Vanguard Guide

dryad

Vanguard is a strong balance between straight up DPS and control. Out on the battlefield, he can diminish the effectiveness of his enemies, prevent them from attacking, force them around the arena, and generally cause a lot of chaos and mayhem. He has a lot of survivability when played right, which earns him more time to lay down the hurt.

 Deals 140/160/180 damage on consecutive hits, consumes Rage dealing 45 extra damage and slightly knocks back target. [M1] War Strike

Vanguards are notorious for their M1 spam due to their Rage mechanic. Rage stacks are built by landing his Taunt spell on an enemy. Whenever you hit an enemy with M1, it consumes one stack of Rage, inflicting bonus damage and knock back. Over the course of a round, the Rage stack bonus damage really adds up.

When to use War Strike?

  • When you have Rage stacks.
  • When your other offensive abilities are on cooldown.
 Deals 100 - 200 damage, inflicts Slow and Dismantle. The effect of this ability becomes stronger the farther the projectile travels.  Slow Reduces movement speed by 25%, lasts for 1s - 2s.  Dismantle Causes the target to become unable to use the core and the secondary ability, lasts for 1s - 2s. [M2] War Axe

War Axe is a projectile that deals more damage the farther it flies. The damage itself is average, but the true strength of War Axe comes from its secondary effects: slow movespeed and Dismantle, a debuff that prevents the enemy from using their M1 and M2 abilities. Useful for rendering both DPSers and healers temporarily useless.

Keep in mind that the slow duration is also dependent on distance thrown.

When to use War Axe?

  • When your team is focusing an enemy close to death (throw it at their healer).
  • When your teammate is being focused by an enemy.
  • When you want to get in a few extra M1 hits (due to the slow).
Leaps to target location, deals 140 damage, inflicts Slow and slightly knocks back enemies near the destination.  Slow Reduces movement speed by 33%, lasts for 2s.  [Space] Leap Attack

Leap Attack is Vanguard’s gap closer. There’s nothing particularly special about this ability: he jumps in, deals minor damage in an AoE, and slows movespeed. Because of the slow, it can be a good way to initiate a fight, especially if you have 3 Rage stacks. However, if necessary, don’t be afraid to use it as an escape.

The energy gain on Leap Attack is based on the number of enemies hit by it, so if you Leap into a cluster of 3 enemies, you’ll gain 3x the energy as the fight begins.

When to use Leap Attack?

  • When you want to initiate a fight (make sure you have Rage stacks first).
  • When you want to chase down an enemy.
  • When the enemy team is clumped together.
  • When you need to escape.
Deals 80 damage, knocks target back and inflicts Demoralize.  Demoralize Reduces damage and healing done by 50% , the effect is reduced by 25% for each direct attack that hits the wearer. Lasts up to 4s.  [Q] Shield Slam

Shield Slam inflicts minor damage to all enemies in a cone in front of him. It has a knockback component, as well as a debuff called Demoralize, which reduces the damage and healing output of the enemies. However, the reduction amount decreases every time the enemy is hit. The damage isn’t very high, so don’t use this for added DPS. Instead, Slam someone and leave them Demoralized.

Shield Slam also has an EX version, which makes him dash towards the cursor, dealing damage and dragging along the first enemy he hits on the way. In addition, he gains one Rage stack on himself. This ability is absolutely critical for forcing the enemy into a bad position… as long as you don’t put yourself in a bad position, too.

When to use Shield Slam?

  • When you want to cripple the enemy healer.
  • When you want to reduce an enemy’s DPS.
  • When the enemy team is clumped together.
  • When you want to escape.

When to use Shield Slam EX?

  • When an enemy is beating on your teammate.
  • When you can pull a single enemy into your team.
Inflicts Taunt and applies Blood Fury and 3 stacks of Rage on self upon impact.  Blood Fury Restores 40% of damage taken during Blood Fury when the effect ends, lasts for 3s.  Taunt Forced to run towards your location. Lasts for 2s or until target reaches the destination.  Rage Stacks up to 3 times and lasts for 7s.  [E] Taunt

The potential of a Vanguard player rests in how often he can land his Taunts. Landing a Taunt grants you 3 Rage stacks, which drastically boosts your M1 damage output. At the same time, it causes the enemy to lose control and run straight at you, effectively CC’ing them temporarily. Once they reach you, you can smack them around.

