Short Introduction to Vanguards
Vanguard is a subclass for Demonic Lancers which uses the Halberd weapon type. It’s a physical % based DPS class, which means our general source of damage increase for weapons will be reinforcement.
It is very inadvisable to use Long Lances, due to the very significant loss of bonuses from Demonic Lance Mastery.
The class identity of Vanguards come from the Smash and Impact Smash skills.
Smash allows the player to add a special attack after their x-string combos. The attack pattern for Smash changes depending on how many times you’ve attacked before pressing the key.
Impact Smash allows the user to cancel skills (excluding Earthshatter and Demonic Inferno) into other skills. Certain skills that have long animations, such as Blade Storm, Devastate, and Dread Bore, will be halted early if Impact Smash is used before the full animation is completed. Impact Smash also temporarily grants us a STR buff for 20 seconds when we hit an enemy, so I would suggest using it at least every 20 seconds.
Vanguards are generally a pretty flexible class. It has a fair number of multi-hits, burst, and hold skills. It allows for a pretty easy leveling experience. With appropriate gear and support, Vanguards can comfortably do competetive damage in end-game content. However, due to a fair bit of usable skills being super holds or enemy displacers, one should always be careful when it comes to end-game mechanics which rely on enemy positioning or anti-holds. As many of our skills move enemies around, one should also always be vigilant of other party member’s skills, especially if they are positioning dependent.
Cheap Swaps for Demonic Unleash
Swap pieces for Vanguards are relatively simple due to Neople’s efforts to standardize swap equipment.
A simple swap set-up without epics looks like this:
|Swap||Gear||Drop / Purchase Location|
|Head/Shoulder||Vicious Spiral Chronicle||Otherverse|
|Top||Level 30 or 55 Halidom Top||Farm or purchase. Farming advised if expensive.|
|Bottom||Sea God’s Cursed Leggings||Time Gate Requiem (Ghost Train)|
|Belt||Vicious Spiral Chronicle||Otherverse|
|Shoes||Vicious Spiral Chronicle||Otherverse|
|Sub Equipment||King’s Book of Secrets - Revenant||Purchase from AH or Gabriel, or Drops|
|Magic Stone||Vicious Spiral Chronicle||Otherverse|
|Weapon||Lightning Halberd||Purchase from Gabe or AH, Drops, or Neo Premium Rental|
|Bracelet||Vicious Spiral Chronicle||Otherverse|
|Necklace||Vicious Spiral Chronicle||Otherverse|
|Ring||Hi-Tech Ring||Melvin’s Shame quest in Ghent|
|Pet||Any pet with +# to level 10~15 or 15~20 skills.||Avatar Packages that include a +# pet, or a pet box from the AH, or events.|
|Avatar Top||Clone Avatar Top with Demonic Unleash +1||Comes with Tradable Avatar packages or from LT.|
|Title||Any title with +# to level 10~15 or 15~20 skills.||Avatar Package that include a +# title, or a title box from the AH, or events.|
For a maximized Demonic Unleash swap, players should attempt to gather a total of 10 additional levels from equipment while maintaining a full 6 piece Vicious Spiral set. The difference is substantial.
Level 10 DU gives 30% critical attack, and 20% critical chance.
Level 20 DU gives 50% critical attack, and 30% critical chance.
6pc Vicious Spiral also gives +10% critical attack on DU, totaling 60% critical attack and 30% critical chance from swap set.
While swap sets aren’t required for content up to Echon farming, it gives a substantial damage boost for end-game content such as Anton Raids and above. I would highly suggest attempting to finish farmable swap pieces except pets, Avatar top, and titles by the time you wish to attempt Anton Raid.
Other Possible Swaps
War God Top: Farmed in Arena PvP. Takes ages to farm, but grants +2 to level 20~45 skills. Good luck maintaining your sanity if you decide to farm for this.
Metal Line Armor: Level 90 Plate Armor Epic, +1 to level 5~30 skills aura.
- Halidom or Metal Line is just fine unless you’re looking to min/max damage from Platinum Emblems and avatars.
Metal Line Gaiters: Level 90 Plate Armor Epic, +1 to level 5~30 skills aura.
Haboob Tofus Pants: Level 90 Leather Legendary, +1 to level 15~30 skills.
Bleak Winds Suede Greaves: Level 85 Leather Legendary, +1 to level 1~45 skills.
War God Pants: +1 to level 1 ~ 45 skills. Why?
- Just use Sea God’s or Metal Line unless you’re looking for style points.
Demon’s Bane: Level 75 Epic Halberd, +2 to Demonic Unleash.
Bamboo Lance: Level 80 Epic Long Lance, +3 to level 1~80 skills.
- There is no reason to farm for either of these items. Use a Lightning Halberd. Spending DI to look for these items is a waste. Only use these if you can find them in events or ToD pots.
- Time Traveler’s Silver Watch: Level 85 Sub Equipment, +1 to level 1~80 skills. Useful for resetting cooldowns on skills.
Overly Simplified Gear Progression
Gear progression is relatively simple as Vanguards aren’t element locked like certain classes.
