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The Flamethrower (Class) Guide

Wisdom Gained from the Fires of Zombie Infested Hell

Made by ArcturusV

Foreword

Now, Flamethrower is my favorite class to play in NOTD. Yet I've noticed there isn't really a guide for the Flamethrower yet. Recent experiences in a few Alpha Company games has inspired me to get off my ass and try to write up a basic guide.

Introduction

The Flamethrower is the sole "Heavy" class in the Alpha Company storyline, and unlocked as soon as the player is capable of joining an Alpha Company game with no further requirements.

As the sole Heavy Class of the storyline he is the only Marine who can really handle front line combat against the heavy mobs of Alpha Company, and regardless of tree this is where he excels.

Basic Tips and Intrinsic Abilities

Alpha Company is THE DPS Storyline. As such, regardless of tree, know that you won't be tanking mobs like you might with a Technician in Apollo Security Team, or at various points in Easy Company.

Tanking

There are only two points in Alpha Company where a Flamethrower is required to tank, and can regardless of tree with either the backup of a decent medic or Reactive Armor/Kinetic Armor and burning a few Medkits. There are no real need for Medkits at any other point in the storyline so you shouldn't have a problem making sure you have a stack or two.

Seth

Regardless of tree you can tank Seth with minimal difficulty and unless there is a fortunate Random, the only choice for tanking him.

Cerberus

Regardless of tree you can tank Cerberus, and NEED TO.

Nearly every other class in most Alpha Company teams is not only not a heavy marine, but also quite fragile. Make sure at all times you are leading the way during moving segments, and communicate with your team to make sure they stand a safe distance away from you, as you have no taunt ability.

Suggested Stats

Intelligence

Intelligence is highly valued. Unlike the Assaults you may be familiar with as the Heavy Marine role, the Flamethrower regardless of tree tends to be fairly energy intensive, and their regen isn't that amazing.

Perception

Beyond that, it is a matter of preference and playstyle. Perception having a few points is almost a requirement for this storyline, due to the large amounts of Wraiths that can appear. If you trust your Recon or ability to find and appropriately use Road Flares you can skip on this.

Strength/Endurance

The Flamethrower already has a truly beastly amount of HP regen, and considering their close range, frontline roles either of these are a good choice. By habit I prefer Endurance for Extra Lives and condition resistance. Also keep in mind that most Medics in Alpha Company will go Nano Tech, making Endurance a slight bit more favorable, especially if you are an Order Flamethrower.

Agility

Good choice for Pyro Flamethrowers. The Flamethrower itself is already pretty light on its feet for its size, but the extra speed and reduced reload time help with good Mk-3 Flamethrower Micro.

Talents

Pyro Flamethrower

Tier One

Helium-3 Igniter

This, like Reflexes on the Mobilty Recon tree is basically a Noob Trap talent. You see it, extra range, damage, and a burning effect? What more could you want. But it distorts the powerful Mk-3 Flamethrower mechanics, making it less effective towards the end of it's range.

Burst Fire

This, is a much, much, MUCH better choice. It deals frontal arc AoE damage that will one shot common zombies. It is the only Anti-Air talent the Pyro Flamethrower has.

Tier Two

BURN!

This is situationally a very good talent, able to produce an output of Energy to Damage that no other class can match. However this is only a real possibility against Bosses, and on anything less it's mostly a waste of effort.

Frenzy

This skill is often overlooked. However, good uses of Burst Fire should drop at least 6 or so enemies at a time, possibly more. If your Micro is decent you can maintain almost a perpetual +30% attack speed and +120% damage.

Tier Three

Inferno

Often seen as being a Strictly Better improvement over Burst Fire. It can clear out a mobs instantly. It also deals heavy damage while it "Burns the target from the inside", making it a good anti-boss talent as well. Inferno's Pellets will not hit air units (Exception for Perses that can be hit by ground only weapons and abilities), but the AoE explosion from Inferno units will effect air.

Order Flamethrower

Tier One

Smite

Deals an AoE effect which shaves off Speed and Health from targets. Always a good choice, using it a few times at the start of a boss fight can often cheaply shave off thousands of HP. Note that despite the fact this is a "Ground Targeted" ability that it will always try to center the effect on any enemy that's close to your mouse cursor, if you're not used to it, it can be annoying and means you miss smiting a few targets.

