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The Spy is a suave backstabbing rogue who has the ability to instantly kill any enemy by attacking with his melee from behind. He can position himself as he sees fit with his Invisibility Cloak and can get important Picks when an opportunity presents itself. Spy is weak in direct combat; he is designed to take out important targets and then retreat. As a pick class, Spy will usually target the enemy Demoman, Heavy or Medic. Against Medics, Spy's goal is to either force Medic to use his Übercharge or kill him outright, wasting the charge. The Spy is also capable of disabling and destroying the Engineer's buildings with his Sapper.


Main article: Spy (6v6)

In 6v6, Spy is an offclass due to his poor damage output and low health, generally run when Sniper cannot take advantage of any sightlines or chokepoints. Spy will usually only get one chance for a pick; once he makes a play, the enemy team will be on guard for the rest of the match. A player may switch to Spy when the enemy Medic has a large Über advantage during a stalemate in order to kill an enemy - especially Demoman - before his team makes a push.

In terms of assassination power, Spy has significantly less potential than Sniper; Sniper can fire multiple times and get multiple picks, but Spy usually only gets one chance for a pick and will almost certainly die afterwards. However, because he is not often run in 6v6, enemies are not generally aware of him, allowing him to make a play. Spy is most commonly used as a surprise tactic for breaking stalemates against teams that stay out of Sniper sightlines and deny Roamer bombings. However, keep in mind that Spy is still much less versatile than Sniper.

Spy's other major use is to spy on the enemy team. He can gather vital information and relay it to his team, such as enemy Medic's Übercharge and choice of Medigun, surprise offclassing, and enemy positions. Spy's invisibility can also be utilized for backcapping against a careless enemy team.


Main article: Spy (Highlander)

In Highlander, the Spy is used as a pick and support class. He will often attempt to pick the enemy Medic, Heavy, Demoman, Sniper, Engineer, or any key targets that are giving his team trouble. However, he must be aware that the enemy team has a full-time Pyro and will spycheck more often, leaving him with fewer opportunities for picks.

The Spy is also the best scouting class in the game, providing valuable information to his team. He can easily relay enemy Übercharge, positions, pushes, and loadouts, thanks to the safety provided by the Cloak and Dagger.


When confronted by an enemy, Spy is almost always at a severe disadvantage; his poor damage output and health prevent him from going toe-to-toe with most combat classes. In a pinch, Spy may need use deceptive movements to manipulate an attacking enemy into showing him their back. This technique is called "trickstabbing," and may be the only way for him to escape a bad situation. In higher levels of play, however, enemies will be wary, and often will stay out of backstab range.

Spy may opt to use a revolver to harass and distract distant enemies, or pick off an isolated foe. The Ambassador is often the best choice for this playstyle, as it allows Spy to deal critical hits with headshots, allowing him to briefly match enemies' damage output. When focusing on his revolver as a damage source, Spy will often fight alongside his team and assist them in dealing damage, although he is inferior to Sniper in both range and damage. In order to utilize his full potential, he must sow confusion and paranoia among enemies in order to allow his own team to take the upper hand.



Weapon 4v4 6v6 Highlander
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The Revolver deals a base damage of 40, with a clip of 6 rounds. This weapon, along with the Ambassador, is Spy's go-to weapon for dealing damage. While underwhelming compared to other classes' Primary weapons, its damage is not to be underestimated, as Spy can kill light classes in under two seconds with proper aim.
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The Ambassador has only 34 base damage compared to the stock Revolver's 40, but deals crits if Spy lands a headshot, for an impressive 102 damage. However, the weapon is hampered by a cooldown period, during which it will not deal critical hits. At mid to long-range, headshot damage will decay significantly, preventing Spy from sniping targets from afar.

While less reliable than the stock Revolver in an extended fight, the Ambassador allows Spy to deal heavy burst damage like Sniper. Two well-placed shots can kill light classes in under a second at close-to-mid range, making it ideal for quickly dispatching a single enemy.

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The L'Etranger deals a base damage of 32. In exchange for its damage penalty, it passively increases Spy's maximum cloak time by 40%. On every hit, his cloak is instantly restored by 15%. It is one of the two ways to manually recharge the Dead Ringer, and can extend the Cloak and Dagger's cloak time rival that of the Invis Watch. This weapon is often used when gathering information on the enemy and waiting for an opportunity to backstab, rather than gun them down.
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The Enforcer deals as much damage as the stock Revolver, but has a base damage of 48 when Spy is disguised. As a drawback, it suffers from a 20% firing speed penalty. While it is overshadowed by the stock Revolver in most situations, it ignores damage resistances and deals full damage against Wrangled Sentries, Vaccinator shields, and Fists of Steel.
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The Diamondback deals a base damage of 34. For every Engineer building Spy saps and destroys and for every backstab kill, he will get one guaranteed critical hit (102 damage) for the Diamondback. These crits can be used to take out damaged enemies who would otherwise survive, or to weaken enemies in direct combat. Unlike the Ambassador, it does not suffer from damage falloff, which allows Spy to snipe enemies from across the map with minimal risk of retaliation.

This weapon is banned in most leagues, as it allows Spy to out-damage every class in the game at mid to long-range.


