Basic Demoman strategy
The Demoman is a well-rounded artillery class that excels at indirect combat, crowd control, and area denial. Both his Grenade Launcher and Stickybomb Launcher are versatile weapons that can be aimed over obstacles while staying out of sight. Additionally, the Stickybomb Launcher can be used to set traps or Sticky jump. Due to his immense damage output, the Demoman is fantastic at fighting multiple opponents and demolishing Engineer buildings. However, the Demoman is most vulnerable at close range, where his weapons are more difficult to aim, take time to arm, and can inflict self-damage; this makes him weaker to classes such as the Scout or Pyro. Unlike the other classes, the Demoman has the option to cover this weakness by equipping a Shield and Sword. By doing so, he trades his area explosives for extra defense and the ability to charge, allowing him to pick off single targets. Thus, the Demoman can choose to dominate at long or close range, but not both. A team should arguably always have at least one Demoman for the sheer versatility he brings to the battlefield.
- 1 Primary weapons
- 2 Secondary weapons
- 3 Melee weapons
The Grenade Launcher fires powerful projectiles that deal explosive damage. Grenades travel in a heavy, arced trajectory and can be fired from behind cover, especially over terrain or around corners. The Grenade Launcher is your main weapon in direct combat, especially if your opponent can avoid Stickybombs or if you are using a shield. Although direct hits deal the most damage, grenades that don't immediately hit enemies will still bounce and explode after a short time. Thus, you can fire at a general area to herd enemies, stop escapes, or downright kill foes at extreme range. If you want to conserve health for a smaller explosive jump, fire a grenade into a corner, then jump on top of it to propel yourself upwards.
The Loch-n-Load is particularly useful against the Engineer's buildings, which it deals increased damage to. Its projectiles travel 25% faster than those of the Grenade Launcher, making it easier to land strong direct hits, even against airborne targets. This speed results in increased range, which can be useful when taking out an Engineer's buildings. However, the Loch-n-Load's clip size and blast radius are both reduced by 25%, making it weaker at crowd control. In particular, its grenades shatter on surfaces, meaning that it cannot be fired in a general direction to suppress enemy movement or used to perform grenade jumps.
Ali Baba's Wee Booties focus on mobility, granting extra health at the cost of your Grenade Launcher. If you equip a shield and focus on melee combat, you also gain bonus movement speed. When using a shield, the Booties grant you increased charge control and charge restore on kill, allowing frequent, precise melee movement. In particular, the increased movement speed allows you to outrun any class aside from the Scout, even without charging. If you prefer ranged combat, the standard Stickybomb Launcher or Quickiebomb Launcher work best.
The Loose Cannon fires cannonballs that always explode 1 second after the fire button is pressed, rather than 2 seconds after being fired. Thus, hold the fire button to delay the projectile and control the explosion. Direct hits do not immediately cause an explosion and inflict knock back. Timing a shot to inflict both impact and explosive damage in quick succession will reward you with a guaranteed "Double Donk" mini-crit. Explosions after a cannonball touches a surface will only deal 50% damage, so you have to remain precise; the ideal range is slightly farther than where stock Stickybombs can be immediately detonated. Overloading the fuse will deal significant damage to yourself but allow for a strong explosive jump.
The B.A.S.E. Jumper allows you to deploy a parachute while in midair, slowing your descent. For general purposes, you can combine this with Sticky jumping to maintain a vertical advantage over opponents or travel further horizontally. Should you use a Stickybomb Launcher alongside the B.A.S.E. Jumper, you can freely plant a carpet of Stickybombs over a wide area as you float down. If you favor melee combat and use a shield, charging in midair lets you approach enemies from varying vertical angles. Although it keeps you in midair and attacking longer, try not to linger in the sights of enemies who appreciate slow targets, like the Heavy or Sniper. As with other utility items, taking the B.A.S.E. Jumper means having no Grenade Launcher, leaving you less effective at medium range.
The Iron Bomber can be used similarly to the Grenade Launcher in direct combat. Its grenades remain close to the landing site and explode 30% faster, useful for creating temporary traps that your opponents won't want to pass over. Grenades have a 15% smaller blast radius if they explode on timer, so precision with your traps is rewarded. Because the Iron Bomber's grenades have little bounce and roll, it has a less effective maximum range than the Grenade Launcher.
