Rainbow Six Siege is one of the most terrifying games I have ever played. Despite the wall-shattering booms of Fuze’s cluster charges, Ash’s devastating breaching rounds, and the sizzle of Thermite’s exothermic charges, I am happiest as a defender. I can sit there, agitatedly eyeing the objective, coated in the dust kicked up by an endless barrage of pounding blasts. Nervous I may be but my chances of breathing at the end of it all seem most favourable right there.
My choice of role is solely based on the simplicity of its required objectives - perhaps that’s why I am such an effective games journalist. If I can be part of a strategy that allows me to be of some assistance whilst staying well out of the way of more skilled roamers, I am there - or, at least, I am there cheering them on from many metres away. By now, my teammates know to indicate where I am to sit, stay, and the angle on which I need to have my sights trained, as I try to valiantly to stop my mouse hand from quivering.
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My resolutely negative Siege mentality means Rook, Kapkan, and Castle are my operators of choice as a defender. Whether I am attaching Kapkan’s entry-denial devices to doors and windows or replacing wooden barricades with Castle’s armour panels, their abilities are mostly implemented during the preparation phase of a round. In other words, I am only active during the time in which I can run around safely while attackers are searching for the objective with drones.
Rook is even better. All I need do is drop some armour packs on the floor. Once I can select a spot away from windows and hatches with my back towards reinforced walls, I can place my deployable shield and squirrel away, leaving the explosive stage for the real stars. I am wardrobe, essentially.
You can imagine, then, that I am less comfortable as an attacker, and yes, your instincts are clearly perceptive. As a mere level 20, my map knowledge leaves much to be desired - apart from the areas in which I died repeatedly during the PvE mode/tutorial, Situations - so I often find myself following a teammate that both seems to know what they are doing and do not mind me nervously snapping at their heels in the process. The downside in that situation is that it sometimes leads to me being the last operator alive after things have gone south, thereby inviting my team to a live Siege blooper reel.
Then, Year 3 - better known as Operation Chimera - commenced, and everything changed. Along with the Left-4-Dead-esque PvE mode, Outbreak, Year 3 ushered in two new operators that heralded a new era of me not fucking up attacking rounds: Lion and Finka.
Both of the new attackers allow me to support my team without risking stepping on a Frost welcome mat or extracting the Gu mine punji sticks from my calves. I can be useful without relying on my piss-poor aim or my grenade throws, which appear to be magnetically concentrated to walls that will rebound them back at me.
Finka’s three nanobot shots boost the health and steadies the aim of my whole team, and instantly revives any of them that are downed. Lion’s triple-use ability is his EE-One-D drone that scans the map for enemy movement. Opponents that are moving are highlighted in a bold red outline, primed for a swift execution. However, they can escape its effects by staying stationary - although they can move their sights on the spot - and by being close to Mute’s signal disruptor. I was most useful to my team just by keeping a low profile and staying out of my team’s way - sound familiar?
Both abilities make Lion and Finka excellent beginner operators: you can help your team at any time, and from the sidelines if you wish. Then, as you grow your game sense and understand the flow of a Siege match better, you and your team can get more out of your drone and nanobot shot.
I experimented with using Lion to scope out and put off spawn peekers at the beginning of a round, preventing some easy opening losses. As Lion, I initiated my drone at the same time as Finka used her ability, simultaneously immobilising the enemy and giving my whole team the buff they needed to get the edge on a push. On the other hand, defenders have countered by using their movement to bait my team into the open and dispatch them.
For each kill earned by your team while your ability is in use, you get a smattering of XP, but that is far eclipsed by the buzz you get from actually helping your team. Trust me, when kills come as occasionally as they do for me, you will take anything you can get. And all I did was hit my middle mouse button and roll out the (soon to be) red carpet.
This is not to say that Lion and Finka are simple operators. Better players than me - yes, they do exist - will find ingenious ways to use them, using them to add a new dimension to existing strategies or building new ones around them. In fact, they are using them already: Lion has enjoyed an unparalleled 100% pick rate in Pro League.
Perhaps Lion and Finka will be nerfed soon but, right now, I would heartily recommend that new players consider grinding the necessary Renown or purchasing the Year 3 pass to get their hands on the pair. Their abilities can lay waste to the opposition with the click of a button, allowing new players to do their bit before fully getting to grips with each map, useful strategies, and typical enemy behaviours, which can take a considerable amount of time. Rainbow Six Siege is an unforgiving place for beginners, but Lion and Finka are great operators with which to start.
Are you picking Lion and Finka? Let us know what you think of them in the comments below.