From Team Fortress Wiki
Compression blast, also known as air blast, is the alternate fire for all of the Pyro's primary weapons except the Phlogistinator. It is a blast of sphere-shaped gas emitting from the end of the weapon. When the alternate fire button is used, the Pyro will use twenty ammunition (fifty ammunition with the Backburner equipped) to push enemies away several feet. It can also deflect most projectiles and instantly extinguish burning teammates.
Projectiles within the area of effect are redirected so that they are launched towards the Pyro's crosshair. When these projectiles are deflected, they are not simply "reflected" as if from a mirror; rather, the Pyro can redirect them. Deflected projectiles are essentially stopped and fired again from the Pyro's current position, aimed directly at the object the Pyro's crosshair lies on at the time. This can give strange results if the crosshair is centered on very near objects and players, sometimes causing the deflected rocket to move at angles very different to the direction the player is facing. With the right timing and position, a skilled or well-positioned Pyro can deflect projectiles at any desired angle, regardless of their original path. Grenades and stickybombs that are already on a surface will roll in the direction pointed to by the cursor.
The following projectiles can be compression blasted:
- Rockets (Sentry Rockets, Energy Blasts, and Eyeballs)
- Grenades and cannonballs
- Baseballs and ornaments
- All liquid based projectiles.
- Arrows, healing bolts, and repair claws.
Grenades and baseballs are not naturally given any additional vertical velocity when they are deflected. Aiming these deflected projectiles is more difficult, but their trajectory can be controlled by the Pyro's angle and position. They must be deflected upward in order to arc as they do when fired normally.
Deflected projectiles are considered to have been fired by the Pyro deflecting them for the purposes of friendly fire and kill awards. For example, a RED grenade will turn BLU when deflected and hurt any RED team players in the approximated area when it explodes. It can also hurt the Pyro who deflected it, similar to a Soldier damaging himself with his own rockets. The only exception to these rules is the stickybomb. Although they can be pushed away, they do not change ownership. The only change to a deflected stickybomb is that if the Demoman who fired the stickybomb detonates it while within its blast radius, the Pyro will be credited for the kill. Deflected Mad Milk and Jarate will soak enemy players and extinguish allies, and will have all the attributes of normal Jarate and Mad Milk, for example, the Pyro will be given kill assists if a teammate kills an enemy under the effects of deflected Jarate. On-hit effects are applied to the Pyro that deflected it. For example, it is possible to gain the +15 health bonus from the Black Box's rocket if the deflected rocket successfully hits a target. Likewise, the Crusader's Crossbow's bolts will heal teammates if deflected and the Pyro will be credited with the healing caused.
Non-critical deflected projectiles will always turn into mini-crits, while critical projectiles retain their critical status. Additionally, a deflected baseball will only stun as it would for the Scout who launched it. If the Pyro is crit boosted, for example under the effects of the Kritzkrieg's ÜberCharge, deflected projectiles will turn into critical projectiles. Again, neither of these effects apply to stickybombs.
The deflective abilities of an air blast can be used both offensively or defensively:
- Deflecting projectiles prevents them from harming your allies even if the projectile is not relocated. This is particularly effective against grenades and rockets.
- A compression blast can be used to blow away stickybombs, making an enemy Demoman's job more difficult. This is especially useful when defending the Engineer's Sentry Gun as stickybombs can be difficult to destroy by a single Engineer with his Shotgun or Pistol.
- The compression blast can also be used to repel enemies trying to attack friendly Engineer buildings at close range. This combines well with the strong knock back of the Sentry Gun against airborne targets.
- In Control Point, King of the Hill, and Payload matches, it can be used to remove attacking players from the point in order to stave them off until your allies can get there for reinforcement.
- The compression blast can be used to increase the space between the Pyro and the enemy, allowing escape when at low health.
- Though not as effective as using flame, a compression blast will also affect cloaked Spies, which can be marginally useful as a Spy checking method if one is using the compression blast anyways.
