Feared frontline opponents, Vanguards favor a biotic charge that immediately brings them in contact with opposing forces with a devastating effect.
Humans joined the galactic community after discovering a Prothean data cache on Mars in 2148. Their devotion to understanding and adapting to modern warfare left the staid Council races stunned. Humanity's persistence and unflappable spirit has taken them further than anyone in the galaxy could have imagined.
Human vanguards are feared frontline opponents that can charge across the battlefield, surprising enemies before devastating them in hand-to-hand combat.
- General Notes
- Human Vanguards are the only race to have the Nova ability, giving them a unique play style that shouldn't be underestimated.
- Charging an enemy will replenish barrier strength that can be used by Nova (which does not have a recharge time) immediately after the charge is complete. With a fast enough recharge time, this combo can be used rapidly, making the Human Vanguard an aggressive biotic attacker.
- Because a Human Vanguard's strength is in his/her biotics, a light loadout is recommended.
- Against Cerberus, the Human Vanguard's notorious Charge-Nova tactic is nigh unstoppable. As most Cerberus troops can be staggered by biotic abilities, Charge-Nova will rip through anything but an Atlas or Guardian. The rank 6 Pierce evolution on Nova will only devastate their infantry even more.
- Guardians are the only real enemies that can stand against you. Using Charge or Nova against Guardians will stagger them, exposing them to a quick burst from your weapon. It would also be highly recommended to take a weapon with a piercing mod so you can take out said foes.
- Atlases can instantly kill you if you are not careful, so it is preferable to attack them from behind.
- The Human Vanguard's Charge-Nova tactic is very effective against most Reaper ground troops, though caution should be taken when facing a Brute or Ravager. Against these two enemies, constantly circling them while using Charge-Nova is recommended.
- Extreme caution (and possibly avoidance) should be taken around Banshees, as charging a Banshee will not cause them to stagger and will put you within range of their instantly killing Impale ability.
- Geth are much more difficult to kill since Geth Hunters, Geth Primes, and Geth Rocket Troopers are capable of stunning you (although not in either of the Biotic Charge or Nova animations). Because of this, it is highly recommended to excercise caution if you wish to go for the Vanguard class since you will very quickly be stripped of both your barriers and your health. However, they cannot instantly kill the player, making it less risky to close with them than Cerberus or Reapers.
The reptilian drell have dense muscle tissue that grants them surprising, wiry strength. With unique hyoid bones in their throats, drell can vocalize high-pitched sounds outside of human hearing range. The bones have the added benetfit of making drell extremely difficult to strangle.
Though drell may lack the rugged durability of other races, they are lightning fast and deadly accurate. Drell are to be feared on the battlefield.
- General Notes
- Drell Vanguards have very low barriers, resulting in an endurance lower than nearly every other class with only 900 health and 450 barriers at best. However they are much faster than other classes.
- Cluster Grenades are lethal against groups, especially in combination with Biotic Explosions.
- Pull will leave your opponents helpess and vulnerable to biotic detonations--the Drell Vanguard can detonate them with either Charge or Cluster Grenades.
- If going for just Biotic Charge and Cluster Grenades, one can afford a moderate loadout. If Pull will be used, consider a light loadout so one can constantly yank unprotected, unarmored enemies off the ground. A recommended loadout would be a shotgun with a pistol in order to balance out firepower and charge cooldown.
- Since you are physically weak, it is highly recommended to stick to cover whenever possible, and use Biotic Charge only when necessary, rather than as a tool of aggression.
- Your Cluster Grenades will be very effective against Combat Engineers, Assault Troopers, Centurions, and Guardians - use them if you have them.
- Since speed is a drell's main strength, there is a much smaller chance of being instantly killed by the Phantom's Impale move, but caution should be exercised nonetheless.
- Pull will prove invaluable against Guardians, since they solely rely on their shields for protection. Yank away their shields, and they become nothing more than a basic Assault Trooper.
- Your Cluster Grenades will work wonders here, since all enemies except Marauders and Banshees have only armor or health. Since most enemies are either big, or slow moving and weak, you can easily, with precision throwing, take out huge groups of enemies in a short space of time, even on Gold.
- It is easier for you to get away from Banshees, but you are no less vulnerable than other races. Avoid close quarters with a Banshee, you will likely end up lifeless and spectating the rest of the round.
- Opt for a pistol here since medium range combat is the main range you will be fighting at.
