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How To Play The Cannonknight: A Visual Guide
By Veloxenium [GN]
This guide is aimed at teaching you a unique and effective Demoknight playstyle
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Introduction


It is likely that the below picture accurately depicts you at this point of your reading.



And that's fine! By the time you're done with this guide you'll be ready to get out there and wreak havoc on the battlefield. Hang tight, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

The Cannonknight is a subclass of the Demoman and offers an exciting and unique way of playing him. This comprehensive guide is aimed at teaching you the Cannonknight playstyle in both the public and competitive setting. I feel like videos say more than words, so I've spared nothing in my use of visual demonstrations. This guide is intended for seasoned Team Fortress 2 players, so I recommend you find the basics elsewhere.

All content presented in this guide came from either me or the Official Team Fortress 2 Wiki.

Without further ado, let's dive into the wonderful world of the Cannonknight!
The Basics
As the name implies, the Cannonknight is half-Cannon, half-knight. You'll need a Loose Cannon[wiki.teamfortress.com] and a shield. I personally recommend and will be discussing the Chargin' Targe[wiki.teamfortress.com], but the Splendid Screen[wiki.teamfortress.com] can function as a substitute if you do not have one.

The Loose Cannon[wiki.teamfortress.com]



  • Cannonballs have a fuse time of 1 second; fuses can be primed to explode earlier by holding down the fire key.
  • +50% projectile speed
  • +50% explosion damage
  • Cannonballs have the ability to Double-Donk for mini-crit damage, which occurs when the cannonball directly impacts an enemy within half a second before the bomb explosion
  • Cannonballs push players back on impact
  • Cannonballs do not explode on impact
  • Cannonballs inflict full damage to the Demoman, even after touching a surface
  • -50% damage on contact with surfaces
Because the Loose Cannon is an unlockable weapon for the Demoman, there's a chance that you do not yet have one. You can always craft one by combining three Loch-n-Loads and one Reclaimed Metal or buy one on TF2 Outpost[www.tf2outpost.com].

If you don't know how the weapon works, I recommend watching the following video demonstration.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqJzcmtWnQY
The Chargin' Targe[wiki.teamfortress.com]



  • Alt-Fire: Gain increased attack power by charging towards your enemies.
  • Guaranteed mini-crit melee damage while charge meter is yellow.
  • Guaranteed critical melee damage while charge meter is red.
  • Guaranteed critical melee damage immediately following shield impact.
  • 1.25 second charge duration
  • +157% speed while charging
  • +50% fire damage resistance on wearer
  • +40% explosive damage resistance on wearer
  • Immunity to the effects of afterburn
The mechanics of this weapon can be very confusing, so I've also included its demonstration.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nq2wxICWoSQ
Now that you have (presumably) acquired these two weapons, let's move on to arguably the most important aspect of any Demoknight.
The Melee
When trying to choose a suitable melee weapon for the Cannonknight, there are many viable options. Because your primary and secondary are already defined, it is your melee that will ultimately dictate your playstyle.

The Claidheamh Mòr[wiki.teamfortress.com]



  • 0.5 second increase in charge duration
  • 37% increased melee range
  • No random critical hits
  • -15 max health on wearer
The Claidheamh Mòr's increased charge duration and excellent range make it a great choice for the experienced Cannonknight. While 0.5 seconds may not look like a lot, it actually increases your charge duration by a substantial (1.75-1.25)/1.25 = 40%, which can allow you to cover ground and pick targets that would otherwise be safe. That's nothing to sneeze at!

The Claidheamh Mòr's increased charge duration also allows the Cannonknight to travel much farther when Cannon jumping, allowing him to fly across a map.


This considerable distance can allow the Cannonknight to get picks that would otherwise be impossible to attain.


The Ullapool Caber[wiki.teamfortress.com]



  • The first hit on any solid object or enemy will deal explosive damage to both the Demoman and surrounding enemies.
  • A successful critical hit from the Ullapool Caber deals 105 and 300 explosion damage for a total of 405 damage on a single target. The critical splash damage can take out multiple enemies.
  • No random critical hits
The Ullapool Caber is best suited for a suicidal playstyle where a pick is crucial. Because you are likely to die after you pick your target, the Cannonknight should only use the Ullapool Caber when respawn times are short. Situations where the Ullapool Caber is ideal are seen in the videos below.



Melee is important

If you neglect your melee weapons, you are effectively taking out half of what a Cannonknight is. You have a lot of resistance, so don't be afraid to get up in people's faces.

Techniques

In this section we will cover a variety of techniques you can employ to make your Cannonknighting more efficient and deadly.







Trimping is a technique where you jump and charge onto an incline to launch yourself into the air. Contrary to popular belief, crouching isn't necessary, although it may be required to pull off the trimp as it moves the Demoman one Hammer unit up and can allow him to charge before he touches the incline.

You can also string trimps together, as shown in the video below.


A little-known technique is cart trimping, which is possible when the Payload cart is on a steep incline.


Trimping does not have to be used exclusively for getting picks! It can also serve as a good low-risk alternative for Cannon jumping.




One of the best features of the Loose Cannon is the ability to cook down your cannonball all the way and have it detonate, launching yourself into the air at a high speed. The Cannon jump is like a Rocket jump in that you have to jump and hold crouch before you fire. The Cannon jump functions like a Force-A-Nature jump because its method of propulsion is knockback. To achieve maximum height, you should aim at an extreme downward degree, but not directly at your feet.


