Do you like boxing? Even if you don’t, you might’ve heard of Muhammad Ali. A damn good fighter who is responsible for the phrase “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”. To fight like that is to be efficient – strike only when the enemy opens up and meanwhile dodge his attacks. Draw a parallel to TF2 and you will see how melee attacks should really be used – with a certain goal in mind, focused on avoiding the opponent’s swings and determined to win. Ali also kicked quite a lot of people, repeatedly, in their heads to prevent them from doing the same to him. That’s boxing for you! Fortunately, TF2 has its own champion – the Heavy!
(editor’s note from 2016: This is why you host your images on the Daily SPUF, kids)
Other classes use weapons such as shovels, bats, knives – Heavy doesn’t accept the puny little things. He uses his Fists. He is so strong his fists will strike you dead just like a big Kukri would. In fact, he is so strong he can kill you just by pretending he has a pistol in his hand. If that’s too much for you, you can always equip Frying Pan, Conscientious Objector, Freedom Staff, Bat Outta Hell, Memory Maker or Ham Shank. There is also a reskin that is quite gruesome – Apoco-fists. It basically gibs you if the weapon gets crits or mini-crits. As for the usage of Fists and its reskins? Hm. I will say no, for now. Don’t use them unless you really like them. There are better options.
When boxing in the ring, you usually have to wear gloves if you want to protect your hands. You can fight without them, sure, but you’ll break something sooner or later. Yes, you can break your hand with gloves on, too. However, the only thing you will be breaking with Killing Gloves of Boxing is your opponent’s head. Aside from representing the initials of the main security agency in Soviet Russia from 1954 to 1991, it is also a weapon that swings 20% slower compared to Fists. But when you score a kill with these, you gain 5 seconds of crits on all weapons. Useful for smaller waves of enemies in close range – dispatch them one by one with KGB and watch the crits roll. If you have your Shotgun equipped, you can deal some critical damage, but you’ll waste some time on switching weapons. And if you decide to use the crits on your Minigun, you will waste time on switching weapons AND spinning up, so… best not to use it on your primary. In the end, very interesting melee. Attack carefully and the downside won’t have any effect on you.
Heavy can sting like a bee. Actually, he can sting like million bees with boxing gloves made of pain. But he can’t float like a butterfly because he’s so slow. Gloves of Running Urgently help you with that, at the cost of decreasing your damage output by 25%. Your movement speed gets boosted by 30% and you are marked for death while you hold this weapon (AND for the short time after putting it away). Basically, this removes one of the Heavy’s weaknesses – being slow – and just lazily debuffs some unimportant stats. Less damage? Bah. You have a minigun. Marked for death? Big deal – you have 300 health. There is no reason why not to use this weapon. Maybe you get bored of it sometimes. Right now, it is just the best option for Heavy.
Do you know how all the great fighters meditate, climb mountains, connect with their spiritual animals and so on? Do you want that too? Here’s an item for you. Warrior’s Spirit follows the Indian theme (The American ones, not the Indian Indian) and it represents bear claws? Pretty simple item – you deal 20% more damage with them, but you have 20 less health. You could think “I already have enough health, I’ll just shrug it off” but it actually does matter – 280 HP means less overheal at 420 HP cap. You won’t use your melee that much since you’re slow, so the bonus damage doesn’t really pay off. Kinda useless, but still okay if you are doing melee only rounds.
As in every sport, unfortunately, boxing has its own shady realms. The Mafia operates everywhere. It’s all dirty work. There are these weapons, called boxers I think? Anyways, these Mafia dudes would put them on their fists and punch someone with it. They’re metal, so it’d deal extra pain! Eviction Notice does the same, at least it would if its stats weren’t complete trash. One of the most useless weapons in TF2, it swings 50% faster but deals 60% less damage. There is no reason to use this ever. Just like that.
If you want to put some serious metal on your hands even more now, put on the Fists of Steel. Most probably taken from scrap Steel Gauntlets in MvM, these will decrease all ranged damage taken by 40% while out. Very useful for traversing Sniper sightlines because it gives you immunity to fully charged headshots. However, you will take 100% more damage from melee weapons and your weapon switch time increases by 20%. That’s because you should be punished if you misuse it, and it makes the immunity harder to get instantly. Plan ahead and use it wisely, but don’t use it for melee battles – that extra damage is definitely not an advantage. A good weapon to use.
Last but definitely not the least is the Holiday Punch. Mittens. Mittens deal whopping zero damage on crits. However… critical hits will force your victim to laugh. Schadenfraude taunt. It automatically crits from behind. While the victim laughs, you can do anything. Anything. To them. Best melee ever. They also killtaunt.
That’s about it. All Heavy melees described shortly. In general, Heavy suffers from the same problem as Soldier – he’s too slow to use his melee, and frankly, his Minigun shreds everyone in that range. So you either go with speed (G.R.U) or utility (FoS). Hopefully we see some balance changes there. Good luck on battlefield!