Ubisoft is finally making changes to one of the most-banned operators in Rainbow Six Siege. The Test Server changes aim to get Jackal some more play in and out of the Pro League, if they make it into the main game.
Since the introduction of the pick-and-ban system, players have been battling specific ban metas. While the system originated in the Pro League, it’s since moved into the main game and players at certain levels have adopted particular ban trends. Some of the top-banned operators include Mira, Echo, Maestro, Capitao, and, of course, Jackal.
Jackal serves as a smart ban due to his ability to lock defenders in place. When combined with a Lion or Dokkaebi player, Jackal’s ability becomes even more intense because the defending team is essentially forced to play freeze tag with attackers honing in on their position.
A solo Jackal is still an extremely powerful operator since he can track and relay information on enemy locations to teammates without much effort. It’s possible for Jackal to get baited by a clever defender, but this is more indicative of high-level play and it’s an opportunistic approach to counter Jackal, rather than an actual hard counter, unless playing as Cav. Countering a Jackal can also take away a lot of defender time and utility.
Ubisoft is attempting to make the operator a more balanced choice so that he may see more time in the field instead of being relegated to the present ban meta. In doing so, Ubisoft retooled Jackal’s ability to distribute a certain number of pings based on time. Red footprints that are less than 15 seconds old will grant Jackal five defender location pings. Yellow tracks will grant four pings, green grants three, and blue deals out a mere two pings. This may seem like a subtle tweak but it’s a pretty massive shift.
Before, Jackal would get the same amount of pings for each type of footprint. No matter how old the print was, the Jackal player would always see the same amount of pings. By making pings contingent upon their age, Ubisoft is essentially rebalancing Jackal’s ability to enable player choice. The new system pushes players to communicate with their team and also emphasizes making smart choices when tracking.
In making the decision to scan footprints, the Jackal player will opt to share the information with his teammates and the trail will disappear. Players may also choose to hold on to the information and track prints manually. Both options have their ups and downs and it’ll be at the discretion of each individual player or team to determine what’s the right call for the situation.
Overall, these are massive changes that up the risk-reward factor of Jackal’s ability. To counter some of the risk involved with tracking defenders, Ubisoft has also given Jackal a Claymore instead of Breach Charges. Jackal already has access to a secondary shotgun, so the change here shouldn’t hurt too badly for players. It’s also never a fun feeling to get Jackal tracked and then have the Jackal kill you with a Breach Charge because he just so happened to lock you in place behind the wall he was on the other side of—we definitely aren’t speaking from personal experiences.
Rounding out the list of changes hitting Jackal is more of a nerf rather than anything else. The operator will no longer be able to scan footprints below him. Pro League fans will undoubtedly recognize this tactic from literally any player who gets to use Jackal if he makes it out of the ban phase. The tactic seemed cheap and only adds to the unrealistic nature of the character’s gadget. The fact that the player could track a footprint without being on the same floor as it is a bit too overpowered and lowered the risk-reward dynamic in an unfair way. Its removal should definitely increase defender comfort.
Ubisoft may have finally found a decent way to manage Jackal’s relationship with the game at large. These changes might be enough to stop Jackal from being banned outright and could give the operator more time in play. These proposed Jackal changes sound like one of the better operator reworks in recent history.
The rework is live on the Test Server for players to check out now. Ubisoft has expressed concerns with games crashing while using Jackal and players are encouraged to submit reports of any bugs or crashes while playing Jackal.