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 relatively bulky class that excels at close range combat, particularly in confined areas where his Flamethrower is difficult to avoid. Due to the Flamethrower’s wide damage spread, the Pyro can focus more on outmaneuvering his opponents and has more leeway when fighting at close range. Additionally, the Pyro has access to the compression blast, a powerful source of utility that allows him to forcibly reposition enemies or reflect projectiles. The overall theme of the Pyro’s available weapons is close range power; because he lacks strong ranged weaponry, he is 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 he can take to ambush you.
Leaderboard class medic.png Health
  • The Pyro has an above average amount of health and can be a hassle to take down if allowed to enter close range.
Leaderboard class scout.png Speed
  • Although the Pyro is relatively bulky, he only travels at the standard movement speed and is susceptible to being kited or even defeated before he gets too close.
Leaderboard class soldier.png Power
  • The Pyro is strong at close range but has very weak long range weaponry. Keeping your distance will prevent much of the Pyro's possible damage.


Main article: Pyro weapons

Primary weapons

Weapon Anti-Pyro strategy
Flame Thrower + reskins
  • It is very difficult to escape the Pyro's Flame Thrower once caught, so take note of routes he can take so that you can repel him before he reaches you.
    • If you can't escape the Pyro, try to weaken him for your teammates.
  • Extinguish yourself as soon as possible once he sets you on fire to reduce afterburn damage.
    • Remember where medkits and bodies of water are located or stay close to friendly Pyros and Medics who can reliably extinguish you.
Backburner + reskins
  • Watch your surroundings at all times to reduce the chances of a successful ambush by any Pyro.
  • Never turn your back on a Pyro using the Backburner.
  • 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 user will use their compression blast less often.
  • The Degreaser allows a Pyro to quickly switch weapons. This makes weapon heckling ineffective.
  • The Degreaser deals pitiful afterburn damage and requires slighty more ammo to airblast. Expect the Pyro to use another weapon to finish you off.
    • Popular combinations include using the Flare Gun or Axtinguisher alongside the Degreaser.
  • The Phlogistinator promotes an aggressive playstyle. Don't allow the Pyro to easily enter close range or he will quickly fill his "Mmmph" meter.
  • While a Pyro is taunting to activate the Phlogistinator's ability, he remains immobile. You can prepare for his attempted rampage by having your team focus fire him.
    • Individually, 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 has no compression blast, so you can freely use rockets, grenades, and other projectiles against it without fear of them being reflected.
Dragon's Fury
Dragon's Fury
  • Bear in mind that this weapon does not play like any of the Pyro's other primaries, aside from the close-quarter-combat role.
  • Avoid very tight areas were there is little room to move. Air vents in particular are were this weapon is most dangerous.
  • Be as unpredictable as you can; the weapon is most destructive if a Pyro can get repetitive shots off you.
  • While able to use the compression blast, this temporarily disables the Pyro's ability to attack with this weapon while it recharges. Using more rockets, grenades, or other projectiles during the period can be deadly.
    • Keep in mind that a skilled user knows when to take cover or retreat.
  • The weapon has a longer range than the other Pyro's other Primaries, so keep this in mind when attacking.
Compression Blast
Compression Blast
  • The compression blast's most obvious use is to shove you into stage hazards, such as bottomless pits, or into corners and the air, where you are easier to target. Stay away from areas where a Pyro can easily pin you down or push you off.
  • The compression blast can reflect projectiles; use bullets or fire your projectiles away from the Pyro's line of sight to reduce the chances of being struck by a reflected one.
    • While the compression blast can reflect projectiles, there is a small cooldown time. Try overwhelming a Pyro with more projectiles than he can reflect.
  • The compression blast uses a significant amount of ammunition; if you can trick the Pyro into wasting compression blasts, his offense will be diminished.

