Poor Unloved TFC Pyro

So what if every weapon in Pyro’s arsenal is rubbish. So what if TFC afterburn deals 2 ticks of damage for 4 ticks, a grand total of EIGHT damage before extinguishing itself. So what if napalm grenades are the only explosive grenades in TFC with lower damage output than regular hand grenades. You know what the pyro has that nobody else has?

Personality.

TFC Pyro is the only class in the game with idle animations! Occasionally, he’ll sweep his hand lovingly across the top of his flamethrower, or fiddle with the sighting reticule of his Incendiary cannon. He clearly loves his guns, otherwise he’d probably ditch them and go buy some that can actually kill people.

He’s also the only merc stylish enough to wear team-colored camouflage.

If you’ve ever seen someone complain that TF2 Pyro is underpowered, or if you hold that belief yourself, you need to try this guy out. I cannot honestly think of any situation where you would ever want to play him. Horrible in close quarters, horrible in area denial and you will never see an enemy care in the slightest about being on fire because as mentioned, it deals EIGHT POINTS OF DAMAGE.

“What was Valve thinking?” you may ask. Well, unlike in TF2 this afterburn can actually stack, so hitting the guy with multiple sources of flame can stack the damage, and this is probably what Valve was trying to encourage. Unfortunately, since nobody else has to do that to reach respectable damage numbers, it just adds to the awful and unplayable mess that is the Team Fortress Classic Pyro.

From the top, let’s go over this sorry mercenary.

A) Your special ability is afterburn immunity. Everyone in TFC gets either a class skill or a class ability. Heavies are resistant to knockback. Medics regenerate health and are immune to infection. Scouts reveal spies by bumping into them. And pyros, as you may already be familiar with, are immune to afterburn. Great. Too bad afterburn only deals EIGHT FREAKING POINTS OF DAMAGE.

B) All of your weapons suck. Since I break down the arsenal on all the other classes, might as well give Pyro the same treatment. From the top:

1- Crowbar. We’ve gone over this, completely useless. 18 points of damage is the second weakest attack in the game behind afterburn.

2- Single-barrel shotgun. As you may have noticed, almost every class gets either the shotty or the super shotty or both. And as I’ve mentioned in my Medic and Demoman guides, the single-barrel shotty is not effective enough at damage dealing to be a real contender. You’ve got to be one of the classes that has the super shotgun if you hope to be able to hold your own inĀ  hitscan combat. Pyro is not one of those classes.

3- Flamethrower. Sprays flames in a straight line that ignites the foe, who will proceed to run screaming looking for a health pack, lamenting their procrastination on writing that will for their loved ones, despairing as they rapidly approach a flame-filled and horrendous death…and then the fire goes out and they notice they only lost EIGHT. POINTS. OF. DAMAGE. As mentioned, can stack with other flame sources, so in close quarters ‘puff-n-puffing’ with this and the incendiary cannon is your best bet for reaching numbers that might make a noticeable dent in your killer’s health points.

4- Incendiary Cannon. All things considered, your primary weapon. Shoots a glowing rocket that ignites foes in the splash radius but doesn’t deal that much damage itself. Doesn’t require reload but has a painfully slow rate of fire. Incredibly small rocket jumping is possible, think half the distance you can get with the TF2 Detonator.

F- Hand grenade. Wait, scratch the above. All things considered, THIS is your primary weapon. Who cares if every other class gets it too, this is the best thing you’ve got at your disposal, learn to love it. Especially against afterburn-immune sentries (Fun fact: you and Civilian are the only classes in TFC without an anti-sentry weapon). When those 4 grenades run out, though, that’s when things will get difficult…

G- Napalm grenade. Explodes weaker than the Hand Grenade and leaves flames for a few seconds that ignite foes who pass through them. Which all foes will do. Because the flames only deal–oh you know by now.

You get em Stimpy.
You get em Stimpy.

C) You are the worst Engineer bro in the game. For all of you hoping to Pybro, let me explain a bit about an ammo-sharing mechanic in TFC.

