Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2

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Kritzkrieg Medic: A Comprehensive Guide
By Lord Kelvin
One of the two Legacy Medi Guns, the Kritzkrieg is one of the Medic's core tools. Learning how to use it is essential if you are to become a competent Medic.
 
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Introduction
Public Service Announcement: As of the July 10, 2013 Patch, this guide is out of date due to changes Valve has made to the game. I will be rectifying this as soon as I can, but in the meantime, take anything you see in this guide with a grain of salt.

Introduced in the Gold Rush Update back in April 2008, the Kritzkrieg was the very second non-stock weapon added to Team Fortress 2, making it one of the oldest unlockable weapons in the game, and one of the two "Legacy" Medi Guns (the other one being the stock Medi Gun). As a result, it is almost impossible to imagine the game without it, an honor that is accorded to very few other weapons.

This guide aims to provide an in-depth guide on how to use the Kritzkrieg effectively. Unlike my other Medic guides, you will not require extensive Medic experience to be able to use this guide, since there are virtually no experienced Medic players who do not actually know how to use this Medi Gun. As a result, I will be writing this guide from the ground up and making it as newbie-friendly as possible. While I will recommend that you get at least some basic experience on how to play the class, and familiarize yourself with the gameplay basics, you won't really need much prior gameplay experience to understand what is presented in this guide.

(Yes, this guide is sorely lacking in pictures, I'm hoping to correct that in a couple weeks or so)
Basic Information
Assuming that you have a basic understanding of how the stock Medi Gun works, here's the rundown on how the Kritzkrieg differs.

The Kritzkrieg, often shortened to simply "Kritz," heals teammates at the same speed as the stock Medi Gun, at 24 HP per second, and can buff them up to 150% of their maximum HP. Healing rate scales up based on how long a player has been out of battle, healing at the standard 24 HP per second if a teammate has taken damage less than 10 seconds ago, and then linearly scaling up to a maximum of 72 HP per second if your patient hasn't been damaged in the last 15 seconds. However, it also builds its ÜberCharge meter 25% faster than the stock Medi Gun (the figures are listed below).

When deployed, instead of making your patient invulnerable to damage, it gives him 100% guaranteed critical hits (often shortened to "crits") for 8 seconds. This gives your patient devastating amounts of firepower, however not all weapons can receive the benefits of the ÜberCharge (the one important exception will be directly addressed later).

The Kritzkrieg builds its ÜberCharge meter at a base rate of 3.125% per second, being able to build a full meter in 32 seconds under ideal circumstances. When healing a teammate who has been buffed to 142.5% of their max HP or higher (effectively it means that you're maintaining a teammate's full overheal), the build rate drops to half of that, 1.5625% per second, requiring up to 64 seconds to become fully charged. If your patient is simultaneously being healed by another Medic or is standing next to a Dispenser, the build rate drops even further down to 0.78125% per second, requiring 128 seconds to charge a full meter in the very worst case.

When you stop healing a teammate, their overheal will slowly decay, completely disappearing over the next 20 seconds (unless they take damage). Overheal will diminish steadily by 2.5% of the patient's maximum HP per second, meaning that low-health classes will lose less points of overheal per second than high-health classes (the higher-health class has more raw overhealed HP, which is why it decays "faster"). It is a good idea to get a good feel for this decay rate, as it allows you to gauge how much health you have to heal for various teammates over time.

Taunting with the Kritzkrieg will make the Medic stop to take a whiff of the healing beam, which will restore 11 HP over the duration of the taunt (4 seconds). As with all taunts, this leaves you immobile and extremely vulnerable to attack.

For more information, refer to the Healing and ÜberCharge[wiki.teamfortress.com] articles on the Official Team Fortress Wiki.
Basic Tips
All in all, for basic healing duty, the Kritzkrieg works exactly the same way as the stock Medi Gun, the only real difference comes in the faster charging rate and the ÜberCharge itself, which are discussed in depth later. Here are some very basic tips that you should keep in mind, all of this should quickly become second nature if you want to be a good Medic.


Spread The Love

Rule #1 for the Medic: your job is to keep your whole team alive, not just your clan mate or buddy.

The absolute worst Medics in the game are the guys who either play "Combat Medic" and try to kill enemies rather than heal teammates, or who heal only that one teammate and ignore everyone else on their team, even ones at low health standing right next to them. Don't be that Medic, healing all of your teammates and keeping them all at full health or overhealed is the best way to ensure that your team will win.

