Community Pyro strategy

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Mmmphya harrgh mrgha hrghgph!
The Pyro on strategizing

The Pyro is a class whose combat strategies mostly revolve around close-range combat. The Pyro's Flamethrower can dish out huge amounts of damage at close range in conjunction with the Shotgun. The Pyro can also alter the flow of gameplay with compression blasts, which can push back enemies (even ÜberCharged enemies, except for those under Quick-Fix ÜberCharge), deflect or move projectiles, and extinguish teammates on fire.

Quick tips

  • Stay away from water and open areas. If you can't avoid them, wait to follow another friendly player.
    • The former tip can be disregarded somewhat if you use the Neon Annihilator; however, because the Neon Annihilator is a melee weapon, it is only effective at extremely close range, making reliance on it somewhat questionable.
  • Pushing enemies away with the compression blast can disorient them. Save it for the right situations, such as when an enemy ÜberCharges, if you intend to follow up with your Shotgun or Flare Gun, or if you need to escape.
    • Pushing enemies to their left and right usually works better than forward or back. If an enemy gets pushed forward or back, they are still facing their previous direction.
  • When fighting in water, if both you and your enemy are at the top of the water, you can burn them with the Flamethrower if you shoot it above the water.
    • The Pyro is a faster moving class. While swimming, try to use your speed advantage in combination with your secondary or melee.
  • While fighting another Pyro, use your Shotgun to allow you to keep some distance between you and the enemy.
    • If the other Pyro has the Phlogistinator or the Backburner and you have the Flamethrower or Degreaser (or if you have a Backburner high on ammo), you can use your compression blast to disorient them; they usually can't or won't decide to use their compression blast on you.


  • Playing Pyro requires a different mindset than other classes. You tend to be weak on frontal attacks; you will lose to most other classes if you are seen coming. If you catch the enemy by surprise, however, you can be the most dangerous class in the game.
  • Always try for an ambush. Learn the maps and use flanking routes rather than main ones.
  • Explosive jumps can bring you into effective range faster
  • Weaker classes like Scouts, Engineers, Medics, and Snipers tend to retreat when they are on fire. Light them up and quickly retreat, following up with shots from the Shotgun.
  • Enemies that have been damaged sufficiently by your primary weapons can often be easily finished off with the Shotgun.
  • You cannot be lit on fire by other Pyros, but you still take contact damage from the flame particles. If fighting an enemy Pyro, using the Shotgun or the Flare Gun would be a good idea.
  • If you fight against enemy Pyros, it is very helpful to run backwards while flaming, because your flame will be longer than the enemy's one. This strategy is also helpful to lure them into your base and have your teammates finish them off.
  • Use caution when fighting near water or a source of enemy healing, such as Health pickups, Medics, or Dispensers, as these can extinguish a burning player sooner than the afterburn would normally die out.
    • If possible, try to pick up any health packs near burning enemies to prevent them from extinguishing themselves.
  • Remember to use your compression blast to extinguish burning allies, saving them from extended burn damage.
  • Your compression blast ability makes you an invaluable minesweeper class. Use it to:
    • Deflect most projectiles (including rockets, grenades, stickybombs (mid-air or stuck to the ground), flares, Huntsman arrows, Sandman balls, and Wrap Assassin ornaments) back at the attacker or other enemies. You can also reflect enemy Jarate and Mad Milk back at the thrower and their teammates to use it to your advantage. Reflected projectiles deal mini-crits, or crits if the projectile was initially a Crit, to enemies and are harmless to allies. Reflected arrows can Headshot enemies.
    • Push Stickybombs away from important objectives like Control Points or Intelligence. Deflected Stickybombs remain dangerous to teammates and friendly buildings, but can also damage the Demoman who fired them. Deflected Stickybombs do not deal Mini-Crits.
    • Reflect enemy Sentry Gun rockets for 135-147 damage, potentially killing the Engineer or other weaker classes.
  • Your compression blast gives you a unique a ability to control an enemy's movement and position. Use it to:
    • Knock enemies away from objectives like Control points and Payload carts.
    • Push enemies away from valuable enemy-dropped items, preventing enemy pickup; particularly dropped Intelligence, MvM Robot Bombs, and Robot Destruction Reactor Cores and Power Cores.
    • Remove enemies from close combat in high positions by knocking them off ledges.
    • Knock enemies into environmental hazards on the map.
    • Knock back attacking enemies, such as charging Demomen, enemy Pyros, and other classes using melee.
    • Prevent enemies from fleeing by pinning them in a corner.
    • Separate and distract ÜberCharged enemies and prevent them from pushing forward.
    • When you must fight near water, blast enemies into the water and then jump them with the Neon Annihilator.
  • When using compression blast to move the enemy, take every opportunity to light the enemy up first, so they take afterburn damage while you are moving them.


  • Use alternate routes to organize a synchronized attack on the enemy, igniting them from behind while teammates attack from the front is extremely effective.
  • Use elevation to get the drop on the enemy. Most players do not look above eye level.
  • Know which corners on the map are blind corners or offer cover from enemies coming around them. These can often be good points to attack single enemies or small groups of slightly more vulnerable classes such as Scouts.
    • When attempting to hide in a corner, equip your secondary or melee weapon, as they are much less likely to poke out from behind a wall than your Flamethrower.
  • Be sure to check for stragglers or other flankers before attempting to perform an ambush against enemy groups. Sometimes Snipers stay behind the enemy push to focus their fire on flanking classes such as Scouts, Spies, and Pyros.
  • When ambushing a group of classes that are dangerous to go near, surprise them and use circle strafing to ensure you take the least damage.
  • Be prepared for one-on-one combat. Enemy players looking to perform their own ambushes may also use side paths, and can sometimes be encountered in such situations.
  • If things don't go according to plan, be sure to have an escape route.
  • If ambushing, consider using the Backburner, as it has 100% crit chance against enemies hit from behind.

Frontline combat/Support

  • Charging into a group of enemies and setting them on fire is a good way to disrupt an offensive push.
  • If an Engineer has left a Level 1 Sentry Gun near a corner, it's possible to pop around the corner and take out the Sentry Gun at point-blank range.
    • You can use your Flamethrower to damage a Sentry Gun without fully turning a corner, so it will not attack you while you destroy it.
  • When ÜberCharged, you can lay waste to a Sentry Gun faster than most other classes, but you are also more easily thwarted by knockback than other classes. Try to approach from around corners whenever possible.
  • Be sure to check the health of allies that are on fire. There may only be a couple of seconds to put them out with the compression blast before the afterburn kills them.
  • The Scout's weapon, the Sun-on-a-Stick, always crits on burning enemies. When playing Medieval mode, a Pyro with the Sharpened Volcano Fragment and a Scout with the Sun-on-a-Stick can become a deadly duo.


  • Stand near the Capture point or Intelligence, preferably out of sight, and ignite anyone who comes near.
  • You are the Engineer's best friend when on the defense, due to your primary weapon being a great Spy-checking weapon. Only a momentary burst of flame is needed to ignite an enemy Spy. If a Spy manages to slip past you and tries to sap an Engineer's building, use your Homewrecker, Maul, or Neon Annihilator to get rid of the Sapper(s). Do note that the Neon Annihilator requires two hits to remove an enemy Sapper compared to the Homewrecker's one.
  • Without the need to reload, your primary weapons can immediately use any ammo with which they're supplied. Standing next to a Dispenser can allow you to act as a stationary flame turret for guarding an Engineer fortification or the Intelligence room of Capture the Flag maps.
    • Similarly, you can utilize the infinite ammo supply of your team's Payload cart to spray a continuous stream of flames or compression blasts. This can be a very useful defense technique in Payload gamemodes to combat threats to your team's cart, such as rockets and other such projectiles. It's especially useful in deterring and dispatching Spies.
  • The Compression Blast can save Sentry Guns, especially when the Engineer isn't around. Reflect away projectiles or ÜberCharges that are targeting Sentry Guns, and push away Spies before they start sapping.
  • Know what paths the enemy may try to take in order to attack the team's base. Map knowledge goes a long way to countering the enemy by attacking from their blind spots. For example, when the enemy rushes the front doors in 2Fort, try to ambush them by dropping through the grate and attacking them from behind.
  • If defending, try hiding in a corner or somewhere no one can see you. When enemies come by, run behind them and torch them with a Flamethrower.
    • Ensure that you hold your secondary or melee weapon when hiding in a corner, so your weapon does not give you away

