Anti-Soldier strategy

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Dammit, boys.
Oi, lend us yer shovel, so I can dig yer grave!
The Sniper

The Soldier is a well-rounded, bulky class that is capable of both taking and dealing solid damage. While slow on foot, the Soldier is known for his trademark ability to rocket jump, which allows him to quickly maneuver around a map. He is most effective at medium range or on high ground, where he can use the powerful splash damage from his rockets to reliably dispatch foes. The Soldier has a number of different loadout options that, according to the situation, allow him to increase his offense, defense, or support options, making him extremely versatile. Although he lacks many exploitable weaknesses, the Soldier is not the master of any one trade; for example, the Scout is faster while the Demoman and Heavy can deal more damage.

General

Attributes Anti-Soldier strategy
Soldier emblem RED.png Role
  • The Soldier is effective at many different tasks, including frontal assault, defending objectives, flanking maneuvers, and picking off important enemy targets.
  • No matter what you are doing, always be prepared to deal with a Soldier - he is one of the most commonly played classes.
  • You may find a Soldier anywhere - he can reach normally inaccessible areas by rocket jumping.
Leaderboard class medic.png Health
  • The Soldier has a relatively large amount of health, allowing him to stay in the fight longer.
  • A competent Soldier is a formidable opponent while being healed by a Medic.
Leaderboard class scout.png Speed
  • The Soldier's base speed is low. However, he can gain quick bursts of speed using rocket jumps, the Escape Plan when injured, or the Disciplinary Action when near teammates. If kept grounded, he loses his mobility and is much easier to hit.
Leaderboard class soldier.png Power
  • The Soldier’s rockets are highly damaging at close range, but are less powerful and easily dodged at long range.

Weapon-specific

Main article: Soldier weapons

Primary weapons

Weapon Anti-Soldier strategy
Rocket Launcher
Rocket Launcher + reskins
  • A Soldier will typically aim rockets at your feet to hit you with the splash damage. Rockets travel slowly; controlling the high ground or keeping a distance makes it more difficult for him to hit you.
  • The Rocket Launcher has a small magazine size and reloads slowly; if a Soldier misses all of his shots, he will be forced to reload or switch to his Shotgun, leaving him more vulnerable to attack.
Direct Hit
Direct Hit
  • Rockets from the Direct Hit travel faster and can kill low-health classes in one shot. However, the splash damage radius is extremely low; a successful dodge means you won't take any splash damage.
  • If launched into the air by an explosion, continue maneuvering to avoid being airshot, as the Direct Hit deals mini-crits to those propelled airborne by an explosion.
Black Box
Black Box + reskins
  • The Black Box heals the Soldier for up to 20 Health when its rockets hit an enemy, allowing him to exchange harassment for prolonged periods of time.
  • The Black Box only holds three rockets in its clip. Keep up offensive pressure to stop him from recovering health.
Rocket Jumper
Rocket Jumper
  • The Rocket Jumper deals no damage and takes away the Soldier's most practical weapon, in exchange for no-damage rocket jumps. His offense is severely neutered, although he will be much harder to hit.
  • Soldiers wielding the Rocket Jumper tend to also equip the Mantreads and the Market Gardener. Keep a distance if you see a Soldier approach with a rocket jump.
Liberty Launcher
Liberty Launcher
  • The Liberty Launcher’s rockets maintain the splash radius of those from the Rocket Launcher but travel significantly faster. Attack from a distance and maintain space to dodge any rockets that come your way.
  • The Liberty Launcher deals 25% less damage but can fire one more rocket per clip. Overall, it slightly decreases the Soldier's potential damage per clip, but makes his attacks harder to dodge.
Cow Mangler 5000
Cow Mangler 5000
  • The Cow Mangler operates similarly to the Rocket Launcher but cannot deal critical hits and inflicts minimal damage on buildings.
  • Don't allow a Soldier to disable an allied Sentry Gun with a charged shot. It takes a few seconds to fire, so use this time to prepare to deflect it or kill the Soldier outright.
    • If he succeeds in firing the charged shot, his entire clip will be emptied; either pursue him, defend the Sentry Gun, or switch focus to his teammates while he reloads.
Original
Original
  • The Original is statistically identical to the Rocket Launcher.
  • The Original's rockets are fired directly down the crosshair, slightly exposing the Soldier more if he tries to fire it from around a corner.
Beggar's Bazooka
Beggar's Bazooka
  • Never let a Soldier with the Beggar's Bazooka come close enough to unleash a barrage on your teammates. Force him to fire from a longer distance, where its lack of precision will cause some rockets to miss.
Air Strike
Air Strike
  • The Air Strike's clip size increases if the Soldier gets a kill. As a result, the Soldier becomes stronger but needs to spend more time reloading - find an opportunity to take him out then.
  • The Air Strike's rockets have reduced explosive radius and damage. This is offset by the increased projectile speed and difficulty of dodging multiple rockets fired from above.
  • A Soldier with the Air Strike will often equip the B.A.S.E. Jumper in order to stay airborne longer. This makes him easier to hit while he is attacking.