Vengeance

As I said, Alpha Company isn't really a Tanking storyline, so the seeming powerful talent isn't really. At the very least though, if you grab Vengeance it's only worth it if you go all the way to three levels in it.

Tier Two

Righteousness

Simply put, this is the one skill that allows an Order Flamethrower to tank, just like Safeguard on a Protection Assault, or Time to Die on a Fortitude Demolitions. If you are planning on seriously trying to tank, max this out ASAP.

Shatter

If you maxed out Vengeance, this is a no brainer to get. Even without, it's a useful talent and should be grabbed before you hit your third tier, likely it's going to be your only source of healing outside of Medkits.

Side Note: Question if Shatter's healing is working. It seems to be working when I last used it. But there are also reports of it being broken.

Tier Three

Faith

Ignore the self damage on this, it's designed to make people who aren't familiar with Faith leery about using it. But with ally healing, condition removal, heavy, wide AoE damage, self armor buff, and a long stun built onto one skill, the health cost is well worth it.

Ammunition Mods on your character will increase the damage Faith does to you. This can leave you in a more precarious position than you might expect.

Note: There is a question if Faith's stun is currently bugged. Recent playing experience seems to suggest it is working. However there are reports that the stun may not work. User beware.

Talent Builds, and my discussion of their strengths and weaknesses

Pyro Flamethrower

Build One (The Burning!)

This is the common build you are likely to see on new Pyro Flamethrowers. They seek to max out Helium-3 Igniter, BURN!, go back to Burst Fire, then Inferno, totally bypassing Frenzy. Order usually looks like this:

1/3 Helium-3 Igniter
2/3 Helium-3 Igniter
3/3 Helium-3 Igniter
1/3 Burst Fire
1/2 Burn!
2/2 Burn!
2/3 Burst Fire
3/3 Burst Fire
1/1 Inferno
Strengths

The Helium-3 Igniter is Newbie Insurance, more or less. The additional range means you don't have to micro as much, and can hang closer to your teammates while still attacking. It's good for Nightmare Modes with Charging Enemies because the longer range makes you fire the Flamethrower earlier, possibly catching ghouls before they catch you. As such this build is basically the Stand Off build. It's designed to make sure that you don't have to get any closer than necessary to the enemy. This can be chalked up to fear or inability to expertly Micro (Hey, I admit we aren't all Korean), or possibly Newbie trickery, lured in by the shiny bonuses on Igniter and the high damage of Burn!

Weaknesses

Helium-3 Igniter distorts the Flamethrower mechanics. Not having Burst Fire early on and maxed out reduces your ability to dish out damage rapidly, slowing your leveling progress. Since Alpha is the DPS storyline you have to maximize your damage potential to keep up with everyone else. Not having Frenzy leaves you out of an important DPS buff.

Build Two: Slayer of the Nameless Hordes

1/3 Burst Fire
2/3 Burst Fire
3/3 Burst Fire
1/3 Helium-3 Igniter
1/2 Frenzy
2/2 Frenzy
2/3 Helium-3 Igniter
3/3 Helium-3 Igniter
1/1 Inferno
Strengths

Burst Fire being maxed out early can allow you to get additional kills and level up faster. Also Burst Fire can be used to cover up your Reload times, making sure there isn't any time where you are defenseless. Having Frenzy quickly maxed out allows you to keep up your Attack Speed, Move Speed, and Damage during the many holdouts in Alpha Company. It also makes Microing easier and less risky, allowing you to overcome the natural drawbacks of the Helium-3 Igniter through superior micro skill.

Weaknesses

This build has almost nothing it can really contribute during Boss Fights in Alpha Company. Excepting Demeter (And her mobs are a bit too heavy to be Burst Fire killed), bosses don't show up with heavy mobs, which impacts your ability to do much damage outside of Inferno. This can be offset, or at least less of a drawback if you have a good Assassination Marksman covering the slack. You can also try to get Burn! after Inferno. Though the nature of Alpha Company's bosses generally make Burn! less desirable.

