Dragon Ball Z saw several villains threaten the earth with plans of domination and destruction. One of the most terrifying was Cell – a genetic android cooked up in the lab of the mad scientist Dr Gero. Although he was eventually disintegrated at the hand of Gohan, it wasn’t the last time fans would get to see him. The Dragon Ball Heroes series, based on the Japanese exclusive card game, brought him back into the mix as an alternate universe counterpart, powered by the energy of the Dark Dragon Ball. As a result, a DBS CG Secret Rare card was introduced to mirror his unbelievable power.
The booster and rarity –
‘Cell Xeno, Unspeakable Abomination’ is one of the three SCRs that came with the Universal Onslaught booster, which released on February 14th 2020. This booster set focused on enemies throughout the Dragon Ball universe, including Frieza, Jiren and DBS Heroes characters such as Cell Xeno. This set also played a part in promoting the Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot video game, which included a promotional box topper of ‘Kakarot, the One and Only’. The booster box pull rate of this card is believed to be a 4.2% chance, which means there is only a 0.17% of pulling it from a booster pack. Bandai has since stopped printing Universal Onslaught, which has increased the price of its booster packs and the value of the SCRs found inside.
Being an SCR has made Cell Xeno a chase card from the get-go, but it was the release of The Ultimate Life Form Expert Deck on the very same day of Universal Onslaught that helped increase its value. This deck focuses on using the ‘Union-Absorb’ keyword skill to quickly get into the 8-cost Cell. After that, you only need another 4-cost yellow and green Battle Card to play ‘Cell Xeno, Unspeakable Abomination’ through ‘Successor’. Green and Yellow starter decks were extremely popular until the limit of the Union Force ‘Growing Evil Lifeform Cell’, which is an essential staple in many of those decks.
Art and Playability –
The artwork of this card shows Cell Xeno after Putine transforms him into a gigantic spider-like creature. The illustrator has done a great job of capturing the ferocity and evil energy running through Cell, which is helped by all the fine foil detailing.
In play, ‘Cell Xeno, Unspeakable Abomination’ is incredibly powerful and capable of being played relatively early if you can get ‘Cell, Perfection Misspent’ and another 4 cost out. Originally, this card had ‘Deflect’, ‘Quadruple Strike’ and ‘Ultimate’ skills. If your opponent is hoping to counter or combo to stop an attack, this card also trashes three cards from their hand and gains ‘Double Strike’ if you have five or more energy. These skills will allow Cell Xeno to claim a win very quickly. This card has since had an Errata, which has combined the ‘Quadruple Strike’ with the ‘Dual Attack’ condition, slowing down the potential of an early win.
The current value of the card –
In February 2021, when DBS CG prices were climbing to their highest values, ‘Cell Xeno, Unspeakable Abomination’ was selling for upward of $800. In the last five months, however, the TCG has seen value drops across the board. In June, the value of this card had dropped between $375 and $400, and was selling for $300 by August. In September and October, cards sold through TCG Player have been going for an average of $175.
There are currently 51 ‘Cell Xeno, Unspeakable Abomination’ cards graded with PSA, with 48 of them achieving PSA 10 grades. In November 2020, three PSA 10 copies of ‘Cell Xeno, Unspeakable Abomination’ sold for between $650 and $753. In January, that price skyrocketed to $1400. We haven’t seen many recorded sales since then, but there were two that sold for $310 and $350 on August 2nd, and another that sold on eBay with an accepted offer of $600 on August 20th. It is also worth noting that a Beckett 9.5 sold for $405 in August, with another seller accepting an offer of $699, which was under their initial $800 asking price.
‘Cell Xeno, Unspeakable Abomination’ is only the second most valuable card of the Universal Onslaught booster. The top card of the set is ‘Son Goku & Vegeta, Apex of Power’, which is currently sitting at a value of $790, after also seeing a decrease in value since July 2021. Cell Xeno actually has the same pull rate as Apex, despite being worth considerably less. This is most likely down to the versatility and uses of Apex in play and the focus on Vegeta and Goku, who are obviously fan favourites of the franchise.
The Future of the card –
‘Cell Xeno, Unspeakable Abomination’ is one of the SCRs selected to have a reprint in the new Mythic Booster set coming out this winter. This new version has a brand new illustration that shows the character prior to his giant insect form and is arguably an improvement on the previous artwork. Bandai has also taken the opportunity to include the Errata text to update the new ruling for the card. To learn more about the Mythic Booster and the first cards to be revealed, check out our article here.
Having a reprint of an SCR would always run the risk of reducing the value of the original. When it comes to the original Cell Xeno, it may not be affected too much as it is already at a decent price for an SCR from an out of print set, especially considering that a sealed booster box still sells for between $1100 and $1,399. This new version will cater more to those wanting to play the card, whereas collectors will still want the original.
A new ‘Ultimate’ deck will be introduced into the DBS CG in April 2022, providing more android support. The silhouette on the box looks to be Cell, which could point to more green and yellow Android/Cell cards. If that is the case, getting a ‘Cell Xeno, Unspeakable Abomination’ could be very beneficial to those looking to play the rebooted archetype.
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Mathew Parkes – Ludkins Media
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