Anti-Pyro strategy

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Go to hell and tell the devil I'm comin' for him next!
The Demoman

The Pyro is a hardy class that excels at close range combat, particularly in confined areas where their Flame Thrower is difficult to avoid. Due to the Flame Thrower’s wide damage spread, the Pyro can focus more on outmaneuvering their opponents than aiming and has leeway when fighting at close range. Additionally, the Pyro has access to the compression blast, a powerful source of utility that allows them to forcibly reposition enemies or reflect projectiles. The overall theme of the Pyro’s available weapons is close range power; because they lack strong ranged weaponry, they are most vulnerable when distant from enemies or when in open areas.


Attributes Anti-Pyro strategy
Pyro emblem RED.png Role
  • The Pyro finds success in ambushing opponents rather than approaching them head-on. Be aware of your surroundings; take note of what available routes Pyros can take to ambush you.
Leaderboard class medic.png Health
  • The Pyro has above-average health and can be a hassle to take down if allowed to enter close range.
Leaderboard class scout.png Speed
  • The Pyro only travels at the standard movement speed and is susceptible to being outmaneuvered or even defeated before they get too close.
Leaderboard class soldier.png Power
  • The Pyro is strong at close range but has no effective long range weaponry. Keep your distance to prevent much of the Pyro's possible damage.


Main article: Pyro weapons

Primary weapons

Weapon Anti-Pyro strategy
Flame Thrower
Flame Thrower + reskins
  • It is very difficult to escape the Pyro's Flame Thrower once caught, so take note of routes a Pyro can take so that you can repel them before they reach you.
    • If you can't escape the Pyro, try to weaken them for your teammates before they kill you.
  • If the Pyro sets you on fire, extinguish yourself as soon as possible to reduce afterburn damage. Medkits, certain teammates, and bodies of water can all extinguish flames.
    • An allied Pyro can extinguish you with their compression blast or a few choice secondary weapons. An allied Scout's Mad Milk, a Heavy's Sandvich, and a Sniper's Jarate also work.
Backburner + reskins
  • Watch your surroundings at all times to reduce the chances of a successful ambush by a Pyro.
  • The Backburner deals critical hits from behind. If the Pyro finds you, keep facing them while you fight back.
  • The Backburner uses much more ammunition for compression blasts; forcing a Pyro to reflect projectiles with it will quickly deplete the weapon's ammo. Knowing this, a Backburner Pyro will use their compression blast less often.
  • The Degreaser allows a Pyro to quickly switch weapons. This makes weapon heckling much less effective.
  • The Degreaser deals minimal afterburn damage and requires slightly more ammo to airblast. Expect the Pyro to use another weapon, such as the Flare Gun or Axtinguisher, to finish you off.
  • The Phlogistinator promotes an aggressive playstyle. Don't allow the Pyro to easily enter close range or they will quickly fill their "Mmmph" meter.
  • While a Pyro is taunting to activate the Phlogistinator's ability, they are immobile but temporarily immune to damage and knockback. You can prepare for their attempted rampage by having your team focus fire on them.
    • Class-specific methods for preparing include laying a carpet of Stickybombs, charging the Sniper Rifle, and getting into position for the Knife's backstab.
  • The Phlogistinator cannot airblast, so you can freely use rockets, grenades, and other projectiles against the Pyro without fear of reflection.
Dragon's Fury
Dragon's Fury
  • The Dragon's Fury shoots fireballs instead of a wide spread of flames, actually giving you opportunities to dodge the Pyro's attacks.
  • Be as unpredictable as you can; the weapon reloads quickly if the Pyro can land successive shots.
  • While the Dragon's Fury can use the compression blast, using the compression blast takes much longer for the Pyro to attack again compared to other primary weapons. Pressure from projectiles will force a Pyro with this weapon to take cover.
  • The Rainblower functions identically to the Flame Thrower but also comes with the Armageddon taunt attack.
  • There are multiple distinct cues during the 3 seconds Armageddon takes to activate, including rainbows, a neighing horse, and a menacing song. Don't blindly rush around corners.
  • The Rainblower is not visible without Pyrovision. Keep in mind that the Pyro has taunt attacks on other weapons like the Flare Gun, too.
Compression Blast
Compression Blast
  • The compression blast's most obvious use is to shove enemies into environmental hazards, such as cliffs, or into corners, where you are easier to target. Stay away from areas where a Pyro can easily pin you down or push you off the map.
  • The compression blast can reflect projectiles; use bullets, fire from outside the Pyro's line of sight, or change the timing of your shots to avoid having them be reflected.
  • The compression blast has a small cooldown time. Two teammates can easily overwhelm a Pyro with more projectiles than can be reflected.
  • The compression blast uses a significant amount of ammunition; if you can trick the Pyro into wasting compression blasts, their offense will be diminished.