Furthermore, healing only one player constantly results in building your ÜberCharge meter much more slowly. Remember that you will charge at roughly 1.5% per second when maintaining overheal, half of what you could be doing by spreading out your healing. An ÜberCharge is the major game-changer in any match, and getting one ready as quickly as possible should be the main goal of any Medic in the game. This is why you spread the healing around as much as possible: it gives you more health bars to replenish, which means less time maintaining a player's overheal, which means building your Über faster. The Medic is a team player, more so than any other class, so always stick with multiple teammates and keep them all alive.


Battle Pocketing

The only real time you should be latched onto a single player constantly is in the heat of battle, while accomplishing an objective, or when deploying your ÜberCharge.

The term Pocket refers to a Medic who heals a single teammate, and focuses only on that teammate in order to accomplish a specific goal. In essence, the player puts the Medic "in his pocket" and uses the increased durability and survivability to inflict more damage on the enemy than a player without a Medic normally could. Pocketing is normally done during a coordinated attack where both the Medic and patient have a clear objective in mind.

Of course, the term also has negative connotations. While a Medic is focusing on only one player, he isn't healing his teammates, and thus is increasing the odds that they are going to die. This is one of the bigger challenges to learning how to be a good Medic, you have to know when to heal all of your teammates, and when to pocket. At the end of the day, the goal is to win the match, but if nobody else on your team is having fun during the match because they're not being healed, that defeats the whole point of the game.

The general idea behind the pocket is that if you expect to face tough opposition ahead, or there's only one "heavy" class with you, then healing that one teammate and keeping him alive will increase the chances that you will survive the encounter. Any time that you are not in the middle of direct combat, you should heal your other teammates and ensure that they are at full health or full overheal, as this increases their survivability and allows you to build your ÜberCharge faster.


Watch Your Back

The nice thing about most Medi Guns is that they are "set and forget," meaning that once you lock onto a teammate you only really have to ensure that they are not taking too much damage, which doesn't require full-on focusing on the front lines. This lets you keep an eye on your surroundings and make sure that nobody can suddenly attack you from behind without warning. In particular, you should keep an eye out for disguised Spies to ensure that they do not backstab you or any of your teammates (you can read about this in more depth in other guides, but the Spy-checking article on the Wiki is a good start). Because your teammates will be focused on the battle in front of them, you should watch any side paths and rear areas to make sure that enemies can't sneak up on you. Medics will always be a high-priority target for any class, so enemies will almost always try to attack you given any opportunity. Make sure never to give them the chance to do so.


Self-Damage To Build ÜberCharge

If you need to build an ÜberCharge in a hurry, you can let your teammates damage themselves to do this faster. The most obvious choices are the Soldier and Demoman, as they can damage themselves with their own explosives to keep themselves from reaching full overheal, thus ensuring that you will build your ÜberCharge meter at full speed and cutting down build time by up to 50%. The Scout can do this as well by using the Boston Basher in order to inflict self-damage.

Keep in mind though, this negatively affects your team in the same way that pocketing does. While you're building your ÜberCharge meter in this way, you are not healing your other teammates, some of whom may be in the middle of battle and dying as a result. As such, this tactic should only be reserved for dire situations where the Medic stepping out onto the battlefield is too dangerous (lots of explosive spam coming in, a Sniper watching the area, etc.), or when time is of the essence.


Don't Bother Taunting
While the Kritzkrieg's taunt does allow you to heal yourself for a small amount of health, those four seconds are better left searching for a health pack, or even shooting at enemies if you have the Blutsauger equipped. To be perfectly blunt, you are only healing 2.5 HP per second, on average, by taunting, which is less than the stock regeneration rate (assuming that you're not carrying the Blutsauger). Taunting leaves you completely vulnerable to enemies to pounce on you, and in the meantime you are not healing a teammate and thus not building ÜberCharge or maintaining your front lines.

The only time that you should ever use the Kritzkrieg's taunt is if you are on fire/bleeding, at extremely low health (below 20 or 25), are carrying the Blutsauger and have no nearby enemies to shoot at, and are far away from a health pack or teammates capable of healing you (another Medic, Heavy with Sandvich, Dispenser). If you do not meet even one of those conditions, then don't bother taunting.


Communication Is Essential

Because the Medic is perhaps the most important team-playing class in the game, you should be communicating with your team all the time. Your teammates should constantly know where you are, what your ÜberCharge status is, where you are going to push, who you're going to give your ÜberCharge and when, all of these are essential to victory. Your teammates can notify you of where possible dangers are (such as Snipers or Sentry Guns), where the enemy is weak so that you can exploit it, and so on.

