Soldier match-ups

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I am going to enjoy killing each and every one of you sorry sacks of scum!
The Soldier on class match-ups
Class Strategy
vs. Scout.png
Relative merits: Both you and the Scout are strong close-quarters combatants. You have an advantage if you can utilize your rockets' splash damage, especially when you have the high ground, but the Scout will typically try to initiate the fight with that in mind.

Tactics: Anticipate the Scout's movements when aiming your rockets. Aim at the ground or nearby walls to inflict splash damage, as the Scout's high movement speed makes it difficult to hit him directly. If he double jumps to dodge one of your shots, the arc of his jump should be predictable enough to aim a rocket where he will land. Your rockets are harder to avoid when you are higher up, so consider rocket jumping to high ground, beyond the reach of the Scout's double jump, or simply into the air before firing a barrage down. If possible, force the Scout to fight you in tight spaces where he can't maneuver.

Because of the Scout's extreme speed, it is difficult for you to retreat. If you have enough health, it is usually better to rocket jump somewhere out of his reach, such as to high ground or through a window, than it is to use a grounded escape route.

Useful weapons:

  • The Direct Hit changes the dynamic of this match-up. Its fast, stronger rockets can kill a Scout in a single hit, but only at close range. At medium range, landing a direct hit on the Scout, especially if they have good reflexes, continues to be difficult.
  • The Liberty Launcher's rockets are faster than default and retain the default splash radius, which makes hitting a dodgy Scout easier. Its reduced damage is less of a concern when dealing with the Scout's low health pool.
  • The Shotgun and its variants are hitscan weapons with instantly-traveling bullets that are harder for the Scout to avoid.
  • The Gunboats allow you to rocket jump into the air and rain rockets down without losing as much health.
vs. Soldier.png
Mirror match-up: In a duel against an equally skilled Soldier, positioning and weapon management are key. Observe which weapons your opponent has chosen and adapt your strategy accordingly - for example, if your opponent is not using the Gunboats, try to pressure them into rocket jumping. Tracking the number of rockets you each have loaded can help you decide whether to approach or take cover.

Tactics: Both of you are relatively slow on the ground; aim for direct hits to maximize each rocket's damage and move unpredictably to make it difficult for your opponent to do the same. If possible, take high ground using a rocket jump to make dealing and avoiding splash damage easier. If your opponent is predictable with his rocket jumps, you can fire a rocket where he will land, use precise aim to land an airshot, or chase after him with your own rocket jump and attack from above. If you run out of rockets, switch to a different weapon or take cover and reload. If you think the enemy Soldier is out of rockets, approach him or move to a stronger position while he's unable to attack you.

Useful weapons:

  • The Shotgun and its variants are reliable backup weapons if you run out of loaded rockets.
  • The Direct Hit and Reserve Shooter deal mini-crit damage to targets launched by explosions. This applies not only to when you launch your opponent with a well-aimed rocket, but also when he rocket jumps.
  • The Gunboats let you rocket jump to higher ground or retreat without losing as much health. The positional advantage can be worth trading in the Shotgun.
  • The Escape Plan is your best tool for retreating if you are low on health while your opponent can still rocket jump towards you.
vs. Pyro.png
Relative merits: Your weapons outrange the Pyro's Flame Thrower, giving you a significant advantage at medium range. However, the Pyro's compression blast can reflect your rockets. Fighting a Pyro is largely about making it as hard for them to reflect your rockets as possible.

Tactics: Try to stay outside of the Flame Thrower's short range to avoid being set on fire. Avoid firing rockets so predictably that the Pyro reflects them back at you; instead, stagger your rate of fire so the Pyro has trouble predicting your shots, and aim at the floor or nearby surfaces to make it more difficult for them to aim a rocket that is reflected. In open areas, you can rocket jump to high ground and attack from above to make aiming reflected rockets even more difficult. If you have a damaging secondary weapon, such as the Shotgun, you can safely fire away from medium range.

If either of you move the fight into close range, the Pyro can freely burn you with their Flame Thrower but has less time to react to your rockets. Avoid positioning such that you can be airblasted into a corner, where the Pyro can freely follow up with weapons like the Flare Gun or Axtinguisher. Watch your health so that afterburn and rocket jump damage combined won't kill you before you can find healing to extinguish yourself.

