Ever since Goku first turned into a Super Saiyan at the end of the Frieza Saga, the Dragon Ball franchise has been changed. Heck, even prior to this, the concept of characters having multiple forms or some kind of transformation was starting to become a big part of the series with Frieza's transformations, as well as some of his henchmen's forms, and even Goku's Kaioken power from the Saiyan Saga. From there, new transformations were introduced in every saga that came after, and Super Saiyan became more prominent in the series. However, Saiyan forms aren't the only transformations that the series has known. In fact, there are much more non-Saiyan forms in the Dragon Ball franchise than Saiyan forms, even in just the main canon.
These forms are nothing to scoff at either! Some might be thinking that just because they aren't Super Saiyan or any of its subsequent forms, that these techniques are small potatoes, but they're each very powerful and strong in their own right. Some of these techniques, transformations and forms come from the original Dragon Ball, some from Z, and some from Super, each having their own unique strengths and advantages. While we can't say that every one of these forms could go toe-to-toe with a Super Saiyan transformation, some can stand their ground, and others are still worth talking about. Heck some of these have battled Super Saiyan Goku and Vegeta with ease! Thus, here are 20 non-Saiyan forms from Dragon Ball that are still SUPER strong.
Starting us off is Goku's first transformation from Dragon Ball Z, the Kaioken technique, taught to him by King Kai in otherworld. The Kaioken technique multiplies the user's power, which begs the question, why hasn't anyone else been taught this technique?
The question has been asked for years, and it's a pretty valid one, since the Kaioken is an incredibly powerful technique that Goku continued to use, even in Super, where it was combined with his Super Saiyan Blue form. This form might not be able to compete with Super Saiyan, but sure as heck can compliment it, and we're surprised it took Goku so long to realize that.
19 SUPER NAMEKIAN
The next entry on our list isn't much of a transformation as it is a permanent state, since all that's required to become a Super Namekian is to be on a level greater to that of a regular Namekian. In other words, Super Namekians are not different from regular Namekians aside from being very powerful.
We first learned of Super Namekians in the Frieza Saga when Piccolo's power was increased by his fusion with Nail, and outside of the movies, the only other Super Namekian we know to have been in the franchise was the Nameless Namekian who made split into Kami and King Piccolo.
18 FRIEZA'S NATURAL FORMS
Next up are all the initial forms that Frieza displayed in the Frieza Saga. The character started off in his small, horned form, a form that was still powerful enough to destroy a planet. From there, Frieza transformed into a giant, horned brute, similar-looking to his father, King Cold.
Next up was the horrifying monster that was Frieza's third form, a weird xenomorph-looking transformation that did not look easy to move in. Finally, Frieza's final form was revealed as a smaller, sleeker, white-and-purple transformation that was stronger than all the other transformations prior, a form that only a Super Saiyan was able to beat.
17 FUSION DANCE
One of the tools that Goku and friends attempted to use to take care of Majin Buu was Fusion, specifically Fusion Dance fusion. Until Dragon Ball Super: Broly is released, it appears that the only successful, main-canon fusion from the Fusion Dance is Gotenks, who's power was that of Goten and Trunks' combined strength with an added multiplier.
Suffice to say, the Fusion Dance is pretty strong, and is a great transformation technique for any situation where Potara are not readily available. The power from a fusion depends on the participants, but it's still a great form to use in battle, plus, the clothes that come with a Fusion Dance fusion are kind of cool!
Babidi was one of the most powerful beings in the Dragon Ball universe, not in terms of physical strength, but in terms of his ability to manipulate and control the minds of others. With this power, the wizard was able to gain control of what is basically Satan in the world of Dragon Ball, which says something.
The thing that Babidi turns his victims into are known as Majin, and this form/transformation also comes with something of a power up, at least in the case of Vegeta, who used the corruption of Babidi's magic to give in to his old evil ways and become stronger from his past ruthlessness.
A number of interesting forms were introduced in the Universal Survival Saga of Dragon Ball Super, including the magical-girl-like transformation of the Kamikaze Fireballs from Universe 2. This technique, called Formation, allowed the three girls to turn into stronger versions of themselves, complete with unique powers for each of them.