- In combat situations, use the surroundings to your advantage and try to blast your enemies off ledges and towards other hazards on the map.
- The Medi Gun, Kritzkrieg, and Vaccinator's ÜberCharges do not prevent the knock back of a compression blast. The Pyro can take advantage of this and separate the Medic from his patient by knocking him or the patient away: This will mean that only the Medic is Übercharged and on his own.
- Invulnerable enemies can also be killed outright by compression blasting them into environmental hazards.
- Compression blasts do not affect users under a Quick-Fix ÜberCharge.
- The knock back from a compression blast can be used to cancel the Scout's double jump.
- The Demoman's charge can be rendered useless with the compression blast. However, one must still beware the extended melee reach that is shared by many of the Demoman's melee weapons.
- Using the compression blast, one can juggle an enemy in the air in a predictable route, rendering them nearly helpless in the air for you or your teammates to attack, or to simply advance past them.
- The Reserve Shooter deals mini-crits against airborne opponents, which pairs effectively with compression blast juggling.
- Snipers cannot fire the Huntsman while airborne; the compression blast allows you to render them unable to attack by keeping them in the air if they do not have their SMG equipped.
- The compression blast can be used to force enemies into friendly Sentry Gun range for easy kills.
- The compression blast can be used to push an enemy into a corner, creating a good chance to finish them with your other weapons.
- In Control Point, King of the Hill, and Payload matches, the compression blast can be used to remove defending opponents blocking the capture, particularly useful when outnumbered or overpowered and the point or check point has almost been captured.
- It is possible to deflect Level 3 Sentry Gun rockets back at the gun to destroy it, or utilize them to kill a nearby Engineer who is repairing it.
- Blasting an enemy downwards to the floor, makes the enemy stick to the ground for a moment, leaving them vulnerable to close range attacks.
Wrap Assassin's baubles and Cleavers (Bleeding)
Cow Mangler 5000's energy blast (Afterburn)
Manually detonated Detonator's flares
Scorch Shot's flares
Scottish Resistance's stickybombs
Unused Kill icons
†These kill icons were contributed by NeoDement.
- As of the September 30, 2010 Mann-Conomy Update, the Pyro (through editing the items_game.txt file) has the ability to charge an airblast. Charging increases the knockback dealt to enemies. It has no effect on projectiles.
- The Pyro can cause self-damage with deflected Rocket Jumper rockets.
- Reflected balls and baubles can only damage the Scout who shot them. While a deflected Wrap Assassin's bauble has no effect on the Scout's teammates, a deflected Sandman ball will stun them, but still deal no damage.
- Reflected Rescue Ranger bolts can deal critical damage with a headshot as if the reflected projectile was a Huntsman arrow.
- Reflected Loose Cannon cannonballs do not deal mini-crit damage.
- Even though the Pyro is credited for any kills given by a deflected Stickybomb that the Demoman detonates (including on the Demoman himself), this has no effect on the domination counter if the Demoman is not yet dominating the Pyro. However, if the Demoman is dominating the Pyro, a kill from the deflected Stickybomb's will reset the counter.
- Holding down the secondary fire button to continuously use a compression blast will cause the recoil animation to play only once before remaining static.
- Scoring a headshot on an enemy with a deflected arrow will have the kill icon of a normal headshot (as opposed to that of an arrow headshot).
- No kill icon appears when a deflected MONOCULUS eye destroys a building.
- The compression blast is the only source of knockback that is not countered by the Mantreads. This is likely due to it not dealing damage.
- If a baseball is deflected back and stuns the Scout that hit it, it will show the enemy Scout assisting himself if he is killed by the Pyro.
- If a teammate kills an enemy who has recently been hit with a compression blast, the Pyro receives a kill assist.
- Strange variants of flamethrowers will not gain a kill count if an enemy is killed with a deflected projectile.
- If fast enough, the Pyro can deflect a projectile from behind the enemy that fired it.