A non-exhaustive list of things I learned over getting my ass kicked over and over again as the world’s greenest bug.
How to Play as Cell
To be clear, I ain’t exactly a professional player. I’m only at Silver Cell so far, but playing on both sides for long, I did pick up some habits that I hope can make you a little more successful in your hunt for perfection.
A fair bit of these tips apply to other raiders too, of course.
Cell is one of the weaker Raiders of the current lot, so be prepared for an uphill battle, especially against coordinated and aware survivors.
Evolution 1: Bugmaxxing
Alright, you just spawned in, what next?
Well, don’t start spamming your voiceline just yet, Trunks’ narration is gonna override it I think. Wait until the timer reads 14:47, or something like that.
Larva Cell is a stage you want to get the hell out of as fast as possible, but even if you somehow get ganked by bloodthirsty level 1s, keep in mind that in Melee, you’re not as easy to hit as people may think. Cell has a sort of built in melee protection that triggers for… Reasons I’m not too sure of, but it does fling people away if he’s getting jumped. His ramming attack is also kind of deceptive, you usually get priority when “clashing” with a survivor.
Technically, he’s better than Spopovitch because he gets his own mini-Evasive/Counter! Sad day for bald men, I know. jk
That asides, if you hear some civies nearby, you can slurp them up, but otherwise, try heading in the direction of player spawns. Larva Cell actually can box your ♥♥♥ in if you’re not careful and are in an enclosed space, and then you’re gonna look really silly being the reason Larva Cell evolves.
Larva Cell also has afterimages to get the hell out of dodge if things are getting cramped, but you can’t use it in mid-air, so be careful. (It’s the Dodge button.)
If you can down a survivor at LV1, good, but if not, don’t worry about it, the game only really starts with Imperfect Cell.
Evolution 2: Imperfect Hatred
Time to gamer lean, the match only really starts now.
As soon as you can move, try to find a Dragon Ball Radar, or a Dragon Ball. Radar gets priority, but having a Dragon Ball is already huge.
You probably already guessed it, but Dragon Balls are going to be your worst enemy, here. Cell is NOT equipped to handle group fights, no matter the evolution level- At least not group fights with coordinated survivors who have memorized all civilian spawn points in their head, somehow.
Never let them get all seven.
If you have one on hand, either make sure you keep it real close to you, or go drop it off at the end of the map somewhere really hard to reach to give you more time.
If you had it on you and the survivors suddenly decided to jump at you for no reasons at all, they’re trying to steal your bling. Keep a close watch on that knockback gauge. If it’s empty, the balls you’re carrying drop, so be on top of that ♥♥♥♥ and fly right back to get it. If you double-tap the jump button, you’ll have a quick descent into the ground. Do not give them an inch.
If that DC1 Oolong manage to snatch it and is starting its’ Change escape, do your best to chase after him and get them back. Afterimages make you go SLIGHTLY faster for a short period of time, so make liberal use of it and tunnel the hell out of this guy.
If you manage to close the gap and you see him suddenly pull out his Energy Field and begin to IT away, use your ki detection skill. When he warps away, you’ll be able to see his aura in the far distance, which is better than nothing. And then you can begin your chase again, made even easier if you have a dragon radar on you, because by then this guy’s cooldowns will still be recharging, so you can promptly down him and take back what’s yours.
Of course, at some point you may be losing far too much time chasing, but avoiding getting slapped by a DC4 Namekian can win you the game by itself. Look at how many keys are left, and if you still have time, continue the chase, otherwise you may have to do other things, like… Oh, right, charging your Evolution Bar.
Imperfect Cell gain a few skills that makes him a fair bit more trouble for the opposition, so don’t be afraid to mash that ♥♥♥♥ to guarantee a kill.
- Afterimages: That’s your evasive. If you’re getting jumped, this is your “get out of jail” card. You also go slightly faster with this than normal flight at this stage, so you can use it as a speed boost of sorts! You can activate Afterimages at essentially any time, and you can cancel Afterimages using Solar Flare too.
