The solider has three different types of 'banner' items that, when charged by dealing damage, allow him to 'buff' himself and his nearby teammates in different ways.

  • The Buff Banner - Bestows all weapons with mini-crits
  • The Batallion Backup - Reduces damage for all buff targets
  • The Concheror - Provides healing for all buff targets per damage dealt

My question is, when is it best to use each of these different banners?

2 Answers 2


Each banner has a different situation in which it shines. Using it effectively provides the greatest bonus, both to your team and to yourself.

Buff Banner

The Buff Banner can, in the right situation, act as a mini-Kritzkreig for your entire team, helping them punch through an enemy front, take a capture point, or push back an attacking team entirely. It also chargest faster than any other Banner, which makes it easier to utilize in most situations, and is ideal for a defensive front since it allows your team to break apart a push.

But it won't be of much help if you don't have teammates that can deal that damage. Buff Banner is best used when you have multiple splash-damage allies on your team, such as other soldiers or demomen. Pyros can help too, as can Heavies. Basically any ally that can deal a lot of damage will help.

The Buff Banner also pairs well with an Uber medic, allowing you the benefit of both mini-crits and invulnerability at the same time.

Batallion's Backup

If the Buff Banner is like a mini-Kritzkreig, the Batallion's Backup is like a mini-Uber. The reduced damage can help lead your team into a push, and the added health will help you survive that push as well. If you have a lot of allies pushing together all at once, the defense bonus this item provides can prove devestating in a push. It can even help take down that pesky Sentry Nest.

Like the Buff Banner, this item pairs well in conjunction with its opposite in Medigun-technology. A kritzkreig with the Batallion's Backup will keep the Kritz target alive while they tear through your opponents.

The Concheror

The Conch is a little more difficult to place in terms of usefulness - it sort-of acts like the Quickfix, in that it will keep all of your allies topped up on health while in effect. If you have a lot of high-health allies (Soldiers, Demomen, Heavies ect), it can help them stay alive while pushing forward.

The Concheror, like the Batallion's Backup, pairs best with a non-Uber medic, like the Kritzkreig, since it allows the target to deal damage and heal equal ammounts from it at the same time. But it can also be beneficial if your team is lacking medics or other forms of healing, giving your team a much-needed healing boost.

Update The Concheror has an additional effect now: It acts as a Disciplinary Action effect to all in its area of effect, speeding up everyone's movement including the soldier. This adds some utility to the Concheror, allowing for a rapid push that can be very effective as an attacking team, when trying to capture a point, or when trying to claim and return with enemy intelligence.

In addition, both the Concheror and the Batallion's Backup have bonus effects. See Austin Mohr's answer for details.

  • The banners are useful in all of those situations, but they seem focused solely on push aka offense. Are there any where they would be better for defense rather than offense? Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 17:48
  • 1
    @OrwellHindenberg The Buff Banner specifically is a good defense banner, since it acts like a Kritzkreig and effectively counters another team's push.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 17:54
  • Concheror also adds the speed perk for you and teammates closeby - makes a lot of difference on certain maps, rushing to a point, escaping with a flag or catching up an enemy.
    – Konerak
    Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 12:13
  • @Konerak Very true. Answer updated.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 12:22

The Battalion's Backup and Concheror both have passive effects, as well.

The Battalion's Backup provides +20 health for the wearer. A fully overhealed Soldier with the Backup has 330 health versus 300 without. The extra 30 health cushion can be very useful if you have an attentive Medic.

The Concheror provides +2 health per second for the wearer. In contrast to the Backup, the healing over time benefit is very nice for a Soldier that is roaming or otherwise has limited Medic access. (For even more self-healing, consider pairing the Concheror with the Black Box.)

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