ÜberCharge strategy

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I am fully charged!
The Medic

This page lists common strategies for using the Medic's ÜberCharge effectively.

Background

Main article: ÜberCharge

The ÜberCharge is an ability of the Medic that enables himself and his healing target to become fully invulnerable to damage. ÜberCharge is built up mainly by healing teammates with the Medi Gun and has the ability to turn the tide of the battle when used offensively, and lock down the enemy team when used defensively. In addition of the standard Medi Gun which gives invulnerability (or invuln), there are three other variations: the Kritzkrieg gives the Kritzkrieg ÜberCharge (KritzCharge or Kritz for short) that enables the patient to deal guaranteed Critical hits for the duration of the charge, the Quick-Fix Medi Gun instead grants a MegaHeal effect granting tripled healing rate and immunity to movement impairing effects for both the Medic and his patient for the duration of the charge and the Vaccinator grants the Medic and the patient 75% resistance to either fire, explosive or bulllet damage.

Strategy

ÜberCharge utilities

Medics have two tools at their disposal that can assist in building ÜberCharge, or mitigate the loss of ÜberCharge.

The Ubersaw

The Ubersaw is an unlockable melee weapon for the Medic that can add 25% to the Medic's ÜberCharge meter upon successfully hitting an enemy with it, grant 100% charge on a successful taunt kill, or provide 50% Übercharge if the taunt is used on an Ubercharged target. As such, it is an extremely powerful tool that can change the balance of ÜberCharge deployments on both sides depending on how it is used.

  • One of the most important things to remember about the Ubersaw is that it can attack enemies at a 20% slower rate, with a maximum rate of one hit per second. As such, for Medics that want to be able to defend themselves against attackers, using the primary weapon instead is often safer in protracted battles.
  • Medics equipped with the Ubersaw should keep in mind the current progress of their ÜberCharge meter before attempting to attack enemies to further build ÜberCharge. A Medic with a small amount of ÜberCharge built up can quickly increase progress by attacking enemies and has little to lose by failing, however a Medic with a large amount built up risks losing the Über if killed while attacking when the rest of the meter could be completed safely by simply healing teammates.
  • The class, state and awareness of enemies should also be kept in mind. Whereas attacking a Spy who is at low health or a cornered Scout behind friendly lines is relatively safe, as well as unaware Snipers, attempting the same on an aware Pyro or Heavy will more than likely result in death.
  • Remember that it is not necessary to kill an enemy with the Ubersaw in order to build additional ÜberCharge. Using hit-and-run tactics can allow Medics to quickly add 25% to their meters by hitting an enemy once and then retreating behind teammates, and is often less risky than fighting to the death.

The Vita-Saw

The Vita-Saw is a melee weapon for the Medic that allows players to retain up to 20% of their ÜberCharge meter upon death. Using the Vita-Saw, like the Ubersaw, can change the dynamics of ÜberCharge deployments on both sides.

  • The drawback to equipping the Vita-Saw is that the Medic will have a maximum of 140 HP instead of 150. Players using the Vita-Saw should keep this in mind and play more cautiously.
  • The Vita-Saw's greatest strength lies in decreasing recovery time upon death, as building up the ÜberCharge meter upon respawn requires less time. This can be used to surprise the enemy team by having an ÜberCharge ready at a time when they believe they are still safe from one.
  • As opposed to the Ubersaw, the Vita-Saw encourages Medics to refrain from entering combat, as attacking enemies yields no benefit and the chances of being killed in combat are increased somewhat.