Stickybombs have a very large splash radius and deal excellent explosive damage, making it the perfect weapon for area denial. Stickybombs can be either fired and detonated in rapid succession from medium range, or placed as traps to instantly take out an unlucky enemy. If using the Stickybomb Launcher to lay traps, place the explosives in unexpected locations, such as around corners, above doorways, or even on ceilings. The Stickybomb Launcher is one of the best weapons for dealing with Sentry Guns, as detonating multiple Stickybombs at one time will prevent the Engineer from performing any repairs. Additionally, you can use Stickybombs to Sticky Jump around the battlefield swiftly at the cost of health. As planting more than eight Stickybombs destroys those that were planted earlier, firing more can allow you to strategically detonate individual ones.
The Scottish Resistance can place up to fourteen Stickybombs that can each be manually detonated. However, the weapon's slower bomb arm time makes it less effective in direct combat. Thus, it is best suited to defensive gameplay, where there are multiple possible entrances to defend. Its ability to eliminate enemy Stickybombs and place several traps at once make it useful for controlling key areas. You can detonate your Stickybombs in rapid succession by holding down the detonate key and swinging your view across all of your Stickybombs.
Equipping the Chargin' Targe takes away the Demoman's trademark Stickybomb Launcher, turning him into a more melee-oriented class. The shield's charge ability can be used to quickly move around the battlefield and remove debuffs such as afterburn and Jarate. The charge itself is a shield bash, which deals increased damage based on distance traveled. Melee attacks performed while charging cancel the charge and have also increased damage based on distance traveled. You can follow up a successful shield bash with a melee strike with good timing. Because it is difficult to maneuver during a charge, predict where your target will be at the end and line yourself up accordingly. The Chargin' Targe offers some defensive bonuses against explosives and fire, giving you protection against the Soldier and Pyro, classes that traditionally hold an advantage at close range, but not the Heavy.
While the Sticky Jumper is intended for harmless Sticky jumping practice, one of the main factors that restricts your Sticky jumping when using the standard Stickybomb Launcher is the high self-damage. While the Sticky Jumper is equipped, all self-damage that would be taken from your own Stickybombs is nullified. Without healing, you can make multiple Sticky jumps to rapidly cover massive distances for a particularly reckless playstyle. While your Stickybombs are harmless, you still have your Grenade Launcher and wide selection of melee weapons for reliable damage. Given the immense damage of standard Stickybombs, the Sticky Jumper is generally not as useful in serious combat.
The Splendid Screen is a more offensive version of the Chargin' Targe. It deals greater shield bash damage and lets you charge twice as often, but offers less defensive bonuses. The Splendid Screen's increased shield bash damage lets you to use your charge as a consistent, significant source of damage. You are encouraged to use the Eyelander alongside this shield, as gathering heads increases the damage of the shield bash; collecting five heads will boost the full-range shield bash to 127 damage, which is enough to instantly kill the fragile classes. Like with the Chargin' Targe, combo your shield bash immediately into a critical melee hit to deal massive damage. Use the frequent charges to quickly dart in and out of combat - high risk, high reward.
The Tide Turner grants you full turning control during your charge, but only deals mini-crits on a fully expended charge. It essentially sacrifices melee power for unparalleled melee mobility. Melee kills while charging will refill your charge meter by 75%, allowing you to rampage from enemy to enemy if you time your attacks well. Charging after enemies becomes significantly easier, so look out for weak opponents that you can start your rampage with. The Tide Turner has less resistances than your other shields and taking damage reduces the overall charge time, so exercise caution and utilize the Tide Turner's maneuverability to charge in from unexpected locations. The Tide synergizes well with the Claidheamh Mòr and Persian Persuader, as both swords refill charge for successful melee combat.
