Community VS Saxton Hale strategy
This article is about community VS Saxton Hale Mode strategy for the custom-made VS Saxton Hale Mode mod.
Note: Gameplay may change accordingly within each different server, modifications to the public version of VS Saxton Hale may be evident, and as such, the information listed on this page may or may not be true; generally it should be true for the most part of the public version.
Saxton Hale is a very strong character. Although he can only use his bare hands to fight, his fists have +210% extra damage, dealing 202 damage per hit. His Rage attack can be used when he takes enough damage, temporarily scaring opponents and making them defenseless while also disabling Sentry Guns. Hale is also quite athletic, outrunning everyone but the Scout. However, the boss's movement speed will increase as his health depletes; the Super Jump, activated by crouch (default key: ) or can be used to launch Hale into the air as well to catch up to targets.
The four other characters in VS Saxton Hale Mode have slightly different abilities, such as Christian Brutal Sniper's ability to use the Huntsman on Rage but at the cost of a smaller stun radius, the Horseless Headless Horsemann's ability to teleport at the expense of not having super jump, the Vagineer's temporary invincibility (ÜberCharge) upon triggering Rage but at the cost of a smaller stun distance, and the Easter Bunny's ability to fire explosive eggs in every direction coupled with a small stun radius.
Note: Weapons and classes are subjected to server side modifications, changes, and such that the public released version of vanilla VSH has no part of.
- As this is a modified version of Arena Mode, most Arena tactics also apply here.
- Stick together! Teamwork here is vital.
- Keep in mind that the boss has a couple of other abilities, such as rage, weigh down, and other gimmicks that most players will try to repeatedly use.
- Communicate! Alert your teammates of the boss's whereabouts at all times.
- Try to attack the enemy from afar. The boss can only use melee weapons, excluding the Christian Brutal Sniper's Huntsman.
- A standard attack from the boss does 202 damage, discounting damage variance. This means that only the Heavy and in some cases, a Soldier without overheal can survive a hit from the boss. If you somehow manage to survive, search for a Medic, or find a Dispenser or Health pack to recover.
- With the exception of the Spy's knives and Soldier's Market Gardener, all melee weapons have crits forced upon them. Some weapons that normally would not be granted critical hits have this disability negated because of this.
- Lethal taunts only do 500-625 damage. Because of this, taunt kills are rarely seen as a legitimate tactic due to the risk of being hit before actually landing the taunt.
- In VERY rare circumstances, if you can manage a Telefrag on the boss, it will deal exactly 9001 damage. However, since the boss will be moving a lot and has a large health pool, telefrags are just as rare as they are in normal gameplay.
- Some servers give you critical hits after successfully taunting. Be cautious, as you are defenseless while taunting, thus it is often safer to taunt while the boss is at a distance or situation where he can't just run up to you and attack.
- Partner taunts can be quickly initiated and canceled. If you don't have one, you can use the Director's Vision taunt which is relatively short and easier to obtain.
- Knockback is the boss's worst enemy. compression blasts, Sentry Guns, critical hits, and other knockback inducing attacks are always good ideas to consider.
- Never let your guard down. Saxton Hale may sneak up behind you and quickly kill you, check behind you or the sky as he may just about to stomp you; don't forget to look behind you as you run, Hale will out run you if unimpeded.
- Against the Horseless Headless Horsemann Jr., try to stay in one big group or go around in a few strong groups. If you are caught alone in the teleport, it almost certainly means death unless you are a Medic. Be cautious of rage though, being in a group means you are more likely to be caught in a rage stun.
- When fighting the Vagineer, be sure to have at least one Pyro with the Flame Thrower equipped. A Pyro is possibly a Vagineer's worst nightmare. Any rage reducing weapon and the Pomson 6000 will reduce the amount of time the invulnerability lasts whereas the compression blast will extend the duration.
- When fighting the Christian Brutal Sniper, be careful no matter how far you are from him, as his arrows can take you down at a distance, don't let your guard down as long as you can see him due to straw arrows that might go through team mates and may hit you as a collateral.
- When fighting the Easter Bunny, protect the Sentry Guns, as the Easter Bunny is more affected by the Sentry Gun knock-back than the other bosses. Also, if the Easter Bunny kills one player, use the eggs that fall on the ground to get critical hits for a few seconds and for Engineers it gives full metal. Be cautious of whenever the Bunny picks up eggs though, critical Hale is no fun, and neither is critical exploding Easter eggs.
- It's always helpful to memorize the map layout, terrain, boss abilities, and even the player's movement patterns and habits. Know your stuff, and it may greatly help you.
- Generally melee hits (especially critical) to the legs of any model will induce high amounts of knock back, which potentially could save your life or another team mates, but be warned, some players will catch on and proceed to crouch to prevent you from knocking them up into the air with terrain, such as stairs, and platforms that require jumping to and from.
- Be warned, the vast majority of experienced players do not like Scouts, and will proceed to single out and target Scout players.
- Try to stay at a medium to short range of Saxton to get the most damage out of your primary weapon. Your job isn't to do a lot of damage at once, but to do damage over time and distract the boss to help your teammates.
- Use your agility to your advantage, moving along paths that would take the boss longer to go around.
- Despite being as faster than a full health boss, be careful when running away from him or running around him. Melee range is farther than it appears.
- Saxton Hale is faster than you while you run backwards. If he is following you, run for a bit, turn around and shoot a few times once you have some distance between you and Saxton, then run some more to regain the distance lost.
- A Scout will always die in one hit from Saxton, unless the server has gimmicks, modifications, and such that prevent so.
- The boss's speed will increase as it takes damage and will eventually outrun you.
- The Scattergun is useful for hit and run attacks. The large clip size allows more direct combat before reloading.
- Using the Force-A-Nature will usually knock back the boss at close range and will knock you back if you are airborne; this can be effective for escaping, especially if you become the last man standing and you get even more knockback from crits.
- Be aware of where you knock Hale to. You don't want to knock him straight into your team mates.
- The Shortstop is useful for dealing good amounts of damage at range.
- The Soda Popper's extra jumps can be helpful for escaping.
- While the Baby Face's Blaster is excellent at escaping, remember that jumping or over-damaging the Boss will put you at a severe disadvantage. Get a feel for the weapon's speed and abilities before putting this to use.
