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Pyro is a class who wields a Flamethrower as their primary weapon. Along with the ability to inflict burn damage and a moderate but consistent damage output, Pyro also has the airblast mechanic, which can prevent the enemy from gaining ground even with an Ubercharge, reflect projectiles like rockets and grenades, and extinguish burning teammates.


Main article: Pyro (6v6)

In the standard 6v6 format, Pyro is an offclass on most maps, thanks to their average movement speed and limited range. Most commonly run on 5CP maps when their team has an Uber disadvantage while defending the last point, Pyro's job is to neutralize the enemy team's Ubercharge and protect their team from projectiles from the enemy Soldier and Demoman. This buys time for Pyro's team to organize a counterattack, potentially saving the game. While Pyro is run full-time in other competitive formats, their average speed, low range, and mediocre damage prevents them from excelling in the fast-paced 6v6 leagues.


Main article: Pyro (Highlander)

In Highlander, Pyro is their team's bodyguard. Their main job is to protect their team's combo, especially the Medic. They also are responsible for delaying or neutralizing enemy Ubercharges, spychecking to prevent the enemy Spy from landing a pick, protecting their team's Sentry Gun by deflecting projectiles, and providing flank support when required. Pyro most commonly positions themself near the combo, and is their defense against pick classes, allowing the combo to deal damage to enemies without being harassed by the enemy Spy, Scout, or Soldier. If they are not needed to shut down pick classes, Pyro may attempt to flank and ambush the enemy team and attempt a pick on the enemy combo, especially the Medic.



Weapon 4v4 6v6 Highlander
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Flame Thrower
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The Flamethrower provides slightly better damage than the Degreaser as well as a relatively cheap airblast. It lacks the potential to ambush or switch weapons quickly, and as such promotes a more defensive playstyle. Pyro will often use the stock Flamethrower to guard their team, though the Degreaser can do the same - as long as the enemy Medic is alive, afterburn is easily negated. This weapon is most effective when the enemy Medic is dead or far away, and health packs are scarce, as afterburn damage will be maximized against retreating pick classes.
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The Backburner is a weapon made that rewards flanking and ambushing. When Pyro attacks an enemy from behind, the Backburner will deal critical hits, killing them in seconds. As a downside, airblasts become far more expensive, reducing Pyro's ability to protect their team's Medic or Engineer. This often requires Pyro's team to make a significant change to their playstyle, and as such, is rarely used in Highlander. In 6v6, Pyro's primary responsibility is to push the enemy team away from their team's final point, and the Backburner prevents them from doing so.
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The Degreaser is the most popular flamethrower in all competitive formats. The weapon allows Pyro to switch weapons much faster, which makes using weapon combos (such as the Flare Gun or the Axtinguisher) far easier and allows them to alternate between attacking the enemy team and airblasting projectiles. As a downside, Pyro's afterburn deals less damage, which rarely comes into play; Pyro's primary responsibility is to protect their team, not search for kills.
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The Phlogistinator places Pyro into a completely different role by removing their ability to airblast while granting critical hits after they deal enough fire damage. By dealing fire damage, Pyro will charge "Mmmph" at a rate of 1% per 3 fire damage dealt. Once the Mmmph meter is full, Pyro can activate it by taunting, making them invulnerable until the taunt ends. They will also gain crits for 10 seconds after the taunt ends. If Pyro becomes airborne while taunting, the taunt will be cancelled, but not the invulnerability. Guaranteed critical hits on Pyro will shred an unprepared team, but a enemy team expecting them can neutralize them with ease: Demoman can sticky-trap the area around Pyro, Sniper can headshot them from a distance, and Spy can backstab them as soon as the invulnerability ends. Without their ability to airblast, Pyro is left vulnerable to Soldier as well. Thus, Pyro must activate their Mmmph in a safe area, then ambush the enemies to land as many kills as possible. The Phlogistonator may be used in combination with Medic's stock Ubercharge to force enemies to retreat, allowing the rest of the team to move in.
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Dragon's Fury
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The Dragon's Fury acts as a single-shot flamethrower, firing a fireball that travels somewhat further than other flamethrowers' fire, dealing about as much damage as a Flare Gun and igniting enemies for 3 seconds (1 second against enemy Pyros). It takes 0.8 seconds to reload - this time is shortened to 0.53 seconds if Pyro hits an enemy with the fireball. If the fireball hits a burning enemy dead-on, it will deal 3x damage, making the weapon a sort of rapid-fire Flare Gun. Airblasting with the weapon takes 1.6 seconds to reload, making Pyro unable to effectively reflect the enemy Soldier's rocket spam. In direct confrontations with a single opponent, however, it allows Pyro to match the damage output of generalist classes.