Weapon 4v4 6v6 Highlander
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The Sapper is the Spy's main tool for disabling and destroying enemy Engineers' buildings. The stock Sapper will disable an enemy building when placed, but if an enemy Engineer removes the sapper with his Wrench, the building will resume operation. One of the most common strategies for attacking an Engineer's buildings is to backstab the Engineer, then sap his buildings. If your team is making a push, simply sapping his Sentry Gun may disable it long enough for your team to destroy it.
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Red-Tape Recorder
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Much like the stock sapper, the Red-Tape Recorder also disables enemy engineer's buildings. This sapper, however, does not destroy the buildings it saps; rather, it reverses the construction of the building - if not removed immediately, it will almost always de-level a building at least once. While inferior to the stock Sapper in most situations, it may be useful to weaken a Sentry Gun before your team attacks. It is banned in some leagues.


Weapon 4v4 6v6 Highlander
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The Knife is Spy's melee of choice. Attacking an enemy from behind will instantly kill them, regardless of health or damage resistances - if they are not immune to damage, they will die. From the front, it deals a paltry 40 damage (known as butter-knifing), which can be used to kill a low-health enemy, but otherwise should be avoided. Spy's most common tactic is to get behind enemy lines with his cloak, deceive the enemy with his disguise, and then then use his Knife to backstab a key target, often at the cost of his own life. When the element of surprise is lost, however, Spy must use his Revolver or cloak in order to escape.
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Your Eternal Reward
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The Your Eternal Reward weakens Spy's cloak, but strengthens his disguises. If Spy disguises outside of spawn, he will lose all of his cloak, in addition to passively reducing his maximum cloak time by 33%. The only way for Spy to disguise without losing cloak is to backstab an enemy. Upon landing a backstab, he will instantly disguise as the victim, and their corpse will be cloaked in under a second. Backstabbed players will not scream, so enemies engaged in combat will seldom notice. This weapon is rarely seen in competitive play, as slain enemies will immediately call out Spy's position and disguise to their teammates, making the Your Eternal Reward's benefits useless in seconds. However, if Spy can act in the few seconds of confusion after a backstab, he may be able to land another kill before dying, or retreat safely.
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The Spy-cicle partially protects Spy from Pyro's flamethrower. When Spy is ignited, the Spy-cicle will melt (preventing him from attacking with it) and protect Spy from all fire damage for one second. He will be immune to afterburn for 10 seconds, making him harder to track down while cloaked. After it melts, the Spy-cicle takes 15 seconds to recharge, though Spy can recharge his Spy-cicle faster by picking up ammo packs. However, backstabbed victims are turned into distinctive ice statues, revealing Spy's presence. Note that with other knives, Spy can continue to backstab after being ignited. Users should take their play-style and the current state of the game into consideration before choosing the Spy-cicle over the stock Knife.
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Conniver's Kunai
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When the Conniver's Kunai is equipped, Spy's maximum health is reduced to 70, allowing him to be killed instantly by most close-range attacks, even while cloaked. On a backstab, however, Spy steals his victim's health, overhauling him up to 210 points of health. If he was previously on fire, backstabbing an enemy will extinguish him. Be cautious while using this knife; if caught before he can land a backstab, Spy will die to most attacks that hit him. Once he backstabs an enemy, he can either use the health to escape, attempt to land another stab, or simply distract the enemy team for a few seconds longer.
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Big Earner
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The Big Earner reduces Spy's base health to 100 points, which is pretty cringe. Killing an enemy with this weapon, either with a backstab or a butter-knife, will recharge the Cloak meter by 30% and increase Spy's movement speed for 3 seconds. This knife is best used when enemies are spread out; the movement speed buff allows Spy to quickly close the distance between enemies before they can react. However, a point-blank attack from most classes will kill him instantly.

Invisibility Watch

Weapon 4v4 6v6 Highlander
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Invis Watch
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The default Invis Watch for Spy is time-based. It provides Spy with 10 seconds of cloak time, during which he will have a 20% damage resistance. It takes 30 seconds to recharge normally, but Spy can pick up ammo boxes to refill his cloak meter. The Invis Watch is best suited for an aggressive play style, allowing Spy to roam the map quickly, landing multiple kills. In competitive settings, however, players will tend to be more Spy-aware, and the 10-second window may not be enough to make a play.
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Cloak and Dagger
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The Cloak and Dagger is motion-based; as long as Spy holds still, his cloak will regenerate. This watch has a doubled cloak recharge rate (15 seconds, compared to the Invis Watch's 30) but drains significantly faster. This watch's cloak cannot be replenished by ammo boxes while cloaked, requiring Spy to reveal himself briefly when trying to cover large amounts of ground. The Cloak and Dagger is best suited for a more passive playstyle, allowing Spy to hide and relay important information to his team, such as enemy positioning and Medic Übercharge. It is often paired with the L'Etranger in order to offset the reduced cloak time.
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Dead Ringer
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The Dead Ringer is unique among Spy's watches, trading stealth for survivability. Instead of cloaking Spy, deploying the Dead Ringer will "arm" it. Spy will not be able to attack while the Dead Ringer is armed, but when damaged, he will instantly turn invisible, drop a fake corpse, and gain a movement speed boost, allowing him to escape. The attack that activates the Dead Ringer will have its power reduced by 75%, allowing a full-health Spy to survive any attack short of a backstab. For the first 3 seconds after the first attack, Spy will have a 65% damage resistance which will soon fade to the standard 20%, and will not become visible when bumping enemy players. The Dead Ringer allows Spy to easily escape when confronted, but prevents him from cloaking on demand. Alternatively, he can briefly face his enemies in direct combat, dealing as much damage as possible before activating the Ringer and retreating. Regardless of his tactics, Spy must wait 10-20 seconds before the Ringer recharges, as ammo boxes and Dispensers will not recharge it.

See Also

External Links

DarkNecrid's Comprehensive Pub & Competitive Spy Guide