- Cluster Grenades are a must here, since all geth (with the exception of the basic trooper), have at least some kind of shielding. Hit your enemies hard, as your enemies will certainly be hitting you hard, especially the Geth Hunters, Primes, and Rocket Troopers with their ability to stun and destroy your shields and health in just three shots.
- Caution is highly recommended: stick by your team and stay behind cover, as you will otherwise find yourself going down very often.
Asari are the most influential and respected sentient species in the galaxy. They are native to the planet Thessia and were the first species to discover the Citadel. Their long lifespan and history have allowed them to serve as galactic mediators for centuries. While not as physically powerful as other species, their proficiency with biotics makes them dangerous opponents.
Asari vanguards use hit-and-run tactics to ruthlessly eliminate their opponents from the battlefield. Their biotic dash ability allows them to charge an opponent, inflict damage, and then quickly get out of harm's way.
- General Notes
- An Asari's biotic dash is a very quick slide in any direction; however, the dash costs a minor amount of the Asari's barrier.
- There is often the tough choice of whether or not to go for the Stasis power, or Lift Grenades. Stasis offers a lockdown power that works against even Phantoms while the Lift Grenades are generally more useful all-round. If struggling to make a choice, one could employ both, but at the cost of skill points in other areas.
- However, one could go with and unconventional Charge-less build, allowing for you to put points in both Stasis and Lift Grenades. This combination can be more powerful than the Asari Adept, as Lift Grenades don't require a biotic primer to be used.
- Asari possess a very powerful Area melee attack. Charging into a group of low-level enemies and then instantly meleeing is very effective, especially on bronze.
- Stasis is a godsend against Cerberus as it affects every single enemy except Atlases and Turrets which are immune to Stasis due to their armor. Even Phantoms can be put into stasis, allowing for easy headshots. However, enemies will build up resistance against Stasis, eventually becoming entirely immune to its affects if they have been put in Stasis too many times. One should use Stasis on stronger enemies, or enemies near incapacitated allies to give said allies some respite when getting up.
- While not as useful, Stasis can still prove efficient enough to deal with Swarmers, Marauders, Cannibals, and Husks. One should consider using Lift Grenades instead, as it can still stun said foes and its more useful against tougher enemies like Banshees, or Brutes.
- A stasis bubble placed on top of a Ravager will kill any Swarmers that appear, which is very useful on gold, when Swarmers can rapidly drain shields.
- Care should be taken around geth, as with any class since the Rocket Troopers, Hunters, and Primes can and will stun anybody struck by their shots, or melee. Stasis is very effective against every enemy except Primes and Pyros and will more often than not give the users team a lot of breathing room where its needed.
- Lift Grenades are also effective here, although all enemies except the basic troops have at least a level of shielding.
- Sticking by your team is highly recommended despite these advantages, since they can help kill any enemy in Stasis much more quickly.
Krogan are large bipeds native to the planet Tuchanka, a world known for its harsh environment, scarce resources, and vicious predators. Until the invention of gunpowder, the leading cause of krogan fatalities was "eaten by predators." Afterwards, it was "death by gunshot". Though slow, krogan can take tremendous damage in combat, allowing them to inflict grievous harm with impunity.
Armored like a tank--and as slow as one--an angry krogan has more going for it than the species' infamous belligerence. It should come as no surprise that a krogan dishes out as much punishment as they're able to take on the battlefield.
- General Notes
- The Krogan Battlemaster's Biotic Charge is quite different from other Vanguards. Charge takes longer to reach its target and has a longer cooldown, but deals more damage.
- The Krogan Battlemaster has 250 more points of health than either the krogan Soldier or the krogan Sentinel, and as of a recent buff it can possibly have higher shields as well...bringing its shields to a whopping 1800 if fitness is leveled towards this. With the ability to restore shields in an instant with Charge and Barrier evolutions that decrease damage taken, the Battlemaster is one of the most durable characters in the game. With the help of shield boosting mods and gear bonuses, he is almost certainly the most durable.
- Krogan Battlemasters aren't as capable as other Krogan at dealing melee damage in a melee damage build, but it is still lethal nonetheless. Since Barrier doesn't give extra melee bonuses, you may as well keep it on, to make sure you're constantly protected. Combine this with the ability to charge, and a Krogan Battlemaster is nearly invincible, with only the toughest enemies in the three factions (Atlases/Phantoms, Primes/Hunters, or Banshees/Brutes/Ravagers) capable of killing you off quick enough. A popular option is to bypass melee usage altogether, as Rage as of now doesn't work anyway, and use the rank 5 Biotic Charge ability Weapon Synergy instead in conjunction with a strong close range weapon, especially more rapid firing options such as the Reegar Carbine or the N7 Piranha.
