So, suppose that you're starting your favorite server with a couple of friends/strangers/mortal enemies (Basically, the number of people on the server is 4 on 4 or less). Anyway, you've been doing well K/D-wise, maybe even picking up a domination or two when all of a sudden some of your opponents get frustrated and turn to the dark side.

They go heavy-medic.

Now what? The main counters to such an atrocity are sniper/spy, and both are much less effective when there's only a handful of players on the server (because there's less distractions, enabling the enemies to focus on disrupting the support classes).

Since almost nothing will beat that kind of firepower at close range, your only hope is to use hit and run tactics, and try to take out the medic. However, considering that the medic will try to hide behind his 450 health buddy, has his own healing factor, and will likely flee to a health pack given enough time, you'll likely have to try and take him out in one shot. Which will usually leave you shredded by the heavy. And even if you do get close to managing it, the medic uses an uber, and you're foiled anyway.

Is there an effective way to dismantle this combo without sinking to their level and using your own cheap tactics? (ie: Your own heavy medic combo, stickybomb trapping a doorframe, etc.)

  • 17
    How about going heavy yourself and then call for a medic? Countering teamwork by going solo isn't going to end well.
    – badp
    Mar 2, 2011 at 22:24
  • 1
    To me, spy always seemed more effective on lower-population servers if you know what you're doing. Keep track of where the other players are, stalk the heavy-medic, and attack when they're isolated. Even better if they're concentrating on engaging one of your teammates.
    – Steve V.
    Mar 3, 2011 at 4:51
  • 1
    Playing 4vs4 or even less in TF2 is not really fun. We tried too, on some LAN parties we made, but we finally reach the conclusion that minimum number of players to enjoy the game is 12 (6v6).
    – Drake
    Mar 3, 2011 at 8:10
  • 1
    There's a t-shirt for this: store.penny-arcade.com/products/pat070411
    – KatieK
    Mar 3, 2011 at 16:18
  • 14
    Cheap tactics don't exist, by the way. There is only winning or losing. Mar 3, 2011 at 16:34

14 Answers 14


Certain classes are better against certain other classes.

In general: Heavy is weak against Spy, Sniper, and Demoman.

Heavy is strong against Scout, Pyro, and Medic.

Heavy is even (more or less) against Soldier.

An Engineer versus Heavy depends entirely on if the Engy has a level 2-3 sentry or not. A mini-sentry or level 1 sentry will almost always see the Heavy win at full health. In this case, the Engineer should flee. If he was building mini-sentries, building them as you flee is an excellent idea, as it will slow the Heavy down to kill it, or make him ignore it to chase you, dealing him damage all the while.

Medic is weak against Scout, Pyro, and Soldier... well, most of the classes in the game, but those three in particular.

Medic is strong against the Spy, simply because a Medic that continually moves will generally outrun or dodge a Spy's backstab.

The thing is... a Scout has the best chance of killing a Medic if he can manage to get behind the Medic, simply because a medic is a 2-shot kill with the standard Scattergun at close range.

Now, the best defense against a Heavy/Medic pair is to work with your own teammates. If you can take out one of the two, the other teammates may be able to take out the other.

If you really do need to combat them alone, Sniper is likely your best bet. As tempting as it is to go after the Medic first, if he keeps moving, he can generally outrun your scope. However, a fully charged headshot will one-shot the Heavy.

If they Uber, run, unless you're an Engineer trying to keep a sentry nest up. In this case, repair repair repair, and hope that they aren't smart enough to have the Medic block the sentry's knockback effect. If you can get a Pyro to help you by airblasting the Medic or Heavy away, even better.

P.S. NEVER go head-to-head versus a Heavy, he will always likely win simply because of how much damage he does.

  • It seems there isn't really an easy way to take down the pair without using teamwork or cheap tactics. Oh well, I'm accepting this answer because it gives the best summary of the situation as well as the most likely to work solutions. Mar 4, 2011 at 20:41
  • Listen to the protip
    – DrFish
    Jul 4, 2011 at 14:32

You write:

The main counters to such an atrocity are sniper/spy, and both are much less effective when there's only a handful of players on the server (because there's less distractions, enabling the enemies to focus on disrupting the support classes).

I disagree. It's much easier sniping when you have just one slow-moving target to worry about and there's no one else to flank and harass you. A spy is trickier, but still you just have to catch one of them off-guard for a second as your teammate (say, a soldier) distracts them and you practically killed them both.

You also write:

Is there an effective way to dismantle this combo without sinking to their level and using your own cheap tactics?

