Spy match-ups

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I'm going to gut you like a Cornish game hen.
The Spy on his battle plan
Class Strategy
Spy.png
Spy
vs Scout.png
Scout
A typical Scout rarely stands still and is difficult to hit with any of your weapons, making him a poor target for a backstab. With his speed, he can simply bump into you to Spy-check and easily chase you down. The Force-A-Nature’s knockback, Mad Milk, and the Boston Basher’s bleed effect can aid in revealing you further, so it may be best to avoid him whenever possible. Additionally, the Scout's damage is superior to yours. If you end up directly fighting a Scout, backpedal erratically while firing your Revolver; you don’t want to fight him at close range.
Spy.png
Spy
vs Soldier.png
Soldier
The Soldier walks slowly and brings a large amount of firepower to his team, making him a prime backstab target. However, he tends to be hard to reach on the battlefield, where he will make use of rocket jumping and frequently be ahead of his team or at high ground. With his mobility and the Rocket Launcher's high damage output, being caught by a Soldier almost guarantees your death. Should your backstab fail or he discover you, it's best to flee; your Revolver does not deal much damage relative to his large health pool. The Soldier's slow speed, should he remain grounded, does make it easy to land Ambassador headshots if you stay at a range where you can dodge his rockets.
Spy.png
Spy
vs Pyro.png
Pyro
The Pyro's fire serves as a counter to your Cloak and disguise. Because there is no friendly fire, he can use his Flamethrower to freely Spy-check multiple teammates at once. In combat, its large spread may inadvertently reveal you, making him a suboptimal backstab target. Additionally, he can use the compression blast to keep you pinned in a corner upon discovery. If you are forced to directly fight a Pyro, keep a medium distance and a steady aim; your Revolver outdamages all of his secondary weapons. Take note of where bodies of water and health kits are so that you can easily extinguish yourself when retreating. If you can escape the Pyro's range but can't extinguish yourself, Cloaking will reduce the fire's duration. If you are having trouble with an enemy Pyro, consider using the Dead Ringer or the Spy-cicle; these items can extinguish afterburn and give you some immunity to his routine Spy-checks.
Spy.png
Spy
vs Demoman.png
Demoman
A Demoman will often be too focused on combat or laying Sticky traps to pay attention to you. He moves relatively slowly and cannot frequently Sticky jump without sacrificing a sizable portion of health, allowing you to easily catch up for a backstab. Your Cloak and disguise can be used to pass over his Sticky traps with some degree of safety. While the Demoman can deal more damage than you at all ranges, his explosive projectiles can be dodged while his Stickybombs take time to arm, and his weapons reload slowly. If fighting the Demoman directly, remain within medium range but outside melee range; the Demoman will have some difficulty aiming yet be unable to use his melee weapon. Avoid a Demoman with the Eyelander if you are using the Dead Ringer, as even a feigned death still gives him a head.
Spy.png
Spy
vs Heavy.png
Heavy
A Heavy is a large, slow target who provides a lot of firepower for his team; specifically killing him should take much pressure off your team. Due to the nature of the Minigun, the Heavy must continuously look at his target, leaving his back exposed. Before attacking, be sure that he is focused on combat; if you are discovered, his Minigun’s wide spread and fire rate will easily track your Cloak if the sheer damage doesn’t kill you first. If a Heavy is using the Huo-Long Heater, simply jump over the flames and stab him before you land on the ground.
Spy.png
Spy
vs Engineer.png
Engineer
The Spy has the potential to kill the Engineer and destroy his equipment in one fell swoop. While the two of you are about even in a one-on-one encounter, the Engineer will typically be near his Sentry Gun, which can easily mow down whatever it targets. However, your Cloak and disguise won't draw the attention of his Sentry Gun, allowing you to approach and disable his buildings with your Sappers. If there are no other enemies in the area, you can attack with the Revolver or place Sappers faster than he can remove them, forcing him to abandon his buildings and attack you.

If the Engineer is working on his buildings or the area is heavily guarded, decide whether you want to "sap and stab" or "stab and sap". If you choose to disable the Sentry Gun first then stab the Engineer, you have more space to maneuver but he has more time to react. Likewise, stabbing the Engineer then quickly sapping his Sentry Gun before it can attack you is more efficient, but risky. It is best to "stab and sap" while the Sentry Gun is facing away from you or in the midst of upgrading, lest you take significant damage following the backstab. If an Engineer is between you and his Sentry Gun, it is possible to bait the Sentry Gun into firing at its owner by revealing yourself.

If you are having difficulty approaching a Sentry Gun, the Your Eternal Reward will allow you to maintain a disguise immediately following a backstab, which may make it easier to get near the Engineer. Backstabbing the Engineer causes you to instantly disguise as him rather than reveal yourself, meaning that the Sentry Gun will not target you. If there are too many enemies guarding the area, it’s best to coordinate with your teammates. Ideally, your teammates can distract the Engineer and his teammates; you can simply disable all nearby buildings, allowing your allies to destroy them, or allow them to draw the Sentry Gun's fire while you take care of the Engineer.

Spy.png
Spy
vs Medic.png
Medic
A Medic’s ability to heal his teammates makes him one of your most important targets. However, he will often be backed up by his teammates, allowing him to keep an eye out for you. Approach from behind when he is distracted by your team and act like one of his teammates to shake off suspicion. Once you're in position, backstab the Medic, then his patient, who won't immediately be looking backwards. If you are discovered, backpedal while firing your Revolver or simply Cloak - while the Medic's Syringe Gun outmatches your weapons, it is poor at sweeping an area to reveal you. If you are feeling particularly devious, you can disguise as a viable Medic buddy and trick him into healing you, following you into a trap, or wasting an ÜberCharge on you. If he Spy-checks you with the Ubersaw, you can prevent him from gaining charge by not removing your disguise.
Spy.png
Spy
vs Sniper.png
Sniper
Your Cloak and disguises allow you to get behind the enemy Sniper easily enough, as he'll typically be focused on targets that are far away. If he is wearing the Razorback, simply gun him down with your primary weapon before he can retaliate. However, should the Sniper discover you, Jarate or bleed from the Tribalman's Shiv will leave you visible to all nearby enemies. If your backstab fails, keep a modest distance while firing your Revolver or retreat to try again later. Be wary of crossing open areas that you know the Sniper is watching over; he could decide to Spy-check you with a fully charged shot, which will instantly kill you.
Spy.png
Spy
vs Spy.png
Spy
It is not a Spy's job to deal with enemy Spies. In most circumstances, if you see an enemy Spy, you should report his disguise and whereabouts to your teammates and continue about your business. However, if you do see an opportunity to backstab him while he is distracted, take it. Likewise, being a Spy does not mean you are immune to Spies; you should Spy-check as often as the other classes. You can Spy-check by approaching the backs of teammates with the Knife active; if you automatically raise it as if to backstab someone, that "teammate" is an enemy Spy. If you end up directly fighting an enemy Spy, dodge his attacks while retaliating with your Revolver. The Enforcer ignores the damage resistance provided by Cloak and can be used to kill a fleeing enemy Spy with proper prediction.


See also