- Note that some servers will ban the Baby Face's Blaster from being used, or modify it to drain the boost when full, giving the user mini-crits during the duration.
- The Back Scatter can be used to deal a large amount of damage to a distracted boss. Be aware, however, that it is less effective if the boss is chasing you.
- The increased spread also means you must be much closer to the boss to deal the same damage as the Scattergun.
- Your Pistol has mini-crits, therefore it has a higher damage output than any of your primary weapons.
- Crit-a-Cola gives full critical hits instead of mini-crits, allowing you to quickly deal high amounts of damage to the Boss while also providing a speed boost to get away if needed.
- As an emergency weapon, Bonk! Atomic Punch can help you get away from close encounters. Get some distance first, as you are vulnerable while drinking.
- On a team without Medics, The Mad Milk and Mutated Milk will help your team get much needed health back from close encounters.
- The Pretty Boy's Pocket Pistol is best used with the Atomizer, as two successful hits can restore the self damage dealt by one Triple Jump. The falling damage reduction is also useful when jumping from great heights to conserve your health.
- The Flying Guillotine deals full critical hits. Get close to ensure that you hit the boss.
- The Winger's extra damage and added jump height make it easier to not only do considerable damage to Hale, but also maneuver around him and give you access to places that might not have been accessible before.
- The Atomizer is an upgrade in terms of evasion. Watch out for your health, as sustained triple jumps can quickly drain it.
- The Boston Basher or Three-Rune Blade can be useful if you dart in and out, whacking him when he's not paying attention. Since this is an Arena-like mode, however, aim carefully.
- The Candy Cane is very useful in this mode; if injured, quickly attack a few times and flee with the health pickups while he's not watching you. The Easter Bunny is the only boss that uses explosives, so this weapons is in most occasions a direct upgrade.
- The Sandman is a direct upgrade from the Bat in terms of attack. You can stun him in order to slow him down and deal damage. The health penalty in negligible, as the boss can kill you in one hit with or without the Sandman.
- The Fan O'War is a support weapon; each hit decreases Hale's rage meter by 5%. This can be used to delay Rage in critical situations, particularly after a Backstab. Though you will have to be in close range in order to do this.
- The Wrap Assassin can be used to inflict bleed damage from long distances. The increased recharge also allows players to attack with it moer often.
- Be sure to use both baubles at once, as the cooldown timer only starts once both are thrown.
- The Holy Mackerel and Unarmed Combat are not recommended, as they alert everyone of every melee hit.
- The Sun-on-a-Stick is a downgrade from the Sandman, since it deals 25% less damage, and all melee weapons are granted critical hits anyway.
- The #1 Fan set encourages hit-and-run tactics, as the Scout can charge up on Soda Popper, switch to the Winger or Pistol for critical hits, and escape with speed and the Atomizer if needed.
- Special Delivery set allows the user to rely more on Health Packs and the Mad Milk for healing, and also encourages keeping a safe distance away from the boss using the Shortstop
- After the Scout, you're the class with most mobility, especially with the Gunboats or Mantreads equipped. Try to stay away from your teammates and act as a backup if your teammates are in danger.
- Since the Tough Break Update, Rocket Launchers no longer deal mini-crits to an airborne boss due to attribute changes.
- Shooting rockets at the boss's feet is a good knockback tactic. It can also be used to force him into traps, such as Sentry Guns, Stickybombs, large groups of teammates etc.)
- If Saxton is too close, you can rocket jump to escape.
- The Direct Hit deals full critical hits in place of mini-crits, which works well with the Buff Banner.
- The Black Box is very useful on a team without Medics as it will heal you when you land a hit.
- Coupled with the Battalion's Backup, you can potentially survive a large amount of damage.
- The Liberty Launcher's reduced damage also reduces the amount of damage you take when rocket jumping, thus can be conjoined with the Gunboats to take minimal rocket jumping damage.
- The Cow Mangler 5000, though does not have much in the way of damage, makes a good escape-oriented weapon thanks to the infinite ammo. The charged shot, when done in long distance, can help teammates to identify the boss by ignition; however it cannot be crit-boosted in any way, thus it's not a very good weapon when crits are available.
- The Air Strike is more of a direct downgrade from the standard Rocket Launcher, because there is no one to kill except the boss, in addition to the decreased damage. However, the increased fire speed while rocket jumping is a direct upgrade. Some servers will increase clip side as damage is dealt.
- Your Shotgun can be used to pepper from a distance, or inflict more damage to him if you run out of rockets in a close encounter. As with all Soldier weapons, it mini-crits airborne targets.
- If you have a lot of teammates, consider equipping the Buff Banner to help deal some extra damage.
- Under the Buff Banner's effect, all Sentry Guns deal mini-crits. This can push the boss away in a pinch.
- The Battalion's Backup blocks a massive amount of damage from Hale when used, and coupled with the +20 HP boost, you can survive one hit from Hale. When the backup buff is on, everyone including yourself around a certain distance will only take about 10% damage, thus making this a viable choice for a secondary.
- The Concheror can be used to heal yourself and your teammates as well as providing a speed buff. If your team has either a Medic or a Dispenser, however, it won't be of much use. Then again it is quite likely that both sources will fall in time, which is when the Concheror excels at healing and providing a speed buff to nearby allies and yourself.
- Against bosses that can superjump, the Reserve Shooter can deal large amounts of damage to him when he's in mid-jump, and help you switch to it even faster than usual.
- The Gunboats allow you to do multiple rocket jumps without losing too much health, effectively keeping your distance from Hale without a high cost in health. Negates a huge majority of fall damage.
- The Manntreads increase your rocket jump height and negates a huge majority of fall damage.
- The B.A.S.E. Jumper can help you avoid fall damage when you are low on health. Be aware however, that your slow descent makes you a good target for the boss. You also take normal rocket jump damage.
- The Panic Attack can be useful for multi-fire damage and is a better alternative to the Beggar's Bazooka. At low health, the firing rate will increase, but the spread rate will also increase, so watch out.
- The Escape Plan's and Equalizer's effect are mixed together.
- The Pain Train is a direct upgrade from the Shovel since no boss deals bullet damage. However, capturing the point is generally looked down upon and is a punishable offense in some servers.
- The Half-Zatoichi may be useful for health gains if you get close enough to the boss while he's unaware.
