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Hell Vanguards are lesser demons in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening. It is first encountered as the level boss of Mission 2: The blood link, but it is not actually a boss as it is encountered as a standard enemy in subsequent missions.
The Hell Vanguard is known as the god of death, and is responsible for managing the souls of the dead. It is feared by other demons for its sadistic personality and combat tactics, including the abilities to teleport and fly. Unlike other Hells, it does not seem to manifest through the same kind of sand, but rather by a mysterious blue dust.
The Hell Vanguard has multiple attacks:
Its main attack is scythe slash: the Hell Vanguard makes a slash with its scythe and then pulls it back also damaging in an arc.
Its other attack is a block attack: if you managed to block its scythe slash (with a melee weapon), it will then stagger and prepare to make a single downward slash. You can block this attack as well, by a performed melee attack at the right moment. You can continue this process, filling up the Stylish Gauge. Eventually, the Hell Vanguard will stop attacking.
Its second attack is teleportation: the Hell Vanguard vanishes from the battlefield and a dark portal could be seen on the ground or in air. If it appears in the air, the Hell Vanguard will make a rushing attack in one direction, damaging through its entire rush. And if it appears on the ground, the Hell Vanguard will make an upward swing, flying up it the air. On lower difficulties (Easy/Normal), the demon will not use those attack if the player fights them without using guns (although it will still teleport without attacking).
Hell Vanguards can stand in a blocking stance, blocking any melee or ranged attack. Unlike Hell Prides, its block can be broken but if you break it, it will make a block attack (Look above).
The Hell Vanguard's two most dangerous moves are both of its teleportation attacks. When it disappears, a water-like rippling effect on the ground or in the air will warn of where it will come from. If the ripple is on the ground, the Vanguard will burst out of the ground from beneath Dante and attack him as it flies into the air. If the ripple is in the air, the Vanguard will perform a highly damaging dash attack through Dante. Both attacks are signaled by the Vanguard throwing its head back and making a sound as if from a gong or low-pitched bell. When this sound is heard, focus on running and dodging.
Royalguard Style is effective against it if one can correctly time the Royal Block. Otherwise, simply counter its scythe attacks with standard sword swings and run and jump to dodge its teleporting attacks.
Appearances in Other Media
The Hell Vanguard has its own card which came with the Day of Nightmares expansion.
- The Hell Vanguard appears to use the same audio as the Sins from Devil May Cry, only pitched down slightly.
- The boss fight with the first Hell Vanguard uses the same boss theme as the Gigapede.
- Although hard to hear, the same sound fx used for Vergil's Judgement Cut can be heard after the Hell Vanguard's appearance after a successful teleport.
- Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, Lesser Demons File — Hell Vanguard: "The god of death who manages dead souls. He is feared by even inhabitants of the netherworld for his wicked nature and fighting prowess. A deadly sand-based demon."