If you want to be a good Medic player, then it is highly recommended, and almost mandatory, that you invest in a microphone, especially for the Kritzkrieg as it requires far more communication than the stock Medi Gun to use effectively. Hands-free communication with your teammates allows you to quickly and clearly convey any important information without having to stop and type it out, or using ambiguous preset voice commands that everybody ignores anyways. Any high-level play will almost certainly require players to have their own microphones.
Medic Buddies
While you should always aim to heal any and all teammates, some classes will benefit more from being healed than others. Knowing what each class's strengths and weaknesses are is essential in understanding what they are capable of when given Medic support.


Scout: In general, a Scout is easy to heal, due to his small amount of health it doesn't take much time to top up or overheal a Scout, which lets him quickly get back into battle. However, the same speed which allows them to accomplish so much also makes them a liability as a pocket, as they will easily run outside of your healing beam’s range and leave you to fend for yourself. You should only replenish a Scout's health, avoid doing much more than that until you have a full ÜberCharge meter.

On the flip side though, as noted above, a Scout can use the Boston Basher in order to inflict self-damage, making it easier to build your ÜberCharge meter faster. If your team needs an Über fast, you can look to a Scout to help you build it.


Soldier: A well-rounded choice for a partner, the Soldier is a very capable and flexible class that makes a great Medic buddy. The Soldier has many choices in terms of loadout, which makes it possible for him to fill almost any role that your team needs, and thus is a valuable asset that you should keep alive. Additionally, he can use his rockets to self-damage in order to build an ÜberCharge faster, and those same rockets allow him to easily protect you from approaching enemies (provided that he isn't using the Direct Hit, which has a reduced splash radius). Because he has such variety though, it's impossible to discuss every potential combo in this guide, so look to a different guide dedicated to the Soldier, or play the class yourself to get a feel for his capabilities.


Pyro: The Pyro can be hit and miss, depending on his loadout and the skill of the player. Experienced Pyros can use their compression blast to extinguish fires or deflect projectiles, making your job much easier, as well as keep Spies at bay and protect your team's Engineers. However, as an offensive partner it's better to rely on a class with more range, as attacking Pyros tend to get right in the face of their targets, which is where a Medic should never be. You should treat Pyros in much the say way as Scouts, heal them and keep them alive if possible, especially ones equipped with a support loadout, but don't pocket them unless absolutely necessary.

The Pyro has three weapons that can help you to build ÜberCharge faster, though they're somewhat hit-and-miss as well. The Back Scratcher reduces the rate at which you heal the wielder, meaning that it takes longer for them to reach full overheal. However, unlike the Soldier or Scout who is deliberately damaging himself to keep his health down, you have no way of accelerating the healing rate, which makes this a huge liability if an enemy suddenly appears. The Detonator and Scorch Shot allow the Pyro to damage himself, but each projectile does far too little damage and the weapons take too long to reload to make any real difference.


Demoman: One of the highest damage-dealing classes in the game, the Demo can make for an excellent offensive partner in the right situation, especially for destroying Sentry Guns around corners. However, due to his lack of effective close-range weapons, it can be hard for the Demo to protect you from enemies that try to get in your face, so always play cautiously and think a few steps ahead when pocketing a Demo. The exception here is the Demoknight, which you should just top up but never pocket, for the same reasons as you would a Pyro. On the flip side, Demomen can use their explosives to inflict self-damage more easily than Soldiers, so keep that in mind if you need to build a quick Über.


Heavy: Perhaps the best possible partner, the Heavy has many advantages going for him that make him a force to be reckoned with when teamed up with a Medic. For starters, his high damage output and massive stock of health make him nigh-invulnerable when facing just about any other enemy, and healing support only makes him even harder to kill. Even better, smart Heavies will often carry a Sandvich along, which he can drop to heal you for 75 HP.

The Heavy's main drawbacks are his slow speed, and his tendency to get tunnel-vision while spun-up. This makes him an easy target for Spies and Snipers, so always make sure to keep an eye on your back when pocketing a Heavy, and never stand out in the open whenever possible.


Engineer: As Engineers often have their Dispensers to rely on for health, they are low-priority healing targets unless they are hauling buildings to the front lines. You can usually leave them alone and focus on other teammates instead, though as usual don't forget to heal them if they're at low health. The main exception here is an Engineer with the Gunslinger, who has higher health and is usually fighting on the front lines, they can be useful to keep alive, especially if they have the Frontier Justice equipped.


Medic: You should always aim to keep friendly Medics alive, even if you need to sacrifice other teammates, because keeping one Medic alive can help to keep the rest of your team alive. Even better, this allows them to continue to build their own ÜberCharge, which increases your team's chances of winning the match.

Possible Medi Gun combos will be discussed later.


