Community Pyro strategy

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The Pyro on strategizing

The Pyro is a class whose combat strategies revolve around close-range combat. The Pyro's Flamethrower can dish out huge amounts of damage at close range, while the resultant afterburn can cause panic among enemies by slowly sapping their health. In conjunction with the Shotgun, the Pyro is effective for eliminating unaware targets at point blank, though comparatively weaker at ranged combat even while equipping weapons such as the Flare Gun. Despite being categorized as an Offensive class, the Pyro is not restricted in support tools: the Flamethrower's compression blast can also alter the flow of gameplay, being able to push back enemies (even ÜberCharged enemies, except for those under Quick-Fix ÜberCharge), deflect or move projectiles, and extinguish teammates on fire. A good Pyro will constantly switch between both offensive and support play, protecting the team from projectiles and fire, while working to find opportunities to enter enemy territory and set them ablaze.

Quick tips

  • As a general rule, simply charging forwards can easily get you killed, especially if your enemy notices you first. Find alternate routes to catch opponents off-guard, as your Flamethrower has limited range and works best when opponents don't notice you until it's too late.
    • This strategy is heavily rewarded when equipping the Backburner, as it deals critical damage to enemies that have their backs exposed.
  • Always spycheck for your team. Your flames will instantly expose cloaked Spies, preventing them from remaining unnoticed. Regularly shoot flames around your teammates, just in case.
  • Stay away from water and open areas, which is where you are the weakest. If you can't avoid them, wait to follow another friendly player.
    • The former tip on avoiding water can be disregarded somewhat if you use the Neon Annihilator; however, it is only effective at melee range, making reliance on it somewhat questionable.
    • You can use your Flamethrower to attack people that are above a body of water, but depending on the depth of the water, they may be extinguished instantly, making Flamethrower or Flare Gun tactics ineffective. Consider using your Shotgun in such situations.
  • Your compression blast is extremely useful. Save it for the right situations, such as forcibly re-positioning enemies that are ÜberCharged, if you intend to follow up with your Shotgun, Reserve Shooter, or Flare Gun, or if you need to escape.
    • Pushing enemies to their left and right usually works better than forward or back. If an enemy gets pushed forward or back, they can still walk forwards to deal with you, while an enemy who is pushed to the side will need to reorient themselves to press their attack. However, there are exceptions (such as distracted enemies).
    • Using the compression blast on the ground near enemies will send them up vertically, keeping them in a locked position; this locked position can be used for a follow up combo with your secondary weapon or the Axtinguisher.
  • You are immune to the afterburn of other Pyros (unless you're covered in the liquid from the Gas Passer), but not the initial damage of their Flamethrower and Flare Gun. Using your Shotgun will let you fight other Pyros at a distance where their Flamethrower cannot reach.
    • If the other Pyro has a Flamethrower that is disadvantaged in airblasting (such as the Phlogistinator or the Dragon's Fury), you can use your compression blast to disorient them; they usually won't be able to counter you as easily. They can still hurt you with their secondary weapons, so being mindful of what your enemy has equipped will give you a better idea of how to fight them.
    • While fighting enemy Pyros, run backward if you are using the Flamethrower. You will receive less damage while dealing more to your opponent, since the enemy Pyro will be running straight into your flames while you run away from theirs. The aforementioned strategy is also helpful for luring them into your base and letting your teammates finish them off.
    • Regardless, be aware of fire-based weapons, as they could still register the first afterburn tick, resulting in a short time of the afterburn. This can be considered a minor threat if rapidly being shot by the Flare Gun, The Dragon's Fury, and the Axtinguisher if the enemy is quick enough, as they deal extra damage to enemies set on fire.
  • Your afterburn decreases Medi Gun healing and shield abilities by 20%, allowing you to be an even bigger nuisance to teams that have Medics. If your teammates are fighting a Medic and his teammate, igniting the patient will give your team the upper hand.

General

  • Playing Pyro requires a different mindset than other classes. You tend to be weak at direct attacks; you will lose to most other classes if they have time to react. If you catch the enemy by surprise, however, you can be the most dangerous class in the game.
    • As such, always try to ambush the enemy. Learn the maps and use flanking routes rather than main ones. Several of your weapons can help open up more routes, such as the Detonator and Thermal Thruster with their respective jumps.
    • When with your team, you can also be used as a more mobile area of denial than an Engineer; your flames cover a wide distance, and act as a deterrent great for punishing over-extenders.
    • Similarly, you can act as crowd control for large numbers of enemy players. Though you are unlikely to survive, this can buy your team time, and can cost enemy players valuable health if they are attempting to co-ordinate an attack.
  • While your playstyle can be risky, the Pyro's attributes are designed to help you. The Pyro class has the overall best health-to-speed ratio in the game, meaning you can get to the fight easily while being durable enough to survive most close-range encounters or run away if needed.
  • Be aware of how the game treats your Flamethrower's flames.
    • Flames have a "lifetime"; upon firing a puff, your flames will hang in the air for a moment, which can set enemies on fire even while you aren't actively firing. This is most useful for catching enemy Spies.
    • Due to this lingering property, walking forwards and firing will actually give you less range than normal, while walking back and flaming will make it more likely to hit an opponent, since you will leave a temporary trail of fire. This may allow Spies to backstab you, however.
    • Since flames take a while to reach their target, a burst of flame may not hit an actively moving opponent if they are at maximum Flamethrower distance. Lead your target at medium range.
  • Any enemy hit by your flames (other than the Degreaser’s fire) will suffer moderately damaging afterburn, except other Pyros, who are immune to afterburn. This means you can use hit-and-run tactics by lighting a target on fire and then escaping to either weaken them up for your teammates, or simply let them burn to death over time.
  • Enemies that have been damaged sufficiently by fire can usually be finished off with the Shotgun. The sounds produced by an ignited enemy can help you track them down more easily if you have lost a line of sight to them.
    • Weaker classes like Scouts tend to flee when they are on fire. Light them up and quickly follow up with the Shotgun. This is often enough to kill them, as afterburn deals up to 60 damage — nearly half of their health.
    • Because other classes such as Medics and Snipers lack efficient close-combat skills, they are the easiest to ignite and finish off with an ambush attack. While you are less effective against bulkier targets since they stand a higher chance of surviving the full damage of your afterburn, they may be damaged sufficiently for your teammates to finish off.
  • Despite the potential of afterburn, there are many ways to put it out, such as water and health sources like Dispensers. Do not rely on afterburn to finish opponents off all the time.
    • If possible, try to pick up any health packs near burning enemies to prevent them from extinguishing themselves.
  • You are the best class for Spychecking. Fire instantly negates a Spy's cloak, making him easy pickings for you and your team. Due to your decent ammo pool, always fire flames around your teammates to expose any Spies who may be trying to find opportunities to backstab any friendlies.
    • Note that the Dead Ringer will grant a Spy immunity to afterburn and up to 65% damage resistance during its initial 3 seconds, though you will still be able to see his silhouette if you keep attacking him. If you can predict his movements, you can kill him before he can uncloak again; if not, try to catch him off-guard the next time he approaches.
    • Also stay alert if a Spy is using the Spy-cicle because when you ignite him, the flames will be extinguished immediately and he will gain 10 seconds of afterburn immunity. However, there will be a loud hissing sound as the Spy-cicle melts, and the Spy will only receive 1 second of full fire immunity. Be ready to chase him down before he can escape.
  • Your primary weapons passively reduce the effectiveness of healing and shield effects on your current target; a Soldier (or any other class except another Pyro) being burned by you while also being healed by a Medic will only get 75% of the healing he would usually gain. As such, you can sometimes support your team just by igniting enemies; in a pocket-vs-pocket battle, this may be the difference between a win or loss.
  • Your most powerful tool is arguably your compression blast. Use it generously to support teammates by deflecting enemy projectiles or extinguishing burning teammates, or to set up a combo attack.
    • The compression blast can knock opponents around. Take every opportunity to light the enemy up first so they take afterburn damage while you are pushing them, and to make it harder for them to aim.
  • Your array of weapons suffer the most at range compared to the rest of the mercenaries, so stay away from open areas. Snipers and Heavies are your biggest counter classes, as the former can pick you off easily and the latter easily outdamages you. In this case, it may be useful to equip the Flare Gun to wear them down at a distance.
    • While you can take down Sentry Guns very quickly, it will be difficult to get in range without dying. Depending on the situation, it may be more viable to let other classes like the Soldier or Demoman take care of the Sentry Guns.

Compression blast

Your compression blast is an extremely useful tool for protecting teammates and positioning targets. Use it well.
  • The Flamethrower's compression blast (or airblast) is one of your defining features. It allows a Pyro to fulfill a number of roles, from extinguishing teammates, forcibly moving opponents, or reflecting projectiles.
  • A single compression blast costs 20 ammo for the Flamethrower and Rainblower, 25 for the Degreaser, and 50 for the Backburner. Be sure to keep track of your ammunition, as spamming your compression blast will easily leave you without ammunition.
    • Note that the Phlogistinator cannot airblast at all, which can be a huge disadvantage in some situations.
    • The Dragon's Fury requires 5 ammo to airblast, but carries only 40 in the first place, so it only gets up to 8 airblasts before requiring more ammo — the same effective cost as the Degreaser.
  • There is a slight cooldown after every compression blast before you can fire another. This can be a matter of life-or-death; a Soldier or Demoman can bait an airblast from you, then fire while you're vulnerable and cannot airblast. Learn to keep yourself from airblasting prematurely by timing them properly.

Extinguishing

  • You are the only class with a consistent method of putting out fire (apart from constant healing by Medi Guns or Dispensers). Other sources (such as the Scout's Mad Milk or the Sniper's Jarate) have a cooldown, making them less reliable. On maps or areas without water or health packs, you will be much needed, especially if your team lacks a Medic or Engineer.
  • Remember to airblast burning teammates, as it saves them from extended burn damage or potentially death.
    • You gain 20 health for every teammate extinguished, so you are encouraged to do so. Extinguishing several in tandem can heal you significantly.
  • The Manmelter can also extinguish teammates with its secondary fire. Use it if your primary weapon makes it too costly to compression blast (the Backburner) or if it lacks the ability to do so entirely (the Phlogistonator).

Reflecting

  • Airblasts make you an invaluable minesweeper class. Use it to:
    • Deflect most projectiles, including rockets (be it from a Rocket Launcher or level 3 Sentry Gun), grenades, Stickybombs (shot or stuck), flares, Huntsman arrows, the Rescue Ranger's bolts, and balls from the Sandman and Wrap Assassin, back at the attacker or other enemies. You can also reflect enemy Jarate and Mad Milk back at the thrower and their teammates to apply it to them instead.
    • Reflected projectiles deal mini-crits (or crits if the projectile is a critical one), making this even more beneficial. Reflected arrows can headshot enemies, while all reflected enemy projectiles (excluding Stickybombs) become harmless to allies (but may still harm yourself).
    • You cannot reflect the projectiles from the Syringe Gun and other Medic primaries (excluding the Crusader's Crossbow), the Pomson 6000, and the Righteous Bison, so dodge them instead.
  • Reflected projectiles are considered to be "shot" from your screen, meaning it will fire where your crosshair points. This allows you to control where your reflected projectile goes, although this is more difficult if it is affected by gravity (i.e Grenades).
  • Push Stickybombs away from important objectives like Control Points or Intelligence. Deflected Stickybombs remain dangerous to teammates and friendly buildings, but can also damage the Demoman who fired them. Note that deflected Stickybombs do not deal mini-crits.
  • Level 3 Sentry Guns that are far away or sit around a corner can be damaged with their own rockets by airblasting. This can separate Engineers from their Buildings, destroy the supplying Dispenser, or cause a distraction long enough for another teammate to take care of the nest. Moving quickly in and out of a Sentry Gun's range will minimize damage taken, as it will only fire a few bullets (for about 48-72 damage) along with the rocket before losing its target, if performed correctly.
    • Reflected Sentry Gun rockets deal 135-147 damage, which can easily kill an unaware Engineer or other light classes.
  • Having a crit-boost will cause all reflected projectiles, excluding Stickybombs, to reflect as a critical hit. This is a situational perk that can make you even stronger during Kritzkrieg ÜberCharges.
  • Occasionally, you can reflect projectiles at opponents even if they are looking away from you, although you have to be touching his back. This can be handy for instant burst damage if your enemy doesn't notice you.
  • Airblasting is generally easier the farther you are from your target. At close range, you have less time to react to a projectile, so there are several tactics that can help in judging when to airblast.
    • It can be beneficial to think like your enemy. If you realize that your enemy tends to instantly fire at any opponent he notices, airblasting once he sees you can net you a point-blank reflect.
    • Watching the animation of your opponent can be difficult, but often helps to predict when he fires. If you are close enough to see a Soldier's Rocket Launcher or a Demoman's Grenade Launcher recoil due to firing, immediately respond with a compression blast.
    • If you get close to a Soldier, he may panic and hold his attack button down when firing, to kill you as quickly as possible and remove any delay. If you are used to the Rocket Launcher's firing rate, you can often predict when the Soldier will fire next and instantly reflect the next rocket.
    • Soldiers will often choose the Direct Hit to counter you, as its high projectile speed makes it difficult to reflect. Instead of attempting to reflect the projectile, consider setting the Soldier on fire and blasting him away. The above mentioned tactics can also help if you find yourself too close for comfort.
  • It's possible to use explosives to perform explosive jumps through the use of deflected explosives (excluding Stickybombs, which remain under the ownership of the Demoman who fired them).
    • Although difficult to master, explosive jumps can bring you into effective range faster. To perform one with an enemy rocket, make the rocket graze right near your head by walking beside it. Once the rocket passes you, turn in the direction the rocket is, and airblast downwards in that direction. This should cause the rocket to explode at your feet behind you, which will propel you forward just like a standard rocket jump, at the cost of a significant amount of health.