Using the ÜberCharge

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  • The Medi Gun's ÜberCharge is best used to break through entrenched enemy defenses. The invulnerability that it grants allows buddies to survive in situations where they might otherwise be quickly killed. Use this to destroy as many enemy buildings and kill as many enemies as possible to allow teammates to follow up easily.
  • Delay using the ÜberCharge until the last possible moment, try to wait until one or both of the pocket have received damage before activating the charge. Deploying the ÜberCharge as late as possible gives the pair more time to destroy enemy buildings or kill enemy players while invulnerable, however be mindful of the risk of being killed before being able to deploy it.
  • When ÜberCharged, focus more on clearing enemies and destroying buildings than on trying to achieve an objective, as ÜberCharged players cannot capture Control Points, push the Payload cart, or take the Intelligence while the ÜberCharge is active.
  • Knock back from explosives and compression blast is an ÜberCharge's greatest opponent, so whenever possible have the Medic go first and draw fire. Both the Heavy and the Pyro are more effective close up against Sentry Guns.
    • Be especially aware of Pyros, as they can easily use their compression blast to delay or, worse, pin Medics into a corner and render the ÜberCharge useless. Against Pyros, always remember to kill them first to prevent this from happening.
  • Be sure to follow ÜberCharged pairs and using them as a moving shield, if another teammate is the recipient. Remember that while they are invulnerable, the Medic's patient is still only one person, so be sure to assist them in attacking the enemy.
  • ÜberCharged pairs attract a lot of fire even while charged, as the enemy will want to take them down as soon as the charge is depleted. Use this distraction to move onto Control Points or take out enemies as they look elsewhere.
  • If, in response to a friendly ÜberCharge, an enemy Medic activates his or her own, try to ignore them and bypass them for other targets. Focus instead on attacking what can be destroyed or killed instead of on what cannot.
  • The Medi Gun can be used to ÜberCharge multiple players at once by rapidly switching between healing targets. However, the ÜberCharge meter will drain more quickly by switching healing-targets to more than one individual while ÜberCharging.
  • Watch out for instant death traps, like the bottomless pits around the Capture Point in Nucleus and point E in Steel, since invulnerability doesn't protect against them.
  • A solo Medic with a full ÜberCharge meter can activate the ÜberCharge to avoid taking damage, then quickly switch to the Ubersaw and attack enemies to rebuild the ÜberCharge meter, then switch back to the Medi Gun to avoid damage. This is called the Solo Medic Strategy.

