[Top 10] Dragon Ball Best Piccolo Fights

Piccolo, ready to throw down. Copyright 2015, Toei Animation.
Piccolo, ready to throw down. Copyright 2015, Toei Animation.

Given recent Dragon Ball storylines, especially those of the ongoing Dragon Ball Super manga, it can be easy to overlook the non-Saiyan fighters. One such example is Piccolo, who sometimes seems to be left in the dust by Goku, Vegeta, and even Gohan. Lest we in the audience forget how much this Namekian has contributed over the years, both to the Dragon Gang and the Dragon Ball canon, it would do us good to review Piccolo’s top ten fights in the anime franchise.

10. Piccolo vs. Freiza (Army), Dragon Ball Super

Piccolo & the gang take out Freiza's cannon fodder.

Context of the Fight: 

Freiza’s back from the dead, and he’s brought his reformed army to Earth for revenge! However, heavy-hitters Goku & Vegeta are training on Beerus’ planet, so it’s up to the other Dragon Gang members to face the threat. Piccolo happens to be one of those present, and he doesn’t plan to take this situation lying down.

What Makes the Piccolo vs. Freiza (Army) Fight Awesome: 

•    Piccolo hasn’t lost his edge even after years of peace, easily defeating each of the mooks that come his way with a one-shot hit.
•    Piccolo shows little to no fear even when shown the unexpected, such as the surprise return of Captain Ginyuu of the Ginyuu force.
•    When Gohan finds himself on the precipice of death by the revived Freiza, he easily chooses to sacrifice himself (again) for his friend’s benefit.

9. Piccolo vs. Android 20, Dragon Ball Z/DBZ:Kai

"Screw you, old man!"

Context of the Fight:

With Android 19 reduced to just a head, Android 20 is on the retreat! When the Dragon Gang manage to corner him, though, Piccolo steps up and requests that *he* be the one to battle the remaining foe. Since Vegeta doesn’t mind, and Android 20 thinks Piccolo would be an easy target, the new matchup quickly begins.

What Makes the Piccolo vs. Android 20 Fight Awesome:

•    Piccolo is able to withstand Android 20’s energy-draining attack like it’s nothing.
•    Apparently the training Piccolo did prior to the androids’ arrival has put him near, or on par with, the power of a Super Saiyan.
•    The no-nonsense attitude Piccolo demonstrates throughout the conflict – no pride, just a desire to put the android conflict to an end.

8. Piccolo vs. Frost, Dragon Ball Super

Piccolo takes out his repressed rage towards Frieza on Frost.

Context of the Fight:

During the tournament between the 6th and 7th Universes, Goku unexpectedly loses against the Freiza-counterpart Frost! As such, it is now Piccolo’s turn to enter the ring and fight. Given Goku’s mysterious defeat, however, is Piccolo up to the task, or will Frost pull another surprise?

What makes the Piccolo vs. Frost Fight Awesome:

•    Piccolo brings back some of the signature techniques he’d seem to have left behind years ago. (The extending arms! The special-beam cannon!)
•    For most of the match, Piccolo is able to keep up with Frost, implying his strength eclipses Super Saiyan. (Given that Frost likely equals pre-Super Freiza in strength.)
•    Piccolo is able to maintain the charge to his Special-Beam Cannon even after taking strong hits from Frost.

7. Piccolo (& Gohan) vs. Saonel & Pirina, Dragon Ball Super

Piccolo, you taught Gohan well. (Relevant segment starts at the 00:39 mark.)

Context of the Fight: 

Two universes have already been erased in the Tournament of Power. The Dragon Gang’s Universe 7, fortunately, is still holding strong, with seven of their fighters remaining. However, that could soon change as Piccolo & Gohan face Saonel & Pirina, the last two fighters from the 6th Universe!

What Makes the Piccolo (& Gohan) vs. Saonel & Pirina Fight Awesome:

•    The audience sees the full strength of the 6th Universe’s Namekians, and they don’t disappoint!
•    Piccolo teams up with Gohan, his former pupil, making for a touching moment where the two stand not as master and student but as equals.
•    Despite being overwhelmed by his fellow Namekians’ resolve, Piccolo pulls through thanks to Gohan’s help and eliminates them from the tournament.

6. Piccolo vs. Freiza (2nd Form), Dragon Ball Z/DBZ:Kai

Piccolo tries to avenge his fallen brethren.

Context of the Fight: 

So, Piccolo has been revived by the Namekian Dragon Balls, and has also managed to absorb a fellow Namekian via fusion. What will he do next? Put that new life at risk and fight the empowered Frieza, of course!

What Makes the Piccolo vs. Freiza (2nd Form) Fight Awesome:

•    Piccolo’s entrance and initial advantage against Freiza are a welcome change from the latter’s previously overwhelming dominance.
•    The fight could genuinely qualify as Nail’s revenge against Freiza for their earlier battle.
•    Piccolo accepts himself as a Namekian, rather than simply a person with no past, and fights Freiza not only for his friends but to also avenge his people.

