I thought I would share some wisdom about the operator I’ve played the most since I began playing siege nearly a thousand hours ago. Also, a lot of my advice revolves around playing the Bomb game mode. I recommend turning off Hostage and Secure Area in your matchmaking preferences (this works far better than map preferences, I almost never play another mode). This is because Bomb is much more strategic than the other modes and a thermite who can act as a leader should have a lot of success (more on Thermite’s role as a leader below).
THERMITE’S ROLE IN THE TEAM:
I first want to speak generally about the role a thermite player takes on the team. Because he is the one to be breaching reinforced walls, he has a sort of “VIP” role. This means that before you have your exothermic charges down on the walls that need to be breached, your death will usually mean a round loss for your team. A good thermite CANNOT die before he breaches his walls. This means that until you get to open your walls you should be playing a very support-centric role. Drone for your entry fraggers, allow them to get to the objective for you, and then come forward and open the walls. After you have opened the walls, you are free to push with your team without worry of screwing them over. Though because of your rifle you are still better at hanging back and covering longer angles even after you have your walls open. However he can be a good operator to push with after he breaches if you run a more CQC type loadout like a holosight and/or angled grip.
The importance of Thermite is somewhat less if you also have a Hibana on your team, but you should still play safely in case the Hibana is killed before she can breach.
On the bomb game mode Thermite also has a secondary role that he traditionally fills in coordinated levels of play: the planter. This was because he had such a bad gun (before its recoil was massively buffed) that if he died while planting it wasn’t as big of a loss as other operators which have better rifles to cover him while he is planting. As a Tthermite it can be good to learn the best spots to plant, and use your smoke grenades to cover yourself when you do so.
Thermite is great for the role of a leader on the team. If you love thinking of strategies and getting your friends to push with you (or trying to coerce randoms to do so), Thermite should be your choice. He’s the one that creates the breach that the attack often comes through, so having a good strategy in mind is important when deciding where to use your exothermic charges. Then once your team is in the site, you can smoke yourself off and get the plant down with cover from your team. You won’t always get the most kills, but you will win more rounds with a good Thermite calling strats for the team.
556xi: After its recent buff, Thermite’s assault rifle is much better than it used to be. It has great per bullet damage and very controllable recoil, but a fairly slow rate for fire. This puts it squarely in the middle of the pack when it comes to DPS of attacker weapons. Because of its slow fire rate and low recoil it excels at long range fights and can sometimes be lacking up close, though its high damage makes it always a winner if you can hit your shots. Most Thermite players should be taking this gun almost all the time.
M1014: A semi-auto shotgun used by the FBI, only useful at very short range. Generally not used by Thermite because of his playstyle (detailed above), but if you really love shotguns for some reason or just want to rush then go for it.
M45 MEUSOC: The M1911 is a classic pistol with high damage, but low capacity. It has very little recoil with a muzzle brake. It can be useful in a pinch to down an already wounded enemy in one shot (where the 5.7 would take multiple), but can be lacking in prolonged firefights where you do not have an opportunity to reload your primary.
5.7 USG: The 5.7 is another great choice for a sidearm, with the largest capacity of any pistol in the game (21 shots). It too has very low recoil, but has about half the damage of the M45. Choose this if you are confident in your ability to hit headshots or you simply like to panic spray with your pistol.
SMOKE GRENADES: Smoke grenades are an excellent gadget for Thermite as they can provide cover during a defuser plant. Not quite as useful if you play secure or hostage, though still can be great way to allow you to cross areas where the enemy may be watching. Currently also have bonus utility since it allows Glaz to shoot bananas while invisible.
CLAYMORE: Great at covering runouts and flanks for your team, if you choose a claymore you can either place it down early to cover you while you advance. If playing bomb you can even put your claymore on a planted defuser to get some hilarious (and round-saving!) kills.
556xi (ACOG, Flash Hider, Vertical Grip, Laser Sight)
Explanations for my loadout choices:
- I use the ACOG because as I have mentioned before, Thermite is best played passively because of the utility of his gadgets, and because a slow-firing, low-recoil rifle is much better at range. Lots of great Thermite players (even pros) use the holosight with him so this is really just preference.
- For a barrel attachment this is the one that is most up to personal preference. I would recommend going into a terrorist hunt on normal and just trying out each one (not the silencer) and see which one feels best for you.
- The vertical grip is great for reduced recoil, makes his gun extremely controllable. However, Thermite’s gun has a much slower ADS time than all other assault rifles other than Blackbeard’s (Rogue-9’s great video on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_8Q9sTXYbQ), so the angled grip can actually be rather useful here. I simply found the recoil too hard to control for accurate shots at longer ranges for it to be worth it. If you do decide to go with the angled grip I would recommend the muzzle brake so that you can tap fire accurately at long range (even burst can be hard to keep on target).
