Superior Attack: Mass Effect 3 – Vanguard MP Guide

Mass Effect 3 Vanguard

Superior Attack is Substance TV’s feature covering strategies and guides for games. This week we feature Mass Effect 3′s multiplayer mode. How to get more cash, experience, and stay alive.

This is the first in a multi-part series on how to tweak and use each class in Mass Effect 3 for maximum experience and cash. This week we take a look at the Vanguard class. I’ve recently took a liking to this brute class. Though I must give credit to my friend Derek for showing me just how amazing the Vanguard can be. When used properly the Vanguard can be one of the most powerful classes in the game.

The Vanguard is all about up close and personal. Your goal is to get in and cause as much damage as possible. Pick either the male or female Vanguard (I’ll explain why in a second). You’ll need to assign experience points to just the right abilities to maximize your results. This build will focus on two abilities: Biotic Charge and Nova. The Biotic Charge ability does what it says. It sends your body hurtling towards the enemy of your choice knocking them back and causing damage. This comes in handy as it allows you to cover a great distance in a short amount of time. You can even transport to enemies above or below you.

The other half of this deadly duo is Nova. Nova allows you to transfer power from your barrier and concentrate it into a supercharged ground pound to stun enemies and cause a massive amount of damage.

Now we get to the good part. Below is the list of abilities you will want to upgrade. The order isn’t important, but I’d recommend getting your Charge and Nova started as early as possible followed by Fitness and then everything else.

Biotic Charge:
Rank 1: Biotic Charge
Rank 2: Recharge Speed
Rank 3: Force & Damage
Rank 4: Force & Damage
Rank 5: Power Synergy
Rank 6: Barrier

Rank 1: Nova
Rank 2: Radius
Rank 3: Force & Damage
Rank 4: Force & Damage
Rank 5: Power Recharge
Rank 6: Pierce

Alliance Training:
Rank 1: Alliance Training
Rank 2: Power & Damage
Rank 3: Weapon Damage
Rank 4: Damage & Capacity
Rank 5: Power Damage
Rank 6: Weapon Weight

Rank 1: Fitness
Rank 2: Durability
Rank 3: Melee Damage
Rank 4: Durability
Rank 5: Shield Recharge
Rank 6: Fitness Expert

You’ll notice zero points were assigned Shockwave because quite frankly it’s a waste of resources. When it comes to weapons, use whatever works best for you. Personally I prefer the Carnifex as it’s deadly but still lightweight. It’s important to keep in mind whatever weapon you pick, make sure it still allows you to maintain a 200% power recharge speed. This is vital as you’ll be constantly switching between Biotic Charge and Nova to keep yourself alive.

Using this build is fairly simple. Find a group of enemies and instantly use Nova. Your barrier will drain to zero leaving you defenseless. Not to fear, this is where the Biotic Charge comes in. Target another enemy and successfully charge them to instantly fill your barrier gauge. Continue with this Nova/Biotic Charge combo until everything is good and dead. You’ll rarely need to use your weapon with this build. Guardians are the only small enemy that gives the Vanguard a bit of trouble. In that case use Biotic Charge to momentarily stagger them then use your weapon of choice to get off a few shoots. Don’t follow your Biotic Charge with a Nova as it won’t cause any damage. Just keep the pressure with Biotic Charge and shoot until dead.

The only other enemies the Vanguard needs to be wary of are the Atlas, Phantom, and Banshee. Use the same Nova/Biotic Charge combo as before, but back away after each successful combo. These enemies have the ability to kill you in one hit and your teammates can’t revive you until all the enemies in the current wave have been killed.

I’ve used this build for bronze, silver, and gold difficulty settings. The only real issue I’ve had is sometimes in gold as you can get trapped in a bunch of enemies and become a damage sponge. Make sure to use moderation and a clear head. Don’t go rushing into a group of baddies without knowing what you’re getting into or at least another team member to back you up. You can easily get over 100,000 experience in each round on silver difficulty and above.

Well that’s about it. Good luck and happy killing!

You think you’ve got a better Vanguard build? Tell us about your build in the comments below!


About author


Brian is the Managing Director here at Substance TV. He is the host of the original Substance TV legacy series and co-host of Pixel Fusion. A graphic designer by trade, in his spare time he find himself playing bass and singing vocals for Wichita based band Ten Day Wish. Luckily he has a wife who supports his video game game addiction along with his three amazing kiddos. You can find him on Google + or via his Twitter @fortressfruit.

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  1. 4 / 10 / 2012 1:12 am

    I play Vanguard on Gold, and your spec is good for damage dealing, but the fact that NOVA drains your shield completely means you will die alot in harder difficulties.  I recommend taking Half Blast for Nova rank 5.  It will decrease the overall damage of nova to 60%, however you can now do it twice so technically you can deal 120% damage with the same amount of barrier consumption.  This will also leave you with half shields in cases where you are getting attacked alot.  During the brief in between moments you should use your weapon.  That said, choose a weapon with high damage such as a Geth Pulse Shotgun, or my favorite, the Carnifex.  With the Carnifex you and 1 shot alot of enemies who survive the nova if you are skilled enough to use it.  Also its head shots deadly as a long range weapon.

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