Sniper: Snipers are generally low priority healing targets, as they tend to spend their time in behind your teammates where they're less likely to take damage. The only time you should pocket heal a Sniper is if there's an exceptionally skilled Sniper on the other team that's hindering your team's progress, and needs to be eliminated.


Spy: Treat Spies in much the same way you would a Scout: top them up if they come to you for health, but do not pocket them unless there is nobody else around. Spies rely on their disguises and cloak to do their job, the only thing you can really do for them is ensure that they don't die as they retreat after being discovered.
The Kritz ÜberCharge
Properly used, an ÜberCharge from the Kritzkrieg, also sometimes shortened to "Kritz," can absolutely devastate the enemy team and allow your teammates to accomplish the map objective against little to no opposition. However, it takes considerable skill, patience and communication in order to use it since, unlike the stock Medi Gun, you do not have an invulnerability to fall back on. If you or your buddy screw up, you may end up accomplishing absolutely nothing, and leave your team in a worse position than before.


Things To Watch Out For

Even without worrying about the regular methods that the enemy will throw at you once they know you’re coming (mainly trying to spam you with as much damage as possible to kill you), there are additional worries that you have to watch out for. These include:
  • A Medic with the stock Medi Gun deploying his own ÜberCharge
  • A Medic with the Kritzkrieg deploying his ÜberCharge
  • The enemy inflicting any sort of Mini-Crit status on you, through Jarate, deploying a Buff Banner, or what have you, which makes it easier for them to kill you or your patient
  • An enemy Soldier deploying his Battalion’s Backup
  • Any sort of Demoman sticky trap
  • A Pyro carrying anything other than the Phlogistinator

Keep in mind, this is just a list of the most obvious ones, as you get more experience you will learn about more things to watch out for.


Go In Overhealed

One thing to remember about the Kritzkrieg's ÜberCharge is that it does not make you or your patient invulnerable, so safety lies in eliminating anything that can do damage to you. As an insurance policy, try to get a friendly Medic to overheal you right before you go in, so that you are more likely to survive any damage that the enemy throws at you. Being able to take an extra 50 or 60 damage can make all the difference between completely destroying any opposition you're facing, or being killed in the middle of your charge and leaving several enemies alive.


Speed And Surprise

Because you are not invulnerable for the duration of your Über, try to approach the enemy from a direction that they are not expecting when attacking, and don't give them a chance to react.

The simple thing to remember here is, if the enemy knows that you are coming, they can prepare to meet you in advance, which is how you lose. If they're expecting you, the enemy can easily scatter or take cover to prevent you from killing them, or a Demo could lay a sticky trap for you to walk over as you approach, or a Soldier could deploy his Battalion's Backup and completely neutralize your Kritz, or any number of things. The point here is, do not give the enemy a chance to defend themselves against your attack, attack in such a way that the very first warning they have of your approach is the kill notifications of them or their teammates dying.

To borrow a phrase: you want to hit the enemy in the dead of night with the speed of a thunderbolt and the power of a Kansas tornado. Use side routes to approach them from their flank or rear if possible, and make absolutely sure that the majority of the enemy force dies in the first two seconds of deploying your Über. This prevents them from retaliating effectively, and thus increases your odds of survival.


Crowd The Enemy

The other main reason that you want to take the enemy by surprise is to prevent them from scattering or spreading out, as you want them to stick together in bunches. If the enemy is clustered up, this allows your patient to kill several of them with a single explosive projectile, or mow all of them down in one short burst. The closer together the enemy is, the less time your buddy needs to spend aiming at each individual player to kill them, and the more time you have to mop up any stragglers afterwards. You especially want to take advantage of enclosed spaces such as corridors and indoor areas, as this naturally bunches the enemy up and prevents them from maneuvering to avoid your fire, making them easier to kill. Elevated positions also make it easier to aim at the enemy, especially for Soldiers and Demomen.


Watch For Pyros

Besides any defensive measures that the enemy might take against you, the other main thing you want to watch out for is an enemy Pyro who knows how to use his compression blast effectively. The main problem that a Pyro poses against you is in physically displacing you and your patient, wasting your ÜberCharge and preventing you from getting close enough to kill his teammates. The other major caveat is that if your buddy is a Soldier or Demoman, you need to be careful that he does not reflect your projectiles right back at you, as he can then use your own Kritz against you and kill you and your buddy or, even worse, your other teammates with your own ÜberCharge.

This is one of the main reasons you want to take the enemy by surprise, a Pyro can’t airblast you if he's dead from the first projectile fired by your buddy. If the enemy team has a Pyro, make absolutely sure that he is one of your very first victims, or at the very least attack while he is respawning.