Secondary weapons

Weapon Anti-Pyro strategy
Shotgun + reskins
  • The Shotgun is the Pyro's best secondary weapon against foes barely outside the Flame Thrower's range as well as against enemy Pyros. Maintain a wide distance to reduce the effectiveness of all the enemy Pyro's weapons.
Flare Gun
Flare Gun + reskins
  • The Flare Gun's projectiles should be easy to avoid in open areas, even at close range, as long as your movement is unpredictable.
  • The Flare Gun's projectiles deal guaranteed critical hits to burning enemies. If you are set on fire from a distance, extinguish yourself before re-engaging the Pyro. If lit up close, move erratically to avoid being finished by a critical flare.
  • The Detonator's flares can be remotely triggered by the Pyro to explode, creating a small blast that can ignite multiple targets. Stay away from your teammates to minimize potential splash damage.
  • Detonator flares only deal mini-crits to burning players, making it less effective at finishing enemies off.
  • A Pyro can use the Detonator to perform a small Flare Jump at the cost of health. Stay aware of all possible routes that the Pyro can take to reach you.
Reserve Shooter
Reserve Shooter
  • The Reserve Shooter is capable of landing mini-crits on targets airborne through every type of knock back excluding airblast and bullets. A Pyro might deploy it to deal mini-crits on enemies that have been propelled in the air by a teammate.
  • The Reserve Shooter's reduced magazine size makes the Pyro far less effective at anywhere outside close range, especially since it will not deal mini-crits on targets launched by the Pyro's airblast.
  • The Manmelter has unlimited ammunition and faster projectiles, making it effective at continuous long-range harassment. Keep moving to reduce this weapon's effectiveness.
  • The Manmelter's projectiles do not deal increased damage to burning players, making it less effective at finishing foes off. A Pyro will likely engage you with their Flame Thrower instead.
  • If an enemy is set on fire, try to finish them off before a Manmelter Pyro can extinguish them and gain a stored critical hit.
Scorch Shot
Scorch Shot
  • The Scorch Shot can ignite multiple targets with one hit. Don't stay clustered with teammates.
  • One of the Scorch Shot's main draws is how its flares can knock enemies back; the knockback increases if you already are on fire. Don't idle while close to places with environmental hazards.
  • The Scorch Shot focuses on keeping enemies on fire rather than finishing them off. Remember where you can find healing to negate afterburn.
Panic Attack
Panic Attack
  • The Panic Attack deploys quickly but suffers from massive bullet spread with consecutive shots. Survive the first shot, and the following ones are easier to dodge.
Thermal Thruster
Thermal Thruster
  • The Thermal Thruster grants the Pyro extreme mobility they otherwise lack. When fired, the Pyro launches into the air, knocks nearby enemies back, and deals triple fall damage to enemies landed on.
  • In combat, the Pyro can use the Thermal Thruster to enter close range quickly. It takes one second to launch, so pick the correct direction to move away.
  • The Pyro can switch weapons in mid-flight. As such, they may already have their primary out and ready to attack before they even land!
  • The Thermal Thruster stores two charges which take 15 seconds to recharge. If the Pyro has recently used both charges, they are very vulnerable to attack.
Gas Passer
Gas Passer
  • The Pyro can use the Gas Passer to deploy a Gas Cloud. Anyone who enters the Gas Cloud is doused for 10 seconds. Anyone who is doused, including Pyros, ignites for 10 seconds if damaged by any source.
  • The Pyro must wait up to 60 seconds or deal enough damage to use the Gas Passer. Until then, the Pyro lacks a damaging secondary weapon.
  • If you are doused, consider retreating to a source of healing to reduce the debuff's duration.
  • If you are blocked by the Gas Cloud, consider if it is worth braving to quickly reach the area you are trying to access.

