Posted by: Aldershot | September 18, 2009

Syringe or Sauger?

We’ll have an in depth look at the latest TF2 update later, but for now I want to high light one specific change from the update. THE MEDIC!!

  • Medic regen changes
    • Base regen amount increased from 1/sec to 3/sec
    • Regen amount increase since time of last damage decreased from 3x to 2x
    • End result of above: Old healing scaled from 1/sec to 3/sec based on time since being damaged (maxed out at 10 seconds). New healing scales from 3/sec to 6/sec


  • Replaced “No critical hits” negative attribute with “-2 health drained per second on wearer”
  • Health drain stacks on top of the above Medic regen changes, lowering the base regen by 2h/sec
The medic’s 2 secondary weapons are now much more balanced in comparison to each other because of the above changes. With the Blutsauger equipped the medic plays fairly similar to the pre-update medic except he can now crit. Because the regen nerf on the Blutsauger is actually lower than the newly buffed base regen rate, you regen about the same rate as pre-update.
Now that the base regen rate has increased, the Syringe gun is an excellent alternative to the Blutsauger, as before this update it was considered mostly useless. With the Syringe gun you regen your HP back almost twice as fast as with the Blutsauger!! At the peak of the regen rate with the Syringe gun, you can gain 60HP in 10 seconds, thats almost half the medics total HP (150hp). Also consider that it takes roughly 5 seconds to pump a full clip of Blutsauger ammo into an enemy to gain half the amount of health (30HP, and assuming every needle hits), it’s not a bad trade off for just sitting around or hiding.
To illustrate this point I found this very informative graph:
This graph shows the time difference it takes to regen from 1hp to 150 hp, as well as the HP difference drop off.
(graph taken from here:
As you can see there is a significant time  difference in the regen rate of the 2 weapons.
So here’s the question all medics are asking them selves. To Syringe or Sauger? … both are great choices.
The Syringe gun is great for overall survivability of the medic. As long as he’s alive he always has a dependable source of HP. After a uber, a medic walks out with a potential 60+ hp regen’d, and it takes less than 30 seconds to regen from 1hp to the Medic’s max of 150hp (at it’s most optimal rate).

But with the Blutsauger your survival chances of getting out of bad/combat situations is much higher than the Syringe gun. The Syringe gun’s advantage only really kicks in once it reaches its peak regen rate and you can only reach it after a few seconds of not taking damage. In a bad situation you have a very high chance of takeing at least some damage so while battling/escaping your regening health at only 3hp a second, where as if you have the Blutsauger, you could potentially gain 3hp every 0.1 second (firing rate of medics secondary) as well as the 1hp per second regen.

This truly is a tough decision, one I personally have yet to make.
so… tell us… What kind of AIDs are you going to be shooting at people?




  1. As a dedicated, medicated Medic, I believe it all comes down to how you play Medic. Assuming you’re a true blue (or RED) Medic, you’re healing teammates to get your various flavors of Ubers. For Medigun Medics, your invincibility allows you the time needed for your Syringe’s Base Regen Rate to increase, because you and your patient are still alive, and they’ll still be clearing a path to afford you time.

    Whereas a Kritzkrieg Medic has a higher chance of losing his patient simply because they have the possibility of dying, and the Medic will be left to fend for himself. Why not shoot magical healing AIDs as you run? You can take out your threat, and with minimal damage.

    I’m not saying that these situations are always accurate, it’s just that in a game like Team Fortress 2 where weaponry is as diverse as it is balanced, you have to ask yourself, “Which of these situations appears more often?” Personally, I’ve used the Blutsauger since I obtained it at the start of my Medic career. It has helped me survive more then my fair share of encounters with Pyros, Demomen, Scouts, even Heavies.

    I’ve always trusted my Blutsauger (whom I have named BioHazard), and she’s gotten me through thick and thin. Before this update, the Syringe Gun never held any value to me. Now, with the ability to survive longer when not in battle, it makes the tactics change. However, never let your tactics define your strategy.

    So, if your strategy is to have your Medic Buddy wipe out the opposing team so you have time to regenerate health, then the Syringe Gun is for you. If your strategy is to rely on your Medic Buddy until they die, then go find another, then the Blutsauger is ideal. Now ask yourselves, which of these situations appears more often?

    • in a nut shell i agree. its all about how you play the medic. but still… both has great advantages that can’t be ignored. though the 2 weapons could arguably be for 2 different kinds of medic play, the truth is both styles of medic (buddy and spot healer) still play fairly similar in a lot of aspects. as far as equipting appropriate side grades for an appropriate circumstance goes, choosing the 2 needle guns isn’t as clear cut as the kritz vs medi.

      us talking about this, and me being torn on which gun to use is actually a great sign. it means valve has finally truly balanced the 2 guns, and i am very happy about this.

  2. Interesting. I think I’m gonna try out the syringe gun for a bit.

  3. I will be using the Syringe again. Partly because of nostalgia, partly because I really like the spinning syringe animation on the gun, and finally because as medic I’m usually pretty good at avoiding bullets. I just need healing from the occasional rockets that get by my team.

    Now If they will just come out with the overhealer (no overheal decay) or a group healer, my role as whole-team healer will be complete!

  4. […] Syringe or Sauger? […]

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