All weapons use one of 4 types of ammo: bullets, nails, rockets, and cells. No class uses all four ammo types. So, when you press (by default) X, your avatar chucks a backpack containing all unusable ammo types. This is a way to share ammo with your teammates. The “cell” type represents Engineer metal, meaning anyone who collects unusable cells can press X to throw it to an Engineer.

Except Pyro. Because cells are also used to represent Flamethrower ammunition. This was probably just a memory-saving decision (flamethrower being the only weapon that obviously doesn’t fire bullets, nails, or rockets) but it had the obvious effect where in addition to being incapable of helping defend the sentry, Pyro also can’t help build it…

I hope you see that I’m not hyperbolizing here. The pyro suffers basically from a loadout whose every trick revolves around that darn afterburn. Half of his weapons could be summed up as “weaker versions of other weapons that in exchange deal afterburn” and if the afterburn were something meaningful that might be okay. Certainly we could then go into the pros and cons of DoT and paranoia and water weakness and close-range combat, but as he stands now we never get to that discussion because 8 points of damage is laughably unusable and obviously so.

I usually reserve this last paragraph for miscellaneous advice, but instead here’s a fun fact: TFC Medic’s infection deals 8 points of damage per tick, spreads to other enemies via contact and never stops until you’re dead. This makes him the best DoT class in the game just from the secondary effect on his melee weapon. I’m sorry pyro.

5 thoughts on “Poor Unloved TFC Pyro

  • July 4, 2015 at 5:09 pm
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    The pyro in Team Fortress Classic is not intended to be lethal. Too many people think that. The pyro was made to be a disruption class capable of using flames to blind enemies as well as annoy snipers.

    Despite that, pyro is actually pretty good for killing. The flames have a long reach, and they do quite a good deal of damage. The main problem is the hit detection. Also, the afterburn damage is not an issue. As long as the afterurn can last a long time, it’s fine.

  • July 23, 2015 at 5:03 am
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    Are you sure you aren’t talking about Fortress Forever? None of those things you just said about TFC afterburn are true. The flames do pitiful damage (two points) for hardly any time at all (less than 4 seconds) and are incapable of disrupting anyone since you can easily ignore them at anything above ten health.

    I can’t think of a single way Pyro annoys Snipers. There’s no flare gun, so anything but the Incendiary Cannon is completely useless, and since you can’t stack afterburn with a single weapon (plus Sniper has an automatic rifle that couldn’t care less about flinching) you’re probably the least-prepared class to take on Snipers. Even Engineer has a better shot with his railgun.

    • July 26, 2015 at 3:38 pm
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      I’m not talking about Fortress Forever. Talking about Team Fortress Classic. The flames do low damage. That is true, but to say they don’t disrupt vision is not true. The flames can cause your vision to not be in the best shape. The flames were not intended for damaging. They were intended to create a blinding effect in your face.

      This is why the pyro can annoy a sniper from a longer distance. The flamethrower can rip a sniper to shreds at close range as well. Also, pyro has some neat mobility tricks. Napalm + incendiary cannon jumping as well as grenade + incendiary cannon jumping are all good mobility tricks that the pyro is capable of utilizing. I don’t think an engineer has a chance with his railgun to get a sniper from long range. The incendiary cannon has splash damage so it can hit a lot better. The railgun can be dodged before it can even reach the sniper. Also, the automatic rifle won’t do much to a pyro but tickle unless the pyro is at low health.

      Pyro can also defend in a closed space really well. You can stop scouts and medics with ease by defending in a space that they can’t pass you in very easily.

      Pyro wasn’t made for lethality, and what’s funny is that even though pyro wasn’t made for lethality, a heavy weapons guy can be taken down with simple circle strafing. The biggest pains to a pyro are soldiers and engineers.

  • July 26, 2015 at 3:41 pm
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    +The only thing I would buff about pyro in this game is hit detection. That can be buggy sometimes. Also, give him the old QWTF ability to light floors and stuff. I don’t think he needs a damage buff, though. If he were to get one, it shouldn’t be a heavy one either.

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