Dragon Ball Z: Is Super Saiyan 3 Goku More Powerful Than Ultimate Gohan?

By Jeremy Carden

There is a battle that has caused a lot of tension within the fan base of the Dragon Ball series. I have seen many blogs and videos about this particular subject. Fans have debated about Gogeta vs. Vegito, Kid Buu vs. Super Buu (Ultimate Gohan absorbed) and Goku vs. Superman.

However, the topic of this blog will focus on the ultimate battle between Goku and Gohan.

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While reading this blog, please remember that I will be discussing Super Saiyan 3 Goku and Ultimate Gohan (also called Mystic Gohan by some fans) from the Majin Buu Saga.

This blog will not include anything between the time of Kid Buu’s death and the ending of DBZ when Goku leaves with Uub.

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That means nothing about Super Saiyan God or Dragon Ball GT will be included in this blog.

Let’s get this battle started! As with most of my “Who would win?” blogs, I will start this one by expressing my thoughts right off the bat. I feel that in terms of power alone; Gohan is the winner.

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Does that mean he would win? Yes…and no. Just because Gohan is more powerful than Goku does not mean that he would win.

At this point, some readers are probably shaking their heads at my belief that Ultimate Gohan is more powerful than Super Saiyan 3 Goku.

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Before I go any further, I just want to say that this blog is based on my own personal opinion. If you feel that Goku is more powerful than Gohan then you are entitled to your opinion. From this point on in the blog, I will attempt to use facts from the manga AND anime in order to get my point across. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below after finishing this blog, and you can tell me if I have persuaded you that Gohan is more powerful.

Believe it or not, when it comes down to determining which warrior is more powerful; you have to examine which form of Majin Buu is more powerful. The 2 Buus that I am talking about are Super Buu and Kid Buu.

The reason that I picked out these forms of Buu is because they are the Buus that Goku and Gohan battled the hardest against.

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If you have ever read my very first DBZ blog about which form of Buu is the most powerful, then you know that I feel that Super Buu (Ultimate Gohan absorbed) is the strongest, and Kid Buu is far from #1.

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In any case, we know that Kid Buu and Super Saiyan 3 Goku are more or less equals. It was mentioned that if Goku had started off the fight at 100%, and did not hold back so that Vegeta would have a chance to fight; he could have killed Kid Buu.

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He mentioned the same about his battle with Fat Buu, but in that case he was not holding back for Vegeta’s sake. In that fight, he was holding back in order for Gohan, Goten and Trunks to have a shot at fighting for the planet. However, unlike the battle with Kid Buu, it was clear that he was holding back (a lot) during his fight with Fat Buu. He did not battle to the point of exhausted as he did against Kid Buu.

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When talking about two fighters who were more or less equals, Super Buu and Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks seem to fit that category very nicely. Gotenks was playing around with Buu during their fight, and it was literally a back and forth conflict. Each fighter was able to take a blow, and dish one back out to their opponent! You could argue that Buu was holding back because he was waiting for Gohan to arrive, but it is clear he and Gotenks were on the same plateau of power.

It was Buu’s regeneration powers and endurance that kept the young Super Saiyan 3 from putting him down for the count. However, when Gotenks was about to kill Buu for good, his power ran out and his Fusion ended.

Alright, so we know that Goku and Gotenks had the power to completely annihilate the pink menace that they battled against. They just held back for different reasons; Goku for his respect of Vegeta’s pride, and Gotenks’ cocky nature.

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This leads us to Goku’s comment to Vegeta before they escaped from Super Buu’s head. He mentioned that neither of them could survive if Buu fought them after leaving his body. Fusion was the only way that he and Vegeta would stand a chance.

Goku was literally saying that he was NOT powerful enough to destroy Super Buu if they had to battle him!

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Remember that Ultimate Gohan mopped the floor with Super Buu. He did not even use ki attacks against the pink titan, he was using nothing but melee attacks to push Buu into a corner.

This leads to another point about how powerful Buu became after absorbing Gotenks and Piccolo. We have established that Gohan is more powerful than Super Buu, and this means he is clearly more powerful than Gotenks.

He took Buu apart without much effort, but Gotenks was literally kept on his toes by Buu’s power. So, after absorbing Gotenks, we can assume that Buu’s power pretty much doubled in power.

I think we can conclude that Buu’s absorption technique is a power-up that takes the person(s) absorbed, and adds their power to Buu’s.

