Akira Toriyama’s Dragonball Z is without a doubt one of the most beloved anime of all time, a worldwide phenomenon. DBZ was known for amping up the action sequences seen in it’s predecessor, Dragonball, incorporating insane fighting techniques and over-the-top battles. Some of the craziest and most powerful attacks are ki-based. Ki, as defined in the Dragonball universe, is essentially the energy that comes from within, one’s inner spirit power, so to speak. Ki can be used for a variety of techniques including strength enhancement, flight and most commonly, energy blasts. Seriously what would DBZ without the likes of the Kamehameha wave or other signature moves?
There are countless Ki attacks in the world of Dragonball, some more powerful than others. Each Z-fighter seems to have developed a signature move, some creating original attacks while others creating variations on different types of blasts. In the 30+ years of the world of Dragonball, some insanely powerful and powerful insane ki moves have come out of the various series. So, which are the most powerful you ask? CBR decided to go through some of the craziest DBZ moves to find out. In no particular order, here are the 15 most powerful ki attacks in Dragonball Z.
15. SPIRIT BALL
One of the more basic attacks is the Ki Ball, essentially a smaller version of the spirit bomb. This technique was developed, and is solely used, by Yamcha. The attack consists of creating a floating ki orb above his hand by gathering energy before shooting it at his opponent. After the initial attack, Yamcha uses his finger to guide the orb back and forth, striking the enemy multiple times before exploding on the final hit. The attack is good for hitting an enemy multiple times and dealing consecutive damage.
While the attack isn’t the strongest of them all, it’s worthy of a spot on this list if only for being the very first original attack in the Dragonball world. Meaning, it was the first time someone was shown developing and using their own original attack in the series. It’s a pretty creative one to boot.
14. SOLAR FLARE
Though not exactly an offensive attack, the solar flare is one of the most powerful attacks in DBZ. As the name implies, the attack uses an intensely bright light to temporarily blind enemies, leaving them open to attack. The technique is one of Tien Shinhan’s signature moves as he was the first to be shown using it. However, as the years went by, the other Z-fighters, and even some villains, incorporated the move into their arsenal.
The attack is one of the most powerful not just because it is a fast and easy way to get out of a pinch, but also because it works on any enemy regardless of difference in power levels. By simply placing their hands to their face and shouting “solar flare,” the user can execute the blinding attack, affecting everyone around them, no matter how strong.
13. SPIRIT SWORD
One of the rarely used techniques in DBZ, the Spirit Sword, is actually one of its most powerful. Originally shown to be used by Vegito, the fusion of Vegeta and Goku, the spirit sword is a blade made of condensed energy, capable of extending to any length and cutting through most materials organic and inorganic. While it can be used to slice, the spirit sword technique, later incorporated by other characters, is most often used to stab an opponent.
The attack is shown to be somewhat useless against Majin Buu due to his regenerative abilities. However, the technique was seen again when Vegito reappeared in Dragonball Super, using the bladed ki attack against Goku Black. For how powerful the attack is shown to be, it’s surprising it’s not more commonly used.
12. ENERGY BARRAGE
More of a category than a specific attack, energy barrages are any attacks that involved continuous, rapid-fire ki blasts. Techniques like the Continuous Energy Bullet, the Neo Tri-Beam and the Hellzone Grenade are examples of this kind of attack. Energy Barrages are another staple of the series, since they are often used in battle to continuously attack an enemy without giving them the chance to counterattack.
Energy barrages can range in power depending not the technique and user, some attacks being more complicated and creative than others. Further, a barrage-styled attack is often used as a means to show how powerful an enemy is. When the attack is swatted away, dodged or taken full force without a flinch, you know this guy means business.
11. DESTRUCTO DISC
One of the most powerful and most beloved attacks in DBZ has to be the Destructo Disc. The technique was developed by Krillin and first used against his fight with Nappa. The attack is executed by forming a gathering of ki with one arm completely outstretched and the palm facing upwards. The ki mass is then flattened and spun around. The spinning ki becomes a razor-sharp projectile that is thrown by the user to cut through nearly anything in its path.
