As a long time player of the Spy class, I value my knowledge of the Spy and how I can change my strategy to suit my situation. With the addition of the Conniver's Kunai, I've been trying to find when the knife would be useful and how I could use it.

Conniver's Kunai

Conniver's Kunai

Level 1 Kunai

  • On backstab: absorbs the health from your victim.
  • −65 max health on wearer

The best solution I've seen was when I'm defending on a payload map and attack a (distracted) team pushing the cart. I can get several stabs and keep my health high but still die in a few seconds when the team turns to kill me and I cannot backstab anymore.

I seem to find that the Conniver's Kunai is set into a niche that Your Eternal Reward does better: Backstabing a large, distracted group. Any thoughts, opinions or comments?

  • To be honest, I think the Kunai is fairly worthless, as the other two knives are better in nearly every circumstance I can think of. And I say this having clocked 577.3 hours as Spy. Granted, I've been using the Your Eternal Reward a lot lately... it's mechanic changes the game quite a bit.
    – user2974
    Commented May 5, 2011 at 12:43
  • Having said that, if they'd change the healing effect from an overheal to a straight HP buff (until your HP goes down), I might consider using it.
    – user2974
    Commented May 5, 2011 at 12:48
  • Agree that it isn't very good. There is one useful scenario (which you already highlighted), when you want to try to stab a whole lot of enemies that are pushing a cart, since the repeated stabs can keep healing you.
    – TM.
    Commented May 23, 2011 at 18:47
  • Seeing as how it has a high health reward for a backstab, but forces spies to be very fragile generally, I'd say that this weapon is to allow players to play as more aggressive spies than usual. Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 21:18

4 Answers 4


I have hundred of hours play time with the Spy mostly using the classic knife and I was really interested to try the Conniver's Kunai as soon as it has been released.

Unfortunately, the 60 health points limit is really low and with the high level of missiles, pipes and bullets spam that there is in Team Fortress 2 it is really difficult to sneak behind the enemy lines without accidentally dying.

In the end I tested the Conniver a lot and found only a few maps and situations where its efficiency (K/D-ratio) is comparable to the standard knife. These are usually large maps, like, for example, pl_badwater (red team), cp_badlands and cp_coldfront when you are pushed by enemy team and mostly defending.


I am able to use it really well with the Dead Ringer for added survivability. I usually have the Dead Ringer out and my Ambassador until I get hit, then I will disguise and go behind the team and take as many out as I can, picking up weapons and metal to recharge the Dead Ringer, then running away. It's a hit and run, and the extra HP after kills lets you get clear.

Sometimes I will disguise as a teammate if the other team is catching on so that they won't be expecting me.

While using it my K:D went from like 1:3 to 3:1!

  • +1 for Dead Ringer addon. The extra health lets you come out of a dead ringer activation with enough health to make another attack immediately, every time, with no need to find health.
    – kinofrost
    Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 16:06
  • Note that you can die with active dead ringer when on really low health, and with -60 base health you're near that ;-)
    – ordag
    Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 18:57

The Conniver's Kunai is an excellent weapon if you are proficient at trickstabs, stairstabs, and jukestabs.

As stabby stabby mentions here, if you're a spy, and you're on fire, it's a blatant giveaway of what class you truly are and what you aim to do. The Conniver's Kunai provides instant relief, as successful backstabs not only heal you based on hp sapped from the enemy, but they will remove status effects, such as Jarate, Bleed, and Fire.


It's a good spy weapon. I suggest using the invisible watch with it. Disguise as your own team, head towards enemy, get behind something, cloak, get behind enemies, find engineer's dispenser, backstab some people, cloak, get to the engi's dispenser so that your health stays buffed, and repeat.

As for the spam, be smart about it. Don't go out there as yourself, you need to keep your presence completely unknown. Which is good with the YER by the way, but if you're careful enough and know the map well, you can keep cloaked almost 90% of the time with the invisible watch, if you know where the ammo boxes (small, medium, large) are.

Aim for bigger targets. Don't risk backstabbing a scout unless he's literally just standing there. Pick your targets wisely. Snipers are good to buff your health since they're usually oblivious, unless he has a razorback. For this I suggest you use the enforcer to kill him off or use the Ambassador to headshot the sniper and then stab him in the stomach (my personal favorite).

Be smart when using the connivers kunai. Any knife + invisible watch = win.

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