- The Super Saiyan transformation is a key element of Dragon Ball Z, with a total of 21 variations and upgrades introduced throughout the series.
- These transformations have different capabilities and are not always visually distinct, like different hair colors. Some forms, such as Ultra Super Saiyan, have drawbacks that make them inferior to lower forms.
- Goku’s Super Saiyan form remains the most iconic and has been unlocked by nearly every other Saiyan character. The franchise continues to introduce new forms, such as Super Saiyan Blue and Ultra Instinct, that play significant roles in the story.
The Super Saiyan transformation is an iconic element of Dragon Ball Z and the series has iterated on it with new forms ever since its introduction. Goku first unlocked the Super Saiyan transformation during the Namek Saga, and since then, the franchise has introduced a total of 21 variations and upgrades. While not all of these transformations are available to every Saiyan, each of them has been used by a Saiyan at some point in the broader Dragon Ball canon.
These Super Saiyan forms are listed primarily in order of debut, which also loosely aligns with the power level of each form. Many of these forms were only used for a brief period of time, or by only one person, and they don’t always have an obvious visual difference, like different hair color, to distinguish them from one another. This list discusses when these forms made their first appearance, a bit of what they’re capable of, and who is able to use these transformations. Keep in mind that, for the sake of completeness, this list includes forms that are not technically derived from Super Saiyan, such as Goku and Vegeta’s recent Ultra forms.
22 Super Saiyan – The Most Iconic Saiyan Transformation
Dragon Ball Chapter 317 & Dragon Ball Z Episode 95
Naturally, the first transformation being discussed is the original Super Saiyan, where it all began. Goku first unlocked his Super Saiyan form after being filled with rage from watching Frieza kill Krillin. With his new power and luxurious golden locks, he was able to finally overwhelm and defeat Frieza. The Super Saiyan form would go on to be unlocked by nearly every other Saiyan character, including the Universe 6 Saiyans in Dragon Ball Super, and it remains one of the most iconic elements of the franchise to this day.
21 Super Saiyan Second Grade – A Stronger Super Saiyan
Dragon Ball Chapter 377 & Dragon Ball Z Episode 155
The first instance of a Super Saiyan ascending beyond the initial form was when Vegeta reached Super Saiyan Second Grade, which he called Ascended Super Saiyan. Vegeta and Future Trunks developed the technique while training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, and with its power, they both became strong enough to completely outclass Semi-Perfect Cell. Ascended Super Saiyan stands out from the original Super Saiyan thanks to the visible increase in muscle mass. However, it’s technically not a separate transformation; merely a means of artificially drawing out more power from the initial Super Saiyan form.
20 Super Saiyan Third Grade – Powerful But Too Slow
Dragon Ball Chapter 385 & Dragon Ball Episode 162
Immediately following Ascended Super Saiyan was the Super Saiyan Third Grade a.k.a. Ultra Super Saiyan. Ultra Super Saiyan took the basic concept of Ascended Super Saiyan even further to give Dragon Ball Z‘s Trunks even more power than Vegeta, which caused Trunks to gain an incredibly muscular body. Unfortunately, Trunks never realized that the increase in muscle mass would make him too slow to beat someone like Cell. Ultimately this trade-off wasn’t worth it, and made Ultra Super Saiyan inferior to the lower forms preceding it. After its initial appearance, Ultra Super Saiyan wouldn’t be seen again until Trunks used it in a sparring match against Vegeta in Dragon Ball Super, and when Caulifla briefly used it against Goku in the Tournament of Power.
19 Super Saiyan Full Power – The Final Evolution of Base Super Saiyan
Dragon Ball Chapter 390 & Dragon Ball Z Episode 168
The final advancement of the basic Super Saiyan transformation was Super Saiyan Full Power. After discovering the flaws of Ultra Super Saiyan, Goku and Gohan decided to train themselves to be able to make Super Saiyan their natural state. This training resulted in a form of Super Saiyan that drew out the maximum power of the technique without artificial enhancements, making it easier to fight without losing excess amounts of energy. That made it the strongest variation of the basic Super Saiyan, and the one seen throughout the majority of the series since.
18 Super Saiyan 2 – The Next Evolution of Super Saiyan
Dragon Ball Chapter 408 & Dragon Ball Z Episode 184
The first truly new Super Saiyan transformation was the appropriately named Super Saiyan 2. The transformation was first unlocked by Gohan in his fight against Cell, and in addition to serving as payoff to the arc of Gohan’s hidden potential, its power completely turned the fight around in Gohan’s favor. Other Saiyans would end up unlocking Super Saiyan 2, but because it looks virtually identical to the original Super Saiyan aside from the crackling electricity in the user’s aura, it doesn’t appear as much as the original Super Saiyan and transformations with more distinct appearances.