Secondary weapons

Armaments

Weapon Anti-Soldier strategy
Shotgun
Shotgun + reskins
  • A Soldier will typically use the Shotgun if he has no time to reload his Rocket Launcher or does not wish to damage himself from firing rockets at point-blank range. Either way, he deals less damage and is more vulnerable.
  • Shotgun pellets have a wide spread, so back away or dodge to the side to reduce the damage you take.
Gunboats
Gunboats
  • A Soldier wearing the Gunboats will often rocket jump to higher ground without suffering too much damage and rain rockets down on you. Either take the high ground yourself or back away to dodge his assault.
  • The Soldier trades in his Shotgun to use the Gunboats. At close range, he either risks heavy self-damage from his rocket explosions or needs to take out his easily dodgeable melee weapon.
Reserve Shooter
Reserve Shooter
  • The Reserve Shooter is capable of landing mini-crits on airborne targets. If propelled into the air by a rocket, air-strafe to avoid his fire and do your best to quickly reach solid ground.
  • The Reserve Shooter's reduced magazine side makes it less reliable of a sidearm than the Shotgun. If he misses his 3 shots, he becomes vulnerable far more quickly.
  • Weapon heckling is less effective against a Soldier with the Reserve Shooter due to its decreased weapon switch time.
Mantreads
Mantreads
  • A Soldier using the Mantreads will receive considerably less knock back from most weapons, allowing him to more easily maintain a high ground advantage. However, like with the Gunboats, he is deprived of a secondary weapon.
  • Keep an eye out for airborne Soldiers; aside from firing rockets at you, one might try to fall on you and inflict damage with his Mantreads.
    • The Mantreads only negate fall damage taken by the Soldier if he actually manages to land on an enemy; if you see a Soldier dropping towards you, back away so that he takes fall damage.
  • Mantreads grants the Soldier 200% more air control when explosive jumping, allowing him to do extremely sharp turns midair. Wait for him to land before attacking.
Righteous Bison
Righteous Bison
  • The Righteous Bison deals considerably less damage than the Shotgun, but pierces through enemies and is effective at medium-range harassment. Avoid clustering near your teammates to reduce the effectiveness of its piercing shots.
  • The Righteous Bison's shots can hit the same target multiple times. Avoid backpedaling or you will suffer extreme damage.

B.A.S.E. Jumper
B.A.S.E. Jumper

  • The B.A.S.E Jumper allows a Soldier to slow his descent and fire more rockets at you from midair. Watch out for the potential barrage if a rocket jumping Soldier suddenly deploys it.
  • The B.A.S.E. Jumper slows the Soldier's airspeed. Shoot him out of the sky with an accurate weapon.
  • The B.A.S.E. Jumper cannot be deployed again once retracted until he touches the ground. Fire at him to force a retraction so he takes fall damage.
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.

Banners

A Soldier's banners provide a 10-second area-of-effect buff to nearby allies once he has dealt enough damage. The Soldier's teammates must remain close to him, so weapons with splash damage are effective for fighting a wave of buffed enemies. Killing the Soldier will end the effect immediately; if possible, aim for him first. Additionally, a Soldier using a banner lacks a secondary weapon; any class that can negate his rockets, such as the Pyro, can prevent him from charging his banner.

Weapon Anti-Soldier strategy
Buff Banner
Buff Banner + reskins
  • The Buff Banner allows a Soldier and his allies to deal mini-crits; it's best to fight from behind cover while his team is buffed. You may also choose to retreat, wasting the limited time your enemies have to inflict more damage.
Battalion's Backup
Battalion's Backup
  • Use teamwork to overpower enemies buffed defensively by the Battalion's Backup, one-by-one.
  • Do not activate critboosts, such as that from the Kritzkrieg, while the enemy has the Backup's buff; they will be immune to critical hits. Wait until the Backup's effect has ended.
Concheror
Concheror
  • When an enemy Soldier activate his Concheror, any buffed enemies will heal from inflicting damage - consider taking cover until the effect wears off.
  • Your team should concentrate fire on single targets to prevent them from healing, or on the Soldier himself to end the effect.
  • The Concheror takes less damage to charge than the other banners.

Melee weapons

Weapon Anti-Soldier strategy
Shovel
Shovel + reskins
  • You should be able to outmaneuver a Soldier charging you with the standard Shovel, as his low movement speed puts him at a heavy disadvantage in melee combat.
Escape Plan
Escape Plan
  • A Soldier will typically use his Escape Plan's speed boost as a last resort to escape. When the Escape Plan is his active weapon, he takes guaranteed mini-crits.
  • Note his movement speed to gauge his health; if a Soldier is running quickly while holding this weapon, he's heavily injured. A few long-range shots, even from the Scattergun or Shotgun, may be enough to kill him.
Equalizer
Equalizer
  • The more injured a Soldier is, the more damage his Equalizer deals. If a Soldier attacks you with this, he might be already injured. Treat him as if he were using the default Shovel and end the fight quickly.
Pain Train
Pain Train
  • The Pain Train increases the Soldier's capture rate. Be wary of any Soldier that may sneak by to capture your team's control points quickly.
  • The Pain Train causes the Soldier to take 10% more bullet damage, which allows a Scout or Heavy to have an easier time killing him.
Half-Zatoichi
Half-Zatoichi
  • The Half-Zatoichi heals its wielder by 50% of his base health upon obtaining a kill. If you see a Soldier slay a teammate with this weapon, know that he will have at least 100 health.
  • If the Half-Zatoichi's wielder does not obtain a kill before switching weapons, he loses 50 health. The Soldier is slow, so stay outside his melee range to force a weapon switch.
  • Reducing the Soldier to below 50 health prevents him from sheathing the weapon - you can then stay away and fire with impunity.
Market Gardener
Market Gardener
  • Be wary of a rocket-jumping Soldier trying to enter melee range - if he holds the Market Gardener, his airborne melee attack will be a guaranteed critical hit, which will instantly kill most classes.
  • Keep your distance until he lands, throw off his aim by shooting him and dealing knockback, or snipe him out of the sky.
Disciplinary Action
Disciplinary Action
  • An enemy Soldier equipped with the Disciplinary Action will use it to hustle his team to the battlefield rather than fight. Take care that you aren't outnumbered by any additional enemies he brought along.
  • The Disciplinary Action has a very large melee range. Stay farther away from him than you would if he was wielding the Shovel - he might still be able to hit you.

See also