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In past arcs, the old Super Saiyan form has seemed more than a bit useless. But in the current arc, they are proving to be the key to victory.

The current arc of Dragon Ball Super is centered around the “Tournament of Power” where 10 person teams from across 8 different universe fight in a battle royal for the very survival of everything they hold dear—literally. The seven losing universes will be wiped from existence. This being Dragon Ball, one such team, Team Universe 7, consists of Goku and his friends—and one iconic enemy.

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But unlike the battles of the past, the Tournament of Power isn’t a fight where Goku can just steamroll over his opponents with superior power. With the whole team aspect—and rules like “no killing,” “no items,” and “the only way to be eliminated is via ring out”—the tournament really is unlike any battle Goku has faced before. And thanks to the the lessons he learned while gathering his team, Goku seems to have adapted well to the situation—largely through his creative use of older Super Saiyan forms.

One of the most important aspects of the Tournament of Power is the fact that it has a set 48 minute time limit. While it’s possible for all the teams but one to be eliminated in that time, it’s more likely that when time runs out, members of several teams will remain. In this case, the winning team will be the one with the most remaining members.

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Because of this, Goku has to pace himself if he hopes to last the full 48 minutes. He can’t just go all out and overpower his opponents at full strength one after another—not without running out of energy, anyway. Moreover, he can’t just pop a senzu bean and get his energy back thanks to the no items rule; once his energy is gone, it’s gone.

To stay in the battle as long as possible, Goku must use the minimum amount of power he can with each opponent he comes across—going Super Saiyan Blue, for example, simply uses up too much of his energy to maintain for a prolonged battle. If he can, he has to stay untransformed wasting no energy at all. Similarly, we know from the Cell arc back in DBZ that the normal Super Saiyan form can likewise be indefinitely maintained, so it’s also relatively safe to use.

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Unfortunately, as we see in the latest episode of Dragon Ball Super (episode 104), for some enemies, Super Saiyan alone isn’t gonna cut it. However, that doesn’t mean that Super Saiyan Blue is the only option. In his battle with Dispo, Goku transforms into the rarely used Super Saiyan God form. While not as fast or strong as Blue, it’s enough for Goku to stand toe to toe with his super speedy opponent.

Of course, fighting Dispo to a standstill does nothing but deplete both fighters’ limited supply of energy. And it is here that Goku makes his smartest choice of the tournament yet: He transforms into Blue—but only long enough for a single attack. By constantly shifting forms and using the bare minimum amount of power he needs at any given moment, Goku is able to maximise his power useage and still outfight his opponent—winning with little real effort.

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With several fights already under his belt so far and 35 minutes left in the tournament, Goku is still looking no worse for wear. While the older Super Saiyan forms may have served little use against the likes of Beerus or Goku Black, they are proving to be the vital key to Goku’s continued survival in the Tournament of Power.

Dragon Ball Super is streaming on Daisuki, FUNimation, and Crunchyroll and is airing on Cartoon Network’s Toonami with an English dub.

Comments (4)
  1. One small correction about the Super Saiyan God form, you said it’s not as fast or as strong as Blue. Whis mentions that it’s a smart idea Because god form is faster. It lets him keep up (mostly) with Dyspo and then quickly swap to the more powerful Blue form for a hit. The back and forth switching is what put him on even (or so) footing.

    • I think you might be a little confused. Super Saiyan God is not faster than Super Saiyan Blue. In the episode Wiz says about Super Saiyan God: “He’s faster than Super Saiyan, and consumes less stamina than Blue.” AKA Super Saiyan God form is faster than regular Super Saiyan and takes less power to use than Super Saiyan Blue.
      Supporting this, later Wiz says “He even changed to Blue for an instant when attacking and maximized his speed and power.”

      • Nah MrJeremyT had it right. He used the speed increase in his attack from SSG and switched to Blue to get the most power. Hence maximizing spred and power. Max speed from Red max power from Blue

        • Actually no, SSG is both weaker and slower. However, it doesn’t have the same stamina nor the power drain issues as Blue, which is better explored upon in the manga.

          For example: when Vegeta uses the constant switch from God to Blue and back against Black, Goku explicitly states Vegeta turns Blue only to attack (more power) and evade (more speed), while staying in God form most of the time to decrease the drain of Blue’s power and overall stamina.

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