Now, our Specialist Spotlight illuminates one of the original Black Ops 4 Specialists, the breach-and-clear master known as Ajax.
Born Kerk Rossouw, Ajax hardened his skills in the streets of South Africa. Years of fighting with an informal militia gave him proficiency with the tools to succeed in mercenary combat, especially when he can use his trusty shield.
While Zero and Outrider were introduced after launch, Ajax was available on day one of Black Ops 4. For this reason, we’ll give tips not only about how to use him and his Specialist kit, but also how to counter him.
Take a flashbang, multiply its explosions nine-fold, and you get this Special Issue Equipment piece that can disorient multiple foes at once.
Throwing the 9-Bang can be done with the equipment button, but in order to experience the grenade's full effect, hold the button down so it can be cooked. The 9-Bang detonates with one set of three mini-explosions when it is thrown immediately, two when held for a split-second, and three when cooked.
The 9-Bang can’t be overcooked, and it can be more effective when it is cooked and held, compared to releasing it immediately. Having three bursts of light, sound, and other disorienting effects gives you a better chance to stun an enemy. If a triple threat piece of tactical equipment is what you want, cook it before throwing.
In terms of where to throw the 9-Bang, the most obvious answer is towards the enemy. However, one might find more success blinding a squad that is holed up inside a covered area rather than tossing it in an open area.
In places where movement is limited, a well-placed 9-Bang is a great way to begin a proper breach and clear tactic.
Just be aware of any Trophy System that may intercept a 9-Bang. Use your eyes — or even better, the Engineer perk if you like — to spot Trophy Systems.
Countering the 9-Bang
A 9-Bang in hand is a real asset, but being hit by this piece of equipment could be a precursor to a fatal onslaught of bullets.
An effective way to counter the 9-Bang is to equip the Tactical Mask perk. This perk mitigates the effects of the 9-Bang, as well as some other equipment and status effects, which may aid in surviving a barrage of tactical grenades.
Second, Trophy Systems, when placed efficiently, can completely nullify an attempted 9-Bang attack. Due to its fragility, a Trophy System is better placed in obscure locations such as corners of rooms or in shrubbery, but in close proximity to your position.
Last, but certainly not least, if you are hit by a 9-Bang, it’s usually best not to just stand there. Fire that weapon, throw out explosives, and do whatever you can to slow down the enemy while also calling out their position.
The Ballistic Shield
Ajax’s Special Issue Weaponry, the Ballistic Shield, turns him into a walking riot squad.
The shield itself absorbs and reflects bullet damage in front of Ajax. “Fortifying” by aiming-down-sight reduces movement speed, but gives you use of the pistol, which fires at a fairly fast rate with accuracy.
Before using the Ballistic Shield, consider going to an area where enemies lurk, or towards an objective, to capitalize on the combined assault power of the shield and pistol.
The pistol only holds one magazine, but short bursts allow for accurate and deadly fire. Plus, there may be occasions when your shield protects teammates who can fire off their own arsenal.
Grouping up might also be an effective strategy. While enemies are distracted by the Ballistic Shield, a teammate or two can be on clean-up duty, flanking and sneaking around enemy forces in order to deal a tactical strike.
Countering the Ballistic Shield
There’s a giant piece of absorbable metal that packs an absolute punch in front of Ajax.
But what defense does he have behind him?
The Ballistic Shield does not protect Ajax from all angles. Flanking Ajax and firing at his back is a potentially devastating counter attack.
It’s not easy to flank on a skilled Ajax player, so this is where team tactics can come into play. Once that Ballistic Shield comes out, one trick to try is to spread out to cover all angles, and communicate effectively among your team to bring down this buckler-wielding brute.
No matter how you use Ajax, he is a unique pick among the Specialist’s roster, and it’s tough to pass up on him for your squad… Yet that could be said for the other Specialists found in Multiplayer.
We’ll see you online.