Weird and wonderful transformations are an integral part of the Dragon Ball series. Goku’s first foray into the world of Super Saiyans is arguably the franchise’s greatest moment and the sheer amount of bodily alterations on show gave rise to the meme-worthy catchphrase “you’ve yet to see my final form”. But while the transformation gimmick is undoubtedly cool, there are plenty of amazingly strong characters who kick ass and take names without having to change their hair color or grow a new set of horns first.
For the purposes of this list, a transformation includes any power-up that involves a significant change in appearance or any on-screen fusion with another character. Very new fighters such as Toppo – who have only just appeared in the series - will be omitted for now. It’s also worth noting that some of the more recent entries on this list may have more powerful forms that could be revealed further down the line. With that in mind, here are 16 Insanely Powerful Dragon Ball Characters With No Transformations!
Making his debut in the Resurrection of F movie, as well as featuring in his own spinoff manga The Galactic Patrolman, Jaco is one of the Dragon Ball franchise’s many intriguing new figures. Initially, Jaco seems to neatly fit into the typical anime coward stereotype as he actively avoids battles and continuously appears intimidated by stronger figures. However, as an “elite” member of the Galactic Patrol, Jaco is certainly no slouch.
Although he can hardly be considered a martial artist, Jaco proved his combat skills against Frieza’s henchmen using a mixture of fighting prowess, tactical nous and his trusty Patrol Gun. Perhaps Jaco’s most notable ability however, are his extremely attuned senses which allow him to see and hear things that even the likes of Goku cannot pick up on.
Although fans have seldom seem Jaco partake in battle, it’s highly likely that if he had a transformation under his belt, he’d have unleashed it against Frieza’s army, suggesting his base form is all he has.
Tien Shinhan might have slipped down the pecking order since his days in the original Dragon Ball series but he has consistently re-emerged to fight increasingly stronger enemies and has remained committed to martial arts training when others have stepped away from the art.
Fans will no doubt remember Tien’s valiant stand against Cell where – despite being pitted against a significantly stronger opponent – he almost killed himself by unleashing a continuous volley of Tri Beams.
More recently, Tien was selected as part of Universe 7’s ten-man team for the Tournament of Power – essentially making him one of the universe’s top fighters under Tenkaichi Budokai rules. As a human character, all of Tien’s power comes from his own natural skill and hard work and although he has developed new techniques over time, he doesn’t utilize any wild transformations. Like many of the supporting Z-Fighters, Tien’s role has diminished somewhat but it’s always a treat when he does appear.
The amount of times Krillin has died may be a running joke among Dragon Ball fans but the fact remains that this bald-headed and vertically challenged student of the Turtle School of Martial Arts is Earth’s strongest human.
Recent filler episodes of Dragon Ball Super have focused on Krillin’s return to training and the character’s power and fighting ability have been thrust into the spotlight once again in anticipation of the Tournament of Power.
As with Tien, Krillin’s humanity gives him little scope for transformations and other than bolstering up his Ki, the fighter remains in the same standard form for each of his battles. Unlike Tien, however, Krillin left the world of martial arts behind for a long time in order to become a family man and carve out a career in law enforcement. Luckily for Dragon Ball fans, he always somehow seems to be tempted into returning to the front line of Earth's defense.
13 Android 19 and Dr. Gero
Although Androids 19 and 20 were the first set of artificial villains to appear in the saga, they were not the figures foretold by Vegeta’s time traveling son, Trunks. Regardless, both characters proved to be immensely powerful, largely thanks to their enhanced fighting capabilities and technique of absorbing Ki via their palms. The duo were swiftly dispatched (19 by Vegeta and 20 by the list’s next entry) and actually proved to be some of the weaker selections in Gero’s murderous range of robotic monstrosities.
The reveal that Android 20 was actually the villains’ creator – former Red Ribbon Army scientist Dr. Gero – only enhanced the sense of superiority these beings had over mankind. As man-made constructs, Androids 19 and 20 are unable to transform and although you could argue that Gero’s journey from human to android is perhaps a transformation in itself, it’s a different sort of metamorphosis than the usual ‘strain-until-your-hair-changes-color’ trope.
12 Androids 17 and 18
The famed brother and sister android duo were built up as a hugely dangerous threat in the wake of Frieza’s defeat and according to Future Trunks, were able to single-handedly overthrow mankind after Goku died of a heart defect. The pair’s power comes from experiments and alterations carried out by scientific evil genius Dr. Gero who turned them from regular humans into robotic killing machines.
