Basic Medic strategy
The Medic is arguably the most important class on a team. He is the only class with a reliable way to heal and overheal teammates using his Medi Gun, making him invaluable. As the Medic heals others, he builds an ÜberCharge meter. Once full, he can provide invulnerability with the Medi Gun, Crit-boost a teammate with the Kritzkrieg, or perform rapid healing with the Quick-Fix to turn the tide of battle. Because dying means losing any accumulated ÜberCharge, it is incredibly important that the Medic survives any fight. The Medic's weapons are designed more for self-protection than direct combat; he relies on having good teammates to protect him so that he is free to keep his team alive. More than with any other class, communication is key, both for indicating who to heal and when to activate an ÜberCharge.
- 1 Primary weapons
- 2 Secondary weapons
- 3 Melee weapons
- 4 See also
Your ability to heal others will often make you the primary target of many enemy players. When in combat, be hard to hit: jump, duck, and strafe to avoid damage. Your natural health regeneration will often not be enough to keep you alive, so rely on your allies for protection and ask them to leave health pickups for you. Unless you are forced to fight, you should retreat if all nearby teammates are defeated.
The Syringe Gun fires rapidly and deals fair damage at close range only. It can't damage multiple enemies at once and should be treated as a backup weapon for self-defense; call for your teammates to protect you as you heal them instead. If you're forced into combat, the Syringe Gun's needles travel slowly in a parabolic arc; at longer ranges, you'll need to aim upwards slightly and lead fast targets accordingly to compensate for the slow projectile speed.
The Blutsauger heals you for 3 health for each shot that connects, but lowers your natural health regeneration. Take out the Blutsauger if you're injured and can afford to briefly stop healing others; landing shots consistently will heal you more than your natural regeneration can. It's best to equip this weapon only if you expect to fight often, as the decreased regeneration leaves you vulnerable to damage-over-time effects such as fire or bleeding. Although the Blutsauger is your most powerful weapon in a direct fight, continue to stay behind your allies; you are still your team's main source of healing. If you don't fight often, equip a different weapon to retain your regeneration and some extra utility.
Depending on who you hit, bolts from the Crusader's Crossbow can damage enemies or heal allies, with the strength of the shot increasing if it travels farther. The Crossbow reloads passively, so you can switch between healing normally and supporting teammates outside the range of your Medi Gun. Although the Crossbow reloads quickly, the bolts arc over distances and travel relatively slowly. This makes it difficult to aim and less effective than the Syringe Gun in direct combat; you may even need to tell your allies to stand still so you can line up long-range healing shots. The Crossbow builds ÜberCharge more slowly than the Medi Gun, so use the Medi Gun to heal nearby allies instead if possible.
Depending on how full your ÜberCharge meter is, the Overdose grants up to 20% additional movement speed. This weapon makes it easier to dodge projectiles or run to teammates if you're under attack. In particular, the extra speed increases the odds that you won't have to use your ÜberCharge in self-defense. The movement speed bonus only applies when the Overdose is your active weapon, so healing teammates will return you to normal speed. The Overdose deals slightly less damage in combat, encouraging you to flee to teammates to preserve ÜberCharge instead of fighting your pursuers. The maximum speed bonus is still not enough to outrun an aggressive Scout, so you may still need to turn and fight regardless.
To make use of your healing abilities, you'll need to team up with an ally. Generally speaking, you first want to heal other Medics, then combat classes, then support classes. You cannot heal yourself, so stay behind your Medic buddy so that he can take all of the damage. Your healing beam bends around corners and stays locked onto patients, so stay behind cover and turn around frequently to watch for ambushes. As you heal allies, the ÜberCharge meter will gradually fill up. It fills more quickly if you are healing wounded allies, so spread your healing evenly during moments of downtime. Once your ÜberCharge is ready, communicate with your team to make the best use out of your chosen effect.
Most of the time, you will equip the Medi Gun for the standard ÜberCharge. Compared to your other choices, the Medi Gun charges the slowest but arguably has the most powerful effect. The 8 seconds of invincibility it provides is useful in almost any situation, but other ÜberCharges will often be ready before yours. An offensive ÜberCharge lets your team push into almost any defensive encampment, particularly those with Sentry Guns. Invincibility is especially useful on defense, especially if your team is outnumbered or needs to hold a contested area. Additionally, you can counter an enemy Medic's ÜberCharge by deploying your own, preferably just after his finishes. If you are in danger of being killed, activate your ÜberCharge in self-defense: it's better to survive than to die with a full meter. You can keep multiple targets ÜberCharged at once by quickly switching your healing beam between them, at the cost of it draining significantly faster.