I disagree (again) that theirs is a cheap tactic. There's a very good synergy between the medic and the heavy, so picking to play such a pair is very smart when going 2v2. And preparing booby-traps as a demo that can instantly kill this pair is also a very smart thing to do, if you can draw them into the trap :)

  • 1
    Medic-Soldier can do reasonably well if you just want to do something different.
    – C. Ross
    Mar 2, 2011 at 21:58
  • I've really disliked heavy since I started TF2, mainly because I played a lot of scout, and had a LOT of trouble with the evil pre-nerf Natascha. Heavy isn't quite as bad any more, but the dislike has just stuck with me. Mar 2, 2011 at 23:00
  • 4
    IMHO, a soldier-medic or demo-medic with kritzkrieg should do the trick, since you can easily one-shot the enemy-medic with a crit-shot. Then, heavy is bound to die soon =)
    – Lysarion
    Mar 3, 2011 at 10:03
  • 5
    +1. A bunch of half-skilled players working as a team will always run over uber-pros where each is minding his own business, and this is the beauty of this game.
    – Leonel
    May 26, 2011 at 16:30
  • +1 for the disagreement on heavy/medic being a cheap tactic.
    – Corv1nus
    Jun 30, 2011 at 16:30

If you have the Backburner as a pyro, you can kill them with critical hits from behind when they are distracted. just sneak up behind them, burn the medic, then the heavy. It is a little risky but works often.


Your question remind me when my friends and me used to play a lot in LAN parties 5v5/6v6. I remember how detestable is the combo heavy+medic with such a low server population.

In my opinion, the more effective ways to counter-attack them are the following (many you have already noted in your question):

  • Sticky the paths and spam pipes like hell.
  • Backstab them. It need some team organization: a scout could warn the spy about where the duo is moving; in addition it would really helpful that other team members try drawing the attention of medic-heavy, so that the spy can easily sneak behind them and assassinate.
  • You can also take heavy-medic pair, provided that your skill using these classes is comparable to that of other team. You can different combination of medigun/krizkrieg sasha/natasha.

Obviously, in all cases, try to kill at least the medic. Of course, it will happen that you succeed to kill medic, but immediately after the heavy will pwn you. But I am sure that after 5/8 times the medic dies without being able to make assists or charge an uber, he will switch class.

Finally, remember that team that reach the objective wins, not the team that make more kills. In control point maps heavy-medic could be easily humiliated due to their slowness by a team with high mobility made by scouts/pyro

  1. Scout: Ducking in an out of cover and hitting point blank with the FAN. A point blank double shot should probably kill the medic, after that hide from the heavy until he spins down then pop out and hit him. Trickier to time that with the tomislav, but just watch for the heavy to slow down instead of listening.
  2. Pyro: Surprise from behind with the backburner, both should go down pretty quick. Switch to the axetinguisher on the heavy if he starts to turn around.
  3. Soldier: Duck in and out at far range and try to take out the medic, and then the heavy after. Anything but the direct hit could be argued for here - at range you want the splash damage since your rockets are easier to dodge.
  4. Engineer: Aside from defending a level 3 sentry, a wrangled mini sentry might be your best bet. Hopefully the heavy targets the sentry and not you. Target the medic first, as usual.
  5. Demoman: Sticky around a doorway or choke point. Use indirect fire to keep yourself safe.
  6. Heavy: Have the brass beast and surprise your enemy. Take out the medic, and hopefully the brass beast will give enough of an edge to deal with the overheal.
  7. Medic: Similar tactics as the scout, just you've got a harder battle. Ubersaw or blutslauger the medic down. If ubersaw, tap heavy if you need to to fill your charge, then flee. Take down heavy with the blutslauger, ducking out when he spins up.
  8. Sniper: Snipe them, medic first, since the heavy can't run away as fast.
  9. Spy: Backstab of course. Wait for the heavy to be firing since that masks sound, slows him down, and diverts his attention elsewhere. As usual, get the medic first if possible, but since you can pop the heavy easily enough with or without the medic there, take out the heavy and move on if the medic is too slippery.

There you have it, tactics for EVERY class! Engineer and medic are probably the toughest to pull off solo, but good luck!

  • If you can get eternal reward, I would say the spy way would be easy. Jun 29, 2011 at 20:09

Use a pyro/heavy combo.

As Pyro wait for the right moment to charge in. Set them both on fire first to cause panic and use the backblast on medic to separate him from his heavy. Burn the medic while your heavy is working on the other heavy, either way, in the end it will be a 2 to 1 situtation in your favor, either their heavy dies first, or their medic.

You can take a soldier or a demoman instead of the heavy if your aim is good enough and you get lucky to get a crit or two.


A demolitions trap would take out both players. Heavy/Medic tend to go offensive which gives you plenty of room to hide mines along their path. Even if you only get the medic you've evened the odds. If they've gone defensive, the demo can nade-jump to get around entrenched locations and is able to launch from quite a distance (I've only done the X-Box 360 version unfortunately, despite it going Free 2 Play recently). This works solo and I've always dominated small rooms as a demoman whether I'm going offensive or defensive so I don't see too many problems here either.

