Spy Melees and You!

The tools of a true Mentlegen.
The tools of a true Mentlegen.

This message will self destruct in 3… 2… 1… 

Nah, just kidding. Instead, I’m here to discuss the various shivs you can drive between the shoulder blades of your hapless foes as TF2’s conniving, dashingly handsome rogue, The Spy. Sorry to step on the toes of Chevap666, but I haven’t seen one of these in a while, and figured “hey, there isn’t one for The Spy yet!”

 

  • The Butterfly Knife (And it’s Reskins: The Saxxy, The Black Rose, and the Sharp Dresser): The most magnanimous and recognizable of the Spy’s melees is also his default, and is a wonderfully serviceable weapon. Offering no upsides (other than it’s ability to instantly kill from behind, kind of a big deal) but imposing no penalties, it’s the weapon of choice for many, many Spies. It deals 40 damage (Or between 36-46 for you damage-spread using folks) when it’s not instantly killing unaware folks, and swings at the same speed as every other classes’ melee, barring The Scout (All other Spy knives behave this way, too). This attribute makes it less suitable for direct confrontations, though that doesn’t stop most persistent Spies. It crits for 120 damage (3x), but the odds of you actually getting crits used on you as a Spy are slim. All in all, it’s a very solid weapon, used by spies all around the world, and many consider it to be outclassed only by it’s chillier cousin, but we’ll talk about him later.
  • Your Eternal Reward (And it’s Reskin: The Wanga Prick): Have you ever wanted to backstab your enemies from long range and receive 2 seconds of invulnerability after backstabbing someone? Of course you have. We all have. Tragically, though, that’s not what Your Eternal Reward does. Instead, for the low low price of your ability to use the Disguise Kit, YER (as it’s often abbreviated) allows you to assume the identity of whoever you stab.

Agent_Smith2

Your Eternal Reward is a very neat weapon, in that it’s upshots and penalties don’t affect any statistics, and instead changes the playstyle of The Spy wielding it from a stair-stabbing, aggressive threat to a shadow, a patient killer waiting for some unaware sucker to walk by. It has fantastic synergy with the Cloak and Dagger, allowing you to remain cloaked for as long as you wish until the time is right to acquire your first disguise. The Diamondback is another good choice, given how easy it is to wrack up chain stabs with YER. YER also excels at the “Stab n’ Sap” technique of taking down a Sentry Gun. Simply assimilate yourself with the Engineer and sap to your heart’s content. Since kills made with YER aren’t reported on the kill feed, a team that communicates is even more effective at disabling a YER Spy than a normal one. Best used against unaware, or unorganized teams, likely in Pubs.

  • The Conniver’s Kunai: Odds are, if you’ve ever associated yourself with ninjas, you’ve seen their iconic knife. But did you know that if you prod someone enough with one, you steal their life force and add it to your own? Well, neither did Ninjas. Probably why you don’t see too many  of them anymore. But The Spy is able to do just that! Upon killing an enemy with a backstab, the Conniver’s Kunai transfers up to 125 of that enemy’s health to your own, filling you up to your maximum overheal each time. Wow! That’s cool! What’s the downside? Well, your brought down to less than 50% of your total health. That’s right. Equipping the CK spawns your Spy with a less than impressive 60 health. What kinds of things deal 60 points of damage? Well, any hit with 7/9 classes’ melee weapons, for starters. A stray grenade or stickybomb spells the end for a Kunai Spy. If the Soldier you’re chasing decides to rocket jump, you’re in for a world of hurt. The CK is the ultimate example of “high risk, high return.” It’s best used almost exclusively with the Dead Ringer, and a strong revolver capable of quick kills.
  • The Big Earner: The Don wants a word with yas. And by word, I mean he wants to jam a stiletto in to your spine, and receive some of his cloak meter back while doing it. Unlike its other stabby counterparts, The Big Earner’s +30 Cloak attribute requires only a kill, not a backstab to activate. If only this were a cool difference.  Lowering your health much less than the Kunai, on top of your ability to cloak more provides a much more survivable Spy than normal. Combined with the Dead Ringer and L’Entranger, you have what many players have called “The Jesus Spy.” No matter what weapon you attack with, you’re feeding your Dead Ringer more cloak. Then again, keep in mind that whenever you kill a player in Team Fortress 2, they drop a weapon equal to a Medium-sized ammo kit. Since you’re in melee range of them when you backstab, it’s like you already get half of your cloak back on a kill, regardless of what knife you use. It’s not a bad weapon, though, there’s plenty of ammo to be found in this game.
  • The Spy-cicle: Such a cold finger. The Spy-cicle is one of those weapons that, while in development the devs must have sat down and thought “What’s the Spy’s greatest weakness? Oh! I know, Pyros! Let’s give him a weapon that makes it so he can’t be killed by Pyros!” And thus, this icicle was added to the game. When exposed to fire, the icicle melts and makes it’s wielder fireproof for 2 seconds. Furthermore, like the YER, kills made with The Spy-cicle aren’t reported on the kill feed. And even still, stabbing someone causes them to turn into an ice statue which is both bothersome and hilarious at the same time. While it may give away your position, it is also rather intimidating to happen across a hallway full of statues of your dead friends. This downside is the only apparent one, since not having your knife while it’s melted means it’s just easier to rank up kills on your Strange Ambassador in the meantime, or requires a few extra seconds of disguising and sitting near a dispenser, or the Payload cart. All in all, many Spies call the Spy-Cicle a straight upgrade, giving you the edge over your truest nemesis, The Pyro, as well as looking really cool and being silent, wreaking havoc in pubs. A fantastic weapon that has synergy with all the watches, allowing you to evade detection by Pyros with all of them, not just the Dead Ringer, The Spy-cicle is a force to be reckoned with, and is my personal weapon of choice.
Thanks to Robogineer for the sculpture garden.

Taunt Kill (Fencing): Taunting with any of the above weapons (except the Spy-cicle, for some reason) preforms the “Fencing” taunt. The spy pokes the air in front of him twice for 25 damage each swing, and then goes back for a third, more exaggerated thrust, which deals 500 damage. The Fencing taunt is slow, difficult to land even on unaware people because of those first two hits, however, it is capable of hitting multiple enemies, destroying buildings, and has spawned an interesting technique

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