next round. Luckily, there's a universal option found in many games: camping.
Camping is sitting in an secluded or obscure spot to remain hidden from your enemy. An anchor player will often camp on the objective but, but the practice isn't exclusive to them. Any player can choose to camp, even flankers or those who are baiting or playing aggro. Camping is more of a playstyle and less of a role, as essentially an entire team can technically choose to camp together!


Learning how to aim and strafe at the same time is a skill that players eventually develop as they play first person shooters. Some shooters place more emphasis on movement while others focus on aiming. In VALORANT your most valuable shot is the first one, anything after that requires calibration via strafing, changing the rate of fire, or aiming down sights to become more accurate and get the kill.
A shootout in VALORANT isn't that simple, though. Your enemy isn’t going to stand still and let you kill them, what they will do is counterstrafe to avoid your shots and turn the tables on you. To counterstrafe, is to dynamically change the direction in which you strafe or move to throw off your enemy’s aim towards you. This is usually done in the opposite direction, and it increases your chances of surviving and the likelihood of winning battles where you may not get the chance to shoot the first bullet.


Cooldowns prevent the constant spamming of an ability or utility. In essence, it needs to “cool” down before it can be used again. This feature grants balance between abilities with strength disparities.
The more powerful or valuable the ability, the longer the cooldown. If an ability is incredibly strong and has a very short cooldown, it is what some might consider “OP” or over-powered. Although, VALORANT players might use “Op” for something else which we'll explain later.


Whether they’re tucked in tight corners between two walls or up on a ledge that requires a bit more map awareness, Cubbies are small corners or cut outs of walls where campers can hide to wait for the enemy to pass by. Thankfully, VALORANT provides players with intel gathering utility to ensure that you can check your corners safely and not get caught by surprise.


Finding the right strategy with a team takes time, coordination, and some knowledge, but sometimes the enemy team won’t afford you the chance to find out which strategies will work. If you and your team find yourselves struggling to employ the right tactics, you might just “default” to a more simpler gameplan.
Choosing a default strategy means that the team doesn’t have a committed or focused plan of attack or defense and will instead decide to extract as much knowledge and resources from the enemy without having to spend their own. Once enough information is accumulated, the team can choose which path of success they want to take.


Hitmarkers are commonplace in every FPS. They indicate that you’ve successfully hit your opponent, and in some games a headshot hitmarker or headshot kill will be followed with a “dink” jingle. In VALORANT, a dink is much more pronounced and a single dink to the head is an instant kill provided the enemy player does not have any armor or health modifiers.

Double set up/Double up

On defense or attack, sometimes you need to hold a lane to ensure that no enemy tries to flank, peek, or rotate past. Doubling up or creating a double set up is stacking two players on that role to create pressure or suppressive fire and lock down a certain line of sight, area, or path.
Creating a double set up also allows teammates to rotate through certain areas easier due to having someone watch your back, preventing the enemy from peeking and trying to get a flank or snipe.

Double swing

In other first person shooters, Double Swing is synonymous with “team shotting”. It's a term that describes a duo or more swinging, rotating, or walking together to overwhelm and outnumber their opponents. Whereas a Double up is stay in one location, a double swing is moving together as a unit. Double swinging is efficient, has an increased time to kill, and causes the enemy to hesitate as they cannot decide who to fire upon with two targets facing them down.
While you may be able to survive better, win more gunfights, you also lose some map control as you dedicate more of your team to one side of the map. Double swinging can, at time, outweigh its cons due to how valuable it is to win gunfights and take or defend objectives.


There are times when your team is lagging behind you in credits and your teammates might ask you to kindly “drop” a weapon for them. This is how you'll help them out. They probably really needed it... or maybe they just want to see that fancy skin you unlocked for your weapon!

Eco (Econ/Economy)

Eco, Econ, or Economy in full is multifaceted in VALORANT. Economy, or Econ for short, describes your available credits, abilities, equipment, and what weapons you can buy at the start of the round.
An “Eco” round is when a team decides to spend their credits as a team conservatively in order to have more credits in later rounds. These rounds are usually decided when a team is losing or when they want to employ a certain strategy for future rounds. By playing this way, you could start a round with a pistol and then by defeating your opponents and grabbing their weapons, start the next round with a “free” upgrade at the cost of nothing.

