By - CNCBella
Adept! I always end up picking infiltrator/soldier but adept is what always keeps popping in the back of my mind. What intrigues me is that It is the only way to have access to Singularity, one of the most handy powers, I miss in ME2 since none of the squadmates have it except Liara in DLC.
I've been thinking about that too, I used a lot of singularity with Liara on ME1, someone mentioned only being able to use heavy pistol and SMG, but I was fine with them on the engineer run, barely touched the sniper when I got it on the collector ship, I used only them on ME3 too.
All three of the biotic classes are pretty good IMO, but they play quite differently. I'll go over my opinions on them.
Adepts are wildly OP in ME1, as shields do NOT block biotics. At high enough levels, you can use Lift and Throw to ragdoll even a geth colossus! Shotgun is a fun bonus talent; pick people up and then blast them away.
Unfortunately they are indeed very squishy in ME2, and their abilities do little damage. However, if you're playing on lower difficulty levels, fewer enemies have shields/barriers/armor, so you can often still CC them pretty well.
Finally, in ME3, adepts git gud again. You can lean heavily on biotic combos to deal massive amounts of damage. Dark Channel is an amazing bonus power for chaining combos--hit an enemy with Dark Channel, detonate with Warp, Dark Channel switches to a new enemy, detonate _them_ with Warp... continue until everything is extremely dead.
Sentinel is the jack of all trades class. In all three games, a Sentinel can handle just about any type of enemy on their own, without needing to rely too much on squadmates. In ME2, they are incredibly tanky thanks to Tech Armor; in ME1 and ME3, they're much less tanky but are still extremely versatile because they have both biotic and tech powers. Expect a very power-heavy playthrough. (caveat: in ME3 you _can_ do a really tanky gun-focused build. But c'mon, that's way less fun than being a wizard!)
Saved for last because it is the class my heart belongs to. 😍 In ME1, Vanguard isn't all that special; it's kind of like that Adept shotgun build I mentioned earlier. You have a decent amount of defense, you have a decent amount of biotic crowd control powers, you have a decent amount of offense. A well-rounded class that I suggest for people who want to try out biotics but don't want to be limited to pistols/light armor.
In ME2 and ME3, Vanguard is unlike any other class. They are the ultimate high risk, high reward class. You will die... a lot... until you get the hang of how it works. (especially in ME2, where you have to put a point in Charge for it to refill your shields) But once you learn the tricks of the class, you can go toe to toe with just about _anything_ short of a Praetorian. (fun example: [this video](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9K6g3jfcNk) of taking down the Colossus on Tali's recruitment mission as a Vanguard on Insanity) It's a fast-paced way to play and perfect if you're tired of sitting in cover--Vanguards never sit still.
The main downside of Vanguards (aside from the whole, yknow, "you die a lot until you git gud") is you have no "natural" powers to deal with shields or barriers, and there's no single bonus power that can handle both. So you probably will have to lean on squadmates for some of that.
If you decide to go with Vanguard and want build advice, I love to talk about this stuff, just let me know!
Thank you so much for the insight, that was exactly what I was looking for! That video really sold the vanguard for me 😆 I usually commit to a class through the trilogy, but I'm thinking that maybe this time I'll play adept on ME1 for the god-like powers, and vanguard on ME2 and 3, sooo, I'll take you up on your offer for build advice for those two
Hope you enjoy! This is a very long comment but hopefully it's helpful :P
In both ME2 and ME3, your bread and butter is Charge. (remember your ABCs: Always Be Charging) It lets you quickly close on enemies, staggers enemies, makes you invincible during the charge animation, AND refills your barriers. Your typical combat loop is charging an enemy, shooting or meleeing them (or Nova in ME3), repeat until everything is dead.
The hard part is figuring out who to charge. You can't charge targets that are out of reach (e.g. enemies on an inaccessible ledge), and it's risky to charge targets who can't be staggered (e.g. Cerberus turrets in ME3) or who you can't kill right after charging. Groups of enemies are also risky, as charge only affects the targeted enemy unless you evolve it to hit multiple. Your ideal ~~victim~~ target is a single enemy near cover (just in case!) that you'll be able to quickly take down with a couple shotgun blasts or melees. Especially early in the game, if you're dying a lot, you might have to rely more on cover because you're just a bit squishy yet--that's fine.
In general, your builds should be focused on survivability, both in increased health/damage reduction but also in reduced cooldowns (so you can charge more). After that, worry about dealing more damage.
Your first skill points should go to leveling Charge to Rank 2, which will allow it to refill your barriers. You will also want to level up Assault Mastery (the Vanguard class passive, which improves your health and cooldowns).
