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Surging electrolyzed ultra-waves of pure phlogiston, this devastating incinerator will get them all hot under the collar! Actually, it will burn them alive. Horribly.
Phlogistinator publicity blurb

The Phlogistinator (also known as the Phlog) is a primary weapon for the Pyro. It is a retro-futuristic ray blunderbuss with some metal parts colored either copper or silver depending on the team, and a team-colored canister stamped with the Dr. Grordbort crest. It fires waves of energy that function identically to the Flame Thrower's flames.

This weapon cannot gain random crits or use compression blasts. However, while equipped, all fire damage done with any weapons by the Pyro increases the 'Mmmph' bar. However, even though it is not stated in the weapon's description, this damage only works against players, not buildings. Once filled, it can be activated with the alt-fire (default key: MOUSE2), or by taunting (default key: G) which performs a taunt that enables a short crit boost for the Phlogistinator only. During this taunt, the wielder becomes invulnerable to damage and knockback. The taunt cannot be activated if the player is in the air or in water.

It requires 300 points of fire damage to completely fill the 'Mmmph' bar (1200 damage against robots, or 3000 damage against tanks, in Mann vs. Machine), and when full, a team-colored particle effect (similar to that of the Medi Gun at full Übercharge) appears in the muzzle of the weapon as a visual indicator. The duration of the buff is 10 seconds, minus the length of the taunt.

Enemies killed by the Phlogistinator suffer a distinctive death by incineration, wherein they disintegrate into smoldering orange cinders that quickly fade away.

Afterburn reduces healing and shield resists from a Medi Gun by 20%.

The Phlogistinator was later contributed to the Steam Workshop at Valve's request.

Damage and function times

See also: Damage
Damage and function times
Shot type Particle
Damage type Fire
Ranged or Melee damage? Ranged
Flame damage (close) 100% 6.5-13 / tick
Flame damage (far) 50% 3.25-6.5 / tick
Critical 9.75-19.5 / tick
Mini-crit 4.3875-8.775 / tick
Afterburn 4 / tick
Afterburn (mini-crit) 5 / tick
Function times
Attack interval 0.075 s
Ammo consumption interval 0.105 s
Afterburn duration 4-10 s
Values are approximate and determined by community testing.

Note: Flame damage is proportional to particle lifetime instead of distance from target. Unlike most weapons, Critical hits are also affected by the scaling. Additionally, there is a very slight damage variance (±0.08 / particle) due to differences in particle angles.

Item set

Main article: Item sets
Dr. Grordbort's Moonman Pack
Item icon The Moonman Pack Bundle.png

No effect



See also: Crafting


Reclaimed Metal Soda Popper Backburner Phlogistinator
Item icon Reclaimed Metal.png + Item icon Soda Popper.png + Item icon Backburner.png = Item icon Phlogistinator.png
Class Token - Pyro Slot Token - Primary Scrap Metal Possible Results
Item icon Class Token - Pyro.png + Item icon Slot Token - Primary.png + Item icon Scrap Metal.png =
Item icon Backburner.png Item icon Degreaser.png Item icon Phlogistinator.png Item icon Rainblower.png
Item icon Nostromo Napalmer.png Item icon Panic Attack.png Item icon Dragon's Fury.png

As a crafting ingredient

Refined Metal Moonman Pack weapon Possible Results
Item icon Refined Metal.pngx4 + Item icon Phlogistinator.pngItem icon Manmelter.pngItem icon Third Degree.png =
Item icon Bubble Pipe.png Item icon Moonman Backpack.png

Strange variant

Update history

December 15, 2011 Patch (Australian Christmas 2011)
  • The Phlogistinator was added to the game.

December 16, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed a problem that would allow Pyro 'Mmmph' to activate in the air without taunting.
  • Fixed an exploit with the Phlogistinator where the effects could activate without taunting in high-lag situations.

January 11, 2012 Patch

  • Added crafting blueprint for the Phlogistinator.

March 15, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed a bug where Mmmph-crit flames could cause 'Mmmph' to build fast enough to allow it to be infinitely chained.
  • Changed attributes:
    • Direct damage reduced by 10%.
    • Crit buff time lowered from 12 seconds to 10 seconds.

June 27, 2012 Patch (Pyromania Update)

  • Changed attribute:
    • Increased base damage by +10%.
    • Damage defense while taunting reduced from -90% to -75%.

February 28, 2013 Patch #2

  • Fixed the Phlogistinator’s Mmmmph particle effect getting stuck on after performing a taunt.

May 13, 2013 Patch

  • Updated the Phlogistinator to reduce the rate for gaining MMMPH when attacking tanks and robots in Mann Vs. Machine mode.