Weapon 4v4 6v6 Highlander
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The Shotgun is Pyro's stock Secondary. It is identical to the Engineer’s, Heavy’s and Soldier’s. It is a hitscan weapon and carries 6 shots in its clip, and has 32 reserve ammo. Pyro can use the Shotgun to kill enemies outside their effective range, or to finish off a weakened enemy. The Shotgun deals respectable damage at close-range and gives Pyro decent abilities at mid-range. Even though its damage long-range is fairly negligible it allows them to harass enemies from a distance and support his teammates on occasion. Note that Pyro's flare guns allow them to harass enemies at distance more effectively, but give them less close-range staying power.
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Flare Gun
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The Flare Gun allows Pyro to harass and even pick off targets at long-range. It fires a single projectile which deals 30 damage and lights the target on fire - dealing critical hits (90 damage) against burning players, the equivalent of a point-blank Shotgun attack. It takes 2 seconds to reload, making Pyro weaker in close range combat against multiple enemies. Like their other flare guns, the standard Flare Gun is a projectile weapon and Pyro must predict the enemy's movement to use it effectively.
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The Detonator functions like the Flare Gun, but gives up burst damage in favor of mobility and long-range harassment. While it deals only 23 damage on a direct hit, and only mini-crits against burning players, it can be detonated mid-air to light groups of enemies on fire, or to ignite hard-to-hit targets like Scout. Upon hitting a surface, the flare creates an explosion that only harms the Pyro who fired it. If the flare is detonated as soon as it is fired, the explosion will launch Pyro a short distance, at the cost of a significant amount of health. This gives Pyro the ability to ambush enemies from unexpected locations. Additionally, the Detonator explosion destroys Demoman's stickybombs, allowing Pyro to dismantle sticky-traps without putting themself in danger.
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Reserve Shooter
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The Reserve Shooter is a shotgun that is rarely used as a Pyro secondary after the Jungle Inferno Update, in which Valve removed its ability to mini-crit airblasted targets. There is still a 20% faster switch to time though, which can be used as a more combo-oriented shotgun playstyle. This weapon has four shots per clip instead of six. Due to its effectiveness in most formats the weapon is banned from competitive play with the exception of RGL's Highlander league.
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The Manmelter is rarely used since the Flare Gun is superior to it in most situations. It has an unlimited supply of ammo and can extinguish teammates - extinguishing a teammate will grant the Manmelter one stored critical hit, much like the Diamondback or Frontier Justice. However, with good aim, the Flare Gun can deal crits on demand as well, making the Manmelter redundant in most cases.
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Scorch Shot
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The Scorch Shot inherits some key traits from the Detonator such as destroying stickies and lighting groups of enemies on fire. While Pyro can flare-jump with the Scorch Shot, the explosion deals less damage, and barely launches Pyro at all. It deals 50% less damage when compared to the standard Flare Gun and only mini-crits burning targets, which significantly decreases Pyro's offensive capabilities. However, it allows Pyro to harass enemies at long range without having to aim precisely or time flare detonations, making the Scorch Shot the go-to weapon in many competitive formats. It is especially useful against Sniper, who flinches repeatedly while on fire, making him unable to hit shots consistently. While Medic's healing is reduced by 50% for burning teammates, they will be extinguished after one second, making the Scorch Shot somewhat less useful against the enemy combo.
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Panic Attack
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The Panic Attack is a community-created primary weapon for the Engineer, and a secondary weapon for the Soldier, Pyro, and Heavy.

The Panic attack has a 20% damage penalty per bullet compared to the stock shotgun and is much less accurate, but it fires 50% more bullets per shot, making the weapon deal up to 108 damage at point-blank range, but minimal damage at medium to long range. The weapon deploys 50% faster, allowing Pyro to follow up on their Flamethrower with a large burst of damage. This weapon is good with ambush-based strategies due to its faster deploy time, but cannot harass enemies at a distance.