Vanguards have two ammo powers, cryo and incendiary. Cryo will freeze unprotected enemies (who can then be shattered with Charge), but is less useful on Hardcore/Insanity, as all enemies have protection. Incendiary ammo is great against armor on all difficulty levels.
Finally, Shockwave is good against groups of enemies (e.g. charge in and hit them with a shockwave), Pull is good for yanking enemies out of cover so they can be charged; both instakill unprotected husks. However, because biotics largely are useless against protected enemies in ME2, they're both pretty unhelpful on Hardcore/Insanity. I personally don't put many points in these.
Two of the most popular bonus powers are Reave and Energy Drain. Energy Drain gives you an anti-shield power AND restores/buffs your shields, but only if the enemy you hit had shields. Reave works against both barriers and armor, boosts your health/damage reduction, AND can temporarily disable a group of unprotected organic enemies.
As for shotguns. Your options are lower damage/higher ammo capacity (Scimitar), higher damage/very low ammo (Eviscerator/Claymore), or... slightly weird chargeable (Geth Plasma Shotgun). Technically the GPS does the most damage and has the longest range, but it must be charged to do max damage. There are arguments for all of them, except for the default Katana, which is terrible and should be replaced as soon as possible. So pick the one that feels best to you!
(a note: in ME2, sometimes Charge likes to just. Not work. For literally no good reason. Sometimes as a special bonus just for Shepard, it will still eat your cooldown. And then you die. I'm sorry. ME3 is way better about this.)
ME3 follows similar principles, but has some tweaks that change up the strategy. Most ME3 Vanguards run a "Novaguard" build, where you charge enemies, use Nova to turn your barriers into area damage, and repeat before you get yourself shot (possibly throwing in a melee if Charge hasn't cooled down yet). Because your strategy literally involves charging enemies _and then detonating your barrier,_ fast cooldowns are essential.
As a result, bizarrely enough, you don't want a shotgun, as they're too heavy and increase your cooldowns. It's often better to deal most of your damage through Charge/Nova/melee, carrying a single pistol or SMG for enemies who can't be charged, unless you fully upgrade one of the lighter shotguns like the Eviscerator or the Disciple.
Aside from Charge, Nova, Fitness (survivability), and Assault Mastery (power damage + increased force), put one point in Pull. While you can stagger Guardians through Charge, it's way easier and more effective to use Pull to yank their shields away.
Bonus powers... Reave and Energy Drain are both still solid choices. Reave gets even better as it will prime/detonate biotic explosions--Reave an enemy and Charge them to set it off. Dark Channel is another fantastic option. I mentioned it's good for Adepts, well, it's good for Vanguards too. Finally, Flare is... sometimes a little OP. It deals massive damage to an area at range, especially if you Pull an enemy first.
Firstly I wanted to thank you so much for all this information and tips, it will help me greatly when I get to it, and ME2 and 3 was really kind of you to take all this time to write it down for me!
I think I'll take the drain as bonus power because I like to cover all the bases (playing as a engineer, I picked reave because I needed to take down barriers too) and now lets just see how I manage, but I suspect it will be fun 😆
As someone who romanced Jack, it was fun. I'm glad I did. But ME3 romance did feel a bit empty. I also thought her maturing was super cool--but I felt like she lost a bit more of her edge than she had to (disclaimer: I know this sub disagrees with me, and that's allowed). I think Tali may be my next romance so I get someone who's actually around in ME 3 >_<
But I think the truth is everyone has some leave of absence?
Tali is bestest girl, always!
Can you tell me a little more why? I'm already more inclined to pick her because I love the alien romances of ME, but I'm still unsure
I only play soldier on insanity level for ME2.
If you’re not playing Insanity level, it doesn’t really matter.
I like Adept cause it’s like using the Force. And bc every other game in the world uses guns as their main offense. Adept was a refreshing way to play.
Vanguard is fun, but only in ME2 and Andromeda. Charge is borked in ME1/3. IMO.
Slam is super OP in ME2 and is an excellent CC and way fun to use, bc bouncing bodies is fun.
Romance: if you enjoy Garrus, you’ll totally adore Tali. Best 2 romances of the game.
Jack is equivalent to Thane.
Don’t waste time with Miranda. Watch a YouTube to see how that plays out, it’s really disappointing.
And I don’t see how anyone considers the racist twat Ashley. lol She’s just awful.
I've manage fine with engineer on insanity, and I think it can't get much harder than that, so any class would be fine for me. I'm thinking about playing adept on 1, and vanguard on 2 and 3, but how is it broken on 3? Maybe I'll switch to sentinel on 3 then because I won't have a sentinel companion (RIP Kaidan)
Romance: Well, that's a problem because Garrus is indeed my favorite, but Thane is a very strong second. Miranda I just feel bad for her, she feels so lonely at times, I wanted to give her a hug, but maybe it's not worth the romance. Ashley is because I've already done Liara and Kaidan and wanted to give it a shot too.