Enemy Re-positioning

  • Your compression blast also gives you a unique ability to partially control an enemy's movement and position. Use it to:
    • Knock enemies away from objectives like Control points and Payload carts.
    • Push enemies away from valuable items (such as health or ammo packs), preventing enemy pickup; particularly Intelligence-based pickups that can be carried.
    • Remove enemies from high positions by knocking them off ledges, forcing them to walk up all the way again or killing them outright via fall damage.
    • Knock enemies into environmental hazards on the map, such as the pit in Steel or off the cliffs on Upward.
    • Push away attacking enemies, such as charging Demomen, enemy Pyros, and other classes using melee.
    • Prevent enemies from fleeing by pinning them in a corner.
    • Separate and distract ÜberCharged enemies and prevent them from pushing forward.
    • When you must fight near water, airblast enemies into the water and then charge them with the Neon Annihilator.
    • Push enemies into danger, such as towards your own team or your team's sentry nest.
  • Your compression blast is useful for slowing or negating an ÜberCharge, or separating a Medic from his patient.
    • When fighting a Heavy/Medic combo, try to compression blast either the Medic or Heavy away from the other, preferably off a high area. When done correctly, you can fight the enemy still next to you, and may be able to defeat him before his ally comes back up. This plan works best when you sneak up and attack from behind, and if the pair are on higher ground.
    • If pushed into environmental hazards, you can even kill ÜberCharged individuals.
  • When you see a Medic and an ÜberCharged patient, try to flank around them and airblast one away from the other. That will leave the Medic without a heal target, and the teammate he was healing will be left defenseless.
    • Even if you cannot do so, this will make the ÜberCharged pair lose ground, which may be enough for them to waste their charge entirely. This works more effectively on Heavies due to their slow movement and revved-up speed.
    • If you know your team has a sentry nest set up, airblast the ÜberCharged pair upwards. One of the two can be suspended in the air by its fire, either separating them from their Über chain or killing them when said Über expires.
    • A one-on-one battle with an ÜberCharged Soldier can be in your favor: you can simply reflect his rockets once he approaches, though be wary of his Shotgun and his teammates. With luck, you can also negate a Kritzkrieg push by reflecting a critical projectile straight back at the patient or Medic.
    • As the Quick-Fix negates knockback, the airblast is useless against it. You may want to burn your enemy instead to lower their high healing rate — the only way to repulse a Quick-Fix charge is to work together with teammates to focus fire on the ÜberCharged duo, outdamaging their healing and killing them.
  • If a fight is not going well, you can simply compression blast your foe and run away. This is more useful around corners or in enclosed spaces.
    • This is less effective on faster targets like Scouts.
  • Your airblast can be essential in pushing back Intelligence carriers. On many CTF maps, the enemy will often resort to suicide Scouts and Spies to constantly touch the Intelligence, preventing it from returning to your team's base. You can turn it against them by airblasting the Intelligence carrier in the opposite direction, causing them to lose ground.
    • You can also immediately reset the Intelligence by airblasting an Intelligence carrier out-of-bounds, such as the pit on Double Cross.
  • You can stop a Demoman's shield charge by airblasting them; this will stop them in their tracks. This will leave them vulnerable for a counterattack, since they cannot escape as easily.
  • Although you can simply burn a Spy to death, you can also push him away with a compression blast if you see him poised for a backstab. This is useful if you catch him at the last second, or if it takes him a long time to return, such as off a high area.
    • Be careful not to airblast him towards a potential target, however — he may surf the airblast and backstab your teammate anyway.

Ambushing/Roaming

  • Use alternate routes to organize a synchronized attack on the enemy. Igniting them from behind will weaken them for teammates to finish off.
    • If things don't go according to plan, be sure to have an escape route. Airblast your enemies back to give you time to retreat.
  • Take advantage of elevation to land surprise attacks on the enemy. Players rarely look up.
  • Know which corners on the map are blind corners or offer cover from enemies coming around them. These can often be good points to attack single enemies or small groups of slightly more vulnerable classes such as Scouts.
    • When attempting to hide in a corner, deploy your secondary or melee weapon, as your Flamethrower is long and can be seen around a corner by enemies. If doing so, remember that it will take longer to react due to your weapon’s switch speed. The Degreaser can make this strategy easier for you.
  • Be prepared for one-on-one combat. Enemy players looking to perform their own ambushes may also use side paths, and can sometimes be encountered in such situations.
    • Check for stragglers or other flankers before attempting to perform an ambush against enemy groups. Sometimes Snipers stay behind the enemy push to focus their fire on flanking classes such as Scouts, Spies, and Pyros, while Soldiers often hop in and out of combat using rocket jumps to heal up, which may pose a threat to you.
  • Once you are in Flamethrower range, circle-strafe your enemy and constantly change directions to ensure you take less damage.
    • If using the Backburner, try and strafe in a way that keeps the enemy's back at you most of the time.

Frontline combat/Support

  • Charging into a group of enemies and setting them on fire is a good way to disrupt an offensive push. Remember that Medics can reverse your damage with little trouble, so don’t jump in without thinking.
  • If an Engineer has left a Level 1 Sentry Gun near a corner, it's possible to pop around and take out the Sentry Gun at point-blank range before it has time to kill you.
    • In certain positions, you can attack a Sentry Gun by angling your flames without it being able to target you.
  • When ÜberCharged, you can lay waste to a Sentry Gun faster than most other classes, but you are also more easily thwarted by knockback than other classes. Try to approach from around corners whenever possible. Don’t jump, as it allows Sentry Guns (and other enemies) to push you away from your Medic much more easily.
  • Your Flare Gun can be used to weaken opponents at range, or eliminate burning targets. You will most often use it to disrupt an enemy Sniper's aim, as he will flinch continuously while he is on fire.
  • Support your allies with your compression blast. You can potentially save a burning teammate at the brink of death, while you can also reflect projectiles that would otherwise kill injured teammates.

Defensive

  • Stand near the Capture point or Intelligence, preferably out of sight, and ignite anyone who comes near.
    • You can also hide in a corner or somewhere no one can see you. When enemies come by, run behind them and kill them with your flames.
  • You are the Engineer's best friend when on the defense, due to your primary weapon being a great Spy-checking tool. Only a momentary burst of flame is needed to ignite an enemy Spy, rendering their cloak and disguise useless. If a Spy still manages to slip past you and tries to sap an Engineer's building, use your Homewrecker, Maul, or Neon Annihilator to get rid of the Sapper(s).
  • Without the need to reload, your primary weapons can immediately use any ammo with which they're supplied. Standing next to a Dispenser can allow you to act as a stationary flame turret for guarding an Engineer fortification or the Intelligence room of Capture the Flag maps.
    • Similarly, you can utilize the infinite ammo supply of your team's Payload cart to spray a continuous stream of flames or compression blasts. This can be useful for combating threats to your team's cart, such as rockets and other such projectiles. It's especially useful in deterring and dispatching Spies.
  • The Compression Blast can save Sentry Guns, especially when the Engineer isn't around. Reflect away projectiles or push away ÜberCharged enemies that are targeting Sentry Guns, and push away Spies before they can place a Sapper.
    • If Spies begin to target the Engineer’s buildings, use the Homewrecker or Neon Annihilator to break the Sappers.
  • Know what paths the enemy may try to take in order to attack the team's base. Map knowledge goes a long way to countering the enemy by attacking from their blind spots. For example, when the enemy rushes the front doors in 2Fort, try to ambush them by dropping through the grate and attacking them from behind.

Weapon specific

Primary weapons

Flamethrower + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Carried Point Blank Medium Range Afterburn Critical
Flamethrower
Stock
Flame Thrower
Killicon flame thrower.png 200 6.82/particle 4.09/particle 60 over 10 seconds 12-21/particle
Festive Flamethrower
Uncrate
Festive Flame Thrower
Killicon flame thrower.png
Item icon Rust Botkiller Flame Thrower.png Item icon Blood Botkiller Flame Thrower.png Item icon Silver Botkiller Flame Thrower.png Item icon Silver Botkiller Flame Thrower Mk.II.png Item icon Gold Botkiller Flame Thrower.png Item icon Gold Botkiller Flame Thrower Mk.II.png Item icon Carbonado Botkiller Flame Thrower.png Item icon Diamond Botkiller Flame Thrower.png

Botkiller Flame Thrower

Killicon flame thrower.png
Australium Flamethrower
Advanced+ Mann Up Reward
Australium Flame Thrower
Killicon flame thrower.png
Rainblower
Craft
Rainblower
Killicon rainblower.png
Nostromo Napalmer
Promotional/Craft
Nostromo Napalmer
Killicon nostromo napalmer.png
  • The Flamethrower is a close-quarters weapon with a very short range. It's devastating at point-blank range and sets all classes except other Pyros on fire (Pyros are immune to afterburn, but will still take full Flamethrower damage).
  • Ideally, you'll want to use the Flamethrower for ambushes to catch opponents off-guard, giving you enough time to burn them for several seconds. Alternatively, you can perform hit-and-run attacks, lighting enemies on fire before running off while the afterburn weakens them.
  • Your flames can penetrate multiple buildings and players in the line of fire, giving you additional utility against groups.
    • The Flamethrower also deals more damage the closer you are to your target. Range makes a huge difference to how fast you can kill an opponent, so always keep close.
  • Despite the Flamethrower's power, its short range makes you vulnerable to almost every other ranged weapon in the game. Fight back the urge to simply walk forward, and plan your route ahead of time.
    • An exception is when you're moving in with teammates; you can cause considerable chaos by burning opponents while your team causes a distraction, and the more enemies you can set alight, the easier it can be to overwhelm them.
  • The Flamethrower inflicts an additional sixty points of afterburn damage if the target is unable to put themselves out. This is almost half the health of 125-health classes, which can often force a hasty retreat to find a health pack. Bulkier classes will be weakened, often allowing your team to finish them off.
    • However, many sources can get rid of afterburn: this includes Medics, Dispensers, the Payload Cart, Jarate, Mad Milk, dropped Sandvich variants, Health kits, compression blasts (or the Manmelter's secondary fire) from allied Pyros, and sufficiently deep water. Try to deny such sources to the enemy prior to attacks in order to maximize the amount of afterburn damage done.
    • Demomen with the Chargin' Targe, Splendid Screen, and Tide Turner can also extinguish themselves by charging, but can be reignited if hit by the Flamethrower again.
  • Remember to use your compression blast. Optimal use of the Flamethrower mixes both offensive play with your flames, and defensive support with your compression blast to protect teammates and yourself.
  • The Flamethrower is very useful for destroying Buildings; Sentry Guns built near a corner can be destroyed without exposing you to the Sentry Gun's range, and Sentry Guns built at a convenient angle to an doorway can be rushed, circle-strafed, and destroyed without taking significant damage.
  • If facing a Medic pair, aim for the Medic and try to kill him first. His overhealed target will take longer to kill compared to the Medic himself.
  • If you have a Rainblower, consider using it over the default; it functions exactly the same but lets you perform the Armageddon taunt, which can instantly kill several unaware targets. This is especially useful when defending a Control Point, as it is capable of igniting or outright killing multiple enemies at once.
    • However, the Rainblower's model covers most of the screen and its fire particles can be very distracting, which can make it harder to aim and keep track of your surroundings. Consider turning on “minimize viewmodels” in the Advanced Options menu, or disabling viewmodels altogether.
  • If using the the Isolated Merc set, be wary of Scouts who wear the Isolationist Pack, as they will do more melee damage to you. Although this will rarely occur, simply keep your distance and burn them; your Nostromo Napalmer will deal 4x damage against them, usually instantly killing them.

Backburner + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Carried Point Blank Medium Range Afterburn Critical
Backburner
Unlock
Backburner
Killicon backburner.png 200 6.82/particle 4.09/particle 60 over 10 seconds 12-21/particle
Festive Backburner
Uncrate
Festive Backburner
Killicon backburner.png

The Backburner is an unlockable primary weapon for the Pyro. It deals guaranteed critical hits when attacking a target from behind, but cannot deal random critical hits and uses 150% more ammo when performing a compression blast (50 ammo instead of 20).

  • The Backburner makes your utility tool, the compression blast, riskier to use, but grants you stronger ambushing power to make up for it. Unaware targets will often go down in under a second of consistent fire, due to your critical hits. However, the 50 ammo per airblast is extremely costly; four blasts will completely use up your ammunition. When you really need to airblast, this drawback can be the difference between living or dying.
  • While it acts much like the standard Flamethrower, the airblast cost means you'll be more vulnerable against projectiles and enemies. Once you choose a battle, it will be more difficult to retreat.
    • As such, this weapon relies more on performing ambushes than in attacking in frontal assaults. Take alternate routes into enemy territory and loop back to the front lines.
    • Drop down from above! Because enemies rarely look up, you can stop a party of unaware enemies faster than any other class.
  • Apart from ambushes and unaware targets, the Backburner excels at preventing enemies from escaping. Players will be forced to back away from you, slowing them down — you cannot run backwards as fast as you run forwards. This gives you more time to chase faster enemies such as Scouts down.
    • An alternative is to find a group of enemies and strafe behind them while firing the Backburner. The accompanying chaos can often make them look around frantically to find the source of your flames, and this can deal crits if their backs are exposed as they turn.
  • The Backburner will only deal criticals if your flames hit at a 90 degree angle behind where your opponent is facing. If accounting for latency and the hectic movement of combat, the narrow hitbox for the Backburner's guaranteed crits may prove difficult to get.
    • You may opt to circle strafe your opponent and fake out in the other direction once he notices you. This will expose his back for several critical hits.
  • Remember that an expensive airblast doesn't mean that you can't airblast. You get a maximum of four blasts per 200 ammo, so try to only use it in emergency situations.
    • Some examples include deflecting critical explosives, or for extinguishing multiple teammates at once. You can also push an opponent back and retreat to friendly territory, where you can refill your ammunition.
  • When you kill an enemy, they drop a medium ammo pack; this is equal to 100 Flamethrower ammo, which means you can pull off 2 airblasts and get away with minimal ammo loss if you pick up their ammo pack.
  • When facing a stronger enemy, such as a Heavy or overhealed Soldier outside of your range, back away. Hide somewhere inconspicuous and then kill them later with the crits when they have forgotten about you.
  • If a Medic pair is causing serious damage to your team, try to flank them and target the Medic, then his buddy. The critical damage from behind is so powerful that most Medics cannot react fast enough to save themselves with an ÜberCharge.
  • Enemy Pyros are as vulnerable to critical flames as anyone else. Try to circle-strafe around them to get critical hits in. Be wary that they can easily airblast you away if they're using the standard Flamethrower or Degreaser, however.
  • Soldiers are your worst enemies! Do not try to rush against a Soldier unless you are sure you can kill him. The high airblast cost makes reflecting rockets so expensive that it's unwise to attempt it.
    • Demomen are also more dangerous for the same reasons.
  • Since this weapon encourages ambushing, it can be useful to equip the Detonator in order to access flank routes using flare jumps. The Scorch Shot provides a shorter and less damaging jump, which can be useful if you don't require as much height.
  • The Thermal Thruster allows you to jump much farther for much less damage, at the cost of a significantly longer switch speed.
    • The Back Scratcher is also a good idea if you tend to roam around instead of sticking with your team. The 50% extra health from health packs can keep you fighting behind enemy lines longer.
    • The Powerjack's extra speed can get you where you want to be faster, although be wary of the increased damage taken while it's out.
  • The Manmelter pairs well with the Backburner, as it allows you to extinguish allies while conserving your ammunition.
  • Try not to equip the Axtinguisher with the Backburner. Your expensive airblasts means you'll have fewer opportunities to deal mini-crits with the Axtinguisher, while your criticals can kill most classes outright, negating the use of the Axtinguisher.

