Tag Archives: Reddit

I’m sick of explaining why the Machina is a terrible weapon

  •  Upsides only apply on full charge
  •  Fully charged headshots already kill every class in the game
  •  (Assuming damage spread off) Fully charged Machina bodyshots don’t kill any class which the Stock doesn’t except for (unconfirmed) Gas Jockey Pyros and Pain Train Demomen
  •  Penetration kills are down to the movements of the enemy, and so are pretty much unpredictable, extremely situational luck kills
  •  Tracers immediately make you target #1 from the entire enemy team
  •  No noscopes severely limits your effectiveness versus Scouts, stop headshot-noscope combo versus 175hp classes
  •  Penetration shots don’t penetrate buildings

All in all, totally worthless. Use the stock.

Originally posted 27/09/12

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

The Dead Ringer: Defending from and attacking with

Just a repost of a silly little comment I wrote the other day; I wasn’t in the best mood so it ended up as a bit of a rant :p The TF2 community seem to be divided on the DR between ‘It’s overpowered’ and ‘It’s fine as it is’. I personally think people approach the situation wrong, but what do I know? Sorry for the lack of posts lately, i’m revisin’ super hard for my end of years exams D: Hopefully a few more in summer!

‘Every time you kill a spy, start pressing TAB occasionally to see when they ‘respawn’. If it seems too quick, or lasts exactly 6.5 seconds (and sometimes it’s obvious), they’re a dead ringer spy. Mark them on the sheet in your head as DR spy. When a spy dies, remember that he might reappear in about 6.5 seconds and keep double vigilant.

With the fact that pubs are so chaotic (I refuse to play 16v16 servers because it’s just too much of a clusterfuck), an invis cloaked spy could just take a stray shot, be revealed and instantly be gunned down by the enemy. What’s fair about that? DR minimises cheap or otherwise undeserved kills. DR is common knowledge for pretty much everyone now, so if one ‘kills’ a spy, taunt and get backstabbed, you have absolutely no right to complain. It’s like the law; if you break a law, you can’t use ‘I didn’t know it was a law!’ as an excuse, or it’d be chaos. If you get killed by a DR spy for a second time, you can’t say ‘I didn’t know!’. Either you haven’t taken the time to research the weapons in the game, or you’re not paying attention.

As for the feign itself… People complain about this a lot, and I don’t really understand it. The time spent in dead ringer or otherwise cloaked is still time you can’t use to kill enemies. Compare the time it takes to walk from spawn or even take a teleporter, if there is one. So activating a dead ringer takes a spy out of the battle for 6.5 seconds if not ended early. Some maps have three second respawn. So, three seconds and a teleporter. In that instance, it makes absolutely no real difference whether you kill the spy or just activate DR; you’re taking him out of the battle for the same amount of time, you just won’t get a point for the kill. So… Are people just complaining that they don’t get a point for forcing a feign?

On top of all that, in games of less than 9 players on each time, you’re severely hindering yourself, especially if they’re decent. There’s only so many people to disguise as, and on bigger maps you can practically see every member of your team already. Hence, use the invis watch.

Above all, use the DR to anger your opponents. Angry or frustrated opponents make mistakes, are more predictable, and as a result are easier to kill, making them more frustrated. It’s a positive feedback cycle, stopped only when they go pyro.. But if you’re a decent spy, you know how to deal with pyros anyway.’

Originally written: 16/4/12

Got an opinion on the dead ringer? Post it in the comments! :D

Spy and Medic: Tips to Newbies

Didn’t realise that this hadn’t been posted! D: The original thread asked for tips which would not immediately be obvious to new players, and so I donated the below. Please feel free to comment with any you think that I have missed!


  • As a medic, try to stay out of the firing line of the enemy. You need to stay alive to protect your team.
  • As a medic, your medigun will heal teammates who have been out of combat longer three times faster; this increased healing rate is called Crit Heals. Remember this when the enemy team is waiting to respawn!
  • As a medic, be constantly healing someone! You build ubercharge while healing, a very powerful offensive weapon and also useful safety net if things go bad.
  • As a medic, you’ll build uber faster on non overhealed teammates. Once you’ve overhealed one teammate, switch to another!
  • As a medic being chased by a scout, backpedal rapidly while firing your syringes at him. It should mildly increase your chances of survival as the scout is delayed, giving you more time to find a teammate.
  • As a medic, in general the best classes to uber (in order): Demoman, Soldier, Pyro, Heavy. Do not take this advice at face value; who you should uber entirely depends on the situation.
  • As a medic in the setup round, try to overheal everyone equally.
  • As a medic on a map without a setup round, overheal the demoman on your team first so he can sticky jump to the objective quicker.
  • As a medic, if you find yourself in a tough situation where you or your healee are near death, but you’re not quite at uber, don’t spamclick m2; just press and hold and it will pop the second you acquire it.
  • As a medic, if you are as risk of dying and you have an uber ready, it is always better to activate it than to die. Your teammates will understand if you thought you would be dead otherwise; a medic without uber is better than no medic.
  • As a medic, jump and crouch if a soldier shoots at you to rocket surf away from harm.
  • As a medic under uber charge, remember to look around you; tunnel vision is commonplace while under uber, and there could be a scout right behind you waiting to give you both barrels as soon as it ends.
  • As a medic, call out any threat to you which isn’t being dealt with.
  • As a medic, try to heal your teammates evenly; give priority to those on red health, then to those injured (below max), then to those not overhealed.
  • As a medic, don’t use the quick-fix unless you’re the second or third medic on your team. Overheals are useful to the point of game deciding.