Otherwise I would use a soldier, the flak from both parties should increase your critical hit chance, which would help in taking out the medic at least, possibly both.


Use a pyro/sniper combo.

The pyro can wait around a corner to air blast them up (or at least back) if they uber. This gives plenty of time for the sniper to charge a shot, and when the heavy drops to the ground the sniper will have an easy headshot. The pyro can quickly deal with the medic afterwards.


A Solider is uniquely armed to take out a Heavy/Medic combo, if you can master one very special technique that he has.


Heavies have a lot of problems aiming at fast targets, even moreso when they're airborn. A well-timed, well-aimed rocket jump can pop your soldier up behind the Heavy/Medic combo, letting you rain down rockets upon the now-exposed Medic.

Now, what if he pops his uber? Well, job well done if he does. Making him waste it for you is a victory for your team as a whole. But if you want to aid your team even more, keep blasting rockets at their feet anyway - your goal at this point being to separate the two as much as possible. Knockback still affects ubered pairs so, with luck, you can separate them and leave the Heavy vulnerable, with the Medic's uber going to waste.

This tactic can also work with the Demoman and well-placed sticky traps. You can try to combine it with a sticky jump behind, but this carries a much greater risk due to the increased damage of sticky-jumping, coupled with the much greater time it takes to prepare your stickies (grenades simply won't explode on contact with an ubered pair, but can work wonders in conjunction with non-ubered pairs to take them down quickly).


Personally, I like to be a pyro. Go with a degreaser axtinguisher combo. If you can sneak up on the medic and funnel them with a doorway so you can burn them both easy, make sure you are a little behind them, you should be able to axtinguish the medic before the heavy really turns around. Use your speed to your advantage and axtinguish the heavy to death with a few hits. If you have to be alone, that's my suggestion.


I've been playing TF2 for years and I think a Medic + Heavy combo is overrated, sure it's good but it's very weak since a good Spy can trickstab the Heavy. As a Spy I never have any troubles with Heavies since they are usually just shooting forward and getting a stab is a piece of cake, some people prefer using the Demoman since he can lay down stickies (3 are fine, kills both of them) Pyro with a backburner can take out the Heavy in seconds,also if a Scout jumps in your face it's pretty hard to aim so you can ask a teammate to distract the Heavy while you shot, Sniper is a direct counter since you can 1 shot the Medic.


For me usually i would use a pyro with a flare gun and back burner (regular would also do well) and wait for the heavy to be un ubered if he is then i would use my flare gun to try to burn the medic or distract the pair the rush in and burn the medic first then start to run around the heavy spraying it with flames.


I figured I should probably give an update on how I've fared since then. Here's some of my preferred ways to deal with a heavy medic pair these days. (I won't touch on the sniper or spy, because let's face it, everyone knows those.)

1): Demoman If you actually use the default weps and not the demoknight set, this guy is VERY effective against heavies. It takes some practice, but landing a set of grenades on a slow moving heavy isn't too hard, and it's absolute murder for damage. They also have the advantage of doing splash damage to the medic (if he's close enough to his buddy), and can be done from mid range to avoid most minigun deaths. Additionally, stickies also have a huge blast radius, can easily be lead on a slow moving heavy, and if you're desperate, 4+ stickies trapping a corner or a door will kill ANYTHING. Even if the medic ubers to save his buddy, you have a good chance to retreat and try again in a few seconds.

2): Pyro's flare gun Counter intuitive yes, but this is actually fairly effective. You'll likely score more assists than kills, but it's pretty easy to land a few flare gun shots on a heavy, and it's quite possible to hit the medic even by accident. The first shot won't do much, but hitting a burning target gives you a nice 90 damage crit, and you can easily do this from a range where the heavy can't retaliate effectively. Alone this may be tough to kill with, but combined with some allies fighting the heavy (which is quite common if the server is remotely populated), you'll do more damage than the medic can heal.

Anyway, it can be done with other classes as well (soldier's splash damage rockets, scout ambushes, engineer sentries, and of course backstabs/headshots), but these are some other methods I've found that are surprisingly effective and mostly safe.

One last note: In general, the best way to kill a class is by abusing that class's weakness. With the 125 HP classes it's their low health, with the demoman it's lack of an insta-hit weapon, and with the heavy it's his low speed and lack of range. The heavy is quite slow and can't do much to you at mid-long range. So, the key is hitting the heavy reliably with decent damage at a good range, and retreating out of the effective range of his minigun when he comes after you. Killing the medic helps, but it can be easier to just nail the heavy, as the medic will retreat behind his buddy and often run for cover if you don't manage to quickly kill him outright.


You can outrun the heavy with a pyro when making rounds around him,but it's pretty hard.

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