Rainbow Six Siege Best Defenders: Ultimate Tier List 2022

Maestro from Rainbow Six Siege with lighter next to game logoUbisoft

Rainbow Six Siege Year 7 Season 4 has launched globally and introduced new defender Solis into the mix. But who are the best defensive operators to use in Operation Solar Raid?

Operation Solar Raid launched on 6 December after some time on Ubisoft’s TTS, bringing the most significant set of changes in recent memory to Rainbow Six Siege. 

An entire rebalancing of the game’s health and speed system has seen plenty of operators slowed down and a few, like Dokkaebi and Zero, sped up. 

With that in mind, we’ve made our picks for Rainbow Six Siege’s best defenders, with this tier list joining our attacker tier list and overall operator rankings

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Here, we’re going into slightly more detail as to our choices, explaining briefly they’re ranked where they are. 

Rainbow Six Siege Best Operators: 2022 Defender Tier List

S-Tier 

  • Jäger – The removal of his ACOG may still hurt veteran Siege players but his Active Defence Systems and 416-C Carbine are more than strong enough to keep him as the spawn peek king and one of the game’s best defenders. 
  • Mira – She’s still one of the more difficult operators to use in Siege but, once you’ve mastered her mirrors and SMG’s recoil, there’s few operators who’ll reward you like Mira.
  • Valkyrie – Valk’s cameras may have been nerfed in recent memory but they still provide more than enough intel to make her one of the all-round best defenders in Rainbow Six. 

A-Tier 

  • Aruni – Boasting a strong weapon and gadget, it’s only Solar Raid’s speed nerf holding Aruni back from being S-Tier. 
  • Azami – The Year 7 operator boasts one of the best abilities in the game, able to block entire angles and sight lines thanks to her awesome Kiba Barrier gadget. 
  • Bandit – Another OG of Siege, Bandit’s ability to make reinforced surfaces even harder to break remains as powerful as ever in Year 7. 
  • Echo – He may be tough to use, but a strong SMG and speed buff means Echo has only improved this season. 
  • Kaid – On a par with Bandit, Kaid is versatile, reliable and able to slow attackers effectively. 
  • Kapkan – The ability to place multiple traps on one doorway keeps Kapkan in A-Tier and an incredibly pesky defender to come up against. 
  • Mozzie – The ability to commandeer enemy drones remains exceptionally useful, even if his weapons and viability aren’t quite what they were when he first dropped. 
  • Mute – The SAS operator’s jammers are still one of the best ways to defend a bomb site, inhibiting drones and more. A speed nerf has taken away any ability Mute had to roam, though. 
  • Smoke – Like Nøkk, Smoke was hurt by Solar Raid’s targeting of the FMG9, but his toxic gas grenades remain amongst the best gadgets in the game for slowing offensive pushes. 
  • Wamai – With strong weapons and a decent gadget, Wamai is the perfect alternative to Jäger if you don’t fancy the GSG-9 defender for any reason. The only drawback is that his Mag-Net systems do not stop any explosions, only catch projectiles.

B-Tier 

  • Alibi – Nerfs to her Prism and MX4 attachments drop Alibi down into B-Tier for Solar Raid, even if she keeps her speed and ambush ability. 
  • Castle – Untouched in Year 7 Season 4, Castle’s barricades can be annoying for attackers but also hinder teammates if not deployed intelligently. 
  • Ela – Once the best defender in Siege, consistent nerfs to weapon, gadgets and now speed sit Ela firmly in the middle of the game’s meta currently. 
  • Goyo – A rework helped Goyo, but his Vulcan Shield’s still leave a little to be desired in terms of defensive firepower (pun intended). 
  • Lesion – More of a nuisance to attackers than a truly daunting opponent, Lesion’s real strength lies in his T-5 SMG. 
  • Maestro – Another to suffer from nerfs to his gadget, Maestro is a solid but inflexible defender as we approach Year 8. 
  • Melusi – Hit incredibly hard by Ubisoft, Melusi has transitioned from 3-speed to 1-speed and, as a result, drops to the lower reaches of B-Tier. 
  • Solis – We’re starting Solis off as a middling operator, but he could quickly prove to be more powerful than we’re initially giving him credit for.
  • Thorn – An inconsistent gadget holds Thorn back, but her overall balance keep her viable and a decent option for now. 
  • Vigil – One of the few operators left as a 3-speed, Vigil’s pace and excellent weapon balance out his weak cloaking ability. 
  • Warden – Once a terrible pick as a result of his niche ability, his Glance Smart Glasses have only risen in strength and keep him in B-Tier moving forwards. 

C-Tier 

  • Doc – The OG healer in Siege struggles to retain any real usability, hindered by his speed, average weapon choices and unspectacular gadget. The ability to juice yourself up beyond 100HP is still a nice touch though. 
  • Frost – Traps that can instantly down opponents are nice, but they’re too easy to spot and destroy for this ice-cold trapper to excel in Siege’s meta. 
  • Oryx – Like Lesion, the T-5 SMG is a great weapon that gives Oryx a close-to-medium-range advantage over most opponents. However, a poor ability and utility stop him from being anything more than meh in Solar Raid. 
  • Pulse – Pulse’s heartbeat sensor appears to be fading in viability as more gadgets and play-styles are accommodated for. The UMP SMG also leaves a lot lacking in terms of fire-rate and damage. 
  • Tachanka – A rework brought this Rainbow Six meme out of the proverbial abattoir, but his flaming projectiles are too weak to really hinder attackers with any real vigor. 
  • Thunderbird – Another healer falling short of the mark is Thunderbird, with her Kona Stations slow to charge, easy to destroy and not all that rewarding. 

D-Tier 

  • Caveira – Occasionally usable in the right hands, terrible weapons and a plethora of counters make Caveira our first D-Tier operator. 
  • Clash – A riot shield operator with a built in taser is a cool gimmick, but not much more. 
  • Rook – Rook may be able to give a slight health boost to teammates, but his ability, weapons and speed are all so bad as to justify regularly ignoring him in the operator selection phase. 

That rounds off our tier list of defenders in Rainbow Six Siege: Operation Solar Raid. Be sure to check back in future because, as Ubisoft continue to support R6, this list will doubtless change.