Degreaser

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Carried Point Blank Medium Range Afterburn Critical
Degreaser
Craft
Degreaser
Killicon degreaser.png 200 6.80/particle 4.76/particle 20 over 10 seconds 14-20/particle
Festivized Degreaser
Festivizer
Festivized Degreaser
Killicon degreaser.png

The Degreaser is a craftable primary weapon for the Pyro. It allows you to switch to another weapon from itself 30% faster, and back to the Degreaser 60% faster than normal. Afterburn damage, however is reduced by 66%, meaning that enemies will take a maximum of 20 afterburn damage from being set on fire by the Degreaser, instead of the normal 60. Finally, the airblast cost for the Degreaser is slightly higher than normal, costing 25 ammo per airblast.

  • The Degreaser is a Flamethrower that is more dependent on using your other weapons to finish opponents off. Its extremely low afterburn damage makes it ineffective for hit-and-run tactics, but the extremely fast switch speed lets you combine weapons for potentially deadly "Puff and Sting" combos — briefly set the enemy on fire, airblast him into the air to prevent him from escaping, then shoot him with your Flare Gun to deal crits, for 90 damage. Sometimes, you’ll be able to land an additional Axtinguisher blow before the enemy can react, for a total of around 250 damage (minus the damage from the Degreaser’s flames).
  • The reduced switch speed makes you less vulnerable whenever you decide to pull out a weapon. This means that opponents who are dependent on Weapon heckling can find it much more difficult to combat you, such as Scouts and Soldiers.
  • Airblasting is more effective with the Degreaser, as the switch speed gives you more time to compression blast whenever you find yourself in trouble. Even if you're holding another weapon, you can near-instantly switch back to the Degreaser to protect yourself.
    • Airblasting costs 25 ammo instead of 20 — the extra 5 ammo cost is usually negligible.
  • While you can already counter Soldiers with your compression blast, it becomes significantly easier if you know how to use the Degreaser's switch speed efficiently.
    • If fighting against a Soldier constantly switching between his Rocket Launcher and Shotgun to prevent you from reflecting his rockets, you can quickly attack him with your Shotgun or your Flare Gun, and reflect his rockets when he tries to surprise you.
    • If the enemy Soldier prefers to back away and you need to use your Shotgun or Flare Gun, the faster weapon switch can more easily enable you to reflect surprise rockets.
  • The Degreaser works well against enemy Pyros using any other Flamethrower. Afterburn does not affect Pyros, and the increased switch time allows you to weapon heckle in an instant, while the enemy will still be fumbling to take another weapon out.
    • This doesn't apply for enemy Pyros equipped with their own Degreaser, as they have the same benefit.
  • Your afterburn does a maximum of 20 damage over time, making it weaker than a close-range Pistol shot. Burn your targets for as long as possible to maximize damage done.
    • The reduced afterburn will usually fail to kill escaping targets that you would usually have no trouble eliminating, like Scouts and Spies. If a burning Scout retreats, use your secondary weapon to finish him off, and keep track of burning Spies.
  • You afterburn may be extremely weak, but still makes your target eligible for a critical hit from the Flare Gun, and mini-crits from the Axtinguisher, Detonator, and Scorch Shot. As such, use afterburn as a tool to "mark" targets for elimination, before rapidly switching to a secondary or melee weapon to finish him off.
    • The Reserve Shooter's additional weapon switch time stacks with the Degreaser's bonus; the switch time becomes nearly instant with both of these equipped. This makes the Reserve Shooter all the more useful for shooting down blast-jumping Soldiers and Demomen.
    • If you haven’t already, enable quick weapon switching in the options and get used to using the 1, 2, and 3 keys to quickly deal with any situation with the appropriate weapon(s).
  • The Degreaser is weaker for direct assaults that the Backburner and Phlogistinator excel at. Carefully consider what secondary weapon to use, as you will probably be using it a lot, accounting for the nigh-negligible afterburn damage.
    • The Shotgun, with its large clip, is a reliable weapon and can deal the most damage just outside of your flamethrower's range. However, apart from random crits, it has no way to get mini-crits or critical hits, and it lacks damage at long range compared to your Flare Guns.
    • The Reserve Shooter does okay with the Degreaser. The decreased weapon switch time makes for a near-instant weapon switch, especially helpful if you use the Axtinguisher, which holsters slower.
    • Any Flare Gun will help make up for the reduced afterburn. Shoot a fleeing enemy to reset their afterburn to the normal, more damaging afterburn. However, without a Shotgun, you will be weaker against enemy Pyros.
      • Using the Flare Gun will grant you a critical hit as well as resetting the afterburn, allowing for a very quick kill, especially if you follow up with the Axtinguisher.
      • Since you will often be at medium to long range with this weapon, where airblasting rockets is easiest, a Shotgun won't deal much damage and a flare can be easily dodged. The Detonator and Scorch Shot both explode and can make hitting your enemies easier. Use one of them if you expect to be fighting from a distance or airblasting projectiles.
      • Although the Manmelter's flares travel faster and are more useful at long range, the ability to extinguish teammates is redundant and best used with a flamethrower with reduced airblast capacities. It can be useful, however, if there are a number of Pyros on the enemy team, as it will grant critical flare strikes in return for extinguishing teammates.
  • Your choice of melee weapon will be as important as your secondary weapon, since they will be your go-to "burst damage" options at close range.
    • Preferably, you'd want to pair the Degreaser with the Axtinguisher, as it lets you attack before the enemy can back away. This is offset by the reduced mini-crit damage, however — an Axtinguisher blow with normal afterburn deals up to 160 damage, while the same attack with Degreaser afterburn will only deal about 120 damage.
    • Since you can quickly airblast an opponent into the air for an immediate melee swing, weapons such as the Powerjack and Back Scratcher benefit immensely, due to the 25 health on kill and 20% extra damage, respectively.

Phlogistinator

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Carried Point Blank Medium Range Afterburn Critical
Phlogistinator
Craft
Phlogistinator
Killicon phlogistinator.png 200 6.80/particle 4.76/particle 60 over 10 seconds 14-20/particle
  • The Phlogistinator is a craftable primary weapon for the Pyro. It is incapable of performing compression blasts or dealing random crits. However, it has a 'Mmmph' meter that charges through any fire damage dealt by any of the Pyro's weapons; it takes 300 damage to fill the meter completely. When the meter is full, secondary fire (or the taunt key) will cause the player to taunt (granting full immunity to damage and most knockback while doing so), and the Phlogistinator will gain 8 seconds of guaranteed critical hits.
    • 'Mmmph' is not affected by damage resistance; this means you can burn a Dead Ringer Spy or a Battalion's Backup Soldier even during their resistance buffs and still gain the same amount of 'Mmmph'.
  • The Phlogistinator gives you potentially powerful offensive capabilities at the cost of your personal safety; with the inability to compression blast at all, you will have to choose your battles very wisely. Running forward blindly will often get you killed before you can fill your 'Mmmph' meter, so you will have to plan your approaches carefully.
  • Activating 'Mmmph' grants you immunity to damage and most knockback while taunting. If you're in a tough situation, do not hesitate to activate your taunt; survival is more important than wasting the critical hits.
    • However, you don't gain health by doing so, so don't expect to survive taunting in front of a Sentry Gun or out in the open.
  • Gaining 'Mmmph' charge will usually come down to two playstyles: hanging back and peppering opponents with your Flare Gun variants, or waiting for an opportunity to ambush an entire crowd of enemies to gain your crit-boost immediately.
    • The former is safer, but more time-consuming. Damage from your Flare Guns (including afterburn) still counts as fire damage, so you can keep your distance and gain 'Mmmph'. However, this takes a while, as you require 300 fire damage to be fully charged.
    • The latter lets you build 'Mmmph' extremely fast, but may cost you your life. If enough enemies are around, you may be able to get a full charge and activate it, although this makes you vulnerable after the taunt unless your teammates back you up.
  • Finding alternate routes becomes even more important; even with a full 'Mmmph' bar, running straight towards enemies is risky due to your flame's low range and your lack of an airblast. The best way to utilize 'Mmmph' is to find your way behind enemy lines, activate your crits, then burn down unaware targets from behind.
    • If on defense, the crits are a wonder at stopping enemy pushes. Ambushing an enemy push from behind with your crits can kill them before they can react.
    • With team support, you become a frightening distraction. Enemies will usually flee once they see your glowing weapon, and your teammates will be able to pick them off. Your crits will mow down any enemy too slow, oblivious, or simply unlucky enough to get in your way.
  • Remember that your flames penetrate through enemies, so your 'Mmmph' will charge very quickly if you find several unaware targets.
    • Weaker targets that have trouble fighting you, such as Snipers and Spies, can also be exploited to easily gain 'Mmmph'.
    • While extremely situational, you can hit an unaware opponent with a Hadouken to fully charge the 'Mmmph' meter.
  • The inability to airblast forces you to avoid projectiles entirely. The most you can do is clear Stickybomb carpets using a Shotgun, the Detonator, or the Scorch Shot, but you lose a lot of your overall utility. This makes the Phlogistinator weak at protecting friendly Engineers or capturing objectives.
    • This especially harms your match-up against Soldiers. Never fight them directly, unless you are confident he is at low health.
  • Any sort of friendly buff will make you more efficient. For example, mini-crits from Jarate or the Buff Banner will make it easier to gain 'Mmmph', the Battalion's Backup will make you more durable while rampaging, and the Concheror or Mad Milk will heal you immensely during your critical rampage.
    • The Phlogistinator also works well with a Medic. The healing will let you roam more confidently, and you will be able to deal crits with impunity during an Übercharge.
  • Pair the Phlogistinator with weapons that help you gain 'Mmmph', or ones which help negate its weaknesses in a way.
    • The Flare Gun's critical hits on burning targets will help immensely with gaining 'Mmmph', although you need to be very accurate.
    • The Detonator's manual detonation deals less damage than the Flare Gun, but can light opponents even if you miss slightly.
    • The Scorch Shot gives the biggest leeway for aiming, as it has both an area-of-effect and can detonate again after hitting a target, dealing more damage.
    • The Manmelter pairs well since you can extinguish teammates, a function which the Phlogistinator cannot perform.
    • The Powerjack lets you get into position faster, which is important due to your overall vulnerability at range.
    • The Axtinguisher can give you a massive boost of 'Mmmph' if you happen to net a mini-crit hit on a burning opponent.
    • The Sharpened Volcano Fragment gives you another option for afterburn, but you will usually be better off simply burning the opponent with the Phlogistinator.

Dragon's Fury

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Carried Point Blank Medium Range Afterburn Critical
Dragon's Fury
Drop/Contract
Dragon's Fury
Killicon dragon's fury.png 40 28-30 23-25 16 over 2 seconds 75
Festivized Dragon's Fury
Festivizer
Festivized Dragon's Fury
Killicon dragon's fury.png
  • Dragon's Fury is a primary weapon for the Pyro, possible to find through random drops or through completing a specific Pyroland Contract. It is a single-shot weapon that, instead of throwing flames, shoots a fireball, which briefly sets enemies on fire and deals triple damage if they were already on fire. In addition, each consecutive hit gives an additional +50% repressurization rate, which allows for the weapon to be fired quicker and deal additional damage with consecutive shots. As a downside, using an airblast reduces the repressurization rate by -50%, and the fireball must hit the center of the burning target Hitbox to be able to deal critical damage to him.
  • The Dragon's Fury is capable of dealing massive damage, under the condition that you aim precisely on the center of the target's hitbox and follow his movements, which means you have to use this weapon like the Direct Hit, as it also requires precise aim and the ability to predict the movement of your enemy.
    • However, being able to consistently hit enemies will reward you with additional damage and faster firing speed, which will further enhance the weapon’s offensive capability.
  • Your fireballs are able to penetrate through enemies and buildings — you can use this to your advantage if you're against several enemies that are moving close to each other, since the fireball hitbox is large enough for all of them to be hit. This also helps if you're trying to destroy a Sentry nest; peeking around the corner and attacking the nest while the Engineer is behind his Sentry Gun will quickly eliminate him and his building, sometimes almost simultaneously.
    • However, this strategy might not always work, as enemies might catch onto that fact and move away from each other (or from the building), forcing you to focus on a single target.
  • While using this weapon, you'll be significantly weaker against projectile classes, as using an airblast will slow down the firing speed of the weapon; that means that if you don't time your airblast well, you won't be able to defend yourself nearly as quickly as if you were to simply attack, without attempting to reflect an enemy rocket or grenade.
  • Dragon's Fury can briefly cause afterburn to enemy targets — that includes Pyros, too! If you're not equipped with a Hitscan secondary, your primary will be able to deal with them relatively fast, as their normal Flamethrowers can't deal burst damage (though they may airblast your fireball back to protect themselves).

Secondary weapons

Shotgun +reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Critical
Shotgun
Stock
Shotgun
Killicon shotgun.png 6 32 86-90 24-67 3-26 180
Festive Shotgun
Uncrate
Festive Shotgun
Killicon shotgun.png
Festivized Shotgun
Festivizer
Festivized Shotgun
Killicon shotgun.png
  • The Shotgun is an excellent backup weapon. It allows you to deal damage from a safer distance, follow up an attack with your Flamethrower, or pick off escaping targets from outside the Flamethrower's range.
  • Despite being a secondary weapon, the Shotgun is a decent weapon by itself. Its decent clip size and heavy point-blank damage gives you reliable firepower even if you decide to use it on its own. However, it lacks ranged firepower that most weapons have, so find opportunities to get close to opponents.
    • If you excel with the Shotgun, consider keeping it in hand most of the time and engaging enemies at distance before closing to finish battles with the Flamethrower. The high burst damage from the Shotgun can also save your life if you're ambushed at close range and need to quickly dispatch an opponent.
  • The Shotgun is good for several situations.
    • Sneaking is effective with this weapon, as its shape is less visible than any of your primary weapons' long nozzles. It still lets you deal a fair amount of damage quickly if caught, meaning you will be far from helpless.
    • The Shotgun is great for situations when your Flamethrower's limited range won't cut it for defending yourself. Its hitscan nature lets you pepper opponents at medium range while retreating or capturing an objective.
    • Use the Shotgun to weaken enemies who are retreating whilst on fire. The damage may be enough to lower their health to the point where your afterburn will finish them off.
  • While weak at long range, the Shotgun can still be a viable way to cause distractions.
    • If forced to cross Sniper-heavy areas, consider firing the Shotgun at them after leaving cover. While not as useful as the Flare Guns at protecting yourself, Shotgun rounds will still cause Snipers to flinch, often throwing off their aim long enough get back to a safe spot.
    • Constantly harassing opponents at long range using your Shotgun may distract them long enough for your team to take them out from another direction.
    • Though not as effective as the Reserve Shooter, the Shotgun can be useful for shooting at Soldiers or Demomen who try to flank by explosive jumping. Even though it will often do negligible damage, the slight knockback will often throw their trajectory off enough to force them to land before they can get very far.
  • Since your Flamethrower doesn't work underwater, the Shotgun will be your main weapon if you need to access underwater routes.
  • Pyro battles is where the Shotgun shines. You can simply outrange another Pyro with your bullets if they decide to charge you with their Flamethrower. Once they are weakened, you can go in for a Flamethrower kill. As Pyros can't be lit on fire, you will also have a major advantage against Pyros equipped with any Flare Gun variant.
  • The Shotgun synergizes well with your compression blast. At close range, knock an opponent into the air and immediately fire to deal immense damage.
    • Similarly, if you are forced to airblast your opponent so you can escape, run backwards while firing your Shotgun to deal some damage and force them to stop pursuing you.
  • Due to the point above, the Shotgun benefits from the Degreaser. The faster weapon switch will give an opponent less time to react while you juggle them into the air, following up with Shotgun blasts.

