Some fighters in the Dragon Ball franchise are defined by their unique maneuvers, giving them a special edge in combat that makes them stand out from the other warriors around them. Krillin is one of them. In fact, he possesses one of the single most powerful potential attacks in the world, but there are some serious drawbacks.
What is the Destructo Disc, Krillin's best attack in the Dragon Ball franchise -- and why does it always seem to fail?
What is the Destructo Disc?
The Destructo Disc -- also known as the Kienzan -- was introduced in the Saiyan Saga during Dragon Ball Z, developed by Krillin as perhaps his ultimate technique. Taking his ki and channeling it into a disc that he produces over his head, the flowing energy creates a saw-like effect. When thrown, the Destructo Disc is capable of cutting down almost anything -- casually slicing through mountains and buildings with no sign of stopping. It doesn't operate like most forms of Ki attacks in the Dragon Ball franchise, either. While Ki attacks are usually defined by their destructive capability by the one attempting the attack, the Destructo Disc is uniquely powerful. It's capable of injuring or even killing beings with a far higher power level than Krillin, and can even be split into many smaller blades.
This makes the move possibly Krillin's most devastating attack. Using the Destructo Disc, Krillin was almost able to catch Nappa off-guard in the Saiyan Saga, nearly killing him. It fails to do so because Vegeta senses the truth about the attack and warns Nappa in time, allowing him to largely dodge the attack. The Disc only glances his face, leaving him with a deep cut. Krillin later uses it again during the Frieza Saga, actually cutting off the galactic villain's tail while he was in his second form that positively dwarfed Krillin's power level.
In theory, it's a perfect move for Krillin to use, especially as a human. With the massive power levels afforded to the likes of the Saiyans and other aliens, humans developing techniques that could still cut down massive threats is vital to their survival.
Why Does The Destructo Disc Fail?
It's unfortunate then that the Destructo Disc has a laughable success rate. The problem with it is that since it's thrown like a disc and not commanded through continued control, it's a fairly easy maneuver to dodge. The straight and static path of the Disc is easy to predict and move around. Nappa and Frieza could have likely been killed by the attack if it landed successfully, but instead, it grazed both villains as they moved around it. There are also ways to counter the attack, such as Vinegar from the Garlic Jr. Saga (who caught the blade and redirected it), Perfect Cell in the Cell Saga (who's overwhelming aura was able to shatter the ki of the disc before it could cut into his body) and Kid Buu in the Buu Saga (who's super-malleable body is able to simply reconnect after the Disc cuts it in half).
In theory, the Destructo Disc is a lethal move. Coupled with other techniques Krillin knows, such as the blinding Solar Flare, it could be considered a one-man killing technique. But the general flaws with the attack make it less impressive. Even in the hands of more powerful warriors, such as Goku, Perfect Cell and Android 18, it's never shown to be as devastating as it should be.