When you’re known as the “greatest action cartoon of all time,” you’re expected to deliver on that promise, and the Dragon Ball franchise does exactly that.
While the original Dragon Ball had its fair share of epic battles, it was the follow-up series, Dragon Ball Z, that truly upped the ante in terms of savage, world-defining battles between heroes and villains.
Even sequel series GT and Super continued that tradition, and we’re certain that the upcoming Dragon Ball Super movie will also make its mark with intense action.
Aside from the general martial arts that each character employs, the Dragon Ball franchise's most iconic combat-related element are the variety of special techniques that both the heroes and villains use against each other.
These vary from enormous ki blasts, magic and, in one case, just being alive. Unfortunately, though, some of these special moves are ridiculously and head-scratchingly overpowered, while others are straight-up useless.
We’ve decided to compile a list to find out the most broken attacks in the franchise, along with the ones that should be abandoned all together.
In our list, we’re picking moves from Dragon Ball, Z, GT, and Super that baffle us with their unbelievably ridiculous levels of might, and others that are so incredibly wimpy we can’t imagine why characters continue to use them.
Here are the 13 Dragon Ball Attacks That Are Way Too Overpowered (And 9 That Are Worthless), Ranked.
22 Overpowered: Chocolate Beam
Buu’s “Chocolate Beam” is an attack that can turn just about anyone into consumable, tasty chocolate.
Think about it: this is an attack that doesn’t care about power, gender, race, or even divinity. It can turn any target into candy, and then have the user eat said candy.
It’s even possible that Lord Beerus himself, if he were caught unaware, could fall victim to this fate.
So why is such an overpowered attack so low on our list? Simple, it’s not 100% effective. When used against Vegito, the fused warrior’s power was so great that he was able to not only fight back against Buu, but actually gain the upper hand.
So while the ability to theoretically transform any opponent into chocolate is definitely overpowered, it’s just not as concretely effective as it could be, hence the bottom rank.
21 Overpowered: Kamehameha
Easily the most iconic attack in the entire franchise, the move first pioneered and perfect by Master Roshi and then adopted and evolved by his students is devastatingly powerful, if not totally overpowered.
As a simple “turtle destruction wave,” this beam attack quickly gained a life of its own, eventually being used in an enormous, potentially planet-destroying version against Cell, or being turned red and called the 10x Kamehameha by Super Saiyan 4 Goku.
This move is continually given new life and new power, to the point where it sometimes feels as though it’s a deus ex machina for writers who are looking for a way to get out of jam, rather than innovating something new.
20 Worthless: The Spirit Bomb
We hear you: the Spirit Bomb obliterated Majin Buu and severely wounded Vegeta. It’s even saved the day in some of the movies and also allowed Goku to briefly access the early stages of Ultra Instinct in Dragon Ball Super.
That said, it’s failed more times than it has succeeded, specifically against Frieza and Jiren, and the amount of time it takes to charge up is a major hindrance.
Yes, in order to create drama (and pad runtimes) the charge up needs to be lengthy, and it really does succeed in stirring up anticipation, but with nary a payoff (and the user being left wide open), all of the pomp and circumstance is generally for nothing.
19 Overpowered: Dragon Fist
In the Dragon Ball Z movie, Wrath of the Dragon, Goku and friends are up against an enormous, ethereal demon named Hirudegarn, which is a living embodiment of the concentrated evil from the entire planetary population of Conuts.
This beast is ridiculously powerful, and supremely difficult to hit due to his constant shifting in-and-out of the physical plane.
He seems to be matched in raw strength by Super Saiyan 3 Goku, but it takes the Dragon Fist to really put the beast away once and for all.
This technique, which seemingly takes no preparation, creates an energy-based Shenron that wraps around (and through) the target, while Goku soars through them.
It’s even used again in GT, where it’s just as overpowered.
18 Worthless: Thunder Shock Surprise
Debuting in Dragon Ball, this incredibly dangerous (and potentially lethal) attack is one of Master Roshi’s rarely used secret techniques, in which he fires lightning from his hands in the same manner as Emperor Palpatine, and binds the target in an inescapable field of the surging electricity.