Compression blast

  • The compression blast can knock enemy players into map hazards, such as the pit in Steel or the trains in Well, or simply push enemies away to deny a decisive combat action.
  • Remember that the compression blast can extinguish allies on fire.
  • One of the most useful roles of the compression blast is to knock back the enemy Intelligence carrier. On many CTF maps, the enemy will often resort to suicide Scouts and Spies to constantly touch the Intelligence and prevent the Intelligence returning to a team's base. This can be turned against them by allowing them to pick up the Intelligence and then airblasting them in the opposite direction, causing them to lose ground.
    • You can also reset the Intelligence by airblasting an Intelligence carrier into a pit, such as that on Double Cross.
  • Depending on reflexes and timing, it's possible to deflect projectiles fired by an enemy back at their own team. This can significantly help teammates by negating potential damage to teammates and turning it into potential damage against the enemy team.
  • Having a Crit boost will cause all reflected projectiles, excluding Stickybombs, to reflect as a Critical hit.
  • It is very difficult to reflect objects at close range, so for these situations, extra attentiveness is called for. Timing the delay between projectiles or watching the enemy player's animation can help in judging when to use a Compression Blast more easily than watching the projectile itself. For example, most Soldier players will hold down their attack button down when firing, to kill you as quickly as possible and remove any delay. Predict when he will fire the next rocket and you will likely be able to reflect it, with a little luck.
    • Soldiers will often choose the Direct Hit to counter you, due to its high projectile speed. Instead of attempting to reflect the projectile, consider setting the Soldier on fire and blasting him away.
  • It's possible to use explosives to perform explosive jumps through the use of deflected explosives, excluding stickybombs, which remain under the ownership of the Demoman who fired them.
  • Level 3 Sentry Guns that are far away or sit around a corner can be damaged with their own rockets by using the Compression Blast. This tactic can be used to separate Engineers from their Buildings, destroy the supplying Dispenser, or cause a distraction long enough for another teammate to storm in and take care of the Engineer's set-up. Moving quickly in and out of a Sentry Gun's range will minimize damage taken, as it will only fire about three bullets along with the rocket before losing its target, if performed correctly.
  • When fighting a Heavy/Medic combo, try to compression blast either the Medic or Heavy away from the other off a second floor or edge of a hill, if possible. When done correctly, you can fight the enemy still up with you. You will most likely be able to defeat that enemy before their ally comes back up. This plan works best when you sneak up and attack from behind, launching the enemy off.
  • Beware, though, your compression blast takes up 20 ammo (with the Flamethrower and Degreaser,) meaning that with full ammo, you can only launch 10 compression blasts before you run out, and that also means that you can not light the enemy on fire to damage them. This is even more so with the Backburner, which costs 50 ammo, meaning you have only 4 compression shots before you run out, so use Backburner blasts with care.
    • The Phlogistinator has no airblast whatsoever, leaving you more vulnerable to Soldiers and Demomen at mid-long range. Rely more strongly on retreating from these enemies or using your Mmmph to catch them before they can run away.
  • When you see a Medic and an ÜberCharged patient, try to flank around them and airblast one away from the other. That will leave the Medic without a heal target, and the teammate he was healing will be left defenseless.

Weapon specific

Primary weapons

Flamethrower + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Carried Point Blank Medium Range Afterburn Critical
Flame Thrower
Killicon flame thrower.png 200 6.82/particle 4.09/particle 60 over 10 seconds 12-21/particle
Festive Flamethrower
Festive Flame Thrower
Killicon flame thrower.png
Item icon Rust Botkiller Flame Thrower.png Item icon Blood Botkiller Flame Thrower.png Item icon Silver Botkiller Flame Thrower.png Item icon Gold Botkiller Flame Thrower.png Item icon Carbonado Botkiller Flame Thrower.png Item icon Diamond Botkiller Flame Thrower.png

Botkiller Flame Thrower

Killicon flame thrower.png
Australium Flamethrower
Two Cities Reward
Australium Flame Thrower
Killicon flame thrower.png
Killicon rainblower.png
Nostromo Napalmer
Nostromo Napalmer
Killicon nostromo napalmer.png

Nostromo Napalmer

  • The Flamethrower is a close-quarters weapon with a very short range. It's devastating at point-blank range and sets fire to all classes except other Pyros and Demomen wielding the Chargin' Targe.
  • Since the Flamethrower penetrates multiple targets, buildings and players in the line of the stream may all be hit at one time, giving you additional utility against groups.
  • The Flamethrower is very useful for destroying Buildings; Sentry Guns built near a corner can be destroyed without exposing you to the Sentry Gun's range, and Sentry Guns built at a bad angle to an entrance can be rushed, circle-strafed, and destroyed without taking significant damage.
  • The Flamethrower inflicts sixty points of afterburn damage if the target stays on fire for the entire duration.
  • If facing a Medic pair, aim for the Medic and try to kill him first.
  • If you have a Rainblower, use it over the default; it functions in exactly the same way and you can perform the Armageddon taunt, which can be useful for dealing with crowds.
    • Be careful, as the Rainblower covers most of the screen and may make it hard to aim.
  • If using the the Isolated Merc set, be wary of Scouts who wear the Isolationist Pack, as your damage received will increase. Compare which weapons the Scout is welding to yours to find a tactical advantage.


Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Carried Point Blank Medium Range Afterburn Critical
Killicon backburner.png 200 6.82/particle 4.09/particle 60 over 10 seconds 12-21/particle

The Backburner is an unlockable primary weapon for the Pyro. It guarantees Critical hits when attacking a target from behind, but it uses 150% more ammo when performing a compression blast.

  • Remember that the Backburner uses 50 ammo for a compression blast compared to 20 for the Flamethrower and Degreaser. Try to only use it in emergency situations, such as when deflecting critical explosives, or for extinguishing multiple teammates at once.
  • If you can manage to get behind enemies, it's an ideal weapon to use against enemy Pyros. Try to circle-strafe around them to get Critical hits in.
  • When using the Backburner, you must rely more on performing ambushes than in attacking in frontal assaults. Take alternate routes into enemy territory and loop back to the front lines.
  • While the narrow hitbox for the Backburner's guaranteed Crits may prove difficult to account for with the hectic movement of combat, an alternative is to find a group of enemies and strafe behind them while firing the Backburner.
  • When facing a stronger enemy, such as a Heavy or overhealed Soldier outside of your range, back away. Hide somewhere inconspicuous and then nail them later with the crits when they do not see your incoming attack.
  • If a Medic pair is causing serious damage to your team, go around them and target the Medic, then his buddy. The damage from behind is so powerful that most Medics cannot even activate an ÜberCharge in time.
  • Soldiers are your worst enemies! Do not try to rush against a Soldier unless you are sure you can kill him. The high airblast cost makes reflecting rockets so expensive that it's unwise to attempt it.
  • Drop down from above! Because enemies rarely look up, you can effectively stop a party of enemies.


Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Carried Point Blank Medium Range Afterburn Critical
Killicon degreaser.png 200 6.14/particle 3.68/particle 45 over 10 seconds 11-18/particle

The Degreaser is a craftable primary weapon for the Pyro. It allows you to switch between weapons 65% faster than normal. 10% less damage is dealt, however, and afterburn damage is reduced by 25%, meaning that enemies will take a maximum of 45 afterburn damage from being set on fire by the Degreaser, instead of the normal 60.

  • The Degreaser is best for Pyros who like using a "Puff and Sting" tactic. Ignite your enemy before rapidly switching to a secondary or melee weapon to finish him off. This is especially effective with the Axtinguisher, as a guaranteed critical hit from behind, combined with the initial damage, will kill anything but a Heavy almost instantly at close range.
  • The Degreaser is great for dealing with Scouts that try to perform a Weapons heckle. The faster switch time applies to all weapons while the Degreaser is carried, so you can quickly switch to and from any weapon to deal with the Scout as appropriate.
    • However, Scouts can easily escape from your range and the reduced afterburn will probably not kill them. If a burning Scout retreats, use your Shotgun or Flare Gun to finish him off.
  • Due to the decreased weapon switch time, the Degreaser is recommended if you like to quickly ignite enemies and Compression Blast them into the air for quick kills with a secondary or melee weapon.
    • The Reserve Shooter's additional weapon switch time stacks with the Degreaser's bonus; the switch time becomes effectively zero with both of these equipped. This makes the Reserve Shooter all the more useful.
  • If you are fighting against a Soldier constantly switching between his Rocket Launcher and his Shotgun to prevent you from reflecting his rockets, you can quickly attack him with your Shotgun or your Flare Gun, and reflect his rockets when he tries to surprise you.
  • Burn your targets for as long as possible. Your reduced afterburn may allow their survival, so try to deal as much damage as possible to large targets before you must run.
  • Reflecting projectiles works well with this weapon. Try reflecting a rocket at a Soldier to launch him in the air and switch to another weapon to finish him off.
  • The Degreaser works well against enemy Pyros. Afterburn does not affect Pyros anyway, and the increased switch time allows you to quickly change to a secondary or melee weapon to deal more damage effectively.
    • However, if fighting a Pyro who is wielding the Flamethrower or Backburner, he can out-damage you with his primary weapon. Use your faster weapon switch time to your advantage by airblasting him away and shooting with your secondary. The Scorch Shot can be used to knock him further away, but if you are carrying a Flare Gun, you cannot out-damage him, so it is best to flee and let your teammates do the job.
  • The Degreaser is weaker for the direct assault that the Flamethrower and Backburner excel at, and forces you to rely more on your other weapons. Carefully consider what secondary weapon to use, as you will probably be using it a lot.
    • The Shotgun, with its large clip, is a reliable weapon and can deal the most damage just outside of your flamethrower's range. However, apart from random crits, it has no way to get mini-crits or critical hits, and it lacks synergy with the faster weapon switch.
    • The Reserve Shooter does well with the Degreaser, as you can Compression Blast enemies into the air and quickly shoot them for mini-crits. The decreased weapon switch time makes for a near-instant weapon switch, especially helpful if you use the Axtinguisher.
    • Any Flare Gun will help make up for the reduced afterburn. Shoot a fleeing enemy to reset their afterburn to the normal, stronger afterburn. However, without a Shotgun, you will be weaker against enemy Pyros.
      • Using the Flare Gun will grant you a critical hit as well as resetting the afterburn, allowing for a very quick kill.
      • Since you will often be at medium to long range with this weapon, where airblasting rockets is easiest, a Shotgun won't deal much damage and a flare can be easily dodged. The Detonator and Scorch Shot both explode and can make hitting your enemies easier. Use one of them if you expect to be fighting from a distance or airblasting projectiles.
      • Although the Manmelter's flares travel faster and are more useful at long range, the ability to extinguish teammates is redundant and best used with a flamethrower with reduced airblast capacities. It can be useful, however, if there are a number of Pyros on the enemy team.


Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Carried Point Blank Medium Range Afterburn Critical
Killicon phlogistinator.png 200 6.14/particle 3.68/particle 60 over 10 seconds 11-18/particle

The Phlogistinator is a craftable primary weapon for the Pyro. It is incapable of performing compression blasts and dealing random crits, but it charges a "Mmmph" meter. When the meter is full, it can be used to provide healing and a crit-boost.

  • Activating the "Mmmph" meter uses a taunt that will refill health completely. During this taunt, you have 75% damage resistance, which makes it very useful in tight spots.
    • If you're in a tough situation, do not hesitate to activate the Mmmph bar. Survival is more important than wasting the critical hits.
  • The lack of airblasts makes it harder to deal with Stickybomb carpets. The Phlogistinator can be paired with a Shotgun, the Detonator, or the Scorch Shot to solve this problem. This makes defending Engineers or capturing objectives harder.
  • The Manmelter pairs well with the Phlogistinator due to the Manmelter's ability to extinguish teammates, which a lack of an airblast would otherwise leave you unable to do.
  • Hitting an opponent with a Hadouken fully charges the Mmmph meter. It is more efficient to hit inattentive enemies with a Hadouken instead of burning them with your primary weapon.
  • The Phlogistinator is a wonder at stopping enemy pushes. Ambush an enemy push from behind. Remember that your flames go through enemies, so your Mmmph will charge very quickly.
  • The Phlogistinator works well with a Medic. If ÜberCharged with a full Mmmph meter, you will be able to deal crits and stay alive with impunity.
  • The Phlogistinator does not require very much fire damage to activate its effect. If facing a powerful defense, try to slink around their base and charge up the meter so you can break through with crits.
  • Any fire damage done to enemies will charge your Mmmph, so if it's too risky to fight enemies in close quarters, you can hit them with a Flare Gun to fill the meter.

Secondary weapons


Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Critical
Killicon shotgun.png 6 32 86-90 24-67 3-26 180
  • The Shotgun is an excellent weapon to follow up an attack with a Flamethrower. It allows you to deal damage from a safer distance.
  • If you excel with the Shotgun, consider keeping it in hand most of the time and engaging enemies at distance before closing to finish battles with the Flamethrower. The high burst damage from the Shotgun can also save your life if you're ambushed at close range and need to quickly dispatch an opponent.
  • The Shotgun is a good sneaking weapon. Its shape is less visible than any of your primary weapons' long nozzles, yet it gives you the ability to deal a fair amount of damage quickly if caught, while not restricting you to close range like a melee weapon would.
  • If forced to cross open ground where enemy Snipers are known to be on the lookout, consider firing the Shotgun at them after leaving cover. While not as useful as the Flare Guns in keeping them suppressed, Shotgun rounds can shake the scopes of rifle-carrying Snipers long enough get back to a safe spot.
  • Constantly fire at enemies to harass them at long distances. This may distract them and allow your team to take them out from another direction.
  • If you are forced to airblast your opponent so you can escape, pedal backwards while firing your Shotgun to deal some damage.
  • If you engage in battle with another Pyro, the Shotgun will be your best friend. Use all your shells at medium-long range, then go in for the Flamethrower kill. Note that if the enemy Pyro uses a Flare Gun, Detonator or Manmelter, you will have a major advantage against them, due to your fire-retardant suit.
  • The Shotgun is your main weapon while underwater, as your Flamethrower is ineffectual when you are underwater.
  • The Shotgun pairs exceptionally well with the Degreaser. Among other tactics, adept Pyros can use the faster weapon switch to burn a foe and then juggle them into the air, following up with the Shotgun.
  • The Shotgun also does a great deal of damage at point-blank range. Use it in situations where you want to conserve Flamethrower ammo, or against other Pyros.
  • The Shotgun is great for when your Flamethrower's limited range won't cut it for defending yourself. (E.G at the end of Hightower when you push the cart up the lift and your Flamethrower can't hit enemies harassing you from below.)

Reserve Shooter

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Critical
Reserve Shooter
Reserve Shooter
Killicon reserve shooter.png 4 32 86-90 24-67 3-26 180

The Reserve Shooter is a craftable secondary weapon for the Pyro. It allows you to switch between weapons 15% faster than normal and deal mini-crits to any enemy who is airborne for 5 seconds after switching weapons. However, it can only load 4 shells.

  • This weapon works very well with the Puff'n'Sting tactic. After airblasting an enemy, switch to the Reserve Shooter to score mini-crits on your targets.
    • This tactic works even better if you're using the Degreaser, as your switch time increases to approximately 70% faster.
  • If you see airborne enemies, such as Soldiers or Demomen explosion jumping or Scouts double-jumping, pull this out and score your mini-crits.
  • Note that the mini-crits apply to any enemy in the air, not just enemies launched in the air by your compression blast.
  • Using airblasts, try to juggle enemy Soldiers and Demomen by reflecting their explosives at their feet and finish them off with the Reserve Shooter.
  • The Reserve Shooter only has four shells. Try to aim for the center of the target as much as possible to reduce risk of missing and wasting ammo.
  • Because mini-crits ignore damage falloff, this weapon is slightly more adept at long range than the Shotgun. Use it to shoot Rocket-Jumping Soldiers and enemies juggled by your teammates.

Flare Gun

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Base Damage Afterburn Critical Projectile Speed
Flare Gun
Flare Gun
Killicon flare gun.png 1 16 30 60 over 10 seconds 90 1450 Hammer units/sec

The Flare Gun is an unlockable secondary weapon for the Pyro. A completely different weapon from the Shotgun, it fires one flare at a time and reloads slowly. Any enemies hit by a flare will suffer moderate damage and be ignited. Ignited enemies will receive a Critical hit.

  • The Flare Gun has a passive reload, so it will automatically reload if you are using your primary or melee weapon. This means that the reload time is not an issue if you switch weapons often.
  • The Flare Gun projectile will start to arc after traveling a fair distance, approximately the length of 2Fort's bridge. Be sure to compensate at long distances.
  • The Flare Gun does not have falloff damage, meaning that it does the same base amount of damage at all ranges. The projectile is hard to dodge at medium ranges, and enemies may run into it by mistake.
  • One general use for the Flare Gun is for dispatching fleeing enemies at long range. Often, if a low or medium health class, such as a Scout, Medic, or Demoman, is ignited, they will turn around and retreat for health, leaving their backs wide open for a Critical flare.
  • A Heavy's slow speed makes them an easy target for flares. If you are unable to ambush one because they've seen you, try hitting them with repeated Flare Gun shots while popping out from behind cover to take them down.
  • The Flare Gun is much less powerful against enemy Pyros because they cannot be lit on fire, but don't underestimate the contact damage the flare itself deals.
  • The Flare Gun can be your best tool for dispatching Engineers hiding behind their buildings from outside of the range of the Engineer's Sentry Gun.
  • The Flare Gun can also be used as an ambush and counterattack weapon. When fighting lone enemies, hit them with a flare and then feign a retreat around a corner. If the enemy takes the bait, follow up with the Axtinguisher for a nasty surprise.
  • If you are pinned down by Snipers, shoot flares at them. They will be ignited and their scope will constantly shake, and a following flare will kill any Sniper inattentive enough not to run.
  • The Flare Gun works well with the Flamethrower and Degreaser. Ignite your enemies with your Flame Thrower, then compression blast them into the air and finish them off with a flare while they're disoriented.
    • If you deal damage to someone ignited by the Degreaser with the Flare Gun, a critical hit will be dealt, and the weaker afterburn will be replaced with normal afterburn. The quicker weapon switch time also helps with this.
  • The reload of the Flare Gun takes some time. Remember this when trying to hit enemies from a long distance.
  • The Flare Gun, compared to the Shotgun, is far more adept at long range. The Shotgun suffers from a large amount of damage falloff over distance. Although the arc of the flare can be hard to compensate for, the Flare Gun is good for picking off enemies out of range of your Flamethrower.


Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Base Damage Afterburn Flare Detonation Flare Explosion Self-Damage Critical Projectile Speed
Killicon detonator.png 1 16 30 60 over 10 seconds 10-20 56 39-68 90 1450 Hammer units/sec

The Detonator is a craftable secondary weapon for the Pyro. It functions much in the same way as the Flare Gun, except clicking the Alt-Fire button will detonate the flare projectile in mid-flight enabling the Pyro to reliably deal fire damage at any range. As a downside, you take 25% more self-damage from flares detonating near you. The Detonator also only deals Mini-Crits on burning players, instead of the full Critical hits of the Flare Gun.

  • Out of all the Pyro's secondary weapons, the Detonator offers the most versatility, combining the ranged combat strengths of the flare guns with ability to deal consistent damage of the shotguns. It can also be relied on for mobility, Spy checking and sticky bomb clearance as required.
  • The explosive knockback of the Detonator permits the Pyro to perform a Detonator jump, a maneuver similar to a small rocket jump. This is small (roughly the height of a shipping container), but it allows you to jump over certain obstacles, hide on certain ledges, and attack enemies from unexpected angles or to take routes and short cuts that are otherwise unavailable.
  • Use the alt-fire detonation near a group of stickybombs to quickly destroy them.
  • The Detonator can be used to heckle and wear down a group of players through constantly detonating flares near them to lightly damage and ignite them. This works particularly well should the opposing team not have a Medic or another way of extinguishing your flames. Done successfully, you can effectively stall an attack by forcing numerous opponents to seek out health.
  • The Detonator excels in large drawn-out mid-range battles where you can't rely on ambushes. Help your teammates by softening up enemies with a constant stream of exploding flares. Aim for as many opponents on fire at the same time as possible, and follow up your initial attacks to reset the burn timer, increasing your chance of an afterburn kill.
  • Though the mini-crits of the Detonator aren't as powerful as the Flare Gun's full crits, they are still potent enough to kill a weakened class, particularly as follow up to an attack by one of your primaries.
  • Keep a close eye on any retreating opponents; a well-placed detonation near them could finish them off, or mean they die from afterburn before reaching a source of health.
  • Detonating projectiles is more reliable than relying on direct hits - especially for hitting airborne targets. This makes it easier to hit and heckle fast foes such as Scouts and can discourage them from attempting to chase you or engage you in combat.
  • By using the alt-fire detonation, the Detonator is more reliable for long-range Spy-checking than the Flare Gun. Detonate flares on routes you think a recently cloaked Spy may be taking.
  • Like the Demoman and Soldier's explosive weapons, the blast radius from the Detonator's alt-fire can be used to hit targets around corners. This can be useful when retreating to ignite any enemies pursuing you, holding off advances at choke points, destroying sticky traps, and flushing out foes using cover to hide from you.
  • The Detonator is very useful in open areas, as it is more reliable at dealing consistent damage at mid distance than the Shotgun or the other Flare Guns.
  • Pairing the Detonator with the Backscratcher gives you a reliable way of maximizing the benefit of any health kits you will certainly need if you rely on the added mobility of Detonator jumping. Even a small health kit will heal most of the damage from two consecutive Detonator jumps.
  • As the Detonator enables you to self damage, you can help a Medic build an ÜberCharge more quickly.


Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Base Damage Afterburn Critical Projectile Speed
Killicon manmelter.png 4 30 60 over 10 seconds 90 3000 Hammer units/sec

The Manmelter is a secondary weapon for the Pyro. It operates in a similar way to the Flare Gun, but it has unlimited ammunition and doesn't score random critical hits (or critical hits for hitting a burning opponent.) Additionally, the secondary-fire can extinguish teammates, which provides a stored critical hit, similar to the Frontier Justice and Diamondback.

  • The Manmelter's projectile also travels 50% faster than a regular flare, making it one of the fastest projectiles in the game. This lets you land long ranged flares more consistently than the Flare Gun or Detonator and makes it extremely hard to dodge in short/mid range.
  • The Manmelter's lack of ammo usage makes it useful to use instead of a more costly airblast to extinguish allies. It pairs particularly well with the Phlogistinator's lack of an airblast, or the Backburner's more-expensive airblast. Be sure to diligently extinguish allies - not only is this good team behaviour, but it serves you well in the long run, as you'll store guaranteed crits.
  • At a long-range, players often flee when hit by a regular Flare Gun, making landing a second one difficult. With a stored crit, the initial damage followed by the afterburn can kill weaker opponents unable to extinguish the flames in time. If you're confident about your aim, you can use this to take out Snipers.
  • The Manmelter's increased projectile speed compared to the Pyro's other flare guns pairs well with the Phlogistinator, as it is much easier to hit opponents and charge your "Mmmph" gauge.
  • Keep in mind that the Manmelter has a slower firing rate than the Flare Gun (even taking the and does not get random critical hits.
    • When compared to the Flare Gun, the projectiles hit their target at roughly the same time in close and mid range; however, the Manmelter hits first in long range.
  • Whilst it makes sense to take a Shotgun when up against other Pyros, remember the Manmelter's power increases with the number of enemy Pyros. It's somewhat situational, but provided it's used in the right areas, the Manmelter can practically harvest guaranteed crits off of burning allies.

Scorch Shot

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Base Damage Afterburn Critical Projectile Speed
Scorch Shot
Scorch Shot
Killicon scorch shot.png 1 16 15 60 45 1450 Hammer units/sec

The Scorch Shot is a secondary Flare Gun that gives the player a wider damage radius. Similar to the Detonator, the Scorch Shot has an explosion radius where anyone caught in it catches on fire. However, unlike Detonator, it explodes upon contact of a surface, regardless of whether it hits a player, the ground, or other objects. It also provides a Knock back effect upon a direct hit. In exchange, the initial hit does half the damage of a Flare Gun shot.

  • In comparison to Detonator, Scorch Shot requires less skill to explode and ignite enemies.[1]. This is handy if you know have trouble timing your aim and alt-fire to explode the projectile.
  • The Scorch Shot is ideal for attacking enemies that are in cramped, high areas, as the gun has a larger blast radius and provides knockback to any direct hits. One of the best applications of it can be seen on Doomsday, when the enemy is crowding on the elevator with the Australium. Not only will your shot ignite most, if not all of them, but it can also knock the bearer of the Australium case off the elevator from a safe distance.
  • Since direct hits send enemies flying, the Scorch Shot can make it harder to hit someone with the Axtinguisher or Powerjack.
    • This shouldn't matter too much, though, because the knockback at close range is small, and unless you are out of ammo, you are better off using your primary weapon. However, you could use the knockback to pin someone in a corner while you pull out your Axtinguisher.
  • The knockback of this weapon makes it a rather useful support weapon by using it to push enemies away from an important area, or knocking them into a hazard, especially when they are out of reach of the compression blast.
  • If using the Phlogistinator or Backburner, the knockback can be used as an alternative to airblasts to knock enemies away from you or into hazards, although you should note that the time between switching to the Scorch Shot and back might be significantly longer than the time between using airblast and primary attack, unless you're using the Degreaser.
  • Keep in mind that the knockback is greater the FURTHER you are from your target. From a long way away, you can effectively disable ÜberCharges and knock enemies into hazards. The knockback will also mess up a Sniper's aim, and possibly knock him from his position.
  • The projectile fired by the Scorch Shot falls on the ground after hitting an enemy and can still ignite enemies who run over it for a short while, so it is ideal to use in the corridors leading from enemy spawn or in other narrow areas where enemies are constantly advancing.
  • The explosion from the flares can destroy Stickybombs, making this an ideal weapon for clearing traps and defending Engineer buildings.
  • Try not to use the Scorch Shot in close range, since it will damage you as well. Also mind any obstacles close to you that might get in the way of the shot for the same reason.
  • Shooting at one's feet with the Scorch Shot can cause all enemies surrounding you to be lit on fire. This is good for tight situations where you're low on ammo on your primary and want to get as much damage done as possible.
  • With the Scorch Shot, you can also do a flare jump, like the Detonator, but smaller and much less damaging. This works well when paired with the decreased damage of the Scorch Shot, because you save a bit of health each time, allowing you to possibly survive a near-fatal blow. However, this doesn't work with all obstacles that the Scorch Shot can jump, because it is smaller, allowing you to jump more with less health loss, but not as high.
    • To help visualize the jump height, a Pyro can scorch jump slightly higher than a Double Jump from the Scout.
  • Keep in mind that in medium-range combat, a Pyro wielding something other than the Scorch Shot will have an advantage over you due to the -50% damage penalty.

