Mann vs Machine Survival Guide: Soldier
Name: Unknown, known as “Mister Jane Doe”
Job: Shock & Awe (Teaching the Art of War)
Play If Your Team Has: Fewer than 2 offense classes
Best With: n/a
My Canteen: Critical Hit Boost
My Loadout: Black Box, Buff Banner, Equalizer
Strategy: Other classes lack splash damage, and that’s something the soldier can deal out in spades. While he may be slow-firing, he can do a ton of damage, either to one target or distributed among many. That’s what makes the soldier so good in Mann vs Machine – he easily switches between doing lots of damage to one target and doing small amounts of damage to a bunch of targets. This means he’s useful in rounds with those incessant swarms of scouts, as well as the rounds where it’s just the one tank. That’s why I go with the Crits canteen – it makes short work of anyone, be they big and lumbering or skittish and in hordes. For upgrades, I tended to focus on rocket damage – often I didn’t live terribly long, but I took down tons of robots.
Loadout Strategy: The Black Box is great for my play style, because I get health for my hits, and if we’re talkin’ splash damage, we’re talkin’ plenty of hits. Even better is the Buff Banner – doing damage fills a ‘Rage’ bar, and when the bar is full, you can activate the banner giving nearby allies mini-crits. So shoot a bunch of robots so you can buff your allies to do more damage. So many robot hurts! I equip The Equalizer mostly because it amuses me – if I’m low enough health to need to pull it out, I might as well take out a couple of robots before they get me. It is super helpful if you’re defending the final point and you’re out of ammo, though – it gets more effective as you take more damage. One warning, though – taunting with the Equalizer will result in the Kamikaze taunt, blowing yourself up. It can do damage to enemies, though, so it’s worth keeping in mind.
Verdict: I haven’t mastered this class yet, but thankfully it’s pretty straightforward to start. Next to Pyro and Heavy, I’d say this is the next easiest class to pick up and succeed with. The Soldier is useful on every team, does plenty of damage, and is a lot of fun – so put on your crazy pants, get out there, and blow up some robots.