Flare Gun +reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Base Damage Afterburn Critical Projectile Speed
Flare Gun
Unlock
Flare Gun
Killicon flare gun.png 1 16 30 60 over 10 seconds 90 1450 Hammer units/sec
Festive Flare Gun
Uncrate
Festive Flare Gun
Killicon flare gun.png
  • The Flare Gun is an unlockable secondary weapon for the Pyro. A weapon with a completely different playstyle than the Shotgun, it fires one flare at a time and reloads slowly. Flares deal 30 damage but set opponents on fire, doing a maximum of 90 damage over time. Flares will also deal critical hits on burning targets, for a maximum of 150 damage.
    • The Flare Gun has a passive reload, so it will automatically reload if you are using your primary or melee weapon. This means that the reload time is not an issue if you switch weapons often. However, the reload takes some time, so remember this when trying to hit enemies from a long distance.
  • The Flare Gun, compared to the Shotgun, is far more adept at long range, as the Shotgun suffers from huge damage falloff over distance. Although flares are much harder to aim than bullets due to their travel time and arc, the Flare Gun is good for picking off enemies out of range of your Flamethrower. However, your constant reload leaves you more vulnerable to opponents than if you had your Shotgun.
    • Particularly, the Flare Gun leaves you almost helpless against enemy Pyros, as they cannot be lit on fire and they can outdamage you at range with a Shotgun. However, skilled Pyros can still perform a critical hit on enemy Pyros if they have the Degreaser equipped by leading with flames and firing the flare such that both hit the enemy Pyro at the same time.
  • Flares from this weapon have several attributes:
    • Flares will start to arc significantly after traveling a fair distance, approximately the length of 2Fort's bridge. Be sure to compensate at long distances by aiming above your target.
    • Flares do not have falloff damage, meaning that they do the same base amount of damage at all ranges (30 damage). The projectile is hard to dodge at medium ranges, and enemies may run into it by mistake.
  • This weapon can kill any fragile class in two hits, one from an initial igniting flare and afterburn damage, and one from a critical hit. Don't underestimate the power of this weapon; aiming correctly can eliminate opponents rather easily.
    • A Soldier takes two critical flares to go down. Keep your distance and reflect his rockets using your compression blast in order to get more opportunities to set him on fire. If a Soldier is constantly rocket jumping, you can wait until he lands, or predict his travel arc and ignite him as he flies.
    • A Heavy can survive two critical hits from your Flare Gun, so take advantage of his slow movement speed to constantly pepper him with flares. If you are unable to ambush one because they've seen you, try hitting them with repeated Flare Gun shots while popping out from behind cover to weaken them.
    • Constantly healed enemies will be difficult to hit with critical flares, as healing lowers your afterburn's duration. In some cases, it may require you to set them on fire with your Flamethrower before airblasting them and netting a critical hit. This reduces the chance of your afterburn being canceled by healing.
  • One general use for the Flare Gun is for dispatching fleeing enemies at long range. Often, if a low or medium health class, such as a Scout, Medic, or Demoman, is ignited, they will turn around and retreat for health, not realizing that you can still hit them.
    • Even if they continue fighting, you can still have the upper hand, since they will be eligible for critical flares.
  • The Flare Gun can also be your best tool for dispatching Engineers hiding behind their buildings from outside of the range of the Engineer's Sentry Gun. A critical flare will often eliminate him instantly, allowing you or your teammates can take out his Sentry Gun more easily.
    • Note that you will have a very short window to do so if he's being healed by a Dispenser. If so, it may be better to wait for teammates.
  • Flares can be a huge issue for Snipers. If an enemy Sniper is giving you trouble, fire in his direction when he stands still to scope. Once ignited, his scope will constantly shake, and a following flare will kill any Sniper inattentive enough not to run.
    • Enemy Snipers can get rid of afterburn using Jarate and will be difficult to take down if constantly healed, so take note of these situations.
    • Also, if an enemy Sniper has the Cozy Camper equipped and ignores your shot, simply shoot him again to kill him.
    • If the enemy Sniper is equipped with Darwin's Danger Shield, just avoid them — flares will deal negligible damage.
  • The Flare Gun can be used as an ambush and counter-attack weapon. When fighting lone enemies, hit them with a flare and then feign a retreat around a corner. If the enemy takes the bait and pursues, follow up with any of your weapons to catch them off-guard.
  • If an enemy is too close, light them on fire with your Flamethrower, compression blast them into the air, and then finish them off with a flare while they're disoriented.
    • If you plan to do this often, equip the Degreaser to speed up the process. You should be able to take out enemies without them being able to react. Additionally, if you manage to hit an opponent after igniting them with the Degreaser, the Flare Gun will replace the Degreaser's weaker afterburn with normal afterburn (along with granting a critical hit).
    • Even though you cannot perform this combo with the Phlogistinator (since it lacks an airblast), the critical hits on burning targets will help immensely for building "Mmmph".

Detonator

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Base Damage Afterburn Flare Detonation Flare Explosion Self-Damage Critical Projectile Speed
Detonator
Craft
Detonator
Killicon detonator.png 1 16 23 60 over 10 seconds 11-25 33-38 33-38 69 1450 Hammer units/sec
Festivized Detonator
Festivizer
Festivized Detonator
Killicon detonator.png

The Detonator is a craftable secondary weapon for the Pyro. While it functions like the Flare Gun, alternate fire will detonate any flares in mid-flight, causing a small explosion that ignites any enemies within its radius. Its flares can harm the Pyro, but allows him to Detonator jump a slight distance into the air. However, the Detonator deals 25% less damage to enemies, and only mini-crits burning players (both from the flare and explosion). The player additionally takes 50% more self-damage from this weapon, making multiple Detonator jumps heavily damaging.

  • Out of all the Pyro's Flare Guns, the Detonator offers the most versatility, sacrificing the raw damage of the Flare Gun in exchange for more leeway while aiming. While the Scorch Shot offers an even larger margin for error, the Detonator can also be relied on for its Detonator jumps, granting the player an extra edge in mobility.
  • The ability to detonate projectiles makes it more likely to hit an opponent compared to relying on direct hits, especially for hitting airborne targets. This makes it easier to hit and heckle fast foes such as Scouts and can discourage them from attempting to chase you or engage you in combat.
    • Like the Demoman and Soldier's explosive weapons, the blast radius from the Detonator's alt-fire can be used to hit targets around corners. This can be useful when retreating to ignite any enemies pursuing you, holding off advances at choke points, and flushing out foes using cover to hide from you.
  • Though the mini-crits of the Detonator aren't as powerful as the Flare Gun's full criticals, they are still potent enough to kill a weakened class, particularly as a follow up to an attack by one of your primaries. Keep a close eye on any retreating opponents; a well-placed detonation could finish them off with afterburn before they can reach a source of health.
    • Remember that the Detonator lacks the damage that the Flare Gun and Shotgun excel at. If you need to take down enemies as soon as you can instead of over time, you'll be better off using one of the two.
  • Detonated flares can be used to destroy enemy Stickybombs, useful if you need to clear them off an objective or around a corner. Take note that the flare itself cannot do so, so time your detonations before your flare hits a wall.
  • The Detonator is very useful in open areas, as it is more reliable at dealing consistent damage at medium distance than the Shotgun or the other Flare Guns.
    • This also makes it more effective for long-range Spy-checking than the Flare Gun, since you can detonate flares to cover a wider area.
  • The Detonator excels in large drawn-out mid-range battles where you can't rely on ambushes. It is also a good team-oriented weapon, since enemies weakened by afterburn will be easier for your teammates to take out.
    • Aim for clusters of enemies for maximum effect, and keep landing a constant stream of exploding flares to reset the burn timer, increasing your chance of an afterburn kill.
    • This works particularly well should the opposing team be lacking a Medic or another way of extinguishing your flames. Done successfully, you can effectively stall an attack by forcing numerous opponents to seek out health.
  • The self-damaging explosion of the Detonator permits the Pyro to perform a Detonator jump, a maneuver similar to a small rocket jump. The distance granted is lacking compared to explosive jumping (roughly the height of a shipping container), but it allows you to jump over obstacles, hide on certain ledges, and take routes and shortcuts that are otherwise unavailable.
    • Detonator jumps can promote a very ambush-heavy style of gameplay, letting you attack from angles that enemies don't usually expect a Pyro to be, such as jumping straight onto Sniper balconies. This is very beneficial on maps with platforms that are normally too high to reach with standard jumping (i.e 2Fort, Thunder Mountain's RED spawn).
    • Detonator jumps are also useful for rapidly closing the distance to enemies, allowing you to unexpectedly be within your primary weapon's effective range.
  • Take note that Detonator jumping costs quite a bit of health. Make sure to pick up health packs so you can survive any encounters after you flare jump. Detonated flares will also damage you, although this is weaker and does not allow you to Detonator jump.
    • The self-damage can be exploited to help a Medic build his ÜberCharge more quickly.
  • Since Detonator jumps can take up a huge part of your fighting style, pair it up with certain weapons for maximum efficiency.
    • The Backburner already encourages ambushing with its 100% crits from behind. Pairing it up with Detonator jumps lets you get behind opponents more efficiently, potentially granting you several easy kills.
    • Similarly, you can easily gain "Mmmph" for the Phlogistinator by Detonator jumping into enemy territory. If that is not possible, you can use detonated flares to ignite multiple opponents for charge while staying back.
    • The Degreaser's increased weapon switch speed makes comboing with the weapon easier. This combination is useful for more aggressive playstyles. You can use the Detonator to put yourself closer to enemies, or use both weapons offensively, particularly useful for stopping retreats.
  • Pairing the Detonator with the Back Scratcher lets you maximize the healing gained from any health kits you will certainly rely on, especially if you are planning to be fighting behind enemy lines. Even a small health kit will heal most of the damage from two consecutive Detonator jumps.

Reserve Shooter

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Critical
Reserve Shooter
Craft
Reserve Shooter
Killicon reserve shooter.png 4 32 86-90 24-67 3-26 180
Festivized Reserve Shooter
Craft
Festivized Reserve Shooter
Killicon reserve shooter.png

The Reserve Shooter is a craftable secondary weapon for the Pyro. It deals mini-crits to any opponent sent airborne by knockback, such as from the Thermal Thruster, explosions, and the Grappling Hook. It also deploys 20% faster. However, the Reserve Shooter has a 34% smaller clip size, holding only four shots.

  • Note that the mini-crits apply to any enemy sent flying due to knockback, with the exception of enemies launched in the air by your compression blast. It is possible to juggle enemy Soldiers and Demomen by reflecting their explosives at their feet, before finishing them off with the Reserve Shooter.
    • However, this weapon does not do mini-crits to enemies doing a standard jump. Scouts, in particular, will not be eligible for mini-crits during their double jump.
  • Because mini-crits ignore damage falloff, this weapon is slightly more adept at long range than the Shotgun. Although more situational and less effective than the Flare Gun, you can shoot explosive-jumping Soldiers or Demomen, and enemies juggled by your teammates for some damage.
  • The Reserve Shooter only has four shells, making it less effective for self-protection and prolonged combat. However, a point-blank mini-crit shot is very powerful, allowing you to eliminate opponents very quickly.
    • Try to aim for the center of the target as much as possible to reduce the risk of missing and wasting ammo. You don't want to be caught reloading, since it leaves you vulnerable to attack.
  • Since the Reserve Shooter grants decreased switch speed, you can pair it with the Degreaser to switch weapons extremely quickly.

Manmelter

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Base Damage Afterburn Critical Projectile Speed
Manmelter
Craft
Manmelter
Killicon manmelter.png 4 30 60 over 10 seconds 90 3000 Hammer units/sec
  • The Manmelter is a craftable secondary weapon for the Pyro. It is a Flare Gun which carries unlimited reserve ammunition, and fires flares that are 50% faster than those from other Flare Guns. Additionally, it has the ability to extinguish burning teammates using alternate fire, which grants a stored critical hit, similar to the Frontier Justice and Diamondback. Up to 35 crits can be stored in this way, which are lost upon death. As a drawback, the Manmelter cannot deal random critical hits.
    • Extinguishing a teammates also grants 20 health in a similar manner to compression blasting. However, the Manmelter's alternate fire can only extinguish, and cannot reflect projectiles.
  • The Manmelter is more often a tool than a weapon; its alternate fire does not have a cooldown and uses no ammunition, making it a cheaper option to extinguish teammates, and the crits you gain from doing so can be very powerful burst-damage options. However, without any burning teammates around, the Manmelter's inability to deal extra damage on burning targets makes it lack in power when compared to the other Flare Guns.
    • Note that the alternate fire's vortex can only extinguish one teammate at a time, compared to the compression blast, which can extinguish any teammates in front of your weapon. If extinguishing multiple teammates, it will take some time.
  • The Manmelter's extremely fast projectile makes a negligible difference at close/mid range, but it will hit first at long range when compared to your other Flare Guns. This makes it hit distant opponents more consistently.
  • Since the Manmelter's crits are guaranteed, it is a reliable finishing weapon even against Pyros; they may be immune to afterburn, but not to the damage from your flares.
    • Players often flee when hit by a regular Flare Gun, which can make landing a critical hit with a second shot difficult. With a stored crit, you will deal a maximum of 150 damage (afterburn included), which can kill any fragile class that can't reach sources of health in time. This can help you combat Snipers or Scouts, who will often retreat after being ignited.
  • Remember to avoid wasting stored crits on enemies immune to critical hits, such as a building, a group being buffed by the Battalion's Backup, or on a Vaccinator Medic or his patient if the weapon is set to fire-resistance.
  • Whilst it makes sense to take a Shotgun when against other Pyros, remember the Manmelter's power increases with the number of enemy Pyros. It's somewhat situational, but should it be used against the right enemy composition, the Manmelter can practically harvest guaranteed crits off of burning allies.
    • Even just one enemy Pyro can still set multiple allies on fire. It's very possible to provide support by constantly extinguishing them as they are being burned, harvesting a good handful of crits in the process, while they focus on killing the attacking Pyro.
  • Since the Manmelter provides a free extinguishing ability, it pairs excellently with the Backburner or Phlogistinator. With help from this weapon, the Backburner's expensive airblast can be saved for more important times, while the Phlogistinator will be granted an alternate extinguishing capability that the weapon itself lacks.
    • The Manmelter's increased projectile speed also pairs well with the Phlogistinator, as it is much easier to keep your distance while charging your "Mmmph" gauge.

