Build Title: Eclipse Mercenary
Class: Asari Vanguard
Map Difficulty Rating: This build has the potential for Gold gameplay
Biotic Charge: (4) Radius, (5) Power Damage, (6) Barrier
Stasis: (1), (2), (3)
Lift Grenade: (4) Damage, (5) Max Grenades, (6) Damage & Radius
Asari Justicar: (4) Damage & Capacity, (5) Power Damage
Fitness: (4) Durability, (5) Shield Recharge, (6) Fitness Expert
M-300 Claymore is your weapon of choice. You’ll need it at at least VI for the cooldown to be suitable. For those who don’t have the M-300 Claymore X (preferable) or have it lower than VI, you can use litter shotguns at the cost of damage: Disciple, M-22 Eviscerator, M-23 Katana. All of which are easier to get (except Disciple which is also Rare). Put on the High Caliber Barrel and Smart Choke mods, or if you can’t use Armor-Piercing ammo, use Shredder and Smart Shoke mods.
Armor-Piercing Ammo on the Claymore spells death and it is the only one you should be using for an ammo bonus. Shotgun Rail Amp and Cyclonic Modulator for weapon and armor bonuses, and the Shock Trooper Upgrade for the gear bonus. With this combination, with a Headshot, you can one-shot Phantoms on Gold and nearly every other trooper-level enemy. Shotgun Rail Amp gives you +30% Shotgun Damage, and Shock Trooper Upgrade gives you another +12% (as well as 5 grenades at IV and V) on top of Armor-Piercing ammo’s +50% Damage bonus! Cyclonic Modulator is to give the Vanguard the shields she needs for close-quarters.
A power dependant class with the M-300 Claymore? Yes! The Asari Vanguard with a high-powered shotgun. My way of paying homage to Captain Enyala from ME2. Remember her? The one who asked Miranda if “Cerberus lets you whore around in that outfit”, to which Jack would reply “I like her, we still recruiting”. The Asari Vanguard is a great class with only a few flaws but she isn’t the easiest to play as. You’re going to need to get use to a few things.
For her powers, Biotic Charge is standard. You want Power Synergy on it because you’re buffing Lift Grenade to do the most damage possible, as that’s all Lift Grenade really can do. Barrier and Radius are standard for Biotic Charge. Unfortunately there just isn’t enough points around, and this character really needs her points in other powers so we have to leave Stasis at rank 3. It’s good at 3 because you will only really be using it on Phantoms or Nemesis or other nonarmored enemies that won’t stay in place for a headshot. As for Lift Grenade, maximum damage! The only way to effectively evolve it is Damage, Max Grenades and Damage & Radius. You don’t need the extra Radius, the Duration is useless because you’ll be focusing your grenades on bigger armored targets and because it is being used on bigger armored targets, Slam is also useless. Lift Grenade is your spawn-clearer and your distance attack against bosses, it will take time to learn how to aim them however because of their funny arc. For the passive you want maximum Power Damage to superpower Lift Grenade. A Claymore Headshot with Armor-Piercing Rounds III can one-shot a Phantom affected by Stasis on Gold. And you need maximum Fitness evolved for shields, she’s a Vanguard remember.
This Asari Vanguard is perfect for Cerberus, it is where she truly shines. She isn’t bad against the other factions but the more armor in a faction, she loses her Stasis effectiveness. Stasis does not affect armor, I’m sure most of you know this, but you’d be surprised at the number of players on XBOX Live I’ve ran into using Stasis on Turrets or Altases… Yea. Against the trooper level soldiers of all factions, use Biotic Charge to get there and then use Lift Grenade, so it gets the 40% power damage bonus. Follow up with Claymore shots and Biotic Charges. If you play XBOX360, to reload cancel, activate one of your powers while they are cooling down while reloading and it should reload instantly. This is effective with Stasis which has a 7.00 second cooldown nearly (use it wisely). Phantoms and Nemeses will require a Stasis to keep still and then a simple headshot. You can create Biotic Explosions by combining Stasis and Charge. For the armored trooper targets like Pyros, Bombers and Dragoons, you’ll use the same concept as group killing. Lift Grenade after a Biotic Charge, just practice throwing them because their strange arc can make for difficult aimming sometimes. Your Claymore should decimate them also.
Scions, Ravagers and Brutes require a Biotic Charge, a Lift Grenade, a Claymore shot and then get out of the way and either repeat or blast your Claymore. As long as you are using Armor-Piercing Rounds, they shouldn’t last long. Be wary of their Swarmers (Ravagers) or sync-kills (Scions and Brutes). Sync-kills are more likely to occur after a melee attack. As for the bigger bosses, you want to use Lift Grenade but only Biotic Charge Primes, Banshees (when not in their jumping mode, or when they are on just armor), Atlases (before a melee) and I wouldn’t recommend using it on Praetorians, in fact stay away from Praetorians, Lift Grenade them and Claymore them from a distance. If you Charge at the same time an Atlas missile will hit you, you get to use it twice in a row so abuse this. I say use Biotic Charge first because it boosts Lift Grenade for 10 seconds. Follow up with Lift Grenades and weapon shots aimming for weak-points (Prime and Banshee heads, Atlas canopies and groins and Praetorian jaws) to cause 40% more damage. Work with your team to kill these beasts.
Just always remember to use Biotic Charge before you use Lift Grenade, you do not want to miss out on that 40% extra power damage for 10 seconds. It buffs your Lift Grenade to deal a total of 1,980 without including the passive Power Damage bonuses. The only exceptions are Praetorians, Banshees in stage one and Atlases who have just meleed.
This class has a few problems; as a Vanguard, she is less effective for objective waves so make sure your team can adequately compensate for this. She is frail, having 825/825 at max shields and only having 1325/825 with Cyclonic III and 1575/825 with Cyclonic IV. This seems like a lot on paper, but compared to other close-quarters Vanguards, she just lacks. Again, you have to get use to Lift Grenade’s arc and Biotic Charge before Lift Grenade. I cannot stress the importance that 40% bonus makes. The only other issue she has is her trouble with armor-centred factions. While she is not incapable of Unknown/Unknown, her niche is Cerberus and to a lesser extent Geth because Stasis is more useable, which makes Reload Canceling a lot easier (if playing on the XBOX360).
3.5 – She isn’t a difficult character to play as, but you have to get use to her. Players who are familar with Vanguards more-so will find it easier, but at base this aggressive class follows very structured combat style: Charge, Grenade, Shoot with Stasis when needed. The M-300 Claymore isn’t the easiest weapon to get, nor is it as effective with this build at lower levels and you definitely need the Smart Choke, you can half-snipe with the Claymore this way, not from the same distance as snipers but still at mid-range. Just be aware of your barriers and don’t make dumb decisions. Gold viable, Unknown/Unknown viable, a good class, just practice required.
Eclipse colours are mandatory! No, not really. But if you really want to pay homage to that comical ME2 scene: A4, C4, A4, 1:C1, A3, Purple Tone. This gives her similar facial markings to Enyala. You can mix and match the yellow colours and tones, but this is just a guildline.