Entry (Entry Fragger)

An Entry fragger is the vanguard of the team, the first one out to the fire. Whether it’s a player’s playstyle that suits them for this role or an agent that perfectly encapsulates the duties, an entry fragger is usually the first and last thing the opponent sees in a round. The job of an entry fragger is to create favorable engagements, open up space, take the lead, scout ahead, gather information, and get early picks or frags.

Exit (Exit Fragger)

Exit fraggers are the clean up crew that pull up behind the entry fraggers, sometimes to pick up kills and get trades or, once the space has been cleared/opened up by the entry fragger, to play the objective and complete the round. With the information uncovered by the entry fraggers, the exit fraggers have the ability to adapt to the situation to get the win.
While exit fraggers are a role, it could also be a term used for a strategy as well. For example: the enemy team has successfully planted the spike and there isn’t really much in the way of saving or clutching the round. In this situation, you could exit frag by defeating as many opponents as possible while they leave the bombsite, causing economic damage to the enemy. That way, you're already taking steps towards securing the next round.

Fake defuse/Ninja Defuse

The enemy has already planted the spike and it’s time for you to defuse to win the round, the only issue is that there’s an enemy lurking nearby the bombsite and you can’t find out where they are. You know that once you start defusing the spike, they’ll peek from their corner and you won’t be able to shoot back, so what do you do? You fake defuse by momentarily defusing and quickly canceling the defuse. The audio cue from this animation will trigger and bait the enemy to peek from their corner thus giving you the perfect opportunity to find their location and pick them off to successfully defuse the spike.


Feeding is giving the enemy team free resources by either not contributing to your team or by constantly being killed by the enemy team as fodder. Hence “feeding” them resources, this can result as not being as skilled as the rest of the lobby or just not making the right plays and losing battles too soon.


If a team has a double set up or an opponent is camping the bombsite at a really good angle, it’s not wise to simply attack from the direction they are facing. So what choice do you have? Flank the enemy.
Flanking means to attack from behind or the sides of an enemy’s location. Not only does this require really good timing and coordination, this strategy also demands map knowledge and shift walking to hide the sound of your footsteps.
Flanking can be done by one person or as a team to maximize the potential of success and minimize losses. Some agents even come equipped with abilities that can help for flanking or against flanking, so taking into account what agents are in play and still alive also shapes how dynamic your flanking strategy will be.


Flash is usually short for “flashbang”. Most other FPSs might use an actual flashbang, but VALORANT has flashbang-like abilities. What’s important to focus on is the “flash” debuff specifically, as that is what flash translates to when a teammate uses the word to warn of or encourage its use. For example, Phoenix’s Curveball is the most widely known flash in the game. It whitens your screen making you blind and unable to see for a moment.
Some other agents with Flash abilities are Skye, KAY/O, Breach, and Yoru. Unlike other blinding debuffs, the flash debuff completely blinds your screen. To avoid getting blinded by such abilities, try to turn away or change your line of shift from them as quickly as possible. Anyone who has successfully turned away from a flash will only be slightly blinded or avoid it completely depending on their distance from the flash.


A “flick” is a rapid crosshair movement from one side of the screen to the other. Usually the movement is so fast, you never get to see the crosshair or shot kill or dink the enemy. Flicks are popular for their dramatic flair and finesse, for example peeking over a corner for a barely a second with an Op and picking an enemy off with a mean flick.

Frag (Pick)

A frag or a pick, is simply another word for a kill. Hence how the roles of entry or exit fraggers came to exist, or the phrase “fragging out” which means getting a lot of kills in a short amount of time.

Full Buy

Laying waste to your economy and that of your team by spending all of your credits on any and everything you can during the buy phase. This is usually done when it’s the final round of a match, just before the halftime switch, or an extremely important round to ensure that you don’t lose early.


Heaven is used to call out sniper’s nests or high ground that is usually situated in front of the bombsite. It’s a great place for defense, campers, flankers, and double set ups. High ground is a fundamental position to always place yourself in an FPS and Valorant is no exception.
It is imperative to control the high ground as it makes it easy to rotate, maintain Line of Sight, and have an overall eagle eye of the surrounding area allowing you to see more than the opponent and have more information than they would.


Hell, so aptly named, is the area either directly under in some maps or below Heaven in general. Anywhere Heaven is looking down on is Hell, and anyone on Heaven can rain down hell on any opponent stuck or finding themselves in Hell. However, players can sometimes use this disadvantage as an advantage to bait players from Heaven to come down or to peek and picked quickly.