Scorch Shot

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Base Damage Afterburn Critical Projectile Speed
Scorch Shot
Craft
Scorch Shot
Killicon scorch shot.png 1 16 15 60 45 1450 Hammer units/sec
Festivized Scorch Shot
Festivizer
Festivized Scorch Shot
Killicon scorch shot.png

The Scorch Shot is a craftable secondary weapon for the Pyro. It fires special flares that explode upon contact with a surface, regardless of whether it hits a player, the ground, or other objects. Initial direct hits on an enemy or teammate will cause the flare to bounce before it drifts to the ground and explodes; the flare itself and its explosion will set opponents on fire. The world explosion can be used to flare jump, which grants comparatively lower height but lower self-damage compared to the Detonator. Additionally, any enemy hit directly by a flare will be sent backwards by knockback, while the flare will mini-crit (direct hits and explosion alike) and deal increased knockback against burning targets. As a downside, the Scorch Shot deals 35% less damage, and grants 35% less self-knockback, making flare jumps less effective.

  • The Scorch Shot was designed to grant the player an easy method of igniting enemies.[1]. While its flares cannot be manually detonated like the Detonator, its lasting, exploding flares can easily set groups of enemies alight without needing careful aim.
  • While it comes with a damage penalty, this weapon excels at keeping opponents on fire rather than dealing direct damage. This makes it useful for constantly harassing and weakening opponents, especially if they lack a Medic or Dispenser.
    • That being said, this weapon cannot deal immense damage with a "Puff and Sting" tactic (igniting an enemy before airblasting them and firing your secondary weapon). This makes you disadvantaged if you need to eliminate an enemy immediately.
  • An enemy Pyro wielding a Shotgun will have an advantage over you due to the Scorch Shot's minimal damage. However, you can use the flare's knockback to push the Pyro away as you retreat.
  • The knockback of this weapon makes it useful for support, as you can knock opponents that are out of reach of your compression blast. Note that the angle in which the flare hits does not affect the direction an enemy is sent flying; they will always be sent away from you, even if you pelt them from above or below.
    • With your flares, push enemies away from an important area or knock them into a hazard. Such an example can be seen on Doomsday, where your flare is capable of knocking the Australium carrier off the lift, potentially lighting any nearby enemies as well.
  • The Scorch Shot's explosive radius makes it very effective for attacking groups of opponents. Additionally, the projectile fired by the Scorch Shot falls on the ground after hitting an enemy and can ignite targets a second time once it hits the ground, so it is ideal to use in corridors leading from the enemy spawn or in narrow areas where enemies are constantly advancing.
    • These advantages also make the Scorch Shot a potent Sniper deterrent. Fire at Sniper-heavy areas to keep enemy Snipers distracted and constantly searching for health, thus forcing them to leave the battle entirely.
  • The explosion from the flares can also destroy Stickybombs, making this an ideal weapon for clearing traps and defending Engineer buildings. It is arguably more effective at doing so than the Detonator, as it can be very difficult to manually detonate flares near a wall.
  • Keep in mind that burning targets will be eligible for mini-crits and will be knocked farther. As the Scorch Shot tends to set enemies on fire easily, opportunities to finish opponents with mini-crits or push them back a distance will show themselves often.
  • Because direct hits send enemies flying, the Scorch Shot is ineffective for close-range combos utilizing your airblast. You can work around this by using the knockback to pin someone in a corner while you pull out your Axtinguisher.
  • The Scorch Shot's explosion can be used to perform a shorter, less damaging flare jump. This can be useful to access low ledges with a smaller self-damage penalty, and can potentially save you from a near-fatal blow if timed right. To help visualize the jump height, a Pyro can scorch jump slightly higher than a Double Jump from the Scout.
    • Outside of flare jumps, shooting at one's feet with the Scorch Shot can cause all enemies surrounding you to be lit on fire. This is good for tight situations where you're low on flamethrower ammo and want to deal as much damage as possible.
  • If using the Phlogistinator or Backburner, the Scorch Shot can be used just like an airblast to knock opponents away as you retreat. However, you will still be disadvantaged at extinguishing teammates; if that is the bigger priority, consider equipping the Manmelter.
  • The Scorch Shot is an effective anti-Sniper weapon due to its knockback and fire throwing off the Sniper's aim, and it does not need as precise of an aim as the Flare Gun. In the right situation, a hit can knock a Sniper off of a high perch. At the very least, you'll be an annoyance to a Sniper.

Panic Attack

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Critical
Panic Attack
Craft
Panic Attack
Killicon panic attack.png 6 32 6.3-94 4.2-63 2.1-31.5 189

[4.2 damage × 15 pellets]

Festivized Panic Attack
Festivizer
Festivized Panic Attack
Killicon panic attack.png

The Panic Attack is a craftable secondary weapon for the Pyro. It is a Shotgun that has a 50% faster deploy speed, has 50% more pellets, fires its pellets in a fixed pattern, deals 30% less damage, and has a bullet spread that increases with each consecutive shot.

  • The Panic Attack deploys 50% faster compared to the Shotgun. This means you can pull it out immediately once you are threatened.
  • Because the 50% faster deploy speed stacks with the Degreaser’s switch-speed bonus, you can pair these two weapons for an near-instant switch speed of 0.125 seconds.
    • Because of how flame particles linger for a moment after being fired, this switch speed lets a Pyro switch to the Panic Attack, fire a shot, and immediately switch back to the Degreaser while doing normal damage with both weapons.
  • The Panic Attack has a much wider bullet spread than the Shotgun — it becomes useless at medium and long range. Use the Shotgun for combat out in the open.

Thermal Thruster

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point blank Medium range Long range Mini-crits Critical
Thermal Thruster
Contract
Thermal Thruster
Killicon gas blast.png
(Gas Blast)
1 x3 Fall Damage

The Thermal Thruster is a contract reward secondary weapon for the Pyro. The Thermal Thruster functions as a mobility tool, which stores two jetpack charges. Each charge is regained after 15 seconds and charges can be used underwater. On use, the Pyro performs an initial liftoff, sending it a short distance upwards. Shortly after, the Pyro will take off with a quick blast that launches the player in the direction they are aiming; the beginning of the jump also extinguishes any nearby teammates and pushes nearby enemies away. Upon landing, the Pyro will knock nearby enemies back; should the Pyro fall from a high enough altitude and land on an enemy (when the player makes a cartoony "falling" noise), the resultant stomp will deal 3x standard falling damage, much like the Mantreads. The knockback dealt on enemies is determined by how high the Pyro jumps from when the Thermal Thruster is activated. If a jetpack charge is not used, the Pyro will not cause stomp damage even if landing on an opponent.

  • This jetpack can be paired with the Backburner to drop down behind unsuspecting enemies and kill them nearly instantly.

Gas Passer

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point blank Medium range Long range Mini-crits Critical
Gas Passer
Contract
Gas Passer
N/A 1 N/A

The Gas Passer is a contract reward secondary weapon for the Pyro. This weapon has a "Gas" meter that fills up slowly over time, and with damage dealt. Unlike other rechargeable weapons, the meter starts out empty when the Pyro first spawns or equips the item, will not fill or be affected by touching a Resupply locker, and charge is retained upon death and respawning. The meter takes 60 seconds and/or 750 damage dealt to fill, after which the Gas Passer can be pulled out. The Gas Passer acts somewhat like the Jarate or Mad Milk, but upon being thrown, it leaves a team-colored gas cloud on the floor that lingers for several seconds. If the gas can bursts in midair, the gas cloud will slowly descend during its lifetime until is reaches the floor. The Gas Passer can also be used to extinguish burning teammates. Any enemy that comes in contact with the gas cloud will be doused with gasoline for 10 seconds (5 if being healed by a Medic or Dispenser). Doused enemies, including other Pyros, will suffer from Afterburn if they take any form of damage, including bullets and projectiles. The afterburn effect lasts for 10 seconds. If the victim lingers in the gas cloud, the afterburn duration will not reset.

  • The gas lingers when it gets released; be sure to throw it onto control points and into tight doorways to ensure most of the enemies get doused.
  • Unlike the Jarate or Mad Milk, players soaked by this weapon are not considered "wet", so it can not be used in conjunction with the Neon Annihilator to utilize its “crits against wet players” attribute.

Melee weapons

Fire Axe + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Critical
Fire Axe
Stock
Fire Axe
Killicon fire axe.png 0.8 seconds 65 195
Festivized Fire Axe
Festivizer
Festivized Fire Axe
Killicon fire axe.png
Saxxy
Promotional
Saxxy
Killicon saxxy.png
Conscientious Objector
Craft
Conscientious Objector
Killicon conscientious objector.png
Frying Pan
Promotional
Frying Pan
Killicon frying pan.png
Lollichop
Craft/Drop
Lollichop
Killicon lollichop.png
Freedom Staff
Promotional/Craft
Freedom Staff
Killicon freedom staff.png
Bat Outta Hell
Craft/Drop
Bat Outta Hell
Killicon bat outta hell.png
Ham Shank
Promotional/Craft
Ham Shank
Killicon ham shank.png
Necro Smasher
Achievement
Necro Smasher
Killicon necro smasher.png
Crossing Guard
Uncrate
Crossing Guard
Killicon crossing guard.png
  • When used, the Fire Axe's damage effect is much more likely to be dismissed by the enemy as a stray bullet from outside the target's field of view than being attacked by the Flamethrower is. To this end, it can be used to knock down a target's health before attacking with the Flamethrower.
  • While not as effective as the Axtinguisher with the "Puff and Sting", the Fire Axe can still deal significant damage to enemies if they are pinned to a wall or corner, and random critical hits have the same effect. This can be effective on enemy Pyros, since the Axtinguisher deals little damage to enemies not on fire.
  • Considering that you're already at melee range with your Flamethrower, the Fire Axe is somewhat redundant, as the Flamethrower can deal far greater damage in a shorter amount of time. Thus, it's only a good idea to use the Fire Axe to conserve Flamethrower ammo, or to take advantage of random criticals.
  • The Third Degree is a straight upgrade from the Fire Axe - use it instead.

Axtinguisher + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
On Burning Enemies On Non-Burning Enemies and Buildings Critical
Axtinguisher
Unlock
Axtinguisher
Killicon axtinguisher.png 0.8 seconds 86-167 44 131-371
Festive Axtinguisher
Uncrate
Festive Axtinguisher
Killicon axtinguisher.png
Australium Axtinguisher
Advanced+ Mann Up Reward
Australium Axtinguisher
Killicon axtinguisher.png
Postal Pummeler
Craft
Postal Pummeler
Killicon postal pummeler.png

The Axtinguisher is an unlockable melee weapon for the Pyro. It deals guaranteed mini-crits on enemies that are on fire (extinguishing them in the process), and its damage increases depending on how much afterburn time the enemy has left - instantly dealing all the afterburn damage the target would have taken as mini-crits. However, this comes with several downsides: the Axtinguisher has a 35% increased holster speed (preventing the Pyro from deploying the Flamethrower for another combo), deals 33% less damage, and cannot roll for random critical hits.


  • It is ineffective to run straight towards burning enemies expecting to get a hit. Ambushing or using "Puff and Sting" tactics will help you get opponents in the perfect position while you draw your Axtinguisher.
    • "Puff and Sting" tactics work very well with this weapon. Blasting targets into a corner or into a wall will restrict their movements, disorient them, make it harder for them to counterattack, and line them up for a perfect chance to land the killing blow as the enemy is falling down.
    • Drop down from above or take alternate routes whenever possible. This maximizes the amount of time you have before your opponent can react.
      • In these situations, you may also have time to pre-fire with your primary, allowing you to take full advantage of the Axtinguisher's damage buff on burning enemies.
    • Alternatively, use a form of blast jumping to close the gap to unsuspecting targets.
  • Picking your targets can be extremely valuable with this weapon. The Axtinguisher excels in isolated combat, as using a melee weapon leaves you vulnerable to attacks from others.
    • Ambushing Snipers and Engineers can put the situation greatly in your favor, and isolated classes near corners are perfect for the aforementioned "Puff and Sting" tactic.
  • If your target is burning, it usually takes one hit to kill non-overhealed Scouts, Engineers, Snipers, Medics (with the standard flamethrower - an Axtinguisher-Degreaser combo deals significantly less damage), and Spies.
    • Do not try to attack Soldiers and Heavies with this weapon unless they’ve already been weakened - it takes a while to holster the Flamethrower and attempt another combo.
  • The Degreaser works well with the Axtinguisher, as it allows the player to draw the Axtinguisher faster, giving the enemy less time to react. However, a Degreaser-Axtinguisher combo deals less damage than the Flamethrower-Axtinguisher combo, due to its decreased afterburn damage.
  • Working with a Medic can help you net mini-crit hits more easily. The constant healing will make you more durable even if you attempt an Axtinguisher combo head-on.
  • If using the Axtinguisher and Degreaser combo, you can exploit the physics of flames to your advantage by firing flames while dropping from above, then using the improved weapon switch speed to ready the Axtinguisher just before reaching your target. Because flames travel at a fixed speed, it is possible to fall faster than your fire travels, letting you reach an enemy at the same time as your flames do, and thus net a mini-critical hit, though this will not deal much as much damage as it would if performed on a different class. Notably, this is one of the few ways to kill an enemy Pyro with a mini-crit from the Axtinguisher without the help of another allied Pyro.
    • This fact can also be exploited with doorways, staircases, and hallways. There is a slight "lingering" effect with the flames, allowing you to pre-emptively fire upon a position and then hit an enemy Pyro with the Axtinguisher as soon as they walk through said flames. However, this is very difficult, as the time both the flames are active and the enemy Pyro stays on fire is minimal.

Homewrecker + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
On Enemies On Buildings Critical
Homewrecker
Craft
Homewrecker
Killicon homewrecker.png 0.8 seconds 42-55 130 147
Maul
Promotional/Craft
Maul
Killicon maul.png

The Homewrecker is a craftable melee weapon for the Pyro. It does double damage against Engineer Buildings and has the ability to destroy Sappers placed by enemy Spies in one hit, but inflicts 25% less damage against non-building targets.