Build Three: Man or Beast, Hordes or Gods, I'll Fight them All!

1/3 Burst Fire
2/3 Burst Fire
3/3 Burst Fire
1/3 Helium-3 Igniter
1/2 Frenzy
2/2 Frenzy
1/2 Burn!
2/2 Burn!
1/1 Inferno
Strengths

This avoids any micro problems with maxing out Helium-3 Igniter. It also covers the Flamethrower against Bosses with BURN!, giving him the ability to better contribute between level 6-8.

Burn! and Frenzy can be switched in the build order according to the particular needs of the storyline. Yes, storyline. I consider this a better option for Off-Storyline Randoming where the relative ability to tank bosses or hold them on lock down in a small area allows you to really ramp up Burn! and use it to its full potential.

Weaknesses

In Alpha Company you may end up feeling like Burn! was wasted Talents. But there is no real glaring flaws with this build.


Life Beyond Inferno

Finishing up your Pyro Tree can be tempting, however most likely you already grabbed up everything you really need on your way to Inferno, and fully blacking out the tree doesn't provide you with any great advantages should you have skipped over Burn! or Helium-3 Igniter. If you avoided Burst Fire or Frenzy I'd definitely suggest getting it afterwards.

In the Order tree there isn't too much that's likely to help you immediately. The Pyro Flamethrower is very energy intensive, and while Smite can compliment well with the close range DPS, you likely won't have enough energy to use it all that often. It does provide a useful Anti-Boss ability though if you skipped Burn!. Vengeance isn't really useful until you hit the third tier, but isn't a bad choice. With the damage capabilities of a Pyro Flamer it isn't out of the realm of possibility that you can max out Vengeance and get Shatter to turn you into a quasi DPS Tank. It also grants a measure of safety if you are channeling Burn! on a target. I wouldn't recommend COUNTING on the Vengeance Stun to save you, but it doesn't hurt and it's free on a very energy intensive build.


Order Flamethrower

In more organized and "Veteran" Alpha Company Teams, you will often be told that you should go Order and avoid Pryo like the plague. Be warned that you should at least be passingly familiar with Order therefore as, at least on the North American Server it's likely to be what you are asked to roll.

Build One: The Neophyte

This is the build I most often see rookies to Order Flamethrower go, and unless instructed otherwise, probably what you are going to see from a lower XP player. Especially since they seldom receive any instruction beyond "Get smite!"

1/3 Smite
2/3 Smite
3/3 Smite
1/3 Vengeance
1/2 Righteousness
2/2 Righteousness
2/3 Vengeance
3/3 Vengeance
1/1 Faith
Strengths

This is about as close to a Pure Tank as a Flamethrower can get. With Smite and Righteousness maxed out quickly it allows you to easily escape trouble should it prove too much. You can easily, with correct use of Smite end up with insane amounts of armor. Good Order Flamethrowers can easily reach numbers like +40 armor. Stunlocks from Vengeance provide the last measure of protection, are are about the only way an Order Flamethrower stands a chance of even somewhat tanking bosses without items or medic help.

Weaknesses

This build really doesn't have any ability to rack up kills beyond pure weapon damage. As such you're going to level slowly, and you won't really be capable of tanking mobs until you hit level 6, and even then will require two Smites to go off before you can really feel safe tanking. A lot of teams use Danger Close AoE damage, like Forward Observer Fire Missions which can limit your ability to grab the crowbar, grip, rip, and Facetank to level up faster. As well it performs poorly with Faith, and you might feel that it's a Last Resort Panic Button.

Build Two: The Lord is our Shepard says the Psalm, but just in case I need a RA!

In no way to a support this build. I have however seen it before, so I have put it up so I can talk about it.

1/3 Smite
1/3 Vengeance
2/3 Vengeance
3/3 Vengeance
1/2 Shatter
2/2 Shatter

(And usually at this point I see them cross out into Pyro, sometimes they get Smite maxed out, they usually skip Faith)

Strengths

Well... Um... Vengeance isn't as bad as it used to be, and you have a 45% chance of stunning an enemy attacker. With good Micro of Shatter you... can somewhat tank. If you have something like Reactive Armor. Smite is usually used by these people more as a panic button, smite them for a slow against something like an Agron, then run away.

