It is no surprise that everyone's favorite blue-faced bounty hunter is getting some attention, winning adepticon does that to a man! Congrats to Goreshde for winning and for everyone involved putting on an amazing tournament. If you had told me Imperial Bikes would be facing Cad Bane in the finals of a major tournament I would've laughed at you, but this is the world we're living in!
Today I'm going to take a moment to discuss Cad Bane, his potential relevance, and some ways to use him effectively!
- Good keywords! (Steady!!)
- Native Pierce
- Courage 3
- Lots of upgrade options
- Defense reliant on luck
- Range 2 weapon
120 Points - Losing 5 points since release, 120 points is a good point cost for a unit like this. It can be tough to justify him in CIS at that cost, but with cheaper commander options readily available he can slot into a squad a lot easier now.
Offense: Four black dice with Pierce 1 is nothing to sneeze at. The range 2 restriction is tough, but you've got Steady and Jump to make up for it. Sharpshooter 1 means you're getting a damage through regardless so long as you don't blank out or get hit with tons of dodges/Low Profile. This isn't all the offense Cad Bane has, but more on that later.
Defense: White dice (boo!) with surge (yay?) and Danger Sense (huh?) is a combination that Rogue One gave us plenty of. It's not the worst thing in the world, but you don't want to get too suppressed, nor do you want to rely on just suppression to give you defense. The best way to keep Bane (or any other white save Danger Sense units) alive is to use the additional cover from suppression and line of sight blockers to dodge and weave, only getting caught in extreme circumstances.
A nice way to trigger Danger Sense, Duck and Cover is a cheap option to let you get defense on the fly. I stick with not wanting to get shot with Bane, so this is pretty low on my list of recommendations, but not too bad.
A good way to get aims every turn, Hunter synergizes with Bounty as well. You're not always gonna get it to trigger, but after one or two shots you'll get an aim every time you shoot that unit, so it is a nice force multiplier.
Such a good card, Offensive Push is almost always my choice for situations like these, and Steady only makes it better. Free aims is really nice, and Bane does like moving. I would choose this 9/10 times.
Really just HQ uplink here, and even then I don't think it's worth the 10 points. A melee focused Bane might like Hacked Comms Unit or Comms Jammer, but you'll be hard pressed using those.
At this point I think I'm just naming good cards. You want to shoot but take a second to get into the action? Well this card helps you save a second or two. Nothing much more to say except this doesn't work with alternative deployment methods, so no sneaky tricks there.
Such a cool card. This one lets you do some crazy shenanigans and lock units in place. For 10 points you're not afraid to take it, but if you plan to never take advantage of it and need the points elsewhere then don't be afraid to drop it. Notably, this card got marginally better after Burst of Speed came out because more units will get Immobilize tokens and that lets you get out of melee with them (I know that is the most minute case ever mentioned, but when it happens you'll be thanking me that you didn't get hit with a lightsaber).
Thematic, but useless.
Start gargling some gravel and pull out your duster, these cards have the same requirement the Wookiee cards do: you have to say them like the character would. A simple card, this lets you do your best Han Solo impression (something Bane already does well with the keywords on his unit card) and get Uncanny Luck and throw an extra attack out. Notably, this is not limited to ranged or melee, so the theory is you:
- Start in melee (presumably from last turn)
- Punch the unit you're in melee with (a Jedi named Ben perhaps?)
- Now immobilized, walk (or jump) away
- Shoot off of Steady!
This let you get both a ranged and melee attack against the same target in a turn, something nearly no other character can do. It's risky, but super thematic and cool.
Now he's trying to be everything Padme is not! Don't worry though, this card is worth taking (compared to Padme's 1 pip). The extra effect of immobilize tokens is really nice, but don't be afraid to throw some suppression on your droids. They aren't hindered by it, so there's no real worry about letting them have it! Otherwise, this is just an upgraded Push, so a decent card in and of itself.
Arguably the most complicated card in the game, this card fits Cad Bane so well. Kyle Dornbos of the Fifth Trooper wrote an article for FFG a while back explaining the card, and so I decided to plagiarize it for sake of simplicity.
