Tag Archives: Pyro

Pyro tips!

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

I’ve been making lots of videos lately :>

Serious announcement about Space, promoting ctf_facing_worlds_2011

6v6 is serious business, where I offclass Pyro in a mix and rek

TF2 Instagib, which is about TF2 instagib

And finally Moosetorpedo MGE Extravaganza, where I play Pyro MGE because i’m a tryhard

Enjoy! C:

Pyro Loadouts!

Right, time to write another post. It’s been a while and in honesty i’m only going to get more afk in the following months, but oh well.

This post intends to help you choose the perfect loadout for your Pyro, and should be updated any time a major change comes through. I’ve been playing Pyro pretty much exclusively for a few months now and i’ve tweaked my loadouts a number of times to try out different playstyles and to keep the class feeling fresh, and there really is a noticeable change when switching loadout; for example by changing your secondary, you can immediately see a difference in how passive your play becomes.

The most important thing here is that you need to define what role you’ll be performing as Pyro, and structure your loadout around that. A common mistake is to choose weapons based on their base traits – fine, but different weapons synergise better with some that they do with others. As an example, Flamethrower/Reserve Shooter is a combination which would possibly -not- synergise well, especially as with the RS you have only three seconds to deal minicrits.

As I touched on in my State of the Game: Pyro post, there are two main roles you can play with the class. The Defensive or Pocket Pyro will help defend an Engie nest or Medic/Offensive combo, reflecting spam and putting out ignited teammates. Of course, it would make sense for an Engie pocket to use the Homewrecker to destroy any sappers planted by spies, especially as their role is more passive and will be centered in one place. A Powerjack will be a poor weapon to choose – an Engie nest will no doubt have a Dispenser situated nearby, so the upside of the Powerjack (+75hp on melee kill) is irrelevant. For that matter, chances are that there will be few enemies within melee range of a level three sentry!

The Roaming Pyro is an infinitely more aggressive role – simply, it involves running around the map, setting up flanks and killing stuff. In a sense, it acts as the polar opposite to the Defensive Pyro – while the Defensive Pyro is passive, the Roaming Pyro has aggression, and as such weapons which work for Defense will have limited effectiveness for Offense and vice versa; the Powerjack in the hands of a Roaming Pyro may save his life if he is not close to a Medic, but a Homewrecker would have little use at all due to its crippled damage.

The best way to craft your loadout is to imagine what role you want to play. Are you intending to be an entirely self sufficient aggressive Roaming Pyro, at the cost of some damage output? Then maybe the Powerjack is for you. Are you a glass cannon; able to deal out massive damage very quickly, but may require healing? Take the Axtinguisher! Most importantly, test out your loadout in its desired role; if you’re running out of health a lot but you’re on a map with a lot of health packs, try out the Back Scratcher. Don’t be afraid to switch out weapons every so often – not only will you find out whether you use that weapon well, you can become more flexible in your play and adapt to situations a lot faster.

It’ll help a lot if you understand the mechanics of each weapon, and how they can synergise with other weapons. For the benefit of people who aren’t yet familiar with all of the weapons, i’ll list the benefits and disadvantages below, along with my recommendations.


Flamethower/Rainblower: Useful in Pyro vs Pyro fights when opponent is using Degreaser and Flare; additional damage means use of this weapon will help you m1 them to death. Using this weapon means being less reliant on your other weapons to finish enemies. Has ammo for 10 airblasts. Recommended!

Backburner: Flanking weapon designed so that the use of other weapons is not required. Crits when behind enemies. Has ammo for 4 airblasts; useful in a pinch, but don’t expect to rely on them.

Degreaser: Extremely versatile weapon which allows for more reliance on other weapons. Reduced effectiveness versus other Pyros. Has ammo for 10 airblasts. Recommended!

Phlogistinator: Useful when Mmph bar is filled, otherwise worthless. No airblast.


Shotgun: Very versatile weapon; unlike the Flare gun, useful against both Pyros and non-Pyros, and has a large ammo capacity. Can deal huge damage, but is limited by its close range. Recommended!

Flare Gun: Gives the Pyro immense range, and crits on hit (90 dmg) with burning enemy. Passive reload means Flare Gun reloads while other weapons are drawn. Ignites players and does 30 damage, but has extremely limited use versus other Pyros. Recommended!

Detonator: Slight variant of Flare Gun; does 45 damage on hit with burning enemy, but can be manually detonated. Promotes more passive play and allows for slightly more manoeverability through Detonator jumps. Passive reload.