Weaknesses

Not getting Righteousness means you can't really tank any better than an Arms Assault with Reactive Armor, which as most can tell you works "Kinda, not really". You're basing your ability to hang in close range on pure chance with Vengeance and over estimating Reactive Armor. A Slasher, or even, Agrons, will still likely rip you a new one. Not to mention Infested Marines and their ability to stack on venom.

Not getting Faith is always a mistake. Especially if you bothered to get Shatter. Know how good it is when you see a Demolitions use Sap on an enemy like Tartarus or Erebos? Faith does that, and damage, and heals, and gives you extra armor. With the stun followed up by a quick shatter you can help cover the loss of HP, and Faith deals enough damage the only common enemies able to survive it are Brain Bugs and Agrons, meaning you will hardly be in trouble. And a quick Shatter on a stunned Agron will generally kill it if Faith didn't.

Thus we see the revised version of that build and the first build, which I consider to be the more optimal Order Flamethrower Build:

Build Three: Eye for an Eye

1/3 Smite
2/3 Smite
3/3 Smite
1/3 Vengeance
1/2 Righteousness
2/2 Righteousness
1/2 Shatter
2/2 Shatter
1/1 Faith
Strengths

You got the great tier one progression of the first build. Smite can shave off a lot of damage, and in Nightmare Difficulties are likely to be your team's best way to handicap enemies like Charging Agrons and the early Slashers after Demeter. Soon as you max out Righteousness you can start getting up close and personal with enemy mobs, serving at the brick wall between the heavy mobs and your teammates. Having Shatter before you grab Faith means that you can use Faith right away with almost no fear of being caught in a weakened condition, particularly against Bosses. Having Shatter can also make leveling up a bit less painful, as it can snipe out enemies like Immortals and Hulks in one shot.

Weaknesses

The only real weakness to this is more of a team based weakness than a personal build weakness. Shatter and Smite are both fairly short ranged skills, so if the enemy doesn't get close enough, you will find yourself with a lack of targets which can leave you under leveled. Proper communication and making your team understand that you need to allow enemies to get within spitting distance from time to time ist he best way to work around it. This build is also very energy intensive, making it a poor choice for taking advantage of the Pyro Tree later on.

And a suggested build posted by Scar from the EU Server

As for me, I find the best build is as I call it shatterbat build:

Smite 1
Smite 2
Smite 3
Vengeance 1
Shatter 1
Shatter 2
Righterousness 1
Vengeance 2
Faith 1

After this finish the order tree

It has very solid dmg -> smite 3 will as always shear lots of health from enemies, shatter can kill devos and weaker enemies with one shot, you can steal some xp by finishing off wounded agrons, and still you retaing tanking ability throuh armor bonus from righterousness at least for short period of time and also with 30% stunning chance from vengeance you will also be quite capable to hold out bosses the only problem is you will have some trouble with small enemies if you dont have shotgun.


Life After Faith

Unlike the Pyro Tree, I really love blacking out the Order Tree. There isn't a single "Dud" talent on that tree, as long as the talent is maxed out. If you didn't grab up max Vengeance, or Shatter before Faith, do so now. Trust me, you won't regret it.

Pyro Tree doesn't have a lot of great choices. Burst Fire is a good follow up to Smite, but the energy requirements might make the combination very hard to pull off consistently.


General Strategies

Positioning

Regardless of tree, your abilities are all fairly short range, and depend on you having a constant feed of enemies. You need to make sure that you are in front of your allies, interrupting the stream of mobs from reaching your teammates.

If you are a Pyro Flamethrower, you need to make sure you are about a good range 4 or so in front of your allies. This isn't because you are "Tanking" mobs for them. This is because you are probably going to be using the Mk-3 Flamethrower all game long, and due to its shorter range you need to be up close in order to get any kills. It's not about hogging kills, it's about keeping up with the rest of the team. If you aren't close enough to the enemies, compared to your rifle using teammates, what will happen is your Flamethrower will begin the Attack Animation, raising up his hands towards the enemy, but not get a shot off before they die, canceling the attack. If you aren't careful, you can burn through an entire magazine (Each attempted attack takes up a round), without actually firing a shot. Alpha Company is short enough on ammo.