July 10, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed "Mmmph" progress resetting after touching a resupply cabinet.

November 12, 2013 Patch

April 1, 2014 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Added Strange quality.

March 12, 2015 Patch

  • Fixed not being able to activate the Phlogistinator's buff using alt-fire when ammo was below the cost of an airblast.
  • Fixed the Phlogistinator's bottle not getting the crit-boost material effect.

December 17, 2015 Patch (Tough Break Update)

  • The base Flamethrower's damage fall off over distance has been decreased, resulting in higher damage output at range.
  • Changed attributes:
    • Removed 10% damage penalty.
    • When activating 'MMMPH', the taunting Pyro gains temporary invulnerability and immunity to knockback effects.

December 22, 2015 Patch

  • Fixed the Pyro's invulnerable period while activating the Phlogistinator lasting longer than the activation taunt.

January 20, 2016 Patch

  • Changed attributes:
    • No longer restores player to max health on MMMPH activate.
    • Increased amount of damage required to fill MMMPH meter to 300 from 225.

January 22, 2016 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Updated the Phlogistinator attribute to match the current stats.

July 7, 2016 Patch (Meet Your Match Update)

  • Added: Direct damage reduces Medi Gun healing and resist shield effects by 25%
    • Medics hear a "healing interrupted" sound when this is happening to their heal target.

November 10, 2016 Patch

  • Fixed not being able to activate the Pyro's Phlogistinator rage again right away if the first attempt failed.

October 20, 2017 Patch (Jungle Inferno Update)

  • Flamethrowers no longer apply maximum-duration afterburn on contact. Afterburn duration is now based on how long the target is in contact with direct flames.
  • Better visual sync, more consistent (no visuals/damage mismatch).
  • A 20% healing and resistance reduction is applied by afterburn. The 25% reduction of healing and resistance on direct damage was removed.

October 24, 2017 Patch

  • Fixed the charge meters for the Phlogistinator and the Gas Passer overlapping in the HUD.

October 30, 2017 Patch

  • Fixed being able to buy airblast upgrades for the Phlogistinator in Mann vs. Machine mode.
  • Fixed flamethrowers not damaging buildings at close distance.

November 1, 2017 Patch

  • Fixed a bug with the Phlogistinator's attack distance so it matches the other flamethrowers.

November 7, 2017 Patch

  • Fixed not seeing the new flamethrower effects on some machines.

March 28, 2018 Patch #1

  • Flame damage per second now ramps up based on density of flame encountered, up to 200%.
  • Initial flame damage per second reduced by 50%, resulting in the max damage being unchanged.
  • Fixed Flamethrower particles sometimes failing to draw on the client.
  • Fixed Flamethrower flames not colliding with tf_generic_bomb entities.

March 28, 2018 Patch #2

  • Fixed a server crash related to the Flamethrower.


  • Occasionally after activating 'Mmmph', the charged particle effect may remain on the muzzle of the weapon. This can be easily fixed by switching to another weapon and then back again.
  • 'Mmmph' gained is not reduced to reflect Damage Resistance. For example, continuously damaging a Spy protected by the Dead Ringer allows the 'Mmmph' meter to be fully charged, despite the Spy not having enough health under normal circumstances to do so.
    • Similarly, damage vulnerability does not affect the build rate of 'Mmmph'. For example, killing a Heavy with the Warrior's Spirit active does not fully fill the 'Mmmph' meter.
  • If the player is switched to the enemy team when the round ends with a full 'Mmmph', the charged particle effect in client view briefly retains the old team's color before disappearing.
  • Using a special taunt with a full 'Mmmph' causes the charge particle effect to disappear.
    • This can be fixed by switching weapons.
  • If the player activates 'Mmmph' with this weapon, and then switches to another primary weapon via Resupply or by picking one up from the ground, the new weapon retains the remaining crit-boost gained from 'Mmmph'.
  • If the Pyro activates 'Mmmph' and receives any sort of knockback (such as explosions or airblast from an enemy Pyro), the taunt is interrupted, but not its invulnerability. This is because the invulnerable effect is set by number of seconds, as opposed to when the taunt finishes.
  • The Phlogistinator can be inspected while being fired.


  • In the 1700s, Phlogiston was believed to be an invisible floating substance that was released from objects when they were set on fire.
  • This weapon's design is inspired from the "Unnatural Selector", a model from Weta's online store.
  • The Phlogistinator is an Aether Combustor according to the Weta Workshop page for Dr. Grordbort[1].
    • According to the same page, it "surges electrolysed ultra-waves of pure phlogiston".
  • The Phlogistinator can be seen in the comic "True Meaning", in which the Pyro and the Engineer find alien weapons.



See also