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Most powerful Dragon Ball characters ranked

Your favorite superhero may be able to deflect bullets, but can they draw in the energy from every living creature on earth, fuse it all into a giant ball of energy, and chuck it at a bubblegum-colored maniac threatening to destroy our entire planet? Depending on your answer, you are either a liar or have yet to discover the power of the Super Saiyans

Chances are high that you know of Dragon Ball's existence, whether you know it or not. You have no doubt stumbled across clips of muscular animated men screaming at the top of their lungs as a golden aura of undulating energy tussles their spiked blonde hair. Any journey through the world of Japanese animation will inevitably make a stop at Universe 7 to learn about the Saiyan race and their superhuman efforts to protect our planet, solar system, and even all of existence itself.

The effect Dragon Ball has had on the world of anime and manga is undeniable. Created by Akira Toriyama in 1984, the franchise has earned more than $20 billion across 20 animated feature films and multiple anime series, television specials, and spinoff series. The central plot line follows the heroic warrior, Goku, as he grows stronger and stronger, transforming into various representations of power which are visualized by drastic changes in hairstyle. But the search for the strongest entity in existence has shown that there is more to the measure of power than just a dye job. The argument itself is ferocious and seemingly eternal. Let's step into the fray.

It's over 9000!!!!!

The moment you feel certain of your grasp of power levels in Dragon Ball, prepare to have that certainty slip through your fingers as each character continues their ascension to glory. Whether it be stepping into the hyperbolic time chamber for a few days to train for a few years or a synchronized dance with a companion to merge into a more powerful super-being, each new development in the series has shown that there are countless ways to amplify power levels. Over 30 years of lore has created plenty of ammo for each side of any argument. For that reason, let's narrow things down a bit.

It's understandable that we would leave Zeno, the Omni-King, off the list. Not only because he doesn't fight, but also because the supreme ruler of the entire multiverse — who can blink gods, mortals, and an entire universe out of existence in an instant — would make for a boring anti-climactic finish to an otherwise juicy debate. Dragon Ball Super contains major players from across an expansive multiverse, but a majority of the series takes place in Universe 7, where the Z Fighters reside on Earth. Other universes are home to powerful warriors as well, such as the Pride Troopers of Universe 11. This group of powerful warriors contain fighters in talks for the position of God of Destruction for their entire universe. Excluding numerous fusions and reducing any transformations to their core character has resulted in this completely comprehensive list that is devoid of any flaws and in no way will enrage any fans of the phenomenal anime series. Onward!

Majin Buu

Few characters exhibit the raw power that Majin Buu has aimed at humanity. This regenerating pink mass possesses a unique ability to turn his enemies into chocolate and absorb their power by eating them — adding a layer of terror icing to an extremely unpredictable villain. Majin Buu was created by a warlock many years before the main characters were born; upon release from his imprisonment, he showed that there is no controlling his childlike emotions. His lack of control adds many challenges to an already formidable enemy.

No other character in all of Dragon Ball has shown as many different forms and transformations as Majin Buu, morphing numerous times based on his emotional responses and eating habits. Though his regenerative ability combines with his power level to create a seemingly unbeatable foe, Buu is a slave to his emotions. Ego and reason play second fiddle to his reactive persona, resulting in a lack of technique and passion needed to rise up against new challenges. Strength loses its power without aim. It is for this reason that such an impregnable character finds himself at the bottom of the list.

Gohan

It goes without saying that the son of the first Super Saiyan would inherit a solid amount of power through genetics alone. Gohan has shown time and again in moments of crisis that there is an immense amount of power lying inside his docile heart. His strongest aspects shine through in his protective instincts, drawing power from a limitless well of energy when seeing his loved ones in danger. At times he displays a power beyond that of Super Saiyan, surpassing even Goku. It is Gohan who, while not delivering the final blow, ultimately defeats the bio-android Cell when the rest of Earth's heroes have fallen.

Despite all that power, Gohan's Saiyan fighting instincts are tempered by some of his more human attributes. The desire to fight and grow stronger are of little interest to this gentle soldier. His interests lie in raising a family and studying to become a renowned scholar. With training and a drive to surpass his competitors, there is no doubt that Gohan could become a fighter of extremely potent power and prestige. Alas, his preference for a simple life lowers this member of the endangered Saiyan race down near the bottom of the list.