For an Order Flamethrower, you can stand off a bit more. You aren't required to use the Mk-3 Flamethrower for your talents after all, grab a Gauss Rifle as fast as you can. However you want to keep at range 2-3 in front of your allies. As I said earlier, they are all squishy in Alpha Company. You can, if it comes to it, take on a few Clickling bombs even early on where the Security Team Survivors, and your allies, cannot.

On the Move

Again, you need to lead the way. Particularly during the run to the Armory, and early scouting after Demeter. Spine Crawlers from Hades litter Apollo and deal enough damage that should another Marine run across them first it will put them in serious danger. This sounds extremely basic and logical I realize. However, Alpha Company does not get played a lot, and people often seem to forget, or are in a big hurry to be the first one to find the enemies and gain XP. As a Flamethrower you NEED to point out the danger, and make sure they fall in line behind you.

The Crowbar

Unlike other tanks and storylines, the crowbar is not necessarily your friend. Banelings and Clicklings are common enemies mixed into a lot of hordes. Even with moments where you have nearly 100 armor (It does happen with Order Flamethrowers), banelings will still rip you a new one unless you have Reactive Armor. There are a lot of AoE bombs being dropped, and generally you will be unable to facetank with the Crowbar even if you can maintain that 100 or so armor just for fear of TKing via Nukes, Napalm, Fire Missions, Bombing Runs, and Gunships. If you feel the need to tank, the Shotgun and Mk-3 Flamethrower should be your weapon of choice.

Don't be Shy

Alpha is THE DPS storyline. Do not be shy about using your abilities. If it's going to score damage or get kills, use it. Use Faith, use Shatter, use Burst Fire and Inferno. Don't worry about "Kill Stealing" or anything. You need to keep using your abilities as often as possible just to keep up with the other damage classes in the game.

About Honest to Goodness Facetanking

There are only two situations where Facetanking is not only a good idea, but imperative in Alpha Company. Flamethrowers of either tree can do this, however Order Flamethrowers do naturally have an easier time of it with Faith, Shatter, and Vengeance.

Seth

We all know him and how he works, I hope. The Flamethrower is really the only possible candidate for tanking Seth in Alpha Company. He has a couple of options for this.

XS-4 Shield Tanking

The Flamethrower comes naturally with 75 shields and 5 shield armor. With occasional reinforcement by a Medic with Nano Shield, or a Recon's Reaper's Protect he can handle Seth with no problems regardless of tree.

Kinetic Armor Tanking

Makes it a cake walk. Carry a six stack of Medkits with you and you shouldn't even sweat it, even if your team is a relative gong show and has trouble stacking up for Damage.

Reactive Armor Tanking

Also works, Plasma Detonator can be a problem. You will probably need two stacks of medkits to be assured of your ability to tank him because of this.

C4/C6 Armor

With this, you should have enough armor with your natural 3 that you can tank Seth with medkits, with an occasional Bandage or medic heal having to be thrown on you. It's possible, so don't think you can't tank without rare armor, helps if you stacked your stats for Endurance and Strength.

Either tree of Flamethrower will probably not have their Tier Three talent for this. However this is one of the few situations where the Pyro's Burn! is useful in Alpha Company. There is no reason no to use it, and the -10 armor it can give will greatly improve your team's damage. Similarly the Order's Smite ability can easily shave off a good quarter of Seth's HP over the course of the fight. Vengeance can make the normal attack tanking a bit easier, effectively reducing the attacks you take by half with 3 ranks.


Cerberus

Dun dun dun! This is the big, bad, scary thing that makes a lot of people shit their pants about doing Alpha Company. The Gas Cam makes it harder for people to micro correctly, makes kite and smite basically impossible. And he can wreck the day of any lighter characters incredibly fast.

A FLAMETHROWER MUST TANK THIS!

I cannot stress that enough. If you are the Flamethrower, and you are not tanking Cerberus, your team will likely fail miserably here, and it is 100% your fault. Not having Faith isn't an excuse. Being Pyro is not an excuse. Just like with the Protection Assault and Eos the Zombie Queen, your whole team is counting on you to do your job during this one part of the storyline if nothing else.

