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Turian biotics are isolated from regular infantry in elite units called Cabals, whose proud dictum is, "the intangible is unstoppable." Since turian biotics are relatively rare, Cabals become small, tight-knit teams of fearsome biotic warriors that are trained to handle the deadliest infiltration missions.

Cabal training makes these deadly turians both biotically and technically proficient. Cabals equip their members with venom-infused gauntlets that are fatal to any enemy foolish enough to get within range.


Melee and movement[]

Fist Melee
  • Regular Melee – Gauntlet slash
    • Melee Sequence: The Cabal Vanguard executes a continuous series of gauntlet slashes.
  • Heavy Melee (Venom Gauntlets) – The Cabal Vanguard leaps to a target and stabs with venom-tipped blades, dealing poison damage over time. If the stab is fatal, the target is decapitated.
  • Grab (Venom-Tipped Blades Stab) – The Cabal Vanguard drags an enemy over cover and then executes them by stabbing with venom-tipped blades.
Dodge Arrow
  • Dodge – The Cabal Vanguard teleports a short distance at the expense of barrier strength.
  • The Cabal Vanguard can take cover, and can roll from cover to cover.

Player Notes[]

General Notes[]

  • The Cabal Vanguard is the only Vanguard without Biotic Charge. Her replacement for Charge, Poison Strike, is substantially different from Charge; rather than striking a targeted enemy (and potentially others around them), Poison Strike launches the Cabal Vanguard forward a set distance, passing through walls and objects while damaging enemies that she passes through. While Poison Strike does make the Cabal Vanguard invulnerable, it does not restore her barrier. By aiming down into the floor, the Poison Strike covers less distance, allowing a skilled player more accurate jumps.
    • Poison Strike is the Cabal's only method of detonating Power Combos; it can trigger all four types.
  • Alongside the the N7 Fury and the Vorcha, the Cabal Vanguard is one of the few characters whose regular (light) melee is infinite: she will deliver a series of strikes with her claws as long the players keeps pressing the melee button.
  • The Cabal's heavy melee can be somewhat compared to N7 Shadow's Shadow Strike: the Cabal will "teleport" behind the enemy and deliver a powerful attack. She will strike with both claws, in a fashion similar to Vorcha's heavy melee. However, there is a limit of range for the attack to trigger the teleport.
    • In addition, the heavy melee has very low ending lag, which allows the Cabal to follow it up with multiple normal melee attacks.
    • The heavy melee can also be used without a target to teleport forward a short distance. This is especially useful when facing terrain, as trying forward combat dodges will tend to attach you to cover instead.
    • The heavy melee will not teleport to Swarmers and has a difficult time hitting them overall, generally only working at point-blank range.
  • The Cabal Vanguard specializes in poison damage-over-time—her offensive powers and melee attacks all inflict additional damage over a few seconds in addition to direct damage. Synthetics are not immune to poison damage. Her damage-over-time abilities allow her to restrict enemy regeneration and prevent enemies from cloaking.
  • Both her dodge ability, heavy melee, and Poison Strike allow the Cabal Vanguard to pass through walls reach higher or lower elevations. Along with the movement speed increase from Biotic Focus, the Cabal Vanguard is a very mobile character capable of skillful hit-and-run and flanking tactics.
  • If evolved for maximum melee damage, the Cabal can take down foot soldiers (even some Shielded ones) with a single heavy melee.
  • The Cabal is very useful for assassinating key enemies behind enemy lines by phasing through the area with Poison Strike and dodge.
  • The Cabal relies mainly on speed, her teleporting ability, and having teammates to cover fire by attacking more dangerous enemies that can shrug off her attacks, such as Brutes and Scions.
  • A longer-ranged Poison Strike can be used to simultaneously damage powerful enemies while launching the Cabal Vanguard a safe distance away from their high-damage attacks or instant-kills. This tactic is more risky if evolved for Double Dash, but with careful timing, it is possible to Poison Strike through a target, wait for them to turn around, then Poison Strike through it again before backing off or letting Poison Strike's cooldown end.
  • The Geth Scanner upgrade can benefit the Cabal by allowing her to see through walls, letting her make a tactical assessment of enemy strength before using Poison Strike to phase through the walls.
    • Additionally, with the Geth Scanner gear bonus the Cabal can be an effective shock-trooper by using a heavy melee attack to teleport through a wall, hitting a group of enemies with Nightshade Blades, and then dodging right back through the wall she came through.
  • On maps with a lot of tight spaces, the Cabal can be absolutely deadly (Firebase Glacier, in particular, comes to mind). Her ability to move through obstructions can allow her to quickly phase in and out of combat, damaging enemies and then retreating behind solid cover in the blink of an eye.
  • Because of its difference from Charge, Poison Strike can take some getting used to. In particular, the fact that it does not actively target enemies can make it difficult to hit targets who are moving perpendicular to the line of strike. Also, Poison Strike only tends to damage enemies within a short distance of the launching point and not enemies close to the end of strike, even if they were in the direct path of it.
  • Poison Strike can be efficiently used to close in on distant downed allies; with a little accurate assessment of distance, a skilled Cabal can dash through obstacles and enemies and quickly revive her team-mates.
  • This makes the Cabal Vanguard an exceptional medic, especially when paired with the Double Dash evolution. The Cabal can teleport directly atop a dying teammate, revive up, and teleport out of harm's way extremely quickly. The invulnerability of each dash, and the minimal time spent in the area, allows the Cabal to rescue teammates in even the most dire of circumstances.
  • A rank 6 Poison Strike evolved for damage does 1950 total damage. At rank 3, Nightshade Blades already does 1920 total damage. Also note that the Blades have no recharge time, but do have limited ammo and take a moment to use. So a valid strategy would be to evolve Nightshade Blades and only put two or so levels into Poison Strike. Using her speed to bounce between ammo crates, Blades can be the primary form of damage, leaving Poison strike to aid movement. Using this strategy effectively would require an anti-shield/barrier weapon like the Acolyte, Reegar Carbine, or Anti-synthetic rifle.