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With that being said, “Buutenks” had a power that was over double what it was before. Keep in mind that Buu and Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks were pretty much even, and he took Piccolo’s power too (though the Namek’s absorption was more about adding his intelligence to Buu rather than his overall power).

In the anime, Gohan and Buu were on par with each other. It was not until Buu starting using “the Piccolo in him” to chip away at Gohan’s confidence, and that led to him being completely overpowered.

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Unlike the anime, the manga portrayal of Buutenks vs. Gohan was showing Buu’s power to be something that Gohan stood absolutely no chance against.

It appears that Gohan was indeed superior to Buu and Gotenks, but less than twice their power. I would say that he was probably somewhere between 1.2-1.5 times more powerful than Super Buu and Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks.

Where does this leave Goku?

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Another blog that I wrote awhile back was concerning the subject of Super Gotenks’ power compared to Goku’s. In that blog, I talked about my thoughts on how even a Super Saiyan 1 Gotenks had power that was superior to Super Saiyan 3 Goku.

Why would I say that?

Remember that Goku originally declined killing the Fat Buu because he wanted the boys to save the world instead of relying on him (since he was dead, Goku did not feel it was his right to step in as a savior to the planet).

He taught the boys the Fusion Dance, and felt that it would be the ONLY way of defeating Buu. Trunks asked why he did not teach them Super Saiyan 3 because if he and Goten teamed up at that level then they would beat Buu for sure. However, Goku told them that Fusion was the ONLY way.

After seeing how sad they were, he showed them Super Saiyan 3 before leaving with Baba. In my opinion, I feel that Goku thought that Goten and Trunks fused as Super Saiyans would be enough to defeat Buu (without the need for a Super Saiyan 3 transformation). Goku knew that level 3 was something not meant to be used in the living world due to the rapid ki depletion that it causes for the user outside of other world.

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Considering that he had just fought Buu himself at Super Saiyan 3, I think that Goku knew for a fact that a Super Saiyan 1 Fusion would be enough to kill Buu. This means that it is safe to conclude that Super Saiyan Gotenks (pre-Time Chamber) was in the same realm of power as Super Saiyan 3 Goku!

Let’s take things a step further in order to analyze just how powerful Gotenks was. After training in the Time Chamber for 30 minutes on the outside world before Super Buu lost his patience (which equals just about 7 and a half days inside of the Hyperbolic Time Chamber), Gotenks’ power was said to have increased dramatically.

I think that if there was a gap between pre-Time Chamber Super Saiyan Gotenks and Super Saiyan 3 Goku; that gap was closed after the children’s 7.5 days of training.

I dare say that Gotenks may have become even more powerful than Super Saiyan 3 Goku. By how much was never determined, but for the sake of simplicity (without downplaying either of their power levels), let’s say that Super Saiyan 1 Gotenks and Super Saiyan 3 Goku were even.

Going Super Saiyan 2 doubles the power of a Super Saiyan 1, and going Super Saiyan 3 multiples the power of a Super Saiyan 2 by four.

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Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks (at minimum) is 8 times more powerful than Super Saiyan 3 Goku!

Ultimate Gohan is stronger than Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks (who is more or less on the same playing field as Super Buu), but not twice as powerful.

Overall, Goku is not as powerful as Gotenks and Gohan. However, his original goal of having the boys measure up to their destinies as the protectors of the planet was realized. His intention was making them even more powerful than he was in order to save the earth from Buu.

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This same goal was similar to Goku’s plans of having Gohan exceed his power to save the world from Cell.

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Not to mention that Piccolo’s goal during the Saiyan Saga was training Gohan to become more powerful than him as well!

In any case, I think I have spelled out why I feel that Ultimate Gohan’s power is clearly superior to his father’s even at Super Saiyan 3.

Considering that Gohan is more powerful than his dad, you are probably wondering whether or not Gohan would be named as the winner before the battle even began.

I say that despite being more powerful, Gohan would not easily win the battle. This is mainly due to Goku being the superior fighter.

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Looking back at the DBZ series, I feel that Gohan’s power and combat skills were at their peak during the Cell Games.

True, Old Kai unlocked ALL of his hidden powers, but that would not unlock his combat skills and fighting instincts.

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Vegeta mentioned that Gohan’s power was a lot higher as a child, and this was when he witnessed Gohan power up to show Kibito the Super Saiyan 2 level.

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While watching his son fight with Dabura, Goku even brings up the fact that Gohan’s fighting sense was lost during his 7 years of no training.

After the battle with Cell, Gohan pretty much neglected his training in favor of studying. The end result was that his 11-year-old persona was more powerful both in strength and in fighting abilities.