Secondary weapons

Weapon Anti-Pyro strategy
Shotgun + reskins
  • The Shotgun is the Pyro's best secondary weapon against foes just outside the Flamethrower's range. Maintain a wide distance from Pyros to reduce the effectiveness of both their primary and this weapon.
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 difficult to predict.
  • 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 reduce a Pyro's chance of finishing you off with this weapon.
  • The Detonator's flares can be remotely triggered by the Pyro to explode, creating a small blast that can ignite multiple targets. Stay scattered from your teammates to minimize the possible 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. 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. 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 the Pyro's only way to force an enemy into the air is the compression blast.
  • The Manmelter has unlimited ammunition and faster projectiles, making it more effective at continuous long-range harassment. Keep moving to reduce this weapon's effectiveness.
  • The Manmelter's projectiles cannot deal increased damage to burning players, making it less effective at finishing foes off. A Pyro will likely engage you with his Flamethrower instead.
  • If an enemy is set on fire, try to finish them off before a Manmelter Pyro can extinguish them and store a critical hit.
Scorch Shot
Scorch Shot
  • The Scorch Shot can ignite multiple targets with one hit. Don't stay clustered.
  • The Scorch Shot's main draw is how its flares can knock enemies back; the knock back increases if you already are on fire. Don't idle while crossing places with long falls or other 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.
  • Be weary of its taunt kill: while it only can instantly kill at short range, the flare otherwise behaves normally and can still ignite people at a distance.
Panic Attack
Panic Attack

The Panic Attack deals less damage per shot and has a bigger dispersion with consecutive shots, but is barely affected by random spread, shoots more pellets at once and deploys 50% faster. Keep your range and force him to keep firing and increase his weapon spread.

Thermal Thruster
Thermal Thruster
  • The Thermal Thruster allows the Pyro to get an extreme amount of mobility that they otherwise lack.
  • On take off, the Thermal Thruster is capable of extinguishing teammates and igniting enemies.
    • The Thermal Thruster takes a second to activate before the Pyro flies; ensure you are out of range during this moment.
  • The direction the Pyro goes is based off the direction he is looking at; take this into account when they activate the Thermal Thruster.
  • Avoid being in the landing zone; the Pyro can do 3 times the fall damage to enemies he lands on (similar to the Mantreads).
    • Anyone in the landing zone will also be knocked out of the way.
    • While this is not a reliable way for Pyro to do damage, be aware of this and make sure to avoid the incoming Pyro.
  • A Pyro can deploy the Thermal Thruster on two separate charges; each charge requires 15 seconds to recharge, so take advantage of this if you know the Pyro has used both his charges.
  • The Pyro can switch weapons in mid-flight. As such, they may already have their Primary out and ready to kill before they even land!
Gas Passer
Gas Passer
  • This weapon can be considered the Pyro's version of Jarate or Mad Milk.
  • Anyone who is in the Gas Cloud upon or enters it during the cooldown will be doused in Gas for ten seconds.
    • If they take any form of damage is taken, the enemy will ignite afterburn for 10 seconds. This includes Pyros!
    • Keep in mind that even fall damage dished via the Mantreads can ignite you.
    • Even the Rocket Jumper is capable of igniting you!
  • As such, it is generally best for you to avoid walking into the cloud.
  • Continuous healing from either a Medic or a Dispenser will reduce the gas effect to five seconds.
  • Lingering in the cloud does not reset the gas effects.
  • Oddly, the Gas Passer can extinguish teammates. Keep this in mind if you are in a large crowd of friend and foe alike.
  • Unlike other rechargeable items, the Pyro does not spawn with the weapon ready for deployment.
    • Instead, they have to wait 60 seconds before it can be deployed. This leaves him with only his Primary and Melee to work with, so try to take advantage of his lack of range!
      • If you are fighting him underwater, you will have a major advantage.
    • The charge time can be reduced if they deal damage.
      • 750 damage allows for the meter to fill up completely.
  • The charge is retained in-between deaths, so keep in mind that killing a Pyro does not effect the Gas Passer's charge time.
  • A Player is not considered "wet" when covered in Gasoline. As such, you will not take extra damage from the Neon Annihilator.