Much like the Spirit Bomb, this attack is successful in its own right, but it also has inescapable flaws that make it almost not worth the risk of using.
Case in point was during the Tournament of Power, where Master Roshi successfully bound The Preecho of Universe 3, but was incapable of doing anything other than holding him in place, since the move requires both of the user's hands.
He may have stopped his target, but without the help of Tien, Roshi wouldn’t have been able to do much else.
17 Overpowered: Tri-Beam
While Tien’s Multi-Form was one of the moves on our “worthless” portion of the list, his Tri-Beam is the exact opposite.
Despite being one of the weaker fighters when compared with the Saiyans and nearly every villain he’s ever been up against, Tien is still a powerful martial artist.
This technique, along with its enhanced version, is so extremely powerful that it makes the power gap between him and his adversaries seem miniscule.
Using his very lifeforce as the source for the attack, Tri-Beam is so staggeringly potent that it was even able to repeatedly knockback Cell who, at the time, was the most powerful warrior on Earth.
Taking one of the weakest warriors and giving them a move that puts them on an even plane with the strongest is a certain sign of being overpowered.
16 Worthless: Multi-Form
Multi-Form is, in theory, incredibly cool. Developed by the “Three-Eyed People” and used by Tien, this move allows the user to split into his or herself into up to four physically present clones.
This seems very effective at first, and has been shown to have some success in practice. However, just like the Spirit Bomb or Electric Shock Surprise, Multi-Form has a critical weakness: the user’s power is even divided amongst the clones, meaning that, despite the increased numbers, they are all significantly weaker.
Despite some enhancements made by Tien for the Tournament of Power, the only worthwhile use of this technique was Cell’s version, in which there was seemingly no loss of power amongst the clones.
15 Overpowered: Special Beam Cannon
When Raditz arrived on Earth and began terrorizing both the populace and his own brother, there was essentially no chance at beating him head on.
Goku and Piccolo were truly the Earth’s only hopes, and neither one was anywhere near the level of power that Raditz was at, which was made clear by how swiftly and efficiently he beat them down.
However, Piccolo’s surprise technique, the Special Beam Cannon, was stronger than anyone involved in this fight for the planet.
This move took forever to charge, but was so overpowered that Raditz, who was exponentially stronger than both Goku and Piccolo combined, fell victim to it immediately upon being hit, where it not only tore straight through him, but Goku, too.
14 Worthless: Chiaotzu's Sacrifice
Now we’re getting into the depressingly worthless attacks. While each of our entries up to this point have had some redeeming qualities to go along with their fatal weaknesses, we’re now getting into territory where there are no positives to counteract the lack of worth for these techniques.
While a soul-crushing and sobering moment in the battle against the Saiyans, Chiaotzu’s self-destructing sacrifice against Nappa was one of the most feeble assaults in the entire series.
The vast power difference between the diminutive fighter and the dimwitted Nappa was so great that even a point-blank, full-power explosion resulted in absolutely nothing but little Chiaotzu going to the next dimension.
Heck, the only self-destruct that did anything at all in the Saiyan Saga was that Saibaman wrecking Yamcha. However, it was Yamcha, so it really wasn’t that impressive.
13 Overpowered: Destructo Disk
Not unlike Piccolo’s Special Beam Cannon or Tien’s Tri-Beam, Krillin’s Destructo Disk is an incredible technique that even someone as comparatively weak as the bald, noseless human is capable of lethal damage against deadly foes.
This move has Krillin create a disc from his ki, which he then throws at an opponent. The disc is beyond razor sharp, able to slice and dice just about anything, including those who are exponentially more powerful than him.
When Krillin used this technique against Nappa, the lumbering Saiyan dodged at the last minute under direct orders from Vegeta. If he had chosen not to listen, it’s likely that his head would have been lopped clean off.
That’s how overpowered the Destructo Disk is: Krillin, one of the weakest fighters, could have slain Nappa right then and there.
12 Worthless: Dynamite Kick
Alright, we just had to put this one on here because how could we not. The trademark “technique” of Hercule Satan, “the world’s savior,” the Dynamite Kick is a fearsome martial arts technique that… well, it doesn’t do much of anything at all, really.