Hit

This stoic assassin emerged as a fierce competitor in his battle with Goku in the Tournament of Power. Known among Universe 6 as the "Legendary Assassin," Hit possesses an extremely unique and powerful ability in Time-Skip — which allows him to manipulate time and skip forward a tenth of a second. While this may not seem like a significant amount of time, with fighters moving faster than most humans can perceive it's a very large advantage.

Hit utilizes his Time-Skip ability efficiently and combines it with his Phoenix Eye Fist to focus his attacks into one point and aim at his opponents vital organs. Given that the trenchcoat-clad hitman is also over a thousand years old, he also has a vast amount of experience. He can rapidly adapt to his fighting situation, shown in his ability to improve his Time-Skip for even larger chunks of time in his fight against Goku. While his rare ability allows for a large advantage, once his opponents study his moves, they're able to predict where he'll go next and defend appropriately. This leaves something lacking in this incredible fighter's raw base power.

Frieza

The primary antagonist in the Dragon Ball series, Frieza, appears multiple times as Goku's arch-nemesis. He plays a major part in the Saiyan timeline as the character responsible for the destruction of their homeworld, the obliteration of the planet Namek, personally killing Vegeta's father, and has led multiple invasions of Earth. The Emperor of Universe 7 possesses an incredible knack for drawing upon vast amounts of energy. His strongest, original form is buried beneath a series of transformations in order to help his body contain his incredible might.

Frieza is extremely hard to kill (he can survive in the vacuum of space!) and is so talented as a fighter that he achieved his Golden form with only four months of training. His power is second only to his enormous ego, which is damaged so badly by his defeat to Goku that it takes years of mental training for him to regain his strength. The mark of a true villain shines through in Frieza's cruelty via torture and genecide. Should this tyrant be able to temper his arrogance and psychopathic tendencies, he will no doubt rival the universe's strongest heroes.

Toppo

The Pride Troopers of Universe 11 are led by the husky warrior known as Toppo. Despite his rotund stature, the candidate for the next God of Destruction is deceptively fast and shrouds all his actions in an extra-thick layer of justice. His specialties in battle lie not only in his energy blasts, but in close quarter combat via debilitating locks and holds. In his godly form, Top bested Goku's Super Saiyan 3 in the Tournament of Power — although one could argue that was due to a moment of opportunity.

A base power level that rivals most competitors proves to be surface level once energy surges, displayed by a menacing purple aura, reveal Toppo's true power — enabling an easy victory of Frieza's golden form. While usually displaying respect to his fellow fighters, he also has a bit of a temper which can disrupt his normally level-headed fighting style. Desperation causes Toppo to abandon his principles in the pursuit of victory, which ultimately leads to his defeat at the hands of Vegeta.

Vegeta

An infinite supply of anger courses through the Saiyan bloodline in the form of Prince Vegeta. Originally destined to rule his doomed home planet, the reluctant anti-hero's power levels always seem to be just a step behind Earth's strongest — occasionally crossing into the mightiest of the Dragon Ball pantheon through displays of pure rage. Few are liked by the sardonic warrior prince (who only displays humor when mocking his opponents) and even fewer are as dedicated to the achievement of ultimate power. Vegeta's dedication to martial arts and the cultivation of his ki are unparalleled. Combined with his regal bloodline, these characteristics make for one of the most dominant fighters in the universe.

While he repeatedly says Goku is his mortal enemy, his actions show respect and acknowledgement in the competitive drive supplied by his Saiyan companion. Once sent to Earth in the form of an enemy in search of the dragon balls, his disdain for "Kakarot" is pacified by his desire to pass him in terms of power. He repeatedly falls short in this endeavor as his anger tends to overwhelm him and cause him to rush into dangerous situations without analysis. An extraordinarily high opinion of himself results in Vegeta underestimating his opponents and charging in ill-prepared. His immense amount of pride calls forth endless pools of power and at other times serves as a debilitating weakness. Regardless, he continues to be one of Universe 7's strongest heroes.

Jiren

The backstory of this stoic fighter is wrought with death and loneliness. As a child, Jiren lost his parents and his entire village to a villainous demon who, in a later confrontation, also killed his master Gicchin. This resulted in a lifetime of dedication to strength and honor. Until he joined the Pride Soldiers, Jiren spent a large portion of his life alone in his training, seeing little value in attachments and viewing strength as the only universal truth. Originally Jiren was approached for the position of God of Destruction, but showed no interest. The most impressive aspect of this burly fighter lies in little need for much transformation to call forth vast amounts of energy. He is viewed as the most powerful warrior in Universe 11 and is the only mortal capable of defeating their God of Destruction.