A simple armor progression is:
Magic Sealed Chronicles (from OV) Ancient Legendaries (Gracia, etc.) Echon Epics
85 Halidom / Neo Premium Rental Liberation (if desired) / Terra: Reconstruction from Hunter Von Epics
Magic Sealed Elda/Verdil/Skuldi from Hunter Von / Gigantic Presence from Anton Normals / Chronicles / Ancient Legendaries (Gracia, etc.) Echon Epics
Magic Sealed Uniques (if desired) Chronicles Ancient Legendaries (Gracia, etc.) Echon Epics
Ancient Legendary of choice is usually Gracia from Noire Ferra or Dusky West from Kartel HQ. My personal choice is Gracia, but Dusky West has become a decent competitor after its rework. Gracia is a more general increase in damage across all your skills, while Dusky West relies more on burst through Earthshatter. Gracia is primarily focused on light elemental damage and will constantly use your white cube fragments, while Dusky West requires no materials. Players should attempt to keep the 6 piece set bonus, as that is where most of the damage from these sets is from.
Gigantic Presence set from Anton Normals have been a bit lackluster recently, due to its relatively arduous time requirement for farming. It really is only useful once you reach its full 3 piece set effects. Unless an event gives out a piece, players are usually advised to stay clear from it, unless they’re okay farming Anton Normals.
Note that slots are flexible. If you are missing a Smash modifier, a Great Glory bracelet is a very good early source of Smash. If you acquire an Epic item you’d like to use, you can shift a 6pc Legendary or Chronicle set from 5 armor pieces + 1 magic stone to something like 4 armor pieces + 1 magic stone + 1 accessory.
Please note that the above isn’t a gear progression set in stone. Many players opt to skip certain steps in gearing. I personally went straight to farming for Gracia with a friend instead of farming a Chronicle set, as Echon wasn’t released yet. I used the Neo Premium Rental weapon until I was able to find an Epic halberd. My accessories were Gracia pieces or Magic Sealed items until I could find Epics for them. Gear progression may depend on how you decide to play, and players who are looking for directions or are confused should post their questions in this thread.
Skill builds for Vanguard is very straightforward. Important things to note:
- Max your buffs and passives.
- If your critical chance is less than 97%, allocate points into Focus: Physical Critical.
- Most of the leveling experience comes from your gold Epic scenario quests. Follow the highest level ones. Sometimes, you won’t be able to reach the level requirement for the next zone. I suggest doing the quests marked [Dimensional Seal] in your highest level zone until you reach the level requirement.
“I’m out of quests and I’m not max level.”:
- Pandemonium Scenarios may not be enough experience to get you to level 90. A very common advice I see is farming Bloody Lane. Alternatively, you can party with someone else who hasn’t finished their quests.
“I hit level 90. What now?”:
- Start farming 5 runs of Otherverse daily for your Chronicle swaps.
- Attempt to run Noire Ferra/Kartel HQ for Gracia/Dusky West. I suggest running this at least twice a day once you feel like you’re strong enough to do so. Once you have a 6 piece Chronicle set and a decent weapon that isn’t Magic Sealed, you can probably run this comfortably.
“My Gracia/Dusky West is complete. What now?”:
- Run your daily 6 entries of Echon a day and farm a full 6 piece set.
- Start learning Anton Normals. There are guides for this online both in document and video form. I would highly suggest joining a guild so you can reliably learn mechanics whenever you run the dunegons. Anton Normals will teach a substantial amount of mechanics required for Anton Raid.
“What is buff swapping / buff swap sets?”:
- There’s two sets of gear you should be attempting to collect as a Vanguard. There’s the swap set for Demonic Unleash and your DPS gear. You have a set of gear A, which when equipped, gives you level 20 Demonic Unleash and something like DPS rating of F. You have a set of gear B, which when equipped, gives you level 10 Demonic Unleash but you have a DPS rating of A+. In DFO, there are skills that retain the effects from the items even after you swap out of it. In this case, if you use Demonic Unleash while you have gear A equipped and switch to gear B, you’ll still have the effects of level 20 Demonic Unleash, while allowing you to use gear B to have a DPS rating of A+. This means, in order to min/max your damage, buff swapping is almost mandatory for end-game content for almost every class.
“Will [insert item here] be better than [some other item]?”:
- The best thing you can do in order to see which item is better is to test it out in the Training Room. Unfortunately, if it’s a weapon or an item that requires reinforcement/refinement/amplification, the cost to just test the item may be a hindrance. In general, you should attempt to keep your critical chance at 97% while maintaining set bonuses. Avoid overlapping non-stackable properties such as Smash and Critical Smash if possible.
“Which 90 epic set is best for Vanguard?”:
- Most people would reply with something like “It’s not which epics you farm for, but the epics that come to you” and I agree with them. While I would certainly like to use RG or BF, my most complete set at the moment is Crow. If you aren’t ready to dedicate multiple hundred thousands of DI in order to complete a set you desire, you should just use whatever comes your way.
As always, if you have questions, please feel free to ask in the threads.
If there’s information on here that is incorrect or you disagree with, please let me know so I can edit the post.