- The Disciplinary Action can be an invaluable method of escape for both you and another teammate, or even be used as a melee weapon due to the increased range that it inherently has as a side bonus.
- The Market Gardener functions similarly to the knife, dealing a lot of damage upon successful Market Garden.
- The Beggar's Bazooka has its uses, increased firing speed, ability to load multiple rockets, but the inaccuracy at farther ranges; it all depends on how the user uses it.
- The Righteous Bison isn't much use; while the weapon's infinite ammo is helpful, the penetrating projectiles and inability to be deflected isn't much help. The smaller clip size and slow-moving projectile may also hinder you. But it has its uses, and coupled with crits can deal a noticeable amount of damage. It can also hit a massive amount of times if the boss is moving away from you.
- The Airborne Armaments set is very useful for juggling Hale and keeping him away from your teammates. While the Reserve Shooter's capabilities are increased, the Market Gardener isn't beneficial or detrimental, seeing as all melee weapons deal critical hits.
- The General's Formals is useful for surviving and being a team player; helping others and yourself get away from the boss. The Mantreads will also reduce fall damage, so use it for that and rocket-jump to high areas.
- Dr. Grordbort's Victory Pack is somewhat neutral. On one hand, The Cow Mangler won't be as useful seeing that the charged shot won't be very powerful against Saxton. While the Righteous Bison's infinite ammo is also helpful, the projectiles' main property of penetration won't be as useful. On the other hand, the charged shot can help assist in lighting Saxton up, and the infinite ammo allow Soldier more chance of rocket jump and minimize need to resupply ammo. This set is map oriented, as small arena maps will make this set not recommended, while large open maps (such as Watchtower and Nucleus) allow the Soldier to take a position and conduct long distance support all by himself.
- Because most bosses rely on melee weapons, you can push them away without letting them hurt you, but be wary of those that use Rage often, as compression blasts will give them more rage.
- As a result, you become a valuable teammate for large groups and teamwork.
- Stay close to ammo resources, such as Dispensers and ammo boxes, as you will lose ammo very quickly.
- Beware of maps with water. The boss can easily drop in to extinguish fire and afterburn damage.
- An easy way to alert your teammates of the boss's presence is to ignite and make him more noticeable. This is especially useful on some of the darker maps such as Sawmill.
- You are useful against the Vagineer's Rage, but you better keep your distance, as the stun radius can reach you when he gets too close. However With a nearby Dispenser and a Medic healing you, you'll become that of a area denial; be wary of his Super Jump.
- Try to Stick near any current prime target: not just Engineer areas but also the more stationary class such as the Sniper or Soldier. If you have a good source of ammo, such as an Engineer's nest or boxes nearby, and you are locked on to the boss, you can generally keep them off any target.
- Don't be afraid to use the Flame Thrower, it will deal large amounts of damage at close ranges, but that leaves you under the risk of being attacked.
- Your compression blast can disorient the boss player, allowing your team to get some easy shots in.
- Knocking the boss into environmental traps (like sawblades) will deal massive damage.
- The Degreaser's faster weapon switch time proves invaluable when in a pinch, and more so with the Reserve Shooter. However, afterburn damage is reduced with this weapon.
- The increased airblast cost reduces how many times you can airblast the boss before running out of ammo.
- The Backburner is useful to deal damage since the Backburner deals critical hits from behind.
- The Phlogistinator is good for dealing massive damage while having the "Mmmph" meter active, since you can deal crits while it is active, but beware that you cannot air blast Hale.
- The Flare Gun and Detonator are replaced with a "Mega-Detonator", a customized Flare Gun that behaves like a Detonator, but allows for a very large Flare Jump at the expense of greater self-damage from explosions. The flare jump will propel the user a large distance regardless of whether it is detonated via alt-fire or via the flare exploding on contact with an object. You can use it as an emergency weapon to escape.
- The Reserve Shooter is very useful if you use the compression blast often.
- It pairs very well with the Degreaser, reducing weapon switch time to near zero.
- The Scorch Shot's knockback can be a good supplement when you are low on ammo for your Flame Thrower or are using a weapon like the Backburner or Phlogistinator. Keep in mind, however, that the damage and knockback it does is much lower than any primary.
- Use the Back Scratcher if there are no Medic players or Dispensers.
- The Sharpened Volcano Fragment works well in conjunction with the Phlogistinator.
- The Powerjack is a high-risk high-payoff weapon. Should you manage to hit Hale, you get extra health. Beware if Hale tries to hit you as the increased damage vulnerability makes you easier to kill. The speed bonus is also good for getting away from Hale in dangerous situations, or dodging and attacking with ease.
- Using the Axtinguisher or the Postal Pummeler will be just like the Fire Axe, which gives you no positive attributes.
- The Homewrecker, Maul, and Neon Annihilator are completely useless in this mode. There are no Sappers to destroy, nor buildings, and the damage penalty isn't worth it.
- The Third Degree can extend an ÜberCharge indefinitely if you can trap the boss in a corner.
- With a shield equipped, you are unable to explosive jump, but can survive a single hit from the boss.
- With the power of a shield and head-taking sword, Demoman is one of the highest damage dealers of the nine classes.
- Ali Baba's Wee Booties and the Bootlegger will give you an extra health and speed, which can help you survive multiple hits from the boss.
- The Grenade Launcher deals good knockback on direct hits.
- The Loch-n-Load's increased projectile speed makes it easier to land direct hits, however the decreased clip forces you to reload more often.
- Because there are no buildings, the damage bonus vs buildings is useless. Conversely, the blast radius reduction does not often matter as there is only one player on the enemy team.
- The Loose Cannon deals knockback to him allowing you more time to escape or save a teammate. If you time it right you can also launch yourself around to temporarily escape. It is also possible to get a "double-donk" on Hale.
- The Iron Bomber's grenades do not bounce or roll as much as the Grenade Launcher, allowing you to set off temporary traps with your grenades.
- The reduced bounce and roll also makes it easier to grenade jump, which allows for better mobility if you equip a shield.
- Beware that the Grenade Launcher, Loch-n-Load, Loose Cannon, and Iron Bomber have a small ammo pool.
- If using stickies, plant stickies near an Engineer's nest or key points where you believe Hale will go, or has to go.
- If you have the Scottish Resistance equipped, place stickybomb(s) near you, so you may escape when Saxton comes after you.