Defense against ÜberCharge

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  • The best defense against an ÜberCharge is another ÜberCharge. At least one defending Medic should build an ÜberCharge and save it for when attackers come in with one of theirs. An ÜberCharged pair should try to body-block the opposing ÜberCharged pair (physically stand in their way and prevent them from moving forward) to waste their ÜberCharge time, then finish them off afterward.
  • After setup time, both teams are bound to have an Übercharge ready. One tactic is to let the other team use up their Übercharge first, then let your team's Über attack the other team by surprise. Make sure your team's Medic doesn't die during the opposing Übercharge
  • Although they cannot be hurt, ÜberCharged pairs can still be knocked back by Sentry Guns, rockets, either of the Demoman's weapons, or compression blast. Just target the Medic to launch him away from his teammate, and once he has been blasted far enough away, his link with is patient will be broken, rendering him vulnerable to attack.
  • Demomen are good counters to an ÜberCharge. Lay a string of Sticky bombs on the ground, and wait until the first half of an ÜberCharged pair steps on it, then detonate, sending that player flying into the air.
    • The trap can also be detonated just before the second half crosses it, hoping to send them flying in opposite directions. This is useful for both eliminating the threat of the ÜberCharge as well as killing an enemy.
    • Remember to use obstacles and terrain to amplify the effects of a sticky trap. Try to blow one or both of the pair into corners, or off ledges.
    • Note that sticky bombs on walls and ceilings do not affect an ÜberCharged pair, they must be on the ground and in close proximity of each other, and at least two bombs are required for a noticeable effect. Different classes have different weights - an ÜberCharged Heavy may take 5 or more stickies to successfully blast away, so it's better to try and blow the lightweight Medic away if possible.
  • Soldiers can bounce an ÜberCharged pair around by firing rockets at their feet. Try to push them into corners or off ledges. If possible, try to bounce the Medic only in order to separate the pair, leaving the patient vulnerable to attack.
  • A very good way to deal with ÜberCharges is to use the Pyro's compression blast. Using the compression blast's knockback, it is possible to delay an ÜberCharge for a significant amount of time.
    • If possible, try to physically separate the Medic from his patient. Most of the time a Medic's patient will push on ahead and not realize that he is without ÜberCharge until it is too late.
    • Against a Soldier or Demoman, the Pyro can simply deflect the explosives to minimize the amount of damage caused by the assault.
  • The most common target for an ÜberCharged pair is a Sentry Gun. The Engineer has two choices: hide behind his gun and frantically whack it with his Wrench hoping to repair it faster than it gets damaged, or flee and be ready to rebuild as soon as possible.
    • If the ÜberCharged pair includes a Heavy, and they are not too close or the ÜberCharge is almost done, the Engineer can probably survive if he stays protected behind his gun and has a Dispenser behind him to keep healing him and supply him with metal. If they get close, however, it is better to flee.
    • If the ÜberCharged pair includes a Pyro and he gets close, the Engineer will certainly die, and the gun a few seconds later if the Pyro has enough ÜberCharge time left. Consider fleeing if they get close.
    • If the ÜberCharged pair includes a Demoman, the Engineer should stay if the Demoman is firing regular grenades. He may die but he will probably keep his gun alive long enough to survive the ÜberCharge. However if the Demoman gets three sticky bombs under the Sentry Gun, the detonation will be enough to destroy even a Level 3 non-wrangled Sentry Gun.
    • Using the Wrangler, it is possible to save a Sentry Gun from some ÜberCharges and it is particularly useful against Über Demomen planting stickies since it allows the Sentry to survive more damage and it can also be used to shoot the stickies. It may also be possible to shoot away the stickies in time with the Shotgun, if the Demoman is firing them slowly enough or is very inaccurate, but generally after the second bomb lands, the Engineer should flee from the Sentry Gun and either Wrangle or retreat to rebuild. See Engineer Strategy for more information.
  • ÜberCharged pairs can be slowed down by body-blocking them (physically standing in their way and preventing them from progressing). While this will almost certainly result in death, it could cost the pair one or two seconds of precious Über time, especially if they are focused on a different objective. Try to keep strafing to continue to block one or both of the pair as they attempt to maneuver around, and if possible try to block only the Medic and allow the patient to continue forwards. Scouts armed with the bullet-dodging effects of Bonk! Atomic Punch are especially effective at this, and can potentially waste all 8 seconds of an enemy's ÜberCharge.
  • Although the opportunity rarely presents itself, it is possible to Telefrag those under the effects of an ÜberCharge. If both the Medic and his target are standing on the exit at once, both will indeed be killed by the telefrag. When this occurs, it is usually due to sheer dumb luck and the pair not noticing the exit.

Using the Kritzkrieg

See also: Kritzkrieg
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  • A Soldier is often a good target for a Kritzkrieg ÜberCharge, due to the Rocket Launcher's significant damage and splash radius. A properly timed attack can wipe out a crowd of enemies before they realize what happened.
    • Use a Kritzkrieg ÜberCharge on a Soldier using the Buff Banner and the Soldier can quickly build up rage with the resulting critical hits, meaning he can follow up with Mini-crits once the charge expires.
    • However, if you notice that the Soldier is using the Cow Mangler 5000, do not use your Kritzkrieg's ÜberCharge on them, because the Cow Mangler 5000 cannot be crit-boosted.
  • During setup time, try to help a Demoman deploy Critical sticky bombs near the enemy spawn. The blast radius should be enough to kill most of the opposition. If possible, try to find one carrying the Scottish Resistance, so that the Demoman can separately detonate his bombs.
  • If fighting on wide-open and outdoors map, a Heavy can make a good target for a Kritzkrieg ÜberCharge. Remember that the Minigun is a hitscan weapon and that Critical hits do not suffer from damage falloff; a Heavy is extremely dangerous even at long ranges.
  • When defending a point, wait until the enemy ÜberCharge runs out before activating a Kritzkrieg. Otherwise, they will be invulnerable to the effects of the Kritzkrieg ÜberCharge.
  • Always be wary of surroundings as well as the positions of any enemy players. Medics using a Kritzkrieg ÜberCharge will not have the invulnerability that the Medi Gun provides. Spies can easily stop the charge abruptly with a backstab.
  • The Übermeter of the Kritzkrieg increases faster by 25%, making it more likely to get a full charge before dying as compared to the standard Medi Gun.
  • Due to the Kritzkrieg's faster charge time, it is possible to use it to kill enemy Medics who are using the standard Medi Gun before they can fully build up an ÜberCharge.
  • Remember that Crits don't affect buildings, which makes the standard Medi Gun a better choice for destroying Sentry Guns.