  • The Homewrecker does less damage against players than the stock Fire Axe. As such, the Homewrecker is not a good choice for those who often engage in melee combat. However, the Homewrecker's positive attributes more than make up for its lower damage rate against enemies, giving you a more effective support role than an offensive one.
    • Random critical hits deal 147 damage, enough to take out the more fragile classes.
  • The Homewrecker can readily destroy any building in two hits - marginally faster than the Flamethrower in certain circumstances. Notably, you can destroy Combat Mini-Sentry Guns in a single hit.
    • However, considering that you're already at melee range as a Pyro in any case with your Flamethrower, it may be more efficient to simply burn the building and any enemies near it. Depending on the situation, the extra damage against buildings may be harder to take advantage of.
  • Do not approach a Sentry Gun while it is active. If possible, hit a Sentry while the Engineer is building it to weaken the enemy's defenses, or work alongside a friendly Übercharge to get close to one.
  • One of the best times to use the Homewrecker is on Wrangled Sentry Guns once the Engineer controlling it is dead, as you stand a good chance of destroying the Sentry Gun before it can re-activate.
  • With the Homewrecker equipped, you are a best friend to any Engineer. Your Flamethrower's flames will keep Spies away, while your Compression Blast will deflect rockets, grenades, Stickybombs, and ÜberCharged players. The Homewrecker also allows you to remove Sappers, which can save the work of an Engineer while he's away, if you are unable to stop a Spy from sapping the buildings.
    • Even if you are not actively playing as the Pyro, you can prepare the Homewrecker in your loadout and switch to it once you see a Sapper being placed. This will happen most often with Teleporters, as it takes very long to get a Teleporter system up; spare a few seconds to switch classes in order to save one from going down.
  • Like most Strange weapons, the Homewrecker primarily counts player kills. If you want to keep track of any buildings you've destroyed, or Sappers removed, you'll need to add the relevant Strange Part.

Powerjack

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage Healing
Point Blank Critical From Kill
Powerjack
Craft
Powerjack
Killicon powerjack.png 0.8 seconds 65 195 25
Festivized Powerjack
Festivizer
Festivized Powerjack
Killicon powerjack.png

The Powerjack is a craftable melee weapon for the Pyro. It grants the user 15% faster movement speed while active, and killing an enemy with this weapon restores 25 HP, which grants Overheal should the player be at maximum health. However, the user will take 20% more damage from all sources while the Powerjack is held.

  • Compared to your other melee weapons, the Powerjack often grants the most utility. Its speed boost lets you get in and out of battles faster than normal, and the health on kill, though minor, can be enough reason to use it for melee combat. Since you take more damage while it is out, it is not a good strategy to deploy this weapon out in the open; instead, use it whenever you are safe to maximize its efficiency.
  • Due to the damage vulnerability, it's recommended to only use this weapon in ambushes where the enemy will not have enough time to counter. In direct combat, most kills will be gained with the "Puff and Sting" tactic, where you ignite then airblast an unaware opponent into a corner or otherwise restrictive space before finishing off with melee hits.
    • Considering you already excel at melee combat, the extra damage you take may be negligible so long as you time your weapon switches properly.
  • Unless fully overhealed, it can be useful to attempt getting a Powerjack kill as often as you can, due to its restored health on kill. However, don't start fights you can't win.
    • If facing an enemy you are sure you can defeat, such as an oblivious Sniper or a lone Spy, be opportunistic and whack away at them. It is better to gain 25 health from a Powerjack kill than to burn him down with a Flamethrower and gain no benefits.
  • Whittling down the foe's health using a Flamethrower or a secondary, then ending off with a Powerjack hit is a good way to kill enemies without allowing them to retaliate with an attack of their own. This is a better strategy compared to rushing in with the Powerjack, as attentive opponents can simply strafe out of the way and hit you while your have increased damage vulnerability.
    • The 15% speed boost can be useful when chasing down alone/unassisted cloaked Spies if they are ignited or doused, as the increased damage vulnerability is ignored due to the Spies' inability to attack.
  • The faster move speed allows you to get to the fight faster and ambush enemies quicker; you'll often get to the front lines right after the Scout. The speed is also useful as a means of escape, especially since you'll be fighting at melee range often and will often be at low health.
    • If using the Powerjack to retreat, only do so if you know you can reach a health source with friendlies providing cover fire, as the 20% extra damage vulnerability will make you easy to kill, especially at low health.
  • When crossing a dangerous Sniper sightline, jump and erratically switch between the Powerjack and your other weapons. Your constantly changing movement speed makes it very hard for any Sniper to hit you.
  • The Powerjack's versatility can be useful with several weapons.
    • The Backburner works well with the Powerjack, as you can run to flank locations faster, thus making ambushes easier to pull off.
    • The Phlogistinator works in the same way, letting you get to battles quickly to gain "Mmmph" before retreating faster than usual.
    • The Detonator amplifies your mobility with its flare jumps, and you can use the Powerjack whenever you aren't jumping to maximize your movement speed.
    • The Degreaser's decreased switch speed lets you deal "Puff and Stings" much faster, and significantly lowers the odds of you getting hit while you have the Powerjack out. This makes weapon heckling and gaining a Powerjack kill much easier.

Back Scratcher

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage Healing
Point Blank Critical From Small Health Packs From Medium Health Packs From Mediguns From Dispensers From Payload Carts
Back Scratcher
Craft
Back Scratcher
Killicon back scratcher.png 0.8 seconds 81 244 54 132 6-18/sec 2.5-5/sec 2.5/sec
Festivized Back Scratcher
Festivizer
Festivized Back Scratcher
Killicon back scratcher.png

The Back Scratcher is a craftable melee weapon for the Pyro. It does 25% more base damage than the Fire Axe, and passively raises healing gained from health packs by 50%. However, it reduces the player's healing rate from Medics, Dispensers, and the Payload cart by 75%.

  • The Back Scratcher is ideal for Pyro players who prefer a "Roamer" playstyle; the added healing from health packs makes surviving while behind enemy lines considerably easier. Conversely, the Back Scratcher is generally less effective if you tend to depend on friendly healing sources, as it will take considerably longer to regain your health.
    • For this reason, do not use this weapon if you're on offense on a Payload map, and constantly pushing the cart. Healing from the cart will be diminished, which prevents you from actively gaining health while pushing.
  • Try not to ask for healing from Medics if you have this weapon equipped, as it will force Medics to heal you for a much longer time. This can be a huge issue if there are many injured teammates around, as you will distract the Medic from patients who need the most help.
    • For the same reason, avoid being a pocket for a Medic, as the decreased healing rate makes it ineffective for tanking damage.
      • However, if you're in a safe spot, you can help a Medic build up his ÜberCharge quickly. As Medi Guns build more ÜberCharge while healing injured targets, your decreased healing will keep the Medi Gun building at the maximum charge rate for a very long time.
  • Compared to your other weapons, the Back Scratcher doesn't deal lethal damage like the Axtinguisher, and does not grant increased movement speed and health on kill like the Powerjack. However, it has no holster time penalty like the former, and its increased damage and no damage vulnerability makes it more effective for melee combat than the latter, making it as viable for melee combat as either weapon.
    • As always, "Puff and Sting" tactics will help you get a Back Scratcher kill. Airblast an opponent into the air before swinging; the higher damage means less swings for a kill.
  • Critical hits from this weapon deal 244 damage, making the Back Scratcher one of the few melee weapons that can one-shot a Soldier at full health. As such, do not underestimate the power of the Back Scratcher, especially with random crits enabled.
  • The Back Scratcher is an ideal weapon against enemy Pyros. If you consistently land hits, you will be able to out-damage any of his weapons, with the exception of the Backburner from behind.
    • Pyros equipped with any Flare Gun variant or the Axtinguisher will be especially disadvantaged, as these weapons require an opponent to be on fire for high damage, and you can't be lit on fire.
  • The Back Scratcher is a great weapon for Medieval Mode. Since all enemies drop health packs and only melee weapons are allowed, the damage bonus and increased healing from packs can make you a force to be reckoned with. Additionally, the presence of random criticals on most Medieval Mode servers allows you to potentially kill most classes instantly.
    • A coordinated Back Scratcher Pyro and Candy Cane Scout can make for strong allies, both in and out of Medieval Mode. The Pyro can engage enemies, distracting them while the Scout comes in to finish them off, awarding a boosted health kit for the Pyro to use.
  • The Back Scratcher pairs well with the Detonator and the Scorch Shot, as both cause self-damage through flare jumping. The added healing from the Back Scratcher allows you more attempts to reach ledges with health kits only easily accessible to Scouts, Demomen, and Soldiers with the reward of a large healing boost.
  • Since the Back Scratcher promotes roaming, both the Backburner and Phlogistinator have synergy with this weapon. Both weapons work very well when working behind enemy lines, and the boosted health kits will help you with your playstyle.

Sharpened Volcano Fragment

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Afterburn Critical
Sharpened Volcano Fragment
Promotional/Craft
Sharpened Volcano Fragment
Killicon sharpened volcano fragment.png 0.8 seconds 52 60 over 10 seconds 156

The Sharpened Volcano Fragment is a promotional and craftable melee weapon for the Pyro. It ignites enemies on hit, but deals 20% less base damage than the Fire Axe.

  • The Sharpened Volcano Fragment can be used to ignite enemies in situations where using the Flamethrower would alert the enemy to a nearby Pyro. However, its reduced damage reduces its utility in other situations where killing the enemy has higher priority than stealth.
  • Because the Sharpened Volcano Fragment deals heavy damage and has standard afterburn duration and damage, it's much better suited for hit-and-run tactics, rather than attacking enemies head-on.
    • However, considering that your primary weapon already sets opponents on fire, has a longer range, and can kill most classes quickly with focused fire, the Sharpened Volcano Fragment's advantages are negligible in most situations. Furthermore, your other melee weapons generally have more utility over the Sharpened Volcano Fragment (such as the Axtinguisher's massive damage, Powerjack's overall versatility, and Homewrecker's ability to remove Sappers), which may be more tempting to have than afterburn-on-hit.
  • Despite its lower base damage, a critical hit with the Sharpened Volcano Fragment can be extremely lethal on classes that are not overhealed. Counting afterburn, a critical hit can deal enough damage to kill every non-overhealed class except for the Heavy, and overhealed Scouts, Snipers, Spies, and Engineers.
  • As the Sharpened Volcano Fragment sets opponents on fire with no ammo cost, it can be useful for Spychecking teammates when conserving ammunition is a priority. This is especially true with the Backburner or Phlogistinator, weapons that burn through ammunition quickly due to their reliance on primary fire or an expensive airblast cost.
  • Be careful when fighting enemy Pyros; since they cannot be set on fire, the Sharpened Volcano Fragment's lower base damage will make you disadvantaged against them should both of you fight in melee combat, unless the enemy Pyro is equipped with the Axtinguisher.
  • In Medieval Mode, the Sharpened Volcano Fragment is one of two weapons capable of igniting enemies. This can provide a useful tactical advantage for teammates, both doing damage over time and "marking" targets for a Scout with the Sun-on-a-Stick or fellow Pyro wielding the Axtinguisher.
  • The Sharpened Volcano Fragment can work well with several weapons.
    • Use the Fragment to negate the afterburn penalty of the Degreaser. As the most recent afterburn takes priority, simply hit an opponent with the Fragment after you set them on fire with the Degreaser to keep the Fragment's more damaging afterburn on them.
    • At close range, a hit from the Sharpened Volcano Fragment deals more damage than a puff of flame, allowing you to do more burst damage with a Flare Gun combo than if you switched from the Flamethrower.

Third Degree

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Critical
Third Degree
Craft
Third Degree
Killicon third degree.png 0.8 seconds 65 195

The Third Degree is a craftable melee weapon for the Pyro. It deals standard Fire Axe damage, but will transfer all damage done to all targets being healed by a Medic beam or the Medicating Melody taunt.

  • Compared to the Fire Axe, the Third Degree has no downsides. Use it instead of the Fire Axe if you have it.
    • However, the Third Degree is very situational compared to your other melee weapons. Consider using another melee weapon if the enemy team has no Medics.
  • If more than one Medic is healing a single target or Medics are forming a "chain", hitting just one player will damage them all.
    • The same applies for an enemy Medic's Medicating Melody; hitting the Medic will damage all enemies in the healing radius, which can prove immensely useful for taking out a group of enemies defending an area.
  • Although situational, critical hits transfer to all targets too, letting you deal immense burst damage to multiple healed targets at once. While this may be able to kill a Medic and his injured pocket, any Medics being overhealed (such as being healed by other accompanying Medics) will only be left at severely low health since they can be overhealed to 225 health. If possible, swing twice.
  • The Third Degree is a useful tool for ambushing strong 'pocket' duos. Timed suicide attacks on an unaware pocketed class may succeed in taking down their Medic.
    • However, since your Flamethrower already does high damage at close range, it may be worthwhile to simply burn a pocket duo to death. The Third Degree shines when you can take down an injured Medic and his patient together, so look out for opportunities.
  • Depending on the situation, the Axtinguisher can do a quicker and more reliable job at Medic pair killing compared to the Third Degree, but has its own downsides. While you can take down a Medic or his pocket quickly by setting them on fire before netting a guaranteed mini-crit, the Axtinguisher's slower holster speed leaves you more open should you fail to fully kill the enemy. Weigh your options and choose the most reliable weapon.

Neon Annihilator

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Critical
Neon Annihilator
Promotional/Craft
Neon Annihilator
Killicon neon annihilator.png 0.8 seconds 52 156

The Neon Annihilator is a promotional melee weapon for the Pyro. It deals guaranteed critical hits on wet opponents (one covered in water, Jarate, or Mad Milk), and any player who has been in contact with water in the past 5 seconds. It can also remove Sappers from friendly buildings in two hits. As a drawback, this weapon deals 20% less damage against players and does not roll for random critical hits.

  • The weapon may seem to contrast with the Pyro's fire-based abilities, but it does give some powerful utility in maps with a lot of water. Because your primary weapons and flare guns do not work underwater, the Neon Annihilator allows the Pyro to be effective where he would otherwise be at a large disadvantage.
    • The effectiveness of this weapon depends almost entirely on the terrain; on maps with little or no water, you will be much better off using a different melee weapon. You may also find opportunities to net a critical hit if your team has a Scout using Mad Milk or a Sniper using Jarate, but this shows itself less often than setting opponents on fire for a mini-crit from the Axtinguisher, for example.
  • Burning enemies will often seek out the nearest source of water to extinguish themselves. This allows you to chase them down and finish them off with a critical hit. You can also use the compression blast to force them into water, and the Annihilator should do the rest; two critical hits will kill any class except a fully overhealed Heavy.
  • Pairing with a Scout using Mad Milk can be a very effective combination; you can deal critical hits on drenched opponents, gaining a lot of health in the process. If the Scout also wields the Sun-on-a-Stick, he can deal full critical hits to opponents once you ignite them.
  • Most waterways are low, secluded, and often tight spaces. This weapon is great for ambushing people trying to get behind friendly lines and can prove great for securing locations for Engineer nests in enemy bases.
  • The Neon Annihilator can remove Sappers from friendly buildings, albeit with two hits compared to one from the Homewrecker or Maul, making it slightly less reliable for the job. However, it can be a better option that the Homewrecker on maps with water, as it can function both as a powerful weapon and a utility to save an Engineer's buildings.

