Another season of Rainbow Six Siege is right around the corner, and of course that means another pair of operators to add to the sizeable group of playable characters. After the two most recent operations offering up two operators on the same side, we are back to having one of each, with Operation Grim Sky bringing one new attacking operator from the US and one new defensive operator from the UK.
Clash and Maverick are the 41st and 42nd operators in Rainbow Six siege, but both of them bring something completely new to the table. Clash is the first defensive operator to wield a shield, while Maverick is a hard breacher who isn’t focused on creating new pathways. Of course both are much deeper than that, and will certainly take a good bit of getting used to.
However, we did get the chance to go hands on with these new operators, which will launch next month as part of Operation Grim Sky, at the Six Major Paris where the best Rainbow Six teams in the world competed for a share of $350,000.
Electrified full-body riot shields might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of the Metropolitan Police Service, but that is exactly what new operator Clash brings to the table. After being a member of the Met and becoming an expert on mob behavior and snatch-squad tactics Clash has now transferred over to team Rainbow, bringing her massive shield with her.
Unlike other shields in Siege, which are all on attacking operators while Clash is a defensive option, this shield easily covers her entire body height all the time, meaning pretty much every single shot coming from in front of her will be blocked by this massive shield. However, like all shield operators, she has no protection on her back, so if you can flank a Clash you have an easy kill on your hands.
Of course holding a shield this big requires two hands, and while Clash can bring a secondary weapon with her, 95% of the time you will just be holding your shield, and unable to shoot any bullets at your foes. Instead the shield is equipped with what are basically a couple of tasers. These short range electric shocks can be fired pretty rapidly, and will slow down any opponents hit by them, and do a small amount of damage.
This effectively means that Clash’s most suited role is crowd control and being a pretty good distraction. If she can get in front of a couple of operators, while a teammate gets a better angle on them then you are sure to get a couple of easy kills. On the Hereford base reworked map, where we got to play Clash, we found that putting clash on a staircase, while another teammate flanked via the new second staircase worked wonders, as players would be so preoccupied with shooting Clash’s shield they would forget to check for the flank behind them.
Clash is certainly great fun to play, but once you start to come up against high skill players she seems to become a little less effective. Obviously the best way to deal with her is to get behind her, and while less experienced players might be okay with unloading an entire mag into her shield a more experienced player will simply get behind her. She is great fun to play when you are absorbing a ton of bullets and baiting players in, but we expect high level players to figure her out very quickly.
While Clash is all about distracting opponents, Maverick is a hard breacher who is quite good at remaining unnoticed. Unlike most other hard breachers, Maverick can use his high powered blowtorch to create small holes in surfaces, including reinforced walls. By doing this he can create tiny lines of sight that are hard to notice for any defenders, but can be perfect holes to shoot a few bullets through and get a free kill if someone walks past.
It will of course take a while to figure out the best places to create these smaller holes to get easy kills on spots where defenders like to sit, but even with just a few rounds to play with Maverick it became clear how strong this power can be.
In one round, again on the new Hertford base, there was one defender sat in a room with a Castle barricade on one door, making the other door a clear risk for the one remaining attacker, a Maverick. The Maverick assumed that the defender would be watching the other door, so created a tiny hole in a wall, that gave him a perfect angle onto the defender. A couple of shots later and the round was won and the defender had no idea where the shots had come from, thanks to the Suri Torch being almost silent when burning through wall.
Of course Maverick can also use his torch to create a path through walls, even reinforced ones for his team to run through, but this is a pretty inefficient use of time and resources if you have any other kind of hard breacher on your team. Creating new lines of sight and creating tiny kill holes certainly seem to be the best use of his gadget.
The changes to hatches, with them now being partially destructible instead of just totally disappearing when they take enough damage, also means that you can create great lines of sight from above with clear vision. Maverick’s blow torch can burn through floors to do this, just like a grenade can, but you will often have a ton of support beams blocking your view, and more importantly shots. But partially destroying a hatch means you have a totally clear line of sight to shoot down through.
Maverick seems to be much more useful than Clash when it comes to higher level play, he is an operator everyone will be able to use well, regardless of skill and will always be useful as a breacher. However he would probably be an unlikely choice to bring as your only hard breacher, so where he will end up fitting into the meta remains to be seen.
Rainbow Six Siege’s Operation Grim Sky is due for release in September.