Melee weapons

Fire Axe + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Critical
Fire Axe
Fire Axe
Killicon fire axe.png 0.8 seconds 65 195
Killicon saxxy.png
Conscientious Objector
Conscientious Objector
Killicon conscientious objector.png
Frying Pan
Frying Pan
Killicon frying pan.png
Killicon lollichop.png
Freedom Staff
Freedom Staff
Killicon freedom staff.png
Bat Outta Hell
Bat Outta Hell
Killicon bat outta hell.png
Ham Shank
Ham Shank
Killicon ham shank.png
Necro Smasher
Necro Smasher
Killicon necro smasher.png
Crossing Guard
Crossing Guard
Killicon crossing guard.png
  • When used, the Fire Axe's effect is much more likely to be passed off as a stray bullet from outside the target's field of view than being attacked by the Flamethrower is. To this end, it can be used to knock down a target's health before attacking with the Flamethrower.
  • Additionally, because the Flamethrower does not ignite enemy Pyros, the Fire Axe is more viable against them than the Axtinguisher.
  • While not as effective as the Axtinguisher with the "Puff and Sting", the Fire Axe can still deal significant damage to enemies if they are pinned to a wall or corner, and random Critical hits have the same effect.
  • Considering that you're already at melee range with your Flamethrower, the Fire Axe is somewhat redundant, as the Flamethrower can deal far greater damage in a shorter amount of time. Thus, it's a good idea to use the Fire Axe to conserve Flamethrower ammo, or opt to use a different melee weapon. The additional benefits supplied by other melee weapons can be more useful to you than the neutrality of the Fire Axe.
  • The Fire Axe is particularly powerful against Demomen with the Chargin' Targe, as most Demoman melee weapons do not score Critical Hits like the Fire Axe does. You can use an airblast to stop their charge, and use the Fire Axe to counter-attack, as he will not score random Critical Hits against you unless he's using the Bottle/reskins, the Pain Train, or the Half-Zatoichi. Though there is the chance of not getting a random critical hit at all, you can still out-melee him and it's unlikely. Even if you're playing on a server with no random critical hits, you'll likely have the support from your team, most Demomen will pair the Eyelander with the Chargin' Targe which gives you a health advantage, and if you can melee well (remember, attack, and strafe. Be unpredictable.) you should be able to make this strategy work without fail.
    • Not so much against enemy Pyros, because the Shotgun can dispatch them fairly quickly, while Demoman will most of the time have a longer range that you can't backpedal away from before he kills you.

Axtinguisher + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
On Burning Enemies On Non-Burning Enemies and Buildings Critical
Killicon axtinguisher.png 0.8 seconds 65 33 195
Festive Axtinguisher
Festive Axtinguisher
Killicon axtinguisher.png
Australium Axtinguisher
Two Cities Reward
Australium Axtinguisher
Killicon axtinguisher.png
Postal Pummeler
Postal Pummeler
Killicon postal pummeler.png

The Axtinguisher is an unlockable melee weapon for the Pyro. When used against targets that have been ignited, it inflicts mini crits when attacking the front of an enemy, and Critical hits when attacking from behind. However, against targets that are not on fire, it does only 50% damage. The Axtinguisher also does not roll for random Critical hits.

  • The Axtinguisher can be crit-boosted, but its critical hits against non-burning foes use the Axtinguisher's own reduced damage for determining the damage of the critical hit, rather than the damage of the Fire Axe.
  • Setting foes on fire with your primary weapon and then knocking them into the air with Compression Blasts, then finishing them with the Axtinguisher is also a very effective tactic, called the "Puff and Sting". Blasting targets into a corner or into a wall will restrict their movements, disorient them, make it harder for them to counterattack, and line them up for a perfect chance to land the killing blow as the enemy is coming down.
  • The extremely high damage makes the Axtinguisher very useful when ambushing classes with high health, such as Heavies, Soldiers, and Demomen. It's often preferable to use the Degreaser in these situations, because these classes can easily out-damage you if they have enough time.
  • Additionally, using the Reserve Shooter adds an extra 15% faster switch time, and stacks with the Degreaser. This allows you to swap weapons literally one fourth the time it takes to swap weapons normally. Use this for an excellent 'Puff And Sting' method.
  • It takes one hit to kill a burning Scout, Engineer, Sniper, Spy (if they are even overhealed), and non-overhealed Medic and Demoman; two hits are enough to kill all burning classes except an overhealed Heavy, who requires an additional third hit. However, the initial fire will also damage the victim, so a non-overhealed Soldier will die either from afterburn soon after he is hit, and even an overhealed Heavy will usually take no more than 2 hits. Using this weapon and Degreaser allows you to kill any enemy in 1-2 seconds (the faster switch rate also lets you Axtinguish enemy Pyros).
  • If used to ambush bigger classes, the Flare Gun may give you a better chance of successfully landing an Axtinguisher hit, as it sets them on fire from a longer distance and thus gives you more time to switch to the Axtinguisher while closing the distance, as well as increasing the burn duration.
  • The Axtinguisher pairs very well with the Degreaser, as the faster weapon switch time allows you to quickly puff an enemy with flames and then finish him off without leaving yourself vulnerable. Try to ambush enemies as much as you can, as they most likely won't have enough time to react when caught by surprise.
  • Rushing at an enemy and trying to Axtinguish them does not work well. Try approaching enemies from the side or behind to ensure you will survive the encounter.
  • Working with a Medic can help, as running at people with an Axtinguisher can leave you severely damaged.
  • While it holds true for practically all classes and weapons, attacking from above benefits the Axtinguisher and Degreaser combo immensely. Firing flames while in midair, then using the improved weapon switch speed to ready the Axtinguisher just before reaching your target is a great way to ensure a critical hit. Because flames travel at a fixed speed, it is possible to fall faster than your fire travels, and thus reach an enemy at the same time as your flames do. Because they will be considered ignited due to being in contact with your flames, a successful Axtinguisher strike can mean the end of most classes with little to no chance for them to respond. Notably, this is one of the few ways to kill an enemy Pyro with a critical hit from the Axtinguisher without the help of another allied Pyro, as while they are immune to afterburn, the game considers ignited for a fraction of a second when your flames reach them.

Homewrecker + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
On Enemies On Buildings Critical
Killicon homewrecker.png 0.8 seconds 42-55 130 147
Killicon maul.png

The Homewrecker is a craftable melee weapon for the Pyro. It does double damage against Engineer Buildings and has the ability to destroy Sappers placed by enemy Spies in one hit, but inflicts 25% less damage against non-building targets.

  • The Homewrecker can readily two-shot any building at full health in 1.6 seconds, or 0.8 seconds after the first swing, which is marginally less time than the Flamethrower in certain circumstances. The Homewrecker can also one-shot Combat Mini-Sentry Guns.
  • With the Homewrecker equipped, you are a best friend to any Engineer. Constant flames will keep out Spies, while the Compression Blast throws rockets, grenades, and otherwise lethal stickies away as well as tossing ÜberCharged players away, and the Homewrecker stops the Sappers of any Spy that manages to get through.
  • Despite the damage bonus, attempting to attack Wrangled Sentry Guns is not a good idea. However, during the cooldown period, the Homewrecker stands a good chance of destroying it before it can re-activate.
  • The Homewrecker does less damage against players than the stock Fire Axe. As such, the Homewrecker is not a good choice for those who often engage in melee combat. Considering that you're already at melee range as a Pyro in any case with your Flamethrower, the Homewrecker's positive attributes more than make up for its lower damage rate against enemies.
  • Do not approach any level Sentry while it is active. Rather, hit it while the Engineer is building to weaken the enemy's defense.
  • Like most Strange weapons, the Homewrecker counts player kills. If you want to keep track of any buildings you've destroyed, or Sappers removed, you'll need to add the relevant Strange Part.


Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage Healing
Point Blank Critical From Kill
Killicon powerjack.png 0.8 seconds 65 195 75

The Powerjack is a craftable melee weapon for the Pyro. Upon killing an enemy with the Powerjack, you are rewarded with 75 HP, which can Overheal in the normal manner. In addition, the Powerjack grants the user 15% faster move speed. However, while wielding it, you will take 20% more damage from all enemy sources.

  • Due to the damage vulnerability, it's recommended to only use this weapon in ambushes where the enemy will not have enough time to counter.
  • Most kills will be gained in the same way as the Axtinguisher, I.E. igniting then airblasting an unaware opponent into a corner or otherwise restrictive space and finishing off with melee hits.
  • Pairing with the Degreaser and Flare Gun can easily make up for the damage lost by giving up the Axtinguisher in return for easily gained health from inattentive opponents.
  • Unless fully overhealed, try to get a Powerjack kill as often as you can. However, don't start fights you can't finish.
  • If facing an enemy you are sure you can defeat, such as an idle Sniper or a lone Spy, don't hesitate to be opportunistic and whack away at them.
  • Whittling down the foe's health using a Flamethrower or a secondary, then ending off with a Powerjack hit is a good way to kill enemies without having them retaliate with melee of their own. Although you have done more damage, they can easily hit you and strafe, doing one more finishing blow due to the increased damage against you.
  • The faster move speed allows you to get to the fight faster and ambush enemies quicker.
  • The Powerjack can be used as a means of escape if you are low on health, but only use it if you know that you can reach a health pack or a Medic with friendlies providing cover fire, as the 20% vulnerability increase from all damage sources can make you easy to kill.
  • The Backburner works well with the Powerjack, as you can run to flank locations faster, making ambushes easier to pull off.

