How to Vanguard Basically

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Curtz's Vanguard Palette. Don't use it.

Overview[edit | edit source]

A jack-of-all-trades type that can employ different combat styles to fill diverse roles in parties. A good fit with lighter weapons.

Don't worry about the lighter weapons part: the true spirit of Vanguards, is to do whatever the hell you want! With decent offensive stats both sides, and the ability to use any Photon Arts at a barely acceptable level, Vanguards are a walking talking Gurhal's Greatest Hits album.

Sample Palettes[edit | edit source]

Sample Melee Based Palette on the right:

  • Tech-Mag ( Foverse , Zalure) + Whip ( Vivi Dezza)
  • Twin Sabers ( Assault Crush)
  • Machine Gun ( Meseta Fever Charge Shot I) + Wand ( Sazonde , Zalure)
  • Handgun ( Long Range Shoot Charge Shot I) + Dagger ( Shisoku Tenkai-zan)
  • Rod ( Sazonde, Resta, R+ Shifta, R+ Deband)
  • Axe ( Anga Grudda)

Foverse is positioned next to three melee weapons to allow quick swapping. Machine Gun and Wand are used for quickly accumulating chains from midrange. Machine Guns allows strafing while attacking, which allows Sazonde -> approaching while holding Meseta Fever -> Assault Crush. Handgun is used for ranged damage, and FPS sniping. Dagger is used for faster movement, and provides a boost to the Handgun's damage. Sazonde and Zalure are equipped twice for easier access from anywhere on the palette.

Compared to Hunters, Vanguards are more accurate on their melee weapons, deal more damage on Ranged weapons, and has longer duration on their buffs and debuffs, in exchange for dealing lower damage on melee weapons. Characterized here by the use of Machine Gun and the Handgun Dagger pair, which are not commonly used on Hunter.

Sample Ranged Based Palette on the right:

  • Twin Handguns ( Long Range Bullets Charge Shot I)
  • Shotgun ( Barada Longa Charge Shot II)
  • Crossbow ( Yak Longa Charge Shot I) + Wand ( Foverse , Zalure)
  • Rod ( Sazonde, Resta, R+ Shifta, R+ Deband)
  • Sword ( Tornado Break)
  • Laser Cannon (Save Prism Charge Shot II)

Twin handguns and Wand is used for chainbuilding. Shotgun is for single target chainbreaks, while Crossbow (CS1) is used for dealing with groups of mobs. Both of these works very well with Foverse. Laser Cannon (CS2) serves as a last resort to groups of troublesome enemies (stunlock go brrrrr). Sword is also used to deal with groups of mobs, specifically ranged resistant ones. It's also used to deal with large bosses (like Dragon) with multi-targets, which ranged weapons tend to have some trouble with, hence the use of Tornado Break. It's recommended to keep a Rifle in the inventory: while Twin Handguns and Laser Cannons both have FPS mode, and can be used to snipe weakness or ceiling bombs, they can't deal with flying bosses or tall bosses very well, which rifles are fantastic against.

Compared to Rangers, Vanguard's biggest loss is the 20% less damage on Shotguns (due to having less shots), in exchange, Vanguard's get longer buff and debuff durations, and access to more Traps. Other than that, their performance is fairly similar. As a result, Vanguard can be a good choice for aspiring Rangers, until they get Lv21+ Shotgun Photon Art Discs.

Sample Technic Based Palette on the right:

  • Machine Gun ( Meseta Fever Charge Shot II) + Dagger ( Shisoku Tenkai-zan)
  • R-Mag + Wand ( Nagrants, Zalure)
  • Rod ( Sazonde, Nosdiga, R+ Foverse, R+ Gidiga)
  • Rod ( Anti, Resta, R+ Shifta, R+ Deband)
  • Longbow ( Attack Charge Shot II)
  • Laser Cannon (Save Prism Charge Shot II)

R-Mag + Nagrants combo is used for super fast chain building via strafe casting abuse. Since strafe casting runs out of pp fairly quickly, a Meseta Fever Machine Gun is used during PP recharge. A Dagger is used to improve the machine gun's damage, and to provide additional movement. The rod is loaded with chainers and chainbreakers: Nosdiga is used for midranged single target breaks, which combos well with Sazonde; Gidiga is used for dealing with groups of mobs: it combos well with Foverse, knocks down all enemies at close range, and deals high damage. A longbow is used for FPS sniping, as well as close up single target breaks. And finally, a Laser Cannon is used to deal with a wide groups of enemies at midrange, which technics don't provide much cover for.

Compared to Forces, Vanguards lose all the tier 3 Technics, the bread and butter of Forces. As a result, Vanguards lose a ton of damage from technics, and has significantly worse buffs and debuffs, in both potency and duration, without anything relevant to show for it. Similar to Rangers, Vanguards can be a good choice to transition through, picking up useful abilities, until they get access to Lv21+ Technic Photon Art Discs.