The attack is so powerful that it not only helped Krillin hold is own against Frieza for a brief period, but it would also be incorporated by various other Z-fighters throughout the series. The Destructo Disc has been used in nearly every major battle in the series, and is even adopted by Krillin’s future wife, Android 18.
10. INSTANT TRANSMISSION
While not exactly an energy blast of any sort, the instant transmission technique is still ki-based. The technique consists of locking on to a ki signature of another person, then instantly teleporting to that energy signature. Ki is used both in the detection of a location for transportation and in the actual execution of the technique, earning it a spot on this list. Plus, it’s just plain cool and is used by Goku constantly after its original debut.
While instant transmission is more of a transportation-based and somewhat defensive technique, it’s still often used in battle. Taught to Goku by the people of Planet Yardat, Goku has used the technique to catch enemies by surprise, instantly use ki blasts can even teleport dangerous enemies away from civilians. The technique is so powerful that it allows Goku to travel light years in mere seconds.
9. BURNING ATTACK/BUSTER CANNON
Both of these powerful ki attacks incorporate a forward hand formation and are signature moves of Future Trunks. While not exactly the same, these two moves are essentially variations of each other. The Burning Attack is the first one we see, shown during Future Trunk’s battle with Cyborg Frieza. The technique starts with various rapid hand movements to gather energy before the ki is released in a concentrated ball that explodes on impact.
A somewhat more powerful and longer-lasting version of this attack is the Buster Cannon. The Buster Cannon was seen being used against Android 17 and 18 in the future. The attack does not require the hand movements to charge up, and instead is charged using two ki orbs that Trunks combines to shoot out a powerful wave of energy. Both of these attacks are powerful enough to give Trunks the upper hand against cybernetically-enhanced enemies.
8. BIG BANG ATTACK
One of Vegeta’s many signature moves, the Big Bang attack definitely lives up to its namesake. The attack and is essentially a ki-based explosion originating from Vegeta’s hand. After charging up a sphere of energy, Vegeta aims the attack at his opponent, which explodes on impact like a super-powered ki grenade. The attack has been used against various enemies and often creates a mushroom cloud in its wake.
The Big Bang Attack is one of Vegeta’s go-to moves, being used as a quick method of mass destruction. Perhaps Vegeta’s most devastating use of the Big Bang Attack came when he was under the control of the wizard Babidi. As Majin Vegeta, the Super Saiyan used a big bang attack to kill the innocent bystanders in the World Tournament Arena.
7. DEATH BEAM
The Death Beam, as the name implies, is one of the deadliest techniques in Frieza’s arsenal. The alien tyrant uses the laser-like attack numerous times in every fight he’s been in. The attack consists of a mere pointing gesture, followed by a concentrated ki laser that can fire quickly and pierce nearly anything. The attack is not only quick and destructive, it is also rather precise, almost always hitting with deadly accuracy.
This attack is so powerful that it killed Vegeta with a single hit, striking him right through the heart. It’s no wonder Frieza became the conquering tyrant that he is, the Death Beam is a nearly unstoppable, unavoidable and almost always deadly attack. This attack was so powerful that it was incorporated into Cell’s arsenal when the all-powerful android was being designed, and he was shown using the attack in his fight with Gohan.
6. SPECIAL BEAM CANNON
The original Japanese name for the Special Beam Cannon is Makankōsappō, which literally translates to “demonic piercing light murder gun.” Holy crap, that’s a badass name, and the attack itself is even crazier. The Special Beam Cannon is the signature move of everyone’s favorite Namekian and surrogate dad to Gohan, Piccolo.