5.    Piccolo vs. Cell, Dragon Ball Z/DBZ:Kai

Piccolo, concluding there's not enough room for another green guy in this story.

Context of the Fight:

Piccolo has found the recent monster attacks in Ginger Town disturbing to say the least. So much so, in fact, that he was willing to fuse with Kami to face this unknown creature. These fears are justified, sadly, when he enters the town and meets Cell, Dr. Gero’s ultimate creation! 

What Makes the Piccolo vs. Cell Fight Awesome:

•    Piccolo’s clear disgust at Cell for not only destroying an entire town full of innocent people, but doing so through his depraved ‘absorption’ method.
•    By fusing with Kami, Piccolo becomes a ‘Super Namekian’, making him (at this point in Dragon Ball canon) one of the top fighters in the universe.
•    Though Cell may mimic him in ability, original Piccolo proves himself superior to the knock-off. (For now, anyway.)

4. Piccolo vs. Android 17, Dragon Ball Z/DBZ:Kai

Piccolo's here to discipline some rebellious teens.

Context of the Fight:

Android 17 continues his search for Goku, all the while unaware of Cell’s mission to absorb him and 18. Piccolo thus challenges 17 to a one-on-one fight, in the hopes of both killing the android and depriving Cell of a power-up. The two are rather evenly matched, however, so who knows what will happen next.

What Makes the Piccolo vs. Android 17 Fight Awesome:

•    The way that Piccolo is able to match Android 17 blow-for-blow makes for a tense battle. They keep getting knocked down, and yet they stand up again and again!
•    Android 17 is forced to admit that he can only beat Piccolo by outlasting the latter through his built-in perpetual energy reactor. In other words, Piccolo will eventually tire out, while 17 won’t.
•    The fact that the fight ends not with one side losing, or even a draw, but with an immediate Piccolo-17 team up against Cell.

3. Piccolo vs. Raditz, Dragon Ball Z/DBZ:Kai

"I saved the world *and* killed my nemesis! World domination here I co- oh, right, the other Saiyans."

Context of the Fight: 

A new enemy of Earth has arrived in the form of the Saiyan Raditz, Goku’s previously unknown older brother. Predictably, Piccolo is unhappy with this development due to his own plans for world conquest. He therefore grudgingly teams up with former nemesis Goku in order to destroy the fiend from outer space.

What Makes the Piccolo vs. Raditz Fight Awesome:

•    It’s the first ever team-up between Piccolo and Goku, signaling that the evil Namekian might yet change his ways in the future.
•    The fight introduces Piccolo’s famous technique, the Special Beam Cannon.
•    Piccolo is able to get a partial form of revenge against Goku by killing him alongside Raditz. (Though Goku, for his part, agreed to the role of necessary sacrifice)

2. Piccolo vs. Nappa, Dragon Ball Z/DBZ:Kai

Piccolo tries to kill a Saiyan warrior alongside a warrior monk and a 5-year-old. What could go wrong?

Context of the Fight:

Not only have Saiyans Vegeta and Nappa arrived on Earth, they’ve easily bested a number of the Dragon Gang’s warriors. Piccolo, Krillin, and Gohan, in particular, are all that’s left to beat Nappa. Piccolo isn’t about to call it quits, though, as he prepares to lead one final charge to protect the planet!

What Makes the Piccolo vs. Nappa Fight Awesome:

•    Nappa is the first enemy Piccolo has encountered who so thoroughly outclasses him. Not even Goku or Raditz did this much damage against him!
•    Piccolo’s last-ditch strategy to weaken Nappa by grabbing the Saiyan’s tail backfires, not only failing to work but also leading to a crippling injury.
•    The fight ends not because Piccolo lost fair and square, but because he sacrifices himself for the sake of his new and only friend, Gohan.

1. Piccolo vs. Goku, Dragon Ball 

Piccolo's inner monologue: "Damn it, why won't you die?!"

Context of the Fight:

To avenge King Piccolo (or himself, to the extent that he’s the reincarnation of King Piccolo), Piccolo ‘Jr.’ fights Goku in the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. At the same time, he also seeks to kill Goku in order to eliminate the main obstacle to his plans for world domination. Will Goku be able to stop the mad slug-man?

What Makes Piccolo vs. Goku Fight Awesome:

•    This is the fight that introduces Piccolo as the franchise would know him for years to come.
•    The battle between the two is surprisingly bloody, with Piccolo even giving Goku a gaping chest wound.
•    Even after the fight concludes with Goku’s victory, Piccolo still survives. He (once again) swears vengeance, and sets up the cliffhanger that will lead to Dragon Ball Z.

I hope this list proves that Piccolo still has his place among the Dragon Gang! I will admit, though, that these are my own top Piccolo fights rather than anything official. So, if you want to let me know what you think of the list, or what your own top Dragon Ball Piccolo fights are, feel free to comment and discuss below!

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Delighted at sharing his name with Middle-Earth's most faithful companion, Sam takes his own journeys into stories and games with the hope of sharing them with the world.
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