With the release of a new Andor trailer today I figured there was no better time to revisit one of the Rebellion's greatest assets: Cassian Andor.
This is a strong unit card, one of the first ones with native Tactical and one of two instances of Loadout. Let's dive deeper into what Cassian really looks like.
- Lots of options
- Relatively cheap for great offense
- Multiple ways to get native Pierce
- Double Training slot
- Defensively finicky
- Only 2 Courage
- Short(ish) range weapons
90 Points - So this isn't really your cost, Cassian starts at 100 often because of his A280-CFE but still for 100 you get a lot of bang for your buck (literally). This guy is an offensive powerhouse and feels like the foil to Leia's defensive support commander or Jyn's hybrid objective grabber. Cassian at 90 is something that any rebel player should consider when building a list.
As with some of the later releases Cassian has a crucial upgrade to talk about before we really get into his offensive power. You will almost always equip this card, it is incredibly strong. One of two infinite range snipers in the game (Iden being the other, who came out at the same time), Cassian does allow for some long range chip damage with High Velocity and Pierce 1. Where he really shines though is in close range.
Two red and one black at range 1-2 (or 1-3 for an aim) is amazing. With Pierce 1, native Marksman and Tactical 1, and the potential for extra aims from K2 (which we will talk about in a second) makes Cassian one of the strongest offensive tools in the game.
White dice with surge is standard for rebels, but Danger Sense 3 helps. This means that up until he is panicked he is getting extra dice, and then he caps at three extra. In many ways this allows you to turn your debuff of suppression into a push because you may lose an action at the cost of light cover and extra dice. Don't go running Cassian into the open and rely on this, but when he gets shot you don't often have to worry about him dying on a whim.
Cassian gets a native two Training slots which is great for someone who loves aim tokens. If I wasn't so particular about keeping my cards neat I would staple Offensive Push to him, so in reality he has an O-Push slot and a Training slot, but that is still great.
The second slot is much more flexible. Recent flavor to taste is Duck and Cover, though cards like Up Close and Personal, Hunter, Overwatch, and when with other heroes, Seize the Initiative can all be great choices. I nearly always fill both slots, but at the very least you will love Offensive Push.
So the old combo was using Recon Intel with Tactical to start the game with an aim token, which was super strong with Infiltrate granted from Covert Ops. Now that combo has been busted, which is good for the health of the game and makes the gear slot more open.
I do still love Recon Intel, which is common for anyone with a gear slot, but Infiltrate does let him use it to a greater extent than most characters. The next choice on my list, if you have the points, is Prepared Supplies. Having Cache: Dodge 1 is a great defensive boon to Cassian, something that sometimes he needs when you lose priority or are caught in the open. Finally, Ascension Cables or Environmental Gear are both nice movement tools and can be very good when you know you will be playing on a well populated table.
I mentioned the config earlier in the "Offense" portion, but it is worth it to mention again how good this card is. I would go so far as to say that 99% of the time Cassian is a 100 point character with a printed weapon and an extra configurable weapon.
- High health behind red dice
- Armor 1
- Strong melee and ranged attacks
- Locked behind the Cassian paywall
- Can be action starved
- Droid trooper, so no cover from suppression
70 Points - So K2 is another character whose points should have a little * by them because his armament is nearly always a staple. At 10 points (5 with Jyn in the list!) it is often cheap enough to bring, but if you're running K2 purely as fuel for the Cassian offensive machine then I can see you not bringing it. Otherwise, K2 is an 80 point character, which is still quite good. If you have Cassian, look to find out how you get K2 in the list.
K2 is an offensive powerhouse just like Cassian. He starts with a four red melee attack, which is quite strong and shouldn't be ignored. You can then add in Jyn's SE-14 Blaster which is a strong short range weapon that also has native Pierce, which means with Cassian and K2 in a list you are constantly chipping through damage at the very least. Suppressive is icing on an already delicious cake.
5 Health behind red defense dice with Armor 1. I have only ever killed one K-2SO in my entire Legion career and have never had my own die. This is a highly defensive statline, something that only really starts to falter when under heavy fire and no cover. With Teamwork: Cassian you can stockpile dodges too and get greater benefits from Cassian's command cards, so that adds to your defensive strengths.
So I used to never fill this slot, though some people occasionally put HQ Uplink here, but now I think that Emergency Transponder is my card of choice. K2 activates from the pool more often than you would think in many lists, and this allows both him and Cassian to receive whatever token you get because of Teamwork. This could mean another aim for Cassian's shenanigans or a dodge for when Cassian or yourself are under fire.
As I discussed earlier Jyn's weapon is good. Take it.
