Updated: Jun 11
The Kalani episode from Star Wars: Rebels, where (spoiler) he joins forces with rebels to fight the empire, is a great argument for the squad building approach Shatterpoint takes: you never know who will end up fighting alongside each other! However, in Shatterpoint you probably want Kalani in a battle droid centric list so he can take them up to 11.
Kalani, Super Tactical Droid is available in the Shatterpoint core box.
Coming in at 5PC, Kalani is the most expensive secondary in wave 1. At the time of writing there are no 9SP primaries so you have to combo Kalani with a 3SP support. Luckily, both B1s and MagnaGuards are at that price point and pretty good, so you have some options.
Kalani has 10 stamina and 2 durability, which is slightly higher than your average secondary. Makes sense given that he is also more expensive than your average secondary.
Roger, Roger is a fantastic ability. Free moves are always great and droids often lack extra move options in their own activation. Thus, out of activation moves really help them get into position to shoot and contest objectives. Round 1 I'm hoping for Kalani to go early to get my supports moving up. If you're running 4 battle droid support characters, you can follow the deployment strategy in my Shifting Priorities article and still have Kalani start in range of all support characters, giving you potentially 4 free dashes to jump start your offensive. In later stages Roger, Roger can be a great way to change a lot of objective math all at once.
Tactical Network is another great ability. A dash and one of three choices is a lot of flexibility. Let's face it though, you're usually going for the 5 dice attack. Importantly, that can easily be a 6 dice attack ...
Target, Concentrate All Firepower is a big part of what makes Kalani a force multiplier worthy of the 5PC cost. One die on every single battle droid attack in his bubble goes a long way. Separatists tend to give out extra five dice attacks like candy (see Dooku, Grievous, Tactical Network, etc.) so upping those all to 6 dice attacks is very nice. It also works on the normal attacks. It works in melee and range and even on Kalani himself! Simple, straightforward, and powerful.
Complete Analysis is my least-used Kalani ability. I don't usually reserve him early because I want him to move droids up. In later rounds reserving him can be a good call so you have mega-movement on demand. Separatists aren't hurting for force, though, but stuff for free is always nice.
So uhhh ... don't get Kalani attacked in melee. Ideally don't get him attacked at all, his defense is pretty mediocre. Ideally he's on one of the back objectives behind some supports that he's buffing the heck out of.
His gun is pretty decent. It's printed as 7 ranged dice but it'll often be 8 due to Concentrate All Firepower. Getting three results on two expertise is fantastic. With 8 dice at range Kalani averages 6.2 successes before defense. A shove two squares down the attack tree is nice, but the second shove is so late you probably aren't doing much against Steadfast units. A free active ability is nice, but useless if you've already done Tactical Network. For this reason I'd usually attack first with Kalani before spending the force for Tactical Network, just in case. The main drawback of his tree is you don't get much flexibility before square #4, which he might not hit consistently. If you can get deep into the tree there are some great squares.
Synergy & Wrap Up
Force multiplier for battle droids
Provides crucial out-of-activation movement
Expensive cost limits list building
As mentioned, Kalani wants to be central and on the fringes of the firefight. He doesn't want to get attacked in melee so MagnaGuards are a great pairing for him due to their Intercede ability.
Kalani is expensive so list building options with him will be a bit limited, especially if you're trying to fit a 7SP primary like Dooku in his partner squad. Kalani is expensive because he makes everything around him better, if "everything" is battle droids. As such, I think you need a battle droid heavy list to make Kalani worth the price tag.