You either get all three tokens for revealing this card before round one, or you get one of the tokens later in the game. Either way, they're drastically game changing effects and in conjunction with each other can win or lose a game early.
This card effectively gets you Infiltrate but with the caveat that your opponent doesn't know where you are, and you can stay hidden for an extra turn or two. Oftentimes these tokens will end up near objectives as a way to play mind games that a bomb or Cad Bane will be sitting right next to the box. The bomb itself is a decent weapon, so it can be deterrence against low health or defense squads.
I Make the Rules Now lets you play a totally different Cad Bane, and so include it in your list if you want a very unique bounty hunter!
A pretty standard Bane list to start, this one makes use of the control pieces of Dooku and Electro-Whip MagnaGuards to corral your opponent, letting your B1s score objectives. Use "I Make the Rules Now" to create a safe path for Dooku by letting Bane draw some early fire, but make sure he doesn't get shot too much!
This is your Cad Gunline list. If you want fewer activations and more heavies then drop a B1 and put a few more weapons on them, or cut a Commando Droid squad if you don't want to lose a B1. I recommend using Bane's Gauntlets as a "break in case of emergency" here, but if you don't want them then you have a bonus few points for Training upgrades.
What's better than one unit starting halfway across the board? Two units starting halfway across the board! Use "The Phantom Menace" before "I Make the Rules Now" so you can infiltrate Maul and then put your Bane tokens down. This starts you down a command card, but you're hoping to pressure the opponent early so that you can get the freedom to play Standing Orders if you need to. Double T-Series helps with order control for the rest of the list, but don't be afraid to put a Super Tac Droid in their place.
When you don't wanna be a coward sitting at range 4 taking pot shots, you take this list. Range 2 is the name of the game here, and if you can get there then you have a massive threat (keyword if). I included Emergency Stims and HQ Uplink with Bane because "Do Not Underestimate Our Means" lets units with a faceup order recover, not just those issued orders from the card. That means you can get back your gauntlets and melee again, both times with 5 red dice! Though a meme list, don't be afraid to throw this down on the table and scare your opponent with the potential to throw 27(!) red dice at range 2/melee.
Bonus Section: Meta Relevance
Alrighty you get this section for free.
Cad Bane is not a good unit in a faction of great units. He is a scalpel in your arsenal of knives. People used to call Jedi units "scalpels" because they had to be precise and serve a purpose to make them worth their points. To some extent that is true, but many Jedi feel ubiquitous and can be worth the points for their command cards alone, which allows them to get more milage out of their activation without necessarily removing minis from the board. Cad Bane falls into that same list.
Looking at his cost after upgrades he is marginally more expensive than someone like Cassian, Jyn, Chewbacca, or Bossk, which all have aspects that overlap. This isn't a bad thing though, as CIS often gets a tax on units because of their cheap filler units, so you can still do 13+ activation lists without sacrificing much, or get an efficient gunline with heavies at 11+ acts. You're not looking to throw Cad Bane into any list, he is often the centerpiece because of his dictation of turn 1, thus the "scalpel".
A unit with Steady and native Pierce is good at picking up the final units in a squad, and Cad's command cards bolster that effect. Bounty lets you get points beyond what the objective requires, which can be devastating to something like Vaporators. Don't be afraid to use Cad as an objective grabber as well. Sometimes it is worth it to pop a Bane token, grab a box, and jump away to safety, even if it isn't the most exciting thing to do.
So with Cad's big finish recently the discussion that is constantly on the back of everyone's mind (no? just mine? ok...) was resurfaced: where does Cad Bane fit. Some people argue that the Shadow Collective will be good for him, and we'll surely see him there at some point, but I think he has a place in CIS. He isn't an easy unit to pick up, and he can be very unforgiving, but that feels rightly thematic for Cad Bane.
Don't be afraid to put Cad Bane to good use in your squad. He will take some practice, but once you understand his jumble of keywords you'll be saying "kablammo" in no time.
Let me know what you think of Cad Bane in the comments down below! Does he have a place in the meta? Is he just a good unit that is overshadowed by other units? I want to hear your opinions! As always, stay tuned for more Legion, Armada, and X-Wing content here on Dice and Cardboard!