So, you want to learn how to play competitive medic? You've come to the right place!
Playing medic can be hard, there is no doubt about that. However, it can also be one of the most rewarding roles in this game. You essentially carry the team on your back; without a good medic, a team won't make it very far, even with the best players. That being said, here is my take on how you can be the best you can be as a medic...
To be a good medic you MUST be in mumble in order to hear your team's calls and so that you are aware of what is going on. Other advantages of this are explained later on.
Situational awareness is one of the biggest parts of playing medic. You are going to be targeted by everyone and everything because you are so important to your team. Because of this, you need to be extremely aware of what is going on around you. For example, if you are not paying attention and not aware what you are doing, you could easily step over-top of or near stickies which could cause you to die and drop uber if you had uber. Something extremely important that goes along with this is to check behind you for spies. Spies and snipers are likely to be your worst enemies as medic as they are not direct enemies that you can avoid like you can the rockets of a soldier or the grenades of a demoman. One wrong move around these two classes and you are toast, as they can both take you from full health to none instantly. The best way to avoid spies is to check behind you often (I check behind myself every 2-3 seconds on average, since a spy can appear whenever.) If you do see a spy, you need to call him immediately so that your team can deal with him. It is not only the pyro's job to spycheck. The best way to avoid snipers is to stay out of their sightlines, which are generally the more open parts of the map. You may not know all of these immediately, but you will learn them quickly enough. Staying out of these lines while the sniper isn't down will help to prevent you from being shot in the head. Part of situational awareness is being in a good position. This means being in a spot where you can heal your teammates while not having to worry about an imminent threat of death. For example, if your pocket and most of the damage classes are down, your position should be back a bit in order to put more space between you and the other team as you don't have someone as capable of defending you alive.
Uber is one of the most important things that a medic has at his disposal. It can turn the tide of a game. Because of this, it's important for Medics to be able to build their uber as fast as possible without dying. Medics should notify their whole team through mumble when/if they pop. Occasionally as a medic, you will get 'forced'. This means that you had to pop uber due to being in a situation where it is extremely likely that you will not survive without using the uber. "Pop it, don't drop it." Generally it will be a good idea to pop if you are at or below 50 health and you are in a situation where you are likely to take damage immediately or very soon. The uber will allow you and your currently ubered teammates to sustain attacks without damage (You will still be knocked back if an attack causes knockback though.) A good medic will flash his teammates with the uber if they are all going on. Flashing means ubering other teammates as it will give them uber for a few seconds, before it fades, giving them enough time to make use of it. Flashing also makes your uber drain faster, so if you and the enemy medic pop at near the same time, be cognizant of the comparable time in the ubers, and you might not want to flash if it means that your uber will not outlast the other medics. Uber is very useful on payload maps, and some of the time of KOTH/5CP.
Kritz is another type of 'uber', except instead of making the medic and his pocket invincible, it makes every projectile shot by the pocket a critical hit. This can be used to the medics advantage to down the other medic before he can build up a kritz to oppose yours, or an uber to negate the kritz. Kritz is majorly used on KOTH and some 5CP maps as the primary medigun. A thing to keep in mind while using kritz is that you are not invincible. It's very easily to die in the middle of a kritz pop if you are not careful, either by just taking too much damage, or getting backstabbed/headshot.
Medic loadouts for map types
No matter what medic loadout you run it is a good idea to run the crusader's crossbow and the ubersaw. These two weapons are each very valuable in their own use. The crusader's crossbow can be used to heal someone if they are a good distance away from you, provided that you can aim the shot correctly. This could mean the difference between the person dieing, or killing someone from the other team. The ubersaw is not used very often. However, when it is, it is extremely useful. Each hit you get on an enemy with the ubersaw will gain you 25% ubercharge. It is not recommended to use the ubersaw on anyone unless it is used as a last resort! This is especially important to remember when spies are around. Going after a spy with an ubersaw will likely result in death more times than not, as the spy has a much easier way to kill you than you him.
Primary loadout for: PL
Primary loadout for: KOTH
The medigun used on cp matters too much based on situation and map, so I'm not going to put a loadout for that.
The crossbow can be substituted with the overdose if you want the speed increase from it.
One thing to keep in mind when using these loadouts is that they are only a guideline and not definitive. You should respond with different mediguns for different situations, where they are needed. The number of these situations is endless, so I'm not going to go into them here.
Knowing the other medic's percent
Another key thing to keep in mind as medic is that you should know the other medic's percentage or keep an estimate on it even if you are both using different mediguns. Knowing the other medic's percentage can tell you when to push and went to not walk straight into a kritz. The best way to tell percentage is pay attention to your spy's calls, and notice when he calls what percentage the enemy medic has, then estimate off that based on your own percentage increase what their percentage might be.
This section differs based on if you are playing 6s or HL:
There are two more specific heal orders in 6s, one for rollout and one for the rest of the game. The heal order on rollout is to heal the demo, then the roamer (TO FULL BUFF), then the scouts, and then start healing your pocket once you get out to the point. Your pocket is the one person who is going to be mostly sticking with you, so make sure to keep him healed up after rollout. After rollout just try to keep your team alive while not dieing. (I don't play 6s medic so for anyone who does and wants to add information here, make a post below).
HL's heal order changes based on the map type. On 5CP and KOTH, you want to heal the demo and the soldier on rollout because a big part of both maps is getting to mid first. On PL, there isn't a very specific heal order. Besides rollout in HL, you want to keep your demo and heavy buffed (majorly) along with your pyro and sniper, when you can. Make sure to top off the health of the rest of your team when you can also, preferably before they come close to dieing. In HL, your pocket is either you demo, or your heavy. Usually it is the demo, but in some circumstances (the demo is dead) the heavy should be mainly being healed.
Let your pocket do his job
No matter what type of game you are playing (HL/6s/4v) it is important to let your pocket do his job. Primarily this job is to defend you and make sure you stay alive. Medics are defenseless by themselves, so they should always be healing someone, even if it's an engi or even a spy (Don't heal spies if they are behind the other team has this will give them away and put both of you in a very dangerous position.) You should never run in front of your pocket, as this will likely result in your death because you will be absorbing damage that your pocket should be absorbing because he is being healed.
Medics need to be in communication with their teams at almost all times. This helps them stay alive and also helps their teammates stay alive. This includes explaining to your teammates where you are, your percent uber (usually done at 50%, 75%, 85%, 90%, and full uber, though this differs from medic to medic.) At the same time, you should be calling everything you see, and if something is attacking you. That way, your team can respond as fast as they can to make sure you stay alive.
Tracking your progress
Always record logs of your gameplays. You can go back and watch these logs after you are done playing to figure out what you did wrong and how to fix it. It also wouldn't hurt to watch how other medics play, as you can learn things from it. Looking at the stats after a match is also a good way to track your progress.
In conclusion, key points:
- Use Mumble!
- Be aware of what is going on around you and check for spies often
- Use a medic loadout based on the map-type and situation you are in.
- Do not get in front of your pocket when he is trying to defend you
- Communication is key!
- Don't die, and have fun.
I will add more to this guide if any suggestions are made or if I come up with anything else that is needed.
tl;dr Go read the guide, it's useful.
Edited by VoidWhisperer, 17 March 2014 - 11:40 PM.