Flame the Love

Our control over fire is what separates us from the animals. Well, that and our thumbs, the ability to stand upright, our giant brains and our adaptability. And all that stuff. Fire is also what separates enemies. Set them on fire and watch them panic and run around like headless chickens. It’s a dangerous, unknown, primordial power, only used to its full potential by the most demonic of beings.

So yes, Pyro. Everyone’s favourite, genderless monster. And he really is a monster. You’ve seen Meet the Pyro, right? Ignore all the frilly dancing around Pyrovison bits, that’s the sign of a real monster. Pyro just doesn’t KNOW he’s a monster.

You see, I really like Pyro. I do. If I can’t play Medic or Soldier, I’ll pick Pyro. He’s got a rule of thirds about him. He’s the third Offense class. He’s my third favourite class. He’s the third most annoying class to fight against after Scouts and Snipers. He’s the third easiest class to play after Heavy and Medic. He’s the third most broken and all over the place class after Engineer and Spy. He’s the third gender. You get what I mean, right? He was also my third choice when it came to writing this article. I was originally going to say I both loved and hated myself. Then I was going to do Heavy but Foxzet did that. So I decided to do Pyro. Then someone else did Pyro but I’d already written this article and didn’t have time to switch it to Soldier.

What makes Pyro so special though? It’s certainly not fire. Soldier has fire on the Cow Mangler. Anyone can have fire on Halloween. No one though has the mystery that Pyro has. Who is the Pyro? What is he saying? Is he even a he? I think the general consensus is that Pyro is masculine, I mean, that voice doesn’t sound like there’s a little girl underneath. But people point at the hats and the purses and the domination lines and say “LOOK! GIRL!” Fine. whatever. Just ruin my headcanon where women rule over men with an iron fist. It’s not as powerful a thought if one of the mercs is a girl.

Whatever Pyro’s gender is, we can all agree that the character itself is pretty amusing. And slightly scary if you forget about all the Pyrovision stuff. But now I think about it, Pyro is mysterious, yes, but he’s not alone. Spy is pretty damn mysterious too, apart from all that crap about him screwing Scout’s mother. Sniper was mysterious until we found out he was a parody of Superman and his super sweet Courage-the-cowardly-dog parents were 1. not his parents and 2. dead. Both of them. At once, presumably. Medic’s mysterious too, outside of being a crazed, license-less doctor from Rottenburg, Germany. Heck, what the fuck has Engineer been getting himself into since Gray Mann took over the world? Mystery seems to be a very shared thing among mercenaries.

Is it really all that mystery though that drives me to play Pyro occasionally when I can’t go and heal people? No. I don’t think so. I do tend to bury myself in TF2 lore, but Pyro isn’t one of those driving factors. Maybe then it’s the split personality? One half being cute and playful and girly and the other being a manly figure, both of which are psychopaths? Again, I don’t know. Other classes have split personalities kinda. I just can’t find the unique thing that makes me like Pyro…

What about gameplay? Eh. Again, Pyro is a bit of everything. A sneaky bastard like the Spy, a close quarters threat like the Scout, an explosive jumper like Soldier. Pyro does have a small niche in the combo department, but no one seems to like that. Plus, combos aren’t new. Snipers will splash and slash and Demomen double donk. One thing Pyro DOES have is the fastest weapon switch in the game, but that’s an unlock thing.

Ah, maybe that’s what it is. Pyro’s confusion. He’s all over the place, not sure where he’s supposed to be. All everyone does is complain about him. He’s too weak up close. He’s too strong up close. Airblast is fine. Airblast is awful. The Axtinguisher deserved it. The Axtinguisher was brutally murdered. The Degreaser is the root of all evil… Most people hate Pyro. They don’t openly say it, but they do. People get angry when they get killed by fire or crits or mini-crits or melee blows or flares or anything Pyro related. They just hate Pyros. This makes me sad. It’s my underdog side. I’ve always liked underdogs. Then again, I have plenty of complaints too. Airblast IS annoying, just freezing you in the air. The Degreaser makes all other Pyro primaries pointless. The Reserve Shooter is overkill when the Flaregun and its counterparts already rewarded skillful play.

I guess it IS the fire then. I mean, come on, what better way is there to end the week than by incinerating your enemies?

Seriously. Fire is awesome.

I love fire.

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