The Sun-On-A-Stick is a very queer weapon. It was released alongside the Sharpened Volcano Fragment when RIFT came along, and it’s remained fairly unused ever since its first ever appearance. It’s not a sun on a stick at all, more like a wonderfully crafted ball of lava on a stick, certainly one of the more detailed and pretty weapons in TF2. Unfortunately for the Sun on a Stick though, it’s a victim of awful stats, rendering the poor thing nigh unused. Why? Well, it’s obvious really.
The idea behind the Sun-On-A-Stick is simple. You team up with a Pyro to kill your enemies, since the Sun-On-A-Stick crits against burning targets. After all, this IS Team Fortress 2. But this tag team duo doesn’t really work well together – Scouts are lone wolves and Pyros are, well, Pyros. Both are also designed to be ambush classes, taking out stragglers. It sounds great in theory, but like most things in TF2, it really isn’t, relegating this volcanic mace to nothing more than a waste of space in your backpack.
Let’s look at the stats.
100% critical hit vs burning players
-25% damage penaltySpiky end goes into other man.
It’s a plus-minus weapon. A positive stat balanced by a negative stat. These weapons are often considered not very interesting, but they do often make balanced weapons. But they also make underused and unwanted weapons. Here is such a case.
100% critical hit vs burning players sounds powerful. It’s what made the Axtinguisher so good before it got nerfed and forced everyone to use the Powerjack. But Scout doesn’t have any way to actually set people on fire at all, so this effect is rather wasted. You really do have to follow a Pyro around to be able to use those critical hits, but why would you even BE following a Pyro around? And on top of that, Pyros will probably finish their targets off with afterburn, a flare or whatever other way they prefer, there’s not much left to kill.
The problem is worse though. If you manage to get into a position where you can use the Sun-On-A-Stick to your advantage, it’s not really going to do much use. If you’re in melee range, you’re also in perfect Scattergun range. And the Scattergun does way more damage somewhat more reliably. Do you actually know how much damage a critical hit with the Sun-On-A-Stick does? 79 damage.
79 damage is not that much. Far less than a normal crit. You’d need to hit twice to kill anyone. It’s not really worth it. In the same time, you could have killed them in any other way or left them to die to the Pyro who set them alight, if he’s still around.
Are there any plus sides to this weapon? Yes. It’s a nice weapon to have a vintage version of. The model itself is really nice. And unusually for a weapon with guaranteed crits once in a blue moon, it can still randomly crit. But as we all know, you shouldn’t rely on randomness.