Use It On The Defense

When playing Attack/Defense Capture Point or Payload maps, the Kritzkrieg is best used when you are on RED (that is, the defending team). Remember that on top of the enemy having to come to you, their team has a much shorter respawn time than you, so the best way to ensure victory is to force the enemy to spend as much time respawning as possible. Furthermore, the enemy is far more likely to cluster up when preparing to make a push against your lines, making them easy prey for a Kritzkrieg ÜberCharge. This is, of course, not set in stone; if you are on the offense then it can be useful to bring enough firepower to bear in order to take advantage of the defending team’s longer respawn times, but given that Sentry Guns are far more common on the defense (read below), it usually works out better this way.


Avoid Sentries

The one major caveat of the Kritzkrieg is that Engineer buildings do not take extra damage from critical hits, and as a result a Kritzkrieg does not make it any easier to destroy a Sentry Gun. Furthermore, because Sentries have perfectly accurate aim and devastating firepower, your patient stands very little chance of surviving a head-on fight against a Sentry, especially if the Engineer is tanking it (that is, constantly repairing any damage that it takes). While it is possible to try to kill the Engineer first before destroying the Sentry Gun, this wastes time, and as a result, wastes your ÜberCharge as well. An Engineer nest is best left to a Demoman backed up by an ÜberCharge from the stock Medi Gun, as the Demoman can put out enough simultaneous damage to destroy a Sentry nest without giving the Engineer a chance to repair. Your Kritzkrieg is better left for dealing with actual players, as crits affect them normally.
Kritzkrieg Partners
As with pocket buddies, picking the right class to deploy a Kritzkrieg on is a very important decision. Who you decide to give your ÜberCharge will usually depend on the situation, though often it will simply come down to whatever heavy classes happen to be available or nearby when you have completed building your ÜberCharge. Regardless, you should be aware of how each class interacts with the Kritzkrieg.


Scout: As mentioned before, Scouts usually make poor buddies since their speed prevents you from reliably staying locked onto them. However, in an enclosed area where the Scout has little room to maneuver, a single Scattergun blast can completely destroy almost any class if aimed properly. Even better, if he has his Pistol to fall back on, he can inflict a tremendous amount of long-range damage.

The trick, however, is ensuring that the Scout is willing to stay within range of your healing beam, and that the enemy won’t overwhelm you due to his low health. In general, try not to take on too many enemies with a Kritz Scout, as his low health and mediocre range make him a less-than-ideal Kritzkrieg ÜberCharge recipient.


Soldier: Due to the absurd amount of damage that a crit rocket does, a Kritz Soldier is capable of obliterating an entire enemy force in the blink of an eye. This alone makes a Soldier one of the very best candidates to give a Kritz to. However, the greatest drawback to giving your Kritz to a Soldier is his small magazine size; with only four rockets, the Soldier must make each shot count, or have a Shotgun to fall back on when he runs out of rockets.

The stock Rocket Launcher is preferred for Kritz work, as the Direct Hit’s reduced splash radius makes it less effective against groups, and the Black Box and Liberty Launcher hold only three rounds. The Beggar’s Bazooka is a risky choice, it can drop a large amount of front-loaded damage, but spends a lot more time reloading as well. Do not Kritz a Soldier who has the Cow Mangler 5000, it cannot be crit-boosted and you will end up wasting your ÜberCharge.

The Kritzkrieg can also combine with the Soldier’s backpack buff items, as it can allow him to instantly charge a full Rage meter for the Buff Banner, allowing your team to continue to push after the ÜberCharge is finished (or inversely, can allow him to quickly charge a second Rage meter after deploying his first), and a Battalion’s Backup can greatly increase your odds of survival during a Kritz ÜberCharge. Used properly, these combos can give your team a serious advantage.


Pyro: As with the Scout, a Pyro is usually a poor choice unless you’re in an enclosed area where a Kritz Flamethrower can wreak absolute havoc. Due to his poor range, the Pyro is a poor Kritz candidate, so unless your targets are in a cramped area, a different class will probably serve you better. However, there is one thing that the Pyro can be good at: if the enemy has lots of explosive spamming classes, particularly Soldiers, you can take advantage of this and generate reflected crit rockets!

Due to how game mechanics work, if a Pyro is crit-boosted while reflecting projectiles, all reflected projectiles (minus stickybombs, which remain in the possession of the Demoman who fired them) will become crits, so you can turn the enemy’s own explosives against them in a devastating way. If you have no other good long-range teammates nearby and the enemy is about to push, this can be a great way to give the enemy a rude surprise.


