Goku’s mentor, Master Roshi, received a significant power upgrade for Dragon Ball Super’s Tournament of Power, but how strong is he, exactly?
Master Roshi is significantly more powerful in Dragon Ball Super than he was believed to be in Dragon Ball Z, but exactly how strong is the Turtle Hermit these days? Master Roshi — who trained Goku and Krillin in the original anime — was a force to be reckoned with in Goku’s earliest years, but was sidelined throughout Dragon Ball Z. He remained on the show as a source of comedy relief, but since he could no longer keep up with Goku and the Z-Warriors, he stayed out of the fighting.
Dragon Ball Super, on the other hand, utilized Roshi in ways that Dragon Ball Z never did. In the Golden Frieza Saga, Roshi was one of the heroes who followed Gohan into battle against the Frieza Force. Roshi returned in an even greater capacity for the Tournament of Power when his tactical experience made him a candidate for Goku’s Universe 7 team. Roshi, who was revealed to be hiding a great deal of power, proved to be an asset for Universe 7 in the tournament. After outlasting Krillin and Tien, Roshi put up quite a fight against fighters from Universe 4 and even scored a few eliminations, including their team leader, the super-powerful Ganos.
A moment leading up to the Tournament of Power is what set the stage for Roshi’s performance and provided a glimpse into his true potential. When Goku was trying to recruit Tien, the two found themselves going up against a mind-controlled Roshi. To everyone’s shock, beating Tien wasn’t difficult at all for Roshi, and Goku himself found Roshi surprisingly challenging in combat. Goku was able to beat him without going Super Saiyan, but taking him down did take some effort. During the battle, Goku surmised that Roshi had been training in secret, which means that Roshi is much more powerful than anyone gave him credit for (especially when using his bulked-out, Max Power form).
Master Roshi’s power retcon once again makes him someone who can keep up with at least some of the Z-Warriors. In the past, it was clear that Roshi had been surpassed by Krillin, Tien, Yamcha, and even Chiaotzu, but this may no longer be true. If he’s stronger than Tien, there’s a good chance that he could defeat Yamcha and Krillin as well. It’s hard to imagine any of the weaker Z-Warriors taking down Ganos as effectively as Roshi did in the Tournament of Power. All things considered, there’s an argument to be made that Roshi is the strongest human on Earth, but it’s hard to say definitively if he would defeat Krillin.
How does Master Roshi stack up to the other main characters? How Roshi finished in the tournament seems like a mostly accurate indicator of his strength. Roshi was the third to be defeated, after Krillin and Tien, but before Piccolo and all the others. Both the anime and the manga version of the story proved that Roshi stood no chance against Frieza’s Universe 6 counterpart, Frost. Frost, though, can be brought down by Vegeta in his Super Saiyan form and Piccolo’s Special Bean Cannon. So despite Roshi’s power upgrade in Dragon Ball Super, he’s still not in the league of the Saiyans, the Androids, or Piccolo, but he’s at least back to being a capable member of the Z-Warriors, now that he’s strong enough to fight alongside Krillin, Yamcha, and Tien.