IGL (In-Game Leader)

Whether it’s the entry or exit fragger, the anchor or aggro player, every member of a team has a role and in game leader or IGL is no different. Callouts are important in competitive shooters, constantly sharing new information, keeping everyone up to speed, and overall being attuned to the match and focusing on what to do, but who tells you what to do?
Here is where the in game leader comes in. An in game leader is like the captain of the team, their role is to prepare strategies, set up the players on the map, and provide adaptive callouts as the game develops every round. For example, deciding to full buy or play economically or double set up to push hell and leave the exit fragger to flank Heaven are just a window of the dynamic callouts an IGL might make.

LOS (Line of Sight)

Line of sight is a fairly simple term to grasp, and is an important concept to understand to be able to play with the more advanced mechanics of VALORANT. Line of Sight is essentially anything that is within plain view, if it is on your screen and you can see it, then it is in your line of sight.


Long is a simplified term to describe long and narrow pathways on a map. Some of these maps might have corners and cubbies to hide in which makes it a perfect place to camp, peek, or better yet double swing. An example of long is the long left lane of Haven.


Campers will stay in one spot and hold an angle, Anchors will stay near the objective and protect the area, Lurkers roam around a certain area and look out for flankers. A lurker could also be a flanker as well. Sometimes they turn flanking from a strategy into a role and make it their job to either flank or lurk nearby the team to catch flankers.


Molly is short for “molotov”. In FPS games, molotovs or molotov like abilities are area of effect abilities that create a lingering zone of damage over time, which is typically fire hence molotov/molly, for anyone who steps in that area during their duration. An example from VALORANT is Brimstone’s Incendiary ability or Phoenix's Hot Hands ability.

Money in the bank

Another facet of Valorant’s Economy mechanic. A team with Money in the Bank is a team that has won a few rounds and has not needed to spend much to resupply themselves. It caps at 9000 credits, so you will oftentimes see richer players buying or dropping for the ones who have died in previous rounds. Building up money is done by buying cheap weapons, a light shield and only minimal abilities. When facing tougher odds, sometimes sacrificing a round to better equip later is necessary.

Ninja Defuse

Fake defusing is used to bait out an enemy that is in hiding waiting to peek on the spike while you attempt to defuse, but what if the enemy has no idea you’re even there? Ninja defusing is defusing the bomb, or in VALORANT’s case, the spike while the enemy team is still alive and perhaps even nearby without them even noticing that you’re defusing the spike.

One tap

One tap is when you’re so close to getting a frag but the enemy is only one tap away from getting eliminated. Sometimes just relegated to “one shot” or even “one”, one tap is used to push your allies to secure the kill either after you’ve died, to swing after you, or to flank the enemy quickly.

One Way

Despite both having a singular number, one way is not related to one tap at all. It’s closer to referencing a one way mirror in that it’s reflective on one side but transparent on the other. In VALORANT, One Way means a type of situation in which a player has line of sight against an enemy but the enemy cannot see them back. This could be due to blinding effects, vision blockers, etc.


The Operator, simply known as the Op, is a sniper rifle and the most expensive weapon in Valorant. Able to one-shot most enemies, even with full shields, it is deadly in the right hands, single handedly locking down long lines of sight. You’ll hear about the Op a lot.


Orbs are spread out across the map and can be picked up into order to quickly generate an agent’s ultimate ability. Orbs are a great source of getting extra ultimate points and you can regularly earn points towards your ultimate by getting eliminations, dying, and completing a spike plant or defuse.

Peek (Jiggle)

To quickly turn the corner and try to spot enemy positions, hopefully baiting out a shot with relatively low risk. Jiggle peeking is the same but with faster and more fragmented peeks. They make themselves the smallest possible target with the intention of baiting out the enemy’s shots.
In a sense it’s similar to counterstrafing but without using too much movement. Peeking off a player is when the enemy is focusing on another aggro'd teammate, or you are in the middle of double swing. Doing this lets a teammate push with the knowledge of someone watching their blindside. The person peeking off the other is meant to clean up the kills in any trade situation.


Pennable is short for penetrable. It’s a property that lots of objects, walls, doors, and abilities have that means they can be shot through or in video game mechanic terms are penetrable. In some cases in a gunfight if the enemy is constantly peeking behind a wall or is camping behind an object, if said obstacle is pennable then you don’t have to put yourself in any risk and can just shoot through the obstacle to eliminate your opponent.


