January 29, 2012
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Released during the Australian 2011 Christmas Update, the Phlogistinator is a primary weapon for the pyro. It appears as a retro-futuristic ray gun and fire energy waves that function identically to the standard flamethrower. Unlike the standard flamethrower, it lacks the compression blast. Instead, all fire damage dealt charge the mmmph meter. When this is filled (around 221 points of fire damage), the Pyro can unleash a taunt that restores all his health and guarantees critical hits from the flame-thrower for a ten second duration.
In combat situations, a pyro equipped with the Phlogistinator should pair it with the Manmelter, which can put out fires on burning team mates. In general, the Phlogistinator can be wielded as a standard flamethrower offensively (the same tactics of strafing and jumping around opponents holds, as well as performing spy-checks with quick bursts). However, the lack of a compression blast prevents the Phlogistinator from being useful as a defensive tool.
The mmmph meter can be thought of as a limit break: once it is charged, a player can access a powerful taunt that restores your health and ensures critical hits. While taunting, the wielder is granted a 90 percent damage resistance. These attributes make the mmmph an immensely useful tool for smashing through another team’s ranks: skilled pyros can clear out an entire objective area on their own using this mode if the conditions are correct, such as preventing an opposing team from capturing a point or pushing the cart. The offensive power of a charged Phlogistinator is most effectively countered by the ÜberCharge: while an ÜberCharge only lasts eight seconds, the time it buys in blocking damage may be sufficient to save a team from annihilation.