written by DocWhiskey
In previous articles recently, we’ve been exploring the worlds of the Information and Anchor operators. After taking a short break away from that rabbit hole to discuss the importance of communication and its impact on the outcome of the game, it is now time to get back on track and talk about the operators who lend their talents at stalling or preventing rush plays by the attacking team. Trap operators really came into their own with the release of Operation Blood Orchid, year 2 season 3. The two trap operators released during that season were Lesion, and the now infamous Ela Bosak, whose reign of terror lasted quite a while longer than most people would’ve liked and has since fallen into a much more manageable state.
Trap operators can often be grouped in with Information, however they were not for the sake of these articles to give each their own time in the limelight. While there are only four of them currently in the game, they can often have quite a significant impact on the rounds in which they participate. Without any further delay let’s jump in, but watch where you step!
Shipped with the base game, the Russian Spetznaz operator Kapkan has undergone some pretty significant changes since the release of the game. Prior to his rework, Kapkan had three Entry Denial Devices (EDDs) which could be attached to door frames and window frames. These traps would emit a bright red trip laser that would activate the device once an attacker crossed its path, dealing lethal damage to all operators unless they were using a shield. These lasers were a dead giveaway and soon it became clear that the skill level of most players had grown high enough that these traps would be found and destroyed before they could cause any harm. At this time in the game Kapkan was a 3 armor, 1 speed operator with access to a nitro cell, or deployable shield. His weapon kit consisted of the 9×19 VSN SMG and the SASG-12 shotgun, with a choice between the reputable PMM pistol and the less often chosen GSh-18 pistol. During his rework he traded his deployable shield for impact grenades, became a 2 armor 2 speed operator. He was also granted two additional EDDs, which had also been modified to do non-lethal, but still significant damage. The laser emitted by the device now fades after a few seconds, but still gives off an audio cue that the cautious attacker can hear to avoid the trap. When attackers find and destroy his traps, it gives the player a fairly good idea as to where the attacker(s) are coming from, just as much as if they had inadvertently walked through and triggered the device. Kapkan can be used rather creatively, as with most trap operators. He can flex into both anchor and roamer roles with his moderate speed and armor rating. Some players can even find themselves in a position to bait kill hungry attackers into chasing him in hopes of getting an early round kill only to fall victim to the EDDs that he had placed with just such a plan in mind. Kapkan’s weapons are widely considered to be very middle of the road, but his VSN SMG is extremely easy to control, and has a decent bite to it, despite its low damage.
Introduced in the very first DLC for Siege, the Canadian JTF2 operator Frost became the second trap gadget operator to enter the game. The 2 speed, 2 armor Frost brings three bear traps to the field, which can be placed just about anywhere on the map. Like Kapkan, Frost suffers from the same thing that the Spetznaz operator has since her debut. Now that most players understand the common locations to find her bear traps at, many players will locate them with their drones during the preparation phase, or during their roam clear and deal with them accordingly. The upside to this is that when the attackers begin their push to the objective in earnest, some traps can be placed under windows, forcing the attacker to take a moment to destroy the trap at their feet, leaving them vulnerable to any lurking defenders waiting for just such an opportunity to present itself. The traps can also be placed in rather unorthodox locations, which usually have a much higher success rate as the attacker being either unlucky, or unaware, falls into it. Once an operator falls into the trap, a loud metallic snap sounds, and they immediately enter a Down But Not Out (DBNO) state until they’re either finished off, or rescued by a teammate. The weapons that Frost employs in her aid of the defense are the C1 SMG, and the Super 90 shotgun. Her SMG has somewhat moderate damage, but a low fire rate and is fairly easy to control. Despite this, her SMG is still very potent. Her shotgun, while having a rather lack luster range, can still be employed with some deadly efficiency. Like her attacker counterpart, Buck, Frost only has access to the Mk1 9mm pistol as a sidearm. Prior to Operator Para Bellum, Frost had access to a deployable shield which often had a bear trap on the other side. After the new season, Frost gave up her shield for the new bulletproof camera gadget, but retained her barbed wire. Like Kapkan, Frost can also flex into roamer and anchor roles, but lacks the utility to roam as efficiently as other 2 speeds that have access to impact grenades.