The Kritzkrieg functions similarly to the Medi Gun, but charges 25% faster and provides 8 seconds of guaranteed Critical hits to its target instead of invulnerability. It provides a faster, riskier and more offensive ÜberCharge, as the Kritzkrieg's ÜberCharge does not protect you. It's best for situations where you need to quickly eliminate as many targets as possible so your team can push forward. Great candidates for the Kritzkrieg are the Soldier, Demoman, and Heavy, classes that deal damage over a wide area and can use the crit boost to the fullest. Because your meter charges faster, it is best to deploy the Kritzkrieg as soon as possible, before Medi Gun-wielding Medics are fully charged. Sentry Guns are not affected by critical hits, so using the Kritzkrieg's ÜberCharge to destroy Engineer nests is ineffective.
Of your available secondary weapons, the Quick-Fix heals teammates the fastest, making it most useful in the middle of combat when you must keep multiple injured teammates alive. However, it can only overheal allies to 50% of your other options, meaning that your team will be at a disadvantage at the beginning of fights, when your enemies are presumably fully overhealed. The Quick-Fix's ÜberCharge triples the rate of healing, grants immunity to knockback, and charges 10% faster than the Medi Gun, encouraging liberal deployment to keep your team healthy. In combat, the Quick-Fix should be used to maintain momentum; if an enemy Medic accumulates a full ÜberCharge, the invincibility offered by the Medi Gun or the crit boost offered by the Kritzkrieg can overpower your boosted healing. The Quick-Fix also grants extra mobility when healing certain classes; you'll copy the explosive jump from a friendly Soldier or Demoman.
When healing an ally with the Vaccinator, you can cycle between granting the two of you a 10% resistance to either bullets, explosions, or fire. Its ÜberCharge, which builds 67% faster and is stored in 4 smaller bars, increases the chosen resistance to 75% for 2.5 seconds. The Vaccinator's defensive capabilities, combined with the reduced overheal rate, are best used to maintain an immediate advantage at the front lines. In fights, adjust the Vaccinator to face whatever weapons your enemies carry. For example, a Pyro can always deal fire damage, but may have a Shotgun, which deals bullet damage. The Vaccinator deploys its ÜberCharge as shields, which persist even if you change healing targets. Thus, you can rapidly place shields on multiple teammates or stack them on the same target to protect against multiple damage types. Note that the Vaccinator's ÜberCharge rate is significantly reduced when healing targets at full health; to build charge faster, heal injured teammates first.
The Bonesaw is useful for striking distracted opponents but still loses to the Syringe Gun in damage over time. There is no reason to use the Bonesaw; all of your other melee weapons possess some sort of utility and are generally seen as straight upgrades because Medics rarely engage in combat.
The Ubersaw swings slightly slower than the Bonesaw, a minor drawback compared to the 25% boost your ÜberCharge meter receives for each successful hit on an enemy. Landing a few strikes on an enemy that fails to defeat you can grant a ready ÜberCharge and an instant advantage. For defensive purposes, it can be used to quickly fill the Medi Gun's meter, then escape with the resulting invincibility. Actively entering combat to build charge with the Ubersaw can be risky, as it leaves your team without a healer, not to mention that every class has access to a weapon that outranges your melee strikes.
The Vita-Saw grants minor ÜberCharge insurance. Hitting an enemy with it harvests an Organ; each Organ lets you retain 15% of your ÜberCharge upon dying, up to a cap of 60%. As a Medic, you will inevitably become a priority target for the enemy team. If your ÜberCharge is not fully charged and you are cornered, fight back with the Vita-Saw to ensure at least some of your hard work remains after death. Of course, the small -10 health penalty might mean you die more often against burst damage; offset this by equipping anything except the Blutsauger to maintain good health regeneration. The Vita-Saw is useless in situations where you cannot respawn, such as Arena or Sudden Death.
The Amputator deals 20% less damage than the Bonesaw and is relatively useless in combat. However, it's still considered an upgrade to the stock Bonesaw because as the Medic, you'll rarely engage in melee combat. While you're holding the Amputator, you will regenerate 3 extra health per second, making it useful for negating damage-over-time effects such as afterburn and bleeding. Taunting will play a melody that heals all allies around you but doesn't build much ÜberCharge. Play your melody when you absolutely need to heal multiple teammates at once. Do so from behind cover, as taunting leaves you helpless for four seconds.
The Solemn Vow has a 10% attack speed penalty compared to the Bonesaw but grants the ability to see enemy health. This ability can be used offensively to inform teammates of weakened foes, and defensively, when deciding to fight or run from a pursuing enemy. As with some of your other melee weapons, the swing-speed penalty is practically negligible.