Triple Cannon Jumping

This advanced technique involves firing on the ground, into the air, riding the ground cannonball into the air, performing an air pogo off of the airborne cannonball, and finally doing an overload jump to propel yourself even higher.


Rolling Out

As a Cannonknight, you are easily able to keep up with your sticky jumping counterpart. Like all rollouts, the key is to practice!


Water Charging

By looking directly up and charging while underwater, you can get considerable distance while keeping the element of surprise on your side.


Popping

Popping is a useful technique that involves shooting someone with the Loose Cannon and knocking them far away, then using the nearby cannonball to jump toward the person that you knocked back to position yourself for a charge.




Backblasting

You can perform this move by cooking your Loose Cannon right after you begin your charge. Backblasting this way will only work with the Claidheamh Mòr, because otherwise you would have to begin cooking your Loose Cannon before your charge. If done correctly, your shield should make impact and then immediately after you should Cannon jump away, dealing a total of about 135 damage.


Chargin' Pop

This form of popping adds an extra level of mobility to Cannonknight, allowing for him to make quick getaways. To do this, you must shoot your Cannon either right before or right after you begin your charge.

Charge Turning
The Video Tutorial
Scripts
Charge Masking

You can partially mask the beginning of your charge to increase your stealth while Cannonknighting. The following script uses the voice command "Activate Charge!" at the beginning of every charge.

bind mouse2 "+demoknight"
alias +demoknight "voicemenu 1 6;+attack2"
alias -demoknight "-attack2"

Loose Cannon Cancelling

You can stop the Loose Cannon from firing by switching to another weapon. This script streamlines the process by switching to the melee weapon and back to the primary when you hit your b key. You can continue to hold down your fire button to start cooking a new cannonball. Remember to replace whateveryounormallyhaveboundtob with whatever you normally have bound to b.

bind mouse1 "+cancel"
alias +cancel "+attack;bind b +cancelswitch"
alias -cancel "-attack;bind b whateveryounormallyhaveboundtob"
alias +cancelswitch "slot3"
alias -cancelswitch "slot1"

Charge Turning

I do not condone nor do I personally use a charge turning script.

But I will Google it for you. Here you go.

Using a Controller

If, for whatever reason, you wanted to play the Cannonknight with a controller, I recommend the following sensitivities and viewmodel FOV when using your melee weapon.

joy_sidesensitivity 1;joy_forwardsensitivity -1;joy_yawsensitivity -8.0;joy_pitchsensitivity 3.30;r_drawviewmodel 1;viewmodel_fov 85
Competitive
Everything said here can be applied in competitive Team Fortress 2. Keep in mind that you will not be able to perform the same maneuvers that you do in competitive and expect to get away with it. As a competitive Cannonknight, your primary role is to get key picks and watch the flanks. Caution and patience is key when trying to get a pick. Traditionally, the role of the Demoman is to put out a large amount of damage. The Cannonknight will not have that same DPS and the role of damage-dealer will have to be taken up by the Soldier(s), regardless of if you're playing 6s or Highlander.


Be sure to check your league's item whitelist before playing the Cannonknight in a competitive game!
Additional Information
For the latest Cannonknight events, guide updates, and one-on-ones with me, I recommend joining the Steam Group One Thousand and One Cannonknights to hone and perfect your gameplay.

If you're looking for a guide covering the basics of the Loose Cannon as well as a serious look at class matchups, I highly recommend Demon's guide to the Loose Cannon.

This will be updated as I find more material.
Acknowledgements
I would like to thank my Highlander team, the Grammer Natzi's, for helping me test Cannonknight mechanics and strategies. I'd also like to give a shoutout to Reima (channel), whose exceptional devotion to the visual of the Demoknight inspired me to create a YouTube channel of my own.

Lastly, I would like to thank readers like you that give me the motivation to produce content like this!

Please note that I will be updating and revising this guide as time goes on. Add me if you have any question, comments, just want to say hello, or, if you have Gift Wrap, would like me to sign an item.

Also, here's a link to my YouTube channel.

176 Comments
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May 25 @ 7:33am 
10/10 was third on pub cp server. enemy didn't cap a single point. someone attempted to votekick me for killing a cloaked and jarated spy and succeeded on 2nd try.
ZooL Mar 9 @ 12:30pm 
Darn, we're now forced to use the Tide Turner forever x)
A Difficulty Tweak Feb 19 @ 6:30pm 
Can we use the other shields?
Smurfy Scrub Feb 14 @ 10:31am 
Flying Demoman, what do you think about the new updates, for example, the Tide Turner, the nerf to charge turning, etc.?
Orb Dec 27, 2014 @ 8:57pm 
:I
Azubeck Oct 18, 2014 @ 2:25am 
This really helps thanks
(NAKAY) I SUX™ Oct 12, 2014 @ 8:29pm 
this guide is a sidegrade to a sidegrade: demoknight is a sidegrade of demoman and cannonknight is a sidegrade to the demoknight and what makes it a side grade is that in situations demoknight is more useful than demoman and vice versa just like the cannonknight and demoknight :D
Einsatzleiter Dark Oct 1, 2014 @ 6:49pm 
This guide pretty much explains why people love the loose cannon. double donking everyone is always fun
Klayton230 Sep 30, 2014 @ 2:49pm 
Using the Tide Turner is really a good thing...you can fully control your direction during shield charge and can also completely refill your charge bar by killing someone during a charge (shield bash kill counts too)
Joyalex786 Sep 29, 2014 @ 3:47pm 
I tried using the bootleger with the Chargin Targe , why cant it let me turn?