Eight years, 32 seasons, 70 operators. In all that time, Rainbow Six Siege players can point to only a few moments where the cornerstone of its meta—breaching—saw upheaval. In 2015 the Bandit trick proved Thatcher could be countered, in 2018 Maverick offered an unstoppable (but risky) option to brute force a wall, then Kaid offered protection for hatches. Alternate options for breaching charges and EMPs have slotted nicely into the meta since then, but I'm not sure anyone is ready for Tubarão.
Tubarão is the new defender of Operation Deep Freeze, entering testing this week and releasing in early December. He's a 2-speed, 2-armor operator packing the Zoto canister—a throwable sticky bomb that freezes everything in a few-meter radius. Operators who walk in the frozen area of effect are slowed and leave footprints that linger for several seconds, but that's only the half of it. All gadgets in the fro-zone are deactivated with very few exceptions.
He's sort of like having Mute's signal jammer in your pocket, except it can be thrown from a distance, starts jamming gadgets instantly, and can interrupt breaching charges that have already begun detonating. It's an intimidating new piece on the board for attackers who've contended with reinforced walls the same way since 2015. Not even mechanical devices immune to Mute's effects, like Ram's breaching bots or secondary hard breach charges, can escape Tubarão's deep freeze.
Tubarão's full loadout:
Primary weapons: AR-15.50 (DMR), MPX (SMG)
Secondary weapon: P226 MK 25 (Pistol)
Secondary gadgets: Nitro Cell, Proximity Alarm
Ubisoft has a habit of introducing gadgets that appear to just be better versions of older ones, and I do wonder if the Zoto will go on to outclass Mute or even Kaid, but I suspect two key weaknesses will rein him in: the Zoto canister can't destroy gadgets on its own, and it only jams them up temporarily. Frozen gadgets will thaw out as soon as the canister expires (around 10-12 seconds) to finish their job. That means you still need Bandit, Kaid, or a well-thrown impact grenade to clear a wall, or else you've only delayed the inevitable.
It's hard to gauge based on only a few matches with Tubarão, but I'm not sure how an attacking team is supposed to reasonably counter someone who can jam up a wall for over 40 seconds of the round (if he uses all four Zoto canisters). Ubi says the lasers from Zero or Twitch's gadgets can destroy the Zoto from within, but we all know how unreliable a drone infiltration can be. Otherwise, your options are to disrupt wall defense from above (not easy, but counters every wall defense), get a frag grenade into the room somehow (sometimes easy if there's a gap above the wall), or wait the Zoto out. In an ideal scenario he could be instrumental in zapping away hard breach gadgets. At minimum, he can still waste a lot of time that attackers can't spare.
And that's only if you're using him for anti-breach. In a pinch, Tubarão's reactive throwables allow him to deny drone entry, reveal attacker footsteps for an easy vertical attack, or simply make a crucial chokepoint much harder to push in a clutch situation. The only thing holding Tubarão back is surviving long enough to make a difference.
I'll be curious to see if Tubarão is as dominant in practice as he sounds on paper. He'll arrive in Operation Deep Freeze in December, alongside new map Lair, a major nerf to frag grenades (they can't be cooked anymore), and attack training scenarios.