- Alternatively, place a concentrated amount of stickybombs where Saxton will come from. The Scottish Resistance's extra 6 bombs will help.
- Explosive jumping with the Stickybomb Launcher deals a noticeable amount of self damage. Only jump as a last ditch effort if there are no healing sources.
- The Splendid Screen is a great offensive tool due to it's decreased recharge time and high impact damage.
- While the Explosives and Fire damage resistances on the Tide Turner are useless, the full turning control makes up for this. The charge, however, does not deal as much damage as other shields. Your charge is not refilled on hit either.
- The Quickiebomb Launcher trades your ability to lay traps for a repeated attacks from a range.
- The sword weapons (excluding Half-Zatoichi) will give you heads upon hit. Use the speed and health increases to your advantage.
- The Scotsman's Skullcutter should not be deployed for long, as the speed decrease will let the boss catch up to you faster.
- The Ullapool Caber is not recommended as health is scarce and it only has one use.
- The Half-Zatoichi is similar to the Eyelander in this mode in that you gain health on hit, but it is received as overheal.
- The Persian Persuader converts all ammo into charge. This can be useful if you often use your shield, but you get heavily reduced primary and secondary ammo as a result, forcing you collect ammo much more often. Also, it will build up your charge quicker on hit, allowing you to escape from Saxton more easily if you still have your shield.
- The Claidheamh Mòr functions identically to the stock bottle, but holsters and deploys slower.
- The Expert's Ordnance is about dealing damage as fast as possible with the Loch-n-Load and going out with a bang using the Ullapool Caber
- The One Thousand and One Demoknights pack is very useful here. Charging builds very fast and can get you away from the boss.
- You movement is very slow. If the boss is focused on you, you're pretty much dead.
- Two well-placed hits will take you down, and three if you're overhealed.
- Stay close to a Dispenser or ammo supply; your primaries will chew through ammunition easily and most fallen weapons will be taken accidentally by teammates.
- If you get lucky, you may jam Saxton in a corner via your Minigun's knock back. At this stage, simply go to town with your guns until Saxton recovers. Don't go too near Hale as his rage will stun you and you will be unable to attack, giving Hale an opportunity to get unstuck. Do not stand underneath him as he can use his weigh down ability and dispatch you quickly.
- Remember that while stunned, you can still use your melee. This exploit is incredibly useful and can knock the boss far away, giving your teammates time to recover.
- Heavy is the only class that can jump while stunned.
- If you plan to just stick to one place, consider using the Brass Beast. Aside from the higher damage output, if you're constantly firing at Saxton Hale and you have a reliable ammo source, the knock back against him will be slightly increased.
- The damage reduction while spun up also allows you to take less overall damage from the boss.
- The Tomislav provides fast enough spin up and spin down times for a shoot-and-pray strategy.
- The increased accuracy will allow you to stay farther from the boss than with any other primary.
- The Huo-Long Heater's flames can be helpful against the boss. Its ammo consumption can be nullified by a Dispenser.
- On a team without Medics, consider using the lunchbox items for the Heavy, as health becomes a scarcity.
- Hand out your lunchbox items to teammates to keep them in the fight.
- Using the Buffalo Steak Sandvich as an escape weapon can be risky as you need about 4 seconds to consume it.
- All melee weapon have permanent critical hits, so the mini-crit bonus is negated.
- The Gloves of Running Urgently, Killing Gloves of Boxing, and Bread Bite are useful for fleeing from the boss.
- Equip a lunchbox in conjunction to keep yourself from dying.
- The Warrior's Spirit's damage bonus is useful with the permanent crit boost.
- The Eviction Notice is useful for brawling with Saxton; the forced crits will make up for the weaker attacks, and the attack speed is useful for getting as much damage in as possible. But, use it at your own expense.
- Landing a hit on the boss to grant a speed boost is risky but allows for a quick escape.
- Use of the Showdown taunt is inadvisable, but may not be completely suicidal since it has a long range and is one of the fastest kill taunts in the game.
- The Dalokohs Bar or Fishcake isn't much use in this mode because the boss will still kill you in two hits regardless. The chance he will kill you in three is highly unlikely.
- The Hibernating Bear set is for dealing heavy damage to Saxton. While your Steak won't be of much help as Saxton will kill you in one hit while using it, the Brass Beast and Warrior's Spirit will let you crush him. Try to stay near a constant source of healing/ammo so you don't end up defenseless. A Medic is recommended.
- The Black Market Business isn't as effective because the Tomislav will mainly be used for hit-and-runs, not really for direct combat, while the Family Business deprives you of food pickups. Try to memorize where the health pickups are on your stage so you can be healed; Dispensers will be helpful. The Eviction Notice though allows you to run at an increased speed and encourages the hit-and-run tactic due to the speed boost on hit.
- Engineers have the most potential when it comes to this mod with a knock-back inflicting Sentry Gun and a healing Dispenser. However, he requires time and resources to accomplish this.
- Know your terrain, map layouts, and sentry spots that you know will at least contribute to the team.
- Try not to hide in a corner while your team is fighting the boss, it doesn't help, and it only leads to more frustration when Hale rages you after all your other team mates have died or dispersed.
- A Dispenser is especially important as health and ammo or otherwise difficult to find.
- Be careful when turtling against Christian Brutal Sniper. His Huntsman can easily kill you outside of your Sentry Gun's range.
- Be careful when building a nest against the Headless Horseless Headmann Jr. His teleport ability may allow him to wreak chaos on the inside.
- Try getting a Pyro with you so he can airblast the boss if he gets too close to your Sentry Gun.
- Alternatively, get a Demoman to lay a trap to send the boss flying should he get close.
- Take the height advantage when building, it will be harder for the boss to get to your Sentry Gun.
- Telefragging is most common against the Horseless Headless Horsemann Jr. due to his teleport.
- Remember that if you die, your Sentry Gun will be instantly destroyed.
- Most boss players will use Rage to take your setup out. Have an escape route should this happen.
- The Frontier Justice is very useful in this mode if you plan to place an aggressive Sentry Gun.
- The Widowmaker's abilities are limited due to the lack of ammo in Arena. However, it is possible, but risky, to gain metal by getting close to Hale and shooting. However, do not rely too much on this tactic, since if you run out, you will be completely vulnerable if there are no Dispensers and/or Sentry Guns nearby.