Pinging is a system in VALORANT and prevalent in most of the modern shooters releasing today. It’s a communication system completely within the game and allows players to mark enemies, locations, abilities, as well as more team oriented callouts such as grouping up, marking the objective, and calling for healing, support, etc.

Pistol round

At the start of the game and halftime after switching rounds, players are only able to play with their pistols. However, as the game goes on teams might conserve their credits and play econ rounds and not buy anything to the point of using only their pistols just like the rounds previously mentioned. These rounds are called pistol rounds because pistols are the only weapons used and purchased in these rounds. The goal of these rounds is to sometimes have an economical advantage and/or to take the opponents weapons for free.

Playing off angle

Playing an uncommon spot or angle in hopes of catching the enemy off guard, since usually they won’t be expecting to check that corner or angle. Many agents can create walls to give them leverage, use their movement abilities to reach high ground, or use their intel abilities to telegraph the enemy’s next location and use a sneaky angle to get a nice clean pick.

Playing slow

Rounds can get long in Valorant, and best of 25 matches can lead to a lot of variance in strategy. Sometimes a team will wait for the defense to get bored or antsy, and push. Other times they scan for intel, or just wait in their backline, hoping to rush the point late and put pressure on the other team.
Playing slow helps bait out any pesky abilities the other team might have. Playing slow could also be a team’s default strategy, in order to figure out what makes a team tick and which players are more likely to take baits, peeks, or be alone to double swing on for example.

Point Long or Short (A, B, or C)

When reaching a bombsite, Each point will have two entries, subject to bombsite variance depending on map. The entries on the farther side of the map, with longer lines of sight and favorable defensive positions, are called long. A Long, B long, and C long.
Short is the inside path to the point, which will be very close to the short path, running parallel to the opposite site with closer quarters. These callouts are specific to bombsites and some maps have Long callouts in areas outside of the objective or in game modes without the spike objective.

Post Plant

The phase in a round after the bomb has been planted and the attackers defend site and the defenders take the offensive to retake site and defuse the bomb. If there hasn’t been a lot of action in a round, this is typically when it begins.
In supposedly unwinnable situations, like being down between 1 to 5 and 1 to 3, the post plant phase is where defenders might go for exit frags . You lie in wait near a bomb site, for the enemy to flee its detonation. Typically scoring a quick kill or two to hurt their economy.


Perhaps you’re in a gunfight with your enemy, both of you are trying to bait each other with jiggle peaks but don’t want to commit to a full fight. Your wall isn’t pennable so your options are limited and it’s a pistol round so you don’t have much armor or abilities to use. What you can do is pre-frie where the enemy is going to peek out of to get the jump on them and either dink them or outright defeat as you both peek at each other again.
Pre-firing can be attributed to aggressive playstyles and is also used when double swing as well, provided you know where the enemy is or where they’ll be via their footsteps, previous gunfight, or intel ability.


Retake simply means retaking a bombsite or objective that has previously been lost to the enemy team. For example, the enemy team has planted the spike and has placed a few anchors and lurkers to defend the spike. Instead of going for an exit frag, your team could decide to retake the spike since you have a lot of time left or the resources including agents are in your favor.


Rez is short for Resurrect, an ultimate ability that Sage has in her arsenal. While Sage can resurrect her allies, Phoenix and KAY/O can in a sense resurrect themselves by avoiding being eliminated as part of their kits.


A term used in many competitive shooters or arena type games, rotating is a callout that tells your team that you're moving to a different part of the map or to a different site. This could be part of flanking, retaking, or reacting to a team’s specific push towards bombsite and your team is on the wrong one, among many other tactics that we’ve previously discussed.


Playing aggro is usually used to describe when one player advances towards the enemy team guns blazing to direct attention away from their team, but what if an entire team goes aggro and invades a point? Rushing is a valid tactic and is used by teams when they usually have a life lead (more living players) and a lot of momentum.
The point of this tactic is to take advantage of the enemy team's momentary loss and instead of playing slow, you rush to a bombsite and overwhelm them completely.

