Community Nucleus (Arena) strategy

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Nucleus (Arena)
Basic Information
Map type: Arena
File name: arena_nucleus
Released: May 21, 2009 Patch
(Sniper vs. Spy Update)
Variants: King of the Hill, Versus Saxton Hale and Galleria
Developer(s): Valve
Map Info
Environment: Spytech
Setting: Indoor
Hazards: Pit
Map Items
Healthico.png Health Kits: Mediumhealth.png ×1
Ammoico.png Ammo Boxes: Smallammo.png ×2   •   Mediumammo.png ×5
Map Photos
Loading screen photos.
Map Overview
Nucleus (Arena) overview.png
This article is about strategy specific to the Arena variant of Nucleus. For strategy specific to the King of the Hill variant, see Community Nucleus (King of the Hill) strategy.

This article is about Community Nucleus (Arena) strategy.

Note: It is recommended to read the main Nucleus (Arena) article first to become familiar with the names of key map locations used in this article.

General strategy

  • Players moving through open areas of Nucleus should be cautious of enemy Snipers, who can kill higher priority targets very early into the round as players leave the spawn. Going into the doorway nearest the spawn is a good way to avoid them.
  • The roof on one side of the map has an opening on the top, giving Soldiers and Demomen an opportunity to do much damage without being noticed.
  • The Medkit on this map is extremely valuable as it will heal half of your maximum life. This can mean the difference between life and death.
  • The Medkit can also be a good ambushing position as most enemies going for it will have low health and will be easy to finish off before they reach it.

Class-specific strategy

Leaderboard class scout.png Scout

  • Scouts with the Force-A-Nature can knock their opponents into the center pit, resulting in an instant death. This also works for Soldiers and Demomen, although more difficult to achieve.
  • There are many fast routes in the map that are ideal for Scouts. Jumping over the chasm can provide a quick escape from an enemy. The medium health pickup is only two jumps away from almost any point on the map, seeing as it's placed low and in the middle.
  • At the start of a round, Scouts are able to jump on the roof of a low building to the right or to the left as they leave spawn depending on which team you are on (BLU = Left, RED = Right). This allows access to a fast route to the other team's spawn area. Be advised that Soldiers and Demomen may favour this route as well.
  • It is possible, albeit highly difficult, to escape from the lower platform of the map to the surrounding ledges as a Scout by double jumping and crouching as you approach the edge of the ledges. This technique is made much simpler through use of the Force-A-Nature or the Atomizer, though it can be performed by any Scout, regardless of loadout.

Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier

  • Take advantage of your equipped (excluding the Direct Hit) Rocket Launcher's large splash damage to juggle enemies into the pit.
  • As with all Arena maps,banners are risky as they are very difficult to build rage with.
  • The Black Box gives you up to 20 HP per attack. This could prove to be invaluable on a team without Engineers or Medics.
  • The Direct Hit is an interesting option on this map, as it allows you to possibly injure an enemy Sniper at the start of the round.
    • The Direct Hit also allows for useful application of the Gunboats, allowing you to climb to the roofs effectively giving you a much larger field of view at little cost to health.
  • The Concheror grants passive health regeneration and is a less strenuous task to fully charge the rage meter. You can rely on the regeneration to heal without exposing yourself to the open medkit.
  • The Reserve Shooter will be difficult to make use of while indoors, your enemies will simply hit the ceiling and deny you a chance to mini-crit them. You can get more opportunities to use the Reserve Shooter if you stay in more open areas or in the flank building.
  • On a team with no Medics, the Half-Zatoichi can be used as a means to replenish your health, however, you must achieve a kill with the sword to holster or else you will take damage.
  • Nucleus has a very large airspace that is ripe for using the B.A.S.E. Jumper. Rocket Jump above enemies exiting certain sections to catch them off guard.

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

  • As a Pyro, try to stay around the Health Pack on the bottom walkway and use the compression blast to push any enemies going for it into the pit. The lack of health on the map makes this an effective strategy.
  • The majority of this map is indoors. Use that to your advantage by catching opponents off guard around corners or trapping them with your compression blast against a wall.
  • As this map is large, the Flare Gun may be more effective than the Shotgun to ignite enemies on the other side of the map.
    • The Flare Gun can be used at the start of the round to ignite enemies leaving the spawn on the other side of the map.
  • Any burning targets without a Medic to run to will be either running towards the center catwalk for health, or play much more defensively. Being cut off of other options, you've effectively removed a player from the field from possibly capturing the point (only excluding a Heavy).

