Vanheim has some problems when it comes to pretender design. on the one hand, Vanheim benefits massively from a major bless for juicing up it's thugs and sacreds. On the other, Vanheim needs good scales to pump out's it's expensive units. Another factor to take into account is the need for diverse forging options to make maximum use of your thug chassis.
Two classic examples are N9 Irminsul or W9 Father of Winters (Imprisoned and with scales). The Nature Bless is for a Thug focused game, the Extra HP and Regen makes them a considerable threat. The water Bless is for Vanheres, the Vanheim Sacreds, they will chew through practically any mundane troops with this bless. An E4 bless is recommended as well for Fatigue purposes. Both are also nice for filling in the forging gaps your national mages posses.
The other option is the classic Earth Snake which I feel doesn't really need elaboration here
<<note - this was not written by me. I'm moving it from the vanheim nation page, and am reluctant to delete something that somebody clearly worked so hard on.>>