Vanguard is the ideal support gunner, stepping a bit further away from the spotlight as her fellow gunners. Don't mistake this as a lack of power though. Vanguard is more effective the more allies are around her, and
teamwork is key. Vanguard has a slew of software that heals and buffs her allies, as well as a passive that makes her team even beefier. But don't worry, she can still dish out the pain with Angel of Mercy, binding her to an ally with a beam of pure energy and incinerating any enemies that get between them. Never underestimate the power of friendship.
“We all have to live with ourselves when this is over.”
Like many others in the system, Vanguard’s family had few opportunities for upward mobility. One option, while highly undesirable, was Drauger’s reviled Pilot Remittance Program (aka the “PRP” - the participants sometimes being referred to as PeRPs) a longstanding method by which the company lured poor families into surrendering a child into what amounted to indentured servitude; to ultimately be trained (assuming they survived training) as soldiers for the DCF.
At the age of six, Cross was taken from her family on the early Mars water colony Oceanus and given to Drauger as a new recruit. From that point forward she was paid a living wage to spend every waking moment training to become a Core hunter in the company’s employ. At 16, she become a junior officer and begin her formal combat career and earned fed-credit as a deputy squad commander. From the beginning, everything in Cross’s life was dictated by the PRP, or “the program”, and the only meaningful decision she was allowed to make was an area of combat specialization: she chose a Gunner rig. She named it Regret.
Since her entry into the PRP, a large portion of Vanguard’s wages have been sent back to her family on Oceanus. It remains their only source of income. Oceanus remains a destitute, forgotten colony, home to many refugees, radicals, and resistance fighters. Meanwhile, Cross plans her escape. She has no intention of serving Drauger—the very same organization that failed her family and many others—forever. When the opportunity arises, she will act. In the meantime, she focuses on training to become the best Core hunter the system has ever seen.
|Angel of Mercy|
|1||- - -||6||Regenerative Layering||11||Core Sight|
|2||Shielded Actuators||7||Satellite Network||12||Core Drive|
|3||Turbo Pistons||8||Zealot Drive||13||Thrusters|
|4||Scatter Laser||9||Healing Aura||14||Thermite Grenade|
|5||Restorative Downlink||10||M.A.S.R. Flare||15||Rocket Cluster|
Vanguard excels at keeping her allies alive while still being able to dish out decent dps. With the sustain and buffs her auras provide, she is at her best in sustained, long fights that allow her to make use of her passive healing. She goes great in poking compositions, as well as against compositions that rely on autoattacks, due to lack of burst damage as well as giving her stacks of health regen for every hit she and her allies take. Her heals are also great for large maps, allowing her team to extend their farming routes, reducing the need to return to base to heal. This can give your team a great level advantage, as well as the ability to stay in battle or in enemy territory. With her software restorative downlink, each vision tower, coupled with her other healing gear, becomes a mini base for your team to heal and recoup, while pushing on with their mission.
Her ultimate is powerful, but difficult to use. If used to follow the enemy to keep them in range of her beam, make sure you are using a pilot that can keep up. Knockout or other gunners are great choices. Alternatively, pulls and aoe slows such as Dyno Vortex or Mass Field can be used to keep the enemy in your beam instead of having to keep up.
Vanguard's healing is very passive, so the longer the battle rages on, the larger her advantage is. Use burst damage and wombo combo compositions to land your abilities quickly on her team before they have the chance to gain the benefits of her healing, essentially rendering most of her software and gear unused. Vanguard also only does a mediocre job as a DPS pilot, so unless her team has another source of heavy damage, her team will be lacking in firepower. Try to stay away from compositions that rely heavily on auto attacks, or at least keeping an eye on when zealot drive is on cooldown, as auto attacks can actually help her team heal if not focused properly.
Vanguard's ultimate is power, but difficult to use. Vanguard must stay in a certain range to maintain her ult. Using pushes or pulls, such as palm rockets or Knockout's Haymaker ult can break Vanguard's ult quickly, wasting it.