- Krogan Vanguards are the only class without a grenade or unique power filling up their second power slot. With Carnage being their second power, and it generally being weaker than other powers, its highly recommended to make one's build geared around survivability. Opt for protection from Barrier, and use the rank 5 "Martial Artist" evolution in the Fitness skill tree to allow for greater melee damage. Alongside that, make sure the Battlemaster has extra damage protection from when he gets enraged so that the Battlemaster can withstand almost anything
- Bug: The Krogan Vanguard is currently not entering Rage properly. Although the animation plays and the screen changes hue, he doesn't actually receive the benefits of Rage Mode. It is unknown when this bug will be fixed.
- Phantoms are deadly against krogan since they are much quicker and krogan cannot roll. The krogan does have one major advantage however in that his Biotic Charge will almost always stun a Phantom, even when their barriers are up giving the player a large chance to deal heavy damage. Keep a healthy distance between you and Phantoms to prevent a fatal stabbing, and utilize melee or gunfire and Biotic Charge whenever you can. Keep in mind that Phantoms can perform their one hit kill during your own melee animation, making this always a risky option, so if one must melee it's best to do after a Biotic Charge, although simple gun use may be safer. Other than that, Guardians are the Battlemaster's only other threat, which can be countered by using a weapon with piercing or a piercing mod. At higher levels of force, Biotic Charge can stun Guardians too making them lower their shields for a moment, giving the player an opening.
- Watch out for snipers while closing the distance with the enemy as one shot will rip the barriers entirely, while a second shot will deplete health.
- Care should be taken against Banshees, since they cannot be staggered, and Brutes, since you cannot roll to evade their charge. Banshee's especially can be seen as the battlemasters' most major threat, although both enemies can also instantly kill you. The Brutes' range with its one hit kill is much lower than that of a Banshee however, making it relatively easy to dodge and making the Banshee a far higher threat. A tradeoff of this to keep in mind however, is while staying close to a Banshee is generally suicide, the Banshee will not perform its grab move when its aura-like, glowing barrier around the Banshee which also allows it to teleport, is down. This is their moment of vulnerability. Their barrier goes down when they fire a warp projectile or perform their close range burst attack.
- Aside from the above point, melee and charge should be used generously.
- It is much more difficult to melee Geth since some enemies can stun anybody struck by their shots. Time attacks carefully, and stick by your team to avoid any grief. Or otherwise, stick to weapon synergy and firing.
- Barrier is a must here, as most enemies will be able to strip barriers, and then health in just one or two shots each otherwise.
- Despite all this, the Geth have no units that can instantly kill, so you can wade into the middle of a group of enemies and smash them with melee attacks and biotic charge without fear of being impaled.
Project Phoenix Vanguard
A result of the Illusive Man's early experiments in enhanced human physiology, Project Phoenix subjects are highly skilled combat and biotic specialists. When the Illusive Man turned to indoctrination in order to ensure the loyalty of his troops, many Phoenix operatives defected and joined the Alliance in order to stop the Reapers.
Phoenix operatives are highly skilled combat and biotic specialists. Their ability to manipulate Cerberus lash and stasis technology, backed up by their powerful skills, make them invaluable assets on the battlefield.
- General Notes
- The Phoenix Vanguard's Lash ability functions similarly to Pull, except that targets are dealt considerable damage and thrown a good distance. With the Shield Penetration evolution, Lash can be set up to penetrate shields and barriers. Lash can also be used as a primer for biotic explosions, with the Fast Recharge evolution increasing the short time that Lash's biotic effect affects a target.
- Phantoms should be first priority when possible, since they are capable of killing the users team in moments. Shield Penetration is borderline mandatory against Cerberus since most of their troops are protected by shielding or barriers.
- When surrounded, Smash is highly advised since it can give the Phoenix Vanguard a great crowd controlling ability.
- Lash is very effective against Guardians as it will yank their shields off permanently and allow them to be killed more easily.
- Although it won't knock it over, Lash will still stagger an Atlas and will give enough time for Smash to be used against them without taking any additional damage.
- Lash is less useful since only the smaller enemies (Husks, Cannibals, and Marauders) will be yanked off the ground.
- As ever, caution is advised around Banshees since they can and will grab anybody nearby. Smash can be used, but carefully - you don't want to be grabbed.
- Lash is very effective here since the Hunters and Rocket Troopers are capable of stunning you and the team, so a player can use Lash on them to incapacitate them for a while. Primes and Pyros aren't affected by Lash but Smash will deal more than adequate damage.
