|Melee Damage Block||70|
|Ranged Damage Block||35|
Vanguard is either built on Durable heroes or on weak cores. In the latter case Vanguard is used as a "gateway" item. Once a hero has farmed a Vanguard, it provides enough durability to safely farm late game items.
Vanguard is farmed in the early game to provide a boost of durability into the mid game. The later a Vanguard is farmed, the less effective it will be due to the increased amount of damage that enemy heroes will output in the later stages of the game.
- Anti-Mage: Anti-Mage is a strong carry hero that, like other carry heroes, lacks good durability in the early and mid game. In situations where Anti-Mage is going to be forced to fight with his team early (such as when the enemy is pushing towers early or has a large early game advantage), Vanguard is a good item that allows him to survive and be effective in team fights.
- Axe: Axe is a hero that excels at taking focus fire and is meant to be in middle of the action. The damage block from Vanguard is essential to allowing him to survive and excel in these environments.
- Bristleback: An early Vanguard can make Bristleback incredibly durable, allowing him to fight 2 or even 3 heroes at once.
- Dark Seer: Dark Seer's ion shell means that he has to be adjacent to enemy heroes and able to take damage, mitigated by Vanguard.
- Slardar: Slardar is an aggressive chaser hero, vanguard offers him protection while diving past creeps and towers.
- Spectre: Vanguard is often picked up on Spectre to provide the durability required to safely farm Radiance.