The Jungle Inferno update brought Heavy a new lunchbox item, stealth buffed an existing one, and changed some other weapons, leading to changes in loadouts to work with their new stats. Once again, the viability and usage of each lunchbox item shifts again. Today, we’ll take a look at the four lunchbox items for the Heavy in TF2 post Jungle Inferno and see where they stand compared to each other.
The Sandvich is similar to the Buff Banner, the Flare Gun and the Chargin’ Targe in one way. They serve as the first example of their weapon subcategory (lunchboxes, banners, flare guns and shields, respectively) and the base which the other weapons in the subcategory are designed from. It will serve as the baseline which we judge the other items in Heavy’s kitchen.
How Sandvich works is as follows: by pressing the taunt key [G] or primary fire [LMB], the Heavy will start a 4.3 second long taunt in which Heavy is loudly munching on the Sandvich. Afterwards, if the Heavy ate the Sandvich when he was at full health the viewmodel of the Sandvich is replaced with a “nommed” version where a bite was taken out of the Sandvich model. If the Heavy wasn’t at full health, the Sandvich was put on cooldown and can only be replenished when the cooldown expires, the Heavy grabbing a health kit when at full health, or him touching a Resupply Cabinet. Secondary fire throws a Sandvich on the floor which functions as a health kit. This also applies for all of the other Heavy lunchbox items.
The Sandvich has a cooldown duration of 30 seconds. It replenishes 300 Hp over a 4 second duration with no overheal, which means unless you are under attack while you’re having a snack you are guaranteed to get all your health back. And you should be eating at somewhere safe in the first place while eating, since you’re a large, immobile helpless target that is loudly munching away at a snack. Seriously, where are your table manners Heavy?
On its own, the Sandvich is almost a straight upgrade for most Heavy players as compared to the actual stock secondary weapon for the Heavy, the Shotgun. The Shotgun’s main purpose is to provide immediate firepower when the Heavy does not have the luxury to spin up his Minigun. However, most Heavy players serve as the main damage dealer and bullet sponge at the frontlines. As such, he’ll be with a large chunk of his team, and those teammates can buy him some space and time as he spins up and prepares to rip the enemy team a new one. The 4.3 seconds of immobility also doesn’t come into play, since a Medic will also be with them most of the time, hence Heavy doesn’t need the Sandvich as a self-heal most of the time.
No, the Sandvich in this case is for Heavy to heal others. A dropped Sandvich functions as a medium health kit (heals 50% of the user’s health), allowing Heavies to give his teammate, especially his Medic buddy, an immediate burst of health when they’re low. A heal is generally more useful than a second gun when you’ll never get to use that gun. In most scenarios, the Minigun simply outclasses the Shotgun, and good Heavies are generally at least decent enough with ammo management to not run out of Minigun ammo most of the time. As for self-heals, it is decent, but not terribly amazing due to the cooldown duration and the 4.3 second long taunt animation.
The Dalokohs Bar is the second lunchbox item for the Heavy. It heals for 100 Hp, and has a 10 second cooldown. When dropped, it functions as a small health kit (heals 20.5% of the user’s health).
The Dalokohs Bar’s unique feature is that it buffs the Heavy’s maximum health from 300 Hp to 350 Hp. Since the rework for the Gloves of Running Urgently and the Eviction Notice during Jungle Inferno, both weapons now drain your maximum health to use. The Dalokohs Bar’s maximum Hp boost helps with this case, since it is an extra 50 Hp buffer you can use to run with. After you got close to where you’re heading to, you can eat the Dalokohs again to speed up your maximum Hp regeneration.
As for comparing the Dalokohs and the Sandvich in terms of healing others, compared to do with the latter the Dalokohs heals more frequently but less per heal. While the Dalokohs have higher amount of heals per second, a large burst heal can be rather useful when you need to quickly bring your teammate’s health up to a safe level and you do not need to heal that often. Personally, I feel that the Sandvich is amazing for healing others when teams are small, so you have less to heal and combat is less often. In larger games where fights are frequent and there are quite a few teammates to heal, making the more frequent healing useful.