17 Super Saiyan 3 – Original Dragon Ball’s Strongest Form
Dragon Ball Chapter 374 & Dragon Ball Z Episode 245
The next Super Saiyan transformation to appear in Dragon Ball Z was Super Saiyan 3 in the Buu Saga. Super Saiyan 3 is defined by its long hair and lack of eyebrows, a look that’s since become almost as iconic in its own right as Super Saiyan Stage 1. At the time of its introduction, Super Saiyan 3 was the strongest Super Saiyan form. However, Super Saiyan 3 has the major weakness of having a severe stamina drain, something that affected both Goku and the Goten/Trunks fusion Gotenks in critical moments against Buu. As a result, it’s often ignored in favor of more durable transformations.
16 Potential Unleashed (Ultimate Gohan) – Gohan Surpasses His Father
Dragon Ball Chapter 496 & Dragon Ball Z Episode 262
In addition to Super Saiyan 3, Dragon Ball Z‘s Buu Saga also introduced Gohan’s signature “Potential Unleashed” form, better known as Ultimate Gohan. Training with Elder Kai allowed Gohan to tap into his full potential, resulting in a form that surpassed his Super Saiyan forms to make him one of the strongest fighters in the universe. Potential Unleashed technically isn’t a Super Saiyan transformation, especially since Piccolo is able to use it in Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, but it’s still being included because of how much it’s tied into Gohan’s character.
15 Super Saiyan God – Power That Can Rival a God
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods & Dragon Ball Super Episode 9
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods was the first canon continuation of the franchise in almost twenty years, and with it came the introduction of a brand-new Super Saiyan form, Super Saiyan God. The ultimate Super Saiyan form of the Legendary Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan God grants a Saiyan a form of Super Saiyan that infuses them with divine ki, making it one of the most powerful transformations in the franchise. Goku’s use of the form was the deciding factor in his fight against Beerus, although he still couldn’t defeat him. Since its appearance, Super Saiyan God and its variations have been at the center of Dragon Ball Super and the Dragon Ball franchise.
14 Super Saiyan Blue – A Saiyan God Goes Super Saiyan
Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F & Dragon Ball Super Episode 24
Immediately following Super Saiyan God’s debut was Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan, more commonly referred to as Super Saiyan Blue. As the full name implies, Super Saiyan Blue is achieved when the power of Super Saiyan God is combined with Super Saiyan, resulting in a transformation far more powerful than the regular Super Saiyan God that also turns the user’s hair blue. After its first appearance, Super Saiyan Blue became Goku and Vegeta’s primary transformation throughout Dragon Ball Super, although they would still make use of their older transformations from time to time.
13 Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-ken – Goku Combines Two of His Strongest Techniques
Dragon Ball Super Episode 39 & Chapter 39
Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-ken is a form of Super Saiyan Blue that combines it with Goku’s very first transformation, the Kaio-ken. Kaio-ken’s red aura is layered on top of Super Saiyan Blue’s blue aura, and the combined multipliers of both techniques increase Goku’s power to epic proportions. Before Ultra Instinct, using Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-ken with a multiplier of 20 was Goku’s strongest form, although just like regular Kaio-ken, it had the drawback of damaging Goku’s body the longer he used it.
12 Super Saiyan Rosé – Super Saiyan Blue’s Twisted Counterpart
Dragon Ball Super Episode 56 & Chapter 20
Super Saiyan Rosé is the exclusive Super Saiyan transformation of Goku Black, an alternate version of Universe 10’s Zamasu who used the Super Dragon Balls to take control of an alternate Goku’s body in the Dragon Ball Super anime. Super Saiyan Rosé’s origins differ depending on the medium. In the Dragon Ball Super anime, it’s a divine form of Super Saiyan, but in the manga, it’s a variation of Super Saiyan Blue that comes about when a godly Saiyan — in this case, Zamasu inhabiting a Saiyan’s body — uses Super Saiyan Blue. Whatever the case, Goku Black’s constant usage of it made him one of the toughest enemies in the series, to the point that he could overpower Goku and Vegeta at the same time.
11 Super Saiyan Rage – Trunks’ Most Powerful Form
Dragon Ball Super Episode 61
Super Saiyan Rage is a unique form that Trunks unlocked during the Future Trunks saga of Dragon Ball Super. As the name implies, Super Saiyan Rage is born from intense anger, even more so than the original Super Saiyan form, and it sets itself apart from the original by bathing Dragon Ball‘s Future Trunks in blue light. The specifics of Super Saiyan Rage haven’t been explored, but what is known is that it makes Trunks strong enough to hold his own against Goku Black and Future Zamasu, both of whom were previously far above him in power.
10 Perfected Super Saiyan Blue – A More Efficient Super Saiyan Blue
Dragon Ball Super Chapter 24
The Dragon Ball Super manga diverges from the anime in a variety of ways, and one of those includes the introduction of Perfected Super Saiyan Blue. Perfected Super Saiyan Blue functions under the same principle as Super Saiyan Full Power in that it minimizes energy consumption, as shown by Goku and Vegeta’s lack of aura, in order to maximize overall performance. This Perfected form removes Super Saiyan Blue’s greatest weakness and is most notably used against Broly, as well as in the Dragon Ball Super manga.