Of course, the entire setup goes out of whack once the player reaches Vanguard Lv50 and gets Ignite Arts.

Pros and Cons of Vanguard[edit | edit source]

Pros[edit | edit source]

  • Good stats in ATK, ACC, and TEC, which allows good performance on every type of weapons.
  • Lv20 Photon Arts represents a 5% damage increase over Lv15 ones, and a 30 seconds extension to Shifta, Jellen, Zalure and Deband.
  • Stun Trap EX.

Cons[edit | edit source]

  • Less stats in ATK, ACC, or TEC compared to the dedicated types (Hunter, Ranger, and Force respectively).
  • Lv20 Photon Arts represents 10% less damage compared to Lv30 ones, along with the lack of any tier 3 advantages, such as reduced PP usage, more shots, or wider hitbox areas.
  • In fact, lack of any tier 3 Photon Arts all across the board, resulting in a lack of heavy hitters.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Taking everything in total, Vanguard loses 10% to 20% in damage relative to the dedicated types in their areas, in exchange for a 5% to 10% damage boost in everything else.
  • Since the primary drawback of Vanguards is the lack of Lv21+ Photon Arts, this means little for early to mid game players that does not have access to any Lv21+ Photon Arts yet. As such, Vanguards makes for a good intermediary class, with good Abilities that are useful on other types or Partner characters purposes, and a good stat spread for the player to try out every weapon with.
  • Ranged Photon Arts applies to , and the 5% to 10% damage loss on is largely irrelevant to your damage output, and Charge Shots are generally unaffected by Photon Arts levels. Thus, Ranged Weapons are quite invaluable, due to being hindered the least by Vanguard's drawbacks.
    • However, the one exception to this, Shotguns, the best ranged damage dealer, loses around 20% damage due to lack of Lv20 Photon Arts, so Vanguards are still worse than Rangers. Cards lose about 33% damage for similar reasons.

The Greatest Hits of Gurhal[edit | edit source]

As per usual, we want a weapon to chain with, a weapon to break chains with, and some weapons for utility purposes.

However, unlike other types, Vanguards has the ability to pick whatever they want!

So here's a simple chart for some recommendations. Check the other guides for specific details.

Melee Ranged Technic
Press a lot Twin Daggers, Twin Sabers, Daggers Twin Handguns, Machine guns (Meseta Fever) Foverse, Sazonde, Sabarta, Nagrants
Damage go brrr Swords, Axes, Twin Claws Shotguns, Crossbows, Longbow ( Charge Shot II) Sazonde, Diga, Nosdiga, Gi-things

Chainbreakers and chain makers are sometimes interchangable, dependent on your play-style and how it fits with your race.

Special Mentions

Utility Weapon
Stunlock go brrrrr Laser Cannons ( Charge Shot II), Stun Trap EX, Sazonde, Grenade Launchers ( Boma Banga)
Did someone say free PA Machine Guns ( Meseta Fever)
Did someone say free chains Foverse
Dragonslayer Swords, Axes, Rifles, Grenade Launchers
Stupid flying bosses Rifles, Handguns, Longbows ( Charge Shot I)
Buff is free damage Shifta
Debuff is free damage Zalure
Living is free damage Deband, Resta, Jellen, Anti
Movement Tech Double Sabers ( Tornado Dance), Daggers ( Shisoku Tenkai-zan)

Race Differences[edit | edit source]

Your ability and weapon composition is really just dependent on your race, more than anything.

Human[edit | edit source]

Humans are balanced in every stat such as ATK, TEC, DEF, MND, PP and ACC thus deal decent damage from just about any weapon.

Mirage blasts also provides a sizable range of utility, and their damage is relatively quite good, due to Vanguard having the second highest TEC out of all four types.

As such, humans can slot in just about any weapon, into just about any setup.

Notably, Kun'ne provides a 40% attack speed boost, which is a very significant boost to melee weapons, but means little to ranged weapons (whose attack speed is already very high) and technic weapons (as attack speed boost does not affect tech casting speed). For more ambitious players looking to take advantage of Kun'ne (which is perhaps human's one standout trait) a melee build is a great choice.

Newman[edit | edit source]

It's a newman, they have no redeeming factors besides TEC and PP regen, of course focus more on tech weapons. nNwman's ACC is okay too, so throwing in some ranged weapons, especially TEC based ones such as Longbows.

Also note that Newmans have very low DEF, which is dragged down by Vanguard's low DEF multiplier. Some defense abilities may be required to compensate.

Beast[edit | edit source]

It's beast, they have no redeeming factors besides HP and ATK, so of course focus more on melee weapons.

