I usually play Human Vanguard in multiplayer, and Bronze difficulty is a breeze. Silver I can win with some difficulty, but Gold seems especially difficult as a melee-spec character.

I'm specced out for pure Melee damage and I usually carry a shotgun with + Melee damage so I can kill "weak" targets like Cannibals/Cerberus Troopers in one punch, but the top tier enemies like Banshees/Atlases are hard to survive, especially when there's more than one. Cerberus turrets are also a huge problem.

What I'm currently not doing much of is bringing weapons along (usually just a shotgun to keep weight low) or using Shockwave; the limited range doesn't seem to help much.

Is it possible to beat Gold reliably with a Melee spec character? Human Vanguards or Krogans in general are to my liking.

Should I just stay away from the big baddies like Atlases? On Bronze I take them out with a charge/Melee/Charge combo, but on Gold it gets me killed, and my Shotgun is mostly useful for Melee damage and hitting downed targets, it doesn't hurt the big targets worth a darn.

  • 1
    Atlas, Brutes, and Banshees all have a melee-range "instant-kill" move. Commented Mar 22, 2012 at 14:30
  • @RavenDreamer Banshees and Phantoms do but do Atlas and Brutes? I've never noticed a real, one hit you're always dead move from them, though they certainly hurt a lot.
    – Zelda
    Commented Mar 22, 2012 at 14:31
  • 1
    Raven is correct. Its not as often with brutes and Atlas, but I got picked up and throttled by an Atlas last night, and have certainly had it happen w/ the Brute as well.
    – aslum
    Commented Mar 22, 2012 at 14:39
  • 1
    Atlas can also execute you if they walk over to your incapacitated form. That was an unexpected surprise. Commented Mar 22, 2012 at 14:46
  • @RavenDreamer Weird, do they do it more often on Gold or something? I've killed at least 10 or more Atlases with Biotic Punches have haven't had this happen
    – Zelda
    Commented Mar 22, 2012 at 14:54

2 Answers 2


For gold difficulty it is possible, but with some problems. The ideal loadout for vanguard is an assault rifle to help in fire fights from distance, than have a high rate of fire SMG with ultra-light weight to help once you get in close range from your charge. You could possibly switch the assault rifle for a high powered handgun and attach the tazer to it, for a little extra damage in close.

Atlas, Banshee, Geth Prime .. all have the same amount of shield or barrier and armor underneath. On gold difficulties I am not sure of the numbers or restiance they have to skills/bullets. But on bronze it is 0 restinace and they each have 10,000 shield, not sure about armor.

Krogan are also better to play as because they have higher health and shield than humans do and thier physical attacks also deal higher melee damage.

It will always be difficult for a vanguard in Gold, the enemies can shoot through shields and health within seconds, so using Nova will get you killed instantly if you dont knock down everything near you.

  • Ohhh right I forgot heavy pistols have a melee damage mod too, maybe I'll try that out.
    – Zelda
    Commented Mar 22, 2012 at 14:32

My solution with a vanguard was to get the weaker twice nova and charge nova roll charge. If done quickly you can avoid the instakills from the big 4.(never seen a prime do one and I was violating his personal space).

As far as a melee build I found the windup hurts you more than it helps more often than not. I have met with great results building a human with the following priorities; aoe charge and full barrier recharge, aoe nova with half health, +power dmg, +hp. Also you can use nova to do this little dance as you jump to skirt around enemies' flanks.

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