Demoman: One of the most absolutely devastating combos, a Kritz Demoman with the stock Stickybomb Launcher can easily wipe out an enemy force before they even know what hit them. Just as with the Soldier, a crit sticky does an absurd amount of damage and is capable of killing three or even four enemies with one projectile. Even better, the Stickybomb Launcher has a much higher magazine capacity, and the Demoman has precise control over when to detonate them, meaning that you don’t even need to reload for the duration of the ÜberCharge. Additionally, even if you do run out of stickies, the Demoman still has his Grenade Launcher to fall back on, which is less precise but has a longer range and deals similar amounts of damage.

The main drawbacks to this are that the Demoman isn’t quite as durable as a Soldier, and properly aiming the Stickybomb Launcher requires considerable amounts of skill. The Stickybomb Launcher also has a somewhat shorter range than the Rocket Launcher, meaning that it is harder to chase fleeing enemies unless you waste time charging up a long-range sticky. While you can put out devastating amounts of damage during a push, it may be harder for you to recover afterwards, and it might be easier for the enemy to get a kill on you during the Kritz charge itself.

As usual, avoid crit-boosting Demoknights, as they can generate crits using their shield charges, and being that close to enemies is not how a Medic should play. In defensive situations it may be worthwhile to ÜberCharge a Demo who is carrying the Scottish Resistance, since those stickies can be selectively detonated.


Heavy: As with pocketing a Heavy, Kritzing a Heavy can wreak absolute havoc on the enemy team given the right circumstances. While bullet spread will make the Minigun somewhat less effective at longer ranges, it is considerably more forgiving in targeting multiple enemies that are spread out, since the Minigun doesn’t rely on single high-damage projectiles to kill the enemy. Even better, you don’t have to worry about Pyros reflecting explosive projectiles back at your team, just mow the Pyro down before he can get within airblast range and you’re golden.

The one main drawback of the Heavy is, again, his slow speed. Because he has to stand virtually still in order to rev up his Minigun, this only allows you to kill any enemies in the immediate area, as you would need to pick the Minigun back up and deal with a slower footspeed in order to give chase to fleeing enemies, to say nothing of the time required to spin up the Minigun again. Of course, if the Heavy is carrying the Shotgun or Family Business, this allows him to keep pursuing, however even so the Heavy’s slower speed still works against him. Even worse, if an enemy Sniper is prepared, he can easily pick off the Heavy while he’s spun up, leaving you high and dry.


Engineer: Surprisingly, with the right loadout, an Engineer can be useful for a surprise push with the Kritzkrieg. The one weapon that any pocket Engineer should always be carrying is the Gunslinger, as the extra +25 HP can make him that much more durable. For Kritz work, he should also carry a Pistol and either the stock Shotgun or the Widowmaker, as this allows him to put out damage while remaining mobile. In particular, the Widowmaker combined with critical hits means that the Engineer never has to stop to reload his weapon, as each successful shot is guaranteed to give him more metal than he spent firing that shot.


Any other classes will make poor Kritz recipients, so it is not really worth discussing them. While an impromptu Kritzkrieg can be deployed on any teammate in a desperate situation and still be put to use, you should always plan to use your ÜberCharge in the best way possible. Despite its faster charge time compared to the stock Medi Gun, the Kritzkrieg is still one of the biggest game-changers in a match.
Medi Gun Combos And Counters
Counters
Remember that most of the time, you are not the only Medic on the server, the other team will probably also have a Medic who is also trying to help his team to win. When things come to a head, you must be ready to face the enemy Medic’s ÜberCharge should you both deploy at the same time.

The main one you have to worry about is the stock Medi Gun, as it makes its patient invulnerable to all damage and thus completely neutralizes your Kritzkrieg. You are more than likely to encounter this predicament in any given server, since the stock Medi Gun is often used on attacking teams in order to destroy defending teams’ Sentry Guns. In order to counter this, you generally want to use your Kritz to force the enemy Medic to pop his invulnerability ÜberCharge, then retreat and use your faster build speed to get another ready before he can, then go in with that and destroy him. In this one instance, you will want to build your Über as quickly as possible, so utilize a Soldier or Demo’s help in getting it ready as quickly as possible.

Against another Kritzkrieg, this mainly comes down to how skillful each of the patients is and how you encounter each other. In general, you want to get the first crit in and kill the enemy Medic before he has a chance to pop, because otherwise he’ll kill you and then the rest of your team. There are numerous variables that will determine who will win out, but if you can pull off an ambush or pop your Über first, you hopefully won’t have to worry about it.