Coming to the game with the release of Operation Blood Orchid is the Chinese SDU operator Lesion. Lesion is a 2 speed, 2 armor operator who has become a quite prevalent pick in the Rainbow Six Pro League. His weapon kit includes the T-5 SMG, and the SIX12SD shotgun, along with a Q-929 pistol. His SMG has a fairly predictable recoil pattern, and doles out decent damage, making it a solid choice. The SIX12SD is also nothing to laugh at, as it has an integral suppressor and what often feels like somewhat outrageous range, leading to some rather infuriating plays. Like Kapkan, Lesion also has access to impact grenades, which lets him roam around with a bit more efficiently than Frost or Ela. The combination of good guns, and impact grenades makes Lesion quite a credible threat to the attacking team. His gadget became the first in the game to deal (most of the time) non-lethal damage, and doesn’t induce a DBNO state. Instead, his Gu mines deal 10 damage when triggered. In addition to the very audible cue that comes with it, they deal 8 damage over time until the needle is either pulled out, or the attacker is put into DBNO. Removing the needle can be dangerous, as it leaves the attacker vulnerable for a few seconds to any defender that happens to be nearby looking to take advantage of the opportunity. These mines can be placed anywhere that they can be thrown, and quickly fade out of sight, leaving only a slight shimmer where it rests that resembles the active camouflage seen in the Halo series. Should an attacker have fewer than 10 HP left when they activate the mine, it immediately kills them. Lesion has 8 of these mines, but only starts with one at the start of the prep phase. They regenerate over time at around 1 mine per 30 seconds or so, making his value grow as the round timer ticks down. While stuck with a Gu needle the attacker cannot sprint, or plant defusers, which has been the cause of quite a few defender victories since Blood Orchid dropped.
Also coming with Blood Orchid, the infamous Polish GROM operator, Ela Bosak. The 3 speed, 1 armor Ela took the game by storm in the months following her release. Boasting a near 100% pick rate across all levels of play because of her speed, kit, and gadget, Ela became easily the most potent and terrifying operator to find on the defending team. At release, her Scorpion EVO 3 A1 had a 51 round magazine, and what could only be described as negligible recoil, and a high rate of fire, meaning Ela could potentially take down an entire team without ever having to change magazines. It has since been reeled in and given the appropriate amount of recoil, and magazine size to make it less of a monster, and more in line with where it should be. Since the Scorpion was brought down from its near god-like status, her other primary, the FO-12 shotgun has seen more play, but is often left behind in favor of her SMG. Her pistol, until the release of her sister Zofia Bosak with Operation White Noise, was the only sidearm in the game that isn’t a machine pistol to have a reflex sight. She also lost her impact grenades to cut down on her mobility, and now has a choice between barbed wire and a deployable shield. Ela’s unique gadget is her Grzmot (“Thunder” in Polish). Initially, Ela had four of these devil traps, which can be stuck to anywhere she could throw it. In the months after her release she lost one of her mines, but retained the ability to trigger one last mine in her DBNO state. Upon being triggered, the Grzmot mine temporarily blinds and deafens the attacker(s) and any defender caught in the blast, along with a very loud explosive report to signal any nearby defenders that a relatively easy kill his near at hand. Ela and Zofia both have a faster recovery from this effect than other operators. Prior to getting nerfed, the mines disorienting effect lasted much longer, and also prevented players from sprinting for a short time. The combination of her highly lethal SMG, impacts grenades, and extremely powerful gadgets made Ela singlehandedly the best fragging operator on the defending team. Ela has been changed so many times since release that it is sometimes a toss-up between her and the attacker Blackbeard as to who’s been nerfed harder, though Blackbeard may be pulling ahead shortly with his latest change to his rifle shield’s hit point pool. None of this means that Ela isn’t still quite a competent defender, but with the META having shifted at least twice since her release, she isn’t the “must pick” that she used to be, which is probably for the best.
All being said, these operators are all very useful in their own respect, and can be helpful to their team by slowing down the attack, or generating more favorable opportunities for the defenders to secure a kill. Since the META has shifted away from traps, most of these operators with the exception of Lesion have seen a lot more time on the bench in favor of operators that are friendlier to the current tactics. With the exception of Frost, all of these Trap operators rely on electronic gadgets, making them easy prey to Thatcher, Twitch, and IQ, which should encourage players to find new and interesting places to stash their throw-able gadgets, or hunt down these attackers before they can dismantle the defense without it coming to any kind of fruition.
The Reforged Gaming Community is growing its Siege player base little by little. Every Friday at 7:30 PM EST, we host in-house pick-up games that pit attendees against each other in custom games for a few hours. If you’re interested in joining the fun on Fridays, or just looking for a group of non-toxic people to play with, then stop by our Discord and reach out in our Siege channels. I look forward to welcoming our new players! -Doc