By focusing his ki for an extended period of time, Piccolo can release two ki beams from his fingers, one that shoots straight, and one that coils around the other. These two beams created a drill effect that pierces most enemies with a powerful blast. While this technique might be immensely powerful, the power put into it is equivalent to the time Piccolo charges up his ki. This is a huge disadvantage since it often takes Piccolo a long time to charge up a single Special Beam Cannon.
5. HUMAN EXTINCTION ATTACK
Man, some of these names are just plain awesome, aren’t they? As the frightening name implies, this attack is used to eradicate millions of lives in one go. The technique has only been used by Super Buu, one of the more powerful version of Majin Buu. The attack is of the energy barrage variety, consisting of a raised palm and a mass amount of energy waves that spread all around the world.
The attack was used by Super Buu just before his fight with Gotenks. As Goten and Trunks prepared for battle, Buu grew impatient and wanted to kill some humans. He uses the Human Extinction attack to kill a massive number of people before checking to see who was left and killing the rest of the human race in mere minutes. Luckily, the victims of this attack were resurrected later with the dragonballs.
4. FINAL FLASH
Another of Vegeta’s many signature attacks is the Final Flash, perhaps even his most powerful. This ki blast is created by Vegeta placing his arms outwards to gather energy before thrusting his hands forward to release a huge discharge of golden-colored ki. Vegeta developed this simple, but powerful, technique while training to take on Cell in the hyperbolic time chamber.
The first time Vegeta used this attack was during his fight with Cell. The arrogant bio-mechanical android thought he could take the attack full on, only to lose half of his torso upon impact, luckily recovering with his regenerative abilities. Vegeta’s fight with Cell showed that, when not dodged, the Final Flash is an overwhelmingly powerful ki blast, and it’s not to be taken lightly.
3. SPIRIT BOMB
The Spirit Bomb is a technique so powerful that it cannot be formed with the power of the user alone. Instead, the giant ki ball is formed by gathering energy from outside sources, be it the life energy of plants, inanimate objects and/or living beings. The Spirit Bomb has only been used four times over the course of DBZ, the most notable being the giant one used against Kid Buu.
The Spirit bomb gathers power form whatever source is willing to give it, gathering in a massive orb that is light and swift to throw. The Spirit Bomb acts very much like a more powerful version of a nuclear bomb, as it is capable of destroying an entire planet if the user is not careful. While this ki bomb is very powerful, the time taken to gather enough energy for it leaves the user wide open to attacks.
2. GALICK GUN
Vegeta’s Galick Gun attack is essentially a variant of the Kamehameha wave and its Japanese name roughly translates to “garlic cannon”… alright so maybe some these names aren’t all that great. Regardless, the Galick gun is perhaps Vegeta’s most famous signature move, recognizable by the the curled finger arrangement and purple-colored beam. After charging up the attack with his hands behind him, Vegeta releases a blast of ki that emanates from his hand and surrounds his body.
Vegeta first used this attack during his first encounter with Goku where it was countered by a Kamehameha, displaying the similarity in the two attacks. The Galick Gun is used in various fights by Vegeta, and is stated to be a move of his own creation. This attack was even used in Dragonball Super to blow a giant octopus out of the water — now that’s a creative way too fish!
Some might not know that Dragonball Z’s signature attack is named after a Hawaiian king, a name which helped creator Akira Toriyama to remember the attack easier. While it means something different in the Hawaiian dialect, the Japanese translation of Kamehameha roughly translates to “big turtle wave.” The “turtle” in the name is in reference to the attack’s originator, Master Roshi, who is otherwise known as the turtle hermit.
Even those who aren’t fans of DBZ knows how the Kamehameha goes, the user puts their hands together to charge up a blue ball of ki before shooting their arms forward and releasing a powerful beam of energy. The Kamehameha wave is a powerful and reliable attack used by numerous Z-fighters over the course of the series, capable of massive destruction. Truly, the Kamehameha is the greatest move every to be used in the world of Dragonball.
Which DBZ attack is your go-to? Charge up and release your answer in the comments section!
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