Hercule employed this “powerful” maneuver against Perfect Cell, where it predictably had no effect.
Thankfully, though, Mr. Satan’s fans would never know the difference, and they probably believe that it was this particular move that saved the planet from threat of the monstrous villain known as Cell.
Curiously, though, there is a useful version of this technique: when used by Gotenks, it caused Majin Buu to explode on impact. Of course, he regenerated himself immediately, but perhaps Mr. Satan was on to something after all.
11 Overpowered: Final Hope Slash
The Future Trunks Saga of Dragon Ball Super is where the show finally started to pick up steam, especially after the dreadful, drawn-out retellings of Battle of Gods and Resurrection F.
In the arc, Future Trunks reveals that two gods, one of whom is invincible, are attempting to wipe out all mortal life.
With the help of Goku and Vegeta, the trio fights against these adversaries, and the two villains fuse together into an ultra-powerful being known as Fused Zamasu, who makes short work of all of them.
However, the fiend ends up defeated (more or less) by Trunk’s Final Hope Slash, a Spirit Bomb-esque charge attack.
We’re not sure how this technique was achieved, nor how it was so powerful, meaning that the only way to describe this move is as bafflingly overpowered.
10 Worthless: 100x Solar Flare
It really hurts to put this one on the list, but it’s our duty to talk about the most worthless techniques, and this is sadly one of them.
After a great mini-arc for Krillin leading up to the Tournament of Power, we saw our favorite noseless character finally become relevant again, and the 100x Solar Flare was the demonstrable fruit of his training.
Where the original Solar Flare was a useful technique for both offense and defense, the enhanced 100x version was even more effective since it blinded targets who had their eyes closed and shielded the user’s ki for a more effective escape.
So what makes it useless? Sunglasses can block the effect, for one, and when Krillin’s big moment arrived in the Tournament of Power, the attack was absolutely useless thanks to his opponent being blind.
9 Overpowered: "The Work Of The Gods"
Goku Black and Zamasu are incredibly powerful adversaries, especially when fused, but Goku Black on his own has one of the most overpowered attacks in the history of the franchise, and it’s one that even he doesn’t understand.
Dubbed “the work of the gods,” Goku Black uses his Sickle of Sorrow to slice through space, time and reality, creating a rift into who-knows-where.
If that wasn’t the definition of “overpowered,” what follows is: out of the rift comes an endless army of Goku Black clones who are extremely dangerous, despite dissipating after only a blow or two.
In short, this move seems like something a kid would make up when creating their own superhero, making sure that no other kid’s creation could beat theirs in a fight.
8 Worthless: Continuous Ki Blasts
Dragon Ball Z has a few tropes that are easy to pick out after only a few sagas, one of which is that if a character unleashes a flurry of continuous ki blasts at an opponent, with smoke billowing and billowing from the zone of impact, there is a precisely zero percent chance that the attack had any effect whatsoever.
Seriously, when has this ever panned out for any character, good or bad?
Whether its Trunks’ pitiful, self-exhausting assault on the androids in History of Trunks, or any of the times Vegeta or Gohan used it against Frieza, there has been no demonstrable case of this doing anything but tiring out the attacker and making the target smirk, totally unscathed.
A word of advice to all Dragon Ball characters: please stop doing this. It never works.
7 Overpowered: Stardust Breaker
When Gogeta was formed in the Dragon Ball Z movie Fusion Reborn, he made short work out of the ultra-powerful villain, Janemba-- like, ridiculously short work.
Not only was he physically overpowered when compared to the pure evil demon, his final technique, the rainbow-colored Stardust Breaker, literally turned the creature into sparkles and erased him from existence.
There was absolutely nothing that Janemba could do against the attack. It couldn’t be defended against, avoided or recovered from.
With a swift toss by Gogeta, the ethereal energy soared across the Other World, made contact, and that was that.
We guess that when you’re hit with this overpowered technique, your fate is sealed, a point which Janemba’s final moments of existence sufficiently proved.
6 Worthless: Final Explosion
The Buu Saga was a lot of things, including drawn-out, tiresome, and convoluted, but it also had a lot of positives, particularly Vegeta’s beautiful character arc that genuinely paid off in a rare display of emotion for the series.
