Well, you're playing heavy. Whether you like it or not!
The heavy is the least versatile of all classes, but is feared by many.
A walking death machine that has more health than the opponents wish for.
This guide will take you through the weapons that you can use and why they became the preferred loadout. It will teach you a bit about positioning, calling, and the reasoning behind it.
The minigun is without a doubt the best heavy weapons gun we can equip. Although it has a massive damage output, it is only efficient when used close ranged.
It’s base damage is 9 damage per bullet at close range. Compared to that of a long range hit (4 damage), you’ll see it dropping by about 50% effectiveness.
Another draw back is it’s immobility whilst spinned up, the Heavy normally has a movement speed of 230, when spinned it drops down to 110.
Trying to chase your enemies will result in you (and your medic) out in the open and unable to retreat without making some sort of consession.
Basically, when you’ve spinned up, you have to be sure to make those kills if you’re out in the open. A sure way to do this is to spin up before jumping around a corner. (just make sure there are enemies around that corner!)
Although Sasha has the “best” weapon stats of all miniguns, competitive players will be able to easily anticipate on it.
Weapon rating 8
The Brass Beast:
A wonderful weapon made by a wonderful person. Ruskeydoo has chosen to put the heavies weak points and balance a weapon around it. What do you get? Slower movement speed! Slower spin up time!
But more important of all: 20% extra damage! Whilst spun up your movement speed drops down to 44, so your effectiveness depends even more on the close ranged combat pickoffs. This weapon appears in competitive from time to time. In the end it boils down to preference: are you willing to be an extra sentry gun whilst spun up? This weapon can be your card up your sleeve, as people tend to underestimate the damage output when the heavy deploys the brass bullet barfer!
Since the brass beast makes you do more damage, it’s inherently better in the situations where you actually have to point and click to kill people. The problem is that TF2 maps require the person to move. Use the brass sentry as your wildcard weapon in dire situations.
Weapon rating: 6.5
The Glue Gun! Although its glory days of shooting the tears out of your enemies’ scouts are over, the weapon still brings up bad memories.
Although your spin up time will be slower by 30%, and your damage by 25% (and since recently you’ll have 50% extra ammo!), the weapon is mostly used for its ability to slow players.
Basically, the more you hit, the slower your target will be. Lock onto a target long enough and you’ll be able to get them to the movement speed of a spun up Sasha heavy.
If you’re willing to stop killing stuff, and in its extension stop players, this is the weapon for you.
Weapon rating: 6.5
The least minigunny minigun that doesn’t get enough love. The tomislav will remove the spin up sounds and will make the spin up faster, whilst pooping out bullets slower than the cow mangler charge. The most effective way to play with this weapon has been rumored by some players as “jump around the corner and shove the nozzle up someone’s butt. Get close and abuse the faster spin up time is what the gun is all about.
Fun in pubs, but as a heavy you’ll be needed in the combo.
Weapon rating: 6
This Chinese iteration of the minigun thrives on the sound of an empty bullet drum. It has the same stats as the normal mini-gun, but engulfs the heavy in flames whilst spun up. This weapon is particularly hungry for bullets, and eats 6 of them whilst the flames are active. 200 of them in 34 seconds to be honest. Note: this gun is currently banned in competitive. (Highlander Season 5).
If you like your weapon to be up as much as your sandvich, the huo is perfect for you.
Weapon rating: 5
A free medium health pack that regenerates itself in 30 seconds!
Extinguish your allies (and enemies if you’re not careful) by letting them trample your delicous snack.
Seriously, there is no reason not to equip this weapon unless your name is Raymond. Healing your medic for 75 HP is absolutely worth it in exchange of your secondary weapon.
Trade damage, become walking dispenser!
Weapon rating: 9
It will not heal you, it will save you/a teammate in certain situations where you are forced to kill someone immediately. The problem is the similarity with the minigun’s use. You’re looking for close combat hits with the shotgun. It could be argued that dropping your sandvich for the medic and spinning your minigun is more effective than whipping out your boomstick.
Use this when you’ve mained 6v6 heavy for the past few seasons.
Weapon rating: 7.5
The Dalokohs is the most selfish heavy weapon in history. By using it, you can add 25 health per bite to your current health pool. You cannot drop it, you heal about 200 health less compared to the sandvich, and best of all: you’ll still be unable to hit that scout jumping around you for 4.3 seconds.
Use this if you want to get kicked off your team.
Weapon rating: 3
Buffalo Steak Sandvich:
If we’re talking about selfish weapons, this is another one. Although I’ve been really criticising the Dalokohs Bar, this is different.
The BSS has a few downsides:
-You will ONLY be able to use melee weapons for 15 seconds after nomming one.