Compare this to Goku, he trained for 7 years straight against warriors from across space and time during his stay on the Grand Kai’s planet.

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Before he slacked off in his training, Gohan knew everything that his father had to teach him. Their training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber allowed Gohan to pick up on his father’s technique and surpass his power.

If Ultimate Gohan fought against Super Saiyan 3 Goku, I’d say that Goku would be able to not only predict what Gohan would do next, but outsmart him as well during combat. Goku taught Gohan nearly everything that he knows about fighting.

Piccolo was the only other person to train Gohan. Krillin and Gohan did “mind training” on their trip to Namek, but we know that his father and “Big Green Uncle” were his primary instructors.

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Keep in mind that Goku spent 3 years training alongside Gohan and Piccolo. This means that he has seen everything that Gohan knows about fighting and enhanced his son’s skills in the Time Chamber.

Again, Gohan is more powerful, but Goku has been able to hold his own against more powerful opponents in the past.

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It has also been shown many times that if Goku is backed into a corner, he is capable of reaching incredible new levels of power.

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Of course, we know that Gohan does the same, and that goes to show he is indeed the son of Goku.

Aside from strength, Gohan has one huge advantage over Super Saiyan 3 Goku that has not yet been mentioned. Gohan’s power would not deplete as quickly as Super Saiyan 3 Goku!

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Remember that Goku admitted to Vegeta that even though he can go Super Saiyan 3; he can only hold the form for a short amount of time.

For fans who say that Super Saiyan 3 Goku is more powerful than Ultimate Gohan, I ask you this one question: Could Goku defeat his son before his Super Saiyan 3 power depletes?

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With a well placed Warp Kamehameha, I think that he could deal some heavy damage. Either way, I think this would be a tough battle.

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Super Saiyan Goku was holding his own so against Ultimate Gohan…well it was Buu’s thought form of Ultimate Gohan. Not to mention it was a filler scene, but I wanted to mention this because I know someone would say something about it in the comment section.

Something to remember about this fight was that Goku was getting exhausted, but Gohan was a thought form meaning that he could not be damaged or weakened so their battle is not really something to be used as solid evidence for this subject.

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Ultimate Gohan’s power is his maximum potential brought out to the surface, and it does not deplete his ki supply like a Super Saiyan 3 transformation would. Goku even says that Gohan’s power was higher than it was ever was even when his son was a Super Saiyan.

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The one moment that we could have and should have seen these 2 fighting was right after Gohan powered up after Old Kai unlocked his potential.

Just as Goku showed Goten and Trunks how to go Super Saiyan 3 before going back to the land of the dead, I think he should have battled Gohan before his son returned to the land of the living.

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Would have been a great touch as to how Goku shows his love for his children in the best way that he knows how.

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Buutenks reverting back to Buuccolo was another moment in the anime and manga that differed. In the anime, Goku was at Super Saiyan 3, but was doing what he could just to keep up with Buu. Fans argue that he was stalling for Gohan to find the Potara Earring. In the manga, this “fight” never happened; Buutenks went to Buuccolo without fighting Goku.

However, for fans who think Goku was more powerful than Buutenks: why would Goku want or need to permanently fuse with Ultimate Gohan…if he had the power to do it solo?

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In the manga and anime, Goku states that Gohan could defeat Buuccolo all by himself. The way he says that does seem to imply that Goku was disappointed in Buu’s drastic drop in power. I mean Goku was in a tense situation because he was desperate to fuse with Gohan, but now he was in a position where fusion was not needed because Gohan could win alone.

Really it is all up to personal interpretation about how Goku said what he said about Gohan beating Buu. I will admit that it does seem like Goku is saying that he could take Buu himself, but really I just do not think that this is the case.

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One last piece of evidence that fans like to bring up is the fact that Goku’s Ki was sensed from the Sacred Land of the Kais from Earth.

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However, when Gohan unleashed his new power, Buu was the ONLY person in the lower realm (Earth) to take notice of his power.

I think that ki sensing somehow works in reverse when it comes to comparing the lower realm (land of the living) and the other world (land of the dead).

On Supreme Kai’s planet, it makes sense that they could sense an extremely high power level from earth. However, it also makes sense that an extremely high power from the Kai planet could not be sensed from earth.

Remember that in the anime, Goku mentioned that Kid Buu was using Instant Transmission. That was how he found other planets with high ki readings during his hunt for Goku and Vegeta.