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Gas Passer
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The Gas Passer allows Pyro to throw a cloud of gas on the ground that inflicts the "gas" debuff on enemies that walk through it. Enemies with the "gas" debuff will be set on fire for 10 seconds, even enemy Pyros. While this weapon may seem like a balanced area denial tool on paper, this gives Pyro a decent area denial tool, its long charge time and easily-cured debuff make it a minor nuisance at best; enemies will typically ignore the gas cloud when pushing in.
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Thermal Thruster
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The Thermal Thruster is a jetpack that allows Pyro to move around the map quickly, at the cost of their Secondary. It holds two charges; each one takes 15 seconds to recharge. Each charge gives Pyro burst mobility similar to Soldier's rocket jump - while airborne, Pyro will take increased knockback and reduced fall damage. Like the Mantreads, Pyro deals 3x fall damage to enemies they land on during this time. When paired with the Backburner, Pyro can get behind an unaware enemy and deal critical hits, but this prevents them from guarding their team's combo and harassing enemies. Competent players will simply shoot Pyro down before they can cause much damage.


Weapon 4v4 6v6 Highlander
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Fire Axe
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The Fire Axe is Pyro's stock melee weapon. Like most other stock melees, it deals 65 damage every 0.8 seconds. It is never used in serious games, as it is a direct downgrade to the Third Degree. Melee weapons are rarely used in direct combat in competitive, especially for Pyro - their Flamethrower deals damage at a greater range. As such, other utility weapons are preferable such as the Homewrecker or Powerjack.
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The Axtinguisher promotes an ambush-oriented playstyle, deals 44 damage per hit, and holsters 35% slower. Against burning players, however, it increases its base damage by the afterburn damage the target would have taken, and mini-crits). Thus, against a recently ignited player, it deals up to 167 damage. Killing an burning enemy grants Pyro a 4-second speed boost. The Axtinguisher is an exception to the "ineffective melee" rule, as it greatly out-damages Pyro's other weapons against burning players. When paired with the Detonator, Pyro can land key picks near-instantly by approaching from an unexpected location (often above), igniting a key target, and Axtinguishing them, killing them. Note that this strategy is similar to that of Soldier's Market Gardener - if Pyro is detected by enemies, they will be shut down before they can approach.
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The Homewrecker will do double damage against enemy buildings compared to the stock Fire Axe, destroying most in 1-2 hits, but its main use is to remove Spy's sappers in one hit. As a downside, it deals 25% less damage to players. This weapon is one of Pyro's most common melee weapons, as it allows them to protect Engineer's buildings while he is away or dead. It sees little to no use against enemy Engineer buildings.
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When deployed, the Powerjack increases Pyro's movement speed by 15%, at the cost of a 20% damage vulnerability. Killing an enemy with this weapon heals Pyro 25 health. The Powerjack is Pyro's melee weapon of choice, along with the Homewrecker. It is used similar to Soldier's Escape Plan when fleeing, but also allows Pyro to roam the map faster when out of combat.
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Back Scratcher
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The Back Scratcher does 25% more damage than the stock Fire Axe, increases the health gained from health packs by 50%, and reduces healing from Medics and Dispensers by 75%. This weapon sees little use in competitive, as Pyro is weak in mid-ranged combat, making it a bad idea to leave their team. Most often, Pyro will guard their team from enemy pick classes, and will be healed by their Medic more often than by health packs.
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Sharpened Volcano Fragment
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The Sharpened Volcano Fragment deals 20% less damage than the default Fire Axe, but will ignite enemies on hit. This weapon is never used seriously, as Pyro's Flamethrower already sets players on fire and deals more damage, at a far greater range.
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Third Degree
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The Third Degree is a straight upgrade to the stock Fire Axe. It functions like stock, but when striking an enemy, all players connected to the enemy via Medi-Gun beam will take damage as well. While objectively better than the Fire Axe in all situations, Pyro is almost never able to get within melee range of the enemy combo without being killed, making this weapon a rare sight in the competitive scene.
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Neon Annihilator
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The Neon Annihilator can remove sappers on friendly buildings, but it will take two swings to remove a sapper, compared to the Homewrecker's one swing. It does 20% less damage to players, but deals critical hits to wet players (covered in water, Jarate, or Mad Milk); a crit will deal 156 damage. Water is rare on most competitive maps, making this weapon highly situational.
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Hot Hand
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The Hot Hand gives Pyro a 1-second speed boost on hit and fires twice per attack, dealing 28 damage per half-swing - 56, if both slaps connect. It is only used as a joke, as it lacks both utility and damage output.

See Also[edit]