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Rainbow Six Siege Y5S3 Pre-Season Designer Notes Detail How Thatcher Is Being Nerfed

Thatcher's dreaded EMP grenades are getting a downgrade, amongst many other changes to Rainbow Six Siege during Operation Shadow Legacy.


Ubisoft has posted new designer notes for Rainbow Six Siege's Shadow Legacy patch, going into more detail about how and why certain balance changes were made. Attack operator Thatcher has received a substantial rework, with his primary EMP grenade now no longer capable of destroying gadgets, instead, it disables them for 15 seconds.

Other changes include multiple hard breach devices that can be combined to destroy a reinforced hatch, more tools for attacking teams against their opponents, and the entire pool of weapons changing how they operate with the addition of new sights. Several assault rifles will now no longer have access to the ACOG scope, which has been replaced with different scopes instead.

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Now Playing: Sam Fisher In Rainbow Six Siege: Everything You Need To Know

Iana's hologram gadget will receive a Ping 2.0 upgrade, which reinforces the level of synergy and cooperation that an attacking team will have when Iana is a member. Ubisoft hopes that these changes will also rationalize and streamline her ability. Maverick's arsenal of gas canisters increases to six, which will give him a slight presence bump in the casual player spectrum and will provide a more forgiving margin of error for opening hatches according to the designer notes.

Operation Shadow Legacy also sees the introduction of Sam Fisher to Rainbow Six Siege as a new operator codenamed Zero, a redesign of the Chalet map, and a shared pool of reinforcements for defenders. There's no official release date yet for all of these changes, but PC players can try out them from August 17 on the test server.

You can read the full designer notes below:

Rainbow Six Siege Y5S3 Pre-season Designer Notes


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  • Increased number of Gas Canisters to 6 (from 5).
  • Population targeted by this change: Casual and Top Ranked.
  • Currently, Maverick needs 2.3 canisters to open a hatch with the Suri Torch.
  • The previous number of Gas Canisters left very little margin of error to open two hatches, even for pro players.
  • By increasing the number of Gas Canister at his disposal, we would like to give him a slight Presence bump in the Casual player spectrum.
  • This change will not allow Suri Torch experts to open more than two hatches, which was already the case in Y5S2.
  • However, resource management should now be easier to handle for everyone.


  • The Gemini Replicator (Iana's hologram) is now able to use the Ping 2.0 system.
  • The hologram is a carbon copy of Iana and controls related to the Ping System are the same as well.
  • We hope that this change will reinforce the level of synergy and cooperation that Iana brings to the attacking team
  • We also hope that it will also rationalize and streamline her ability.


  • EMPs will now disable gadgets instead of destroying them.
  • Thatcher's EMP effect increased to 15s (from 10s when applicable).
  • Picking up a disabled gadget will remove the EMP effect.
  • The EMP effect will not affect gadgets within the Operator's inventory.

Population targeted by this change: Casual, Top Ranked and Pro League. Too often, Thatcher's EMPs ended up destroying Defender gadgets by accident or without real intention to do so. The following gadgets affected by Thatcher's EMP are now disabled for 15s instead of being destroyed prior to Y5S3:

  • Nitro Cell
  • Kapkan's Entry Denial Device
  • Jäger's Active Defense System
  • Lesion's Gu Mines
  • Ela's GRZMOT Mine
  • Mute's Signal Disruptor
  • Smoke's Remote Gas Grenade
  • Kaid's Rtila Electroclaw
  • Mozzie's Pest Launcher
  • Bandit's Shock Wire
  • Echo's Yokaï Drone

When affected by Thatcher's EMP, Gu Mines will now lose their cloaking ability, and won't be triggered nor destroyed when stepped on. The Yokai Drone was already disabled by the EMP Grenade, however, the Sonic Burst Charge refilling was still happening. It is no longer the case in Shadow Legacy as the Sonic Burst Charge refilling will be suspended during 15s as well.

Bandit Tricking (and other similar techniques)

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  • Now, a disabled battery can be picked up to remove the disabled state.
  • This takes more time to perform than deploying a new battery after the first one had been destroyed.
  • Bandit tricking should remain very efficient against slower hard breachers like Hibana, Ace or the new Hard Breaching Charge.

EMP Effect and IQ's Electronics Detector

  • In addition, we have updated IQs gadget feedback when she locates a disabled electronic device.
  • The white outline around the electronic gadget is still present but the pulse animation around the gadget is not displayed.
  • Thatcher mains will have to think a bit more and increase synergy with their teammates, before spending their resources.
  • We are aware that this is a big change for Thatcher which should lead to more consistency around the EMP effect in Siege.
  • It may improve Defender performance as a consequence, but we'll monitor the impact of this change and react as we feel necessary.


  • Almost our entire pool of weapons is going to be changed with the addition of new sights.


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Hard Breach Charge

  • Adding a new Secondary Gadget: Hard Breach Charge.

Operators affected

  • Montagne instead of Stun Grenades.
  • Ying instead of Breach Charges.
  • Fuze instead of Smoke Grenades.
  • Finka instead of Breach Charges.
  • Amaru instead of Claymore.
  • Nokk instead of Breach Charges.
  • Capitao instead of Stun Grenades.
  • Lion instead of Claymore.

Population targeted by this change: Casual, Top Ranked and Pro League.

With the addition of the Hard Breach Charge, our goal is to provide the attacking team with more tools against their opponents. Picking a hard-breacher is often a must for many bombsites. It reduces the flexibility of the attacking team's composition and increases pressure on the Operator tasked with opening reinforced walls and hatches.

The gadget will not perform as well as pure hard-breachers. It takes 3 seconds to deploy and 6 seconds to explode and the activation of the charge will be automatic. The breach created will be too small for players to run their way through it and will require player to either crouch or vault their way in.

This new gadget could open a window of opportunity for Teams willing to adopt a more versatile approach and reduce the pressure on Hibana, Maverick, Ace and Thermite mains. This is quite an important change, and results will be monitored closely. We would like to see if the presence of Operators listed above will increase as well.


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Reinforced Hatches

  • Multiple hard breach devices can be combined to destroy a reinforced hatch.
  • Population targeted by this change: Top Ranked and Pro League.
  • With Y5S3, we are introducing a change that will enable attackers to effectively destroy a reinforced hatch, combining different hard-breaching devices.
  • If an Operator does not fully open the hatch, another one will be able to finish the job and invest resources proportionally to what was already done.
  • Before Y5S3, opening a reinforced hatch required one Exothermic Charge, or 4 X-Kairos, or 116 Breaching Torch impacts, or 2 Selmas.

Hatches were destroyed only when one of those conditions was met. When enough X-Kairos were destroyed to deny the destruction of the hatch, Maverick still needed to invest 2.3 canisters (or 116 Suri Torch impacts) to open it. With the introduction of the new Hard Breach Charge, as we are having more and more hard breaching tools, we also felt that we needed be able to combine them.

Now, reinforced hatches will have a health-pool of one million points and each device will deal damage as follows:

  • 1 Exothermic Charge: 1M
  • 1 X-Kairo: 250k
  • 1 Breaching Torch impact: 87k
  • 1 Selma: 500k
  • 1 Hard Breach Charge: 1M (3 or more Conical Shaped Charges have to be on top of the hatch)

With this change, you will be able to combine your resources more efficiently to reach the one million damage necessary to destroy the reinforcement. We have not changed the way each device works by itself, we are just opening the door to more strategies and synergy.

Darryn Bonthuys on Google+

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