Relative to Hunters, Beast Vanguards has lower damage, but higher accuracy, and longer duration on buffs and debuffs. Prior to Lv30 Photon Arts and Rebirths, Beast Vanguards are potentially stronger than Hunters just because they hit more times.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Casts have good ATK, high ACC, which lets casts lean into both Ranged and Melee weapons, dependent on the situation and play-style.

Cast Vanguard sits somewhere in the middle of Cast Hunters and Cast Rangers, exchanging the damage output for versatility.

Deuman[edit | edit source]

Similar to humans, Deumans has well rounded stats, which allows them to utilize anything.


Unfortunately, Deuman have a stupid amount of drawbacks:

  • Deuman's low PP and extremely low PP regen, meaning much less uses of photon arts compared to all other races.
    • This especially doesn't help on Vanguard, which relies on mixing various photon arts to catch up in damage, most of which has a high PP cost.
  • Atrocious defense stats, combined with low defenses on Vanguard, makes them arguably the most fragile class/race combination in the game.
    • While defensive abilities, such as Half Defense, can keep Deumans alive quite effectively. This means ability slots that cannot be used by other abilities, especially strong late game abilities such as Ignite Arts.
  • Infinity blasts are tied to Type, thus deuman only has access to one blast, much worse in versatility compared to other races.
    • It also doesn't help that the blast is Blade Stream, which is quite infamous for getting the player killed for using it in tight spots.

Traps[edit | edit source]

Vanguards have a proficiency with Traps, and is the only type that can use both EX traps, so let's go over them.

Trap have the following properties:

  • Damage dealt scales to the player's level (usually about as high as a few presses). This can be boosted via Burst Bomber.
  • Adds 0 chains.
  • Has a chance to inflict a specific status aliment when used.
  • Takes up item palette as opposed to the weapon palette.
    • No harm in bringing some, since it takes up no weapon slots, and healing items effectively takes up no item slots when Auto-heal is equipped.

Single-hit Traps are quantity over quality, and can be used early game to quickly melt bosses: even problematic enemies, such as Bag Deggas, would die to a dozen traps or two exploding under their feet. However, their damage becomes irrelevant towards higher-levels, as its damage does not scale as hard as enemy HP does. It's possible to attempt inflicting statuses with them, but generally they are too inefficient for that.

Burn Trap EX produces a persisting hit-box that hits 10 times when detonated, and has a good chance of inflicting Burn. While it can't chain, it's useful for inducing Burn on problematic enemies, such as Aura of power enemies. Burn deals percentage based damage every other second, and can cause quite a bit of damage if it persists for a long time.

Stun Trap EX produces a persisting hit-box that hits 10 times when detonated, and has a good chance of inflicting Stun. While its use is largely replaced by Sazonde nowadays, it can cover some situations that Sazonde does not: it has a higher amount of locks (to deal with larger mob groups), can stun Aura of power enemies (who will ignore Sazonde), and can deal with enemies that can't be launched or knocked down (such as Komazlis). As such, it's still a useful tool to have on the palette.

Note that Traps don't drop from the vast majority of containers, meaning that the player cannot replenish their traps in the middle of a mission. Thus traps should be saved for particularly problematic enemies.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

GRM Fan, Yohmei Fan, Tenora Fan (ALL level 5): these abilities has the incredible cost efficiency of 1 slot for 10% extra damage, and Vanguard, being a hybrid class, has the easiest time exploiting these abilities.

Manufacturers and the max rank weapons they make
Icon Name GRM Tenora Yohmei
Sword.gif Swords S A A
Knuckles.gif Knuckles B S A
Spear.gif Spears B S A
Doublesaber.gif Double Sabers S - A
Axe.gif Axes - S S
Twinsaber.gif Twin Sabers S A A
Twindagger.gif Twin Daggers A A S
Twinclaw.gif Twin Claws - A S
Saber.gif Sabers S A A
Dagger.gif Daggers A A S
Claw.gif Claws - A S
Whip.gif Whips S S -
Slicer.gif Slicers - - S
Shield.gif Shields S - -
Rifle.gif Rifles S B S
Shotgun.gif Shotguns B S B
Longbow.gif Longbows B B S
Grenade.gif Grenade Launchers A S -
Lasercannon.gif Laser Cannons S - S
Twinhandgun.gif Twin Handguns S A A
Handgun.gif Handguns S A A
Crossbow.gif Crossbows - S A
Card.gif Cards A - S
Machinegun.gif Machine Guns S A -
Rmag.gif R-Mags S A -
Rod.gif Rods B - S
Wand.gif Wands A B S
Tmag.gif Tech-Mags S - S

Partnership (Vanguard level 6): 35% extra damage for your NPC buddies, very useful for 1 slot (as long as your party members are strong).

Wild Blast (ALL level 5): Hey, more blasts is always good! Especially if you are a race that really like having more blasts, such as Beasts, or Humans with Kun'ne.

