Community Nucleus (King of the Hill) strategy

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Nucleus (King of the Hill)
Basic Information
Map type: King of the Hill
File name: koth_nucleus
Released: August 13, 2009 Patch
(Classless Update)
Variants: Arena, Versus Saxton Hale, Smissmas
Developer(s): Valve
Map Info
Environment: Spytech
Setting: Indoor
Hazards: Pitfall
Bot support: Yes
Map Items
Healthico.png Health Kits: Smallhealth.png ×2  •  Mediumhealth.png ×2
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 King of the Hill variant of Nucleus. For strategy specific to the Arena variant, see Community Nucleus (Arena) strategy.

This article is about Community Nucleus (King of the Hill) strategy.

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

General strategy

  • Note that due to their exploitable nature, the extending catwalks are stick-proof: Stickybombs, Jarate and Mad Milk will simply bounce off them.
  • A good place to hang out after the point is captured, particularly for Heavies, Demomen and Pyros, are the entrances to the two side catwalks leading onto the point. The enemy is usually concentrating straight ahead at your spawn; with this in mind you can catch them in some devastating crossfire if you are clever about it.
  • Crouch jumping on to the barriers surrounding the point will enable you to reach the roof of the adjacent building. From here, a wide variety of strategies are available to most classes.
  • Because all areas of this map are quite easily accessible, spawn camping can be expected to occur at some point. The two side exits can be used to flank the attackers.
  • Nucleus's most prominent feature is the particularly large pit underneath the point. Knockback can be exploited to shove players off the catwalks for an environmental death.
  • you can jump from the centrer onto the barriers on the lower edge, due to there being ground poking out.

Class-specific strategy

Leaderboard class scout.png Scout

  • Scout players can use walls for cover and run away from an enemy with their speed if they have low health or probably have no chance of beating them.
  • Because of the varied layout of the different areas of Nucleus (a wide open area lined by tight corridors), the Shortstop will help a Scout cope with the variety.
  • The Sandman can easily score hits on the catwalks and control point, as enemies have little room to avoid the baseball.
  • The Force-A-Nature is very effective for knocking enemies off the catwalks into the pit. Like the Sandman, there is little space for the enemy to avoid the damage and knockback from this weapon on catwalks.

Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier

  • The roofs of the surrounding buildings are open for Soldiers and serve as a great spot to rain rockets down from.
  • Knockback from rockets can make enemies fall from the catwalk to and from the control point.
  • The Cow Mangler 5000 is useful when defending the point, as the fifth shot or the charge shot can be very useful in clearing it.
  • The three levels provided by this map are easily accessible with the use of a Soldier's Rocket Jump and can surprise enemy units.

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

  • If not capturing the point, Pyros should avoid the area directly surrounding it. Due to the wide open space, ambushing will become difficult without using the side routes.
  • Pyros work well around the lower areas of the catwalk as they can easily airblast enemies into the pit or ambush low health enemies from getting the medium healthpack.
  • The cover of darkness offered by the roof of the low building gives Pyros great ambushing opportunities. Use the shadows to hide and foil the enemy's attempts to reach the point.
  • Pyros stationed on the roof with the compression blast will also provide a formidable counter-measure to any Soldiers or Demomen looking to gain some height advantage.
  • Pyros can use their compression blast to launch people off the point and send them flying to their death.

Leaderboard class demoman.png Demoman

  • Demoman players can hide on any of the three floors available and shoot their bombs into the capture point area to kill the opponents. This works well because even on the lowest level of this map, the bombs can arc over the walls.
  • Although Stickybombs cannot be laid on the catwalks, they will stick to the point itself. This will discourage enemies from capturing it, or at least delay their attack while they try to destroy them.
  • Pressuring the enemy at their spawn with stickies and grenades is a useful tactic to give your time to capture the control point. Make sure to at least trap off two spawn doors.

Leaderboard class heavy.png Heavy

  • Heavy players can utilize the small spaces to their advantage by confining an enemy from running away or dodging too much, easily getting you a kill on the most slippery of targets.
  • Heavies should use caution when attacking the central control point. Soldiers and quick Scouts can flank and kill an unsuspecting Heavy, or push him off the edge. Use the Minigun to spray over the control point to the other side. This may prevent the other team from attacking.
  • When defending, hide along the side catwalks to get a surprise attack on opponents who run straight into the control point from spawn. This is highly effective, as the opposing team would be preoccupied on the defenders straight across. However, Spies do tend to sneak along that section, as do Scouts and Engineers.
  • Because there is almost invariably more than one enemy Sniper, a Heavy must try to stay quick on his feet. Peppering them with the Minigun from afar can be enough to disrupt their aim.