Defending against Kritzkrieg

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  • In general, always try to kill the Medic as quickly as possible. As the Kritzkrieg does not grant either the Medic or patient invulnerability, they can still be damaged and killed.
  • If a Soldier has the Battalion's Backup, try to activate it if an enemy Medic is about to deploy a Kritzkrieg. The Battalion's Backup neutralizes all Critical hits within a certain radius of the Soldier, negating the Kritzkrieg within that radius.
  • As a Pyro, it is possible to deflect incoming explosive projectiles if the Kritzkrieg target is a Soldier or Demoman. If possible, try to deflect any explosives back at the Medic to end the Kritzkrieg charge as quickly as possible.
  • As a Soldier or Demoman, use explosive jumps to gain a height advantage with which to attack the Medic. Usually the Medic's patient will be too focused on trying to kill teammates in front of the pair to notice threats from above.

  • When you attack the Medic while he is giving his Medic buddy the effects under the Kritzkrieg, be sure to attack the Medic at a flank, not head on, going head on against the Medic and his Medic buddy while the Kritzkrieg is deployed, you are an easy target.

Using the Quick-Fix

See also: Quick-Fix
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  • In general, the Quick-Fix is for taking objectives quickly. It has 40% faster heal and 25% faster ÜberCharge build rate compared to the default Medi Gun, though its Übercharge rate is similar to the Kritzkrieg. It's great for getting that last push for the objective - despite only having 50% overheal compared to any other Medi Gun.
  • The Quick-Fix's rapid healing can be used to sustain a large group, and is extremely effective in coordinating pushes. When using it, try to follow the bulk of your teams force and keep them above 50% health. Use the Ubercharge when the team is under heavy fire and prevent as much death as possible.
  • When the ÜberCharge is deployed, the patient and the Medic will be healed at triple the default healing rate, and both will be immune to movement effects such as Knock back, Stun and Slowdown.
    • This is a huge benefit if there are Sentry Guns on a point, as it will allow the Medic and his patient to destroy it with ease.

Defending against Quick-Fix

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  • Make a Medic with the Quick-Fix your primary target when close to an objective or healing a group. Try to take them out before they get a chance to deploy their Über in a useful manner.
  • The Quick-Fix, like the Kritzkrieg, does not make the Medic and his target invulnerable. When a Medic deploys an Über with the Quick-Fix, focus all of your team's fire on the Medic to give you a chance of taking him down quickly.
  • The Medic does heal faster as long as as he's healing his target. Try to separate the pair in order for the Medic to be unable to heal and can take damage regularly.

Using the Vaccinator

See also: Vaccinator
  • Whereas other ÜberCharges are primarily built up over a long time and released at an opportune moment to blow a hole in the enemy lines, the Vaccinator stacks up multiple charges very quickly and is more effective at constant pressure than a single push.
  • It is important to know the enemy team's composition and loadouts. A team with mostly Heavies, Scouts, Snipers, and level 2 Sentry Guns should be easy to push into with a bullet-resisting Über, while stock Demomen and Shotgun-less Soldiers will be stymied by an explosives-resisting Über. Fire is a much more situational resistance and should be employed in the face of a Pyro ambush more than as an attempt to move up.
  • Patients tend to be more cautious with a Vaccinator Über than other ÜberCharges due to the risk of taking unresisted damage from unexpected sources. Proper communication is necessary to ensure the patient and Medic know what the plan is.
  • It's important to note that you are vulnerable to all melee weapons. Keep alert and watch out for Demo knights or Spies, they can one hit kill you.

Defending against Vaccinator

  • The Vaccinator's main weakness is that its resistance type cannot be switched during an Über. Switch weapons to something that is unresisted before attacking the Medic.
  • If you have no weapons that aren't currently being resisted, then do not attempt to attack the Übered pair, as it will do minimal damage and simply heal the Medic. Futile attacking will simply hurt your team.
  • Melee attacks cannot be resisted by the Vaccinator. If you have no other option, feel free to simply get in the Medic's face.

