Sniping’s a good job indeed, but there are people who really want to avoid all that polite and efficient bussiness and bludgeon you to death with a golf trophy. Wankers. Then you have to sigh, take your favourite oversized knife and stick it to their bodies until they are no more.
Here we are again, 3rd attempt to jam all the useful melee information in your brains. This time we’ll cover Sniper’s melees. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) there aren’t many Sniper melees… Let’s check them anyways.
Your stock kukri is geniously named Kukri. As always, its reskins are Frying Pan, Conscientious Objector, Freedom Staff, Bat Outta Hell, Memory Maker and Ham Shank. Let’s just go ahead with this thing: it’s your stock melee. A reliable tool for killing blokes too close for your comfort. Though you have to admit… having that huge thing in your hand just feels like it crits all the time! Whacking Spies for 195 damage feels like swatting flies with a bulldozer. You have to use it smart. If you’re taking perfomance-enhancing drugs (which you should not) so you aim like an aimbot, you’ll just need the Sniper rifle. But let’s be honest: those drugs are expensive and you can’t afford them all the time, so you won’t headshot like a maniac. You are bound to miss. If you carry your SMG with you, 50% of the upcoming conflict is basically this: try to estimate if it’s better to use SMG or Kukri, or even a single Sniper bodyshot. SMG might be a good, short DPS deterrent but it takes longer to kill people with it. Some medium range is pretty decent for it. However, if you CAN cut the distance between your target and you, whether he notices you or not… weaken him with anything before you whack him with the knife. Suicidal charges with Kukri? Don’t recommend it, unless your computer is imbued with power of hl2.exe gods.
Next one is called Bushwacka. I don’t understand the name really. Are you supposed to whack the bushes? Or whack someone from the bushes? In the bushes? Anyways, the most advanced scientists (those who know multiplication tables) have written the downside to this weapon: 20% fire damage vulnerability on wearer. It was a magnificient moment when the lab team realized bushes are highly flammable and the Bushwacka is named Bushwacka, so the only logical thing to do was to tack the vulnerability to fire. The upside is pretty neat: whenever you would mini-crit, you deal full critical damage. Proof that science has gone too far once again has appeared when hordes of Snipers started to use Jarate with Bushwacka. Much like Degreaser-Axtinguisher combo, Snipers started to unleash urine warfare on unsuspecting Spies. Even Heavies with G.R.U weren’t spared. Maybe they move faster, but they’re marked for death – which means they take mini-crit damage, so Bushwacka takes them out in two hits. Soldiers who use Escape Plan? Same thing. Engineers marked for death while using Rescue Ranger? People marked for death by friendly Scouts? Just you, buffed by Buff Banner? You get the drill. It can be very fun to ambush people in circumstances mentioned above, but use it primarily for Jarate combo, even if everyone hates you for it. However, be careful around Pyros. A single flare shot messes you up, hard to survive direct flaming… Is this knife balanced? If you have Jarate and never confront Pyros…
Are you one of those people who think everything can be made of wood? You are right! Tribalman’s Shiv is made of wood. So you have that. Unfortunately, your precious wood doesn’t cut as well as steel does – it deals 50% less damage. Fortunately, someone remembered to dip it in poison or put tiny little poisonous frogs on it, which makes your victim bleed for 6 seconds. This is very nice for spychecking, as the spy will drop large drops of blood visible to everyone. It can also deal damage over time, but remember: if you want to dispose someone quickly, your best bet would be Kukri or Bushwacka. Bleed might be nice when you are cornered our you’re about to lose, so make your foe run for health after he kills you or something. Is it worth using? I can’t say it isn’t, hit’n’run tactics can be very useful, but when you’re Sniper,job needs to be done efficiently and quickly.
Last one is Shahanshah. Infamous for its ability to be pronounced wrong all the time, Shahanshah deals 25% less damage when your health is above 50% and 25% more damage when your health is above 50%. Basically a lesser Equalizer for Sniper, which makes it kinda interesting but still kinda boring. It’s just +stat, -stat. Well, if you use this weapon you shouldn’t really run around at low health just to use the upside of Shahanshah. Instead, use this weapon when you know you’ll get wounded often. If you are closer to battlefields, you might take more damage and in sticky situations extra damage might help. If a Spy hurts you with a revolver and you can reach him before you die, your upside makes sense again. With extra damage bonus it deals 244 damage, which is enough to one-hit Soldiers (not fully overhealed, though). Instant death to 8 out of 9 classes? Sounds nice. However, we’re still waiting for strange variant, Valve.
So there you are – 4 different melees for Sniper. That’s not much. I hope Valve will think of some new ones, hopefully balanced enough with the rest of the items. Remember to use your Melee only when it’s needed – you already know this by now. Concentrate on sniping and have a piece of mind until it comes to melee brawling.