The Quickiebomb Launcher arms and charges its Stickybombs much faster than the standard Stickybomb Launcher. Rapidly firing and detonating Stickybombs is a standard fighting style that this weapon amplifies, especially since charged shots deal up to 35% extra damage. Pelt opponents at medium range with rapid detonations, or charge individual Stickybombs from afar. This weapons can destroy other Stickybombs, allowing you to disarm enemy Stickybomb traps when on the offensive. However, the Quickiebomb Launcher suffers a 50% smaller clip size and 15% reduced base damage, making it far less suitable for deploying full Stickybomb traps.
At close range, you'll probably damage yourself if you use explosive weaponry. Thus, the Bottle is particularly useful when enemies are too close to reliably kill with the Grenade Launcher. Unlike your other melee weapons, the Bottle has no drawbacks, so equip it if you don't plan on engaging in melee combat often.
As a sword, the Eyelander draws and holsters slower, but comes with an extended attack range that outranges most opponents in melee combat. It reduces your maximum health but accumulates heads upon melee kills, which each slightly increase your maximum health, movement speed, and shield bash damage. Take full advantage of its traits by pairing it with the Chargin' Targe or another shield, which will allow you to charge in and out of battle. As you accumulate heads and boost your health, the defensive bonuses of your shield will turn you into a very resistant and mobile foe. Because dying will cause you to lose all of your heads, play conservatively; should you miss your charge, the long holster speed leaves you vulnerable if your foe backpedals and draws a ranged weapon. Until you have a clear opportunity to decapitate an enemy, attack from range using your Grenade Launcher and stay near sources of health.
The Pain Train gives you an increased capture rate of two players, equal to the Scout. You can combine this with Sticky jumping to quickly seize control points. The Pain Train comes with a 10% increased vulnerability to bullets, making you a bit more fragile against the Scout and Heavy, classes which tend to be found attacking or holding control points. Only use the Pain Train when actively capturing control points or pushing Payload carts; the increased capture rate is useless when playing Capture the Flag or in any defensive scenario.
The Scotsman's Skullcutter shares the same properties as other swords: slow weapon switching and increased attack range. It passively reduces your movement speed while wielded but does significantly more damage compared to your other melee weapons. The reduction in speed makes chasing enemies difficult, so consider pairing it with one of your shields and even Ali Baba's Wee Booties. A well-timed charge becomes even more rewarding, as critical hits from the Skullcutter is enough to take down any class other than the Heavy with one hit. Due to the speed penalty, the total distance your charge covers will be reduced as well; the Skullcutter is hence best used in confined areas where enemies can't easily flee. Should you also use a ranged weapon alongside this axe, be wary of foes who may take advantage of your slow movement and weapon switch speed to weapon heckle you.
The Claidheamh Mòr shares the Eyelander's extended melee range and slow weapon switch speed. Instead of the ability to collect heads, the Claidheamh Mòr gives 0.5 second increase in charge duration, and restores 25% of your charge meter upon a kill. In particular, the Claidheamoh Mòr pairs well with the Tide Turner, as the combined bonuses from the two weapons will give you a full recharge upon a kill. You take increased damage while this sword is out, so place it away if you can't charge at anyone.
The Ullapool Caber explodes on first impact, dealing massive damage to you and everything near your victim. It takes a significant amount of time to switch to this weapon, giving your opponents ample time to create some distance. Your other explosive weaponry deal great area damage and yield less risk to yourself, so try to only use the Ullapool Caber as a last resort against close foes. Using it alongside one of your shields and charging can turn you into a human missile.
The Half-Zatoichi is a sword that heals 50% of your health upon a kill. Unlike the Soldier, you are able to combine the Half-Zatoichi with a shield to potentially chain together melee kills to stay healthy. Make sure you can obtain a kill before unsheathing it, as switching weapons without getting a kill results in you taking 50 damage. Try not to be caught in the middle of switching weapons, as the long weapon switch time can leave you vulnerable.
The Persian Persuader converts ammo pickups to charge and replenishes charge with each successful melee hit, so you'll want to use it alongside one of your shields. It also significantly reduces the maximum ammunition for your ranged weapons, so consider committing to melee combat. Frequently landing melee attacks will allow you to slip in and out of melee combat as you please. You will need a full charge meter if you want to refill your ranged weapons using pickups.