- Ki Detection: Also known as “where did this ♥♥♥ pig go”, not much to say here. You’ll see every survivor around you.
- Solar Flare: Stuns the opponent for a good five seconds. Great way to land a super attack on the bozo trying to throw down with you.
- Full Power Energy Wave: That’s your “AoE” Snipe. Travels a bit slower than SBC, but on impact, it’ll make a short explosion which can hit people a little farther away than you’d think.
- Special Beam Cannon: No AoE on impact, but travels faster. Always useful, you can sometimes use it to snipe at an escaping survivor.
Fun fact, if you hit a DC’d Survivor with your Solar Flare, you can combo your Full Power Energy Wave into a Special Beam Cannon to chunk a large portion of their HP right off the bat. Pretty useful.
Cell is also a “sneaky” character: If you use your dedicated crouching/sneaking button, Cell will fall to the ground and be harder to detect via Ki, though your big ol’ footsteps can still be heard. Jumping around but not flying can help muddy where you actually are when there’s survivors nearby.
Evolution 3: Semi-Perfect CBT
Congrats, you vored enough civilians-slash-survivors!
You are now playing with the worst Raider form in the game, barely above Spopovitch.
“What?”, you begin shouting. “This is outrageous! It’s unfair!”, I hear you yell to the sky. How can you be a bad Raider form when you’re Evolution 3?
You try aiming your kamehameha at a Survivor ten foot in front of you and tell me how that goes, pal.
Okay, to keep things real, Semi-Perfect Cell isn’t exactly a fun time. I’m not sure I’d say Imperfect Cell is actually better than him, but honestly I’ve had better battles using Imperfect than Semi-Perfect, despite the lower evolution level. It’s really not good.
Let’s review what you get.
- Kamehameha: Cell’s standard Ki Blast is now a Kamehameha. This normally wouldn’t be an issue, but with the time it takes to charge it up, Survivors can easily dodge it if they know you’re here. However, the Kamehameha is actually a pretty good ambush tool, as you can use it to snipe survivors with it. If you’re not locked on to them, you can try to predict where they’ll go and hit an airshot, knocking them off their Change escape or anything else like that, or interrupting revives, key placements or other Shenron summoning. Still, for one-on-one combat, It’s really not good.
- Gravity Impact: Big green bug point at people and they die from ten kilometers away. It’s slow to start, but if someone’s trying to escape, click that ♥♥♥♥ if you’re still locked on to them, because Gravity Impact will track them and instantly blow their rear to kingdom come, if you time it right.
- Energy Volley: This used to be this Cell’s only redeeming quality in a group fight, but this thing got nerfed into oblivion. It’s still USEFUL, but don’t expect it to make miracles for you. If a Survivor is dancing around your Kamehameha and making you look like a fool, press that button and melt them into a puddle. If you push someone against a wall, they will take a lot of damage, at least.
Now, with SP Cell’s basic ki blast being so slow, you will notice you can’t really multitask in a fight, here. Your Kamehameha forces you to commit, and most of the time you ain’t hitting ♥♥♥. So, what do you do if you’re suddenly getting jumped by bloodthirsty Vegetas looking for the getback?
Get the hell out of here.
It’s okay to run! Do not let the Survivors gank you, you may be level 3 but damage can pile up REALLY fast at this stage. You CAN win team fights, but if the survivors are in Kill Mode and your HP already got eaten up a bit, they’re probably trying to end you right there and then. Check who’s in Change. If there’s too many, hit the bricks and do your best to run their Change power out.
This is even more important if you have dragon balls on you! They’re trying to make you eat dirt AND steal your bling- Pick your fights, do not play their game! If they manage to steal the balls and get LV4, you’re gonna have a real bad time.
It may pain me to say it, but the boy over here is actually almost as strong as I am.
Again, you can still win fights, even against a LV4 with backup, but you need to be INCREDIBLY careful. Pick off the supports and always keep an eye on the LV4 who’s SURE to start spamming SBC or Motionless Kamehameha at you from a distance. Keep your hand on that dodge button, use the environment to dodge, and make the others waste their Change power!