Leaderboard class engineer.png Engineer

  • Engineers will have a tough time on Nucleus. Sentry Guns erected to overlook the point will be easily taken out by Snipers and Soldiers from the other side. You can try setting up a "surprise" Sentry Gun on the lower catwalks, or alternatively try setting up in the upper balcony area with the medium ammo box to deny that area to the enemy.
    • Use of the Wrangler is effective here, due to the wide, open areas.
  • Because Scouts are common on this map, the Pistol can serve an Engineer well if he is away from his Sentry Gun. Otherwise, the Pomson 6000 is the most favourable weapon to use, especially on the catwalks.
  • Gunslinger-wielding Engineers can exploit the major fight for the central point - due to the concentrated size of the map - to slip by enemy defenses and place Mini-Sentry Guns around the map, effectively being able to flank the enemy forces. It's also a good strategy to place a Mini-sentry below the point, on the Health Kit, in order to surprise both injured enemies looking for health and players on the bridges.
  • You can access the roof of the Medium Health pack room by building a Sentry on the battlements and using it as a boost to jump to the door frame. A teleporter on the roof will provide your team with excellent height advantage. From here, Sentry Guns can be built on the far sloped ledges above each spawn. The great height and wide view of the map these ledges offer makes it a very difficult strategy to counter.
  • The shadowy pipe trenches on the roof of the low building make great spots for nigh-undetectable Sentry Guns.
  • If possible, Engineers are able to place a sentry near the enemy spawn to distract them while his team can capture the point. A good place to set up a sentry is right in front of the stairs leading up to the catwalks. This position covers two out of the three spawn entrances and almost always can only be attacked by standing in its range, unless enemies are Demomen or Spies. Building a Sentry near his own spawn will discourage enemies from spawn camping.
  • Engineers should keep an eye on their Teleporters. Spies will often run to the enemy spawn and either sap the teleporter or teleport through it, leaving a convincing light trail and telefragging anyone in the way, as well as trying to sap a nearby sentry nest.

Leaderboard class medic.png Medic

  • Medics can use the Quick-Fix's megaheal on a friendly Scout to have 3x capture rate on the point with no worry of being pushed into the pit thanks to its knockback prevention.
  • Using the Kritzkrieg on a friendly Soldier or Demoman when there are a lot of enemies on the bridge is extremely effective; enemies will have little room to dodge projectiles, and knockback will likely finish off any enemy who survives the initial shots.
  • When playing Medic, try to avoid staying on the central catwalks for long. Force-A-Nature users can quickly blindside an attacking combination and send them to their doom. Try using a well timed ÜberCharge to aid in an unbreakable offensive or unbreakable defense. Be very careful of Pyros when on the middle or upper catwalks. A well placed airblast will push you around or knock you into the hole. Heal Soldiers for clearing catwalks and Heavies for assaults.

Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper

  • Snipers can be deadly on this map, owing to the unobstructed sightlines available from every side onto the point. For this reason, it is wise to run flanking Scouts/Spies and counter-Snipers to allow your Soldiers, Heavies and Medics to get onto the point without being killed. Be sensible about this; having too many Snipers and not enough combat classes and the point itself will go uncaptured.
  • Snipers should be used sparingly on the map, and mainly for defending the point from Heavy and Medic teams. When his team is attacking, the Sniper should change class to an attacking one, to better assist the team in a full push for the control point. Beware of the upper passages and catwalks, as they are unfavourable for avoiding Spies and Soldiers trying to get to higher ground, or sneak around.
  • Snipers can take advantage of the narrow catwalks with the Machina and its penetrating shot, easily killing off several enemy players in one shot. A good place for this is near the crates just outside of the spawn room.
  • A Sniper can fire through a small hole in the crates in front of each team's spawn. This leaves a narrow sight line, but provides a lot of frontal protection.
  • If it's possible, try to crouch and snipe to reduce visibility of getting sniped and being killed. Even though it's hard to kill someone like this, you can still do it.

Leaderboard class spy.png Spy

  • Because this map is so confined, it may be best as Spy to disguise as a Sniper and wait up on the upper catwalks. Then, when you see a high value enemy below you (Medics, Heavies, Soldiers), jump down and stab them in the back.
  • Soldiers, Demomen, and Snipers like to camp on the balconies at the top level of the map. These players are usually too concentrated on the point to notice you.
  • Try to avoid the heavy gunfire along the center to the control point. Using the lower walkways will help you get behind enemy lines and sneak into the upper walkways unchallenged by unsuspecting players. Due to the heavy usage of the upper walkways by sneak attacking players from both sides, it is unfavourable to try and go up to the higher areas from your side.
  • The Cloak and Dagger can be used easily around corners to wait for the right enemy to walk pass you.
  • Try to Cloak with the Cloak and Dagger along side the balconies and wait for a target to try to get a health pack between the 2 connected balconies, then uncloak and stab him when he tries to leave.