With the introduction of Blacklist mode, four custom built Spies and four equally customized Mercs square off in a well lit environment that demands a new breed of killer. In addition to the weapons and gadgets on offer, both sides can equip special suits that grant temporary abilities to help allies and hinder opponents. Today’s article centers on the Spy suits, and when you should use them to your best advantage.
Digital ghillie suit – Use their eyes against them
One of the Merc’s most vital senses, sight, is already fighting them before you close in, cloaked, for the kill. Properly equipped, a Spy using the digital ghillie is unseen, unheard, unknown until far too late. While there are myriad ways of being effective in Blacklist, there are two roles a cloaking Spy must be the master of: the assassin and the ghost.
The Assassin: This aggressive playstyle uses stealth and speed as weapons in ways no other suit can. Using your goggles of choice, take stock of where the Mercs are, find a nice dark corner, and wait. When they’re just about to walk by/underneath you, cloak up, goggles off, Death from Above on-standby. If you choose to be even more aggressive, go from cover to cover, cloaking as you move. When you find a Merc, or a group of them, watch for a few seconds, then cloak in and eliminate them. You’ll make enough sound and be just visible enough to shoot at, but if you’ve stayed in shadows, they’ll never know what hit them.
If you can avoid it, never use more than half the cloak meter, as the recharge time can come back and bite you in the ass. The Assassin role relies on a ready, steady supply of invisibility and if you’ve drained the suit, close engagements will be far less in your favor. In the event of a failed attack, remember that cloaking is just as useful in escape as it is in attack. You’d be surprised how vanishing in the middle of a confrontation can shake up a Merc and his buddies.
The Ghost: Suited best for a pure hacker role, the Ghost is never seen, never heard, never even encountered. This playstyle is pure evasion and disappearance, killing only for style points or out of ultimate necessity. Somewhat reliant on teammates to keep other Mercs occupied, well-played Ghosts can be the most effective hackers in the game. The well-lit environs of the Blacklist mode make Classic-style hiding a tall order, so your skill in stealthy movement must be top tier.
The basic premise is thus: find a nice shady spot near a terminal, but do not start the hack. Try to get your teammates near you, then go in for the hack. From there, you have too options. First, stay hidden in your spot of choice and watch your teammates decimate all comers. Failing that, the order of the day cover to cover movement with liberal cloak use. Again, try not to run the cloak meter down more than halfway, as the moment you’re spotted, you’re be dead.
In contrast to the digital ghillie, the intel suit is all about movement and aggression. While it lacks the sheer stealth a cloaking system offers, the intel suit’s ability to show enemy movements in bright red is invaluable. If you combine it with flashbangs or smoke to act as localized invisibility, you can be just as, if not more deadly, than an Assassin.
The problem, however, is the cooldown time on your marking ability. While not overly long, deploying too early or too late will spell you and your teammates’ doom. There are three times during a match that you should be tagging your Merc opponents.
First, at the beginning of the round, you and a teammate using the intel suit should mark as many Mercs as you can. This isn’t so much for an immediate advantage as it is to see what their initial plans were. The “Detected” marker will appear on their screen, and what they do when it pops up will give you an idea of how they play.
Second, mark enemies when you enter a hack zone. You’ll have to wait for the cooldown to wear off, but you’ll scare any Mercs near you and give yourself an idea of where they’re hunting for you. Keep an eye on every one that you can, then go in for the hack.
The third and final times to always use your suit ability is about five to ten seconds after the hack and then 55-60% into it. The former gives the defenders a good idea of their initial targets and lets them coordinate their takedowns. The latter shows how close the Mercs are to him and gives him the ability to reposition or remain stationary. Be aware that other Spies have goggles like you, and your main focus is to provide out of goggle intel, so don’t spam the marking ability too much.
The most tactically varied option on offer, the overcharge suit is the jack of all trades, master of none equip. Useful in offense, defense, and intel gathering, it can also act as an additional grenade and short-range auditory marker.
From an offensive standpoint, the overcharge suit removes enemy abilities in its radius. If you’re going up against Mercs who like to spam intel devices, proxy mines and disruptor suits, send out an overcharge pulse and watch as the Mercs suddenly find their otherwise powerful abilities useless. If you know a Merc’s coming and know he’ll be passing a proxy mine, set it off at his feet and laugh as he falls to his own trap.
Much like the digital ghillie, the overcharge suit is useful in evasion. If you find yourself in an unwinnable position, overcharge the surroundings to set off any traps the Mercs might have set and slow their pursuit. If they try to follow with grenades, make the little buggers blow up in the Mercs’ faces as a final insult.
Lastly, if you hear a mine or other Merc gadget but know there aren’t any around to use it against, go ahead and detonate it. You’ll alert the Merc to your general location, but he won’t have nearly the defensive position he’d of otherwise possessed. Again, he’ll be off-balanced and paranoid, making his demise all the easier.
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