Don’t bother worrying about the Quick-Fix or Vaccinator if facing them head-on, as they stand no chance against the Kritzkrieg. The Megaheal does no good since your patient will be able to deal more damage in a single projectile than most classes' maximum HP, and the Quarter Über cannot resist crit damage, even with the proper damage resistance type selected. Your only real worry should come from the faster charge rates of those two Medi Guns, which may allow them to deploy their Übers well before you have yours ready, and overwhelm your team while you’re incapable of helping.


Combos
7 times out of 10, and excluding competition formats, your team will (hopefully) have more than just one Medic, and as a result you can combine your Medi Guns for various interesting effects.


Medi Gun: Because both of these Medi Guns function exactly the same way except for their ÜberCharge, there isn’t much in the way you can do to think of ways to combine their attributes outside of the Übers themselves. In the case of using your Übers cooperatively, you can choose to deploy them in tandem on different patients for a massive push, or one after the other for expedited cleanup.

In general, Medics with the Medi Gun should focus on destroying impassable obstacles such as Sentry nests or sticky traps, while the Medic with the Kritzkrieg should focus on targeting enemy players once the danger of a Sentry Gun or sticky trap is gone. You can even both deploy them at the same time and have the invulnerable pair go first to shield the pair with the Kritz, as this can overwhelm any enemy entrenchments quite quickly.

One particularly expensive combo is to deploy both of the Übers on a single player at the same time, resulting in an invulnerable player firing crits all over the place. This should be used only against extremely tough opposition though, as it wastes firepower that could be spread out more with additional players pushing forward as well. The point of an invulnerability is to ignore any damage done as the patient tries to kill these sources of damage quickly, most often a Sentry Gun, while the point of the Kritz is to quickly eliminate multiple enemies before they can get away.


Quick-Fix: The Quick-Fix can be used cooperatively with the Kritzkrieg to ensure your survival in the face of focused firepower, particularly to keep the Kritz Medic or his patient from dying before the charge is used up. Even better, the Megaheal can prevent an enemy Pyro from pushing you away with a compression blast, allowing you to keep on moving to kill the enemy.

Outside of using your Übers though, the Quick-Fix and Kritzkrieg can allow the Medics to focus on different tasks when needed. The most basic way for this to work is to let the Quick-Fix Medic focus on patching up teammates who are below maximum health, while you focus on buffing full-health teammates up with overheal. Even better, the Quick-Fix Medic can use his faster healing rate to maintain your team’s front lines, allowing you to pocket a teammate for some more serious work.

Even while separated, the two Medi Guns can work together to pincer the enemy. If the Quick-Fix Medic is maintaining your team’s front lines, this gives you more freedom to take a side path with a teammate and hit the enemy from their flank or behind with a Kritz ÜberCharge. And conversely, if you’re the one healing all of your teammates in the face of the enemy spearhead, the Quick-Fix Medic can pocket a Soldier or Demo and go on a Reinforced Flanking run through unexpected routes.


Vaccinator: The Vaccinator, unfortunately, can bring less to the table in terms of combos with the Kritzkrieg. You should generally treat it like a weaker Quick-Fix, since it doesn’t have a faster healing rate like the Quick-Fix and is worse at overhealing than a Legacy Medi Gun. While you can take advantage of the Quarter Über to provide you or your patient with an increased measure of resistance during a Kritz, you shouldn’t rely too much on it due to enemies being able to attack with different damage types. On the flip side though, the Quarter Über may be available on a far more frequent basis, which does help somewhat.

About the only other combo that these Medi Guns can pull off is for you to maintain your team’s front lines while the Vaccinator Medic takes a teammate with him to form a Roaming Task Force. The Vaccinator is simply not reliable enough to support the front line by itself, which means that you can’t afford to leave to try to flank the enemy team with a Kritz Über.
Weapon Choice
Remember that besides your Medi Gun, you also have a primary weapon and melee weapon that you can equip. Most of the time this is up to the player’s personal preference, but some weapons work better than others when combined with various Medi Guns.

Primary Weapons

Syringe Gun: The main reason that you should be choosing this weapon is if you want to rely on passive health regeneration instead of attacking enemies to regain health. If you want to focus more on healing your teammates and letting them protect you, then the stock Syringe Gun is a good choice.

Blutsauger: On the other hand, if your team sucks at preventing you from taking damage, or you expect to spend more time actively fighting the enemy, the Blutsauger can help you to fend off weaker enemies and increase your survivability in the face of danger. However, the reduced health regeneration means that you have to watch out for fire and bleed effects, so keeping an eye on where the health packs on a map are becomes even more important. Remember though, if you’re shooting at enemies, you’re not building Über, and thus you’re wasting your 25% faster charging rate advantage.