- Make sure any Hunters are lashed quickly, because they can and will stun the team. Combined with other enemies, such as Pyros, or Rocket Troopers, the Vanguards' entire team can be brought down instantly. While a Vanguard can be a bit aggresive against the geth, its often best to avoid dare-devil stunts and stick by the team.
N7 Slayer Vanguard
These soldiers are the go-anywhere, fight-anything special forces of the Alliance that were trained at the Interplanetary Combatives Academy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They had to survive combat situations "in an admirable and effective fashion" to receive the N7 rank. Many N7s now train other species in anti-Reaper asymmetric warfare.
Slayers use implants to dramatically improve mobility. Their dizzying sword attacks can hit multiple opponents, and the Slayer's ability to slip fire makes them hard to pin down on the battielfield.
- General Notes
- In most cases, the Slayer's dodge rolls trigger a teleportation effect, which a player can use to teleport not only through objects and walls, but also up and down ladders, skipping the seconds of climbing animation that leaves you vulnerable.
- Biotic Slash can be used through cover and walls, helping to negate the lack of damage reduction while the animation plays.
- The Slayer's heavy melee is a powerful slash that moves the character some distance forward. Charge this from a distance to hit your target instead of flying past it and leaving yourself open to enemy attacks. The Slayer's Heavy Melee is also capable of allowing the player to traverse areas of certain maps with ease: Currently, it can allow the player to climb up certain ledges regardless of if a ladder is nearby.
- Because a Slayer is a more of a biotic than a melee-oriented class such as the N7 Shadow, one may want to keep their loadout as light as possible, especially if planning extensive use of the Biotic Charge. This will limit your effectiveness with guns, but evolved properly, you can destroy enemies using your Phase Disruptor, charge your enemies, and then retreat to safety for deadly sneak attacks.
- The melee for this character is somewhat different than others, and when mastered can be much more powerful and effective than other heavy melee attacks. When a heavy melee is called for the character will lunge forward and strike with the sword via a "phase" effect. The forward movement can be avoided, however, and multiple strikes made, by repeatedly engaging in melee while controlling the direction of the character. The character will move in and out of phase with each strike as fast as you make them, which means that you can repeatedly strike an enemy in melee seemingly from another dimension so quickly that they cannot strike you back. This takes practice, but when mastered allows the slayer to literally shred just about any enemy in a few seconds, even Banshees or Brutes. Using melee upgrades which increase damage makes this an extremely powerful form of attack, and can be useful when dealing with a very powerful enemy, or where you are surrounded by several with few avenues of escape. This is also a much faster option than the Biotic Slash, which is slow to implement and can get you killed in such a situation.
- If Biotic Charge is levelled to restore barriers fully and Fitness to increase melee damage, the Slayer is quite capable of devastating any lone or small group of enemy/enemies. A Charge, followed by a melee flurry, followed by another charge when your Barriers drop repeated ad infinitum allows the Slayer to inflict a constant barrage of high-damage attacks while still maintaining barrier strength. Should the player be able to acquire targets quickly, this tactic can be used against much larger groups, with charge used to jump between kills. Care should be taken when engaging groups that contain instakill-capable enemies, however, as they are just as capable of ruining your day as you are theirs while you are preoccupied.
- The biggest problem for this class against Cerberus is the Guardian. His shield will block all of the Slayer's attacks. A precise weapon to shoot through the visor or an armor piercing modded weapon is the best choice to use. Another method of dealing with Guardians is to fire your Phase Disruptor just behind them. This will cause them to stagger and leave most of their body, including their head, open to attack. Phase Disruptor is also capable of temporarily knocking a Guardian's shield to the side which, again, exposes the Guardian to gunfire. A charged shot from the Geth Plasma Shotgun aimed at the visor will, on lower difficulties, usually kill the Guardian.
- Stick behind cover and use the Biotic Slash to hit enemies through walls and other forms of cover. This will hurt enemies while also protecting you from long-range attacks since this class is generally physically weak.
- This enemy class is easy for the Slayer until Banshees and Ravagers come into play. Banshees are very well defended from your biotic attacks and can sometimes kill you with one Reave if you're not careful. The Ravagers' three-shot burst will kill you if all three hit. Once you see one, get behind a wall or other form of cover to Biotic Slash it or let your team mates take it on as you move on to another enemy.
- This enemy class is where the Slayer will excel in combat. Four Biotic Slash attacks will kill every enemy weaker than a Geth Prime from Gold difficulty down.