Useful weapons:

  • The Beggar's Bazooka and Air Strike can fire a volley of rockets fast enough that the Pyro can't reflect them all at once.
  • The Direct Hit and Liberty Launcher both have faster rockets that are much harder to react to and can mess up the Pyro's timing.
  • The Shotgun and its variants, as well as the Righteous Bison, cannot have their shots deflected. You can use a shotgun as your main weapon against a Pyro, or switch between them and your Rocket Launcher periodically to give the Pyro trouble predicting when you will actually fire a rocket.
vs. Demoman.png
Relative merits: You and the Demoman both specialize in explosives. You are better at close range duels and can roam the map faster, while the Demoman can spread damage over a wide area and attack without direct line of sight. You can both use explosive jumps to travel quickly, but sticky jumping is slower and costs more health.

Tactics: Unlike your rockets, the Demoman's grenades do not have any damage falloff, but they also do not explode immediately on contact with the environment. Stay at medium range, where you'll have an easier time avoiding direct hits, and steer clear of grenades that have bounced onto the ground. If the Demoman is using the Stickybomb Launcher to fight you directly, move to close range, as Stickybombs take time to arm and the Demoman will not be able to hit you without blowing himself up as well.

When faced with a Stickybomb trap, use the Shotgun to destroy the Stickybombs or a well placed rocket to scatter them. It is possible, albeit tricky, to push the Stickybombs towards the Demoman and force him to give up his current position.

A Demoknight using a shield secondary such as the Chargin' Targe does not have a Stickybomb Launcher, but will likely be using a melee weapon with increased melee range, such as the Eyelander, and attempt to charge you with it. If he does, shoot the ground in front of him to pop him into the air and cause him to miss you, or quickly rocket jump out of the way.

Useful weapons:

  • Weapons that restore or increase your health, such as the Black Box or Concheror, potentially let you survive an extra direct hit from a grenade.
  • A shield-wielding Demoknight resists explosive damage, but not bullet damage from the Shotgun and its variants.
  • The Direct Hit and Reserve Shooter will deal mini-crits to an explosive jumping Demoman, likely causing them to crater, if not killing them outright.
vs. Heavy.png
Relative merits: The Heavy is the only class who has more health and firepower than you. Compared to your Rocket Launcher, his Minigun fires bullets that travel instantly and have a higher damage-per-second, but deal damage gradually instead of in bursts. The Heavy is much less mobile than you; he will usually be carefully defending an area, or slowly advancing forwards, allowing you to decide when to initiate the fight.

Tactics: Attempt to catch the Heavy unaware-when his Minigun isn't spun up, from behind, or both. If he's spun up and trying to shoot you, peek in and out of cover to fire rockets and constantly deal damage while minimizing exposure to his Minigun. He is a big, slow target who is very easy to hit him with direct shots, especially when he's spun up. Never fight a Heavy head-on or in enclosed spaces, where his Minigun will decimate you; attacking from high ground both increases your distance from him and gives you more cover from Minigun fire.

Useful weapons:

  • The Heavy is the largest and slowest class, making him an easy target for the Direct Hit.
  • A well-aimed barrage from the Beggar's Bazooka or Air Strike can potentially kill a Heavy before he has time to spin up his Minigun.
  • The Buff Banner's guaranteed mini-crits increase your team's damage output, allowing you to power through the Heavy's large health pool.
  • The defensive aura from activating the Battalion’s Backup can help your team push into a position the Heavy is already protecting.
vs. Engineer.png
Relative merits: Your Rocket Launcher is one of the better anti-Sentry Gun weapons - its high base damage can make short work of buildings, and the splash damage of rockets can damage multiple targets at once, including the Engineer.

Tactics: Aim your rockets so they damage both Engineer and Sentry Gun via splash damage. Unless you are being pressured by the enemy team, you can freely stay out of range or peek in and out of cover, spamming rockets at buildings. Take cover between shots to minimize the damage the Sentry Gun deals to you, especially if Engineer is using the Wrangler. Even if you do not destroy the Engineer's buildings immediately, you will quickly drain his metal supply and soften up his buildings for your team to finish the job.