-You will recieve 25% extra damage from ALL damage sources.
Luckily, it has it’s upsides:
-Free melee minicrits.
-Movement speed increase! Run as fast as a pyro.
This steak is effective if you’ve selected the correct melee weapon:
-GRU: extra movement speed. Be Speedy Gonzalev who dies faster than the scout he’s chasing.
-FoS: You’ll be the running tank, until someone takes out his melee weapon.
-KGB: Well, IF you’re going for those krits, make sure you hit them at the end of your charge. From mini krit melee to full krit minigun for 5 seconds? Hell yeah.
-Warrior’s Spirit: Punch harder, die faster. Use it if you’re running the Brass Beast as well, because you know, you’ll be focusing on melee and using a set looks way cooler.
Weapon rating: 4.5
Well, more bullets are great, but not if it hits like a BB gun. Would not recommend over the stock shotgun.
Weapon rating: 4
Well, if you've lost your load out, there is no alternative.
In all other situations, it’s horrible. Plus side is that it has a taunt that can kill people.
Weapon rating: 5
Killing Gloves of Boxing:
The de facto heavy melee weapon after the heavy update. Get 5 seconds of free krits when killing someone. The problem: there aren’t a lot of situations where you’re going to punch people AND effectively kill people with those krits. The tradeoff you’ll make versus the GRU or FoS will be either speed or survivability, which are key points in the competitive format. Players up close are mini-gun food.
Weapon rating: 5
Gloves of Running Urgently:
YES. The most used heavy melee.
Run as fast as a pyro. This weapon makes sure you’ll lose less time after respawning. Use it wisely on rollouts and pushes, as you’re able to cover more ground having them out.
But, receiving mini-krits is intrinsic to this weapon’s use. Having the GRU out shows a nice skull above your head, indicating extra damage on you for as long as that skull is up.
Try to switch to your minigun or sandvich before you arrive close to the opponents, as you already have benefitted from the speed boost.
Use the fact that you can spin up the minigun whilst jumping to your advantage.
Use the GRU if you’re not comfortable with the FoS.
I mean, the GRU is banned in 6v6! Even competitive agrees it’s overpowered.
Weapon rating: 9
Fists of Steel:
These gloves are amazing. I mean, 40% less damage while active?! Heck yeah. Instead of running away and taking achievement-worthy damage, you walk away and literally take no damage at all (not really, but you get the point).
Until you walk into a melee weapon. Enjoy the 100% extra damage. The fundamental question you’d have to ask is: Do I want speed, or do I want survivability?
The FoS puts you into a favorable position where the enemy has to focus you even harder to take you down. Combined with the vast collection of mediguns you’ll be able to crash through the enemy lines before your German healing wizard has to crank that uber lever.
Well, the downside is 20% longer weapon switches (which requires you to anticipate enemies and switch in advance).
Cosplay as the MVM tank as you survive enough damage to buffer overflow Zoob’s logs.tf!
Weapon rating: 8.5
Weapon rating: 2
The Warrior’s Spirit:
We can keep this relatively short as well: I think trading 20 HP for 30% extra damage on fists gives the heavy the short end of this furry stick.
Weapon rating: 3
Preferred Competitive loadouts:
- Stock Minigun
- GRU or FoS
The way I’d like to play Heavy is different from other teams, and I would like to think it’s the right way to play heavy in the Highlander game mode.
The current view on the meta game is that there is a static combo, namely the Heavy and Medic. I share that view, but mine extends to the Demoman and Pyro.
The medic brings the mobility whilst pushing or falling back in the form of consistent health regeneration.
The Heavy brings several key elements into play as well. His damage close range makes players think twice before jumping in or focusing the medic without getting the Heavy first. His health makes it hard to ignore the heavy and his sandviches keep his teammates up and can create comebacks if timed correctly.
The thing is, the Heavy weapons guy isn’t perfect for this. Therefore I consider the demo and pyro to be an extension of the combo. The demo is great on medium range and has the highest damage output overall in Highlander.
The pyro is able to reflect projectiles, find out where cloaked spies are creeping about and the degreaser allows for fast weapon switches. All qualities that the Heavy possess to some extent.
Your positioning depends on these 3 classes. You want to tank for those, and output the damage needed, but you don’t want to overextend and leave your medic to be guarded by the demo or pyro.
Keep all of this in mind when making your jump in.
The next thing is, keep your medic safe at ALL times, whilst keeping your eyes on the prize (cap/combo/cart). Trying to do everything at once will be exhausting, but having clear calls will take a lot of that load off your back. Falling back isn’t bad per se, but if you can guarantee your medic surviving by blocking the opponents isn’t bad at all. More about respawn wave times later.