Melee weapons

Weapon Anti-Pyro strategy
Fire Axe
Fire Axe + reskins
  • Most of the Pyro's alternate melee weapons outclass the Fire Axe in terms of utility, since the Pyro is already fighting at melee range with the Flamethrower.
  • A Pyro attempting to use the Fire Axe in standard combat is likely out of Flamethrower ammunition; steal all nearby sources of ammo to prevent him from collecting more.
Axtinguisher + reskins
  • The Axtinguisher is usually used alongside any fiery weaponry to quickly slay most classes. Keep vigilant to avoid being ambushed.
  • Equipping the Degreaser or the Reserve Shooter allows a Pyro to switch to and attack with the Axtinguisher considerably faster. Repel the Pyro before he closes the gap, as the Axtinguisher deals mini-crits on burning targets no matter where it strikes.
  • The longer your afterburn duration, the more damage it does.
  • Upon a successful killing blow to a burning player, the Pyro is granted a speed boost.
  • The weapon does less damage than the standard Fire Axe on non-burning players. As such, they are at a disadvantage if you are not one fire.
  • The weapon holsters 35% slower. While this isn't a large amount of time, players can take advantage of this if they time it right, as the Pyro is technically unable to attack.
Homewrecker + reskins
  • Pyros equipped with the Homewrecker often watch over their team's buildings, protecting them from Spies. This duty 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 eliminate the Pyro.
  • Buildings should not be left unattended, as even just the Pyro's Flamethrower is fast enough at destroying them.
  • While an uncommon tactic, Medics sometimes will Uber a Pyro using the Homewrecker as a means of taking down Sentry Nests. This can be extremely destructive if left unchecked.
  • The Powerjack grants the Pyro bonus movement speed while it is active, allowing him to outrun every class except the Scout.
  • The Powerjack makes the Pyro take 20% more damage. If you catch him moving between areas with it out, you can get in free extra damage.
  • In combat, the Pyro will usually 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 him 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 steal any nearby medkits.
  • A Pyro holding the Back Scratcher is healed by Dispensers and Medics at an extremely slow rate. Although it might make the Pyro easier to kill when healed, a competent enemy Medic may use this to build an ÜberCharge faster.
Sharpened Volcano Fragment
Sharpened Volcano Fragment
  • A Pyro may use the Sharpened Volcano Fragment to conserve Flamethrower ammo, or as a last resort for lighting enemies ablaze. Regardless, never let the Pyro come close enough to reach you with the weapon.
Third Degree
Third Degree
  • A Medic and his healing target should consider temporarily breaking off contact when approached by Pyro using the Third Degree to minimize the damage dealt.
  • The Flamethrower is arguably 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 soaked. 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 trying to ambush you with the Neon Annihilator.
  • The Neon Annihilator gives the Pyro one strong underwater weapon to use alongside his Shotgun. As when above land, keep a distance to minimize his effectiveness.
  • The Neon Annihilator is able to break Sappers in 2 hits. Treat it like if the Pyro was holding the Homewrecker.
Hot Hand
Hot Hand
  • Much like the Fire Axe, this weapon is usually substituted for other weapons with more utility.
  • The weapon attacks the opponent in two consecutive hits.
    • In order for a Pyro to do full damage, they have to hit you both times. Keep this in mind, as the weapon is not effective if the user cannot regularly get both hits in.
  • The user gets a very brief speed boost on hit. This can help them get the second slap.
  • Like the Holy Mackerel the weapon announces each Slap in the kill feed. How humiliating!
    • Also like the Holy Mackerel, the weapon will announce a kill as a "SLAP KILL!" in the kill feed.
  • If you are a Spy using a Dead Ringer, keep in mind that the "SLAP KILL" will not show up in the kill feed. An observant Pyro may become aware of your feigned death!
  • The weapon will only roll for Critical Hits once. In other words, if the first hit is a Critical Hit, then the second one will also be a Critical Hit.

See also