  • As a spy, running and cloaking or feigning is better than getting a lucky stab on an enemy who is aware that you are a spy.
  • As a spy, disguising as the class you just backstabbed will appear less suspicious to any enemies nearby.
  • As a spy, the Ambassador is 100% accurate when not in cooldown.
  • As a spy, shooting the enemies sentry at a distance will cause the engie to latch onto it; double up with a couple of amby headshots to deal with him
  • As a spy, tell your teammates which enemies are on low health, so they can prioritise them.
  • As a spy, if an enemy is low on health and there is little threat, shoot them! Go for an amby headshot to make sure they die.
  • As a spy, if going for a stab ‘n’ sap, strafe around the sentry to make sure it doesn’t shoot you.
  • As a spy using the dead ringer, the enforcer has no downside (as of 31/3/12). However, this does not necessarily make it the best gun for the situation.
  • As a spy using the invis watch, a large ammo pack will fill your whole cloak meter, a medium pack will fill 50% and a small will fill 25%. With the dead ringer, a large or a medium ammo pack will fill 35% and a small pack will fill 25%.
  • As a spy behind enemy lines, steal ammo packs and health boxes to hinder the enemy, or to delay the upgrades of the enemy engineer(s)
  • As a spy, take careful note of which players on the enemy team pay attention; some enemies will be able to hear your invis watch decloak, whereas others won’t bat an eyelid as your uncloak your dead ringer behind them. Knowing the proficiencies of your enemies will allow you to prioritise, pick off stragglers, and judge risks before you go for a stab.
  • As a spy, prioritise medics with ubercharge of 75%+; they are ever so slightly less paranoid about spies backstabbing than if they are 100% charged
  • As a spy who can’t break through into the enemies lines, take out your gun and start shooting.
  • As a spy, if among your teammates then press – to disguise as a friendly to avoid suspicion. Spies are a high priority target, and will draw fire from enemies, which you want to avoid if standing by teammates (especially vital ones, such as medic). However, if in an open area, a DR spy can draw sniper/soldier/demo fire by acting like a blatant spy, and using the DR feign to cross enemy lines.
  • As a spy, before crossing enemy lines, visualise where you would like to end up decloaking, and find out if there are enemies there. If you cannot find out easily, take a weighed judgement as to whether anyone will be around to see you uncloak.
  • As a spy, the dead ringer will be active almost immediately after pressing m2.
  • As a spy, do not trust the raised hand backstab animation if the target is spinning around.
  • As a spy, the spycicle makes a quiet but distinctive hissing noise if you are set alight. A sharp eared pyro can easily hear this. Additionally, a backstab will cause another distinctive freeze/cracking sound.
  • As a spy using the spycicle, be aware that paranoia from the enemy team is greatly increased due to the ice statues dotted around the landscape. These enemies are more likely to spy check.
  • As a spy who is about to uncloak, make sure you look in every direction before you uncloak to make sure nobody (of consequence) can see you doing so.
  • As a spy using the dear ringer, change disguise after every feign to avoid suspicion.
  • As a spy trying to get a backstab on an enemy (usually heavy) who knows you are a spy where running is not an option; strafe around the enemy while constantly stabbing at him. You will eventually wear him down with normal stabs, and may even get a lucky backstab too.
  • As a spy facing a razorback sniper, pull out your gun. The gun you use will require different numbers of bullets to kill a fully healed sniper: Revolver – 2/3 shots Ambassador – 2 shots (one headshot, one bodyshot) Enforcer – 2/3 shots L’etranger – 3 shots
  • As a spy, press B while disguised to have your disguise change weapon (to the slot you are currently holding; i.e pressing B with sapper out will switch to secondary). Many people do not know that you can have your secondary weapon out as a spy.
  • As a spy being chased by a pyro or other class you can’t get a backstab on, pull out your gun and shoot at them as you try to escape. At the very least you will have weakened them for your team to mop up.
  • As a spy, avoid wearing flamboyant unusuals or brightly coloured hats; they stand out in a crowd, and once the enemy team know what hat you wear, they will be on the lookout for your noticable features.
  • As a spy, don’t use the big earner; the costs vastly outweigh the benefits.
  • As any class, if being healed by a medic or if in the vicinity of a medic, avoid using any health packs unless vitally important. Medics will rarely have other medics around to heal them if they get damaged.