Back Scratcher

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage Healing
Point Blank Critical From Small Health Packs From Medium Health Packs From Mediguns From Dispensers From Payload Carts
Back Scratcher
Back Scratcher
Killicon back scratcher.png 0.8 seconds 81 244 54 132 6-18/sec 2.5-5/sec 2.5/sec

The Back Scratcher is a craftable melee weapon for the Pyro. It does 25% more base damage than the Fire Axe, and has the further advantage of replenishing 50% more health when the player picks up health packs, but reduces the healing rate from Medics, Dispensers, and the Payload cart by 75%.

  • The Back Scratcher is ideal for roaming solo Pyros without access to a Medic or Dispenser. The added healing from health packs makes surviving while behind enemy lines considerably easier.
  • Due to the reduced healing rate, if you're carrying the Back Scratcher, try to avoid being a primary heal target for Medics, as this can put the Medic in danger when attempting pushes.
    • Alternatively, if you're in a safe spot, the Medic can build up ÜberCharge faster by healing you.
  • A coordinated Back Scratcher Pyro and Candy Cane Scout can make for strong allies; the Pyro can engage enemies, distracting them while the Scout comes in to finish them off, awarding a boosted health kit for the Pyro to use.
  • Do not use this weapon if you're on offense on a Payload map. Healing from the cart will be diminished, which will prove to be a problem.
  • Though finishing off an enemy with this weapon may not give any benefits, it is still quicker and more decisive than your Flamethrower at close range.
  • The Back Scratcher is an ideal weapon against enemy Pyros. If you consistently land hits, you will be able to out-damage any of his weapons, with the exception of the Backburner from behind.
  • The Back Scratcher is a great weapon for Medieval Mode. Since all enemies drop health packs and only melee weapons are allowed, the damage bonus and increased healing from packs can make you a force to be reckoned with.
  • The Back Scratcher pairs well with the Detonator and the Scorch Shot, as both can cause self-damage through flare jumping. The added healing from the Back Scratcher allows you more attempts to reach ledges with health kits only easily accessible to Scouts, Demomen, and Soldiers with the reward of a large healing boost.
  • Against Chargin' Targe wielding Demomen, the Backscratcher can help even the odds where your primary weapon will only deal 50% damage with no afterburn, nullifying the Axtinguisher. Being able to out damage a Demoknight is your best defense. This counts double if you do not choose a Shotgun for your secondary weapon.

Sharpened Volcano Fragment

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Afterburn Critical
Sharpened Volcano Fragment
Sharpened Volcano Fragment
Killicon sharpened volcano fragment.png 0.8 seconds 52 60 over 10 seconds 156

The Sharpened Volcano Fragment is a promotional and craftable melee weapon for the Pyro. Upon hitting an enemy, the target is ignited; however, the Sharpened Volcano Fragment does 20% less damage than the Fire Axe.

  • The Sharpened Volcano Fragment can be used to ignite enemies in situations where using the Flamethrower would alert the enemy to a nearby Pyro. However, its reduced damage reduces its utility in other situations where killing the enemy has higher priority than stealth.
  • When using the Degreaser, to conserve health, you can hit an enemy with the Sharpened Volcano Fragement, and then airblast them away. This can be used to finish off someone you first attacked with the Degreaser, or against a Heavy to inflict heavy damage and escape before he has time to spin up.
  • In Medieval Mode, the Sharpened Volcano Fragment is one of only two weapons capable of igniting enemies. This can provide a useful tactical advantage for teammates, both doing damage over time and "painting" targets for a Scout with the Sun-on-a-Stick or fellow Pyro wielding the Axtinguisher.
  • The Sharpened Volcano Fragment is very useful for Spy-checking teammates when conserving ammunition is a priority.
  • When carrying this weapon, the Flare Gun is an effective secondary weapon to carry, as it can be used to deal large amounts of damage.
  • The Sharpened Volcano Fragment can be used before or after attacking an opponent with your Flamethrower for additional damage.
  • A critical hit with the Sharpened Volcano Fragment can be extremely lethal on classes that are not overhealed. Counting afterburn, a critical hit can deal enough damage to kill every non-overhealed class except for the Heavy, and overhealed Scouts, Snipers, Spies, and Engineers.
  • The Sharpened Volcano Fragment is great when firing a short burst of flame will do too little damage, or a long burst of flame wouldn't be worth it. Because the Sharpened Volcano Fragment deals heavy damage and has the same afterburn time and damage, it's much better suited for hit-and-run tactics, rather than attacking enemies head-on.

Third Degree

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Critical
Third Degree
Third Degree
Killicon third degree.png 0.8 seconds 65 195

The Third Degree is a craftable melee weapon for the Pyro. On hitting an opponent connected to another via a Medic beam, both players are damaged for the full weapon damage.

  • If more than one Medic is healing a single target or Medics are forming a "chain", hitting just one player will damage them all.
  • The Third Degree has no downsides and therefore should be used over the Fire Axe.
  • Be situational. Do you know if the opposing team has Medics? If you know they do not, stick with a different weapon.

Neon Annihilator

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Critical
Neon Annihilator
Neon Annihilator
Killicon neon annihilator.png 0.8 seconds 52 156

The Neon Annihilator is a promotional and craftable melee weapon for the Pyro. On hitting a wet opponent (one covered in water, Jarate, or Mad Milk,) it is guaranteed a critical hit. Players are considered wet for 5 seconds after leaving water. It can also remove Sappers from friendly buildings. As a drawback, it deals 20% less damage against players and does not roll for random critical hits.

  • Similar to the Homewrecker and the Maul, this weapon can destroy enemy Sappers on friendly buildings. However, keep in mind that it requires two hits in order to remove an enemy Sapper.
  • The weapon may seem to contrast with the Pyro's fire-based abilities, but it does give some powerful utility in maps with a lot of water. Because your primary weapons and flare guns do not work underwater, the Neon Annihilator allows the Pyro to be effective where he would otherwise be at a large disadvantage.
  • Burning enemies will likely rush to the nearest source of water to extinguish themselves. This allows you to chase them down and finish them off with a critical hit. You can also use the compression blast to force them into water, and the Annihilator should do the rest; two critical hits will kill any class except a fully overhealed Heavy.
  • The effectiveness of this weapon depends almost entirely on the terrain; on maps with little or no water, you will be much better off using a different melee weapon.
  • Pairing with a Scout using Mad Milk can be a very effective combination; you can deal critical hits on drenched opponents, gaining a lot of health in the process. If the Scout also wields the Sun-on-a-Stick, he can deal full critical hits to opponents once you ignite them.
  • Most waterways are low, secluded, and often tight spaces. This weapon is great for ambushing people trying to get behind friendly lines and can prove great for securing locations for Engineer nests in enemy bases.

Taunt attacks


Kill Icon Weapon Damage Duration Details
Killicon armageddon.png Rainblower 400/15 5 seconds The Pyro blows a stream of bubbles as a rainbow forms over him, complete with a sparkling Balloonicorn in the center of the rainbow. The Pyro then leans over as foreboding music plays, causing the rainbow to become engulfed in flames while The Pyro laughs demonically. Players not in Pyroland see a stream of fire instead of a rainbow.
  • The Pyro's Armageddon taunt is one of the most damaging taunts in the game, capable of immolating several unaware enemies in flame.
  • For each player caught in the taunt's radius, damage is halved, so the closest will receive 400 damage, the next closest will receive 200 damage, and so on. Foes in the taunt's radius that are not immediately killed will suffer afterburn damage as normal.
  • Lurk around corners in populated areas in the hopes of catching large groups of players by surprise; even if you die in the attack, you will still have dealt a significant amount of damage.
  • Being one of the most noticeable and longest taunts, achieving one kill requires an extreme amount of luck and skill.


Kill Icon Weapon Damage Duration Details
Killicon hadouken.png Shotgun
Reserve Shooter
Flare Gun
500 3 seconds The Pyro winds his hands back, concentrates, then releases his inner fire energy as a Hadouken. Capable of hitting multiple enemies and can destroy buildings. If the enemy survives the attack, he will be set on fire.
  • At the beginning of a round, on a level with setup time (like Gold Rush or Dustbowl), taunting with 0:01 left on the timer will cause the taunt to launch just as the gates open and may catch more inattentive players in the blast.
  • An inattentive Sniper or an idle player can be the perfect target for a surprise attack or humiliation.
  • This taunt can take out multiple enemies, so it's very useful against groups of enemies, if timed well.
  • A successful Hadouken hit can instantly fill the Phlogistinator's "Mmmph" meter.
  • Note that the Hadouken can destroy unattended buildings. This can be useful during Humiliation, or if you want to cut down on time and ammunition. Use it to destroy Dispensers and the like - but be warned. If an enemy Engineer catches you whilst attempting to Hadouken, you will be unable to prevent him from dispatching you with his Shotgun, for instance.


Kill Icon Weapon Damage Duration Details
Killicon scorch shot.png Scorch Shot 400/15 3 seconds The Pyro holds his Scorch Shot upwards, before bringing it down to aim ahead and fire. The shot uses ammo, and causes the same damage and effects as a normal shot at long ranges, short range shots are far deadlier.
  • Since the taunt takes about three seconds and is harder to aim than simply shooting the enemy, it's recommended that this taunt is saved for the end of rounds.
  • When an enemy is hit from point-blank range, the shot will do 400 damage against an enemy; however, hitting an enemy beyond said range will do standard damage.
  • This taunt is roughly three seconds long and completely silent before it fires, giving the option to surprise enemies rounding corners.
  • Remember that the shot will damage you if the projectile hits an obstacle or enemy too close to you.
  • This weapon's taunt also uses up a shot, to conserve ammo but still taunt kill, stick with a weapon that uses the Hadouken taunt.

