Pyro match-ups

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The Pyro on strategies
Class Strategy
vs. Scout.png
Relative merits: Between you and the Scout, whoever has the advantage depends on the environment. In enclosed spaces, your flamethrower and subsequent afterburn make short work of his low health. In open spaces, the Scout can constantly switch between close and medium range weapons in response to whatever weapon you equip, wearing you down. On a one-on-one duel with the Scout, the match-up will come down to the aim of the Scout and the ability of the Pyro to dodge the shots.

Tactics: The Scout must respect your flamethrower's effective range and afterburn damage. If you can ignite him, switch to another weapon like the Shotgun or Flare Gun as he retreats away from your flamethrower. If you have the opportunity, pin him down with your compression blast to stop his mobility entirely and mess up his aim. If the Scout engages you in an open area, you can take cover behind obstacles to coax him into approaching you for a clear shot.

Useful weapons:

  • The Degreaser's faster weapon switch time lets you easily select weapons as the Scout darts in and out of your range.
    • If you manage to ignite the Scout, you can switch to the Flare Gun and attempt to land a critical hit to instantly kill him.
  • The Shotgun is best for engaging the Scout outside your flamethrower's range.
  • The Detonator and the Scorch Shot use exploding flares that are easier to ignite the Scout with.
vs. Soldier.png
Relative merits: The enemy Soldier outranges you and can rocket jump to high ground outside your range. However, he is susceptible to grounded ambushes due to his slow walking speed and your compression blast can deflect his rockets with proper timing or prediction.

Tactics: You are most likely to ambush a Soldier in enclosed spaces where there is less room to rocket jump away. Once you are in a direct fight, make proper use of your compression blast and move erratically to avoid splash damage from his rockets. At medium range, react to fired rockets in time, reflect them back at the Soldier to deal mini-crit damage, or even aim downwards to rocket jump at him yourself. At close range, you can deflect his rockets the moment they leave his Rocket Launcher with proper prediction. If you mistime an airblast, decide whether to take cover or rush at the Soldier anyway.

Pay attention to the Soldier’s shoes and back. If he is not wearing the Gunboats, Mantreads, B.A.S.E Jumper or a banner, it means he has a damaging secondary weapon that cannot be reflected.

If the Soldier manages to rocket jump to high ground or switches to the Shotgun while you are too far away, fight back with your secondary weapon or retreat and try again elsewhere.

Useful weapons:

  • Any primary weapon that retains the ability to airblast lets you defend yourself from the Soldier's rockets.
  • The Reserve Shooter deals its bonus damage against targets launched by explosions even when the enemy Soldier rocket jumps.
vs. Pyro.png
Mirror match-up: Your flames have a widespread, which means there's a good chance you and the enemy Pyro will be damaging each other at the same time. Play to your loadout - the Backburner encourages ambushes, while the Degreaser lets you switch to the Shotgun or a melee weapon faster for burst damage.

Tactics: Fighting an enemy Pyro is a matter of outmaneuvering them with your own flamethrower. Flames take time to travel - if the enemy Pyro brazenly charges at you, backpedal while firing to make them take more damage. Your compression blast can be used to knock the enemy Pyro back so that you can either retreat or land an easy Shotgun blast. The matchup is uneventful at longer range, where your secondary weapons deal little damage without any supplementing afterburn.

Useful weapons:

  • At medium range, the Dragon's Fury and Shotgun let you fight outside the range of the enemy Pyro's flamethrower.
  • Make sure to extinguish allies ignited by the enemy Pyro with your compression blast.
  • If a Pyro is harassing your team from long range using flares, the Manmelter quickly extinguishes allies and gains guaranteed critical hits.
vs. Demoman.png
Relative merits: Your compression blast is your best protection against the Demoman's onslaught of explosive projectiles. However, his Grenade Launcher fires faster and properly aimed Stickybombs at medium range and beyond are difficult to reflect.

Tactics: You must catch the Demoman off-guard at close range. To approach him from medium range, react to his weapon. If he uses grenades, cautiously try to reflect every other one. If he uses Stickybombs, move in quickly before each Stickybomb arms. From beyond medium range, retreat and take an alternate route to flank him.

A Demoknight wielding a shield secondary such as the Chargin’ Targe specializes in melee combat and gains fire resistance. If he charges at you, use the compression blast to break his charge and stay outside his melee range.

Useful weapons:

  • A shield-wielding Demoknight resists fire damage, but is not protected against the Shotgun's bullets.
  • The Flare Gun gives you the advantage at long range, where the Demoman's projectiles are easily avoided.
  • The Scorch Shot can disarm enemy Stickybombs.
vs. Heavy.png
Relative merits: It is usually suicide to directly face a Heavy, the other class that specializes in close-range combat — he has far more health than you do. If you have no escape route, his Minigun can shred you in less than a second.