Reserve Shooter: Variant of Shotgun; Minicrits airbourne enemies in the three seconds after it is drawn, but has an ammo capacity of three, effectively trading potential aggression for burst damage.

Manmelter: Crits can be stored by extinguishing burning allies: projectile travels faster than flare gun but does not crit on burning enemies. Rewards passive play with aggression, useful if airblasts are a commodity and you are willing to perform two roles. Avoid because Flare Gun already crits on burning enemy hit.

Scorch Shot: At time of writing, effectively worthless. Flare gun crit already deals knockback, and reduced damage means this gun is not worth using. Avoid until buffed.


Fire Axe/Frying Pan/Conscientious Objector/Third Degree/Sharpened Volcano Fragment: Useless, as your flamethrower does more damage and at range. Avoid.

Axtinguisher/Postal Pummeler: Does huge amounts of damage versus burning enemies in exhange for limited effectiveness versus other Pyros; but then using melee versus other Pyros isn’t very smart anyway. Recommended!

Homewrecker/Maul : Passive weapon, irreplaceably useful for pocketing Engineers. Recommended!

Powerjack: Grants health on kill, useful for Roaming Pyros on maps with few health packs or no medics. Recommended!

Back Scratcher: Passively gives extra health from health packs, and a little extra damage to boot. Can be useful in some circumstances, but usually better to use the Powerjack or Axtinguisher.

Neon Annihilator: Damages sappers but takes two hits to destroy them, also crits on wet enemies (such as jarate’d or mad milk’d enemies) at the cost of 20% damage penalty, meaning a smaller crit. Not really worth using over the Homewrecker, unless you’re being pocketed by a Milk Scout, and even then doesn’t do that much damage.

State of the Game: Pyro

Recently, i’ve been playing less and less spy and medic, but more and more soldier and pyro. The combos you can pull off with pyro are almost as satisfying as any trickstab, and it’s always good to get to know what can shut down your main class. Here’s a comment I wrote regarding the role and qualities of pyro. I like this idea of writing the current metagame of tf2, so expect more in the future! :D

Pyros fufill two parts on the battlefield; in a defensive role, they provide a perfect engie buddy in the form of the Pybro, spychecking and removing sappers. Airblast is excessively useful in defusing dead ringer or spycicle. In an offensive role, the puff and sting will straight up murder most classes. In a sense, an offensive pyro performs like a roamer, but faster – whereas a roamer will deal out damage or go for picks, pyro can both finish classes and take light/med classes from full to zero health in seconds.

I main spy, and in honesty I think pyro is -underpowered-. Removing airblast is not the solution, and will just exacerbate the situation; in the sweetest possible way, from what you’ve said and knowing you’re a roamer, it sounds like you’re frustrated by reflects. Thing is, timing is everything – if you spam m2, fine you might get the reflect, but there’s every chance that you’ll miss the timing and receive a rocket to the face. Not to mention aiming at the feet of pyros practically defuses that anyway – either they reflect it into the floor, or they get juggled into the air to be finished with either airshot or shotgun.

In 6v6, if the opponent has uber advantage we will regularly run a pyro offclass to stop the opponent from rolling all over us. The disorientation from the pyro can both defuse an uber and pull a push entirely out of position.

I don’t even know what you’re suggesting with 3. Spycicle is very easily detectable (that hiss on extinguish is very audible), and if i’m not sure if it’s a spycicle spy or not, i will airblast to make sure; disguised enemies are still affected by airblast. If they get pushed, they get pushed for another few puffs into a corner for the immunity to fade, then axtinguish/flare to the face. DR can also be totally defused by igniting and airblasting into a corner. Long range projectiles can be defused offensively with reflects. Hitscan weapons counter the pyro, yes, but this is entirely fair if projectiles are defuseable (which they are!). In a hypothetical 1v1 situation, the only serious problem the perfect pyro has is demoman; the firing speed on the grenade launcher is shorter than the speed of airblasts.

And to your point about putting a pyro at a choke and letting him defend… What exactly is the difference between putting a combo there instead? Your rockets don’t hit? So what? If there was a combo there, the soldier’d just get the health back. Fire more rockets from more soldiers? Pyro airblast has a delay; you can’t reflect everything. Pyro is fragile for an offensive class, and will take a lot of damage. Not to mention there’s only enough ammo for 10 reflects.

