It seems to me that most Vanguards I see are when I occasionally play bronze to level up some of my characters for some N7 Rating. I never see a Vanguard playing in Silver or Gold. I'm curious if they would be any good as it would appear that if they aren't extremely careful they would be demolished by the onslaught of enemies as they charge recklessly into the fray.

Anyone have any luck with a certain combo of biotics or a strategy, or maybe some Do's and Don't's, when it comes to harder difficulties?

I know there are some die hard Vanguard players who know the advantage Vanguards have in higher difficulties that, for example, an Infiltrator doesn't.

5 Answers 5


Play smarter!

My favorite vanguard on multiplayer is actually the Drell Vanguard. They make excellent support without too high of the charge->nova risk, especially since on later waves its almost suicide to just charge in and have full shields, much less try for the charge->nova leaving you with no half/shields.


  • Strong support with pull spamming. Pull is an excellent disabler, and with 200% cooldown (I just carry a SMG, a strong single pistol such as the hand cannon works as well), I can spam this none stop. The stagger is also extremely handy against armored pyros and rocket troopers, you can easily keep them from doing anything until your teammates take them down.
  • Cluster grenades rock. Fully upgraded, these do a lot of damage. Just hug a ammo cache or two (on the harder difficulties your team really has to position themselves near some ammo to be effective), to be able to survive for a long time.
  • Biotic charge to build up barriers and to mop up small enemies with biotic explosion, don't use it to start a fight since you'll be gunned down very quickly.
  • Use your missiles wisely. Don't just use it on the big Atlas that is halfway across the map. Only use it when you see one charging at you while your team has to extract some data i.e. has to remain in one spot for a long time. If its just a standard kill all enemies wave, a smart team will be able to kite anything big to conserve the items.


  • Weak vs armored targets. You really don't have anything great against armored targets once you run out of cluster grenades. You'll have to rely on teammates and just use pull to stagger.
  • If you are the last one alive, you'll have to use charge to escape and go from ammo stash to ammo stash for the grenades since all you have for damage is a SMG.

If you have to play human vanguard, its not bad either, but rather than using the Nova offensively, use it defensively. Mop up any enemies that get too close to keep your team clean, don't use it to charge halfway across the map into a group of enemies.

  • Hmmm, so pull is really good? I always ignored that one
    – Zelda
    Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 13:25
  • @BenBrocka yea, I ignored it until I started playing the Drell Vanguard. Fully upgraded I can spam it as fast as the animation will allow me to, I can easily juggle 5+ enemies at a time. It works even better if there's an adept on the field slinging warp and detonating all of them.
    – l I
    Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 13:28
  • 2
    I just have to add, a lot of people on multiplayer ignore their grenade skills, but they do a lot of damage. I can regularly be the #1 in points after a match just from good grenade spamming and using missiles, not to mention spamming pull nets you a TON of assist points.
    – l I
    Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 13:32
  • Interesting....
    – Zelda
    Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 14:16

The real problem with playing charge+nova offensively in gold and silver is the lag.

I've only had one proper lag free silver game and I had no issue doing a charge+nova on banshees and brutes without getting instant killed. It's about how you dance around them as you charge and nova.

With lag however, a lot of the cues are not accurate, like, to you, you might be to the side of the banshee but to the game after compensating for lag, you're still in front of it. That's what gets you killed.

Then you have the stupid bug that gets you floating off the map enjoying sweeping panaromic views.

I've pretty much given up on vanguard coz of the lag issue.

That said, with a lag free game, it's hard to die if you know what you're doing. With a 200% cooldown (pistol), by the time you're done with a nova, biotic charge's ready to go and it brings your barriers back up again, rinse and repeat. Fantastic way to clean up the non-boss enemies. That's actually a strategy itself, allowing your team to concentrate on the boss while you mop up the kids.

If you want to risk charge+nova-ing bosses, only use it on banshees, brutes, atlas' and geth primes and charge from the sides, never the front. If you find yourself charging them from the front, roll away, preferably to the side.

After awhile you should be able to get into a rythm like:

Charge - roll - nova - repeat, or Charge - nova - roll - repeat.

The only boss target your shouldn't charge are Phantoms. The other bosses are large and ponderous, needing time to turn to face you. Phantoms are agile and they can do an instant-kill from any direction.

If you still insist on charging them, then charge and roll back. I find that nova gives the phantom time to pick you up.

