Build Title: Squish Lightning
Class: Drell Vanguard
Map Difficulty Rating: This build has the potential for Gold gameplay
Biotic Charge: (4) Radius, (5) Weapon Synergy, (6) Barrier
Cluster Grenade: (4) Force & Damage, (5) Max Grenades, (6) Shrapnel
Drell Assassin: (4) Damage & Capacity, (5) Power Damage, (6) Weapon Damage
Fitness: (4) Durability, (5) Shield Recharge, (6) Fitness Expert
This build is built around the use of the Reegar Carbine, a heavy-hitter, close-quarters weapon which is perfect for Vanguard classes. If you aren’t using the Reegar Carbine, opt for the M-23 Hornet, N7 Hurricane, M-12 Locust, M-358 Talon or Cerberus Harrier but get Power Synergy at Rank 5 Biotic Charge instead. Put Shredder and High Caliber Barrel on the Reegar Carbine. If using the Hornet or Hurricane, SMG Recoil Systems and High Velocity Barrel. If using the Locust use High Velocity Barrel and Heat Sink. For the Talon, High Caliber Barrel (Pistol Heavy Barrel if Talon high leveled) and Piercing Mod. And if using the Harrier, Extended Magazine and Extended Barrel. My recommendation however, is the Reegar and I would only recommended the other five options over it if you did not have the Reegar Carbine.
The Reegar Carbine should always have Incendiary Ammo. This reduces its armor-damage penalty and makes it more versatile. Biotic Charge and Cluster Grenade can also detonate Fire Explosions this way. Use a Shotgun Rail Amp for weapons bonus and Adrenaline Module, Power Amplifier Module or Power Efficiency Module for your armor bonus as Cyclonic Modulator is useless on a Drell (only a bonus 250 barriers with Cyclonic III and 375 with Cyclonic IV – totally not worth it). Shock Trooper Upgrade will be your way to go with the Reegar. An additional +12% Shotgun Damage on top of the +30% from the Rail Amp and 2 additional Grenades at Shock Trooper Upgrade V.
Drell happened to be one of the coolest races in the Mass Effect universe… unfortunately for them, being cool doesn’t mean they’re well off in the ME3 Multiplayer. Drell are one of the hardest classes to play; the others being the Volus and Geth with Hunter Mode. Unfortunately again, he doesn’t get Shield Boost, Biotic Orbs, Recon Mine, Stasis, Proximity Mine or Hunter Mode to help him. No, he got Pull… poor Drell. They do, however, boast the highest Power Damage passive which is nice. I’ll go over the power evolutions, how this build fares against the enemies and then what the Drell will have trouble with.
Biotic Charge is tailored to builds that use the Reegar Carbine. Radius allows Charge to hit multiple targets, Weapon Damage supercharges the Reegar Carbine with 25% damage for 5 seconds and Barrier gives the Drell back what it needs and acts as gap-closer. Pull is ignored, you’ve no need for it as the Reegar can shoot Guardians through their shields. Cluster Grenades are best evolved this way because they’re powerful and you’ll have enough in reserve. You don’t need Radius because you will have a cluster of 3 grenades. If you often play with randoms, get Max Grenades. If you play as part of biotic teams with this class get damage combo. The reason you get Damage Combo is because the way the power is worded makes it seem useless; but it actually increases the damage Cluster Grenades do to targets primed with biotics! That’s +100% Cluster Grenade Damage to a target that has been hit with powers like Dark Channel, Reave, Warp, Smash or anything that primes targets. It’s better to get Shrapnel over Force & Damage because you get more out of throwing three instead of two. You can detonate 3 separate explosions this way. It’s like with Multi-Frag Grenades, better to shoot 5 than 3 slightly stronger ones. As stated above, Drell character have the highest passive Power Damage bonuses of all classes but the N7 Demolisher (who can have +65%). With this evolution, the Drell Vanguard gets +50% Power Damage and +22.50% Weapon Damage. Standard Fitness applies; with this you have 900 Health and 450 Barriers and +20% Movement Speed.
The Drell Vanguard, like most other Vanguards, finds its niche with the trooper-tier enemies (anything that isn’t a Scion, Atlas, Praetorian, Banshee, Brute, Ravager or Geth Prime) and because of this can clear them out very effectively. Charge to get to them, Reegar them for 5 seconds and then get out. You can use the Drell’s dodge manoeuvre to help with this, Acrobatics do help. His Biotic Charge is strong enough to stagger all trooper enemies and even some boss enemies when they’re caught off-guard. Cluster Grenades are you ticket to clusters of enemies, they can clear out mass amounts of enemies and come with an unprecedented 2000 N Force! That will stagger everything it hits, if it hits bosses directly. However, Cluster Grenades are probably the hardest grenade to aim and their bouncing properties make it unforgiving to miss, especially when you really need it to hit. Practice makes perfect I suppose.
For the ‘weaker’ big enemies (Scions, Brutes, Ravagers), Cluster Grenade them, Biotic Charge and Reegar and then get the hell out of there. If the target has just done its Melee or just been staggered I don’t recommend charging in as this is when Brutes and Scions are must likely to sync-kill you. For bosses I only recommend Charging Altases, Primes and Banshees for the stagger and I do not recommend charging Praetorians (very bad idea). Atlas and Geth Prime shields won’t last long with the Reegar Carbine and Cluster Grenades will help keep them staggered, allow you and your team to tear away at their Armor. If you are using my recommendation for the Ammo Power, the Reegar should also be able to deal decent damage to the Armor over time. Standard rules apply for Banshees, but I suggest enticing them to follow you. You’ll be able to get rid of their Barrier with the Reegar and then feel free to Charge them for staggers, its a little harder to hit them with Cluster Grenades but they’re just as effective. You’ll need help from your team for Praetorians; use your Cluster Grenades and aim well and pray it doesn’t pull up that Spherical Barrier.
The Drell Vanguard has two major flaws. It’s piss-poor defences leave a lot to be desired as a Vanguard when you have so many other options. Unless you have no other Vanguard, their isn’t really the need to use him. Which is saddening because I like the Drell. With that 50% Power Damage who wouldn’t? He is now more viable to use but is still squishy. He can’t do objectives by himself and he can’t tank out objective waves like the Krogan Battlemaster can. He also lacks Reave from his Adept counterpart which weakens him further. His defences are somewhat mitigated by his stellar movement speed and acrobatics, but only somewhat. They help but won’t save you everytime. And again his Adept counterpart will beat him out because they have the same Fitness bonuses, but the Adept gets Reave.
4.5 – The Drell Vanguard has never been an easy character to play. In fact, the Drell characters have the second lowest defences even with their Fitness buffs a while back. They’ve got the fastest speed of all classes however, but this still fails to secure their survival. You have to be careful which is difficult for an aggressive vanguard, but making smart, aggressive decisions is what will work with this class. At first you may (and probably will) find this difficult if you don’t play as a Drell often but you will learn how to play a Drell… Quickly or die lots trying. Either way works but I’m sure you’d all prefer the former.