Elemental Hit (Ranger level 8): Want to build around a status aliment? Here you go!

Half Defense (Vanguard level 8): Helps with Vanguard's paper thin defense. Most useful for Deumans and Newmans, or when you take on enemies significantly stronger than you are.

Auto-heal Critical/Half (ALL level 1): Automatically uses Monomates, Dimates, Trimates, and Sol Atomizers; very convenient, and gives you more palette space to put in traps. Combos with Half Defense to make you effectively invincible.

Healing Item Boost (Hunter level 2): Makes your healing items significantly more potent. Most notably, saves monomate uses when used with Auto-heal Critical and Half Defense.

PP Defense Save (Hunter Level 3) / Soaking Guard (ALL Level 10): Reduces PP consumption, or increases the potency of guards, very useful if you guard a lot.

PP Escape Save (ALL level 3): Reduces PP consumption, great if you evade a lot.

Full-Charge Shot (Ranger Lv2): if you want to play with any ranged weapons, slap this on and never take it off.

Lightning Hi-Speed (Force Lv13): Makes Sazondes faster.

Ignited Arts[edit | edit source]

Weird to mention a Lv50 Ability in the beginner's guide, but this is worth a write up. Unlike other Types where their high level abilities are a simple beneficial buff that doesn't really change your playstyle all that much, Ignited Arts is instead the absolute endgame for Vanguards that fundamentally changes how they work.

Ignited Arts costs 7 slots, and increases the level limit of all player Photon Arts from 20 to 25 (with the exception of Zalure, Jellen, Shifta, Deband, Anti and Resta). This may sound like a massive cost for something that seems insignificant, so let's go through what exactly it covers.

First, 5 more levels constitutes around a 5% increment to all Photon Arts damage. This is a decently sizable boost for Skills and Technics, although not so much Bullets.

Second, going from Lv20 to Lv25 moves the PAs up a tier, which gives them additional properties.

For Technics, this means an expansion in size, range, and even hit count in some cases. The most notable of which being Foverse, which upgrades from 2 hits to 3 hits, with a much longer duration, upgrading it from a good chaining tool to one of the best chaining tools in the game.

For Skills, getting a skill to above Lv25 usually reduces some of their stages' PP use by 10. Some Skills, such as Assault Crush, has both Stage 1 and Stage 2 reduced by 10 PP, which reduces its total PP use by 20. This is a huge help to PP economy, and improves the viability of high PP weapons, which are very common at high levels.

The most important part of obtaining Lv25 bullets, meanwhile, is an additional bullet to Cards and Shotguns, which becomes a 50% damage bonus to Cards, and a 25% damage bonus for Shotguns. Shotguns are already one of Vanguard's most powerful chain break tools even at Lv20, and is absolutely nuts at Lv25.

When put together, an Ignited Arts Vanguard is someone with the potential damage of Hunters and Rangers, while retaining all of the best chaining tools of Forces.

However, Ignited Arts costs an insane SEVEN slots, which can be a huge issue for some cases.

The player has a maximum of 12 slots. 7 is allocated for Ignited Arts, and 1 is for Full Charge Shot (if you are using Shotgun), and there's only 4 slots left, which isn't enough room to fit all of the great abilities, such as PP Skill Save (2 slots), PP Tech Save (2 slots), Half Defense (3 slots), Damage Convert PP (2 slots), various technic hi-speeds (1 slots each). Most notably, Deumans' viability with Ignited Arts is severely hindered, as they really want both PP reduction abilities and defensive abilities, which they can't fit with Ignited Arts.

Sample Palette on the right:

  • Twin Claws ( Sougacho Sekka)
  • Crossbow ( Yak Longa Charge Shot I) + Wand ( Foverse, Zalure)
  • Shotgun ( Baraga Maga Charge Shot II)
  • Twin Handguns ( Attack Charge Shot I)
  • Machine Gun ( Meseta Fever Charge Shot I) + Wand ( Sazonde, Zalure)
  • Rod ( Anti, Resta, R+ Shifta, R+ Deband)

Foverse combos right into either the melee weapon, Shotgun for single target break, or crossbow for mob control. Twin handguns is used while approaching, for FPS sniping, and, if you are using the T. Heaven Punishers (I can assume you have that by now, right?), deals with multi target enemies and grouped mobs from a distance. It also plays well with Sazonde. Meseta Fever once again returns for PP management (feel free to drop that if you are newman).

While Vanguards ultimately still has less damage than the other types, since they miss assets like lv21+ Shifta, Hi-speed charge, Burst Shooter, Attack Booster, and just less room on their ability slots, Vanguards are unique in that they can get the most out of every weapon and almost every technic, at the same time. And traps too!

Other Notes[edit | edit source]