Crusader's Crossbow: Like the Blutsauger, the Crossbow can be a useful weapon for attacking enemies, especially at long range, as well as supporting teammates from long range. Additionally, it can be paired up with the Amputator in the Medieval Medic item set to increase your passive health regeneration. Remember though, healing teammates with the Crossbow doesn’t help you build your Über, so try to leave the Crossbow for either providing supporting fire or for the item set bonus.

Overdose: There honestly isn’t that huge of a difference between this and the stock Syringe Gun. Because its advantage relies on you having a full ÜberCharge meter, you probably won’t find yourself employing the Overdose’s faster movement speed all that often. However, there may be times where this can let you get away from a fight a bit faster, which can be a life saver. The 10% damage penalty doesn’t really hurt that much since your damage output relies more on your ability to actually lead the syringes. So again, there isn’t much of a difference between this and the stock Syringe Gun, so choose based on your personal preference.


Melee Weapons

Bonesaw: Due to the existence of the Amputator and Solemn Vow, there’s no point in using the stock Bonesaw unless you don’t have either of those other weapons, so only pick the Bonesaw in that one instance.

Übersaw: If you need to build a faster Über in a pinch, the Übersaw can greatly even the odds. The one thing to keep in mind here is that you don’t get extra charge from hitting disguised Spies with this thing, so be mindful of that when Spy-checking. In other situations though, the Übersaw is probably one of the most-used melee weapons for the Medic due to its only drawback being a slower attack speed.

Vita-Saw: There’s actually a pretty good benefit to carrying the Vita-saw with the Kritzkrieg. While the Vita-saw will store up to 20% of your ÜberCharge meter between lives, this actually applies to any charge that is unused if you have already deployed your Über. This means that if you are interrupted and killed in the middle of a Kritz, you can salvage part of your charge and use it to build your next charge faster when you respawn. While this also applies to the Quick-Fix and Vaccinator as well, the usefulness of a Kritzkrieg ÜberCharge makes it more valuable in this case.

Amputator: As with the Crusader’s Crossbow, the Amputator can be useful in healing teammates in a pinch, but does not help to build Über. If there are numerous teammates nearby who need healing fast, taunting with the Amputator can make your job easier, though you should remember to do so with your back against a wall so that Spies can’t backstab you.

Solemn Vow: Probably the most well-balanced option out of all your melees, the Solemn Vow can be useful for pinpointing enemy health bars and telling your teammates who to focus fire on. Though in the case of the Kritzkrieg, it often doesn’t matter much since your Kritz ÜberCharge can obliterate your enemies quickly no matter how much health they have.
Conclusion
I’ve tried to make this guide as newbie-friendly as possible, but if you’re having trouble with any terms or meanings, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or suggestion so that I can include any improvements. I’m also more than willing to listen to other experienced Medic players’ suggestions for any tactics that they use with the Kritzkrieg, as I do want to make this guide as comprehensive as possible.

If you like this guide, make sure to check out my other Medic guides as well!

Quick-Fix Medic: For Doctors and Patients
Vaccinator: Basic Usage
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6 Comments
Robbie Sep 21, 2013 @ 2:31pm 
Nice kritz guide but I want to point out that the sniper can be a good kritz target too. If you kritz him with any rifle beside the Manchena you he can do the damage of an uncharged head shot with out scoping. This can take down any class besides an heavy or solder unoverhealed. This trick is nicknamed the railgun and agenst weak pushes with a good sniper this can be very deadly.
intellelligenz Jun 24, 2013 @ 8:08am 
You make the best Medic guides!
Tolna May 20, 2013 @ 9:20am 
Nice work, good guide, hopefully this gets more people using the Kritzkrieg at appropriate times!
Lord Kelvin  [author] Jan 27, 2013 @ 9:15pm 
My experience with the Vaccinator's effectiveness when teaming up with the Kritzkrieg comes mainly from my own experience when using the Vaccinator (and as you'll see, I have pretty much written the book on how the Vaccinator should be used). If you read more closely I don't diss the Vaccinator at all, I do point out that its greatest advantage is in having a Quarter Über ready to pop at a time when the other Medi Guns wouldn't be able to do much. However, it is still not all that great unless the other Medic has a clear idea of what he's doing.
pcakes Jan 25, 2013 @ 4:06pm 
awesome guide, try not to diss the vaccinator, I find it saving me very often, making me nearly immune to any type of damage upon uber... but otherwise great job
Sleepwalker (Chaotic_Neutral) Jan 24, 2013 @ 3:01pm 
Great guide, thanks!