DnD4 is full of seemingly conflicting rules.
Your speed decreeses if you wear heavy armor.
Your speed does not change in heavy armor if you are a Dwarf.
You use Strength for Melee Basic Attacks.
You can use Dexterity for Melee Basic Attacks if you are an Executioner.
There is no problem however, the rulebooks tell us how to resolve this; if they are contradicting, the one with the narrower scope wins, otherwise both are valid.
So I do not think anything is ambigious here.
To use an Implement it is enough to hold it, to benefit from an Armor it is enough to wear it. (Rules Compendium)
The properties of a Weapon apply to itself only. A weapon can not have Darkvision, so the property of a Midnight Blade obviously applies to you. On the other hand, an attack can be connected to a weapon, so you have to actually attack with it to benefit from the property of a Vanguard Weapon. (Adventurer's Vault)
Both rules are true at the same time, the RC for all magic items, the AV for magic Weapons only. The second is the smaller subset, so it overwrites the first.
Look at it from the other side, what whas the aim of the AV rule, if not what I explained above?
The applicable rules:
Magic Item level: You have to have the magic item on your person for it to work.
Slotted item level: You have to hold/wield an implement/weapon for it to work. (Rules Compendium). If you have a weapon, these two rules have to collide, and the narrower wins.
2a. There is no option to satisfy (1) and (2) simultaneously.
2b. In case of an implement, you have to hold it.
2c. In case of a solitaire, rule(2) does not apply, so it work from your pocket as well.
Weapons level: You have to attack with weapons to use its attack properties. (Adventurer's Vault). If you attack with the weapon, this and rule(2) has to collide, and the narrower wins.
3a. There is no option to satisfy (1) and (2) simultaneously. You either attack, or you do not.
3b. In case of an attack property, you have to make the attack with this weapon.
3c. In case of a non-attack property, so it is enough to hold it.
Enchantment level: Vanguard gives you 1d8 on a charge. This rule could contradict with rule(3), depending on which weapon you use to attack.
4a. In case you use the Vanguard weapon for attacking, there is no collision of rules.
4b. You can not force rules into collision. So the only option is (4a).
Disregarding rule (4b) could cause the following problem:
- My power says I can shift 1 (rule A).
- But here is difficult terrain, and difficult terrain costs more to shift (rule B).
If you could force rules into collision, (A) would win, as it is more specific, so you could shift whenever and wherever you want. So rule (4b) from above is actually RULE 0.
In my opinion two things make a rule offical:
- It was published by WotC. Adventurer's Vault was.
- The rule was not errataed. This part of AV was not.
Otherwise we could start questioning PHB itself, as it is the most errataed publication of WotC, so it must be absolutely wrong.