A guy messaged me on Youtube asking for any Pyro tips I could give to him. Here’s my response :)
I’ve got a few tips for the playstyle I use, which is mostly a roaming Pyro – entirely unlike what you would usually see in serious play (Highlander) where the Pyro pockets the Engineer or Heavy/Medic combo and protects them from spam/spies. But hopefully my tips will help you with some DM skill.
First and foremost, reflects are a defensive measure; sure it’s great to deal extra damage to the soldier, but the most important thing is it to not hit you. If there’s a rocket which won’t hit you, there’s no point in moving towards it to try and reflect it to deal damage, as all it’ll achieve it putting you out of position.
Another good tip is within about three player lengths of a Soldier, aim to keep your flamethrower out at all times – three player lengths is roughly the safety net for seeing a rocket and being able to successfully reflect it with good reactions, but your experience may vary, so adapt as you see fit. Outside of that feel free to keep your secondary out to deal some mid range damage.
On that note, loadouts. I use flamethrower/shotgun for two reasons: first because I find degreaser combos boring, and second because they can deal out consistent damage while putting massive pressure on Soldiers, which causes them to make mistakes and be predictable. Let’s be honest, the Flare Gun is a great weapon, but it’s pretty unintimidating to play against; not to mention that between shots you need to stay passive, which gives the Soldier a lot more control over the situation.
A lot of Soldiers who know about Pyros but don’t play against them much will delay their first shot, but then be very predictable and fire the rest of their rockets in a very predictable manner. If you can avoid or reflect that first rocket, your chance of survival increases dramatically since he can’t just pull out the Shotgun and finish you off, yet it becomes easier to reflect most of his rockets.
Don’t be afraid to just spam flames at him at close range – sometimes it’s appropriate to switch to Shotgun/Flare, but most of the time being able to do that much damage in such a short space of time will put serious pressure on him. If he switches to Rocket Launcher at that point, it’ll be an easy prediction reflect because if he waits he’ll die.
Against Demomen, I have two tips: If they’re using pipes, don’t jump around much – it’s predictable and makes it easy for them to hit you, so try and stay on the ground and move erratically. If they’re using stickies, your action should depend on how close the sticky is to you – if it’s in front of you, airblast it away while still walking in his general direction, but if it’s under you then try and jump, using it as a passive sticky jump to leap onto him and hit him with your Shotgun/Axtinguisher or whatever your loadout is.
Other than that, all I can suggest is practice constantly; playing on high skill pub servers is great exercise (I’m usually on Reddit EU, and many competitive players join there, making it a real challenge to play on). Learn when to retreat, when to move up and learn that Scouts and Heavies are your biggest threat to you. Other than that, play aggressive yet reactive at the same time, if that makes sense; show that Soldier that you’re going to run at him and burn him to death, but if he fires a rocket you’re going to reflect it. I wouldn’t advise doing a great deal of MGE because it’s not particularly useful in the long run, but it’s pretty fun so if you want to and you can find an MGE server which allows Pyro then go for it; grab a mate, make him go Soldier, and see who comes out top :D
Regarding arrows… Yeah I got nothing, I don’t really play against/with Huntsman Snipers enough to understand their prediction times yet :c Unlike with Soldier who is my fifth most played class (And I recommend playing some Soldier so you can see what annoys them), I have no real experience with huntsman :(
Hope my tips help in some way; there should be examples for what i’ve described in the video, so rewatch and see if you can see what I mean :)
Thanks for your support and have a good day! :D
Originally posted 14/10/12