There are many elements in Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball that have kept audiences coming back for nearly four decades, but it’s hard to overlook the profound effect that Super Saiyans have had on the series. Goku, Vegeta, and the rest of Dragon Ball’s courageous heroes have accomplished incredible feats over hundreds of episodes, but their accomplishments are often reduced to their Super Saiyan spectacles.
Admittedly, Super Saiyans have increasingly dominated Dragon Ball’s narrative, but there’s a lot of variety to these transformations that means that they can be used in unique ways. A Super Saiyan transformation administers a tremendous boost in strength and speed, but it can also introduce new and exclusive powers and techniques that Dragon Ball’s characters have failed to capitalize on.
Dragon Ball‘s Super Saiyan transformation is primarily viewed as a source of heightened strength, speed, and endurance. However, this form allows a much greater control over ki energy and lifeforce than many realize. Dragon Ball Z: Cooler’s Revenge depicts a touching scene where Goku uses his Super Saiyan strength to channel his energy into an injured bird that Cooler has attacked.
Goku’s ability to heal this bird results in it safely flying away. The ability to heal others would be a major advantage to Super Saiyans if this power was ever further utilized.
9 Spirit Bomb Absorption
Goku’s Spirit Bomb becomes the Saiyan’s most powerful technique and a common way for him to wipe out the series’ biggest threats. The Dragon Ball Z feature films take some liberties with the characters’ transformations and techniques, which occasionally results in rewarding ideas that fail to return.
Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13! pits the heroes against three more Androids, the climax of which involves Goku creating a Spirit Bomb and then absorbing this energy as a Super Saiyan so that it’s concentrated solely to his fist. Super Saiyan Future Trunks utilizes the same principle with his Sword of Hope, which absorbs Spirit Bomb energy into his sword.
8 God Bind
Strength and speed only go so far in battle, and it’s essential to have a smart strategy and a varied arsenal of attacks. Goku is about to face defeat during his fight against Broly in Dragon Ball Super: Broly until he triggers his God Bind power while in Super Saiyan God mode.
God Bind allows the user to temporarily freeze the target in place. It’s similar to telekinesis – another ability that Goku taps into once he acquires Ultra Instinct strength – but it’s more specific and connected to godly ki. God Bind could be a gamechanger during two-on-one fights, so it’s unfortunate that it’s not a steady tactic for the Saiyans.
7 Ignite Strike
Vegeta’s Super Saiyan journey has been particularly rewarding and his intense pride for his people has helped him push transformations to new places and develop original techniques. Vegeta’s Ignite Strike, for instance, is only used during one prominent clash even if it’s a particularly effective maneuver.
Super Saiyan Blue Vegeta channels a large amount of energy to his fist, which gets released upon contact with the target so that they’re blown back. Super Saiyan Blue Vegeta utilizes Ignite Strike in Super Dragon Ball Heroes during an altercation with Super Saiyan 3 Cumber, who is no pushover.
6 Omega Blaster
Broly, the Legendary Super Saiyan, is one of the franchise’s most popular fighters who functioned as the central conflict in three separate Dragon Ball Z movies before properly getting work into the canon with Dragon Ball Super: Broly. Broly is a huge brawler who’s prone to uncontrollable rampages.
He can wipe out most opponents with his bare fists alone, but his Super Saiyan state also equips him with even stronger powers. Broly’s Omega Blaster is the strongest version of his Eraser Cannon attack, but he now has incredible control over the ability. Broly can adjust the size and speed of his Omega Blaster so it’s suitable for whatever ki ambush is at hand.
5 Golden Great Ape
Great Apes are a Saiyan staple that go all the way back to the original Dragon Ball before Goku and audiences were even aware of these aliens’ existence. A Saiyan’s Great Ape transformation seemed to be their greatest power boost before Super Saiyan transformations effectively made them obsolete. Dragon Ball GT returns to the concept with Golden Great Apes, a Super Saiyan version of the transformation that’s a gateway form to Super Saiyan 4.
Curiously, a Golden Great Ape is even present in Dragon Ball Z during a flashback when Vegeta discusses Super Saiyan lore. This unusual Super Saiyan extension has now become a forgotten relic of the past.
4 Vice Shout
Gotenks, the fused byproduct of Goten and Trunks, is introduced with infinite potential in Dragon Ball Z. Gotenks has one of Dragon Ball’s more unique attack arsenals since most of his techniques reflect the character’s juvenile nature and desire to goof off. Many of these abilities appear to be accessible to Gotenks when he’s in his base state.
However, Vice Shout is a technique where Gotenks screams so loud that he tears a hole in the fabric of reality. Gotenks can only perform this technique when he’s in his Super Saiyan 3 state. Revenge Cannon is another powerful technique that Gotenks appears to require Super Saiyan power to perform.
3 Super Saiyan Rage
There are distinct Super Saiyan transformations that all tease different abilities, looks, and plateaus of power. There are also intermediary upgrades that are possible during very specific circumstances. Super Saiyan Rage, for instance, has rarely been put to practice, but it’s proven to be essential for both Vegeta and Future Trunks.
Each character, while in this heightened state, could hold their own against enemies that are way outside of their strength threshold. Super Saiyan Rage’s effective possibilities make it seem like Saiyans would constantly be trying to anger each other to push them to this peak.
2 Super Saiyan Third Grade
Dragon Ball Z’s Cell Saga is a glorious period of experimentation when it comes to Super Saiyan transformations. The base Super Saiyan form becomes the new normal and each character attempts to test this transformation’s limits before Gohan concludes the story arc as the first Super Saiyan 2.
One temperamental power that’s stumbled upon is Super Saiyan Third Grade or Ultra Super Saiyan. This transformation bulks the user up with heavy muscles, but at the cost of speed. Super Saiyan Third Grade becomes so impractical that it’s rarely used even if it does make a surprise return by Future Trunks in Dragon Ball Super.
Not to be confused with a Super Saiyan’s rarely used healing ability, regeneration is the result of a Saiyan’s exposure to godly ki in their Super Saiyan God state. Goku’s Super Saiyan God ascension features a grim moment where Beerus punches him in a manner that initially appears to be fatal.
Goku’s body, almost inherently and compulsively, heals this wound and repairs the damage. A Super Saiyan God fails to make another use of this regenerative self-healing even though it seems as if it should be a fundamental Saiyan skill.