Hot Hand

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Critical
Hot Hand
Contract
Hot Hand
Killicon hot hand.png 1.0 seconds 28 84

The Hot Hand is a contract reward melee weapon for the Pyro. Unlike other melee weapons, attacking will trigger two consecutive melee swings. The weapon deals less damage than the Fire Axe, which is split between the two slaps (28 x 2, for a total of 56 damage). Upon hitting an enemy with this weapon, the player gains a very short speed boost (similar to the Disciplinary Action, but with a much shorter duration) and the hit is announced in the kill feed, similar to the Holy Mackerel and the Unarmed Combat. Kills with this weapon are shown as "SLAP KILL!" in the killfeed. Like the aforementioned weapons, this message does not show if the victim is a Spy using an active Dead Ringer, allowing you to detect if a Spy has faked his death.

  • You could slap someone then instantly switch to one of your weapons, though the speed boost only lasts one second, so be quick.

Taunt attacks

  • While often flashy and humiliating for the enemy, taunt attacks are generally ineffective due to their long charge time. Additionally, you will be helpless for the duration of the taunt.
  • An inattentive Sniper or an idle player can be the perfect target for a tauntkill.

Armageddon

Kill Icon Weapon Damage Duration Details
Armageddon
Armageddon
Killicon armageddon.png Rainblower 400/15 5 seconds The Pyro blows a stream of bubbles as a rainbow forms over them, complete with a sparkling Balloonicorn in the center of the rainbow. The Pyro then leans over as foreboding music plays, causing the rainbow to become engulfed in flames while they laugh demonically. Players not in Pyroland see a stream of fire instead of a rainbow.
  • The Pyro's Armageddon taunt possesses the largest damaging radius of any taunt kill, capable of immolating several unaware enemies in flame.
  • Unlike other taunt kills, for each player caught in the taunt's radius, damage is halved. The closest will receive 400 damage, the next closest will receive 200 damage, and so on. Foes in the taunt's radius that are not immediately killed will suffer afterburn damage as normal.
    • Its damage means it will be unable to kill an overhealed Heavy, although the opportunity should not present itself often.
  • Lurk around corners in populated areas in the hopes of catching large groups of players by surprise; even if you die in the attack, you will still have dealt a significant amount of damage.
  • Being one of the most noticeable and longest taunts, achieving a kill requires an extreme amount of luck.
  • You can temporarily force enemies to leave a control point by taunting - anyone too slow, unaware, or unlucky enough to be nearby will be killed. However, they may simply kill you before the tauntkill triggers.

Hadouken

Kill Icon Weapon Damage Duration Details
Hadouken
Hadouken
Killicon hadouken.png Shotgun
Reserve Shooter
Flare Gun
Detonator
Manmelter
Panic Attack
500 3 seconds The Pyro winds their hands back, concentrates, then releases their inner fire energy as a Hadouken. This taunt is capable of hitting multiple enemies and can destroy buildings. If an enemy survives the attack, they will be set on fire.
  • At the beginning of a round, on a level with setup time (like Gold Rush or Dustbowl), taunting with 0:01 left on the timer will cause the taunt to launch just as the gates open and may occasionally catch oblivious players in the blast.
  • This taunt can take out multiple enemies, so it may occasionally kill groups of enemies.
  • A successful Hadouken hit can instantly fill the Phlogistinator's "Mmmph" meter.
  • Note that the Hadouken can destroy unattended buildings. This can be useful during Humiliation, or if you want to cut down on time and ammunition. Use it to destroy Dispensers and the like - but be warned. If an enemy Engineer catches you in the act, you will be unable to prevent him from killing you.

Execution

Kill Icon Weapon Damage Duration Details
Execution
Execution
Killicon scorch shot.png Scorch Shot 400/15 3 seconds The Pyro holds their Scorch Shot upwards, before bringing it down to aim ahead and fire. The shot uses ammo, and point blank shots do potent damage; shots beyond that range do standard damage.
  • Since the taunt takes about three seconds and takes considerable accuracy and luck to catch an opponent up close, it's recommended that this taunt is saved for the end of rounds.
  • When an enemy is hit from point-blank range, the shot will do 400 damage against them; however, shots beyond said range will do standard damage.
    • Like the Armageddon taunt, this will not be able to kill an overhealed Heavy, although attempting it is reckless in any case.
  • Like the Showdown taunt, your shot will be aimed towards wherever your crosshair is looking at. This means despite the animation's looks, you can aim up or down and still hit an opponent, though remember that only point blank shots do lethal damage.
  • This taunt is roughly three seconds long and completely silent before it fires, giving the option to surprise enemies rounding corners.
  • Remember that the shot will damage you if the projectile hits an obstacle or enemy too close to you.
  • A successful point blank shot will fill up the Phlogistinator's "Mmmph" meter completely.
  • Since this taunt uses up ammo, you won't be able to attempt it as often as the Hadouken taunt unless you're alright with wasting ammunition.

Gas Blast

Kill Icon Weapon Damage Duration Details
Gas Blast
Gas Blast
Killicon gas blast.png Thermal Thruster 500 6 seconds The Pyro simultaneously jumps and reaches behind their back with both hands to take out a match and a match box. They stare at the match box for a second before striking the match against the match box and holding the lit match in front of them, staring at the flame for another second before turning around, reaching between their legs to place the match in front of their rear, and letting loose a magnificent burst of flame while watching over their shoulder. The Pyro then stops and jumps around again as the flame disappears.
  • A Gas Blast kill will completely fill the Pyro's "Mmmph" bar if equipped with the Phlogistinator.

Weapon combinations

Cooperative Class Strategies

Leaderboard class scout.png Scout

The Pyro and Scout are both excellent ambushing classes. A coordinated ambush can result in killing practically any enemy without too much effort.

  • Due to the Scout's low health, your compression blast will often be a life-saver for him, whether it be saving him from afterburn or reflecting a potentially deadly rocket. This also allows higher-priority teammates to grab health packs (eg. Medics), which benefits the entire team.
    • If a Scout is constantly being ignited, you can also take advantage and use the Manmelter to gain free crits.
    • Protecting Scouts is especially true if he has the Pretty Boy's Pocket Pistol, as he takes 20% extra damage from all sources with it out.
  • Your ability to airblast syncs well with the Scout's single-target playstyle. Airblasting an enemy into the air can let him get close to deal heavy damage to the confused enemy.
    • This can help a Scout aim his usually slow projectiles with relative ease as well. Pinning an enemy against a wall while the Scout launches a Sandman ball, Mad Milk, or Flying Guillotine can result in an easy elimination.
  • Inversely, the Scout's greater mobility makes him able to direct enemies your way. Use the Scout as a distraction or as bait and close in behind the busy enemies.
  • Enemies set on fire tend to focus on the Pyro if he's close, or retreat towards nearby health packs if ignited from afar. A Scout can take advantage of these distractions to shoot enemies in the back.
    • Alternatively, that foe can be finished off quickly by a Scout with the Sun-on-a-Stick.
  • If the Scout is equipped with the Force-A-Nature, the two of you can become huge distractions and push opponents around as you please at close range, especially when combined with your compression blast and long range Scorch Shot shots.
    • Likewise, a Scout and Pyro team working close together can get behind enemy lines and eliminate foes with their ambush-suitable weapons such as the Back Scatter and Backburner.
  • The pair of you are capable of taking out a sentry nest all by yourselves. Have the Scout go in with a Bonk! Atomic Punch to attract the Sentry Gun's attention. As a Pyro, you can now go in and rapidly damage the Sentry Gun, potentially killing the Engineer as you do so.
    • If the Engineer decides to wrangle, you can sneak up and kill him quickly before he notices you. If you have the Homewrecker equipped, you can use that to break the sentry before it reactivates.
    • Note that this strategy will likely not work if a sentry nest has more than one Sentry Gun, or if the Engineer has backup from his team.
  • As bleeding and burning damage stack with each other, you can combine the damage of your flames with the bleeding from a Scout's Boston Basher, Three-Rune Blade, Wrap Assassin, or Flying Guillotine, resulting in very powerful gradual damage.
  • The Scout's Mad Milk benefits you greatly due to the Flamethrower's strong close-range damage. You will often be able to survive fighting against a small group of enemies while tanking damage with the milk's healing. This is especially useful with the Phlogistinator, letting you gain "Mmmph" quickly with less risk.
    • The Neon Annihilator will also deal guaranteed crits against milked targets, and will grant massive amounts of health on hit.
    • Every tick of afterburn will heal you should you ignite a milked target. You can use any Flare Gun variant if you are fighting alongside a Scout with Mad Milk, letting you pelt retreating opponents and getting you healed up in the process. This becomes more effective with the Detonator or Scorch Shot, as they can ignite multiple milked foes at once.
  • A Scout equipped with a Candy Cane that kills an enemy will drop a health pack for you, especially beneficial if you're carrying the Back Scratcher. Likewise, their new-found weakness to explosives can be countered by airblasting explosives.
  • If the Scout manages to hit your opponent with the Fan-O-War, you can easily go in with your primary to finish them off. Mini-crits from the Flamethrower will often melt an opponent quicker than they can react.
  • Regardless of the above tactics, Pyro-Scout duos suffer from longer ranges, especially from bullets; if an enemy sees you coming, you won't last long. Use your mobile speed and take note of where the map's nearest flank routes are to ensure that you can be beneficial to your team.

Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier

Paired together, Pyros and Soldiers are the most mobile-yet-bulky pairs in the entire game. While both classes have their own effective ranges, the Pyro's supportive tools and the Soldier's overall firepower makes the duo excellent for carrying out a small push.

  • Whereas mid-to-long-range combat are your weaknesses, a Soldier can cover your shortcomings by firing rockets at enemies that wander outside the range of your primary.
    • Likewise, the Soldier is prone to close range self-damage and enemy Pyros who can reflect his rockets. You are able to prevent these issues by going in for any close-range fighting and by airblasting deflected rockets right back at enemies.
    • If you both hide in high, hard-to-reach places, you can ambush anyone that wanders through below.
  • In your stock loadouts alone, the Pyro and Soldier are capable of producing all four main types of damage: Hitscan, Explosive, Fire, and Melee. Using this to your advantage, the two of you can exploit any existent vulnerability in the enemy.
    • This is especially useful for countering the Vaccinator, as the pair of you can use two different types of damage to confuse a Medic.
  • Both of you are able to use the Reserve Shooter, which works extremely well between your ability to airblast and the Soldier's ability to juggle. Coordinating attacks that keep your enemy in the air can result in quick airborne kills.
    • Soldiers with the Direct Hit will have a much easier time taking advantage of their ability to mini-crit airborne targets if you juggle them with your airblast.
  • Staying in range of your Soldier while he uses any of the Buff Banner, Battalion's Backup, or Concheror can result in great benefits for the two of you. The Buff Banner and Concheror buff your damage and staying power respectively, while the Battalion's Backup can let you use melees like the Axtinguisher or Powerjack with less risk.
    • Offensive weapons such as the Backburner and Phlogistinator become even more potent with a Soldier's buffs, making you an even bigger threat.
  • Soldiers are a common target for backstabs due to their high power, low speed, and team-boosting abilities. As always, spycheck. Any Spy you ignite can be eliminated by you or your buddy with little issue. If the Spy has the Spy-cicle, he may enjoy temporary safety from your flames, but communicating his presence to the Soldier makes him a similarly easy target for your buddy's rockets.
  • Soldiers are comparatively more mobile than Pyros due to their rocket jumps, which can be an issue if you are required to travel a distance. Using the Detonator can better allow you to keep up with your partner, further increasing the dynamic of you and your Soldier's ability to push together.

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

While Pyros are often confined to close range, there is usually nothing scarier than seeing a pair of Pyros causing plenty of havoc. Whether you and your partner have similar loadouts or not, there is a larger dynamic in your firepower being doubled; enemies will usually have a hard time dealing with you.

  • Spies are absolutely hopeless in a fight against two Pyros so long as it takes place up close. If the two of your regularly spycheck, your team will have virtually no issues with Sappers or backstabbing.
    • Remember your range weakness; a sneaky Spy can still snipe you from afar with the Ambassador.
  • When two Pyros pair up with friendly Engineers, you become a complete fortress that almost nothing can get past. By doubling the efficiency of pushing back ÜberCharges, airblasting projectiles, killing Spies, and removing Sappers with the Homewrecker, the pair of you are a blanket of safety for your team's Engineers.
  • If both Pyros have the same play-styles, your efficiency increases overall. Ambushes are successful more often, airblast fights are in your favor, enemy Pyros will be overwhelmed by your combined firepower, etc.
    • Some weapon pairs can potentially shut down unprepared teams if you coordinate; a Degreaser/Flare Gun/Axtinguisher set or a pair of Phlogistinators can cut down any unaware enemies almost instantly.
  • If the two of you have different play-styles, the complexity of fighting you two increases for any enemy.
    • One Pyro may have a flamethrower that focuses on utility, while the other might have an offensively inclined one, such as the Backburner or Phlogistinator. The utility Pyro can set up the offense Pyro for an attack by either pinning an enemy against a wall or other obstacle or reflecting incoming projectiles.
    • Your secondaries, if one is a Shotgun while the other is a Flare Gun, can result in two advantages in mid-range combat at once. The Pyro with a Shotgun or Reserve Shooter can more aggressively attack the enemy while the Flare Gun Pyro can hang back to carefully aim Flare Gun shots to crit or Scorch Shot attacks to deter the enemy's movement.
    • Your melee weapons, while not often used in direct combat, can alter your strengths and weaknesses. The Axtinguisher, Powerjack, or Back Scratcher allow for more front-line attacks. The Homewrecker, Third Degree, or Neon Annihilator are more situational, but can provide coverage where your partner might be at a disadvantage.
  • Accurate Pyro partners will find that coordinated Flare Gun fire can bring down tough opponents quicker than by oneself. An Engineer or Sniper caught out of place can be put down instantly with paired flares. Flares will have a hard time hitting Scouts, however, so be prepared to switch to your Flamethrowers to deal with the agile but fragile threat.
  • Solo Scouts tend to be less inclined to try to weapon heckle a Pyro duo, thanks to your ability to cover each other's weak areas. Two Shotgun Pyros can safely protect each other from potential heckling Scouts due to the Scout's inability to maintain range overlaps on both Pyros.
  • A Pyro duo will dominate close range combat, but will still be all but helpless at range. Unless the both of you use tactics beneficial to the class (such as taking flank routes and staying out of direct sight), you can be easily picked off by anything from Snipers to Sentry Guns. Plan ahead in order to let your strengths shine.

Leaderboard class demoman.png Demoman

The Pyro and Demoman are opposites in the way their classes produce damage; the Pyro focuses on gradual and close-range damage, while the Demoman focuses on sudden, mid-range damage. However, working together allows you to fill in several team roles or perform more efficiently.