Melee weapons

Weapon Anti-Pyro strategy
Fire Axe
Fire Axe + reskins
  • Due to the versatile utility potential of alternate melee options, it is rare for a Pyro to pull out their Fire Axe, especially because the Flame Thrower is already effective at melee range.
  • As with all other Pyro melee weapons, stay away from melee range if the Pyro is holding their melee weapon. If you're far enough from melee range, the Pyro will most likely switch to their primary weapon instead.
Axtinguisher + reskins
  • The Axtinguisher deals mini-crit damage to burning enemies. A Pyro will deploy this weapon after igniting you with flame weaponry.
  • Equipping the Degreaser or the Reserve Shooter allows a Pyro to switch to and attack with the Axtinguisher considerably faster.
  • The bonus damage depends on your afterburn duration. The Pyro must choose between different options, such the Degreaser's fast weapon switch and low afterburn time. React to their other weapons accordingly.
  • The Axtinguisher has even less range than the Flame Thrower, and holsters 35% slower, giving you a chance to fight back.
Homewrecker + reskins
  • A Pyro with the Homewrecker often watches over an Engineer's buildings, protecting them from Spies. This playstyle can leave them more susceptible to attacks from long distances.
  • Spies will have increased difficulty sapping buildings that are guarded by a Pyro equipped with the Homewrecker. Coordinate with teammates to distract or backstab the Pyro first.
  • The Powerjack grants the Pyro bonus movement speed while it is active, allowing them to outrun any class except the Scout.
  • The Powerjack gives the Pyro a 20% damage vulnerability. If you catch a Pyro moving between areas with it out, you can get in extra damage before they switch weapons.
  • In combat, the Pyro will sometimes switch to the Powerjack to finish you off and regain some health. The damage vulnerability it gives the Pyro gives you a chance to fend them off yourself.
Back Scratcher
Back Scratcher
  • Engage a Pyro wielding the Back Scratcher from a distance, as you will more likely lose in close combat.
  • The Back Scratcher gives a Pyro that roams alone increased healing from medkits. Try to take any nearby health packs before a Pyro wielding this weapon can use them.
Sharpened Volcano Fragment
Sharpened Volcano Fragment
  • A Pyro may use the Sharpened Volcano Fragment to conserve Flame Thrower ammo, or as a last resort for lighting enemies ablaze. Regardless, don't let the Pyro come close enough to reach you with the weapon.
Third Degree
Third Degree
  • As the Medic, consider temporarily breaking off contact with your patient when approached by a Pyro with the Third Degree to prevent yourself from taking damage.
  • The Flame Thrower is often more effective than the Third Degree when it comes to attacking a Medic and his patient. Either way, beware of possible ambushes.
Neon Annihilator
Neon Annihilator
  • A Pyro may try to finish you off with the Neon Annihilator if you are wet. Keeping your distance remains a sound strategy.
  • Beware fighting Scouts (who throw Mad Milk) and Snipers (who throw Jarate) in enemy territory; they may give opportunities to a Pyro with the Neon Annihilator.
  • The Neon Annihilator gives the Pyro one strong underwater weapon to use alongside their Shotgun. As when on land, keep a distance to minimize their effectiveness.
  • Like the Homewrecker, the Neon Annihilator can damage Sappers, but takes 2 hits to destroy. Treat it as if the Pyro was holding the Homewrecker.
Hot Hand
Hot Hand
  • Hot Hand slaps attack faster than all other Pyro melees, deal less damage, and provides the Pyro a brief speed boost upon a successful hit. Unlike other clothing-related weapons, the Pyro can hide this weapon from their loadout until they pull out their distinct right-handed grey glove.
  • This weapon announces each Slap in the kill feed, which can be used to track down Spies using the Dead Ringer, although this is actually less of a threat compared to the Pyro's fiery weapons.
  • This weapon is silly and can be distracting. Don't let your attention wander from the objective.

See also