If you’re in a 1v1 against any class, try to cover most of your body behind props. Showing less area when dueling will obviously work in your favor. Spots like the fence on mid of viaduct, sneaky spot at either side of the cap on lakeside are perfect examples for this.
Getting caught out happens, but try to make the most out of the situation. Either distracting them from your medic by acting sporadically and jumping towards their medic or crouching and forcing them to take you head on are valid tactics, and it’s up to you to make the decision which one is best.
ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS:
-CAN A SNIPER SEE US?
-CAN WE GET BOMBED BY A SOLDIER?
-CAN THE SPY SEE US / PICK US OFF?
-ARE WE SAFE FROM KRITS PUSHES?
Your positioning should be held up to these questions at all times.
The most played game mode, push the cart simulator 2k14.
Too many players still can’t grasp the basic rules about payload: The only win condition is to push the cart in the explosion box faster than your opponents. That’s it. Nothing more. You don’t win if you top frag, you don’t win if you are at the last cap on your own, you do not win if you have destroyed their combo. You need to push.
But not as heavy! The most efficient rate that a cart can be pushed with is 3x, which will be provided by your scout (2x) and an engineer or other roaming class. Building your offense around this will force the opponents to make decisions: do we stop cart pushes in the background, or do we want to focus the combo? Like I mentioned earlier, the only way to win is to push the cart fast enough. Going for the cart seems the most logical choice.
As a combo you can take this to your advantage. Try to get move around to their defense. There are a few key elements in positioning you’d have to take in consideration:
You are most likely in an advantageous position when having the high ground. Be sure to clear every corner before wrapping around to a higher position.
The cart’s positioning matters a lot: the closer it is to the cap point, the more focus the defenders have to shift to the cart and the possibility for the opponents to cap.
King of The Hill:
One of the essential actions a heavy can perform to assist the rollout is to drop a sandvich behind the cap when the demo arrives at mid. Having him pick up the sandvich after taking one or two enemy shots will increase his DPS on mid, making it easier for your team to assist him and (slow)push the point.
This table might be able to explain how the respawnwavetimer system in TF2 works.
So yeah, You’re looking at a 9, 6 or 12 mean seconds respawn time.
Keep your medic in spawn, you’ll have 6 seconds advantage if you’re suiciding. Keep doing this until your medic has uber / krits in spawn. Easy win.
The same rules apply for CTF and CP (whether it’s 5cp or stopwatch).
The thing I want to stress you is, don’t go for the cap. There are other classes way better for the cap. It is almost always better for you to stand back and watch your team cap. The players rushing in will focus the cappers, and you’ve got enough damage to mow them down. After they’re down, you’re still towering above every other opponent.
Depending on your team’s composition, there is room for callers and main callers.
The biggest issue within teams is that too many players will be talking in Mumble. Highlander has 9 players, and if one echo’s or brings clutter to the voice chat, it will be detrimental to the team’s performance.
Whilst the main caller’s job is to coordinate pushes, the other classes can still provide value.
The heavy’s calls will revolve around positioning his medic. As soon as the medic and demoman are in the correct spots, they can push in (depending on the situation, but generally you’ll move into a spot to hold before a pop/drop/pickoff).
At pushes, you’ll be at the front, trying to keep your medic and demo up. Make sure you talk to your demoman and know how to call focus fire. By calling focus fire on one person, you’ll be able to move onto the next target faster, thus limiting the opponents’ effectiveness. Keep your medic behind you and make sure you clear stickies before moving on to the next area.
Keep asking your spy for their medi gun and %. Under all circumstances the spy has the 3D portrait and will be able to see the medic’s gun. At the start of each round, you have to ask your spy which gun they are running and ask him to keep an eye on the medic at all times. Running a kritz vs their uber will force your team to play hyper aggressive during the pushes, in which the combo needs to call what the rest of the team needs to do (higher level players will need less guidance).
Establish a veto. Give the leader of a team the veto for a push, even though you went down with 3 already, if he calls it off: back off. The battlefield is big and every player sees a small piece of the puzzle. Giving a player the option to overrule any other command will force the team to spend more attention to his calls, which will lead to team coherence during pushes. (This player CAN be different from the main caller, and should be confident of the decisions he makes.)
RuskeyDoo's Team Fortress 2 Highlander Heavy:
Comp.TF 6v6 heavy:
Comp.TF Highlander heavy:
Current Highlander Heavy streamers:
The last thing I can offer is the heavy mains steam group:
Even though it's a wall of text, it might give you a few tips for your lobbies.
Please don't let bad lobbies get the best of you, in the end it's what YOU can do.
You are the only person responsible for improving.
"It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best." -W. Edwards Deming