With the use of this technique, Brianne de Chateau transforms into Ribrianne, Su Roas adopts her Rozie form and Sanka Ku turns into Kakunsa. Despite its cutesy appearance, Formation is incredibly powerful and can actually be used by other members of Universe 2.
14 BUU'S ABSORPTION
Like every other major Dragon Ball Z villain before him, Buu had a number of transformations, each more powerful and frightening than the last. These forms were the result of Buu absorbing others and stealing their strength. In fact, the first form we saw him in was the result of absorbing the Grand Supreme Kai.
Kid Buu is the villain's first form, and from there he became Majin Buu, then he split into Majin Buu and Evil Buu, the latter of whom absorbed Majin Buu to become Super Buu, who then absorbed hero after hero to gain more power and intelligence, eventually losing all his absorptions and reverting back to Kid Buu, who was still incredibly power due to how unhinged he was.
13 GREAT NAMEKIAN
Though it's not quite on the same level as the like of Super Saiyan or any of Frieza's forms, Piccolo, as a member of the Namekian race, is capable of growing to great heights using his stretching powers in unison with his great energy levels. This is what's known as a Great Namekian form, and it is apparently incredibly painful to use.
Perhaps the pain is why this transformation is rarely used, but we'd still like to see Piccolo pull it out every now and then, since it would have given him a huge (literally) advantage in the Tournament of Power.
12 CELL'S TRANSFORMATIONS
Like Frieza before him and Buu after him, Cell had multiple forms throughout his saga in Dragon Ball Z. The first form was more bug-like and was decently powerful, however it wouldn't be until his semi-perfect form emerged that the villain would start to become a huge threat, his power reaching its peak when he achieved his final, perfect form.
Perfect Cell was on whole other level from his previous forms, displaying a power great then Goku and his friends had seen up until then. In fact, this power was much greater than that of a Super Saiyan and could only be defeated by Gohan in his Super Saiyan 2 form.
11 GOLDEN FRIEZA
Frieza's final form is powerful enough on its own, but in the end, the character's power was eventually surpassed as the franchise continued on. However, when the character made his return, we learned that all of his power and transformations came from natural, innate strength, meaning if he bothered to train, he could become even stronger.
This is exactly what he did to achieve his Golden form, which is much stronger and much more deadly than all of his natural forms. It was almost too much for Super Saiyan Blue to handle, though its temporary time and power limit means it's not quite as reliable.
10 POTARA FUSION
Fusion Dance fusion is a powerful technique and transformation, but out of the two versions of Fusion, it is the less-powerful one, which is where Potara fusion comes in, since it was used to create Vegito, who's power was enough to take on Super Buu with ease.
Where the Fusion Dance only multiplies the strength of the two participants by several times, the Potara fusion multiplies it by tens of times, which makes it the superior version of fusion, since it also does not require a perfected dance, similar body sizes or equal power levels. All in all, as long as there are Potara around, you can count on a powerful fused warrior to win the fight.
9 SUPER AND GIANT RIBRIANNE
Ribrianne, the leader of the Kamikaze Fireballs, is capable of additional transformations beyond Formation, an ability that is driven by the love of her admirers. With enough adoration, Ribrianne can become Super Ribrianne, a winged version of herself that is much stronger and has much more powerful abilities.
Additionally, Ribrianne can also become Lovely Love, Love Ribrianne, a version of Super Ribrianne that is bigger than the battlefield of the Tournament of Power and is capable of even greater techniques that make her a flashy force not to be reckoned with, despite how silly and cutesy her appearance may be.
8 GOD OF DESTRUCTION MODE
There was a major twist in the Universal Survival Saga that shook the remaining combatants of the Tournament of Power to their core, and that twist was that Toppo was the next in line to be a God of Destruction for Universe 11. With this power came a transformation for Toppo, making him much buffer and giving him a purple godly aura.
