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How to play: The Pyro

Do we really need more pyros, you may ask?

Well, probably not, but at the very least It’s hilarious to see people get so worked up at them.

First of all, if you haven’t already, watch this how-to video. It’s old, and doesn’t cover the update weapons, but It’s a really good video to teach the basics.


All done? Good!

He says he has something planned for the updates, but that probably will take a while.

So, let’s start with the backburner.

Firstly, the backburner is such a cheap weapon. If you do it right, you can easily sneak behind a group of enemies and kill them all in a single moment. Which is what I usually do with the backburner. All you have to do is take the less-used route to sneak around enemies, and then run up to their backs and flame ’em. Only problem with the backburner, if people see you, you’re at a disadvantage. It does less damage than the regular flamethrower, and doesn’t have the compression blast.

You could try to run behind them before they can react, or just circle around them like mad, but usually they aren’t going to let you get close enough to do that. If you’re lucky enough to get contact damage with the flamer, that’s good. Run away while shooting them with your shotty, if you have it. They probably won’t chase you if they’re on fire and losing health rapidly.

Now then, let’s talk about the compression blast.

I get scared easily. If I’m going after people with the flamethrower, and they see me before I finish them off, sometimes I’ll push them away and run. Especially if It’s a class like the heavy. You don’t want to be right next to them while they have their gun on you, unless you know they’re almost dead. Same is true with Soldier, Other pyros, and even demomen sometimes. Generally, I flame them before they have a chance to run, and then compression blast them away from me while shooting them with the shotty. Yeah, it is easier just to w+m1 sometimes, but other times they’ll just shoot your ass off, and go get a healthpack or medic. Speaking of medics, you know those pesky ubercharges? Well, if you do it right, you can push the medic away from his patient wihle he’s ubering! Usually they’ll be too busy trying to get a sentry or clear a CP to notice you. just push the medic backwards from his patient, or push him into a corner, and once you see the glow wear off, flame him!

Also, if you’re facing a demo or soldier, don’t forget to blast their projectiles right back at them. Try to aim in the general direction of the solly when firing his rockets back, and don’t worry about aiming back at the demo, it’s almost impossible to aim those pipe bombs, even if you can get them while they’re still in the air. Sometimes blasting the pipe bombs while they’re on the floor will save somebody, so do that too. Don’t forget to blast stickies out of the way. If you do it right, you can even get a demo to kill himself! That’s always a bunch of fun. One more thing, if you’re fighting a soldier up close, try to guess as best you can when he’ll fire the rocket at you. If you do it perfectly, you can fire his rocket back the second he shoots it. Note that if you reflect a rocket while you’re RIGHT next to the soldier, you’re one lucky bastard.

Ok, enough with the flamethrowers, let’s go on to the shotgun and flare gun.

The shotgun is very very useful. I mentioned above that you can push people from you while shooting them with the shotty. This is a useful tactic. If you’re almost dead, do it. Just get close to them while they don’t see you, and before they turn around, push them, and switch to the shotty. If you do it right, you can get a shot while they’re still in mid-air. keep shooting while running like fuck back to anywhere safe around a corner. Make sure to get a healthpack.

Alright, now the flare gun.

I don’t find a lot of use in the flare gun, to tell the truth. One of the main things I use it for is to start off people who are running towards me. It has it’s advantages, since it has such a long range, but at the same time it doesn’t do much damage unless you give it a while. If there’s a heavy medic combo, you can SOMETIMES kill the medic by spamming flares. This rarely works, but if you can get a few hits, it works. If the medic’s patient is unaware of your presence, you can sometimes flare gun the medic and axtinguish him real quick. Anyways, the main thing I use the flare gun for, is to help people by setting them on fire while they’re being attacked, or to get the damage on people before I move in with my flamethrower. Oh, also, if I have low health and my opponent is already on fire, sometimes I’ll back off while shooting the flare gun at him. If it hits, he dies quicker and is much less likely to get health. But this works better with the shotgun.

Now then, the Axtinguisher.

It does 100% critical damage when the enemy is on fire. I mentioned it above a little. Usually, the only use I have for this, is to kill flaming spies (mainly for fun), and flaming heavies. Setting a heavy on fire, and circling around him to axtinguish his back is a very nice way to kill a heavy indeed. Only thing you want to watch out for is that it still takes 2 hits to kill, so unless you’ve waited for his health to get much lower from the flame damage, he probably will survive the first chop. Usually I can manage a second hit, but sometimes It’s better to try and push him away after the first. He’ll have pretty low health anyways. For pretty much anything else, though, you can just spam the flamethrower with better results than trying to axe them. I still like my axtinguisher better than the regular fire axe, though.


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