Chain ÜberCharge (Medi Gun)

Chain ÜberCharge, also known as an Überchain, is a tag team technique that allows two Medic players, both equipped with the Ubersaw and Medi Gun, to maintain a constant state of invulnerability.

To successfully perform this technique, at least one player must have built up an ÜberCharge beforehand. The first player must then deploy his charge on the second, who in turn must use his Ubersaw to attack enemy players and subsequently build up his own Übercharge meter. Once it is ready, the second player must then quickly deploy his ÜberCharge on the first Medic (usually before the first ÜberCharge is used up), who in turn switches to his Ubersaw and attacks enemies to build up his ÜberCharge meter. If this chain can be repeated successfully, both Medics can remain invulnerable for extended periods of time whilst killing a multitude of enemies.

The technique requires good communication between the two Medics. Both should be aware of the status of both ÜberCharges in order to continue the chain uninterrupted, as well as knowing when to break off the chain should something go wrong.

Chain ÜberCharges can be an effective strategy for clearing a certain area of enemies, pushing through a strong defense or heading off an incoming attack. It is less effective, however, against buildings or for completing certain objectives such as capturing a point. The chain can be easily broken by Pyros utilizing the Compression Blast ability to separate the Medics, or with Scouts luring the chain into chasing them and wasting time. The attacking Medic, though, is not limited to using his Syringe Gun or Blutsauger to fend such classes off. Slower classes are a priority for the chain, as the Medics can easily reach and attack them.

Should the chain be broken, both Medics should escape the area and regroup later with another ÜberCharge ready.

When using the Invulnerability Überchain, different tactics should be used based on the classes you are facing:

Scout

  • Don't even bother chasing after a Scout. It's unlikely you will be able to hit them unless they run into your range.

Soldier

  • Soldiers are a good class to target. However, try not to put too much distance between you, your helper, and your target Soldier, as they may use their Rocket Launcher to push you away and potentially apart from your other Medic.

Pyro

  • Pyros are better off left alone, considering they can easily airblast your chain apart. However, a Pyro using the Phlogistinator is an easier target since they lack their airblast ability.

Demoman

  • Demomen are slow and therefore good targets. However, watch out, as they may use their explosives to blast you away from your other Medic.

Heavy

  • Heavies are an ideal target. They lack speed and weapons that may be used to knock you back. Their high health also lets you gain a full ÜberCharge from a single Heavy.

Engineer

  • Engineers are a good class to target, unless they are being guarded by a Sentry Gun. Sentry Guns will easily push you back and away from your other Medic.

Medic

  • Other Medics are not much of a problem to you. However, they move just as quickly as you do and are usually not worth your time to chase.

Sniper

  • Snipers are a good target. They may have their back turned depending on where you encounter them, so it will be easy to hit them with your Ubersaw.

Spy

  • Spies are a good target. They have average speed and are powerless to push you back. They are unable to backstab you since you are invulnerable. However, Spies are not a likely target to encounter since they will likely be disguised or invisible to avoid being seen and attacked, and if disguised they do not grant ÜberCharge when hit.


Demonstration


Medics using the Chain Über tactic on Badwater Basin.

Chain Übercharge (Kritzkrieg)

This method requires a Medic with a Kritzkrieg and an Ubersaw working with a Heavy with a Holiday Punch.

Firstly, the Medic builds up the Übercharge to 100% and uses it on a Heavy with the Holiday Punch. When an enemy is immobilised and starts laughing his head off, the Medic switches to his Ubersaw and does the Spinal Tap kill taunt on the victim. With the Übermeter refilled to 100%, the cycle is ready to be repeated again.

This method is far more viable than the double-Medic Chain Übercharge because when things do not go as planned, the Medic and Heavy can easily fend off for themselves, while the Medic pair does not have the same defensive capability. However, since this method does not use the Invulnerability Übercharge, the Heavy and Medic are still vulnerable to enemies while chaining. Even though this method requires the Heavy to land only a single hit on an enemy with the Holiday Punch while the double-Medics require 5 strikes of the Ubersaw, a Heavy is much slower than a Medic, forcing the Heavy to rely on ambushing an enemy (and also because he is not Invulnerable).

