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Are there any mental or physical tricks I can use to get medics to pop ubers early? Normally in pubs, this wouldn't be such a big deal, but when playing competitively, it can turn the tide of battle one way or the other.

How can I get medics to pop an uber early?

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Common strategies include soldier bombs or a scout sneaking behind the combo. Any way to threaten the medic, cause the medic to take a lot of damage, or feel the threat of death. It can depend on the competitive format too. 6v6 strategy is totally different from Highlander strategy. –  Unionhawk Apr 3 '13 at 2:25
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

A good medic knows that an early uber is better than a dropped uber but tries their best to hold onto their charge until it's necessary (the use it or lose it rule).

The most common reason why a medic pops their uber sooner than later is to primarily protect themselves and secondly because the situation calls for it. So in order to pop an uber it's best to hurt the medic.

Effective strategies to force an uber are:

  • Giving the medic a big burst of damage (crits, sniper body shot, rockets/stickies/pipe spam, etc.)
  • The medic is on fire and probably won't make it to heal or be extinguished
  • A spy is in his face and wants to protect himself
  • An ubered enemy is coming towards them

Secondly, but much more unlikely, a medic will pop uber if he thinks that it might be useful. Although not as common or effective, you can force an uber to pop early if the medic thinks:

  • There is an engineer nest nearby
  • There is a lot of enemies nearby
  • There is another medic with an already popped uber
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1. The rule is "pop it, don't drop it". 2. Building a sentry is a VERY slow way to force an uber pop. 3. Popping your own team's uber to force the other team to do so is not a legitimate strategy. The medic that pops first has lost. 4. As mentioned by another user, the most common techniques are soldier bombs and scout ambushes. –  Austin Mohr Apr 3 '13 at 18:01
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Also, in a competitive situation, Crits only occur at the hands of a medic with the Kritzkreig, and using Kritz to force Uber is generally not ideal either; you only have the slim charge rate advantage at that point. Random crits aren't a strategy in any case. –  Unionhawk Apr 4 '13 at 3:11
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@Unionhawk - I wrote crits to mean forced crits like spy ambassdor headshots, flares on burning targets, frontier justice, and so on, not actual crits/kritz. –  Dycker Apr 5 '13 at 1:39
    
@Dycker Ah. That makes a great deal more sense. –  Unionhawk Apr 5 '13 at 3:23
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What will cause a medic to pop uber is usually also what is best suited for outright killing the medic

Flanking is the best strategy here. Any class that can get behind the Medic's heal targets is in prime position to force an Uber pop. Which means the following classes are best at it:

  • Scout
  • Soldier (rocket-jumping)
  • Demoman (Sticky Jumping, more dangerous but effective)
  • Spy (Preferably you will kill the medic, but forcing an uber pop is a good consolation prize)
  • Pyro (Thanks to his Powerjack, Pyro can move much faster, and is already a class that should focus on flanking anyway. Plus, fire just has that wondeful 'fear' effect that makes a Medic want to pop his uber)

Ordered by preference. Scouts are especially good for this since they can slip behind the lines with a Bonk! and come back to harass the Medic, or just use their speed and jumping ability to slip by.

But a Soldier or a Demo will do in a pinch, since they can both fly above and launch an 'airstrike' on the Medic. Spies SHOULD be trying to kill the medic in one hit, but forcing a pop is good too (Snipers can do this too with a good body shot), and Pyros are just good at sewing chaos with flames anyway (though not the most highly-recommended for this task).

A Sentry Nest, a large enemy front, an Uber of your own, or any other major frontal threat will also 'make' a Medic pop their uber, but at that point it's more an effective use of that uber, rather than 'forcing' them to pop it.

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