If you had a baseball bat, and you were insane enough to hit random people with it, you wouldn’t really care about its looks. If it’s hard enough to crack some skulls – it’s good. However, you wouldn’t really hit people with wrapping paper, now would you?
That’s just your preference. If you would like to hit people with wrapping paper, but some federal laws and such nonsense forbid you to do so, you have TF2 for that. Play Scout and you get to hit people with baseball bats if that’s your thing. Unfortunately, you deal less damage (35 base damage per hit). Fortunately, you swing the melee faster. If you fancy some frantic beating while screaming nonsense and double-jumping around, you found your class.
You start with the regular Bat. Short name, it’s a bat. Not the animal, the object. It does absolutely nothing special – just like its many reskins (such as Ham Shank, Memory Maker, Freedom Staff, Conscientious Objector and Frying Pan). And no, Frying Pan is not an upgrade, although you can devote your life to various sects and religions worshipping the Pan. As for the weapon itself, if you do use melee as Scout a lot… then it’s a viable choice. But let’s face it – rare are the situations where you should be using Bat at all – one meatshot from your Scattergun ends the conflict faster.
Very close to the stock Bat you have an arm and a fish. Holy Mackerel and Unarmed Combat have this ability where it humiliates your opponents into hell and back and back again to hell. Everytime you hit a guy with your fish (Ohhh yessss… I mean Uhhh, Gross!) it displays a message in the killfeed. When you make a kill with your fish, or arm, it displays the “FISH-KILL!” or “ARM-KILL!” message in that same killfeed, boosting your ego to infinity. This can be considered a straight upgrade, since it helps with detecting fake Dead Ringer deaths from Spies. If there’s no kill message, you know he’s not dead, simple. On the other hand, in some more coordinated environment where people are very careful… using Holy Mackerel can give out your position to everyone. I mean, everyone will know you are hitting their Spy with a fish, and if they’re all talking on mic or something, they can approximately pin down your location and avoid you. Then again, they can do that without the fish anyways, so… straight upgrade or not?
If you like to ponder on deep philosophical questions like “What is a straight upgrade?”, here’s another questionable animal. Boston Basher. Looks very badass, a piece of wood with spikes. Blood included. Hit a guy with this and he will start to bleed for 5 seconds. Every 0.5 seconds you lose 4 health, advanced mathematicians can calculate the total damage. The downside is pretty weird, but makes total sense – miss a shot with this, and you hit yourself. And bleed. You idiot. Anyways, that’s supposed to prevent spamming this weapon and inflicting bleed on everyone as you please. So you have to be more strategic before you use it. If this sounds boring to you, here are two more things – mobility and Uber building. You can jump further, or just higher, if you decide to hit yourself while in mid-air. This isn’t a huge bonus, but insanely useful when you need just a centimeter or two to reach that platform over there. Uber building is a huge help to your Medic in safe situations. Imagine you’re on Payload, no enemies in sight, your Medic is on the cart. He has no one to heal (no healing = no uber) so you join him and start hitting yourself. This sounds dumber than it is actually, but it helps your Medic because Uber builds faster on wounded enemies, and slower on Overhealed enemies. You keep the Overheal down and he builds Uber at fastest rate possible, everyone happy. Oh, it also has a kickass reskin called Three-Rune Blade. It’s a sword. I mean, is there a reason not to use this weapon?
Finally, here’s another baseball bat. Sandman. It is made of wood and you get the ball! How sick is that? You hit the ball with your bat with secondary fire. When you hit someone with it, they get stunned. Like in cartoons, you know – hit ’em in the head and they’re all dazed. However, if you hit someone close, it will stun them for a second or so. It also deals low damage. The further you are, and further the ball travels, your ball will stun for longer – up to maximum of 8 seconds. In 8 seconds you can stun a Heavy, kill him, take his Sandvich, watch a baseball game on TV (with commercials) while eating that Sandvich and still have time to cap the objective. In other words, 8 seconds is a very long time. Stunned enemies move slower, so that helps with an insanely sick combo – Guillotine Sandman. Stun someone with Sandman, hit them with a Guilottine instacrit. Kills stuff easy. Hard to pull off, but definitely worth it. The downside to this weapon is pretty harsh – your health is lowered by 15 points. That’s 110 health on already fragile Scout. If you think you are better at dodging than the enemy is at shooting you, use it. If you want to survive though, consider using something else. Comes with a special kill taunt.