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In the manga, it was mentioned that he was using the “Kai Kai” or Instantaneous Moment used by Kibito Kai. This is a teleporting technique that does not require a ki signature for the user to transport to. This explains how in the manga, Kid Buu regenerated from his Planet Burst move on earth, and then went instantly to Supreme Kai’s planet to fight the Saiyans.

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Compared to the anime, Kid Buu sensed Goku and Vegeta when they raised their power levels to draw Buu to their location. He was on Grand Kai’s planet during that moment, and it made sense that he could track their powers since he was in the other world just as they were.

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What does this have to do with Buu sensing Gohan’s power from earth? Well Super Buu is an interesting being because he detected Gohan’s power, but Piccolo nor the boys (Goten and Trunks) were able to sense it. Perhaps it is because he is a powerful being that he could track a power that a Namek could not? Either way, it could be because Gohan was in the middle of a magical ceremony that his power was more “contained” when he unleashed it when compared to a Super Saiyan transformation.

I mean Gohan was on the verge of damaging the Kai planet by powering up, and Goku was on the verge of ripping apart the earth. The main difference was that Goku was not using Super Saiyan 3 for the first time, and he was “putting on a show” in order to stall for Trunks to find the Dragon Radar.

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We later saw that he could go Super Saiyan 3 in an instant as he did against Buutenks.

Gohan was doing the “Super Saiyan thing” as Old Kai put it in order to unleash his true power. So, I can see why the lower realm would have a difficult time tracking a high ki signature from the land of the dead.

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How else can you explain no one on earth sensing Goku’s power when he first unlocked Super Saiyan 3 during his time on Grand Kai’s planet?

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In the end, I think that Gohan has the power to win, but Goku has the skill to stay alive until he finds a weakness in Gohan’s defenses in order to land some powerful hits.

What do you think about this? Do you feel that Gohan’s power is superior, or does Super Saiyan 3 Goku have the power to surpass his son?

Like what you read? Be sure to follow my blog, and you will be able to read my past blogs about the Dragon Ball series! Also LIKE my Dragon Ball Z Facebook page: Vegeta Is The Best. On that page, I discuss many other Dragon Ball related topics and theories about the franchise! Be sure to pass it along to your friends, and I look forward to your thoughts in the comment section below. 

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10 thoughts on “Dragon Ball Z: Is Super Saiyan 3 Goku More Powerful Than Ultimate Gohan?

  1. Josh says:

    I would totally agree that gohan in ultimate form is more powerful, however only before goku received the life from elder kai. After that revival, goku’s power would spike dramatically

  2. Ezequiel says:

    no estoy de acuerdo porque cuando fue la pelicula contra el dragon hildegan ,Gotenks ssj3 ni gohan pudieron siquiera combatirlo y goku ssj3 lo derroto.

  3. Ethan says:

    Haven’t you read your Saiyan manual? Of course you have. Here’s the thing dude, you have a long essay about it but the way this was written I wouldn’t be able to formulate my own opinion about it. That being said I think the only person who could beat Goku is Gohan. The only evidence I actually need is that Gohan is stronger then Goku before he comes to back to life on the kai’s planet but after they are more equals and the reason I say that is because Gohan never fought kid buu. Now if he had kept his edge as a teen and trained he probably would’ve looked at all forms of buu and destroyed them, but the simple fact is it didn’t happen. But back on point I think if it came down to it Gohan could beat his dad. He needs to train like crazy first though.

  4. Ezequiel says:

    Goku was the only one who defeated Hildegan or gohan or gotenks ssj3 overcame him so Goku is stronger .

  5. anon says:

    I think with the new movies Akira Toriyama has well confiremed that Super Saiyan transformations are not the best means to gain power ups. Take into account the new movie where normal Goku takes on the newly powered up Freiza. What does seem to be the most efficient way for saiyans to get stronger is constant fighting and training.

  6. ryan says:

    Mystic gohan got swatted like a fly by beerus no way is he stronger than ssj3 goku only vegeta got a compliment of beerus saying he entertained him more than goku

    • Brandon Figueroa says:

      It doesnt matter what happens now in DBZ Super back then Goku was to afraid to even try and fight Super Buu and Gohan kicked the crap out of him

      Vegeta didnt even cratch Berus his expression doesnt change and all Vegeta does is kick up a lot of dust.Which should be a plot hole considering the vast gulf between a SSJ2 and SSJ3 THEN to the level Gohan was on. In all likelyhood AT has just dropped Gohan as an important character like he did everyone from DB

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