If one of them is trying to spam vanish attacks, always keep this in mind: Strafing will ALWAYS beat Vanish Attacks. Just keep moving, punish when you can, but do your best to not lock yourself into an animation with the DC4 in full view, or they’ll take the time to land another super attack.
Getting from Evolution 3 to 4 is NOT gonna be an easy task if the Survivors are coordinated: Cell’s Execution time is pretty long, so Survivors are likely to just hit you with stuns and try to make you waste time. Do your best, but sometimes you’re not gonna get Evolution 4 no matter how hard you try. That happens, but is far from ideal, as Semi-Perfect is really not that great for fighting.
Evolution 4: Welcome to the Cell Games
You did it! One of the survivors got too cocky, ended up feeding you, and now you’ve reached Perfection.
What now? Is the game won?
Well, Perfect Cell is incredibly strong, as all Evo 4’s are, but don’t get fooled: If you get too cocky, you can still eat dirt.
At this stage, Cell gain the use of…
- Energy Field: AKA the Perfect Pop-Off. You become invulnerable frame 1 (if I’m not wrong lmao, at the very least you get invuln pretty fast), and a big ol’ energy field expands around you, dealing a lot of damage to anybody still too close to you. You can use it to tank some hits, but you can also use it as an AoE attack near the Super Time Machine or the resource pods! Pretty good for catching people off guard, too.
- All Clear: A wide blade of energy, deals pretty good damage. Still, it can be dodged with the right timing, so be careful.
- Perfect Kamehameha: Your ultimate attack. Hits in a straight line and instantly down anyone who gets hit by it. However, It’s pretty hard to see when aiming this thing, so if you can, use Ki Detection before activating it to help with your aiming! It also gives you some breathing room if the Survivors are fighting tooth and nail.
Now, you’re thinking, oh, I can just go and break the STM, right?
Well, watch the game state first.
If the dragon balls are still in play, be careful: A level 4 with support from level 3s is gonna be your biggest problem here. Perfect Cell is VERY strong, but getting wombo-combo’d is gonna mess your day up right away.
In general, Cell does not do well in team fights when the Survivors and Raider are of equal level, this applies here too. Getting pestered by SBCs while Level 3s keep running at you and forcing you into a melee animation you can’t cancel out of is gonna deteriorate your HP bar until you see the defeat screen.
Don’t get too cocky. If you want to win, be the biggest paranoid bug in the universe: You are never safe from a random Special Beam Cannon coming from out of nowhere and chunking your last HP bar away without your realizing it. And even more important, watch the stm timer. Always make sure to work on it and try to destroy it, because at some point, It’s gonna be too far along, and then the Survivors will be able to stall you for long enough to let it start, even if it involves throwing themselves at you completely unpowered to force you into the uncancellable Hercule ♥♥♥-slap animation. Games have been won by just throwing survivors at the Raider until the STM start up, don’t let it happen to you!
Though, if you get to the STM sequence and the Survivors aren’t as organized as I’m describing, you basically won already. If you want to be silly, give the dragon balls to one lucky survivor so you can have your Perfect Match as the rift comes to an end. That’s always fun to do.
Cell is probably one of the worst raiders in the game.
He’s still strong, as all raiders are, but his lack of area control makes him one of the worst Raiders for a team-fight, which is basically how most battles are going to go. Try to get Survivors to waste their Dragon Change when they’re Solo, but remember that it’s fine to high-tail it out of here if you’re being surrounded.
Play Cell like how he was in the anime: When trying to reach your perfect form, be stealthy and don’t be afraid to run, hide, ambush and use guerilla tactics: That’s what the kit is meant to be used for! But don’t spend too much time sneakin’ around, lest the keys be set and the STM be summoned without you near your perfect form.
It’s going to be an uphill battle, so stay focused. Though, even with Cell being hard to play in this meta, try to not camp people. Yeah, yeah, sometimes you really wanna get that one player out of the game, but it’s just kind of bad form and makes you waste time too.