How to Vanguard Basically

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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.

Photon Arts[edit | edit source]

So what does having Lv20 in everything entail?

Compared to Lv15 Photon Arts, Lv20 Photon Arts generally provide a 5% increase in damage. This is pretty good, as far as inherent bonuses go. Also notably, Shifta, Jellen, Zalure and Deband have a significantly longer duration (around 30 seconds), which makes Vanguards the second best buff/debuff users next to Forces.

However, Lv20 doesn't move the Photon Arts up a tier, so they don't get more benefits than Lv15 ones outside of these mentions. Notably, since Ranged Photon Arts are applied to Button square.png rather than Button triangle.png, their advantage over Lv15 Photon Arts is much less significant.

Moreover, Lv20 compares very unfavourably to Lv30 Photon Arts: around 10% less damage, and many missing properties, which we will cover more in the Ignited Arts section. As such, Vanguards will often find their damage lacking compared to other Types in their specialized elements, such as Hunters with their Lv30 Melee Photon Arts, and Forces with their Lv30 Technics.

To play to their strengths, a Vanguard should definitely try to mix up their weapon types.

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
Chaining Twin Daggers, Twin Sabers, Twin Claws Twin Handguns, Machine guns (Meseta Shot) Foverse, Sazonde, Sabarta, Nagrants
Chain Break Swords, Axes Shotguns, Crossbows Sazonde, Diga, Nosdiga
Utility Double Sabers, Daggers Rifles, Laser Cannons, Handguns Zalure, Shifta, Deband, Resta, Anti

Chainbreakers and chain techs are oftentimes interchangable, dependent on your playstyle. Some utility weapons are also interchangable, for example, Rifles and Handguns, which, when used for the purpose of shooting buttons and weak points, doesn't make much of a difference.

However, there are also a few weapons which provides utilities that other weapons cannot match:

Laser Cannons: Charge Shot II can easily and safely stunlock all enemies within a fairly sizable area.

Machine Guns (Meseta Shot): allows you to chain quickly at range even with 0pp. Meseta consumes at a completely irrelevant rate (around 40 per shot, apparently). Slicers can also attack at range with 0 pp, it chains much slower but recovers pp much faster.

Zalure: basically a free damage multiplier that lasts 1 minute and a half. Why the heck not? Weapons with Zalure effect doesn't cut it: they have a much shorter duration and doesn't hit 100% of the time.

Of course, these are just recommendations. Try all the weapons out: finding something you are more comfortable with is more important than anything else.

How do I palette?[edit | edit source]

"There's too many choices! How do I make my palettes?"

Let's go over how we make palettes, now that we have so many potential weapons to choose from.

There's a few things we need to worry about when it comes to picking a weapon.

First, its purpose; Second, if it's an one-handed weapon, what we would using on the other hand; Lastly, what we should place next to it.

For example, we try to put Sazonde on our palette somewhere, for chaining purposes.

Since we just want chains, we don't care for the higher TEC score on Rods. Wands and Tech-Mags are much better as they cast faster and can strafe cast.

Out of the two, we pick Wands, as we would like to pair it with a left-hand weapon. Left-hand weapons are generally ranged weapons, which Sazonde, being a ranged technic, works really well with. Tech-Mags can work as well, as they generally have less pp consumption than Wands, but Sazonde has a range difference with most right-handed weapons (all close-range except for Whips and Slicers), which can make them awkward to use in combination.

In this case, we pick a Machine Gun equipped with Meseta Shot to go with the Wand, as the Machine Gun can add additional chains quite quickly as the Sazonde resolves, and with meseta shot, allows the player some time to recover pp to compensate for Sazonde's high pp cost. Machine Gun's Charge Shot 1 also works decently well as a chain breaker, and it aims upwards, which works well with Sazonde's launch effect.

Since Sazonde works well with Shotguns, we will place them next to each other on the action palette to be swapped back and forth easily.

(Of course, this is just an example, feel free to fit Sazonde wherever you like.)

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 average damage output. They also excel from having high DEF, MND and STA which allows them to resist different kinds of attacks. Making them highly suitable for the Vanguard class.

Newman[edit | edit source]

Newmans have low ATK, but very high TEC and fine ACC. In other words, they are not very good at melee weapons, but very good with technic weapons. Ranged weapons usually wind up being just fine as they rely more on ACC than they do ATK.

In esssence, focus on technic weapons and ranged weapons. melee weapons can still have uses, despite newmans being worse with them than other races. TEC-based ranged weapons especially can be very good. In my experience, Longbows CS2 tends to outdamage Rifles, but is still outdamaged by Shotgun CS2, unless the Longbow way outclasses the Shotgun.

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]

Beasts have high ATK, high HP, but low TEC and low ACC. In other words, they have a focus on melee weapons, and are poor with technic weapons.

Don't let that scare you away from technic weapons, though. Technics provide a ton of utilities, and don't miss. Sure, you can't break using technics like Newmans probably can, but dealing 1 damage is the same as dealing 100 as far as chaining goes.

Melee damage is less prone to missing compared to beast hunters (since vanguards have better ACC), and ranged is also more effective. Would still recommend you to break off melee as opposed to ranged if you can, though.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Casts have good ATK, high ACC, but low TEC. In other words, a focus on ranged weapons and melee weapons, but are poor with technic weapons.

Similar to beasts, don't let that scare you away from technic weapons: Technics provide a ton of utilities, and can still provide great chaining support. Forget breaking with them, though.

With high ACC, casts can lean into both Ranged and Melee weapons, dependent on the situation and playstyle.

Deuman[edit | edit source]

Deumans have good ATK, TEC, and ACC, which allows them to use anything offensively.


Deuman's low PP and low PP regen holds them back considerably, as they don't fare well with high PP users (such as most melee photon arts, Sazonde, and most Charge Shots). As such, they desperately need ways to either recover pp quickly, or reduce pp usage. This means either specific weapons with low PP usage, and/or PP Save skills from reaching Lv30 on other Types.

Also worth mentioning that Deumans have atrocious defenses, and very much requires defensive abilities, such as Half Defense, to patch them up. As a result, it's very possible that Deuman player may wind up with not enough room to fit Ignited Arts into their type abilities, which severely harms their end-game damage potential.

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 a couple properties: their damage scales to the player's level, they don't add chains, and all of them has a chance to inflict a specific status aliement when used. They go onto the item palette as opposed to the weapon palette as well, which allows the player to bring a whole bunch without interrupting the normal gameflow, especially if the player opts to bring Auto-med abilities.

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 irrevelant 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 hitbox 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 Boosted 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 hitbox 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 boosted 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.

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 consistutes 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, and upgrades 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.

Getting Bullets to Lv25 doesn't mean all that much. Besides the aforementioned damage bonus, it also provides a 5% range bonus for Long-Range bullets (from 125% at Lv20 to 130% at Lv25), as well as a 5% elemental bonus for Elemental bullets (from 20% at Lv20 to 25% at Lv25). Neither of which are that important to be honest.

What Lv25 bullets does provide, is an additional bullet to Cards, and more importantly, 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.

Other Notes[edit | edit source]