Pyro is the designated short-range unit in Team Fortress 2, capable of dealing heavier damage the closer he is to the enemy. But not because he has boss-like melee weapons under his command. No, Pyro is deadly when in close range simply because of his default Flamethrower. Similar to real life, your chances of survival when a flamethrower is fired your way goes up the farther you are from the flames. Get too close and you’re immediately human barbecue. The same thing applies in Team Fortress 2.
Due to his ineptitude in long-range combat, Pyro is best deployed using hit-and-run tactics, or anything that can catch an enemy off-guard – like sneak and surprise attacks from unlikely places. But his Flamethrower isn’t the only thing going for the Pyro. In fact, the number of options available to Pyro, weapon-wise, can make him a bit unfriendly for beginners. Fortunately, you have this mini-guide to walk you through.
- Yes, it’s cool to see your enemy engulfing the full power of your Flamethrower. But you don’t necessarily have to continuously blast him with it. Your Flamethrower inflicts burn damage to enemies. Meaning, the flames will still chip at their Health even after you’ve stopped shoving flames in their faces. Simply pick another target after you’ve successfully set one enemy on fire. Actually, this is really recommended as the Flamethrower eats up a lot of ammo. So you can’t simply spam it like Heavy does with his Mini-gun.
- Since fire is his element, it’s only natural that Pyro is immune to other fire-based damage. This includes, but not limited to, the Sniper’s flame-charged Huntsman arrows and the flames produced by Heavy’s Huo-Long Heater. Actually, in the former’s case, a Pyro is also responsible for lighting up Huntsman arrows. So don’t forget to give your ally Sniper a helping hand if he similarly wants to see some, uh, fireworks.
- “But what about enemy Pyros,” you may ask. Well, since your Flamethrower is out of the picture, you have two obvious options: secondary and melee weapon. You can just switch to a Shotgun or any melee weapon when up against a fellow Pyro. Switching to either of the two is also a good way to conserve Flamethrower ammo.
- Speaking of secondary and melee weapons, the Pyro has a few that can be partnered with his Flamethrower. For the former, you can opt for the Flare Gun, which deals more damage – critical, actually – to enemies that have already sustained burn damage. And you can fire it from a distance. It’s the final nail in the coffin, so to speak. For the latter, you can go with the Axtinguisher. Similar to the Flare Gun, it deals critical damage to already burning enemies.
- A Pyro’s Flamethrower isn’t all about setting enemies on fire. It has a secondary function, too. Right-clicking will produce a compression blast, which can be used for a number of things – both offensive and defensive.
First, it can save your allies from burn damage if they had a not-so-fun encounter with an enemy Pyro. Second, it can deflect projectiles and even send them packing to where they came from (assuming you can time it precisely). And lastly, you can use the blast to literally push enemies away. You can push them to areas where they will be vulnerable to, say, your ally Heavy or Sniper. You can also use it to drive away invincible enemies, courtesy of an UberCharge.
- As the Pyro, you can also use your Flamethrower to check if an enemy Spy is in your midst, happily mingling with your unaware allies. If an ally is acting a little bit too friendly, it would be wise to light his butt on fire to see if he’s actually a Spy.
It’s very important that you’re always aware of your ammo status. Using the compression blast also takes up a lot of ammo. So practice using other Pyro weapons, too, if you want to last longer. The Pyro is the Demoman’s worst nightmare. He can use his compression blast to send Stickybombs packing and counter a deadly Chargin’ Targe attack. One last thing to keep in mind is that a Pyro is not very effective underwater, for obvious reasons. Well, unless you have awesome Shotgun or melee skills.