Your ad here, right now:

With these flares, I shall guard you

Posted on: February 18th, 2009 by Scott Eats Bullets

There’s been a somewhat disturbing trend here on the Newbs servers the past couple days. More and more pyros have been taking to the sewers to defend, armed only with that most finicky of weapons. I’m talking about, of course, the flare gun.

I’ve mostly seen this in the sewers on 2fort, but I’m sure it’s happening other places. Since I haven’t seen it in other maps yet, this post focuses solely on 2fort.

Let’s take a moment to digest that. You’re playing defense, launching flammable objects into an area that not only contains easy access to water, but also contains a medkit, and is also a common route for medics (due to the usual lack of snipers in the area).

Let’s think about what this means to you, the pyro. Any of the above can end burning in a matter of seconds. Burning is your bread and butter, your raison d’etre (pardon my French). Burning people is what you do best, and in most cases, you do it very very well.

So why purposefully make your fire weaker? Why settle for an occassional hit, those times when the flare doesn’t mysteriously curve into a wall? Why settle for burning that can be removed in a matter of seconds? Why help those medics build their ubers?

Seriously, there’s a reason that heavy is just standing there letting you pop flare after flare into him. He’s not being intimidated. He’s not worrying about what you’re going to do to him. He’s laughing at your tiny baby gun, and the medic behind him is savouring the delicious scent of sizzling bacon and crackling medigun. Breakfast of champions.

Also, ammo. You get 16 flares. After that, you either have to find a dispenser or run up to the resupply, because there’s very little chance you’ve killed something to pick up its ammo. Your entire purpose can be replaced by many different classes, all of whom either have more ammo, do more damage, or have more reliable aim. In some cases, all of the above.

“But Scott,” you might say, “I get a ton of assists as a flare gun pyro!”

Maybe you do. Fire is fire, after all. But really, how many of those assists come from snipers headshotting the burning guy? I’m willing to bet that if the answer isn’t “all of them”, it’s “most of them”, where the assists not coming from snipers come from spies instead. These people don’t need your help, and your flare didn’t tip the balance. No, that guy was dead as soon as the sniper zoomed in, or the spy uncloaked. All you did was make them uncomfortable.

One final reason playing defensive sewer-spamming flare gun pyro isn’t such a hot idea: you open yourself up to the most humiliating way to die. Worse than the heavy taunt from around the corner. Worse than the bodyshot wallsniper with a medic. Worse even than the non-crit engie pistol.

I’m talking about the reflected flare.

Yes, a pyro with the air blast can reflect your flares back into you. You get rewarded with this little beauty:
The rarest kill icon in the game
The rarest kill icon in the game. The most humiliating way to die.

Do you really want that?

Flare gun defense is not a viable strategy.

Tags: , , ,

7 Responses to “With these flares, I shall guard you”

  1. Ggglygy Says:


  2. Zhukov Says:

    Well, Scott.

    As the ONLY person on the 2fort servers with deflect flare kills, I must state that is by far one of the most satisfying kills ever.

    But I do agree, I tend to find guarding a sewer with a flare gun to be kind of pointless. Though, I have done such things on occasion, it was mainly to disrupt momentum. While it does very little damage initially, tagging a medic with it can cause the medic to run off or be significantly weaker by the time they get into our sewers if they continue to push.

    Take out the medic, you can disrupt the whole attacking force’s flow.

    Ultimately, I mainly do these things for purely my own entertainment. I used to focus on my stats, but after the crash I decided to focus on the more rare kind of kills.

    Deflect flares for example: I personally consider managing to be the only person with not one, but two deflect flare kills to be a cheesy feat of pure awesome.

  3. LeeTagger Says:

    flare gun is pro lulz, theres no denying it, and flare gun to sneaky axtingusiher is great XD dispite sewer flares being useless >.>

  4. Dingo Says:

    Zhukov: Smart medic isn’t going to push at 25% HP. Hurting us doesn’t accomplish much in the long run; To really put a stop to the offence you’re going to need a kill.

    Besides, flare spamming that heavy I’m healing? Keep it up. With you setting him on fire constantly you’ll be reducing my charge time to 40 seconds. Hope you’ve got that engineer base rebuilt.

  5. Zhukov Says:

    Like I said, I focus on the medic. Not even the medic with a full uber will assault if they get hit by a flare or two on the way in.

  6. Zhukov Says:

    Correction: IF they do continue the assault, they’ll pop their uber prematurely ;)

  7. Crouton Says:

    I think I may have started this whole mess…. I’m so sorry…

    Wait, no I’m not. :P

Leave a Reply