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"Mass Effect Andromeda" Build Guide: Vanguard Profile

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This article will offer some guidance for how to make a Vanguard profile in "Mass Effect Andromeda."

This article will offer some guidance for how to make a Vanguard profile in "Mass Effect Andromeda."

Mass Effect Andromeda is a big game with a whole lot going on. It’s complex enough without having to worry about how you’re going to build your character. Sometimes you just need a little help with that.

These guides are intended to give new players—or veterans looking to try something different—a helping hand when it comes to kitting out a new profile for their Ryder. They go over the basic strengths and weaknesses of the class and provide a few sample builds, including what upgrades to take at ranks four, five and six. Along with this are other bits and pieces of information, such as recommended party members to take along to complement the playstyle, as well as some weapons to consider.

As always, these guides are not intended to be the “perfect,” most over-powered thing you can do with any of Mass Effect Andromeda's classes. Instead they’re intended as a helpful guide and stepping stone which you can tweak and customise to your own preferred playstyle and, hopefully, they make playing the game more fun. Needless to say, if you have any improvements or suggestions of your own, don’t hesitate to leave a comment down below. That way, we can all benefit from any new strategies you have discovered.

Vanguard Profile

The Vanguard profile makes for one of Mass Effect Andromeda’s most entertaining builds for Ryder. More so than the earlier games in the series, Andromeda places an emphasis on maneuverability and movement, with your character having access to a jump pack and dash in the middle of battle.

The Vanguard is the best class to take advantage of this. Biotic jump and evades work with the Vanguard’s gameplan better than the Adept’s, whilst Siphoning Strike allows the class to regain shields upon landing a melee strike. This makes for a potent offensive powerhouse that wants to be in the thick of the fighting as soon as possible.

This is what makes the class so powerful and fun to play: hit the enemy hard and hit them again for good measure. Combat skills and biotics make for some potent combinations that can dish out damage and take plenty of punishment. No other class, not even the Soldier, has the raw offensive potential of a properly kitted-out Vanguard.

The class’ biggest challenges are that it’s very momentum heavy, if the enemy doesn’t die fast, or you can’t find a weak enemy to pick on to recharge your shields, you might find yourself out of your depth with little place to take cover. The Vanguard demands more careful positioning and battlefield awareness than other classes. Jump to the wrong spot, or pick a fight at the wrong time, and you’ll find yourself dead pretty fast.

Also, like with the Soldier, the Vanguard’s solution to dealing with armor and shields isn’t subtle. It just needs to hit them . . . and then hit them again.

Build 1: Up Close and Personal

Ability 1: Charge – (Radius/Weapons & Melee/Bastion)
Ability 2: Singularity – (Radius/Anti-Shield/Exploding Singularity)
Ability 3: Turbocharge – (Duration/Damage and Force/Dump Heat)

Passive Ability 1: Shotguns (Weight/Reload/Melee Synergy)
Passive Ability 2: Assault Rifles (Weight/Clip Size/Shatter Defenses)
Passive Ability 3: Barrier – (Recuperative Barrier/Biotic Alacrity/Saving Barrier)

  • Cyclone Assault Rifle
  • Dhan Shotgun/Disciple Shotgun/N7 Piranha Shotgun
  • Asari Sword/Remnant Cryo Gauntlet
  • Liam
  • Jaal/Cora
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This build plays like what you’d expect from a Vanguard. Charge lets you get close real fast and get working on the enemy with melee attacks and shotgun blasts. Turbocharge compliments the momentum-heavy approach of the Vanguard by allowing you to overpower tougher enemies if you find yourself in a difficult situation.

Singularity gives the Vanguard a little area-of-effect control that it usually lacks, and combines effectively with Barrier’s Biotic Alacrity perk. Moreover, Singularity can set up enemies for a powerful Charge combo when the time is right.

There’s tons of different weapons you can mess around with for this build, but the primary focus should be a good shotgun. Beyond that, the Cyclone Assault Rifle enables you to fight at further ranges before closing in, and is a good way to shred enemy shields. The Asari Sword is the obvious melee weapon option but the Cryo Gauntlet shouldn’t be overlooked. Whilst the gauntlet has the lowest damage output of all the game’s melee weapons, it has a useful freeze effect that can take enemies out of commission temporarily, which works well with whatever shotgun you’re carrying.

Liam is the obvious partner for his Overload skill, and either Jaal or Cora are also good additions to the team. Cora comes with her Shield Boost ability which works well here, whilst Jaal is great at running interference with his debuffs.

Build 2: Annihilator

Ability 1: Annihilation – (Radius/Damage Attractor/Draining Field)
Ability 2: Lance (Damage & Force/Anti-Shield/Shield-Powered)
Ability 3: Barricade – (Duration/Power Feedback/Regeneration)

Passive Ability 1: Barrier – (Recuperative Barrier/Biotic Link/Active Barrier)
Passive Ability 2: Assault Rifles (Spare Ammo/Clip Size/Shatter Defenses)
Passive Ability 3: Shotguns (Weight/Reload/Damage & Force)

  • Cyclone Assault Rifle
  • Dhan Shotgun/Disciple Shotgun/N7 Piranha Shotgun
  • Asari Sword/Remnant Cryo Gauntlet
  • Liam
  • Cora

This build is an alternative to building a Vanguard around Charge. Annihilation with Draining Field works well with a class that wants to be up close and personal like the Vanguard, and a shield-powered Lance means that you don’t have to worry about cooldown times so much. Whilst the Vanguard doesn’t have access to Tech Armor like the Sentinel, the Siphoning Strike ability means you can always top up your shields by hitting the enemy a few times.

Barricade is a solid support ability to backup this loadout. It’s an ability that runs on power cells, so doesn’t care about cooldown times, and gives you the ability to pick a fight when and where you want it, knowing you’ll have access to cover when you need it, not to mention faster shield regeneration.

The weapons you want to take a look at are essentially the same as the previous build. The same goes for your party members, too, although Cora is perhaps the stronger option over Jaal here, given you’ll need plenty of shields to power that Lance.

Questions & Answers

Question: How is build one even possible since all the biotic abilities listed require nine points already invested? Do I just put nine points into something else not listed or am I missing something?

Answer: It does look a bit confusing at first glance how I laid it out. Yes, the idea is to put a few "filler points" into one of the biotic passives, either Offensive Biotics or Containment, just to get you over the nine-point threshold.

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