Shield Tanking: I Cheat the System

As I mentioned in Seth Tanking, the Flamethrower has 75 Shields, and 5 shield armor. Having XS-4 on even a Pyro Flamer can make this a fairly easy tanking job, though know you are on a timer. Stress that your team needs to gather (EVERYONE!) behind you and really pour on the damage as fast as possible.

Most people know that Cerberus hates medics, and will break whatever aggro he has in order to chase down a medic. What they don't seem to remember is that it only happens on healing talents. Using Nano Shield does not trigger his medic hatred. So if you have a Field Aid Medic, you can cheat Cerberus out of his anti-tanking mechanic and near indefinitely tank Cerberus.

Reactive Armor

With Reactive Armor, you can tank Cerberus almost all day long. There is no real rush to make sure that your team stacks up behind you to damage him down. Carry Medkits, if you can save up a full stack you shouldn't have any problem tanking him.

C4/C6 Armor

Dicey. Make sure you have 2 full stacks of Medkits. A full stack of bandages should also be used.

Regardless of the armor you have, you MUST tank Cerberus, not only during his Vulnerable Form, but also his Nightmare Form. Like with Seth, this is one of the two fights where you can use Burn! effectively as a Pyro Flamethrower. If you run during Nightmare Form, it is likely to cause the death of a teammate. Don't panic. Use Faith to buy yourself some time if you need to, followed up with two shatters and a medkit, it can leave you nice and fresh.

Alpha Company Boss Fights

Demeter

By the time Demeter shows up, you should be around level 5-7, depending on tree and the performance of the team. As such you definitely won't have your most powerful effects for this boss. Thankfully Demeter is easily handled and you won't need them too terribly much.

Pyro Flamethrower

Likely Demeter is going to die before BURN! can fully ramp up. No reason not to burn if you have a chance. But most likely your contribution to this fight will be using Burst Fire to soften up Agron hordes that are coming in, and making sure that you stand in position where Cacoons (Should they get through, unlikely but it does happen) hit your meatier bulk instead of lower HP total characters like the Forward Observer or Commando.

Order Flamethrower

The positioning for Cacoons still applies. This should be an easy fight for you. Smite is the only skill you really have to use during this fight. Smite Agron hordes as they are coming in. Smite Demeter ASAP for a free 3k or so damage to shave off. If your Forward Observer has Shockwave Barrage or Napalm you can try to use Smite's slow effect to make sure Demeter stays in the hot zone for as long as possible. Weapon wise you'll probably want to be using your Gauss Rifle.

Cronus

Your role in this fight depends almost more on what your team sees the Flamethrower's role being, more than what your skills actually are.

Pyro Flamethower

You're likely to draw one of two jobs, depending on your team and talent choices. The first, and most likely is "Kite Cronus". Remember as long as he's on creep, he is invincible. So your job is to kite him around in a circle, keeping him off creep patches. Use your Flamethrower to bypass his armor and keep you in the right range. Inferno, if you have it, can be useful. But you won't really be given chances to capitalize on it as Cronos tends to have zero spawns near him. A better use of it can be making sure the Huggers that pop up close to you are burned down before they become too problematic.

The second role is to increase team DPS. The Flamethrower's Burn! can stack on -10 armor, greatly increasing the team's ability to pour damage on him. As Cronus is usually kited in a circle around the lab finding a central position should allow you to keep him in range through the fight. It's important if you do this that at the start of the fight you go hump Cronos in melee range. Doing so will give you the Mark of Cronus, which will keep you safe from from his Laser blossom. The Terrible, terrible damage it usually inflicts will instead be barely a tickle on your shields.

Order Flamethrower

As an order Flamethrower, you will probably be level 6 at this point. So you'll be Faithless (Which is just as good because you don't want to stun him and find a bunch of creep under him). Your only real role is to Kite him. Keep the Smites on him as much as possible, not to build up your armor but to slow him down enough that he's easily kited. Like with the Pyro Flamethrower, using your Mk-3 Flamethrower should keep you in close enough range that he continues to follow you and ignore your teammates. This is an easy exercise in kiting for you and shouldn't prove to be any problem.

