In Operation Deep Freeze, Rainbow Six Siege will welcome a new Operator named Tubarão, who bolsters the defending team with his freezing Zoto Canister gadget, slowing down Attackers’ movement and disabling their devices. The fourth season of Year 8 will also introduce a new map that’s appropriately named Lair, as it takes place in a cavern that hides the secret military installation of Deimos, the nemesis of Team Rainbow. Players will be able to study this map and others in the new Map Run training mode, and practice their site assaults against computer-controlled opponents in the new Versus AI mode. Plus, a major update to frag grenades will remove the ability to cook them, so players will have to rework their tactics to best employ those deadly explosives.
Tubarão – A Powerful Defensive Loadout
Hailing from the Azores archipelago off the coast of Portugal, Tubarão is a medium-speed, medium-health Defender who brings weapons and gadgets to help him thrive in both roamer and anchor roles. His MPX submachine gun offers a snappy response to any Attackers he engages, while his AR-15.50 designated marksman rifle (DMR) is modified to use .50 caliber rounds, packing a heavy punch that gives him some destructive versatility. With the P226 MK25 pistol as his sidearm and a choice of Nitro Cell or Proximity Alarm, Tubarão can adapt his playstyle to complement the many uses of his unique gadget.
The Zoto Canister Gadget
The Zoto Canister is a bit like an impact grenade in that Tubarão throws it and, when it hits a surface, it immediately activates. Instead of destroying things, however, the Zoto supercools anything caught in its radius; this means slowing down the movement speed of Operators and disabling or pausing gadgets. The iced-out area persists while the gadget is active, continuing to affect anything inside it, but eventually the gadget runs out of juice, the freezing area dissipates, and everything affected resumes normal operation. Attackers can thaw things out more quickly by destroying the Zoto canister itself; shooting it will suffice, but if they don’t have line of sight to the gadget, they can use Twitch or Zero’s gadget lasers, Zofia’s impact rounds, or other explosives.
Note that the freezing area of effect created by the Zoto Canister doesn’t destroy gadgets or harm Operators; what it does is create a powerful window of opportunity for Tubarão and his team to destroy gadgets or harm Operators. Slowing an Operator hinders their movement and reactivity; this has obvious benefits in most engagements, but consider deploying a Zoto against an incoming Amaru to negate her speed advantage, or against a shield Operator to slow them down while you outmaneuver them.
As for gadgets, let’s take the classic Bandit trick example, in which Bandit deploys his unique battery gadget to electrify a reinforced wall that is currently being breached, destroying the breach charge just before it completes. If Tubarão sees a Thermite hard breach in-progress, he can deploy a Zoto canister in the area and instantly (temporarily) disable the gadget. Due to the speed of the Zoto canister, he can also react quickly enough to pause a breach from Hibana or Ace, expanding his team’s denial capabilities.
Once the Zoto is in effect, it gives Bandit or Kaid or Mute plenty of time to get their gadget denial gear in place, and when the Zoto freeze wears off, the breaching gadget will be destroyed or denied. Maverick is a good counter for Attackers looking to breach against Tubarão, as he’ll merely be slowed, not stopped; but delaying or denying a breach to help his team hold a wall is one of Tubarão’s strengths.
However, Defenders need to be smart when playing off a Zoto freeze, because any gadgets they deploy in the frozen area will also be affected. To revisit the Bandit trick example: A Bandit battery would activate immediately upon thawing out, thus destroying the breach charge; however, a Kaid Electroclaw likely won’t have time to engage if it unfreezes at the same time as a breaching gadget. Be sure to place denial gadgets just outside the frozen area so they have time to arm before the freezing dissipates.
This applies to Nitro Cells as well, which is important to keep in mind because a Zoto canister thrown on a ceiling will freeze the floor above, and if an Operator walks on a frozen floor, their footsteps will be visible from below. This creates a very tempting target! But a Nitro Cell won’t work in the frozen area, so Tubarão and his Nitro Cell-equipped allies will have to anticipate where their enemies will go and throw accordingly. Team up with an intel Operator like Pulse or Solis, and you’ve got a deadly combo for defending from below.
This downstairs/upstairs freezing effect also comes in handy when defending against Ram, because the Zoto will pause a BU-GI Auto Breacher in its tracks and act as a powerful new counter against mechanical gadgets, including Gridlock’s Trax Stingers. And when you consider his synergies with trap Operators like Fenrir and Ela, where he can compound the disorienting effects of their gadgets with his Zoto’s slowing effect, Tubarão’s resumé as a site anchor is strong.
But don’t sleep on his roaming capabilities. A well-placed Zoto Canister will disable a claymore and allow Tubarão to apply pressure from the Attackers’ flank; a Zoto can also put the chill on Nomad’s Airjab grenades. Tubarão’s gadget is versatile and its efficacy in a variety of situations allows him to be useful and impactful throughout the entire round. Tubarão will be unlockable at season launch through the Premium Battle Pass, and available two weeks later for purchase with Renown or R6 credits.
The Lair Map
The new map coming free to all players in Operation Deep Freeze is Lair, a secretive military installation where the masked antagonist Deimos prepares his assaults against Team Rainbow (there’s even a room on the top floor where you can see some of his previous plans). Built into a massive cavern, Lair has numerous entry points on each floor, including a top-floor spawn point, so Defenders will have to make the most of the Prep Phase to prepare for aggressive entry. A first-floor reception area does double duty as a rocket launch silo, providing a cheeky vertical entry point in the middle of the floor plan, while a basement-level lab sits smack in the center of the layout, surrounded by potential ingress points and flanking routes. Players will be able to load into matches on the Lair map at season launch through the Discovery Playlist.
Learning the Details in Map Run Mode
Map Run is a new training mode designed to help players learn the names and locations of key rooms through the maps of Rainbow Six Siege. These names are crucial tools in communication and map awareness, and you can practice learning these callouts in two Map Run variants. One is Landmark Drill, a race from location to location guided by Thermite; learn the names and fastest routes from place to place to enhance your ability to rotate and reposition. The other is Target Drill, where you move through the map targeting shooting-range dummies placed in commonly used positions within each room. The dummies can even be set to fire back if you prefer to turn up the heat. At the launch of Operation Deep Freeze, Map Run will feature the Lair map along with six others (Bank, Chalet, Clubhouse, Consulate, Kafe, and Oregon), with more to come in the future.
Testing Strategies in Versus AI
Another new training mode coming in Operation Deep Freeze is Versus AI. This pits you and your teammates against five AI Defenders who will reinforce walls, use unique gadgets, and play power positions as you try to attack the site. With behaviors inspired by actual players, Versus AI is a great way to work on the basics of dismantling a site defense against dynamic opponents.
A Note on Frag Grenades
Operation Deep Freeze is bringing one further update that will impact the way players use one of the deadliest generic gadgets in the game: frag grenades. Players will no longer be able to cook grenades (i.e. pull the pin and hold the grenade in-hand so as to better control when and where it explodes). Frags will have a standard fuse timer that begins the moment the player throws them, and shortens by about one second when the frag hits a surface. As part of this update, twice as many Operators will now have access to frags, as Blackbeard, IQ, Lion, Osa, and Sens are gaining them.
Catch up on the latest patch notes on the official Rainbow Six Siege website, and learn about last season’s explosive new Operator, Ram, in our Operation Heavy Mettle Operator and Gadget Guide. To catch up on all the news from Ubisoft, be sure to visit This Week at Ubisoft.