R6 Y4S2.3 patch applies Jackal and Echo nerfs for better or worse

A lot of nerfs for potentially few results.

Image via Ubisoft

Ubisoft rolled out a mixed bag of balances in the Rainbow Six Siege Y4S2.3 patch, especially when it comes to fixing some issues relating to the new Pick-and-Ban system. 

Operation Phantom Sight implemented the Pro League’s Pick-and-Ban system into the regular game. The addition of the system had some unintended consequences—mainly, players never getting to play their favorite operators. 

Two extremely popular bans in and out of Pro League are Jackal and Echo. Jackal is a popular ban because of his ability to flush out roamers and lurkers with his Eyenox headgear. Echo is another high percentage ban due to his Yokai drone being able to cancel an attacker’s defuser plant, which is how many Bomb matches end if Echo isn’t banned at the start. 

Ubisoft recognized the high ban-rates and rolled out soft nerfs for both operators. Echo’s disorientation effect will only last seven seconds instead of 10 seconds. Meanwhile, Jackal’s Eyenox tracking will be limited to four pings and have the tracking time cut by five seconds. After some testing, it doesn’t look like these nerfs will be enough to combat the ban fervor.

Echo is still extremely powerful and Jackal still causes a good deal of discomfort while roaming. It remains unclear if these changes will actually assist in freeing both operators from Pick-and-Ban Hell.

Another huge nerf is the SFX change to Maverick’s blow torch. Before, anchor players would be one-tapped out of nowhere because they couldn’t hear a Mav hole they didn’t hear being cut open. Ubisoft finally answered player concerns by amping up the noise Mav’s torch makes.

Given that the torch was silent before, we were surprised when we heard the torch clearly for the first time in-game. The nerf doesn’t make Mav useless, but it does give defenders a fighting chance if they’re uncomfortable dealing with a Mav. 

Players with a phobia of shields will be happy to know that Ubisoft changed shield melees from an insta-kill to a down-but-not-out (DBNO) state. The nerf may help prevent that ridiculous one-vs-however many attackers standoff situations players often find themselves in with shield ops. Another large shield nerf is the hip-fire cone being increased for shield ops. Hopefully, there will be fewer lucky one-taps coming from shield ops in the future.

In our time with the patch, we didn’t get to see these shield nerfs do too much damage but it’ll likely become more detrimental at higher levels of gameplay. Now, if there could be a fix for players clipping through the shields to melee shield ops, then that’d be great. 

On the buff side of the patch, Glaz got a minor but extremely necessary buff. The sniper operator will now be allowed to move for six seconds before his thermal scope loses sight. The buff also slows the speed at which the movement penalty is applied while rotating. Basically, players have a bit more wiggle room before the thermal scope loses its effectiveness.

The numbers here don’t seem massive but the overall impact on gameplay is quite noticeable. The extra few seconds of breathing room make it a little less punishing to re-position for a better angle. Hopefully, this buff will lead to a bit more Glaz usage. We miss the sound of that OTs-03. 

Operation Phantom Sight launched to a flurry of issues but has since bounced back a fair amount. There are still some kinks to work out, like why Warden is so painfully situational, but overall changes are coming in at a decent pace. A big question going forward is if enough has been done to fix the Pick-and-Ban rate of Jackal and Echo. Don’t forget to check out the list of full patch notes on the official site.