Other than that, the +50 Hp boost to the Heavy’s maximum health makes the Heavy somewhat tankier, which could prove useful when there are no Medics around. But in terms of self-healing, the Dalokohs Bar is the second worst item here for it. Having to taunt three times to heal 300 Hp makes it far less efficient than the Sandvich in in terms of self-healing.
The Buffalo Steak Sandwich is, arguably, the most unique item among all the lunchbox items, and not just because of its high protein content.
The Steak, when dropped, acts as a medium health pack like the Sandvich. And just like the Sandvich, it has a 30 second long cooldown. Its effects, however, sets it apart from all other lunchbox items. It is the only lunchbox item that does not heal the Heavy. Instead, for sixteen seconds, the Heavy gains a large speed boost, guaranteed Mini-crits, and is restricted to only using his melee weapons.
If you ever decided to play Heavy in Medieval Mode, the Buffalo Steak Sandvich is absolutely amazing for the Heavy, as it boosts you to 104% speed, making you faster than Huntsman Snipers and a Demoknight that didn’t manage to get at least one head yet. Aside from that, you’ll also be the only class capable of surviving one shield bash + crit melee combo. Beyond that, I really can’t imagine why you won’t want to play Demoknight, Sniper or Medic in Medieval Mode. At least it’s still better than playing Engineer I suppose?
In normal gameplay, the Buffalo Steak Sandvich is great for getting to the frontlines, especially if paired with the Fists of Steel. It gives a bigger speed boost than the GRU or the Eviction Notice, and also allows you to use another melee weapon should you want to. The cooldown timer starts when you initiate the eating taunt, hence your actual cooldown, from when the Buffalo Steak Sandvich effect ends to when you get the Steak again, is 9.7 seconds.
And if you consider the context mentioned in the Sandvich section, where a Heavy is using his lunchbox item exclusively to heal teammates, it gives Heavy a free rollout to the objective compared to the Sandvich. Meanwhile, the Sandvich is an insurance policy. Should you managed to get to somewhere safe after the rest of your team is down, you get to patch yourself up. You get to stay near the frontlines and avoid the respawn timer, keeping you in action. You can try to buy some time for your team to get back or make a big play if needed.
The Second Banana is the newest lunchbox item for heavy, added during the Jungle Inferno update.
It has the same cooldown duration as the Dalokohs Bar, which is 10 seconds. And just like the Dalokohs Bar, it acts as a small health kit when used. When consumed, it heals Heavy for 200 Hp.
While its stats are simple, it proves to be the best weapon for self-healing so far. Most of the time, as a lone Heavy I’ll retreat when my health falls below 150 Hp. While this might change depending on who you ask, it’s generally better to retreat when you still have a decent amount of health left, considering Heavy’s lack of mobility. Thus, it is unlikely that I’ll need to heal 300 Hp at once. Having a 200 Hp worth of healing every 10 seconds is far more useful than 300 Hp of healing every 30 seconds. I can’t really speak for others, but I believe that is how most solo Heavies feel as well. As for healing others, it is exactly the same as it is for the Dalokohs Bar.
This is probably one of the better lunchbox item for the lone Heavy so far. You can toss a health kit to a passing burning teammate, run off onto your merry way, then get a new banana ten seconds later. Paired with the Tomislav and careful positioning, the Heavy can sustain himself rather well at the enemy backlines.
For a very long time, the Sandvich has an absolute stranglehold over the Heavy’s secondary slot. The Dalokohs Bar and the Buffalo Steak Sandvich were rather lackluster then. The Dalokohs only heals 60 Hp when it was first introduced and cannot be thrown, with its only upside then being that it has no cooldown. The Steak initially caused the Heavy to take mini-crits and its effects only lasted for 15 seconds. The Shotguns were pretty much ignored and neglected for the Sandvich for reasons stated above. There was literally nothing that could stood up against the almighty Sandvich.
Now, the Dalokohs Bar, Buffalo Steak Sandvich and the new Second Banana are rather viable, at least in pub play. The Sandvich, while still useful, is no longer the One True Heavy Secondary. They each have their uses and are on somewhat equal footing, and that is how they should be. After all, what is the point of customizable weapon loadouts if there is only one good option?