Super, super high risk of course, but in the right conditions, it's extremely fun and satisfying

  • "I've pretty much given up on" what?
    – BoltClock
    Commented Apr 9, 2012 at 16:58
  • hehe woops, meant to say given up on vanguards coz of the lag and that stupid bug that causes you to float off the map. It's guaranteed to happen if you find that you died just before a successful charge because of the lag. Commented Apr 21, 2012 at 11:45


You have two working strategy as i see right now.

Half Nova Spec.
This one consists on getting half-Nova power evolution (nova rank 5 and full shield recharge charge evolution (charge rank 6). This one give you survival chance and reliable aoe damage when you need one. Your main role is crowd control of anything without shields-armor-barrier. Your secondary role is distraction of boss mobs (Atlas,Banshee, Phantom). Don`t ever try to distract Ravager it is just too risky.
Tactical sequence versus mobs: pick group around cover, charge-in, Nova, evaluate situation, use cover or use second nova/charge.
Tactical sequence versus boses: charge from cover, Nova, back-roll from melee range, wait for your shield to be taken down by boss attack, repeat charge.

Shockwave Adept assist.
This one is focused on triggering biotic explosions. Go for long Shockwave upgrade and 25% free charge upgrade. Your main role is to detonate active biotic powers on multiple targets and guard adept from nasty things. Prepare to get very low score in the end and happy adepts.

Asari Vanguard.
Pretty much good supporters with bubble stasis and lift grenade spam. Very hard times against Reaper ravager and Banshee if you don`t have good heavy pistol(Carnifer, Paladin) or Claymore.
Spec grenade for damage and +1 grenade. Stasis to buble. Everything else in fitness and asari justicar power damage.
Funny thing is that you really don't need charge expect 1 for emergency "escape/lucky save" button.

  • how do you charge out, charging requires you to target an enemy i thought?
    – Paralytic
    Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 10:37
  • @Paralytic Target an enemy on the edge of the pack, near some cover you can jump to the other side of. Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 11:48
  • @LessPop_MoreFizz seems very risky
    – Paralytic
    Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 11:56
  • 4
    @Paralytic everything about playing a Vanguard is high risk, high reward. Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 11:57
  • @LessPop_MoreFizz seems to me that its not really worth the effort, specially when you can play other less risky classes.
    – Paralytic
    Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 12:08

For human vanguard you spam Charge, Nova, Charge, Nova, and then you win. Make sure you have Barrier for Charge, and Half Blast for Nova and on bronze and silver you will be a god (not gold though, you die too often to be useful.) On Bronze an Silver its almost no risk high reward, and Gold its high risk low reward, so that's why it isn't really used up there.

As for the Asari, it's all about Stasis Bubble. The Grenades are nice but Stasis is your best friend. IMO the Asari Vanguard is just an inferior Asari Adept, but that's just me, I also know many people would disagree with that whole heartedly. I'm not a fan of the Drell but I know many people who use it successfully so I can't really speak about it.

I use the Human all the time on Bronze and Silver and always have almost twice the second highest score, but when it comes to a gold run he just cant stick around long enough so I ditch him for the Asari Adept, or an Infiltrator (all have there pros and cons so it depends on my team for which Infiltrator I use).


Playing vanguard on gold is always risky. This is mainly because you have no idea how bad the lag is going to be for any given match and vanguards get killed when they can't trigger a follow up power or move quickly immediately after a charge because of this lag. Many people say they only play vanguard when they host but even when you host you still have potential for lag because of the sync required between you and your teammates and the lag this causing with respect to the system responding to you inputs.

Lag is always annoying for any class you play but when playing vanguard it gets you killed quickly and more often.

Even with this big pitfall I still love the excitement of playing vanguard on Gold. With the level 3 or 4 shield enhancement (100, 150% shields) you are a little bit hardier so it can be fun even with the high risk. The key is not to play foolishly when playing as a Vanguard. Stick with your teammates and attach the bosses and their surrounding entourage together as a team not as a loner. Always be careful when attacking bosses, attach from indirect angles constantly changing them up so the boss is constantly trying to adjust to attach you. You draw the attention of a boss when you successively biotic charge them, so your teammates will be able to continuously dish out fire at them as well. If you have adepts on your team using powers that create a biotic primer, your charge will trigger it so this tactic can become quite synergistic.

Kricksis (you'll find me on playstation multiplayer)

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