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I absolutely love playing arena. One class that I don't end up playing very much is the scout. Since arena maps are smaller, running to the front lines once the round starts and finding all twelve of the enemy running straight at me leaves me very vulnerable. I end up just kind of hanging out in the back, waiting for people to spread out, and then start playing.

I feel like I'm totally wasting the speed of the scout. In CP, I know I could at least start to take the point, but I can't do that in arena. What should I be doing in that first 30 seconds?

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up vote 19 down vote accepted

You're not wasting the speed of the scout in arena. Running into a group of 12 people is pretty much guaranteed death.

Scout in arena is exactly as you're doing. You need to wait for people to spread out and rely on your teammates audio cues and voice communications to know where to go. Listen for sniper calls or watch the death tracker for sniper kills and then go pick them off. Pick off stragglers who might be retreating to find health after a larger fight. Arena means that every death is a tip in balance, and as you're the MOST fragile player, you've got a lot of liability on your shoulders to ensure that you don't waste your life right off the bat (no pun intended). Use your double jump to your advantage and consider using the FaN to get to good ambush / hiding spots.

Scout in arena can also be effective bait. Get that demo to chase you around the corner into the hands of a heavy/medic combo. A lot of people will tunnel vision and auto target scouts due to their low health.

To put it simply, if you're playing scout in arena, you're playing more like a spy in any other match.

Edit: Adding in a bit about defensive play.

You can also treat scout in arena like a 6v6 competitive match as the defensive scout. Your job is to protect the medic who will likely be glued to a soldier or heavy early on. If the offensive target (heavy or soldier) is an attentive player, the FaN is a great choice for this due to it's stopping power, buying them a few seconds to turn and destroy (assuming they're not dead already). If they're not terribly attentive, your normal scattergun will do the trick and you're just going to be trying to kill and dodge.

Lastly, while I don't use it often (I love me some pistol action), you can use the Bonk! Energy Drink and park yourself between the medic and his assailant to effectively create a wall for 6 seconds while the heavy / soldier / whatever has time to refocus and destroy them.

Moral of the story: Medics can win arenas. Treat them well.

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I've never really thought of playing scout a lot like a spy. That's a really interesting thought - and probably very effective! –  Jeffrey Jul 30 '10 at 18:01
    
@Jeffrey Obviously you've gotta be a bit more creative with sneaking, but the great part of scouts is that you get stronger in this regard the less people there are on the battlefield (barring Engineer stacking), and this is the true nature of Arena mode. –  TheQ Jul 30 '10 at 18:12
    
"retreating to find health after a larger fight" Given that very few arena maps have health kits, and the ones that do only have a single health kit... –  user2974 Aug 18 '10 at 19:41
    
@Powerlord I don't mean only health kits. Heavies can Sandvich but they're not going to do it in front of everyone else. The only medic might be across the map. Etc. –  TheQ Aug 18 '10 at 19:53
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