In one of the most climactic moments in Dragon Ball Super, Goku transforms into his most powerful form yet, Ultra Instinct. But even in this ultimate form, Jiren simply draws forth even more energy to continue battling toe-to-toe with the Saiyan. Most of the fighters in the universe use transformations to temporarily multiply their power beyond what is normally sustainable for their bodies. Jiren, however, is able to sustain his energy levels through incredible displays of strength and endurance. He uses this to his advantage with a mostly defensive style that forces his opponents to exhaust themselves, allowing for his attacks to land with devastating results. While Jiren possesses a herculean amount of power, his life has resulted in an almost cold disposition that leaves no room for emotion — which happens to be the greatest source of strength for the series' primary protagonist.

Goku

The Dragon Ball series begins with Goku as a child teaming up with Bulma in a hunt for the mythical Dragon Balls. All these years later, the loveable defender of Earth continues to grow in strength while maintaining a gentle disposition that seems to disarm even the Gods of Destruction. Seemingly devoid of any negative emotions, Goku has ambitions that stem from his desire to protect those he loves. It is in moments of despair, when his loss in battle would spell death for those around him, that the Saiyan draws forth epic new levels of power to overwhelm his enemies. Whether it be through his signature move the Kamehameha, or by channeling ki from nearby lifeforms to form the almighty Spirit Bomb, the admirable hero always finds a way. Goku continually forces his body to new limits through never-ending training regimens and a constant stream of challengers.

After climbing through several layers of Super Saiyan, Goku was met with another moment of desperation in the final minutes of the Tournament of Power. The losers of the tournament face the destruction of their universe, a fate which is unacceptable for Earth's mightiest defender. Our favorite Saiyan displays a fighting form normally reserved for the gods in Ultra Instinct — a transformation in which the mind separates from the body, leaving it to operate on pure instinct, resulting in the most effective fighting methods known thus far. While Jiren arguably possesses more raw base power, Goku has shown us repeatedly that few can match the limitless well of energy that flows through the cheery protector of Universe 7.

Beerus

This catlike humanoid shows a level of indifference to most lifeforms that could only be reserved for an entity of cosmic power. Beerus seems to harbor no ill will towards any lifeforms, merely annoyance at any disruptions in his favorite activities, acting mostly as a mechanism of nature. As a God of Destruction, he is served with the duty of maintaining balance in Universe 7, which he enacts through the decimation of any planets that displease him. The imposing entity has existed for millions of years, which adds quite a bit of experience to the gourmet-loving god's remarkable power.

While Goku seems to be evenly matched with him at certain points, it is apparent that Beerus did not come close to unleashing his full potential. As the Saiyan climbs up through his various stages of Super Saiyan, Beerus amps up his fighting style with ease. He is able to nullify the energy of most mortals and can launch devastating attacks with his Sphere of Destruction and has a base power level which needs no transformation or amplification. Most mortals cower before his fickle appetites, but there is someone who quite literally schools him in terms of strength and technique.

Whis

When we first meet this lean, aloof individual, it is not readily apparent that great power lies behind his carefree smile. While Beerus zips around the universe imposing his will on anyone who dares annoy him, Whis stands by his side — appearing as no more than a gentle companion, complacent in running trivial errands. As the story unwinds, it becomes clearer that the immortal angel possesses an unfathomable amount of power. When Beerus begins wreaking havoc on surrounding worlds after consuming a large amount of wasabi, Whis knocks him out with a single chop to the neck. In Dragon Ball Super, he appears to exert little effort in a sparring session against both Goku and Vegeta, even going as far as autographing the unwitting Saiyan's outfits in the middle of their dual onslaught.

Whis has the ability to rewind time up to three minutes without creating any paradoxes or time loops — a necessary power when one's sole responsibility is to mitigate the powers of a God of Destruction. Beerus has flat out stated that Whis is stronger than him and that most of his training was under the angel's tutelage. Despite all these abilities, his effortless displays of speed and strength come paired with a penchant for table manners and a love of Earth cuisine. There is no other being in Universe 7 with as much power, which makes his serene disposition all the more sensible. What need is there for any displays of anxiety or negative emotion when nothing in your realm of existence is capable of causing you harm?