Weapon combinations

Cooperative Class Strategies

Leaderboard class scout.png Scout

  • The Pyro and Scout are both excellent ambushing classes. A coordinated ambush can result in killing practically any enemy without too much effort.
  • Your ability to airblast syncs well with Scouts' aimed projectiles. Pinning an enemy against the wall while the Scout launches a Sandman ball, Mad Milk, or Flying Guillotine can result in an easy kill.
  • A combination of the Neon Annihilator and the Mad Milk of the Scout allow to gain massive amounts of health with your critical hit.
    • Scouts carrying the Force-A-Nature can cause enemies to fly backwards while your Scorch Shot lets you harass enemies from a distance, making the two of you able to push enemies around as you please.
  • The pair of you are capable of taking out a sentry nest all by yourselves. Have the Scout go in with a Bonk! Atomic Punch to attract the Sentry Gun's attention. As a Pyro, you can now go in and rapidly damage the Sentry Gun, potentially killing the Engineer as you do so.
    • If the Engineer decides to wrangle, you can sneak up and kill him quickly before he notices you. If you have the Homewrecker equipped, you can use that to break the sentry before it reactivates.
    • Note that this strategy will likely not work if a sentry nest has more than one Sentry Gun.
  • Once the Pyro sets an enemy on fire, that foe can be finished off quickly by a Scout with the Sun-on-a-Stick.
  • An enemy doused in Mad Milk can be critted by your Neon Annihilator, in addition to the healing you get from it.
    • A Flare Gun may be a good choice of secondary weapon if you are fighting alongside a Scout with Mad Milk. Opponents tend to retreat when doused, and a Flare Gun-type weapon can ignite the enemy at longer ranges, granting you extra healing as they take damage. A Detonator is ideal if the Scout can douse several opponents, as you can ignite all of them with a well-placed Detonator explosion and reap the benefits.
  • A Scout equipped with a Candy Cane that kills an enemy will drop a health pack for you, beneficial if you're carrying the Back Scratcher. Likewise, their new-found weakness to explosives can be countered by airblasting explosives.
  • The combination of your afterburn and the bleeding effect of a Scout's Boston Basher, Three-Rune Blade, Wrap Assassin, or Flying Guillotine can result in very powerful gradual damage.
  • If the Scout manages to hit your opponent with the Fan-O-War, you can easily go in with your primary to finish them off.
  • A Scout with the Pretty Boy's Pocket Pistol will greatly appreciate it whenever you extinguish them, as their fire vulnerability can be avoided by relieving them of afterburn.

Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier

  • Paired together, Pyros and Soldiers are the most mobile-yet-bulky pairs in the entire game, making you excellent in carrying out a small push. Heavies are generally slow while Demomen are left with little health after sticky-jumping.
  • Whereas mid-range and long-range combat are your weaknesses, a Soldier can cover your shortcomings by firing rockets at enemies that wander outside the range of your primary. Likewise, the Soldier takes damage when firing rockets at close range, leaving you to fight any enemies that come into close-range.
  • Enemy Pyros that can deflect rockets are less effective in that you are able to airblast their deflected rockets right back at them, leaving them overwhelmed by you and your Soldier's attacks.
  • In your stock load-outs alone, the Pyro and Soldier are capable of producing all four main types of damage: Hitscan, Explosive, Fire, and Melee. Using this to your advantage, the two of you can exploit any existent vulnerability in the enemy.
  • Using the Detonator can better allow you to keep up with your rocketjumping partner. This further increases the dynamic of you and your Soldier's ability to push together.
    • If you both hide in high, hard-to-reach places, you can ambush anyone that wanders through below.
  • Both of you are able to use the Reserve Shooter, which works extremely well between your ability to airblast and the Soldier's ability to juggle. Coordinating attacks that keep your enemy in the air can result in quick airborne kills.
    • Soldiers with the Direct Hit will have a much easier time taking advantage of their ability to mini-crit airborne targets if you juggle them with your airblast.
  • Staying in range of your Soldier while he uses any of the Buff Banner, Battalion's Backup, or Concheror can result in great benefits for the two of you. The Buff Banner and Concheror buff the utility of your afterburn while the Battalion's Backup can let you use melees like the Axtinguisher or Powerjack with less risk.
  • Soldiers are a common target for backstabs due to their high power, low speed, and team-boosting abilities. As always, spycheck. Any Spy you catch and ignite then becomes a burning beacon for a Soldier to obliterate them with a rocket. If the Spy has the Spy-cicle, he may enjoy temporary safety from your flames, but communicating his presence to the Soldier means that the Spy will then be forced into direct confrontation against a well armed opponent -- his weakest aspect.
  • A Soldier can purposely fire a rocket at a skilled Pyro, which can allow the coordinating Pyro to airblast it again, turning the projectile into a full crit. Just be careful the enemy Pyro doesn't reflect it again and turn it into a tennis game.

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

  • A single pair of Pyros is capable of causing plenty of havoc to the enemy team. Whether you and your partner have similar loadouts or not, there is a larger dynamic in your firepower being doubled.
  • If you both have the same play-styles, your efficiency increases overall. Ambushes are more successful more often, airblast fights are in your favor, enemy Pyros will be overwhelmed by the two of you, etc.
  • Spies are absolutely hopeless in a fight against two Pyros. If the two of your regularly spycheck, your team will have virtually no issues with Sappers or backstabbing.
  • When two Pyros pair up with one Engineer, you become a complete fortress that almost nothing can get past. Being able to do multiple of pushing back ÜberCharges, airblasting projectiles, killing Spies, and removing Sappers with the Homewrecker makes the pair of you surefire blanket of safety for your team's Engineer.
  • If the two of you have different play-styles, the complexity of fighting you two increases for any enemy.
    • One Pyro may have a flamethrower that focuses on utility, while the other might have an offensively inclined one, such as the Backburner or Phlogistinator. The utility Pyro can set up the offense Pyro for an attack by either pinning an enemy against a wall or other obstacle or reflecting incoming projectiles.
    • Your secondaries, if one is a Shotgun while the other is a Flare Gun, can result in two advantages in mid-range combat at once. The Pyro with a Shotgun or Reserve Shooter can more aggressively attack the enemy while the Flare Gun Pyro can hang back to carefully aim Flare Gun shots to crit or Scorch Shot attacks to deter the enemy's movement.
    • Your melee weapons, while they don't often apply in direct combat, can alter your strengths and weaknesses. The Axtinguisher, Powerjack, or Back Scratcher allow for more front-line attacks. The Homewrecker, Third Degree, or Neon Annihilator are more situational, but can provide coverage where your partner might be at a disadvantage.
  • Accurate Pyro partners will find that coordinated Flare Gun fire can bring down tough opponents quickly from a somewhat safer range than the Axtinguisher. An Engineer or Sniper caught out of place can also be put down quickly with paired flares. Flares will have a hard time hitting Scouts, however, so be prepared to switch to your Flamethrowers to deal with the agile but fragile threat.
  • Solo Scouts tend to be less inclined to try to weapon heckle a Pyro duo, thanks to your ability to cover each other's weak areas. Two Shotgun Pyros can safely protect each other from potential heckling Scouts due to the Scout's inability to maintain range overlaps on both Pyros.

Leaderboard class demoman.png Demoman

  • The Pyro and Demoman are opposites in the way they produce damage. The Pyro focuses on gradual and close-range damage. The Demoman focuses on sudden and mid-range damage. Between the two of you, separation and long-range combat are your only weaknesses.
  • Like the Soldier, the two of you can produce all four damage types, letting you attack Vaccinator Medics in whatever resistance they are not using.
  • Together, you can create a decent line of defense. Your Demoman can arm stickybombs around the objective and fire grenades into choke-points while you're able to Spy-check and pick off any missed targets. When paired with another bulky teammate, you become the basis for your team's defensive ability.
  • When the Demoman takes up a Demoknight style of play, your dynamic shifts entirely. You are now both at a disadvantage at ranged combat, but you also are now the two most deadly close-combat classes in the game, capable of taking down multiple foes in a single push should you get within range.
    • This gives you an advantage against identical classes in a two-on-two setting. Opposing Demoknights are still vulnerable to any bullet damage the Pyro creates, and can still be killed in one hit with a Puff and Sting. Likewise, a Pyro can be killed in one fell swoop if the Demoknight makes the most of his charge.
  • Having the Pyro airblast a target to pin them against a wall works wonders for your Demoknight, as he can go in for an easy kill with any of his melee weapons.