Taunt also has another effect called Blood Fury. If you land a Taunt, you gain the Blood Fury buff. When the Blood Fury buff expires, you’ll immediately be healed for a percentage of the damage that you took while you had the Blood Fury buff. This restoration is Real HP, not Recovery HP.

When to use Taunt?

  • When you need more Rage stacks.
  • When you want to isolate an enemy from his team.
  • When an enemy is beating on your teammate.
  • When you’re being focused by the enemy team (for the Blood Fury buff).
Increases movement speed by 30%, disables abilities, enemy projectiles are reflected, enemy melee attacks are absorbed and the attacker is affected by Stun. Reflect lasts for 1s.  Stun Stuns target for 0,8s.  [R] Reflect

When playing against a Vanguard, Reflect is one of his most annoying abilities. While Reflect is active, you gain movespeed and become temporarily invulnerable to most attacks. Projectiles that hit you simply bounce back to where they came from. Melee attackers are stunned when they hit you. Only AoE abilities can go through Reflect.

Reflect also has an EX version, which heals you and all of your teammates around you for a considerable chunk of health. Additionally, all enemies around you are slowed, which gives you room to land an easy Taunt or hack away with M1s. The heal is the most important part, though, and it can seriously boost the survivability of your team.

When to use Reflect?

  • When a devastating projectile is flying at you.
  • When a melee attacker is focusing you.
  • When you want to run in and cause chaos / apprehension.

When to use Reflect EX?

  • When you or a teammate is missing a lot of Recovery HP.
  • When you’re chasing an enemy (for the slow).
Deals 280 - 580 damage on enemy impact, deals 280 damage to enemies near destination and inflicts Incapacitate. Damage increases with distance dashed.  Incapacitate Incapacitates target for 1,5s, damage breaks this effect.  [F] Heroic Charge

Heroic Charge has the potential to be round-winning. A well-aimed Charge can pop an enemy, even when they thought they had enough HP to be safe. This ability deals more damage the farther you travel, and nothing deals more damage in BLC than a max-range Charge. Additionally, others enemies in an AoE at the point of impact will receive considerable damage and be incapacitated.

But even though Heroic Charge has a lot of damage potential, it can be game-changing (and highly embarrassing) if you miss it entirely. Whiffing a Vanguard’s ultimate immediately puts you at a disadvantage due to lost energy, no damage, and poor resulting position.

When to use Heroic Charge?

  • When your target has no outs remaining.
  • When the enemy team is clumped together.
  • When you can pop an enemy, guaranteed.

Basic Tactics, Techniques, and Combos

Rage stacks are crucial. If you have a Rage stack every time you land an M1, you boost your DPS output by 25%. In other words, Rage stacks can be the sole difference between 80 CVPS and 100 CVPS. Always, always, always keep up your Rage stacks, whether with Taunt or Shield Slam EX. The enemy will never forgive you for it.

Reflect EX for support. Healing isn’t your main responsibility, obviously, but if your healer is being pressured and can’t keep up with the heals, then by all means use Battle Shout and help him out. Don’t waste Reflect EX only on yourself unless you are the last one standing. Always try to hit another teammate with it.

Shield Slam EX for control. Shield Slam EX is very useful for isolating an enemy. When you interrupt their positioning, you interrupt their rhythm, and that alone can be powerful. With the additional Rage stack, you can dash away with the enemy and instantly hit them with a buffed M1. Very disorienting if done well.

If you need to escape… Because of the slowing aspect of Leap Attack (and the energy gain), it’s better to use it for intiation instead of escaping. It may seem counter-intuitive, but when escaping, save Leap Attack as a last resort. In most cases, you should first use Shield Slam (because you shouldn’t hit a Demoralized enemy anyway) and Reflect (no energy gain).

Straightforward playstyle. For the most part, Vanguard’s playstyle is formulaic. Leap in when you want to initiate. War Axe and Taunt the one you want to focus. Shield Slam those who aren’t being focused. Reflect when the situation calls for it. Mix it up with both EX abilities when the situatin calls for it. Rinse and repeat.

Characters: NoboOsT

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