  • Like the Soldier, the two of you can produce all four damage types, letting you attack Vaccinator Medics in whatever resistance they are not using.
  • Together, you can both work as an attacking or defending duo.
    • On Offense, a Pyro can be the first to approach enemies in order to distract them with flames and weaken targets for the Demoman. Alternatively, the Pyro can hang back and fire flares while the Demoman begins an approach with his immense firepower.
    • On Defense, the Demoman can arm Stickybombs around the objective and fire grenades into choke-points while you're able to Spy-check and pick off any missed targets. When paired with another bulky teammate, you become the basis for your team's defensive ability.
  • When the Demoman takes up a Demoknight style of play, your dynamic shifts entirely. You are now both at a disadvantage at ranged combat, but you also are now the two most deadly close-combat classes in the game, capable of taking down multiple foes in a single push should you get within range.
    • This gives you an advantage against identical classes in a two-on-two setting. Opposing Demoknights are still vulnerable to any bullet damage the Pyro creates, and can still be killed in one hit with a Puff and Sting. Likewise, a Pyro can be killed in one fell swoop if the Demoknight makes the most of his charge.
    • Having the Pyro airblast a target to pin them against a wall works wonders for your Demoknight, as he can go in for an easy kill with any of his melee weapons.
  • Both classes are weak at long range, so sticking together is key. A Pyro will benefit from a Demoman's excellent Sentry Gun killing power in order to get into effective distance, while a Demoman can survive longer if a Pyro constantly fires flares to distract enemy Snipers.

Leaderboard class heavy.png Heavy

While not the most dynamic pairing out there, a Heavy benefits immensely from having a friendly Pyro defending them.

  • A Heavy's prior fear of being backstabbed, headshot, or eliminated by a Puff-and-Stinging Pyro are all relieved when a competent Pyro spychecks, uses a Flare Gun, and airblasts, respectively. This allows the Heavy to focus on attacking while the Pyro defends the two of them from pursuit.
  • The Pyro's greater speed but lower power neatly offsets the Heavy's weaknesses of great power but low speed, especially in regards to spinning up a primary weapon. If you are ambushed, the Flamethrower's speed and ease of use allows you to protect the Heavy and give him the valuable time he needs to ready his Minigun.
  • A Heavy and Pyro pair is especially fearsome when they flank their opponents. Heavies are extremely attention grabbing, letting the Pyro slip in to ambush opponents who are focused on or hiding from the Heavy.
    • If attempting this, the Heavy may find more success with the Tomislav due to its faster spin-up, higher accuracy and silence.
  • Heavies and Pyros are excellent defensive "turrets". When left with a Dispenser, the two become a never-ending stream of firepower.
    • Heavies with the Huo-Long Heater provide even more fire coverage in addition to the Pyro's weapons, meaning the two become a literal firewall when working together near a sentry nest.
  • Regardless of the Heavy's large health pool, always extinguish them from afterburn. They may thank you back by giving you a well-needed Sandvich.
  • Both of you have several weapons that can work well in tandem together.
    • Natascha can slow down enemies and allow the Pyro to go in for the kill. Likewise, the Pyro can airblast targets to make them easier for the Heavy to hit.
    • Pyros can airblast to set a Heavy up with a kill using the Killing Gloves of Boxing, allowing Heavies using the Shotgun, Family Business, or Tomislav to take advantage of their crits.
    • Heavies using the Fists of Steel and Gloves of Running Urgently can both take good advantage of the protection the Pyro provides, as the Heavy's apparent close-range weaknesses are nullified by the Pyro's close-range strength.
  • While not to be taken seriously, the Pyro and Heavy have two of the three most potent taunt kills. Pyros can destroy multiple foes and buildings relatively quickly with Hadoken while the Heavy can kill from a ranged distance using Showdown. A notable last-ditch effort to survive in humiliation.
  • Much like you, a Heavy suffers from range issues, which may be a problem if there are multiple enemy Snipers. It is usually wise to always bring a Flare Gun in order to offset this; your Shotgun is far outclassed by the power of your buddy's Minigun. Additionally, he is very slow, so always keep around him as you may often find yourself in the fight before he does.

Leaderboard class engineer.png Engineer

As an Engineer is constantly dealing with enemy projectiles and Spies, you are unsurprisingly the most useful pairing. While you may spend most of your time defensively, the plentiful benefits of working hand-in-hand more than make up for it.

  • Most Engineers are capable of fending for themselves as long as at least one Pyro is nearby, meaning you alone can provide protection for two or more Engineers in a sentry nest and maximize your team's defense.
  • The Pyro can airblast projectiles, hold off ÜberCharges, and spycheck with most flamethrowers. As long as you stay alive and do your job right, the Engineer has very little to fear in the chance of losing his buildings during an enemy push.
    • Most often, you will be dealing with Spies; they will usually be denied by your presence if you constantly fire flames around the nest. This does not prevent them from sniping you from afar with the Ambassador, so it is best to be on the move.
    • Another issue would be Stickybombs; the instant you see a Demoman firing a stream of bombs, push them away with your compression blast or destroy them with your Shotgun.
    • When an Übercharged enemy approaches, approach them while they are distracted by the Sentry Gun and airblast them. If they manage to get close, the knockback from the sentry will usually be enough to send them flying backwards.
  • The Engineer provides health, ammo, and protection for the Pyro with his Dispenser and Sentry Gun, respectively. They shelter you from any chance of ambush, as any attacks made onto you will likely target the Sentry Gun first.
  • A Pyro with the Homewrecker, Maul, or Neon Annihilator can remove Sappers placed onto the Engineer's buildings, leaving a sentry nest alive even in the event that a Spy kills your Engineer.
    • This is beneficial even if you aren't being an Engineer buddy, as whacking a Sapper off a Teleporter can save precious resources and traveling time.
  • The Engineer can use his Wrangler to attack enemies from any range, providing you survival against enemy Snipers and Soldiers shooting from far away. This is respectively complimented by your flare guns and compression blast.
    • If your Engineer ally is using the Wrangler, be proactive in protecting him from flanking attacks so he can maximize the effectiveness of his Sentry Gun's increased fire rate and protective shield without worrying that he may be suddenly killed by a surprise Spy or Scout.
  • Remember to pick off attackers who are avoiding the Sentry Gun's field of vision. Enemy Pyros that squeeze just around sentry positions can kill your Engineer if you don't protect him.
    • Your airblast can also support a Sentry Gun by forcing threats it cannot see into its FOV (such as enemies hiding behind corners) before attempting to destroy the Sentry Gun.
  • The Backburner's from-behind crits will kill any inattentive Medic before they can deploy their Über, even if they are fully charged when you attack. As such, if you see a Medic combo moving towards your teams' Sentry Guns, getting behind them to kill the Medic will prevent them from using the Über.
    • Similarly, a well-timed critical Phlogistinator will melt them before they can react.
  • While you are the perfect Engineer buddy, you and the Engineer are vulnerable to Snipers due to being in a fixed position. The most you can do is use your Flare Guns to interrupt his sniping, or if your Engineer buddy decides to shoot him with the Wrangler.

Leaderboard class medic.png Medic

You are a Medic's fastest patient and the only pocket capable of directly defending your healer from damage with compression blasts. While not truly the strongest offensive combo, the duo are formidable at close-quarters fighting and picking.

  • As you can reflect projectiles and extinguish a burning Medic, this combo gives you the niche of mutual protection only rivaled by the Heavy himself. You are also quick enough to walk at the same pace as your healer, letting the pair get to places together while watching each other's backs.
  • The health buff given to you by the Medic is just enough to allow for more dangerous offensive approaches.
    • Tactics such as eliminating targets with the Axtinguisher or causing panic among a group of enemies become more effective, but be sure to look out for your healer due to your dependence of close range combat.
  • When Übered by your Medic's Medi Gun, you are the truest counter to any enemy Übercharge. This is due to your ability to airblast, sending your targets to die from either being juggled by a sentry or dying from environmental damage. Even without an Über, you can still distract an Übercharged enemy by constantly keeping them in the air, wasting their charge in the process.
    • If the opponent uses a Megaheal and can't be knocked back, you can still use the Axtinguisher or its variants to finish off the enemy Medic with no risk.
  • When charged by a Kritzkrieg, you are a complete force to be reckoned with in that you provide extremely high damage output very quickly. The sight of a crit-charged Pyro alone is enough to make the entire enemy team retreat from a push.
    • This is best done in enclosed spaces or as an ambush, since your enemies will have little space to maneuver and won't see you coming.
  • Vaccinators are excellent for Pyros, as you benefit from each of the resistances. Enemy Pyros using a Shotgun, Snipers, and other hitscan enemies will be less of a nuisance when given bullet resistance. Explosive resistance is complimented by your ability to reduce the damage of projectiles by reflecting them, and fire damage is nonexistent between your afterburn immunity, added resistance, and ability to extinguish your Medic.
  • Compared to a Soldier or Demoman, you are mostly ineffective for destroying Sentry Guns head-on due to their bullets having high knockback. If you attempt an ambush from above, you will likely get sent flying a ways off.
    • Always take on Sentry Guns from the side, where they will take some time to turn.
  • Some weapon combinations work well in tandem with a healer.
    • The Phlogistinator's "Mmmph" charge can be gained much easier, allowing you to be extremely aggressive.
    • In a duel between Medic-pairs, the odds will be tipped in your favor if you use a Third Degree.
    • Airblasting your opponent to let the Medic finish them off with an Ubersaw can allow for some quickly-built ÜberCharges, potentially winning you the game.
    • Bring along the Homewrecker if you are committed to taking on a Sentry Gun while Übercharged.
  • As your effectiveness is limited by your short range, you will be forced to play more defensively on open maps. It might be more effective to let a Medic pocket a class with a higher effective range in that case, while acting as a supportive defender yourself.

Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper

Given the Pyro and Sniper's range differences, you will not often interact with one. However, there is still a bit of chemistry to be had with a friendly Sniper.

  • The duo offer extreme opposites in combat. While you fight at close-range, the Sniper supports at long-range. Coordinating with one an can compliment well, as the opponent will have to avoid both flames and accurate bullets.
    • Your flames can be an excellent distraction tool too, as burning enemies will usually be too focused on getting away and towards a health source, which a Sniper can capitalize on.
  • Hanging around a Sniper can benefit them greatly.
    • If the Sniper is using a Sniper Rifle, being around them offers protection from Spies, allowing the Sniper to use a different secondary from the Razorback, and your Flare Gun can harass enemy Snipers in addition to your own Sniper's attacks. Additionally, enemy Pyros that harass your Snipers can be relieved of the afterburn that would mess up their aim by using your airblast.
    • For front-line Snipers who use the Huntsman, you can light their arrows on fire to provide afterburn on any enemies they hit, and airblast their targets to provide them with an easy shot.
  • Jarate is the most beneficial secondary the Sniper can provide for you. Enemies that are both on fire and doused in Jarate will take mini-crit afterburn damage, causing rapid damage that can fill up a Phlogistinator's 'Mmmph', should you be carrying one. A group of Jarate-doused enemies is also a great target for the Detonator or Scorch Shot, since you will deal mini-crit fire damage to all of them, and the Neon Annihilator, which deals full crits against wet targets.
    • Similarly, a Sniper carrying the Sydney Sleeper can be a great help, even from the rear lines. Inflicting Jarate on enemies from across the battlefield can quickly turn an otherwise fair or losing fight back in your favor thanks to the mini-crit damage of your weapons and afterburn. Fighting nearer to the enemy also means that they are less likely to target the Sniper. As the Sydney Sleeper does not require accurate headshots to be effective, this allows the Sniper a little more leeway and therefore more speed in placing a shot that can help you. Don't be afraid to request an assisting shot on a target for if you know one of your team's Snipers carries the Sleeper. Finally, the Sleeper can extinguish teammates from afar, allowing the both of you to keep teammates safe from flames.
    • If a Sniper lands a hit with the Tribalman's Shiv on an enemy covered in Jarate and on fire, it's essentially guaranteed that any 125 HP class will die from the gradual damage alone should they not reach a Medkit.
  • If you are receiving supporting fire from a Sniper, be mindful of the limitations of the game's rendering, and do not aim your flames into the line of sight between them and their targets. Flames are translucent, but they can obscure some of the opponent's model while active, which may make headshots more difficult to place.
  • Due to the Sniper being fit for long range, expect either of you to be vulnerable at any given point; protecting one teammate means sacrificing the safety of another. If you need to fight together, try not to position yourself with your teammate, as enemies might end up eliminating the both of you.

Leaderboard class spy.png Spy

A Spy and Pyro duo seem counterproductive, as they are only usually seen combating each other when on opposite teams. It's rare for the two on the same team to be found doing something together, but possible nonetheless.

  • Predictably, friendly Spies will usually be on fire. Put them out as soon as possible to keep their disguise up. As a perk, you'll know if it is an enemy Spy right away if the compression blast pushes him back.
    • This can also allow you to gain multiple crits with the Manmelter.
  • The Spy's Revolvers and ability to see enemy health helps a lot with picking off weakened enemies. As your afterburn usually leaves injured enemies retreating, he can land the last hit against them before they reach a health source.
  • Both classes are excellent ambushers, with the Pyro being better at direct confrontations and the Spy having the advantage of surprise. A simultaneous ambush between the two can potentially take out an entire group before they know what hits them.
    • In situations where you are cooperating with a Spy for an ambush, consider allowing the Spy to go and take out the heavier classes first, such as Heavies and Soldiers. As he can approach without being easily detected, this lets him remove the most dangerous threats immediately, and allows you to come in and clean up distressed Medics or other, less powerful classes. Remember to switch to a weapon other than your Flamethrower to avoid having its long barrel give away your hiding places while you two wait for the other team.
  • If the Spy goes in to sap a Sentry Gun, you can jump in and finish up the sentry and Engineer before he has time to remove it. This is very beneficial since you can actually approach the sentry without getting knocked back, and flames go straight through buildings.
    • Alternatively, going in with a Homewrecker can break the Engineer's building before he has time to save it.
  • Do not be afraid to split up from a Spy and attack from two directions, especially if the Spy is able to get behind the Medic combo or a group of enemies. As the instinctive response of many players is to backpedal away from a rampaging Pyro, this presents plenty of juicy targets for an opportunistic Spy who can backstab enemies as they unwittingly back up into him.
    • This is especially useful if you equip strong offensive weapons such as the Backburner or Phlogistinator, allowing you to be extremely attention-grabbing. Enemies focused on fighting you will only be avoiding your flames at all costs, giving your Spy the perfect opportunity to backstab while waiting safely with the Cloak and Dagger.
    • Roles can be reversed if the Spy functions as a decoy with the Dead Ringer, as you can capitalize on enemies distracted by his fake death by ambushing them. The Backburner works well in this way, as it functions much like the Spy's backstab.
  • Play bait for one another. If a Spy is being chased by a faster but weaker class like a Scout or Medic, lure the pursuer into a room where the Pyro can toast them. Conversely, if the Pyro finds themselves opposed by a powerful but slower combat class like the Soldier or Demoman, they can lure these larger enemies into giving chase, leaving themselves vulnerable to a sudden backstab.
  • As the Spy can completely disappear and walk through enemy territory without being detected, it is likely that you might not be able to follow him. Similarly, a Spy that follows too close to a Pyro will often get fired upon by complete accident. Strike a balance if you plan to work together as a team.

See also

References

  1. Explanation E-Mail from a Valve employee