Cerberus

Mentioned above in the Tanking Section. Use Reactive Armor if you have it. You're going to have to burn kits, so make sure you stockpile at least 6 prior to the fight. Having 4 bandages helps as well. Alpha Company has enough drops of healing items, and no real need to use them that it shouldn't be too much of a problem. If you are a Pyro Flamethrower, you've probably hit level 9 or 10. A point or two in Vengeance will help keep Cerberus in check and shouldn't be underestimated if you are being asked to tank. As an Order Flamer experience says you may or may not have Faith yet, depending on how much Forward Observers and other high DPS classes have hogged up the early hordes. Faith helps a lot, but isn't necessary to tank. As an Order Flamethrower, grab that crowbar and let 'er rip. As a Pyro Flamethrower, hit Burn! as soon as Cerberus becomes mortal, not just for DPS, but to stack negative armor on him for your teammates. You need him to die on the very first Vulnerability Cycle, and likely won't have the medkits and bandages to suffer through 2 Nightmare Forms.

IVAX

Either a really easy boss fight, or a highly difficult one based almost entirely on the skill and presence of Forward Observers.

Pyro Flamethrowers

This fight is sadly not your fight. The boss is too mobile, forcing you to move. You can't pour on the DPS with Burn! Also because IVAX hates all life, Infested or Not, he will never have any enemy units close enough to him to really take advantage of Inferno's explosions. Still Inferno can be used against IVAX to burn him down. It's about all you can do. You likely won't want to bother clearing out enemy Infested, as they can distract IVAX momentarily.

Order Flamethrowers

Unlike your flame wielding brothers, you have a purpose during this fight. Any energy you have available should be used for Smite, not only for the huge chunk of HP that will be shaved off with the early smites, but the Slows can make it that much easier for your Forward Observers to tag IVAX. At the very least it will help with kiting. If you have Kinetic Armor, you can tank him somewhat, for a while, allowing your team to really pour on the damage. You will either have Faith by now, or be pretty close. Don't be afraid to use Faith to lock down IVAX with the long stun.

Perses

This, is the Grand Chump of Bosses for your Flamethrower. Fear not, with Faith or Fire you will sail through this battle easily.

Pyro Flamethrowers

Grip and Rip with your Mk-3 Flamethrower. Despite the fact that Perseus flies, he can be hit by your holy flames. It's hard to use Burn! on Perseus due to the Firewave mechanics requiring you to move around a lot. If you do find yourself with a bubble within range of Perseus, pour on the Burn! to take advantage of it. But don't count on it. If you grabbed up a spare Reactive or Kinetic Armor, you will be effectively immune to Perseus's attacks due to your healthy regen.

Order Flamethrowers

Go for broke with this fight. You should have Kinetic or Reactive armor for it, and with either one Perseus has pretty much no ability to hurt you outside of the firewave. Try to save up your energy for this fight, you'll need it. Smite, smite, Faith, Shatter, Shatter, Smite, smite... and so on. Perseus will go down quickly, and the Faiths will keep any random enemy hordes from ruining your day. Use your mk-3 Flamethrower, or if the bubbles don't allow you to hit, your Gauss Rifle. Whatever you do, just don't fear the Final Boss, stay relaxed and chain your skills for maximum effectiveness. He's only a threat to you if you lose your head.

Items and Equipment

Pyro Flamethrowers

Weapon wise there really is only one that you ever need. You get a Mk-3 Flamethrower to start with, it's required to use two of your talents, it has great ammo conservation and damage potential. You may grab up a secondary weapon should you need to. If randomed in Easy Company I'd suggest grabbing one of the Gauss Rifles at start, just to avoid wasting ammo as I discussed during Positioning tips, or a M45 for the heavy air horde segments (You can still burst fire down Gargoyles even with the M45 equipped).

Armor should go to you on a need for a tank. With other tanks present you don't really need to grab up any armor. While you are often in dangerous places to use your ability the great shields of the Flamethrower, and the natural 3 armor can often see you through. If there is armor to spare however XS-4 and C4/C6 are obvious choices and should go to you.

