Healing among the chaos

For years I have been playing Medic solo in pubs. If there is ever a law banning self-torture, I’ll be jailed for life.

After trying to heal in an environment where cooperation is minimal and communication is optional, I realize that the holy trinity of Crusader’s Crossbow, Medi Gun and Ubersaw, while powerful, is not too practical for me in this setting. Thus, my own pubcrawler Medic loadout isn’t the holy trinity, rather it consists of the Syringe Gun, Quick-Fix and the Amputator.

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I am pretty well aware of the three weapons in the holy trinity, and I know their strengths, and how good they are. However, It does not gel particularly well with my playstyle, nor is it particularly good for the situation I am in. I am extremely passive as a Medic and avoids combat almost to a fault. In pubs, I played solo as mention earlier, and I am often forced into fights despite me not wanting to, mostly against Scouts, Pyros and Spies at close range. There are also times that I need to escape by myself, often wounded or burning, from a frontline confrontation to safety. As for game types, I almost exclusively play King of the Hill.

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As mentioned earlier, my skirmishes are generally close-range affairs against generally flimsy classes. Spies are my chief concern since I’m their prime target. Fighting them with melee will just be asking to get trickstabbed, so a ranged weapon is preferred. Given that my fights are at close ranges, the Syringe Gun’s potential 100 DPS is much more attractive than a ~40 damage bolt every 1.6 seconds of the Crossbow. There’s also the intimidation factor of a whole stream of syringes flying towards you rather than a single, slightly larger syringe about once every two seconds.

Against a Pyro, a Medic is faster, and the Syringe Gun outranges the Flame Thrower, so it is viable against Pyros. Against Scouts, the aforementioned intimidation factor will be useful for scaring them off. Against others such as Demomen, Soldiers and Heavies, I am kind of dead either way. The Crusader’s Crossbow will be better at picking Engineer Sentries from long ranges, but that is about it. Hence, my primary weapon of choice is the Syringe Gun.

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If I get setup time, I will use the Medi Gun or the Kritzkrieg to build up a powerful charge. However, most of the time I play King of the Hill, where setup time doesn’t exist. And as mentioned earlier, I am normally the sole Medic of my team, and I need more healing output than what the other Medi Guns can provide, hence the Quick-Fix. On occasions where I am not the lone Medic, they are most likely using either the Medi Gun or Kritzkrieg, so they can provide the punch needed to penetrate enemy defenses. Meanwhile, me and my Quick-Fix provides constant pressure to both grant him space to build Übercharge, and to help my team maintain position until we get to break through their forces.

The Quick-Fix allows me to keep my team alive, by myself when necessary. In fact, even before it has an overheal, I’ve been using it for this exact same reason. I cannot imagine a better Medi Gun for my playstyle.

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The Amputator is my insurance policy.

When fighting is not an option and I need to run, and I’m also badly wounded, the Amputator is my last-ditch effort to survive. The Ubersaw is of little use to me since I avoid fights as much as possible, and I much prefer using the Syringe Gun in fights. Not to mention, the Quick-Fix builds Über extremely fast anyway, thus the Übercharge gain per hit matters little to me.

As combat weapons, the Ubersaw deals 65 damage every 0.96 seconds, while the Amputator deals 52 damage every 0.8 seconds. The DPS is 67.7 and 65 respectively. The Ubersaw isn’t that much better than the Amputator for a last-ditch fight offensively, and the Übercharge gain does not matter as much to me. Thus, I much rather have the health regeneration that I will use, rather than the Übercharge gain that I don’t need.

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I really do not care if someone comes up to me and tell me: “Dude, your loadout isn’t the optimum Medic loadout.” It is not the optimum Medic loadout in a vacuum, or an environment where cooperation and communication is present. However, given my playstyle and the situation I play in, I stand by my choice in weapons.

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