When you thought the Phlog couldn’t get any worse…

I’m actually surprised the last few days. People thought the Phlogistinator was horribad at the start of the Tough Break update but it seems like everyone’s just rolling over and accepting the changes! And if you’re not accepting the ludicrous changes that happened to the Phlogistinator, then you’re clearly some sort of fucking retard who should learn to play. While I generally feel like a retard when playing TF2 anyway (because I am undeniably shit at this game), you don’t need to be particularly smart to see that the Phlog changes were unneeded.

For those of you who haven’t seen the changes yet (why not?), here they are:


  • Removed 10% damage penalty.
  • When activating ‘MMMPH’, the taunting Pyro gains temporary invulnerability and immunity to knockback effects

This means you get a brief Ubercharge and a Mega-Heal when taunting. Then a Kritzkrieg charge after taunting.

The argument is that you both lose your airblast and you need to work to charge up your MMMPH bar. But when you can just spam flares at the enemy at a safe distance, or torch a couple of Spies, it’s really not that hard on a pub. Any idiot can get full MMMPH and wreck havoc. It’s a snowball effect, one that preys on idiots. And who needs airblasts to extinguish people when you can just use the Manmelter? Because everyone forgot that exists, with its faster-than-flares projectile speed and stored crits for extinguishing allies. Having no airblast for offensive reasons is a downside, yes, but you get a lot of power from MMMPH.

The 10% damage though, I don’t think anyone noticed that. Clearly a buff, on top of the better damage at range for Pyros.

Amazingly, some people are saying this is a nerf. The immunity to knockback means that you can’t cancel the taunt early, to get extra free crits. Boo fucking hoo. That’s not a problem when you can taunt pretty much anywhere with no impunity or anything. You can’t taunt on a control point and capture it, but neither can the Quick-Fix while Ubering any more, and Bonk! and the Medi Gun couldn’t do that either, although you can start capping once the taunt ends. Defending though is absolutely amazing, you get out of the way or you die.

If visibility was an issue, that you can’t tell when the shouting Pyro standing still waving his arms around is also resisting damahe, there is a simpler solution than “give Pyro brief Uber”. We have Vaccinator shields now, why not just use a Vaccinator shield to show that Pyro is resisting 75% of damage?

You know what though? The fact that the Phlog is strong is not what I hate about it. Valve have made the Phlogistinator completely and utterly brainless to use, with no risk and tons of reward. There used to be a tiny bit of skill required to be able to get MMMPH and use it effectively. You had resistances to damage, but you could still be focus-fired and killed, you could taunt in the wrong place and find yourself dead before even getting a chance to kill anyone. And you could be knocked away, which meant either the enemy was forcing you to waste time and reposition, or you timed it in a way so you got an extra second of crits. There was little to no skill ceiling in playing Phlog Pyro, and now there’s even less.

And on top of all of this? The Phlogistinator is still shit in organized competitive play.


Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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