HE ammo will often be given to you first off as a matter of priority. All of your talents as a Pyro Flamethrower benefit from the addition of HE ammo. However you don't necessarily need it, and if an Operations Commando or other DPS class says they need it, don't be greedy. Other ammo mods are mostly less than effective for you. AP can be useful for spreading Armor Debuffs on several targets, though it doesn't really benefit you. Full Metal Jacket is actually quite useful. It can offset the distortion of the Helium-3 Igniter mechanics. Arc Reactors are important for you, because it's energy intensive, however you are probably not going to get it as typically the priority goes to Medics, Demolitions, Modification Technicians, and Marksmen.

Due to having a larger inventory of 6, and very little item needs as a Pyro Flamethrower, carry items that you see being abandoned. Magazines, Road Flares, Medkits, Bandages.


Order Flamethrower

Unlike the Pyro Flamethrower you have no particular need to use any weapon. Grabbing up a Gauss Rifle and a M45 Marksmanship Rifle should be done as a matter of course until you find higher power weapons. The Shotgun works wonders with the Order Flamethrower, and is highly recommended. Otherwise your weapon needs should merely be whatever is being thrown behind by your resident DPS classes. Myself, and Ghost from EU, also like the Pistol on the Order Flamer. It should be very easy to get a hand on one, one or two will likely drop inside the Starport at the beginning of Alpha Company, and almost no one ever wants it.

Armor Wise, you should seek out XS-4 armor for boss tanking, should your team have a Nano medic or Surveillance Recon and you can count on the shield buffs. Kinetic Armor is really only useful for tanking Seth, and if one is available you should make sure you have it equipped before starting that battle. Reactive Armor though should be your bread and butter as an Order Flamethrower, and you should grab it up whenever possible. C-series armors (2/4/6) are nearly worthless to you. It weighs you down, and the paltry 6 points you get from C6 armor is hardly anything compared to the amount you get from Righteousness during mob fights. And the 6 you'd get from C6 isn't enough to protect you from enemy bosses without mobs to power up Righteousness.

For modifications, Nano-Health Augments are obvious and unless there is a Protection Assault tanking along side you, should be a first priority for you. With the high armor counts, points in Endurance, and NHAs you can hold off hordes of Armor Effected enemies with no sweat. Ocular Implants are important as the Flamethrower has a low sight range and you aren't likely to points in Perception. While your abilities might be short ranged, it's very useful to make sure you can see it before they get in short range and plan accordingly. Ammo modifications are less important and can often hurt you as they effect the damage you self inflict during Faith.

Make sure you carry Anti-Venom, and Bandages if you plan on doing more traditional tanking. Medkits are useful for Boss Fights, but between Shatter healing, Faith, your high regen, and possibly the occasional heal tossed by a medic, sheer HP damage is NOT your primary concern when you're rocking +40 armor and can clear house on demand with Faith, conditions are.

Final Notes

You are a close range asset, regardless of tree. If your team is constantly in front of you, you are doing your job wrong.

You are the only tank available in your storyline. They count on it for key segments. Do not disappoint.

You can take hits, even without the Tanking Build. Don't be afraid to bite a Clickling to save an ally if you must. You don't need to throw yourself on every grenade, and shouldn't. But if your team is getting rocked, it better be because you were rocked hard first.

Practice your close range micro! Learn how to use weapons like Mk-3 Flamethrowers and the Shotgun, it's your role and you have no stand off capabilities to speak of. If you can't get Alpha Company games, try to practice using Knife and Kite tactics and fighting withdrawals in Easy Company with the appropriate weapons to help yourself get used to the play style.

Watch your energy closely. A Flamethrower without Energy is a lot of dead weight. He doesn't have the ability to passively tank like an Assault. Always keep your current energy in mind when you engage.

Get used to comboing your skills. Flamethrowers generally require skill synergy for maximum effectiveness. Use your Inferno, then follow up with a Burst Fire while heavy targets are burning to kill them, feed your Frenzy, and deal AoE to thin the mobs. Follow up Faith with Shatters, watch for free Shatter opportunities via Vengeance. Smite to slow leading enemies into a bigger ball to get more kills with Faith. This isn't like playing some classes where your talents have different purposes and are situational. Always be thinking 2 skills ahead, and how you can set up your next skill to be more effective.

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