Rainbow Six Siege’s upcoming Operation Neon Dawn will bring changes to three key operators and a massive change to a key gameplay mechanic.
Overall, Jager and Echo will be nerfed, Hibana will be buffed, and runouts will be fundamentally altered.
The info was announced during the new season reveal before the EU November Mini-Major Grand Finals on the official Rainbow Six Twitch channel. Other changes that were not announced during the reveal include Wamai and Valkyrie losing their secondary deployable shields.
Jager is going to get a nerf specifically designed to impact the professional meta, but one that will still emphasize the use of teamwork. His ADS gadgets will no longer have two charges. They will have unlimited charges, but there will be a 10-second timer in between each use.
Effectively, this makes “burning” the ADS (the act of using flashbangs or smoke grenades to pull both charges from the ADS so a frag grenade can be thrown) easier on the utility of the attackers without completely nuking the teamplay involved in burning the ADS. You’ll still need your team to clear key positions with grenades, but you’ll have flashbangs left over this time around.
This change is specifically to combat the “20-second meta,” where attackers struggle to clear the stacked utility of the defenders for two and a half minutes, and are then forced to feverishly execute their attack in a flurry of kills that’s difficult to follow.
Echo has been in a rough spot lately. He’s been banned in competitive play until a bug with his invisible Yokai drones is fixed, and as a result, the “20-second meta” has eased up on attackers. He’s still going to eat a much-deserved nerf, as his Yokai drones will no longer be invisible when they attach to ceilings.
This change is going to impact all levels of play. Echo is a notoriously strong operator among all levels with his ability to deny plants and invisible intel-gathering Yokai drones.
The difficulty with Echo is specifically the invisibility of his drones. Normally, you’d have to bring an IQ against a team that’s running Echo since her electronics detecting gadget was the only thing that could quickly spot the Yokais. But with how many explosives teams are forced to bring to combat, the incredibly strong deployable shield secondary gadgets, it’s hard to find space for her in the lineup. Now that Yokai drones are visible, IQ isn’t necessary, and attackers should have more freedom in which operators they can select.
The deployable shield has been re-added into Echo’s loadout.
Hibana isn’t getting a nerf, but more of a rework, which will specifically target her ability to play vertically. You can now select how many X-KAIROS pellets her launcher fires. Rather than being stuck with six, you can fire in shots of four or two out of your total pool of 18 pellets.
This is significant because it only takes four pellets to open a reinforced hatch. Now, Hibana can save pellets by not firing the full six onto a reinforced hatch, saving two pellets from each shot. The end result is that before, Hibana could open three hatches. Now, she can open four.
The changes give more freedom to Hibana players, and reinforce her strengths as a vertical/ranged hard breacher.
Runouts are a source of frustration for new players. Without knowledge of where players normally jump out of windows onto balconies then quickly retreat back inside the building, it can be difficult to counter. In addition, with some runouts, you can be shot before the defender running out on you is “spotted,” compounding frustration.
While runouts are a tactic seen as “sweaty” or “overaggressive,” they’re necessary to effectively defend specific sites on specific maps. Ubisoft doesn’t want them erased from the game but rather toned down, so you can now only remain outside the building as a defender for a single second before your location is revealed to all attackers, as opposed to the previous three seconds.