- The Rescue Ranger can save valuable metal on repairing your buildings after a Rage. The mark for death penalty is largely irrelevant considering Hale kills you in one hit regardless. It's recommended you stick to your Pistol or Wrangler to attack with.
- The Wrangler is useful in dealing a high damage output and for stalling if your Sentry Gun is put in a small tunnel or doorway.
- When coupled with a Sentry Gun, enables you to sentry jump to difficult areas where Hale may have trouble getting to.
- You have a large supply of Pistol ammo, so if the Wrangler isn't available, use this to pepper the boss at a distance. This does quite a bit of damage.
- The Southern Hospitality is a direct upgrade to the regular Wrench, since none of the bosses utilize Fire.
- The Gunslinger gives you the ability to build Combat Mini-Sentry Guns that takes less metal. Use them as a temporary defense or as an alert to see where Saxton is. This can also be used as an assault weapon to distract him with, and even though it is weak, left undealt with it can rack up damage. It can also be used to defend your set up spot before you build a Dispenser.
- Due to the long trapping time, use of the Organ Grinder taunt is not completely suicidal.
- Consider using the Jag for the faster build rate and swing speed, as melee combat is suicidal, negating the damage penalties.
- The slowed repair rate makes it more difficult to retain your base if the boss does not instantly destroy your buildings.
- The Eureka Effect can be useful if you want to escape long-range fights against Saxton, as you can teleport back to your spawn or Teleporter Exit. However, be aware that the ammo collected from all sources is halved, and it takes a few seconds to fully teleport from you location, leaving you temporarily vulnerable.
- Build your Dispenser first. Your team needs lots of ammo and health, and you may not find any ammo packs. Also, all ammo packs are small variants, giving 40 metal each.
- Your Sentry will stay stunned longer than players. If your sentry gets stunned, it is usually a good idea to bail out and rebuild if the boss is near.
- If you are low on metal, remember that building gibs (excluding the Combat Mini-Sentry) and fallen weapons can replenish your ammo supply.
- After building a Sentry Gun and Dispenser, you can build a Teleporter to use as an emergency escape route. Beware, however, as it takes some time to teleport when you are on the teleporter entrance. Also, placing an exit in a safe location can leave you vulnerable.
- Sentry Guns provide significant knockback. With enough Engineers, you may provide enough force to relocate the boss.
- When near a corner with a ceiling or if the map has a low skybox, you can effectively pin him with your sentry and do enough damage to quickly finish him off. This however can be cancelled by Weighdown or Rage.
- Depending on whether the server has set hale_ragesentrydamagemode to 1 or not, if your Sentry gets stunned by Rage, it will lose about half of its health and you will not be able to repair it unless you haul and redeploy it. When doing so, hitting the Sentry Gun while it is upgrading itself will make you lose metal as if you're repairing it, but the health of it will not increase.
- If you die, your Sentry Gun will be destroyed but not your Dispenser or Teleporters.
- If there is a Horseless Headless Horsemann Jr. present, consider Sentry jumping to places where the Horsemann can't reach you without teleporting and getting some teammates with you to protect you. This is also a good opportunity to build a telefrag setup, because HHHJ has no choice but to teleport to you.
- Since the Sentry Gun's attack range is larger than Hale's rage attack, Engineers can position multiple nests of Sentry Guns to protect one another in case of a rage attack.
- The Short Circuit is not really helpful because there are no projectiles to destroy and it has pitiful damage. However, if fighting the Christian Brutal Sniper you may be able to destroy his arrows with precise timing. Some servers enable the SC to stun Hale at the cost of metal.
- The Pomson 6000 like the Righteous Bison is not that useful as the inability to be deflected is pointless. However, if one is using the Wrangler and their Sentry Gun is destroyed, one can use this as a substitute for long range damage.
- You are one of the most important classes in this mod with your healing capabilities. Do whatever needs to be done to survive.
- Due to your high importance to the team, you can act as bait for Hale to chase into a trap. Beware as this is an extremely risky tactic.
- ÜberCharge gains from the Syringe Gun can build your ÜberCharge extremely quickly as you gain 5 percent ÜberCharge on each successful hit. Firing needles whilst backing away from Hale can quickly build a full ÜberCharge.
- The Crusader's Crossbow is useful if played on a large map, such as Watchtower. The extra damage, 10 percent ÜberCharge per hit and critical hits can allow you to effectively snipe him. You should still be using this weapon for quick healing, however.
- The Syringe Gun is a great way to build ÜberCharge fast. If Hale is running towards you or is running near you, a simple string of hits with syringes can boost your ÜberCharge considerably. Don't forget to aim where you think Hale is going to be, not where he is, as most of the needles will miss if he strafes and doesn't go in a straight line.
- The Blutsauger can come at good use for this mode - every time you land a hit on Saxton, you will replenish 3+ health, and considering how fast the firing rate of the syringe projectiles are, you can easily go from 1 health to 150 health if you are very good at dealing damage at long range. However, you will only regenerate 2 HP a second as a compensation.
- The Overdose 10% movement speed isn't much as they say (it helps), but the 10% reduction of damage isn't much of a downer, as it isn't viable to be a "battle Medic" and use your primary to try to dish out damage, when your team needs you for the overheal and ÜberCharges that potentially could turn the tides of a game.
- Remember that you will be one of Saxton's priority targets, due to the fact that you can heal and ÜberCharge.
- Heal everyone. Do not prioritize one class. With the exception of a Scout using a Sandman and a Spy using a Conniver's Kunai or Big Earner, any class fully overhealed can survive a hit from Hale, although extremely rare.
- Pairing up with a heavy and deploying ÜberCharge can be your best bet for the most DPS.
- Do not hesitate to deploy your ÜberCharge on a teammate in danger. One extra person could mean the result of the round.
- Hale's stun is your largest threat. However you are immune to it while ÜberCharged. Try to predict when Hale will do his rage taunt and be prepared to use your ÜberCharge to save teammates when they are stunned.
- Don't use your Ubersaw to build up your ÜberCharge unless Saxton is very distracted or if you are trying to stun him with the Spinal Tap taunt. However it is a conceivable tactic while being ÜberCharged by another Medic. You can however use the Ubersaw whenever you feel like it, but it's risky; it's on your part though.
