Get ready for aggressive breaches and trap-heavy defenses when Operation Blood Orchid comes to Rainbow Six Siege. Three new Operators are bringing three new gadgets to the field, and we got a chance to try all of them out on the new Theme Park map. Here’s a rundown of what the new Operators can do and some tips on how to make the most of their new tricks.
Let’s start with the lone attacker: Ying from the Hong Kong CTU. She brings a trio of Candela devices—small spheres that shoot flash charges into the air and blind anyone nearby, with one exception. Ying herself wears special glasses that make her immune to her own flashes, so while your enemies are laying low or blindly firing until the flash wears off, you can rush in and clear them out.
Candelas can be thrown like grenades, but they have a few other deployment options that open up some intriguing strategies. Instead of simply tossing one, you can hold the button down to cook it before release. There are three lights on the Candela that will progressively light up; for each one lit, the Candela will roll along the ground for a little bit longer before firing off flashes. You can roll it under barricades or through drone holes, allowing you to flash the room before the enemy knows where you’re breaching from or to reach far corners where defenders are holed up.
Alternatively, you can “Fuze” the Candela by deploying it on a breachable surface so it fires the flashes into the room on the other side. Cooking your release here will set an increasingly long delay timer, allowing you to get in position to make your move. Candelas are vulnerable to destruction, so if you set off a breach charge too close or fire through the barricade prematurely, you might foil your own plan. But time it properly, and you’ll have a room full of flashed opponents waiting to be gunned down by Ying’s shotgun or LMG.
On the other side of the barricades, Blood Orchid is bringing two new defenders that make infiltration more perilous. First up is Lesion, from the Hong Kong CTU, who packs throwable Gu mines that deploy on the floor and stick any attacker who steps on them with a poison needle. Getting stuck causes visual distortion—sort of a swampy, queasy filter—and does damage over time as the needle remains in your leg. Attackers can either fight through the disorientation and take the damage, or they can follow the on-screen prompt to remove the needle from their leg, lowering their gun and leaving themselves vulnerable in the process. Unless you’re using I.Q.’s electronics detector, you can forget about watching your step; Gu mines are cloaked and all-but-invisible to anyone but Lesion.
Lesion can see a small icon above each deployed trap, and keeping an eye on those icons can help you respond quickly when one is triggered. He can deploy a total of seven mines, but it takes a little while to do so. Lesion doesn’t start with a full complement of traps; he acquires them as time passes. The cooldown timer on-screen shows you how many you have available and how long until another one is ready. This means that Lesion can continue to mine new areas throughout the match, so the longer the enemy team takes, the more mines he can deploy. Whether you’re lying in wait to ambush poisoned enemies with his silenced shotgun or cackling with delight as an enemy succumbs to poison even after you’ve died, Lesion and his mines are a deadly nuisance.
The third new Operator is the first member of the Polish CTU, GROM, to take the field (the second will be released with the next Operation). Ela is a defender who packs Grzmot mines (“grzmot” means “thunder” in Polish), which are proximity concussion mines that can be thrown and stuck to walls, ceilings, and floors. These beauties will detonate when an enemy gets close, stunning them, disrupting their hearing, and shaking up their view but doing no damage. Fortunately, Ela is a speedy Operator who can close distance fast when one of her mines goes off in order to capitalize on the opportunity. She has an SMG or a shotgun to do the heavy lifting, as well as a Siege-first pistol with an integrated dot sight for mopping things up.
While her mines have obvious applications when defending on-site, Ela’s speed makes it possible to take a more aggressive anti-roamer approach. Laying a nest of mines where you predict enemies will infiltrate can be a great way to stymie their advance, forcing them to burn valuable clock time. Sneaking up on a roamer and throwing down a mine can lead to an easy kill. If decide to fall back to the objective site, consider leaving a mine along your retreat vector to discourage pursuers. And if she happens to get downed, Ela can manually detonate a concussion charge on her person (she always carries an extra just for this purpose), giving allies a better chance to clear the area and revive her.
Between Ela and Lesion, the defenders have a lot more potential trap power to lay down, while Ying gives the attacking team some powerful new breaching support. Operation Blood Orchid is targeting a September 5th release. All three Operators will be available for free to Season Pass holders on launch day, and available for all other players to purchase in-game one week later. To get a glimpse of the Operators in action, be sure to tune in to the Pro League finals on August 26 at 17:15 BST for a live demonstration on twitch.tv/rainbow6.
For more on Rainbow Six Siege, be sure to check out the UbiBlog’s previous coverage.