Since the androids don’t use Ki in the same way other fighters in the series do, they have no ability to transform and their power is seemingly set to a single terrifying level. Although Krillin’s wish to have 17 and 18’s internal bombs removed gave them a new lease of life, both will be returning to the battlefield in the upcoming Tournament of Power and fans will be particularly delighted to see the return of 17, who has been off-screen so long, many fans might have forgotten he was still knocking around.
11 Android 16
Out of all the various android characters, 16 stands out for a variety of reasons. Despite his immense strength, this ginger-haired beast is somewhat of a gentle giant, immediately forming a connection with nature and animals and appearing far less bloodthirsty when compared to his later models. The only ill will 16 harbors is towards his creator’s nemesis Goku but even this is tempered when the Android becomes a temporary member of the Z-Fighters group.
Whilst Androids 17 and 18 didn’t have any transformations, they did technically form two triggers of Cell’s evolution chain. Android 16 however is entirely his own entity, neither transforming himself nor acting as a catalyst for another being's metamorphosis. Despite a limited presence in the franchise, Android 16 forms a crucial part of the Cell saga, suffering a death scene that traumatised fans and also acting as a significant motivation for Gohan to unleash the full extent of his power upon Cell.
As the King of the Demon World in the Dragon Ball universe, Dabura’s strength is undeniable. A strong fighter, neat with a sword and capable of turning people into stone with his spit, Dabura easily takes out Krillin and Piccolo before being effortlessly bested by Majin Buu.
In the Future Trunks timeline, the Demon is only defeated thanks to the combined efforts of Trunks, the Supreme Kai and Kibito who go on to prevent the resurrection of Majin Buu altogether.
Although Dabura does gain a power boost from Babidi’s Majin possession, it’s difficult to classify this as a transformation and since fans have seen him defeated on several occasions, it’s safe to assume there isn’t a genuinely new form lurking within Dabura’s locker. Despite this, Dabura’s power level resides somewhere around the Super Saiyan 2 and Perfect Cell ballpark and his back and forth bout with Gohan proves the ‘King of the Demon Realm’ title isn’t just for show.
Although he may be the only filler character on this list, Pikkon was a popular addition to the Dragon Ball Z anime thanks to his stylish, striking appearance and unique fighting style that somewhat echoed that of the Namekians.
Whilst fighting Goku in the Other World Martial Arts Tournament, Pikkon is pushed to his limit but unleashes no kind of transformation despite Goku’s ascension to the Super Saiyan form. This suggests that what you see is what you get with Pikkon, although it’s interesting to imagine what a potential transformation would look like.
Pikkon helps Goku make short work of Frieza and Cell in the afterlife and in the Fusion Reborn movie, he manages to distract villain Janemba long enough for Goku and Vegeta to perform their fusion technique, although he himself is defeated. Unlike Goku, Pikkon has apparently remained dead over the years and is yet to make a further appearance in the franchise despite his enduring popularity.
As a precursor to the inter-universe Tournament of Power, the Omni King ordered a warm up contest between Universes 7 and 9. This involved the trio of Goku, Gohan and Majin Buu taking on a triplet of Wolf-like fighters: Bergamo, Basil and Lavender. All three of the alien warriors showed a respectable level of strength and a variety of innovative techniques and mostly did so without resorting to transformations.
Bergamo’s key strength derived from being able to absorb his opponents’ attacks and this causes him to bloat in size, adding to his own strength but triggering a distinct drop in speed. Meanwhile, Lavender utilizes dirtier tactics, blinding and poisoning Gohan who would’ve won the fight under fairer conditions.
The final member of the Trio De Dangers, Basil, does have a transformation however: a drug-induced muscular form similar to that of Master Roshi’s. He still gets trashed by Buu though.
In the Universe 6 vs. Universe 7 Tournament, Hit was easily the most interesting – as well as the most formidable – character introduced from the alternate universe. A seemingly cold-hearted mercenary, Hit is shown to have a noble streak when he allows the mighty Monaka to pick up the victory for Universe 7.
Although Hit has abominable strength without the need for any tricks, he uses the innovative Time Skip technique to gain an edge on opponents and this is arguably one of the most intriguing new abilities seen in Dragon Ball Super. Hit seems to be an ideal rival for Goku and the duo’s relationship took an interesting turn when the Saiyan put an assassination contract on himself in order to facilitate a rematch with Hit after their first battle at the Universe 6 Tournament.
Fans will undoubtedly get another chance to see Hit in action at the forthcoming Tournament of Power in which he’ll be representing his universe once more.
Goku and Vegeta might have the title of Dragon Ball’s premier rivalry nailed down but Gods of Destruction Beerus and Champa certainly give them a run for their money. As twin brothers, Champa is equally as fearsome as Beerus, albeit perhaps a little more sluggish due to his added weight, and when the two battle, the resulting shock waves are felt throughout the entire universe.