An Engineer wielding the Gunslinger deploys Combat Mini-Sentry Guns instead of regular Sentry Guns, and will usually use his Shotgun to participate in fights more actively. If the Engineer places a Mini-Sentry mid-combat, prioritize the Mini-Sentry while dealing splash damage to him before the Mini-Sentry finishes construction.

Useful weapons:

  • The Direct Hit's increased damage is effective against the Engineer's immobile buildings. Its rockets also destroy Combat Mini-Sentries in one hit.
  • The Cow Mangler 5000's charged shot can temporarily deactivate buildings, allowing the rest of your team to push in. If you cannot rely on your team to push in, however, its reduced damage renders it a liability.
  • The Battalion's Backup's buff will halve the damage you and nearby teammates take from Sentry Guns for its duration, allowing you to charge a troublesome Sentry Gun head-on with your team.
vs. Medic.png
Relative merits: A lone Medic is an easy target and should flee from you, but will typically be guarded by his teammates. Because a Medic's healing abilities make his entire team stronger, it is important to kill him first when possible to deprive his team of their main source of healing.

Tactics: In a direct fight against a Medic and his patient, try to use your Rocket Launcher’s splash damage to attack both of them simultaneously so that the Medic falls back. Alternatively, you can rocket jump past the Medic's allies and dive-bomb him before he has time to react. If the Medic is retreating, you may be able to pursue him with a rocket jump and cut off his escape. Be wary of the Medic possibly "surfing" your rockets' knockback to make a getaway.

Useful weapons:

  • If you plan to dive-bomb the enemy Medic, the Mantreads's knockback resistance prevents his allies from disrupting your approach by shooting you mid-air, while the Market Gardener’s critical strike can instantly nab the kill.
  • Weapons that improve your ability to rocket jump, such as the Liberty Launcher or Gunboats, can give you the mobility to chase a Medic almost anywhere.
  • The Battalion's Backup can make you and nearby teammates immune to critical hits, which will completely negate an ÜberCharge from the Kritzkrieg.
vs. Sniper.png
Relative merits: The Sniper can target you from afar while you fight at the frontline. If you split off from the main battle and roam, your high health pool and ability to rocket jump makes you suited for ambushing him at close range, where he is weakest.

Tactics: The Sniper tends to watch the battlefield from a distant, high vantage point. At long range, your rockets are easy for him to dodge, and he can kill you with a single partially-charged headshot from his rifle. You want to reach close range, where he will have difficulty lining up a headshot. Use vertical rocket jumps away from his earshot to access flanking routes and creep up from behind, or use horizontal rocket jumps for a sudden direct approach to dodge his scope. Once you are at close range, the fight is greatly in your favor as long as you keep moving to avoid getting headshot at point-blank range.

Useful weapons:

  • The active buffs of the Battalion's Backup and Concheror negate critical damage and increase your movement speed respectively, allowing you and your team to cross a Sniper's sightline more safely.
  • The Mantreads give increased air maneuverability when rocket jumping, which helps in safely reaching the Sniper's perch.
  • You risk taking splash damage in close combat. Your Shotgun and melee weapon work well against the Sniper, who carries weaker close-range weapons.
vs. Spy.png
Relative merits: Your slow grounded speed and high damage output make you a prime target for any enemy Spy. You are most likely to encounter an enemy Spy when directly fighting alongside your team, rather than when roaming around with rocket jumps.

Tactics: Keep an eye and ear out for a potential Spy. Use the Rocket Launcher to Spy-check suspicious teammates and listen for sounds such as a Spy's cloak deactivating or a teammate being backstabbed. If a Spy tries to escape by cloaking, use splash damage to "search" a wide area and reveal him. Once you discover the Spy, keep the fight outside of melee range to reduce the risk of being backstabbed.

Useful weapons:

  • Rocket launchers with the default, largest blast radius are your best option for tracking a cloaked Spy. The Shotgun and its variants also work if you do not want to risk taking splash damage.
  • If you are using the Buff Banner or one of its variants, a disguised Spy won't be affected by the buff and will not show the appropriate circles near his feet, but shooting at them will fill up your meter.
  • Anything that allows you to move faster or rocket jump more, such as the Escape Plan or the Gunboats, makes you significantly harder to backstab.

See also