Tactics for the Kritzkrieg variant are similar to the Medi Gun variant, with the exception that you need to ambush enemies rather than approach head-on because you're slower and more vulnerable. Because you are not Invulnerable, in the event where you approach multiple enemies, the Heavy needs to kill off all enemies with his other weapons. A last enemy can be spared so that he can be used for the Chain Übercharge.

ÜberCharge combination strategies

Deploying multiple ÜberCharges on one patient can be very helpful. However, it can also be wasteful, depending on how it's done and what types of charges are used.

ÜberCharge + Kritzkrieg

This is the best type of combination ÜberCharge. A player who is completely invincible and can deal critical hits can be a dynamo of pain against the other team. However, the Medic deploying the Kritzkrieg should be cautious, as he is still vulnerable, and the entire assembly remains vulnerable to knockback. This combination is best used versus a large force of high-health players, as it can quickly take down even fully-overhealed Heavy-Medic pairs without trouble.

Kritzkrieg + Megaheal (Quick-Fix)

This combination is the second-best one. While it doesn't provide the invulnerability of the ÜberCharge, the patient is receiving an increased healing rate and the standard healing and overheal of the Kritzkrieg. The Kritzkrieg Medic should still hang back, as he is vulnerable. However, this combination can be built 25% faster than the first combination, allowing for more frequent use and easier coordination. This combination is best used versus a large force of Soldiers, Demomen, and Pyros, as it deals significant damage while preventing knockback which could separate the Medic and patient.

Kritzkrieg + Vaccinator

Similar to the previous combination, with the patient taking less damage from particular sources instead of being healed of damage quickly. The Vaccinator Medic is not as vulnerable as a Quick-Fix Medic would be, and the stream of critical hits erupting from the patient should deter the usage of unresisted melee attacks.

ÜberCharge + Megaheal

This combination is less effective than the previous ones, as the Megaheal's bonus healing is wasted on an invincible player. However, it will still provide knockback immunity, making this combination ideal for assaulting a large sentry nest, where the patient would be otherwise rendered useless by knockback. Although the Quick-Fix Medic has an increased heal rate, he should be cautious, as he is the most vulnerable.

Megaheal + Vaccinator

Strictly speaking, resisting damage of one type and quickly healing damage from other types is not much of an improvement over a single invulnerability ÜberCharge. That said, this combination has the Quick-Fix's immunity to knockback and can be built 25% quicker than a regular Über.

ÜberCharge + ÜberCharge / Kritzkrieg + Kritzkrieg

Deploying two charges one after another in order to double the length of the effect can be effective in heavily-fortified areas that a single Über cannot break through. However, unless the recipient is a Heavy or a Pyro, they will be forced to spend most of the second charge either reloading their main weapon or firing a secondary one, which lowers the effectiveness of this strategy. Often, a team may best effect such a push with two separately affected teammates.

Megaheal + Megaheal

The increased heal rate makes the target practically invulnerable to any damage which isn't instantly lethal. This pairing builds 25% faster than a standard Übercharge, but provides similar invulnerability.

Vaccinator + Vaccinator

If the two Vaccinator charges are on different resistances (bullet and explosive being the best choice for such a combo due to fire being comparatively rare), the patient becomes heavily resistant to the majority of weapons and so can wade through enemy fire without taking much damage. However, the overall effect is similar to a Megaheal without the knockback immunity.

ÜberCharge + Vaccinator

As the Vaccinator's sole purpose is to reduce incoming damage, combining it with an ÜberCharge is pointless. The only reason to use this would be an urgent heal for the Vaccinator Medic, even then you are better off finding a health pack.

More than two charge types

A skilled player with a triple Über can be very devastating indeed to the enemy team, being immune to everything thrown at them while blasting critical hits. However, putting all the Medics' eggs in one basket is more often than not a poor idea - a single player immune to everything can be avoided, but three players each under the effect of a different charge is much harder to deal with, and so would be a better strategy.

See also