I think charge is borked on 3 bc it doesn’t function like it did on 2. I don’t think they got charge right until Andromeda. Imo
Adept on 3 is cake walk. The easiest way to play insanity level.
Max out throw from the go, pickup warp/sing and passives. Choose a shield drain bonus power and you can pretty much solo the whole damn game.
I found lash to be useful for trash mobs and super fun, cause tossing bodies.
Hmm, I see, maybe I'll do adept, vanguard, adept then.
Vanguard is my favorite class. It is so much fun. For romance, Tali has the most content out of the 3 you mentioned, but I’ve always loved Jacks romance.
Can you tell me a little about why you love the Jack's romance? I know she has less content because she isn't on the Normandy during ME3, but I still think it would be a nice seeing that arc for her.
The paragon romance for her really allows her to be vulnerable with someone for the first time in her life. It’s touching to see a character with such tough skin let down her guards. And you don’t quite get the same level of character growth with her if you don’t romance her.
Yeah, I'm already proud of her on ME3 without the romance, I imagine the arc gets better with the romance.
The Tali romance has a huge amount of content and is in my opinion the most emotionally powerful one of the game.
As for class, I'd say Vanguard is easier than Adept because if you go Adept, you'll only have a heavy pistol and SMG until the Collector ship mission (at which point you can add sniper, AR, or shotgun), and as an Adept you're somewhat of a glass cannon. But if you already battle more with powers than shooting, you'll do well as Adept.
Vanguard has the biotic charge which is one of the most fun powers in the game and is extremely powerful when maxed out and in combination with a shotgun.
I'm inclined to romance Tali because Garrus is my favorite romance on the trilogy, followed closely by Thane, so aliens, but I'm also curious about Miranda and Jack because I'm probably not playing male so soon again.
The thing about the class is that I played engineer with the heavy pistol and SMG and it was fine, didn't even used the sniper rifle when I got it on the collector ship, so I think I'd be ok, but at the same time, I've heard so much about the biotic charge, I'm also curious about it.
I think every other romance has more content, but Jack is still the more compelling arc.
Can you tell me a little more about why you recommend Jack's romance?
Like I say, the character arc is much more interesting than just the usual 'oooh commander Shepard, you saved me lets be together forever' - I don't want to say too much cos there's not a tonne of content *but* what is there is well done. Or at least I should say better done than some of the others.
She's also a rarity in the ME/general gaming world in that she has a bit of agency. She's pretty much the only broshep option that doesn't just throw themselves at you and you can actually screw it up by throwing yourself at her. Where all the others will just stick their tongues (or alien equivalents) down your throat asap.
Speaking of, in terms of broshep options, she's one of very few I don't also feel responsible for in some way in my play throughs - you save Liara from certain death, Kaidan/Ash are your subordinates, Tali is basically your adopted daughter (especially since the romance option comes up after you help her through her father's death and you clearly met her as a teenager...) I'd be morally fine with Samara/Morinth, and any of the ones that aren't options because Fox but yeah. That's my feel for it :)
Edit: Oh and Miranda?! Come on. How can you trust someone who works for Cerberus after ME1?
Those are some great points, and despite I'm more inclined to romance Tali because Garrus is my space husband, I do feel a little bothered about her relationship with Shepard, sometimes it feels like a teenager with a crush on a older student, and while Jack is really young, she doesn't feel as young as Tali. I would love to romance Samara, but I heard Shepard basically push her towards it on the Citadel dlc and I can't really stomach that.
About Miranda, I actually feel sorry for her, she looks so lonely and lost sometimes, but I think you're right, it's not worth the romance.
Haha, well, I tried. Someone's got a great doctoral psych paper on ME fans and Tali to write, if it hasn't already been written.
Tali is a great one Miranda is good also but you have to romance her in 3 also or she dies I think
Yeah, I've heard about this weird bug that she just die if you reject her on ME3, even if you give her the resources she ask for.
It's not a bug, it's just the way it works. You can avoid it if you lock in a romance with another person first, before you talk to her to give her the resources. That way, you (weirdly) don't actually have the break-up scene with her, so she doesn't die.
I've heard that you can just not break up with her and then lock with whoever you want and she won't die too.
If you don't break up with her in that scene, then you've locked in with her and can't romance anybody else. To avoid that, you have to lock in with someone else first. (or break up with her in ME2, post-Suicide Mission)
Oh ok, noted, thanks for the tips.