Leaderboard class heavy.png Heavy

  • While not the most dynamic pairing out there, a Heavy really benefits from having a friendly Pyro to help them. Heavy's prior fear of being backstabbed, headshot, and Puff and Sting are all relieved when a competent Pyro spychecks, uses a Flare Gun, and airblasts, respectively. This allows the Heavy to focus on attacking while the Pyro defends the two of them from pursuit.
  • A Heavy and Pyro pair is especially fearsome when they flank their opponents. Heavies are extremely attention grabbing, letting the Pyro slip in to ambush opponents focused on or hiding from the Heavy.
  • When left with a Dispenser, the two become a never-ending stream of firepower.
    • Heavies with the Huo-Long Heater provide redundant fire coverage with the Pyro's weapons, meaning the two become a literal firewall when working together near a sentry nest.
  • Regardless of the Heavy's large health pool, always extinguish them from afterburn. They may thank you back by giving you a well-needed Sandvich.
  • Natascha can slow down enemies and allow the Pyro to go in for the kill. Likewise, the Pyro can airblast targets to make them easier for the Heavy to hit.
  • Pyros can airblast to set a Heavy up with a kill using the Killing Gloves of Boxing, allowing Heavies using the Shotgun, Family Business, or Tomislav to take advantage of their crits.
  • Heavies using the Fists of Steel and Gloves of Running Urgently can both take good advantage of the protection the Pyro provides, as the Heavy's apparent close-range weaknesses are nullified by the Pyro's close-range strength.
  • While not to be taken seriously, the Pyro and Heavy have two of the three most potent taunt kills. Pyros can destroy multiple foes and buildings relatively quickly with its Hadoken while the Heavy can kill from a ranged distance using Showdown. A notable last-ditch effort to survive in humiliation.
  • The Pyro's greater speed but lower power neatly offsets the Heavy's weaknesses of great power but low speed, especially in regards to spinning up a primary weapon. In an emergency situation, especially if you are ambushed, the Flamethrower's speed and ease of use allows you to protect the Heavy and give him the valuable time he needs to ready his Minigun to thoroughly deal with the threat.

Leaderboard class engineer.png Engineer

  • A Pyro and Engineer pair is by far the most potent of any Pyro pairing, as both benefit handsomely from each other.
  • The Pyro can airblast projectiles, hold off ÜberCharges, and spycheck with most flamethrowers. As long as you stay alive and do your job right, the Engineer has very little to fear in the chance of losing his sentry during an enemy push.
  • The Engineer provides health and protection for the Pyro with his Dispenser and Sentry Gun, respectively. They shelter you from any chance of ambush, as any attacks made onto you will likely target the sentry first.
  • A Pyro with the Homewrecker, Maul, or Neon Annihilator can remove Sappers placed onto the Engineer's buildings, leaving a sentry nest alive even in the event that a Spy kills your Engineer.
  • The Engineer can use his Wrangler to attack enemies from any range, providing you survival against enemy Snipers and Soldiers shooting from far away. This is respectively complimented by your flare guns and compression blast.
  • Engineers are capable of fending for themselves as long as at least one Pyro is nearby, meaning you alone can provide protection for two or more Engineers in a sentry nest and maximize your team's defense.
  • Remember to pick off attackers who are avoiding the Sentry Gun's field of vision. Enemy Pyros that squeeze just around sentry positions can kill your Engineer if you don't protect him.
    • Your airblast can also be used to support a Sentry Gun by forcing threats it cannot see into its FOV, such as enemies hiding behind corners, or people waiting for reinforcements before attempting to destroy the Sentry Gun.
  • The Backburner's from-behind crits will in most instances kill a Medic before they can deploy their Über, even if they are fully charged when you attack. As such, if you see a Medic combo moving towards your teams' Sentry Guns, getting behind them to kill the Medic will prevent them from using the Über.

Leaderboard class medic.png Medic

  • As a Pyro, you are the Medic's fastest patient and a good Medic Buddy. Your ability to protect him from projectiles and afterburn gives you the niche of mutual protection only rivaled by the Heavy himself.
  • The health buff given to you by the Medic is just enough to allow for more dangerous offensive approaches, such as using the Axtinguisher on an enemy Heavy or destroying a sentry prior to a fully charged Über.
  • When Übered by your Medic's Medi Gun, you are the truest counter to any enemy Übercharge. This is due to your ability to airblast, sending your targets to die from either being juggled by a sentry or dying from environmental damage.
    • If the opponent uses a Megaheal and can't be knocked back, you can still use the Axtinguisher or its variants to finish off the enemy Medic with no risk.
  • When charged by a Kritzkrieg, you are a complete force to be reckoned with in that you provide extremely high damage output very quickly. The sight of a crit-charged Pyro alone is enough to make the entire enemy team retreat from a push.
  • Vaccinators will find you to be a good patient, as you each benefit from each of the resistances. Enemy Pyros using a Shotgun will be less of a nuisance when given bullet resistance. Explosive resistance is complimented by your ability to reduce the damage of projectiles by reflecting them, and fire damage is nonexistent between your afterburn immunity, added resistance, and ability to extinguish your Medic.
  • In a duel between Medic-pairs, the odds will be tipped in your favor if you use a Third Degree.
  • Airblasting your opponent to let the Medic finish them off with an Ubersaw can allow for some quickly-built ÜberCharges, potentially winning you the game.
  • As you most likely won't engage in melee combat as a Pyro, especially with a Medic, consider equipping the Homewrecker or Maul so you can destroy buildings easier while ÜberCharged.

Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper

  • As the Pyro and Sniper are often on opposite sides of the battlefield on a given team, you will not often interact with one. However, there is still a bit of chemistry to be had with a friendly Sniper.
  • You two offer extreme opposites in combat. Where as you fight close-range, they fight long-range. Coordinating with one can provide an easy fight, as the opponent will have to avoid your flames and their scope at the same time.
  • Hanging around a Sniper can benefit them greatly. They are offered protection from Spies, allowing them to use a different secondary from the Razorback, and your Flare Gun can harass enemy Snipers in addition to your own Sniper's attacks. Additionally, enemy Pyros that harass your Snipers can be relieved of the afterburn that would mess up their aim by using your airblast.
  • Occasionally, you will be around Snipers that fight on the front lines, often using the Huntsman. You can light their arrows on fire to provide afterburn on any enemies they hit, and airblast their targets to provide them with an easy shot.
  • Jarate is the most beneficial secondary the Sniper can provide for you. Enemies that are both on fire and doused in Jarate will take mini-crit afterburn damage, leading up to rapid damage that can fill up a Phlogistinator's 'Mmmph', should you be carrying one. A group of Jarate-doused enemies is also a great target for the Detonator if it is available, since you will deal mini-crit fire damage to all of them by exploding a Detonator flare in their midst.
    • Similarly, a Sniper carrying the Sydney Sleeper can be a great help, even from the rear lines. Inflicting Jarate on enemies from across the battlefield can quickly turn an otherwise fair or losing fight back in your favor thanks to the mini-crit damage of your weapons and afterburn. Fighting nearer to the enemy also means that they are less likely to attack the Sniper. As the Sydney Sleeper does not require accurate headshots to be effective, this allows the Sniper a little more leeway and therefore more speed in placing a shot that can help you. Don't be afraid to request an assisting shot on a target for if you know one of your team's Snipers carries the Sleeper.
    • If a Sniper lands a hit with the Tribalman's Shiv on an enemy covered in Jarate and on fire, it's essentially guaranteed that any 125 HP class will die from the gradual damage alone should they not reach a Medkit.
  • The Bushwacka's 20% fire vulnerability can be relieved if you extinguish your teammate Sniper.
  • If you are receiving supporting fire from a Sniper, be mindful of the limitations of the game's rendering, and do not aim your flames into the line of sight between them and their targets. Flames are translucent, but they can obscure some of the opponent's model while active, which may make headshots more difficult to place.

Leaderboard class spy.png Spy

  • The Spy and Pyro often only interact when on opposite teams, being in combat. It's rare for the two on the same team to be found doing something together, but possible nonetheless.
  • If your Spy is on fire, put them out as soon as possible to keep their disguise up. If it's an enemy Spy, you'll know it right away due to the enemy being pushed back.
  • Both classes are excellent ambushers, as the Pyro's Backburner functions much like the Spy's backstab. A simultaneous ambush between the two can potentially take out an entire group before they know what hits them.
    • In situations where you are cooperating with a Spy for an ambush, consider allowing the Spy to go and take out the heavier classes first, such as Heavies and Soldiers. This removes the most dangerous threats immediately to you both, and allows you to come in and clean up distressed Medics or other, less powerful classes. Remember to switch to a weapon other than your Flamethrower to avoid having its long barrel give away your hiding places while you two wait for the other team.
  • If the Spy goes in to sap a Sentry Gun, you can jump in and finish up the sentry and Engineer before he has time to remove it.
    • Alternatively, going in with a Homewrecker can break the Engineer's building before he has time to save it.
  • A patient Spy with the Cloak and Dagger can let you function as a distraction, due to the nature of your attention-grabbing and panic-inducing flamethrower.
    • This can be taken up a step further if the enemies are focused on fighting you while you've activated your Phlogistinator, as the only thing on their mind will be avoiding you, giving your Spy the perfect opportunity to backstab.

See also


  1. Explanation E-Mail from a Valve employee