Rainbow Six Siege Operator Overview: Thermite
Tue 24th Sep 2019 - 9:44pm
Thermite is the wonder bread of Rainbow Six Siege. And to clarify, that’s not a disparaging comment, because I love wonder bread. Toasted with some jam? Delicious. But more to the point, having been here since the beginning, Thermite and his kit provides an intrinsic part of the game that all players must learn about: hard breach. While it may seem like having the ability he does would relegate him to an obligatory, 1 role pick, I’d argue he’s like a fine wine that you have to pair correctly. But I’m out of half-cocked comparisons to make, so let’s just get into his kit.
Ability - Thermite Charge
Aptly named, Thermite’s gadget is the breaching charge’s roided-out cousin, capable of blowing a hole through any untampered reinforcement. The charge can be picked back up once placed, in case of a mute jammer or an aggressively picky teammate, but from there the ability is straightforward. Click a button and step back to watch your Breaking Bad-style entrance unfurl. It will blow open any reinforced wall, allowing you to completely change the landscape. There is something to be said for the damage that is caused to an opponent that is standing next to the receiving end of the charge, but it’s loud enough that anyone getting caught by it is either AFK or doesn’t own a pair of headphones. But while all of this sounds very simple, the impact Thermite has on any given round is immense. So as usual, let’s get into the lighter stuff before talking tips.
Primary: Thermite gets to choose between the 556XI and the M1014 for his primary choices and both can come in handy, but I believe the 556XI has the edge. The M1014 is a fun shotgun to use in Rainbow Six: Siege, as its pump style has carried many Smoke mains to victory, but on Thermite, it tends to be a little less effective. That’s not to say it's bad, it just tends to be outclassed by how good the 556XI is, as this is a game where more bullets = more chances to get a headshot. And with the ability to attach the illustrious ACOG scope to it, the 556XI has more fragging potential hands down. Still though, if you like the soft breach capabilities of shotguns, you’ll find the M1014 to be a blast.
Secondary: When it comes to pistols, Thermite has the choice between the M45 MEUSOC and the 5.7 USG. Where these handguns differ is the stopping power of the M45, which comes at the cost of one less bullet in the clip, compared to the USG. As previously mentioned, having a higher fire rate with more ammo is typically beneficial as you have more of a chance of getting an instant kill, but that doesn’t always make the USG the best choice. Because the difference in clip size is so small, the added damage of the M45 wins this secondary over, for me personally, when playing Thermite.
Utility: With the option of stun grenades or a claymore, the choice comes down to your playstyle. Stun grenades allow you to disorient any defenders who were caught off-guard by your freshly opened Thermite hole, ideally picking up a kill in the process. A claymore can hold down an angle near your Thermite hole that a defender could use to take you out. For example, if you Thermite charge the garage door on Consulate, the door at the bottom of yellow stairs is a potential run out that could be thwarted by a conveniently placed claymore. Again, there’s no right or wrong answer here. It all depends on how you want to play Thermite.
- As previously mentioned, Thermite’s impact comes from his ability to reshape the map. Certain walls on certain objectives are crucial to making the room safe, so when a Thermite is able to open such a wall, it forces people to change their plans on the spot, giving you the edge. My advice for how to gain the most from this is to communicate with your team and set up a crossfire to take down anybody bailing out of the room when they hear Thermite’s signature knock. They'll be more focused on what's coming from the explosion, rather than the other potential angles they're exposing themselves to when they move.
- Because his type of ability has become so ingrained in the nature of Siege, several operators have been introduced to directly counter his style of play. In the case of Kaid, reinforced hatches are safe from hard breachers as they’re electrofied. However, if there is a destructible floor surrounding the electrified hatch that you’re trying to blow out, you can place the Thermite charge on the floor as close to the hatch as possible and still blow up the hatch by proximity (you just have to make sure no part of the charge is touching the metal or it will get destroyed). This will not only open up the hatch, but it will also blow up some of the floor that surrounds it, potentially giving you another angle to peak from.
- The last tip I have takes a little bit of teamwork and communication. If you’ve played any amount of Siege, then chances are you’ve seen someone go Thermite and then request someone else go Thatcher. That’s because this gruesome two-some synergizes so well with one another that they almost need to go together. Just have Thatcher toss an EMP grenade at any reinforced wall and Thermite is clear to blow it open. It takes coordination, but as long as you have a teammate that can listen to callouts, you’ll find few things can stand between you and your explosives.
And there you have it. Thermite is a pretty basic operator in terms of his ability, but he adds so much complexity to the game that it’s going to take practice to improve your team coordination. He is a tried and tested operator that you will see in all realms of play for the simple fact that he is consistently good. If you want an operator that will alway be a welcome sight on any team comp, then lock in Thermite and get ready to see Thatcher’s ugly mug. Enjoy.
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