As for fun to play against… I love pyros, even while playing spy! Pyros mean that I need to watch my back like a heavy needs to watch for spies. If there’s a pyro coming, get out of range and switch to hitscan, or stagger rockets, or utilise blindspots… They are, and were initially created to be, the ambush class – Fine, their flankings can be shut down by competant players, but that means you need someone to watch for flanks. At long range, the flare gun has made harassment possible to a close range class. It’s a fun class to play (the combos really make for smug feelings), it’s fun to devise tactics against them, it’s fun that it adds a little danger in the game, it’s fun to improve yourself to beat something which is suppose to be your hardcounter (Stair/cornerstabbed a pyro? Get a change of trousers).

So no, in my opinion pyro isn’t broken. Pyro needs a buff, if anything; after the detonator ‘buff’, destroying level 2/3 sentries has become an impossibility; don’t even get me started on trying to get close to a mini sentry, those things practically shut down pyro just like that (You know how many flares it takes to kill those fucking things?). Not to mention a single aware, undistracted heavy will gun you down in seconds. The only problem I have with pyro is groundstalling to utilise the reserve shooter bug; while stalled, the reserve shooter will still deal out minicrits. That’s an obvious bug which needs fixing.

Originally posted: 26/04/12

Australian Christmas weapons are not OP, so please shut up about them.

It seems that everytime I go on a pub, or log onto r/tf2, I get waves and waves of ‘SPYCICLE OP! PHLOG OP! NERFNERFNERF’ Well, no. They aren’t.

This post’ll be fairly short (or concise, if you like), because there’s only so long you can go on about pixels.


With ‘Dr. Enforcicle’ becoming more and more the average spy loadout, one wonders why it’s so popular. I mean, the Enforcer’s biggest downside is that you’re not using the Ambassador, a weapon while makes happy feeling blossom inside you as you plug your victims skull with your throbbing handcannon. It requires no skill to use and is a straight upgrade when partnered with the DR, but if you treat the spy like any other class and actually dodge instead of running straight at him, you’ll do fine. And yet the cries of OP IMBA resonate, but i’m not really here to talk about the Enboreser.

The spycicle gives one solution to the spies biggest question, which is ‘How do I get that pyro to not turn me into a smouldering carcass?’ So on contact with flames, your knife will melt (rendering it unusable); on the plus side, you’re immune to fire for two seconds. Also, when you backstab someone you leave a pretty little statue instead of a death cry. Nice. Three problems arise, however.

On the surface, you can perhaps see why this is OP; taking away the most common form of spychecking is sure to lead to disasters of balance. Except… No. What many, many new players don’t understand is that everything you can hear, EVERYONE ELSE can hear. And from my playtime as a pyro, the ‘TSCCHHH’ of the icicle is very, very distinguishable. From there, the spy is airblasted into a corner for a few seconds until he can be ignited; if he is using DR, continue airblasting until it runs out – then finish with a flare or axtinguisher to the face. You could say ‘IN THE HEAT OF BATTLE, YOU WOULDN’T NOTICE!1’ or maybe ‘HOW CAN YOU HEAR THAT?! HAX!’ My advice is simple; from now on, treat spies in the same way that you would treat a dead ringer’d spy; the uncloaking sound of the DR is very distinctive (unless of course they’re using saharan spy), so just get used to that melting noise.

On a more practical note, the second problem is the loss of your knife. There’ve been many times where i’ve been set on fire, and then either successfully killed/gotten away from the pyro through headshots or a trickstab or being a smartarse or whatever. These times I lived, and even got an awesome kill on that pyro which i can totally brag about later. Without your knife, and against an if only barely competant pyro, you have only your gun to defend yourself. Now don’t get me wrong, this is far from a death sentence, but i’ll be damned if my aim doesn’t suffer somewhat in high pressure situations like this. And this is only in encounters with a 1v1 pyro; there were a number of times where I was just about to make a key pick on a medic when TSSCH! Knife gone. I’ve lost a victim whose life was worth dying for; if I had used any other knife, I would have taken that medic. Perhaps died, but it wouldn’t have mattered; key picks will change the game.

Finally, the third problem not only affects you but also other spies on your team; those pretty statues, while sometimes put into hilarious postures, are basically a flashing reminder to your enemies to spycheck more; on top of that, to expect the spy to use a spycicle and deal with him accordingly (as described above). They’re paranoia generators, and as any good spy will tell you, paranoia is your biggest enemy.

Verdict: Not OP. The statues make it very obvious that there is a spycicle user around, losing a knife is flowbreaking and in some cases detrimental or dangerous, and it’s not even like it’s difficult to find spycicle spies. Stick to vanilla.

The Phlogistinator (Phlog)

Three massive downsides there to the new spy weapon. However, the second weapon gets even more shouts of unfair than the first; the Phlogistinator rewards doing what pyros do with crits and nigh-invulnerability for a short period of time, allowing for pyros to go on a lone wolf rampage.