Champa’s power is so great that he is seemingly able to wipe out his entire tournament squad in one fell swoop – including Hit – however he is stopped in his tracks by the arrival of the Omni King. Although it hasn’t yet been revealed which race the twin Gods of Destruction belong to and fans also haven’t seen them pushed to their absolute limit, it appears that they do not possess any underlying transformations. After all, who needs a blond hair-do when you can wipe out the best fighters in your universe without breaking a sweat.
In his Battle of Gods debut appearance, Beerus’ raw power forces Goku to ascend to the level of a Super Saiyan God and even then, he didn’t need to go all-out against the Saiyan. All of this happened without a single transformation and as with Champa, it appears as if Beerus can access his full power without altering his appearance.
Despite the goofiness, Beerus has demonstrated his ability to destroy planets with the flick of a wrist and effortlessly wiped Zamasu out of existence in a recent episode of Dragon Ball Super.
Naturally, Beerus evolves from troublesome enemy to a friend of the Z-Fighters as the series progresses, although this is largely down to the copious amounts of food being provided. He and his attendant Whis may have become pals with the Earthlings for now but Vegeta knows all too well the lengths one must go to in order to keep the God of Destruction appeased.
First introduced as Beerus’ seemingly mild mannered assistant in Battle of Gods, it soon transpired that Whis was actually a being of incredible power that even overshadowed the God of Destruction himself. A later revelation confirmed the character to be the first on-screen Angel in the Dragon Ball franchise. Although fans have yet to see Whis properly battle, even if he did possess a hidden transformation, his base form is so formidable Whis would likely never need to use it.
So far, viewers have seen Whis effortlessly toy with both Goku and Vegeta at full power without taking a single hit and when Frieza managed to destroy Earth, the Angel demonstrated his ability to rewind time to a limited extent.
Unfortunately for fans, Whis and the Angels appear to have a pact of non-involvement in the affairs of other beings and so the characters rarely get a chance to stretch their legs and kick some ass but given what has been showcased of Whis so far, few opponents would actually provide a challenge.
Unsurprisingly, Whis’ older sister Vados is also one of Dragon Ball’s most overpowered characters and as with her sibling, is unlikely to have a transformation in her arsenal. Like Whis is to Beerus, Vados has been charged with training, protecting and occasionally reigning in a God of Destruction in the form of Beerus’ brother Champa, and is responsible for monitoring his current diet.
The ease in which Vados and her brother can halt the destructive Gods in their tracks is indicative of their immense power and a swift chop to the neck is enough to do the trick – just as Beerus did to Goku. Regardless, both angels have a somewhat light-hearted and detached approach to life, appearing both unmoved and amused by those around them.
Despite their everlasting calmness, both Whis and Vados seem to believe that they are each the strongest sibling by a slim margin and although it’s impossible to tell which is correct based on the available scenes, Vados’ age possibly gives her a slight edge.
2 The Great Priest
Just when it seemed that the mysterious Angels couldn’t get any scarier than Whis and Vados, along comes their father, the Great Priest. Instead of serving a God of Destruction however, this character works directly for the Omni King himself as his right hand man.
Naturally, the Priest is stronger than both of his offspring, with Whis admitting his own power can’t hold a candle to his father’s. It is also stated that the Great Priest is one of the strongest beings throughout all of the various universes and the manga version of Dragon Ball Super even goes so far as to name him the strongest of all.
Despite many others being intimidated by the Great Priest, the angel is amused by Goku’s lackadaisical attitude and often forgives his lack of etiquette and formality. By halting the match between Goku and Toppo, the Great Priest also becomes the only character working for the Gods to actually defy the Omni King and the Priest certainly seems to have significant influence in this respect.
1 Omni King
Among the raft of Gods, Angels and other monstrous beings introduced in Dragon Ball Super, the show also acquainted fans with the figure at the very top of the chain, the ruler of all twelve universes and every planet they contain: the Omni King. So powerful is this leader, even Beerus quakes in his presence and in true Dragon Ball style, the King’s outward appearance belies his enormous power.
Despite being short of stature, physically unimposing and with the mindset of a child, the Omni King – or Zen-Oh Sama – has the ability to wipe anything out of existence in the blink of an eye, and this was demonstrated in the Goku Black timeline.
Naturally, Goku befriends the small creature and makes everyone around him nervous with his casual lack of etiquette. Zen-Oh seems to have taken quite a shine to Goku, however, partly due to the fact that he brought the Future Omni King back in time so that the present version could have a friend. However, you still get the feeling he’d still wipe out the Saiyan’s entire universe if he was ever even mildly displeased.
Dragon Ball Super continues April 8th on Adult Swim.