Rainbow Six Siege: One Nerf to Rule Them All

written by DocWhiskey

 

With the release of Operation Chimaera, and the addition of Lion and Finka, as well as the Outbreak situation, came yet another nerf to the Polish GROM operator, Ela Bosak, who has now been nerfed enough to make even the likes of Blackbeard blush.
Introduced in the Dust Line update, Blackbeard is a Navy SEALs attacking operator, whose unique gadget is a shield that sits on top of his gun, and provides protection to his head. Initially, Blackbeard had one shield, and a comparable ADS (Aim Down Sight) time with his ACOG and other available optics. The single shield had 800 HP, which made Blackbeard an ideal operator to sit on window ledges to cut off access to certain rooms, deny mid or late round roamer rotations, or to lock down an objective. He was an absolute terror for the defending operators to play against. Once Blackbeard had a window, it was his window, and anyone brave, or stupid, enough to try and challenge that was quickly reminded of their poor choice once Blackbeard employed his SCAR-17 CQB or SR-25 battle rifles. All of this lead up to Blackbeard becoming known as “Nerfbeard”. Instead of one shield, with 800 HP, he received two shields, with 60 HP each, as well as a significant pull back on his ADS time, making him much less viable in a heads up gunfight situation.

 

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You may be wondering, “This article is supposed to be about Ela, why is he writing about Blackbeard?” Blackbeard had once been the most heavily adjusted operator in Siege at one point, but as time went on surely there would be another to challenge him for his throne. Since the launch of Siege, many operators have been adjusted or balanced to adapt to the players themselves. In order to cut down on spawn peeking, Defenders, Jager and Bandit both, had to turn in their ACOG optics, defending operator Kapkan was adjusted to having 5 of his door traps instead of 3, but they are no longer instant kills when tripped, and the laser is no longer visible to give its presence away. These are just a couple examples of some of the more weighty changes that have come down the pipe.
The release of Operation Blood Orchid brought 3 new operators to the field, Chinese operators Ying, and Lesion, as well as the Nerf Queen herself, Ela Bosak. Initially, Ela’s loadout contained a very powerful SMG, the CZ Scorpion EVO 3, an FO-12 Shotgun, RG-15 sidearm, her unique Grzmot mines, which cause disorientation and slow down the attackers, and a choice between either barbed wire or impact grenades. Being that Ela is a 1 Armor 3 Speed operator, her primary role is to roam and slow down the attacking team. Most players would choose to take impact grenades with her, to open up flank routes, or make a quick escape if needed. Upon release, her Scorpion had a 50 round magazine, 28 damage per bullet, and a negligible amount of recoil. Very quickly she earned a ‘must pick’ status, and her pick rates skyrocketed into the high 90s, much like they are for Lion currently, and rivaling the pick rates of the German defender, Bandit.

 

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Along came Operation Blood Orchid’s Mid-Season Reinforcement update, a patch that takes place about a month and a half into a season to address any changes that need to be made. In this patch, Ela’s SMG had the time to max recoil lowered, as well as the impact of the max recoil increased, and as I mentioned earlier, the recoil adjustment did not really serve its purpose, and had a very minimal impact on her pick/win rate. She enjoyed a somewhat unintentional buff during the release of Operation White Noise, where the slowing effect of her Grzmot mines was set to 20% instead of the 30% that the developers had intended. With Operation White Noise’s Mid-Season Reinforcement, the developers were still unsure of how to properly balance Ela, but had started by decreasing the size of her magazine from 50, to 40 rounds, as well as a reduction in her Grzmot mine recovery time for attackers, which was previously 7 seconds, and changed to 4 seconds. Operation Chimera introduce the most significant changes to her yet, with her recoil again being jacked up, which actually worked this time, and the damage being adjusted from 28 per hit to 23 per hit before drop off, and 18 to 15 after drop off, making her a less viable choice for long range engagements, and putting her back into a comfortable short to mid-range engagement profile. Along with those changes, her impact grenades were removed and replaced with a deployable shield, to further limit her efficiency as a solo roamer, and made her shotgun a viable choice to open rotation holes.
With her most recent changes, Ela has felt significantly less powerful as a defender, and much more manageable for attacking operators to deal with, especially with the release of Lion and his EE-ONE-D drone. Some people have argued that the radical changes made in Operation Chimera were a little too heavy on her, suggesting that the damage adjustment was a bit excessive in light of all the other adjustments that she was slapped with, however it has been a positive change overall, and has brought Ela back in line with the other defending operators, marking an end to Ela Bosak’s six month reign of terror. 

 

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