- The Amputator may be useful for healing an entire party of people effectively if there isn't a nearby Dispenser.
- The Vita-Saw has no valuable attributes. Since this is a modification of Arena Mode, you will not respawn. However, Saxton will kill you with one hit anyway, so it's not a negative weapon either.
- Because you can either type in a certain code in chat to see Saxton's health (albeit only once every minute or more) or will be displayed at the top, the Solemn Vow is a complete downgrade due to the slightly decreased firing speed.
- The Medieval Medic set can be useful for sniping Saxton from far away. You'll ÜberCharge far less, though, and your Amputator will be essential for healing people, just as important as your Kritzkrieg.
- The Sniper specializes in dealing high amounts of DPS, but at the cost of being rather fragile; but not without his own perks.
- Try to away from the Hale, it isn't advised, nor is it viable to melee him. None of your weapons receive damage falloff meaning you can deal large amounts of damage to him at long ranges.
- The default Sniper Rifle is extremely useful in that it marks Hale, allowing everyone on your team to see his outline. The duration of the glow scales with the charge of the shot, meaning that a non-scoped or non-charged hit on Hale will cause him to glow for 2 seconds, and a fully charged shot for 8 seconds. If you see him trying to sneak up on your teammates, mark him to alert your team.
- Because all the Sniper's weapons are granted full crits, your unscoped shot (or uncharged in the case of Huntsman) can deliver 150 damage alone. Considering the speed of Saxton Hale, it is in generally preferable to shoot him unscoped/uncharged and to go for body shots if he is chasing you. Fully charged, you deal 450 damage and 465 damage with the Huntsman, meaning that if you have good aim for body shots, you can deal huge amounts of damage to him in just several shots, perhaps even surpassing Backstab damage if you are good enough.
- A possible, but risky tactic is to use the Sniper's Huntsman Skewer taunt. The taunts initial thrust is coupled with a stun on the target, meaning you can quickly take down Saxton with the help of another Huntsman Sniper if both players lock him in a taunt chain. Beware, however, of Saxton's Rage taunt as this will unfreeze him, leaving you very vulnerable.
- The Huntsman does about 50% more damage than stock Huntsman (485 fully charged in this mode, fully charged Sniper rifles deal 450), so if you can use it effectively, this is a good alternative to the Sniper Rifle at closer ranges.
- The faster charge rate of the Sydney Sleeper can be useful, but note the lack of Jarate and ability to outline Hale.
- The Hitman's Heatmaker's increased charge rate can be useful for Snipers who have an easy time aiming and are in a safe place away from Hale where they can charge it.
- Since all of your weapons have a critical boost, your SMG will have a higher damage output than a Heavy's Minigun. However, it has a low amount of ammo and is not very accurate so be careful if trying to shoot Saxton to death.
- The Cozy Camper can be useful as it provides a health restoration bonus and also deals minor bleed damage when shooting Hale with your SMG.
- Jarate can be used as a support weapon to reduce Hale´s Rage meter. However, you will lose the damage output of your SMG. Also, this debuff does not apply to the Sydney Sleeper. Be advised, that the rage you remove with Jarate can be easily be recovered by the damage that you and your team mates do to Hale over time.
- The Cleaner's Carbine allows you to deal additional damage with just your Primary weapon, due to the fact that all SMGs deal critical damage.
- The Razorback has been modified to block one hit from the back; thus can save your life in situations where you would have normally died.
- The Tribalman's Shiv is useful so other people can track Hale down and to remove Hale's element of surprise. The constant criticals will negate the damage penalty.
- Since Hale can kill you in one shot, the Shahanshah's damage bonus can only be activated by self damage. This can be achieved through fall damage or non-lethal environmental damage
- The Bushwacka allows you to climb walls as you hit them with your melee. Use it to get to high places where Saxton would have a hard time to get to you.
- The Machina has its uses, even though it causes tracer rounds, that 15% more damage at full charge can be pretty decent to Hales that will ignore the tracer rounds.
- The Darwin's Danger Shield isn't much use in this mode, as Saxton will still kill you in one hit even with the 25+ extra health, however, if a Medic or some other source overheals you, you will be able to survive a hit.
- Saxton's rage taunt can reveal cloaked Spies. Cloaked Spies will remain invisible but a ring of ghosts will still float on top of their heads.
- Whereas the Spy lacks in direct damage, he makes up for it with his backstab ability.
- Even though you can deal a lot of damage to Saxton with just one backstab, don't rush at Saxton and madly stab thinking you will get a lucky backstab in. Remember that you are still a frail class. Watch out for an opening, then go in for a backstab.
- Using L'Etranger is recommended as it allows the Spy to recharge his Dead Ringer faster and potentially survive an extra hit. It also provides an added second of Cloak time if you happen to be using the default watch. The mini-crits may negate the damage penalty, although you're not likely to kill Saxton with your Revolver.
- Using the Enforcer should be reserved for when you can stay away from Hale at almost all times, since the 20% firing speed penalty is a major breaker in one on one combat, and you have to be undisguised for the damage bonus to set in.
- The Ambassador should only be reserved for a true marksman, since its damage is lower than the default Revolver and firing speed is slower; but the headshots can be rewarding.
- Always go for backstabs, as the knives do not deal Critical hits.
- A successful backstab will decrease the health of the boss by approximately 10%. It takes only a few backstabs to deal a devastating amount of damage to Saxton.
- If you manage to successfully backstab Saxton, a Razorback effect will be applied and you will be unable to stab for two seconds, and a notification of the backstab will show up on both your screen and Saxton's. Quickstabbing is viable, but there have been countermeasures made against this in a couple of servers.
- The best opportunity to backstab Saxton is when he's (occupied and not noticing you) about to superjump or when he is attempting to run up to a large Sentry nest, where the knockback will slow him down significantly and make him easy bait.
- Take note that Saxton will sometimes rage right after being backstabbed. If you watch your surroundings and can evade Saxton while being stunned you can prevent death.
- Both the invisible watch and the Dead Ringer are viable invis watches, but it all falls under your play style and preferences.
- Using the Conniver's Kunai will add 100 health, which may help you repeatedly survive with your Dead Ringer as you gradually gain more and more health. However this will allow Hale to instantly kill you since you have 60 health, so this is a high-risk, high-reward strategy.
