Top Medics hate this weapon. This is the one item they DO NOT WANT you to use. Click here to find out more! You won’t regret your decision, which is saving the Ubers of hundreds of Medics as we speak! Do it! Click it! Go on! Yeah, that link doesn’t actually go anywhere, but the hatred is actually somewhat real. Alright, a true Medic main won’t murder you in your sleep if you abuse the Vita-Saw’s unnatural power… Maybe… So why do smart Medics hate this weapon?
Normally, when a Medic dies, they lose all their Uber. That’s understandable, the Medic was outplayed somehow and died because of it, or just happened to be hit by an unlucky crits, whatever. The cause of the death doesn’t matter. Their Uber is all gone to waste. The enemy team now either has an advantage from keeping their own Medic(s) alive, or has stopped you pushing in after losing their own Medic(s). Either way, killing Medics acts a bit like a reset, it enables or disables the ability to push and can give both a winning and a losing team a big advantage.
Basically, killing a Medic should be a huge boost to your team and a major setback for the enemy team. This is more obvious in competitive play, but even in pubs, it’s still prevalent, as that Medic could have come along and destroyed your collection of sentries around the objective.
Equipping the Vita-Saw though means you save 20% of your Ubercharge should you suffer a terrible fate. That’s a fifth of your Uber, a good 8 seconds minimum of charging time you no longer need to do. That’s almost a whole Ubersaw hit, and you didn’t even need to do anything to get it. It’s essentially free. You may have died, but your ubercharge partially cheated death! That’s amazing! Every Medic should equip this weapon right now!
What do you exchange for part of you coming back from the dead? 10 health.
Now, many people don’t like weapons that reduce health, but for Medics, it means nothing. Almost everything that would quickly kill you at 150 health will kill you no faster at 140 health. And even if you find yourself at under 10 health, Medic’s passive regen means that you only remain at under 10 health for a maximum of 3 seconds. (That is, unless you use the Blutsauger…)
So basically we have a really good weapon that lets part of you survive death and has a very small downside. Medics who want to win DO equip the Vita-Saw. There’s no reason not to, it’s so damn good. But because YOU have an extra 20% boost to your Uber, that means, unless the enemy wants to be forced to run the Vaccinator to out-Uber you, the enemy HAS to use the Vita-Saw as well. Everyone’s forced to use the Vita-Saw, meaning that nothing else is used. That’s why competitive game modes ban the Vita-Saw outright.
Some of you may argue that, since the Vita-Saw is banned, everyone’s forced to use other Medic melees, particularly the Solemn Vow. And honestly? You’re right. I’ve written about Medic melees before, and really, they’re even more unbalanced than Pyro’s mess of weapons. Banning the Vita-Saw means that everyone starts using the Solemn Vow, with its ability to see enemy health. Banning that means everyone jumps to the Ubersaw. But the Ubersaw isn’t too bad because you can only make the most of the Ubersaw by putting yourself at risk. The Amputator has a similar situation, you have to stop healing safely to use it.
In the end, there are only three things stopping you from using the Vita-Saw: The -10 health scares off newbies, the top players ban it and everyone else is stuck on their own feelings of honour to use it.
Of course, the new weapon-dropping system has actually fucked with the Vita-Saw a lot. Now every Medic around here has a Vita-Saw if they can make it back to where they died in time. But that brings up other issues.