9 Super Saiyan White – Zamasu’s Most Powerful Form
Dragon Ball Super Episode 64 & Chapter 22
Another Super Saiyan form unique to Zamasu is Super Saiyan “White,” the unofficial name of Fused Zamasu’s Super Saiyan transformation. Since Super Saiyan Rosé is supposed to be either Super Saiyan or Super Saiyan Blue infused with divine power, it can be assumed that Super Saiyan White is simply Fused Zamasu’s version of Super Saiyan Rosé, the white hair possibly being a result of it being used in the body of a Kai rather than a Saiyan. Regardless, Super Saiyan White is an incredibly powerful transformation that helped make Fused Zamasu into a threat so dangerous that the Omni-King Grand Zeno had to destroy Future Trunks’ entire timeline for him to be defeated.
8 Ultra Instinct Sign – Goku Gains the Power of Angels
Dragon Ball Super Episode 110 & Chapter 39
Ultra Instinct is the ultimate expression of fighting prowess in Dragon Ball; Ultra Instinct isn’t a Super Saiyan transformation, but it’s included for how important it is to Goku’s development. Ultra Instinct has the user suppress their thoughts and emotions in order to focus solely on fighting, putting them in a state of mind that allows them to dodge any attack and attack with maximum efficiency. The initial version Goku unlocks is known as Ultra Instinct Sign, an incomplete version that results in him not being able to perfectly dodge and attack his opponents.
7 Super Saiyan Blue Evolution – The Strongest Super Saiyan Blue Form
Dragon Ball Super Episode 123 & Chapter 40
Super Saiyan Blue Evolution is a unique variation Vegeta developed during the Tournament of Power. The transformation gives Vegeta’s Super Saiyan Blue hair a new shade of royal blue and adds black pupils to his eyes, and the overall power boost essentially makes Super Saiyan Blue Evolution his equivalent to Goku’s Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-ken technique. Super Saiyan Blue Evolution became Vegeta’s strongest form in the anime, and because of the increase in muscle mass, it can be seen as a godly version of Vegeta’s original Ascended Super Saiyan.
6 Perfected Ultra Instinct – Goku Masters the Power of angels
Dragon Ball Super Episode 129 & Chapter 41
Perfected Ultra Instinct is, as the name implies, the complete form of Ultra Instinct. Using it dyes Goku’s hair an angelic white, and with his heart now perfectly calm, he’s able to dodge incoming attacks without thinking, while simultaneously bringing out the maximum power of his attacks. The Dragon Ball Super anime ended with Goku still not having control over Perfected Ultra Instinct, but the manga had him able to do so after fighting Moro in the Galactic Patrol Prisoner arc.
5 Legendary Super Saiyan – One of Dragon Ball’s Strongest Forms Ever
Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan
The Legendary Super Saiyan transformation is the signature Super Saiyan form of Broly, and while it was originally non-canon, the form was officially canonized in Dragon Ball Super during the Tournament of Power. Just like the original version, Legendary Super Saiyan is defined by its green coloring, intense muscle mass, the berserker state it puts someone in, and its overall massive power. Universe 6’s Kale was the first person to use Legendary Super Saiyan in canon, but the form appeared again in Dragon Ball Super: Broly when Broly, its original user, was officially made canon.
4 Ultra Ego – Vegeta’s Strongest Form
Dragon Ball Super Chapter 74
Ultra Ego is a new form for Vegeta, introduced in the Granolah the Survivor arc of the manga. Like Ultra Instinct, it isn’t actually a Super Saiyan form, but is included because of how heavily tied it is to Vegeta’s development. With help from the God of Destruction Beerus, Vegeta developed a technique that not only greatly increases his power, but can gradually make himself even stronger the more he takes damage. Ultra Ego serves as the antithesis to Ultra Instinct, which revolves around not taking hits. Naturally, its biggest weakness is that Vegeta can take so much damage that he won’t be able to fight anymore, which happened against both Granolah and Gas.
3 True Ultra Instinct – Goku’s Strongest Form
Dragon Ball Super Chapter 85
Goku’s True Ultra Instinct is a variation on Ultra Instinct Goku developed to fight Gas in the Granolah the Survivor arc. After learning about Bardock’s past, Goku realized the importance of being true to himself and not only accepted himself as a Saiyan, but that Perfected Ultra Instinct might not be the best form for him because of how hard it is for him to stay completely calm. Because of that, in order to defeat Gas, he developed True Ultra Instinct, a variation of Ultra Instinct Sign that draws on his emotions as opposed to forcing him to suppress them. Because of that, Goku is able to fight more effectively than he could with Perfected Ultra Instinct, making True Ultra Instinct one of his most powerful transformations to date.
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