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Rainbow Six Siege dev is nerfing Blackbeard and buffing Kali in Year 6 Season 1

Two of Siege's key operators get some important balance changes when Crimson Heist arrives

Hot on the heels of the Rainbow Six Siege: Crimson Heist Year 6 reveal, the FPS game’s devs are sharing even more information on what to expect when the big day arrives. Ubisoft has just posted its Y6S1 pre-season designer’s notes which reveal, among other things, that two key Rainbow Six Siege operators are in for some balance changes when the new season drops.

Blackbeard, the US navy seal attacking op, is one of these. His unique ability – the face shield mounted on his weapons – is taking a bit of a hit, with the multiplayer game’s devs nerfing its health. From Y6S1, the HP of Blackbeard’s shields will drop by more than half to 20, down from 50, which means they’ll break away significantly more quickly after taking damage. Additionally, Blackbeard’s MK17 damage is getting slapped with a nerf, too, dropping to 40, which is down from 49.

Ubisoft aiming this change at the majority of Siege players, with the studio saying it’s targeting casual, top ranked, and pro players with the Blackbeard nerfs. Noting that he’s a “point of frustration for Defenders”, the post explains that, “by reducing the HP of his shields and damage of his MK17, this will slightly reduce both his killing potential and survivability”.

As for Kali, the attacking op is seeing some buffs to how her CSRX 300 deals damage. The marksman rifle’s damage itself is increasing to 127  (up from 122), and body shots’ effects are changing somewhat – check out these changes below (via Ubisoft):

  • One body shot will kill a three-speed Operator
  • One body shot will DBNO [‘down but not out’] a two-speed Operator
  • One body shot will DBNO a one-speed Operator
  • Wearing Rook Vest
    • One body shot will DBNO a three-speed Operator
    • Two body shots will DBNO a two-speed Operator
    • Two body shots will DBNO a one-speed Operator

Similarly, Ubisoft notes that it’s targeting these changes at the same groups of players, and that Kali’s primary weapon “is in charge of most of her killing potential, and keeping this weapon in line is key to avoiding an overpowered operator”.

The studio says that, “on release, Kali was perceived as overpowered, but the power perception has been slowly drifting towards ‘underperforming’. In the previous patch, we took our first step in finding the sweet spot for the CSRX 300. We have looked at your feedback and we are making new changes.”

According to the game’s Twitter channel, the Rainbow Six Siege Crimson Heist release date is set for March 16, and the changes should get a good round o’ testing first (likely a few weeks).