- The Laser Sight is probably my most controversial choice, especially to newer players, so let me explain myself. The laser is my compensation for not choosing the angled grip. Because of his slow ADS time, Thermite can lose a lot of unexpected firefights if he isn’t already aiming, as he can die before he gets the scope to his eye. In addition to helping with hipfire, lasers increase the speed at which your shots become accurate while in the process of ADSing, so it lets me quickly and accurately return fire on discovered threats. This is the reason you actually see a lot of lasers in pro league matches. Also, since I am running an ACOG, at very close ranges it can be preferable to hipfire with the laser rather than get potentially disoriented by zooming in at an already very close target. For newer players, it may be a good idea to avoid the laser since having to think about good laser placement is an extra mental process in addition to everything else you have to consider while learning the game. Also, I will be writing another guide addressing laser sights generally that I will link here when it is posted.
M45 (Muzzle, Laser)
Muzzle for lower recoil, laser for the same reason as above, though even more recommended because you don’t normally have your pistol out, it will never really give away your position. I prefer this pistol but plenty of people will go with the other one.
This is a more situational choice, but I generally default to the smoke grenades as it helps cover me when I plant, but if there are no claymores in your roster but several sets of smokes (maybe Ash and Glaz) then it could be useful to take a claymore. Generally your best buddy Thatcher should have a claymore though which is why I can be free to take smokes.
When throwing smoke grenades, try to throw them onto the enemy positions, rather than where you will be planting. If the entire site is filled with smoke, not only can the enemy not see you, neither can your teammates. This means if someone rushes through the smoke to a common plant spot and prefires you, it’s impossible for your teammates to cover you. Of course, if you have a glaz on your team then it’s actually a benefit to smoke off the whole room rather than just the enemy positions, so he’s the only one that can see. Without a glaz though, a good rule of thumb is to throw your smokes as deep as possible, either right in front of or directly on the enemy positions.
SAVE YOUR PREP PHASE DRONE!!!
As Thermite (and any other operator), your drones are perhaps your most valuable asset. Especially because you want to play passively, having an extra drone to make good calls for your teammates is excellent at saving lives while approaching the objective. Simply leaving your drone outside and driving it to your spawnpoint is far more useful than trying to get a sneaky hiding spot inside, or even in the objective. Your teammates will figure out where the objective is, I promise, you can leave your drone outside. This can be much more difficult in casual because you cannot pick your spawn, but still try to do it. You even have an extra minute to drive your drone around and pick it up so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Whatever you do, don’t get your drone killed in the prep phase, whatever intel you get before the round even starts is essentially useless.
Bring a Thatcher!
Thermite becomes useless if Bandit or Mute is denying access to the walls you intend to breach, which is where Thermite’s best buddy Thatcher comes into play. Of course, there are more advanced techniques to remove batteries like destroying the floor above or below the wall you want to breach and shooting the batteries, but simply throwing an EMP is always going to be quicker and easier.
Be Aware of the Bandit Trick!
If you don’t know what a bandit trick is, please read this (http://www.freetoplaymmorpgs.com/rainbow-six-siege/rainbow-six-siege-counter-bandit-trick-guide-by-nmmnmmn/) excellent guide before continuing. Unless you know for a fact that there is no bandit on the defense (or bandit is dead), you should always keep the bandit trick in mind whenever you are looking to breach a reinforced wall. If bandit can trick even one of your charges it can be a huge problem for your team, and your chances of winning go way down. If there is any possibility of a bandit trick, always check behind the reinforced wall with a drone before placing a charge (another reason to save your prep phase drone). If there is a bandit anywhere nearby, you need to find a way to remove him before proceeding. There are a few ways to do this, in increasing order of difficulty.
- Have Hibana breach first: Hibana pellets cannot be zapped by batteries once ignited, so Hibana can shoot one set of pellets and immediately ignite them, making it almost impossible to Bandit trick. Usually once there is a hole in the wall the bandit will back off, and you are free to Thermite a walkable hole into the objective. Just be careful to not get shot through the hole Hibana just made. Smoke grenades can be useful to cover yourself here.
- Grenades through a drone hole. If there is a drone hole near to where you are trying to breach, you can throw an uncooked frag grenade through in order to force bandit to run away and place your charge safely. Make sure there are no Jager devices that will catch the frag (an EMP from thatcher can destroy it if there is), and make sure to detonate the charge quickly so bandit does not have a chance to come back and place a battery after the explosion.
- Bait out all of bandits batteries for Thatcher. This is only viable if you know bandit is down to fewer batteries than thatcher has grenades. Using the advanced gadget deployment setting (recommend for everyone, but especially Thermite players), you can cancel your Thermite placement midway, but by that time bandit has usually already placed his battery, as it is hard to hear the sound stop while placing a battery. If thatcher quickly throws an EMP while you are baiting, you can destroy bandit’s battery before he can pick it up. Do this until all four batteries are confirmed destroyed, then breach normally.
- Open above or below to force bandit out or kill him: this is viable in many common bandit trick spots, where there is a destructible floor or ceiling. Get a teammate like sledge, buck, ash, or anyone with breach charges to go and destroy the floor. Bandit will either run away or be shot by your teammate, at which point you can safely breach the wall.
I hope you guys have found my guide to Thermite useful, I really think he’s a great operator for anyone to learn, as he’s so vital to a team’s success. If anyone has any questions, please comment them and I’ll answer to the best of my ability. Also any corrections, extra tips, or suggestions for the guide would be very welcome.