After embracing the evil in his heart, committing atrocities and allowing Buu to awaken, Vegeta considers his actions, and tries to rectify them by sacrificing himself to wipe Buu off the face of the planet.
To make this moment even more emotional than it already was, Vegeta shows genuine affection for his wife and child, and even Goku, before self-destructing.
This would have been a superb ending for the saga… except the attack was totally worthless thanks to Buu’s regeneration.
While this attack does appear again in Super, it only serves to reminds us how in vain the first use was.
5 Overpowered: Guns
What’s more powerful than a Saiyan who has defeated impossibly powerful adversaries channeling divine ki and transforming into a god himself? A laser gun, of course.
In Resurrection F, Goku was distracted and let his guard down, which gave Frieza’s minion an opportunity to take a pot shot at the all-powerful Saiyan.
Not only did the shot make contact, but it lethally wounded the warrior, proving once and for all that if he, or any other super warrior, isn’t paying attention then they’re susceptible to just about anything.
Who would’ve thought that Sorbet, of all villains, would be the one to nearly end Goku’s existence?
This calls to mind the fact that characters are often seen catching bullets rather than taking them head-on, and after Goku’s folly, it’s easy to see why.
4 Worthless: Anything That Blows Up A Planet
How can blowing up a planet be worthless? Surely it's one of the least useless attacks in the history of the show. Not really: blowing up a planet is incredibly easy.
Master Roshi blew up the moon in Dragon Ball, and Piccolo blew it up again (somehow) in Dragon Ball Z. Vegeta and Nappa even blew up a planet on their way to Earth, too.
In short, considering the power levels of almost everyone in the show after the Frieza Saga, it’s likely that blowing up a planet is very, very far from a big deal.
Obviously no one does it, but it doesn’t mean they can’t. Heck, we can assume anyone who is stronger than Frieza could likely blow up an entire solar system or galaxy.
“Supernovas” and everything like them just aren’t that impressive anymore.
3 Overpowered: Evil Containment Wave
A technique first used in Dragon Ball to capture Demon King Piccolo, it made its triumphant (and unexpected) return in Dragon Ball Super.
Where Trunks’ Final Hope Slash was able to temporarily disintegrate Fused Zamasu, the whole ordeal could have been avoided by sealing the immortal and utterly invincible Zamasu away with the Evil Containment Wave, which nearly happened.
When Zamasu was ensnared by the maneuver, the terror on his face and in his voice was palpable. There was nothing he could do stop this. This was an invincible god, and here he was, powerless to stop himself from being sucked into a vase.
It’s an incredible technique that apparently no one is immune to, and it’s only thanks to Goku forgetting the sealing ofuba that resulted in its failure.
2 Overpowered: Jiren Glaring And Shouting
Much like how Goku Black’s “work of the gods” seems like it was conceived by a kid creating a superhero with ridiculously overpowered talents so that other kids’ creations wouldn’t be able to usurp them, Jiren, as a whole, seems like yet another schoolyard creation due to his utterly absurd strength.
His “attacks” are where the real “overpowering” happens, though: he has the ability to blow people away by simply (and casually) glaring at them or shouting at them.
We get it: Jiren is super-powerful. He’s so powerful that even gods fear him. That’s great. However, he’s somehow so powerful that just looking at and/or breathing on his opponents can physically manipulate them.
That’s a level of absurdity that’s so impossibly hard to swallow.
1 Overpowered: "Hakai" And "Erase"
What could be more overpowered than glaring or shouting kiai’s at an opponent to blow them away? How about just saying “hakai” and erasing them from all existences entirely and irreparably?
As a skill of Beerus and other Gods of Destruction, this move does exactly that, and there’s no way to stop it.
Sure, bursts of Energy of Destruction can be deflected and survived, but a direct “hakai” from a God of Destruction? No such luck.
The only skill more overpowered than “Hakai” is Zen-Oh’s “Erase,” which can destroy entire universes in the blink of an eye, including immortals, which seem immune to Beerus’ signature move.
Both are divine, godly powers, and both are appropriately overpowered in a way that no mortal can every match up to.
Can you think of any other overpowered or worthless Dragon Ball attacks? Sound off in the comments!