Leaderboard class demoman.png Demoman

  • Remember that as a Demoman, your Stickybombs will not stick to the extending walkways leading up to the control point, and will instead bounce off.
  • Often people use the Demoman to sticky jump across the map at the beginning in an attempt to get first blood by catching the enemy team off guard. This can be done most effectively with the Ullapool Caber.
    • This is easily achieved with the use of the Sticky Jumper. The enemy can then be ambushed with grenades as they come out of their spawn.
  • Sticky Traps are useful when placed on the Medkit, this can be good when finishing off injured enemies.
  • The small catwalk where the Medkit is located can be a very strategic position. Grenades or stickybombs can be lobbed upwards onto the control point, which can be useful when attempting to clear enemies off the point. However, it is very hard to judge where your grenades or stickybombs will land. It is also a potentially vulnerable position, as the explosion from a rocket or an airblast can easily push you into the pit.
  • Take advantage of the fact that your explosive weapons, angle your shots to push enemies in the bit, this is not effective as using the Pyro's compression blast or the Soldier's rockets but If aimed correctly can still work.

Leaderboard class heavy.png Heavy

  • This map allows for successful Heavy ambushes, as the narrow catwalks leading to the center Control Point give enemies no space to avoid the Minigun.
  • Natascha is a great choice for Heavies on this map. The speed reduction allows for you to kill, or severely injure many players either trying to get health, or trying to capture the point.
  • The Brass Beast is not advised on this map as on all arena maps because the slow movement speed while revved and the lengthy rev up time makes you an easy target for Spies, Snipers, and enemy Heavies using the Minigun.
  • The Huo-Long Heater can assist in protecting the Control Point, as there is little space to dodge the fire. This also helps with any Scouts trying to take you out!
  • The lunchbox items serve well as a snack to your teammates hiding indoors. Sharing your food with your teammates is always welcome if it means they don't have to regain health at the catwalks instead.
  • The Fists of Steel can allow you to make a safe retreat. It especially helps if you have to traverse outdoors.

Leaderboard class engineer.png Engineer

  • As the Engineer, you can deploy a Sentry Gun or a Mini-Sentry near the medkit, which finishes off any enemies with low health trying to get to the medkit. Sentry Guns can also be placed on the catwalks leading to the point. Although Sentrys will be largely exposed to enemy fire if placed on the catwalk, unaware or slow enemies may fall prey to your Sentry Gun.
  • Sentry Guns are extremely effective when used in the Flank Building.
  • An effective tactic is to build a Mini-Sentry on a roof. To do this, build a Sentry near the roof in the beginning of a round, then jump on it and do a Wrangler jump to the roof. Build a Dispenser and a Sentry there. It is better to take some ammo after building a Sentry near the roof, so that you can build a Dispenser there immediately.
    • Don't forget to watch for Scouts and Rocket Jumping Soldiers. They can prevent you from staying there.

Leaderboard class medic.png Medic

  • Medics are invaluable on this map for overheal, so the Soldier and/or the Demoman can explosive jump to the roof without incurring damage.
  • The range of the Syringe Gun means that the Medic can attack enemies on the central point from the other end of any of the access bridges. If the point is being captured, there are several enemies on it, or you do not have a teammate nearby better suited to clearing the point, consider doing it yourself with your primary weapon.
  • Health packs on this map are few and far between. If your teammates are not utilising rocket or sticky jumps for travel, consider using the Quick-Fix to keep your teammates alive more comfortably.
    • The Quick-Fix can also be used to jump with a Demoman or Soldier across a roof area. Use this strategy and try to flank for high-priority targets together!
  • Consider using the Vaccinator if readying an ÜberCharge is too difficult for you, as it charges very fast. As an added bonus, if there is a troublesome Sniper on the opposing team, you can easily deny them headshots on important allies with a Bullet Resistance ÜberCharge.
    • The Vaccinator can't overheal as quickly as your other options. Make sure to overheal teammates leaving you, as you'll have plenty of time to overheal the group you stay with.

Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper

  • At the start of a round, run out of Spawn and go to the right, you should have a good position to headshot any enemies running for the stairs.
  • A good Sniper position is on the second floor of the access building, as there is a wide view of the map to watch over.
    • Spy check after you do every shot, as Spies can easily access the second floor of the building.

Leaderboard class spy.png Spy

  • Though overall a good map for Spies, the circular nature of the map disrupts line of sight, meaning you have little warning before enemies are suddenly upon you.
  • It's effective to camp at the side stairs in the Access Building as you may be able to pull off a stair-stab on unsuspecting enemies.
  • Staying near the medkit could let you pick off already weakened enemies with your Revolver.
  • The long sight lines in Nucleus provide great views for the Ambassador. Be a Sniper from enemy Sniper spots to avoid suspicion while attempting this!