Anti-Pyro strategy

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Eeuaghafvada...
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 his Flamethrower is difficult to avoid. Due to the Flamethrower’s wide damage spread, the Pyro can focus more on outmaneuvering his 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 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.

General

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 he gets 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.

Weapon-specific

Main article: Pyro weapons

Primary weapons

Weapon Anti-Pyro strategy
Flamethrower
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 before he kills you.
  • Extinguish yourself as soon as possible once he sets you on fire to reduce afterburn damage. Keep in mind where you can find medkits or allies who can extinguish you.
Backburner
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 him 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.
Degreaser
Degreaser
  • 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.
Phlogistinator
Phlogistinator
  • 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 is 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 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, it also temporarily disables the Pyro's ability to attack as well. Pressure from projectiles will force a Pyro with this weapon to take cover.
Compression Blast
Compression Blast
  • The compression blast's most obvious use is to shove enemies into environmental hazards, such as cliffs, 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 map.
  • 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. Two teammates can easily overwhelm a Pyro with more projectiles than can be reflected.
  • Try to delay firing successive shots. If you hold down the “fire” button, the Pyro may predict the next projectile and reflect it with ease.
  • 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
Shotgun + reskins
  • The Shotgun is the Pyro's best secondary weapon against foes barely outside the Flamethrower's range. Maintain a wide distance to reduce the effectiveness of all the 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.
Detonator
Detonator
  • 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.
Manmelter
Manmelter
  • 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 his Flamethrower instead.
  • If an enemy is set on fire, try to finish them off before a Manmelter Pyro can extinguish them and gain a critical hit.
Scorch Shot
Scorch Shot
  • The Scorch Shot can ignite multiple targets with one hit. Don't stay clustered with teammates.
  • 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.
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 will be doused for 10 seconds. Anyone who is doused, including Pyros, who takes damage is ignited for 10 seconds.
  • 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
  • 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. As such, it is seldom used.
Axtinguisher
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 Flamethrower, and holsters 35% slower, giving you a chance to fight back.
Homewrecker
Homewrecker + reskins
  • A Pyro with the Homewrecker often watch 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 eliminate the Pyro.
Powerjack
Powerjack
  • The Powerjack grants the Pyro bonus movement speed while it is active, allowing him to outrun any class except the Scout.
  • The Powerjack gives the Pyro a 20% damage vulnerability. If you catch him moving between areas with it out, you can get in extra damage before he switches 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 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 take any nearby health packs before he can use them.
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, 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 Flamethrower 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 his Shotgun. As when on 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 foregone for other weapons with more utility.
  • This weapon announces each Slap in the kill feed, which can be used to track down Spies using the Dead Ringer. The Pyro's Flamethrower remains a superior option for doing so.

See also