This article is dedicated to typenter, one of the winners in the 900th article giveaway.
Mannpower. The one game mode that no one is really sure about, and the only official one that can make people completely overpowered. But unlike Mann VS Machine, where you have to work towards your strength, and unlike custom community game modes where everyone is overpowered (Multiplied by Ten) or everyone works together to take down one overpowered enemy (Versus Saxton Hale or Freak Fortress), Mannpower’s overpoweredness depends on two things – who can get the power ups first and who’s got the best Scouts.
I’ll be honest, this article was supposed to be a guide on how to play Medic on Mannpower. But I can’t do that. I tried so hard to play Mannpower, to actually play Medic, to work out the best strategies. I tried so hard. But there was a reason why I quickly stopped playing it in the first place and the last few days of experimentation reminded me of why. I promised a guide though, so here it is.
Okay, let’s do this.
Most optimal loadout: Overdose, Quick-Fix, Ubersaw. Crusader’s Crossbow if you play passive. Everything else is moot. I would have said Vaccinator, but it’s not really worth it now without the passive crit-blocking that made it a beast on Orange servers.
The Overdose is good because speed is what matters here. Blutsauger is only good if you get the Regen/Vampire buffs. Crossbow is generically good, but everyone else is stupid fast. You’re not going to hit many people with single shot bolts or candy canes.
The Quick-Fix is a must. Vaccinator is okay because it charges fast on injured people. Medi Gun is only ever good if there’s a ton of power-up-holding Engineers around the intel. Kritzkrieg? Forget it. Unless you’ve got an amazing pocket, you can trust, the Kritzkrieg just won’t do enough against the swarms of Scouts, not to mention the 30 second Kritz power up. Plus, the Quick-Fix enables you to follow anyone who’s faster than you, not just Scouts and Powerjack Pyros. All the Medi Guns have the ability to follow people who use the grappling hook, but the Quick-Fix means you can keep up no matter what.
Ubersaw is the obvious option. Solemn Vow is meh since everyone’s health varies depending on power ups, making decent calls not worth as much. The Amputator’s health regen is alright for a passive Medic, but there’s no time to be passive in Mannpower. You COULD (ab)use the Vita-Saw for that 20% Uber on death, but because of rounding, it’s only ever 19% and thus you don’t get a noticeable speed boost when used with the Overdose. There’s literally no reason to use the Bonesaw and its reskins, but if you insist on doing so, Frying Pan is best.
When it comes to power ups, it’s unlikely you’ll get much choice. The tanky ones are better than the speed ones. You’re fragile, your weapons suck, you will die a lot. Speed boosts only work if you deal enough damage to nip in and get out quickly.
You could theoretically play as a TFC Medic, being a flag-runner rather than a healer, but your lack of offensive power means you’ll die to a stiff breeze. TFC Medic has an amazingly powerful shotgun and concussion grenades. TF2 Medic has a worse version of the Nail Gun. The Virus power up allows you to mimic the TFC Medic’s health kit, which infected enemies, but that means getting into melee range. Wouldn’t be a problem if you had a shotgun. I tried this myself, it didn’t end up too well.
Tactics-wise, you want to stick close to either power classes – Soldier and Heavy due to their easier to aim weapons, or the best Scout on your team. Avoid people with healing power ups, as their own self-healing will mean you’ll gain Uber less slowly if you’re not using the Quick-Fix. You want to be as selfish as possible, you’re weak as heck and really not very useful. If there’s no power classes or decent Scouts, just pick a new server. There’s zero point trying to carry a team of Snipers. Ubercharges of any type are best used as fast as you can. You never know when someone’s going to pick up a Critical Hits power up or go Supernova on you. Don’t be scared to waste it on yourself, no one cares about you or your healing.
If it boils down to it, get the King power up and go Battle Medic. The health boost, fire and reload speed changes mean you’ll do a bit more damage, and you’ll still be helping your team out. I managed to get 6 kills earlier by doing this.
The second best tip I can give you is to learn how to grapple hook. Forget anything else in Mannpower, the best players are the masters of the hook. The movement it gives you is so good, and the maps, apart from Gorge, have plenty of open spaces that need moving though. These open spaces are hell for you, as everyone can see you in your bright, shiny lab coat.
But honestly? My biggest tip for Medic in Mannpower is also the worst.
Don’t bother. Pick a different class. Medic is pretty much useless in this stupid game mode, where everyone runs around with abilities on par with Ubercharges.