Crack Shot - 1 Pip
Cassian's 1 Pip turns him into a Han Solo cosplayer. With Gunslinger and an aim upon playing he is starting the turn with an even greater offensive bonus, but he gains a standby token as well. This is nuts when you think of how K2 can even feed him extra aims for the standby shot. This is your trooper unit finisher card, and it does that job well. A final thing to note: the suppression token being a may means you can leverage this card well to make sure Cassian can remain defensive if he had to put himself into a potentially vulnerable spot in order to get his shots. Overall this is a top tier card and should be brought with Cassian almost every time.
Last Stand - 2 Pip
So this card already looks great when you first read it. Indomitable is a keyword you don't see often but when you do it is always pleasant. As it specifies Commander or Operative this allows him, Jyn, and K2 to always get the benefit, regardless of if he used Covert Ops or not.
The final clause of this card is the bread and butter though. Up to three aims or dodges (because let's face it, who is gaining the suppression unless they want light cover?) is amazing. When looking to finish off units because you are going first it may be worth grabbing some aims, but if you have 3 wounds then you are within killing range for a white health hero without pierce resistance, so don't be afraid to tank up with some dodges.
This card shines though when used in conjunction with K2. If K2 has wounds, even if it is just one or two, then you can use Teamwork to really stack some tokens. This is a card that is a must have when playing with both Cassian and K2, but certainly is top priority even without the two of them together.
Volunteer Mission - 3 Pip
Cassian's 3 Pip is the Special Forces support card that is often seen with Pathfinders and Mandalorian Resistance. The ability to recover alone is worth running this card, especially since Cassian so often has Offensive Push. This card makes me consider throwing HQ Uplink on Spec Forces/Commander/Operative units that I traditionally wouldn't even think about throwing it on. The ability to get a free recover is great, and that makes gaining a suppression and gaining Danger Sense 1 even better because you will be clear of suppression going into that. Yet another incredibly strong card.
Sacrifice - K-2SO 3 Pip
So K2 has his own singular command card that allows for such a thematic defeat and incredible defensive boon to a friendly character. This card can be situational, but it is incredibly strong if you need a character to live. I rarely see a true need for this card, and it can be tough to predict, but K2 is incredibly defensive, so Guardian 4 is strong with him, and then if K2 is nearly dead after taking those hits then he can sacrifice himself to save another. The first card I cut, but still worth looking at in many lists.
You want firepower? Well this is some firepower. Strong range 4 threats from the Veterans and Pathfinders both with Cassian, K2, and the Mark IIs all dealing high close range damage means that you are going to pack a punch wherever you go. 6 Health on your Vets should serve you well and the options your Pathfinders hold means you can play a strong early objective game with Infiltrate or deal heavy damage with Bistan and Pao. If looking for extra help defensively then season with a Rebel Officer with Vigilance and Portable Scanner instead of Uplinks and extra Vets.
This is a list that has only gotten better with points changes, and it is one I constantly long to get on the table. This is the full Rogue One crew and it feels strong. Jyn and the Pathfinders play a strong objective game with Cassian, K2, and the Vets sweeping through enemy forces, all while you have flex pieces. At 12 activations you can often deal with high activation Jedi lists and keep your key pieces safe that way, though this is a list characterized by white saves.
Cassian/Leia Tauns is a threat on two fronts. With tauns rushing into your opponents lines while Cassian cleans up and R2 sneaks through with a Victory Point you have a lot of options. This is a list that doesn't have too many objectives or deployments it dislikes seeing, but that also means it doesn't have any focused strengths. A high skill ceiling list, this one can really decimate an unsuspecting opponent.
If you like mandos, this is your mando list. Sabine, Clan Wren, and 2 Mandalorian Resistance means this list is fast and furious. With a lot of native pierce included and some strong defensive tools in UCaP you should be able to clean up while staying alive. No K2 means less token efficiency on Cassian, so if you're dying to have him then you can swap a Mando Resistance for him, but I don't think he's necessary here. Use Volunteer Mission when you can, but the peak play is recovering with Cassian, Sabine, and Clan Wren so you get back O-Push, a Personal Combat Shield, and Uplink.
A variation on what was a popular meta list for a while, this combo of characters takes the two strongest pieces rebels have (Op Luke and Cassian) and throws them together. There are many ways to kit this out, and I have done so sub-optimally, but you get the picture. This is a case of individually strong pieces coming together to make a swiss army knife of a list.
Cassian is a strong and fun character within the rebel arsenal, and he has yet to truly go out of vogue. With Andor coming up here soon I expect an even greater resurgence of popularity because of how cool he is, and as rebels get more tools there is a high chance that Cassian will be alongside them. Just ask K2 the odds of that.
Let me know what you think of Cassian in the comments below, and I'll be back next week with another article here on Dice and Cardboard!