The phlog acts like the backburner acted when it first came out; no airblasts, more damage. Actually, with how the bb is played now, it just works like a second backburner. W+M1 everywhere. Boom. Charred mess all over the floor.

This weapon is less about fundamental flaws than the spycicle, and more about approaching the situation in totally the wrong way. By removing airblasts from the weapon, you introduce a nice, big, exploitable weakness; spam. Spam down the phlog pyro, who will be totally and utterly helpless against the explosive barage. All the while, make sure you backpedal away so that you don’t get ignited.

The loss of airblast also promotes bad teamplay; without airblast, you cannot reflect rockets or demospam away from teammates, you cannot put teammates out and you can’t juggle the enemy. All of these are -essential- to the pyro; in 6v6 play, a pyro is brought out for the sole purpose of juggling ubercharged enemies into corners to defuse them.

The second part to the phlog is more of a problem; while post taunt, the phlog pyro does crits and also shrugs off 90% of all incoming damage while taunting. Common sense dictates here to -run-. Rocket jump, sticky jump, GRU, whatever. Once the pyros weapon has stopped glowing, resume pelting with projectiles. An alternative approach would be to have a spy backstab him – while in critmode, the phlog pyro suffers from tunnel vision, much in the same way that ubercharge might.

Verdict: Not OP. Keep him at a distance, fire him down if he’s not glowing and run if he is, and above all try not to be set on fire for the good of everyone, just to reduce the chance of crits.

The Pomson 6000

Okay, i’m sorry, i’m gonna have to change the title of this post; this weapon is overpowered. No, really. Even talking about this weapon makes me see red, so i’m keeping this brief:

  • Does not require ammo. This is fairly self explanatory; while the widowmaker could be considered to have unlimited ammo (which is a story for another time! :D), you have to at the very least be halfway decent at aiming, and put yourself in some sort of danger in order to earn that ammo. Not with the Pomson. Which leads me onto my next point:
  • Infinite range. Whereas the other engineer weapons are shotguns and act as such, this weapon can be fired from behind friendly lines, travel happily over huge distances, and hit some unsuspecting bastard in the distance. Coupled with not requiring ammo means spam on a level similar to demoman or soldier, which is -NOT- the point of the engineer. So you could hit that medic/soldier combo from across the map. Oh, and did I mention:
  • Projectile penetrates targets. So you could hit the soldier, have it pass through him and hit the medic behind him. Protecting your medic is integral to the game, and blocking projectiles using yourself as a human shield comes under protection. Thus the weapon is simultaneously promoting bad play, and punishing good play. As of [patch date], the Pomson no longer penetrates players. However, Valve in their infinite wisdom decided this could make Engies decide to not use it, so increased the damage so it now equals Shotgun at mid range damage. gg Valve. Oh, AND DID I MENTION:
  • On hit: Victim loses 10% medigun charge. This really makes my blood boil; suppose you’re almost at uber level, and your pocket is sustaining very heavy fire – you hold m2 and wait for that gloriou–oh wait, you’ve been hit by some idle pomson spam from miles away, and now both you and your pocket are doomed. What makes this part is that due to the nature of the spam all coming from one direction, you’ll never be hit by just one projectile. You’re gonna be hit by four, reducing what little uber advantage you might have had. This is game changing stuff, brought about by a support class with one weapon who put himself in absolutely no danger whatsoever.
  • Victim loses 20% cloak. Powerful in its own right against dead ringer spies due to the watches increased drain rate; one shot and you’ve effectively reduced what little cloak time you had to a few seconds.
  • Projectile cannot be reflected. This doesn’t even need explaining, it’s just kicking you while you’re down.

In conclusion, this weapon actively promoted bad teamplay (by holding back and not drawing fire), bad gameplay (by encouraging spam), entirely changing the point of engineer (the primary weapon is used to defend your buildings, not to go lone wolfing); simultaneously, it punishes good teamplay. There is literally one reason to use the vanilla shotgun over this weapon, and that’s a small damage increase – but the damage difference is only noticable if every single one of your pellets hits. It can be compared to why the Vita Saw is banned in most competitive leagues; it provides a very, very safe alternative – there’s no point in using the situational and risky ubersaw if you can use the vitasaw, which rewards you for doing nothing. In the same way, the Pomson is a very safe alternative to the vanilla shotgun, but instead of a health penalty you have ridiculously over the top power. Use it if you must, but understand that you have my undying hatred if you do.


Thanks to Aquason for correcting me on the phlog!