And here’s another baseball bat, this time made from aluminium again (probably, I don’t know how these are made at all). Looks kinda cheap, honestly. Like those toys you buy for children and they have stickers on them saying “SPEED RACER STREET COOL” etc. Anyways, Atomizer is not great at hitting people. It deals 20% less damage to people and it swings 30% slower. That’s a bummer. To make up for this, you get an amazing ability to triple jump. Anywhere, anytime. Be aware that each third jump costs you 10 health (it’d be a straight upgrade otherwise, since you wouldn’t use the melee that often) so you can kill yourself if you have an awareness of a sofa. Insanely good choice for people who don’t use melee on Scout at all and they want the utility. In this case, it’s mobility. Surprise your opponents from crazy angles reachable only with three jumps. Just try it out. Comes with a special kill taunt.
Sometimes people want candy. Some children dream of huge deposits of candy, even mines or entire planets of chocolate… fulfill your childhood dreams with Candy Cane. We can call it a “weapon for pros”. Or “weapon for suicidal people who hate Pyros”. Straightforward – with each kill you make, your enemy will drop a small health kit. Useful, right? Keep in mind these can fall into pits together with dead bodies, or just fall from a higher place to below. The downside is you get 25% more damage from explosives. Random spam just got even worse. This is good when your enemy team doesn’t have a lot of Soldiers and Demomans. Helps a lot while fighting Pyros, since you can negate the afterburn with the health kit from their dead body. Assuming you kill them.
If Atomizer is not suited for combat… then next three weapons aren’t even suited for smashing bugs. Sun-on-a-Stick looks pretty badass though. Unfortunately, it kinda sucks. It deals 25% less damage, but it crits burning players. Honestly? Critting burning players works only when they are actually on fire + the damage is poor. You’d kill them with anything else anyways. Good when your whole team is Pyro, and the enemy is potato.
The glorious wrapping paper, the Wrap Assassin deals even less damage, and that’s 70% less. That’s around 11 damage. Fortunately, you get a christmas decoration ball! Hit someone and they will bleed! Low damage from ball + bleed is a decent harassment from afar when you can’t approach directly. This is one of the best melees to use if you aren’t allowed to take Atomizer and you don’t melee people. Swing a ball, forget about it until it recharges again and don’t ever have a worry in your life.
It can’t get worse than 11 damage, you might think – but BOOM, here comes the Fan O’War. Deals 90% less damage. Incredible 4 damage per hit. Contain your excitement while its stats are explained. It can “mark for death”, or in other words, whoever you hit with this weapon gets minicrit damage from all sources. Sometimes you just can’t kill a heavily guarded Medic-Heavy combo. If you are feeling suicidal, feel free to mark one of them for death and try to run away. Can be considered a teamwork weapon, since it makes the killing easier for your teammates. If used one-on-one, against a Heavy perhaps, it’s best to mark him for death right from the start and deal damage with your primary. If you don’t have the time to do so, or the element of surprise, don’t do it. Great weapon for killstreaks and dominating a melee-only server (no it’s not). When you kill a full health Heavy with Fan O’War you get a free unusual (no you don’t, but you’d deserve one).
That’s all. To sum it up, Scout melees aren’t used for combat very much, so it’s best to get some form of utility or mobility – Atomizer, Boston Basher, Wrap Assassin. If you think you can compensate for some of the downsides from other melees, just use them. Your choice. Hope you have fun finding the best melee for your Scout!