And finally:

  • As a spy, don’t use the cloak and dagger. Ever. I mean it.

Other important tips that come up in the tips bar, which newbies seem to miss:

  • As a pyro, right click on a burning teammate to extinguish him. You get points!
  • As a pyro, right click on an incoming rocket, sticky or pipe to push it away.
  • As a sniper, jarate will extinguish both you and your allies, and can be combined with the bushwacka for a crit melee on an enemy.

Originally posted 16/1/2012

Spy loadout: A quick summary

Copying this across, I realise that I haven’t actually written a proper, in depth summary of the Spy’s arsenal. I’ll do it at some point :) Of course, your loadout is personal taste and you should go for what you enjoy playing with, but these are my opinions on how to maximise kredit. Anyway, without further ado:

First, my personal opinion; go for the amby for your gun, the vanilla for your knife and either the dr or the vanilla invis watch for pda which one will depend on both which you prefer using and the situation. Obviously it’s both down to taste and situation (I know a lot of people who swear by the enforcer, but 102hp in one shot is too good to pass up for me), but i find this is the best allround loadout.

The enforcer is a straight upgrade when you use the DR and it used to be my favourite weapon, but again-102hp with a well aimed amby shot beats it hands down. The Saharan Spy set, once you get the first disguise, is absolutely marvellous at taking out sentry nests, and if you use the DR with it the sets downside is only very rarely relevant.

I know a lot of people consider the spycicle the best thing ever, but those ice statues are distinctive (and call out ‘burn that spy a bit longer!’ to every pyro on the map) and while 15 seconds might not seem like long, that’s 15 seconds without your (arguably) best weapon. But by all means try it out.

Other weapons: The Kunai is still a very viable knife to use, but it’s a love it or hate it thing for most people. The big earner is asking a huge health cost for increased cloak, despite cloak regenerating pretty quickly already. Avoid it. The L’etranger is a better cloak regeneration device (And used in the SS set above), although with the damage penalty it has i know a lot of people avoid it like the plague. The diamondback i find doesn’t rack up crits efficiently enough to be worth using, especially when amby crits are both guaranteed and also give you a really smug feeling.

Overall, just experiment with the loadouts; take into account what i’ve said (or don’t), but choose only what you find fun to play with :) I’ll strongly recommend you watch these videos, because stabby is an absolute spy god and makes fantasticly informative videos.

Also, when you unlock the cloak and do-nothing, throw it in a fucking bin where it belongs because it is the worst watch in the universe and i wish death on every scrubber who decides to use it >:CCCC

Originally posted 14/1/2012


Why no self-respecting Spy should use the Cloak and Dagger: An explanation

If you’ve seen me on r/tf2, then there’s a fairly high chance the post was about how terrible the Cloak and Dagger is. Because i’m sick of writing the same thing over and over, here’s one of my more comprehensive explanations. I may come back and add to it at some point, in this current state it feels sort of unfinished.

Why shouldn’t you use the cloak and dagger? Newbs like to use the cloak and dagger because they think ‘Ah! Infinite cloak! I’ll be INVINCIBLE!’ Except, no. You still flicker, and it’s obvious because you’re standing in a very spy-helpful corner; trust me, good pyros know cnds will stand there to regenerate cloak, and will puff a couple flames there to catch people out.

But that’s not why you shouldn’t use it. Everything that cloak can do, other watches can do better. You can travel further with the invis watch, you have more longetivity with the dead ringer, you can’t pick up ammo to speed up regen (as mentioned above).

But the worst part is how passive it makes spies. A CnD spy will cross enemy lines and start counting enemies, waiting for the best opportunity to backstab an enemy. But everytime they see a good pick, they think ‘but something better might come along’. And then you’re in an endless circle of ‘it could be better’, which it never will be. an invis watch spy would have decloaked a while back and stabbed every single one of those people who passed. By having a limit on your cloak time, you’re effectively forced to go and kill threats to you to stay alive, which makes you more credit to team than hiding in a corner.

There’s a reason why people call it the cloak and do nothing. Either use a different watch or change class, if you stay using that watch then you will never get any better.

tl;dr makes you too passive and no advantages over other watches when used aggressively

Originally posted 21/1/12