- Use Your Eternal Reward or the Wanga Prick; Saxton generally won't be fooled by disguises unless they are friendly, and instantly disguising upon backstab can be useful.
- The Big Earner should generally be used if you want to Cloak often; since Saxton will kill you instantly anyway, the health penalty is negligible. Note, however, that you will be left less health after activating your Dead Ringer.
- Generally, the Dead Ringer will be more useful for both distracting Saxton and surviving a hit or two from him. Beware as feigning death will not decrease the player counter.
- Try to be in mid-air when Hale hits you and triggers the Cloak. The hit will send you flying away, making it less likely that he'll hit you again while invisible.
- As Saxton is the only member on his team, your Disguise Kit will be useless against a Saxton who is paying attention. However, disguising as a friendly teammate with the Dead Ringer may fool Saxton into believing he killed a player when you are still alive.
- Disguising as a friendly Scout can prove useful as Saxton will barely go for Scouts and will instead ignore them. However, a stunned Scout is often a high-priority target as they cannot avoid by jumping or dodging.
- If you have the Dead Ringer equipped, you can disguise as a high-priority class (such as a Heavy, Medic or Engineer) and act as bait for Saxton early in the round so your teammates can set up.
- The Diamondback has been changed to give crits on backstabs, thus can be used to reward yourself for backstabbing by shooting Hale with stored crits.
- The Cloak and Dagger will be replaced by the default Invis Watch; do not even try to equip it. Unless the server has modified it in any way.
- Do not ever take out your Sapper accidentally; you've wasted time and there is nothing to sap. Unless the server has modified it that you can sap something.
- The Saharan Spy set works well with your Dead Ringer. Upon backstabbing him, you'll disguise immediately. If you don't have a full Cloak meter, try to attack him with your L'Etranger to gain some.
- The Man of Honor set also works well with the Dead Ringer. Try to shoot him from afar, and then get close and stab him. Ask a Medic to overheal you to compensate for your lack of health.
Strategy: Playing as Saxton Hale
While in general, playing as Saxton Hale is not a difficult task, the real challenge comes from the teamwork of the Mercenaries to defeat him.
- General etiquette is not to rage, but since most people will argue that "it's a part of the game"; many mechanics of the game can be considered "apart of the game" as well, an example would be a map with high towers, where Hale can only get to with multiple super jumps on other smaller towers, or a map with a specific Engineer spot or mercenary spot that's generally very hard to get to. In other words, saying and trying to justify raging will only make you seem like an ass; it's a ability that defies all the game mechanics, advantages, and turns mercenaries into defenseless babies ripe for the picking. If you're going to rage, don't boast about it, don't try to justify or even make a excuse for it; just do it, but bare in mind, that many people won't like it. Simply to put it, it's the lazy mans route or the easiest way to win, simply because it can be spammed due to the amount of HP lost, and its disabling ability. Now if you're in a server where you feel things are unfair, 30+ personal servers, or constantly getting knocked backed ridiculously by say, a uncritted Minigun, then do as you like.
- General etiquette is not to cap the point(s) as one of the bosses unless the situation is desperate. Generally, this is when one or more of the following occur:
- Your health drops under 2000
- Opponents are heavily entrenched, especially with a sentry farm.
- When there are only Scouts on the other team left who are running away.
- On a server with large amount of players, feel free to use a brute-force approach against the enemy. Chances are more probable that you will catch one or two easily.
- Air-strafing is generally useful - if you get knocked into the air, you can air-strafe towards your target, and might even be able to stomp him/her.
- Staying on the ground and the mercenaries knowing where you are generally leads to you being hurt more, stay more airborne, constantly on the move, and generally being unspotted will lead to less damage; but try not to stall, nobody likes watching people who camp in corners and all sorts of actions like hiding.
- Super Jumping is your best bet to victory, spamming it as often as you can generally reduces the damage you take, due to the fact that you aren't on the ground, where the vast majority of players will try to hit you, as opposed to while airborne.
- Remember that you are not invincible, especially when playing with a small amount of opponents, e.g. if you only have one opponent your health is about 500. If you cannot charge forward, find another route toward their stronghold.
- Be careful of chasms such as the pits in Nucleus as they are easy to fall into, difficult to get out of them and, if you do escape, will take a big chunk out of your health.
- Another thing to be wary of are the other environmental dangers in the map such as getting trapped in a lift door or getting hit by a train. Some of these cannot be escaped from and you become more or less at your enemy's mercy.
- Some maps have instant kill environmental damage zones, be careful of them (Example would be the grinder on MVM_mannhatten), unless the server changes it so that it doesn't instant kill.
- Fire is useful, especially if you have high enough health, as you can use it to charge your rage meter.
- Knock back will be your worst enemy. Deal with Pyros, Force-A-Nature Scouts, Heavies, and Engineers/Sentry Guns first before you go after other classes. However, do not be unwilling to go with the flow; you might just get knocked back in the direction of another enemy.
- Sometimes it just takes a little time to kill someone, being persistently chased is annoying personally, but eventually you will catch up and kill them, however unless you die in the process, then of course it wouldn't work out.
- The most easiest way to kill mercenary is simply to rage them, but that's just being a poor sport; as it's generally looked down upon in this game mode.
- Super Jumping into mercenaries (and smacking) is one of the most common practices that experienced Hales do, simply because of how it works.
- Unless you get a lucky hit in, you may find that killing a Scout is one of the hardest things to do. Your most easiest option is to do a rage on him, try to bait him into running into your melee zone or simply super jump to catch up to him.
- The Soldier is slow, but his ability to knock you back and Rocket Jump away from you along with his high damage potential makes him a formidable opponent.
- Killing off the Medics and Dispensers on the other team will make him less willing to sacrifice health for mobility, possibly allowing you to ground him if you consistently chase him and that the map has little health.
- Try to herd Pyros away from ammo packs so that their airblast capabilities are slowly drained.
- Sometimes, the Pyro's airblast can help you as they grant a rage boost.
- Beware of sticky traps as not only will they hurt you, they will also send you flying if in an open space, especially if the map has an environmental hazard.
- Be prepared to go after a Demoman after you break his shield.
- Being the slowest, the Heavy can easily be caught up to and killed if alone.
- Most of the time, however, he is surrounded by teammates. Pick off his team bit by bit until you can reach him or use your rage taunt.