  • The Cabal can easily deal with most enemies, except for Atlases. She can kill Phantoms and Dragoons with no problems, as long they don't strike first or have the upper hand in range.
  • Poison Strike can not only provide the Cabal Vanguard with a means of getting away from Phantoms in a hurry but can also disrupt Phantoms' cloaking due to its damage over time.
  • If a Guardian is not aware of the Cabal, a heavy melee will teleport behind it and ignore its shield protection to strike it. If the Guardian is aware of the Cabal this generally doesn't work; however, Poison Strike can be used up close to strike a Guardian if its shield is slightly dislodged, and it can also be used to pass through a Guardian to gain an angle to shoot it from behind.


  • Finishing an Abomination with a heavy melee will prevent them from exploding. The Biotic Shield evolution of Biotic Focus can be used to block the damage from detonations or at least restore shields after being hit. Poison Strike can be a useful tool for taking out Abominations, as long as there are no allies in the vicinity. Poison Strike can be used to eliminate an Abomination and phase through a wall before the Abomination explodes. Alternatively, Poison Strike can provide a narrow window of invulnerability for the Cabal Vanguard to avoid damage. Its damage over time also gives a window of time to escape before an Abomination succumbs to the poison.
  • Seeker Swarms are very dangerous to the Cabal, but heavy melee attacks, Nightshade Blades, or Poison Strike provide you with ample tools to eliminate them.


  • Care should be taken against the Geth, as their attacks can easily stun and prevent the Cabal from unleashing her true potential, interrupting her melee attacks and overhelming her with massive firepower.
  • Poison Strike can not only provide the Cabal Vanguard with a means of getting away from Geth Hunters in a hurry but can also disrupt Geth Hunters' cloaking due to its damage over time.


  • The Cabal can deal easily with most foot soldiers.
  • Care should be taken if trying to take down Ravagers with melee attacks, as their sacs will explode and expose the Cabal to damage. The Biotic Shield evolution of Biotic Focus can be used to continuously restore shields even when under the damage-over-time effects of Swarmers or Banshee ranged attacks.
  • Banshees and Brutes should be dealt with the extreme care, as the Cabal exposes herself very easily between attacks, and cannot stun those enemies easily with the heavy melee.


  • The Cabal Vanguard has the exact same voice lines as the asari multiplayer characters, with the exception of certain asari-specific lines (e.g. "Goddess!"); it also lacks the usual flanging effect characteristic to turian voices.