Why the Razorback is one of the best Sniper secondaries

Spufblog: Hey everybody! Today we’re going to be interviewing Maxillaws, one of SPUF’s most prolific posters and a sniper main. He’s going to be playing Sniper for the SPUF team in the recently announced “SPUF vs. Discussions II: Requiem.” Today’s topic of conversation: The Razorback. Widely derided as a joke secondary and one of the worst weapons Valve ever added to Team Fortress 2. But Maxillaws disagrees. Why is that?

It blocks a single type of a single attack of a single melee weapon on a single class! Can that really be worth it? Picture by FeelGoodInc.

Maxillaws: Because some snipers are good enough to not need a secondary. The razorback allows them to not worry about spies because they are aware of their surroundings.
I use it and I’m not the best Sniper I find it the best secondary for my playstyle.
It’s considered bad by a lot of players because they don’t know how to use it right.

In Highlander i think all Sniper secondaries aren’t banned, which is where this is used. In Highlander there is communication and a smart spy wouldn’t dare to stab a razorback or shoot a good Sniper. The spy would get called out instantly and be killed most of the time.

I play in front of my team or next to combat classes (demo, soldier, heavy) and it gives me extra security knowing I don’t have to check my back because I know my team will support me if a spy stabs it or tries to Ambassador me to death. I can also hit close range shots most of the time so that’s part of it.

Spufblog: All right, but if a sniper is that good, why would he use the razorback over jarate? You can nullify an enemy push by giving everyone on your team free mini-crits.

Maxillaws: Sometimes an alive Sniper can do that by himself. Some teams are good enough to not need jarate. Max!, Jake, and M4risa are all Plat Snipers that use the razorback and their teams are/were 1st place. Ginyu Forcd had Max! and Jake and they won Platinum. MtS has M4risa and they won Platinum a couple seasons ago.

Razorback isn’t useless, most people just don’t know how to use it correctly. Most of the pub players I’ve seen using it camp behind their whole team hardscoping, not moving at all. When used correctly it allows the Sniper to not have to worry about checking his back. It should be used by team mates or sentries, not by yourself standing still.

Spufblog: A lot of people see the razorback as a way to practice sniping without getting annoyed by spies. A training weapon, like the rocket and sticky jumper. Why use it when you can already snipe? The SMG seems a better defense when forced into close-quarters combat.

Maxillaws: Once you reach a certain level, the SMG becomes useless. If you can hit close range headshots consistently, why use the SMG? The razorback is one of the best unlocks equipped in the hands of a good sniper such as this.

There is a point in TF2 as Sniper that you become so good you can close range headshot classes 99% of the time. Why use Jarate when you can do that with just a Sniper rifle? With the razorback you don’t have to worry about a Spy. If the spy tries to do anything to the Sniper he’ll get called out and focused down. You don’t need Jarate or SMG when you can quickscope headshot at any range.

Spufblog: All right, but I don’t understand why the Darwin’s Danger Shield isn’t a better secondary. Increased survivability against everything else, and if you can quickscope everything then like you said, you don’t need anything but your sniper rifle.

Maxillaws: The razorback completely stops the Spy from stabbing you. If I am using the DDS the Spy can still back stab me right? If I am using the razorback the spy can still back stab me but I won’t die. The spy could try to shoot me, but the moment he does that I would notice, call him out, and he will most likely die. The razorback adds extra security against one of 2 classes that can easily kill sniper. Another Sniper and Spy.

Spufblog: But what if the spy uses the Ambassador? A single headshot plus bodyshot, and you’re dead even with the Razorback.

Maxillaws: The moment you get that first shot off, you are called out and dead. I don’t stand completely still and am aware of my surroundings.

I play on the front lines along side of our Demoman, Heavy, Soldier, Pyro, and Medics. Good luck shooing me without being killed instantly.

If the Sniper can quickscope, you won’t be getting that second Ambassador shot off. Picture by FeelGoodInc.

Spufblog: One last question. What if the spy intentionally backstabs the razorback, so that the next time he comes around, you’re exposed? Because the razorback doesn’t regenerate.

Maxillaws: What I usually do is go to a resupply cabinet or constantly check my back and not stay scoped in longer than a second. There is also a good chance that you might die from something other than a spy in the 15 seconds he’s respawning. That is the part that makes it balanced.

Spufblog: And that’s all for now. Thanks for your time!

Maxillaws: No problem.

2 thoughts on “Why the Razorback is one of the best Sniper secondaries

  • October 15, 2013 at 5:52 pm
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    A spy backstabbing a razorback sniper can basically accomplish the same thing as a normal backstab, as your team is now down a Sniper temporarily.

  • January 14, 2014 at 9:01 pm
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    You can definitely see the effect in mid-high highlander play, even against amazing spies such as Hei. I believe I’ve seen it happen both with JJK and Max vs Hei where Hei will land an ambassador headshot only for the hit sniper to whirl around 180 degrees and instant headshot in return.

    On top of that, high tier snipers are considered exceptionally valuable. It’s not uncommon for snipers at this skill range to be frequently heal boosted, and having a razorback essentially allows them to spend less time looking for potential spies, and more time making those game changing heavy, demo, and medic picks. Much of the time, you’re only given an instant to make the shot that will turn a tide, especially in 6v6 where sight lines are much harder to penetrate, and the risk to sniper due to heavy scout and roamer presence is much higher.

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