Shift walking

Walking while holding the shift key so that your agent does not make any footstep noise. You'll be moving as if you were crouched so your movement speed will be slow. However, with sound as an ever present tool for the experienced, it’s a tradeoff that all players make when it comes to pushing a site or flanking the enemy team.
This is the reason why so many rounds start off so slowly. Unless a team is found out or making an aggressive play, they will probably be doing this. Players should only run when it is not prudent to shift walk, they are going for an aggressive/quick push or are in the middle of a fight and their location is already known.

Smoke (Out)

When Omen, Brimstone, Jett or Cypher toss their utility smokes onto the map and the area is obscured. Getting smokes out usually forces the team on the receiving side to play conservatively or retreat. Smoking out a site lets the attacker make a very safe push. These types of abilities are known as vision blockers and smokes come in two varieties, clear and obscured.
Obscured smokes, such as Brimstone, Viper, and Jett’s, do not allow players to see when they stand inside the smoke. Clear smokes such as Astra, Omen, and Harbor for example, allow players to see clearly while inside the smoke. In fact, harbor’s smoke can also work as a shield, you can find out more about Harbor and his abilities in our article that details more about him.

Spending Strategy

Spending strategy differs from ultimate economy and weapon economy. Occasionally, some players will notice a Jett go into a round with a heavy shield and a Ghost, even though they have enough for an Operator. That same Jett will probably be planning to use bladestorm instead.
Similarly, different economies will affect strategy and how a team equips itself. Another example of this is a player who is top fragging spending all their money on abilities while another teammate buys them a strong weapon, while they light buy.


A Split tactic or when a team is splitting, is when they separate into two or more and attack two different sites at the same time. This strategy is usually to disperse the enemy team’s cohesion, strength or attention either to bait them to a different site, or to split them up and allow them to be double swung, flanked, or baited into a disadvantageous situation.


If splitting was separating team members, then stacking is the exact opposite. It’s when all 5, or at least 4, team members come together to push on to a site. Just as how splitting opened up to unique sets of strategies, stacking also opens the door for different ones as well. Such as rushing, playing aggro, playing default, playing econ or even full buying, either way sticking together as a team could also make it difficult for enemies to pick any one player off which makes stacking just as viable, if not, more viable than splitting at times.


Stick is a callout a teammate makes when they are covering your back as you defuse the spike or when the enemy has no chance to reach you in time to stop you from defusing the spike.

Tele (TP or Teleporter)

Some rooms in VALORANT maps get specific callouts that make them distinct from other sites or maps, earlier we described heaven and hell. Tele and TP are simply short forms for Teleporter, which is a room in some of VALORANT’s maps that, well, have a teleporter such as Bind for example.


Thrifty is winning the round by getting a kill with an enemy player’s weapon, usually done by an exit fragger or a team that is playing econ and scavenges the enemy’s weapon instead of purchasing their own.


When one one person on each team dies within the length of a gunfight. Oftentimes the entry fragger will be one of the trades. Usually happens when the second enemy is killed by the second teammate in from a double set up or stack, while the attention is focused on the entry fragger.


Short for Ultimate, a powerful tool that every agent has that is unique to them and can change the flow of a round in an instant. Getting your ultimate takes time but can be obtained sooner by getting picks, winning rounds, defusing or planting the spike, or orb pick ups to unlock instead of purchasing with credits.
Whether by flat out killing people, revealing information, or allowing for safe pushes into bad spots with the potential for follow up kills, you will instantly know the difference between a regular ability and an ultimate. In fact, there’s only one agent in the game at the time of writing this article that can use their ultimate twice in a round, Gekko. Check out our article giving an overview of his skills and abilities to see more about how his ultimate works!


Utility is another word that is used as a blanket term for any agent’s unique abilities that can be purchased at the beginning of every round. Tools such as armor and weapons are not considered utility as anyone can pick up or purchase any weapon or armor in the game.


Walls are a different type of vision blockers from smokes. Smokes are spherical, and quite literally walls are… walls. Almost all walls are distinct from each other and can either deal damage, block bullets, and are transparent which means you can throw your utility or shoot through them. Only one wall in the game so far is non-transparent and that is Sage’s wall, meaning you cannot walk through it and that it must be jumped over or destroyed to get through it.


If pennable is used as an adjective or attributed as a property a wall or object has, then wallbang is the action of shooting through a pennable object. There are always enemies waiting around the next corner in valorant, so shoot through it instead. Some weapons can puncture far easier than others but it never hurts to try. Surprise kills on bomb campers often come from clever, big brain wallbangs.