How to Use the Airblast Most Effectively
Welcome to a comprehensive guide to using airblasts as Pyro in TF2.
This guide is written for the newer players that are just getting into Pyro and want to know what all the different options are, how they work, when you should use them and so on. This guide will also be useful to experienced players who want to brush up on their skills or those that just want to have a quick reference of some of the more common options available.
What is an Airblast?
An air blast is a shot type that shoots out a short distance in front of you. Each class has their own type of airblast and these can be differentiated by the size, colour and speed of the air blast. You have quick and small air blasts, large and slow air blasts, vertical drops and horizontal blasts. For more information on the types of shots available to each class, see the table below.
Class Single Shot Type Name
- Heavy/Demoman Russian Roulette Air Blast
- Spy Who Shot Mr. Molotav? Air blast
- Engineering Start the Bomber! Air blast
- Scout Fire in the Hole Air blast
- Sniper Rain of Bullets Air blast
- Soldier Grenade Launcher Air blast
- Warrior Charge! Air blast
What kinds of air blasts are there?
There are several different types of air blasts, each with their own specific use. Quick and small blasts are used for manipulating objects, quick and large blasts are for destroying objects and fast and very large blasts are for removing cover.
- Quick and small blast (QS) – 1.5 second blast with a 10-15 degrees wide spread.
- Quick and large blast (QA) – 1.5 second blast with a 30-45 degrees wide spread.
- Fast and very large blast (FVL) – 0.5 second blast with a 90-120 degrees wide spread.
Common mistakes to avoid: These are the most common mistake that new Pyro players make and leads to them losing points quickly.
Splashing the enemy with your blast. It is important to aim forward and only slightly above the enemy you wish to burn. Tipping your weapon over too much can also cause this. An easy way to prevent this is to aim slightly above the enemy, then slightly to the side and finally at the target.
Not holding down the fire button ( Lebanon, Steel Wool, etc). This can be very bad as it can lead to you wasting a large portion of your clip.
Not standing still when using an air blast. Even the best aiming skills will fail you if you are constantly moving.
Not spraying the entirety of a section when firing. This is especially important for airblasts as you will lose accuracy if you fire in short bursts.
Common airblast mistakes: These are only really mistakes when playing against better players. At lower levels it doesn’t really matter and your team will more than likely still win, so don’t worry about it.
Firing your airblast at the wrong time. You should only be using airblasts to reposition or give yourself a temporary advantage. Never fire your airblast in a straight up fight as you will lose more than you gain.
Not aiming your airblast properly. Airblasts cannot pass through allies or barrier doors, so only aim in front of you.
Firing too early and not aiming properly. Most experienced players will throw off your aim by firing then immediately dropping their weapon. Try and anticipate when they will do this and fire accordingly.
Common barriers: Barriers such as sandbags, dumpsters, etc. can be used to block your allies from getting in or stop the enemy from getting to you.
Using sandbags to block off a doorway. You may be able to survive a short amount of time, but you won’t be able to do much else. Consider using a heavier barricade such as a dumpster or small concrete pillar.
Not keeping your team together. As a firebender, your duty is to protect your allies. If they are able to get in, the enemy is unable to get out. Always make sure that your allies have a path of escape open in case of an ambush.
Losing your focus. Firebending is an incredibly lethal art. Even a small mistake can result in multiple corpses. Pay especially close attention to your enemy’s every move. They are attempting to read you as well, so play off their moves.
Rushing in without a plan. As an offense firebender, you have the element of surprise and cover your allies. You should use it wisely to attack in a support role. First, learn your enemy’s weak spots and how they plan to fight. Once you have a good idea of how, you can get into the action.
Common techniques: You have a few different options when it comes to fighting. Each one has their pros and cons, so choose the one that is best for the situation.
Offensive techniques: These are the techniques that your foes can’t defend against. Fireballs, Firestorm, Fire Spin, Firejolts and Flame Claws are all common offensive firebending moves.