- Heavies while spinning up, can be easily stomped with the proper strafing and super jumping.
- Beware of Heavies even when they are stunned as they can melee you away, potentially wasting your rage.
- If the Engineer dies, his Sentry Gun is also destroyed. If both an Engineer and his Sentry Gun are stunned, go after the Engineer.
- However, it may sometimes be better to destroy the Engineer's buildings as it forces the Engineer to rebuild his defences with less metal.
- If you find a teleporter, break it. It will either force the Engineer to go and replace it or deny said Engineer an escape route. Breaking a teleporter exit may also prevent a possible telefrag, saving you 9001 hit points.
- Using the Superjump to reach a Sentry nest and then instantly deploying your rage taunt before the Sentry Guns can respond will allow you to catch anyone up there off-guard without being sent flying.
- It's best if you find and kill Engineers early on in the round, before they can set up adequate defences.
- The Medic is weak, but is usually protected by his team.
- Get him away from his team and killing him is a matter of dodging his Über-granting needles and getting close enough to him.
- The faster you get to the Medic, the less time he has to build up an Übercharge.
- If the Medic activates his Übercharge, both he and his target will by immune to damage and your stun, and the patient will receive critical hits for the duration. If this happens, you should immediately disengage until it wears off unless you can knock either of them into a death pit.
- Generally will deal a lot of damage over time if left to be, so your best bet is to deal with the Snipers first in large and open maps.
- Move erratically to avoid his shots; strafing helps too.
- A group of Snipers can deal devastating amounts of damage against you, as well as marking your outline, preventing any sneak attacks you may attempt. Try to prioritize Snipers, especially on a large, open map.
- If you manage to hit a Spy, chances are that they're using the Dead Ringer. If you suspect a Dead Ringer Spy, you can use your taunt to locate him or smash likely hiding spots.
- If there are Spies around, try not to use crouch to charge a superjump, instead use the right mouse button. Your speed will decrease significantly if you crouch and it will give Spies the perfect chance to backstab you.
- Superjumping may have disadvantages in some situations; a cluster of well-placed Sentry Guns and Heavies can easily send you hovering above ground, making you a floating target, possibly until you die. You are also a sitting duck for a backstab during the countdown. Keep this in mind.
- Super jumping however, is Hales best weapon for both offensive and defensive purposes; running away, reaching high heights, and catching up to targets faster than you would by running towards them; but this only applies when you use it right with right click (alt fire).
- Don't forget to use your Weighdown when you are being juggled! Hold crouch and look down to activate weighdown, which will make you come crashing down, and if anyone is unfortunate enough to be under you, they will be stomped.
- If you fall on top of an enemy, they will be crushed to death. However, don't rely on this to eliminate the other team and only rely on it for unsuspecting enemies below you and the lucky kill now and again.
- Rage is always a viable option, but like usual, it is looked down upon, and can leave a warning to other plays that you are a player who will use rage; use it as your own expense.
Horseless Headless Horsemann Junior
- Use teleport to surprise your enemies before either giving your opponent a quick chop or stunning them with your taunt. All players need to do is hit you with a melee weapon and then you will pop out of them, so it would be a good idea not to have anyone looking at you while you are teleporting so that they do not get their melee weapon out.
- Waiting for teleport constantly is not advised, it is considered stalling, annoying, and generally is against most server rules.
- Right before letting go of the crouch button before teleporting, press your attack button, as this will cause you to chop the person you teleport in to.
- Remember that you cannot Superjump, so high places (such as the boxes on Granary) are relatively inaccessible, especially if there are Sentry Guns or Pyros that will knock you back if you try walking there. In order to counter this, make sure you have a teleport charge ready, and hope that you will end up in the high place you were planning to go while simultaneously taunting to make sure no one can escape.
- The Horseless Headless Horsemann Junior's super-duper jump is actually just an instant teleport, like a normal HHHJ teleport, but without the charge time. The instant teleport comes with an increased stun time (4 seconds) to the HHH to prevent quick kills against the opposing team.
- You can perform the Decapitation taunt. Use it if you get stunned by the Sandman or locked in a taunt-chain.
- Your taunt will only stun players a small distance away, but it provides a lengthy ÜberCharge. When taunting, go after more damaging targets such as Heavies or Sentry Guns.
- If you deploy the Übercharge whilst pinned by Sentry Guns, the Charge will protect you from their knockback and allow you to land so you can take them out. Watch out for Pyros though, as their airblast is the Übercharge's only weakness, however they will extend the length of the Übercharge.
- Remember that your scare taunt has an extremely limited range. Only go for the scare taunt when you are very close to an enemy.
- Be sure to take out Pyros who can easily air blast you into a corner for the duration of your ÜberCharge, as it does not protect you from pushback by weapons.
- If you have raged, the Vagineer's Über provides total protection from knock back, save for the Pyros air blast, so there shouldn't be any problems aside from being consistently air blasted; simply super jump into the Pyro, or waste all his ammo.
Christian Brutal Sniper
- The Huntsman rage gives you the ability to pick off difficult targets. Aim for Engineers while out of range of their Sentry Guns.
- Players often feel safe when they're farther away from you, and may stop dodging. Use this opportunity to snipe distant targets, like Soldiers or Snipers.
- You should not use all of your arrows immediately. Conserve ammo and switch back to melee if the opportunity presents itself.
- While your rage range is limited, it is sufficient enough to take out sizable sentry nests. Taunt, then switch back to melee to destroy the sentry quickly. It will take several arrows to kill a Sentry Gun.
- Avoid using the Huntsman on Spies, as they will most likely be using the Dead Ringer.
- Even if you are equipped with the Bottle, you have the same range as Saxton Hale. Thus, this makes your range treacherous. Use this to surprise your enemies if they are approaching you.
- If you use your rage, it's best to do so in tight areas, when there are plenty of people around you, or you have crits; hence leading to mayhem with critical eggs.
- The Easter Bunny has a increased jump height, thus he can reach places that most players don't expect other Hales to reach, you can surprise your enemies and even jump smack mercenaries who peek their head out over small ledges that the increased height can reach to, whereas normal jump height can't.
- The eggs dropped from killed mercenaries maybe one of your best weapons, but certainly it could be one of your downsides, as mercenaries can also pick up the eggs for crits and ammo equivalent to a medium one.