With this form change, Toppo now had access to the power of destruction, making him a much tougher opponent for Universe 7 to face. Though it's not as refined as a fully inducted God of Destruction's power, Toppo's transformation was still nothing to scoff at.
7 BODY CHANGE
This one definitely stretches the definition of "transformation" since it's more of a technique, but we're still gonna count Captain Ginyu's Body Change power as a transformation, since his mind to switch into a new form at the end of it. Regardless, this technique is as useful as it is powerful, allowing him to gain the power of whoever he changes body with, at least to an extent.
Captain Ginyu used this power in the Frieza Saga to gain Goku's power, though it didn't quite work. Perhaps its greatest strength is ensuring his survival, since Ginyu could simply change bodies with his last breath to prevent his demise.
6 POTENTIAL UNLEASHED (ULTIMATE FORM)
Next up is Ultimate Gohan, or rather, the transformation that resulted from a power unlocking technique from the Old Kai, as seen in the Buu Saga. With this technique, whoever receives it will have all of their potential power, all of the power Gohan has at his peak in his case, at once.
This is much more convenient than Super Saiyan or Super Saiyan 2, since it doesn't drain power or stamina by keeping up those transformations, it's simply all of Gohan's power at once. This transformation is so useful, we're curious as to why the Old Kai hasn't used the unlock technique anyone else!
5 MAX POWER
Master Roshi's power might not be ranked as high as it was back in the early days of Dragon Ball, but he's still no pushover, especially when using his Max Power form. With this form, Roshi's muscles are increased to give him a hulking form that allows him to fight at a much higher level.
Additionally, his other attacks become stronger, specifically his Kamehameha attack, which can destroy a castle when used in his max power form. We're not quite sure if this is a technique that Roshi learned or developed himself, but his Max Power form is easily one of the most overlooked and strongest forms in Dragon Ball.
This form is technically multiple forms, since it's the art of shapeshifting, as mastered by Puar and Oolong, who both used their powers for selfish deeds when they were first introduced. This technique might not be in the same category as Super Saiyan or its many iterations, but the ability to turn into practically anything for five minutes is still incredibly useful.
It could be good to distract an opponent much more powerful than you long enough to get away, or it could be used to fool Goku into thinking he's fighting Monaka, like in Dragon Ball Super. All it takes is some creative thinking for the Shapeshifting technique to be on par with stronger transformations.
3 SUPER MAXIMUM LIGHT SPEED MODE
Though not as strong as Toppo or Jiren, Universe 11 had another great warrior that ended up making it pretty far into the Tournament of Power: Dyspo. Dyspo's specialty was his speed, which was practically unmatched by any opponent he faced, especially when he entered his Super Maximum Light Speed mode.
In this form, Dyspo was even faster than before, with no other fighter able to keep up to his speed. In fact, a great measure of his speed was how it was defeated, with strategy and tricks, showing that Frieza and Gohan wouldn't have been able to combat the warrior's speed on their own.
2 BURNING ULTIMATE WARRIOR
Jiren's power is insane, the greatest power in the known universes. Literally, the character is said to be a fabled warrior whose power exceeds that of a God of Destruction, despite being a mortal. Though he doesn't have the godly, magical powers of Zeno or even Whis, Jiren's strength is possibly unmatched in all of the multiverse.
Throughout the Tournament of Power, Jiren was holding back a good amount of his power, but once it came time to face Goku in his Ultra Instinct Form, it became clear that he couldn't hold back. With the release of all his power, Jiren entered a form that would become known as Burning Ultimate Warrior, in which his energy burned off of him like fire.
1 ULTRA INSTINCT
Last, but definitely not least, is Ultra Instinct. This is a form/technique that even the gods have trouble mastering, and it allows the user to rely completely on their body's reactions in a fight, eliminating the hinderance of thought and strategy from the equation.
By leaving only reaction and instinct, this form allowed Goku to fight Jiren to the very best of his body's limits and abilities. However, it's not just something that a Saiyan can master, and anyone, usually a god, can use and master the form if they train hard enough. If it allowed Goku to bridge the power gap between him and Jiren, then you know it's a powerful transformation.