Tactics: To defeat a Heavy before he can spin up his Minigun and kill you, you’ll have to ambush him and perhaps use the Backburner or a Degreaser/Panic Attack combo to deal your highest possible burst damage. If you are having trouble, airblast him away and retreat. If his Minigun is already revved, your best option would be to harass him with your secondary weapon while searching for an alternate path.

Useful weapons:

  • Weapons with high raw damage, like the Backburner or the Phlogistinator, burn through the Heavy's health quickly.
  • Even at long range, your Flare Gun can ignite the Heavy and deliver a succession of critical hits which he can't dodge easily.
vs. Engineer.png
Relative merits: A lone Engineer can duel you at medium range with his Shotgun, but is toast once you close the distance. The Engineer's Sentry Gun is the true threat, being potentially more resilient than the Heavy and immune to afterburn.

Tactics: Lower-leveled Sentry Guns can be brute forced if you begin your attack from around a corner and circle-strafe. However, a level 3 Sentry Gun tracks you too quickly, so attack that one from behind cover or come back with teammates. If you're feeling ambitious, try deflecting the Sentry Gun rockets back at the Sentry Gun or its owner.

Useful weapons:

  • The Dragon's Fury fires projectiles with longer range than the Flame Thrower's flames, which lets you attack a distanced Sentry Gun from behind cover and if positioned correctly potentially deal heavy damage with its shorter cooldown between firing on hit.
vs. Medic.png
Relative merits: Although you can outduel an enemy Medic, he will usually be surrounded by his teammates. The Medic is free to turn around and watch for ambushers while healing. The Medic moves slightly faster than you, so he is able to keep constant pressure on you whilst you only have longer ranged weapons to rely on damaging the Medic as your flamethrowers have much shorter range.

Tactics: Ignite the Medic and his patient at range with the Flare Gun, as fire damage reduces the Medi Gun's healing rate, but leave directly targeting them to your teammates. Instead, try for an ambush and concentrate fire on the Medic. Without their Medic, nearby enemies will take further damage from afterburn.

One of the most important roles you play against the Medic is ÜberCharge disruption. Your compression blast works against the Medic's invincibility-granting ÜberCharge; when a Medic deploys his ÜberCharge, use your airblast to separate him from his patient, cut the ÜberCharge link, and save your team from being overwhelmed.

Useful weapons:

  • Depending on enemy positioning, the Backburner can kill the Medic quickly, while the Third Degree can hit the Medic when you hit his patient.
  • You can use the Thermal Thruster to get into position to ambush the Medic from behind.
vs. Sniper.png
Relative merits: The Sniper is your opposite, dealing precise damage to single targets at long range. In general, he is a soft counter to you until you get up close. However, you lack the mobility options of other classes to get close in the first place.

Tactics: Flank an enemy Sniper from a route that he's not watching over, then make sure he doesn't get away and use Jarate to extinguish your flames. Once you are up close, the compression blast is useful for pinning him down and deflecting Huntsman arrows.

Useful weapons:

  • The Flare Gun and its variants are your best tool for dealing with a faraway Sniper, as its shots travel far and can ignite him to lower his accuracy, provided he is not using Darwin's Danger Shield or the Cozy Camper.
  • The Thermal Thruster lets you take alternate routes to reach the Sniper’s spot.
  • The Powerjack's speed bonus can help in quickly and quietly flanking around a Sniper's sightline.
vs. Spy.png
Relative merits: You are the deadliest enemy a Spy can face, as most of your weapons inflict afterburn, which exposes the Spy to your team. You are not immune to backstabs, so look behind yourself occasionally too.

Tactics: Fire nullifies the Cloak and disguise of any Spy, so Spy-check all of your teammates with a quick puff of flame. If a teammate is about to be backstabbed or the Spy is trying to trickstab you, you can even use your compression blast to send the Spy flying away.

Once you've exposed the Spy, he might fight back. Keep out of his Knife's range to avoid accidentally getting backstabbed while keeping up the heat. If he gets too far away, it's fine to take cover and await his next attempt, as his Revolver is more accurate than your Shotgun at long range.

The Spy has two specific items that aid in surviving your flames; the Dead Ringer will allow him to extinguish your flames once before Cloaking, while the Spy-cicle will protect him from being ignited for a short time. In both cases, liberally flame the area to ensure that he does not escape.

Useful weapons:

See also