Written by: DocWhiskey
Round starts. Defenders deploy reinforcements, and set up their gadgets to aid their mission. Anchors take their places and the Roamers head off to find a clever place to hide. Action Phase begins and dread creeps into your veins as you hear the steady metal clunking of a shield toting attacker approaching your position. This article is all about our favorite bullet sponges, the Shield operators. Fuze has the option of bringing a shield, but since the shield is not his only primary weapon, he will be included in a later article.
First up is our benevolent French GIGN operator, Montagne. The Mountain. Montagne’s shield is actually his unique gadget as well. While standing, Monty can extend the shield to cover his entire body from the front, and a bit to the sides and overhead as well, at the cost of being unable to crouch, sprint, or vault. Due to this, he’s able to perform the duty of a drone, albeit with less maneuverability and a bit more risk to the player. He’s also able to provide cover for his teammates to advance in narrow spaces, or when coordinating with another player, the two can secure quick kills while minimizing the time that the second player is exposed to return fire. While not using his extended shield, Monty can employ the P9 or LPF586 revolver, the former having less damage output but more ammo in the magazine, and the latter having high damage but very limited ammo. Along with the inherent utility of being able to walk into a doorway without having to worry about getting your head taken off, Montagne also has the added utility of smoke grenades or stun grenades, both of which give him just a little bit more pushing power but cannot be used while his shield is extended. Many counters to him exist in Frost mats, Kapkan traps, Smoke gas canisters, and electrified barbed wire. Ela and Echo’s Yokai drone will both cause him to retract his shield if it’s extended, which can lead to an easy frag if the vulnerability is taken advantage of.
Second, another base game operator hailing from the GSG9, is Blitz. Blitz is a 2 armor 2 speed, special kind of terrifying in close quarters. His shield is also his unique gadget. Attached to the front of his shield is a high luminosity light that creates the same blinding effect that a stun grenade does, but without the deafening effect. This effect can reach out to 5 meters away, but the full effect of the blind occurs within 4 meters, and cannot be countered by simply turning away from the light source, as can be done with stun grenades. His shield can be flashed four times with just over 2 seconds delay between uses. Unlike Montagne, Blitz can sprint with his shield in front of him, but doing so leaves the lower part of his legs exposed to incoming fire. Blitz only has access to the P12 pistol as an offensive weapon, and Smokes and Breach Charges as utility options. All of the same counters that apply to Montagne apply to Blitz as well, but extend to include Lesion’s Gu mines, which prevent Blitz from sprinting. Mute’s signal disruptors will also disable the shield while within the area of effect of the gadgets.
Lastly is one of the newer operators, Clash, who was introduced in Operation Grim Sky, and currently the only defender with a shield. Clash is a 3 armor, 1 speed operator who carries a shield much like Montagne, but so very different. The shield sits on her back when not in use like all other shield operators, however when in use it extends to cover her entire body, and can only be used in this state, meaning her mobility is extremely limited while utilizing her gadget. The CCE shield covers much of her body with the exception of a rear planted foot that can be shot, but is rather hard to hit. What is unique about this shield is that is contains a taser that can slow and damage enemy operators. Should an attacker get in close enough, they can melee the shield to throw it off to the side for a brief second, which can be used to permanently remove the threat from a round. Her biggest natural counters currently are Capitao with his Firebolts, and Nomad with the Airjab, however anyone with fragmentation grenades also has a good chance at taking her down. Like Monty, Clash is much better suited to working with a second member of the team to secure the kills. Her P-10C and SPSMG9 are nothing to laugh at, but at the same time it takes a full second to switch from shield to gun, as she cannot use her firearms while the CCE is deployed. Aside from being able to slow up a fast rush, Clash also bring barbed wire and impact grenades in her kit, both a handy choice as the barbed wire keeps her targets in place longer, and the impact grenades can give her a fast escape out of a less than favorable situation.
Whether you’re facing Monty or Clash, who require a bit more coordination to be effective, or take down efficiently, or you’re facing the blinding shield of Blitz, who benefits from both coordinated and uncoordinated plays, Shields are far from invincible. People who play them probably understand that better than those who rarely, if ever, do play these Operators. There are many ways to counter them, and as Siege continues to grow and expand it’s Operator pool there will most assuredly be more counters added, along with more shield attackers to pick from. Keep your distance, and work with your team to take them down!
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