Class:Pyro/Strategy

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Damage Stacking

The Pyro's weapons will "stack" damage if they are causing burns at the same time. He can achieve level 1, level 2 or level 3 burn damage rates. Burn level 1 is a mild annoyance, where as burn level 3 is almost a guaranteed kill in most cases. To do this, Pyro must use all of his flame weapons in a very brief time. He can still do serious damage to lighter classes like Medic or Demoman by using only level 2 burn. However, to kill a soldier or heavy weapons guy quickly, light them to burn level 3. The most effective tactic is to first prime a napalm grenade, shoot an Incendiary Cannon round, throw the primed napalm grenade and finally light enemy with flamethrower. This will make the enemy scream like a banshee and can take out a Heavy Weapons Guy in only a couple seconds.

Weapon Jumping

The Pyro can also make use of his incendiary cannon and napalm grenades to achieve a very effective means of self-propulsion. Shooting oneself with the incendiary cannon (IC) will provide a small, but significant height gain. Using the IC alone can clear most important areas and is also useful for starting a quick bunnyhop. If you find yourself in need of more height, add a napalm grenade to the mix. Although the timing can be a bit tricky, an IC + napalm grenade jump can propel the Pyro to great heights. This is accomplished by priming a napalm grenade and then doing an IC jump right before the grenade goes off. If timed properly, the combined force of the cannon and the grenade will give an extreme vertical boost. This tactic seems most effective with basic vertical jumps, but it may be possible to apply it to horizontal or arcing jumps. The pyro can also push himself around backwards (and upwards if you face downwards) with the flamethrower.

The pyro can also jump to great heights using only his flamethrower as a propellant by 'double jump'. Normally this is done by jumping from a lower surface on to a higher one and then jumping as you land, allowing you to jump even higher. It is most commonly used on ramps. The pyro can execute this on flat land with his flamethrower by pointing straight up while firing, jumping, continuing to hold attack down as you are forced back on to the ground. As you hit, jump again (or queue a jump up) and point your flamethrower straight down at the ground and continue firing. If executed correctly you will jump incredibly high. This can also be used in conjunction with other movement tools, such as bunnyhopping and flamepushing.

Keeping Yourself Alive

For all the havoc and damage a Pyro can wreak, there are plenty of things that will end him before he even gets started. The biggest weaknesses of the Pyro are EMP Grenades, Sentry Guns, and long range battles. An EMP Grenade will instantly kill a Pyro with full (or almost full) ammunition. The many cells he carries in his flamethrower make him a prime target. In order to survive EMP grenades, you should empty your flamethrower to about half-ammo (100 cells). Start this when you spawn and usually by the time you make it to the enemy base, you should have about 100 cells left. The 100 cells remaining are plenty of ammo. Emptying your flamethrower ammunition should allow you to survive at least one EMP. It tends to leave you with barely any health, but the important fact is that you're alive.

Sentry Guns present another problem for the Pyro. They are often in high places at a range the pyro cannot effectively attack. Your best bet with sentry guns is to find a way around them, figure out how to get into close range in order to circle strafe it to death with your flamethrower, shoot rockets at it, or lob grenades at it (assuming your grenades can reach it).

The final big weakness is related to the sentry gun problem. By his very nature, the Pyro is a close-quarters combatant. The IC is a terrible weapon for long-range damage (it is best used for harassment and setting up combos) and the shotgun is out of the question for long range combat. The best solution for this problem is to choose your battles wisely and learn how to navigate through enemy fire to close the gap quickly. The Pyro's has a big speed advantage over most defensive classes. Use it wisely.

Offensive Pyro

As an offensive Pyro, you are a master at attacking an enemy's base, thanks to the Flamethrower. Use it to fly to the enemy's base, utilizing "shortcuts" (such as bypassing stairs by flying directly to what the stairs connect) and avoiding everybody that tries to attack you on the way. If somebody won't get out of your face, hit them with the Flamethrower and an IC rocket. Being on level 2 burn should either cause them to bolt back to resupply or die soon. When you're in the enemy's base, start throwing Napalm Grenades where you go, especially in cramped halls. Enemies can't pass them without getting set on fire, forcing them to take an alternate route, but you can fly through them with no problem. If you're in an enclosed area, run to the flag and lob rockets at anybody that gets in your way. Once you grab the flag, equip your Flamethrower and get out! If you threw Napalm Grenades at key areas, there probably won't be any enemies behind or near them, so fly through the grenades. Since you've woken up the entire base, staying back to fight is suicide, so fly outta there ASAP! Getting to a cap point should be easy, as your Flamethrower will probably give you enough elevation to bypass stairs and fly directly to the point.

Defensive Pyro

The defensive Pyro does best in spots where enemies cannot easily avoid or move past him. Stay away from wide, open areas. Enemy scouts and medics will easily conc jump by you, making you pretty much worthless. Stay in areas where enemies are forced to slow down or move in a predictable route. Also, don't worry about killing them, but try to achieve at least a level 2 burn on anyone that goes by you. It will severely injure them by the time they get to the rest of the defense.

Fighting other Pyros

Since you're both flame retardant, the fight will take a little longer than usual. The flamethrower will not ignite your opponent, but it still does 100% of the damage it would normally do. Use your Incendiary Cannon and Shotgun at range. Use the Shotgun to damage them from long range, then use your IC to throw them around once they get close to you. Do not waste napalm grenades on other Pyros, use your regular frag grenades.