Complimenting our previous Top 10 Freedom Defending Cybertrons/Autobots are their arch nemesis, the Terrorizing Destrons/Decepticons. Their war dates way back to the age of the dinosaurs and maybe even long before that. Originally, the Quintessons, the creators of the Cybertronians created the Decepticons/Destrons as their personal military but they turned against them. So what drives the Destrons/Decepticons? It is their lust for power and universal domination?
Like the Cybertrons/Autobots, the Destrons/Decepticons have various factions with their own respective sub-commanders, and even successors to the original Supreme Emperor himself, Megatron. So for today’s Top 10 countdown, we give you the Destrons/Decepticons from Transformers.
Blasting off into number 10 is Skywarp, the first revived Transformer after millions of years in suspended animation. Thanks to him, the war resumes on Earth from 1984. What makes him most devastating are his teleportation abilities being one of the very few Cybertronians to have them. With this unique power, he specializes in sneak attacks and other forms of ambush (but tends to use them for more malicious purposes).
Due to being a similar type of Transformer to Starscream and Thundercracker, he also transforms into an F-15 fighter jet. Though he may not have power, he makes it up with speed, agility, and rapid laser beams. Unlike Starscream, he demonstrates full loyalty to Megatron. However, he was one of the Destrons/Decepticons that were nearly destroyed in the 1986 movie. But thanks to the power of Unicron, he is reborn as Cyclonus. Even being remodeled, Skywarp/Cyclonus continues to pledge his loyalty to Galvatron, the rebuilt Megatron.
Unfortunately, the series does not clarify if he was rebuilt at the sacrifice of his teleportation.
Next is a very character that serves various purposes throughout the series but has little to say is Astrotrain. What makes this character stand out is that he is one of the first triple changers, meaning he can transform into three forms. In addition to his base robot form, he can turn into a train for ground transportation and a spaceship for space travel. Despite being the same size as the other Transformers in robot form, whenever he is in either his train or spaceship modes, he becomes large enough to house nearly the entire Destron/Decepticon force. The engineering behind this is probably left to the school of anime engineering on why this is possible.
Like Starscream, he exhibits his own unique desire to take leadership of the Destrons/Decepticons and along with his fellow triple changer Blitzwing, in one instance they freeze Megatron and Starscream and assume the positions for themselves. Unfortunately, their plans fail and with Megatron as mighty as he is, takes back leadership by force but Astrotrain and Blitzwing are thankfully spared. But Astrotrain’s lust for power does not stop there. While scouring for energy on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, he manipulates its inhabitants to believing he is a god and forces them to give him their energy. Unfortunately, the interference of the Cybertrons/Autobots makes him abandon the plans.
As a rival to the transforming city Metroplex, the Destrons/Decepticons have Dinosaurus or Trypticon in the English versions. In comparison to Metroplex who is always in city mode, Trypticon is almost always featured in his robot mode, which his name indicates, resembles that of a T-Rex. While Metroplex is more sentient, Trypticon can also be controlled like a mech (though he does demonstrate sentience).
In addition to being a city, he can also transform into a devastating battle station. In one of his most devastating deeds in his debut, he destroys the Ark, the spaceship that brought the Transformers to Earth that served as the very first home base of the Cybertrons/Autobots. Thankfully, a new transformation cog for Metroplex was installed in time to have him combat Trypticon and continue a trend of defeats with him thrown into the ocean.
Eventually his other exploits would expand to attempting to steal world heritage sites such as the Eiffel Tower and The Kremlin, in order to demonstrate his size and power.
7. Six Shot
Making his fame in Headmasters is the ninja-like Six Shot, whose name suggests, can transform into six various forms, or as they are called six changers. In addition to his base robot form, he can transform into a laser gun, a jet, a wolf-like creature, a tank, and a car (all Cybertronian in nature). And his abilities don’t stop at just his transformations.
Due to being a ninja, he can move at swift speeds, use bunshin no jutsu (meaning he can make copies of himself), and disguise himself as others. Due to all these factors, he is a constant and grave threat in the Headmasters series. Prior to the events of the series, the Headmasters had a history with him when he actually killed on of their best friends. However, he starts to see the error in his ways and how Scorponok isn't the leader he was cut out to be, leaves the Destrons/Decepticons, and begins to walk his own path.
Though Starscream was always loyal to the Destron/Decepticon cause, he was always open about wanting to gain leadership of this evil faction. But a combination of his inferior strength to Megatron and how the rest of the Destrons were always loyal to the supreme leader would not allow that. Megatron still saw qualities in Starscream in his treachery that would keep Megatron’s ego in check and at times useful.
Prior to becoming a lieutenant for Megatron, Starscream was a scientist and the best friend of Jet Fire, an Autobots/Cybertron. However, his lust for domination took over and it didn't end with just his position as a lieutenant in the Destrons/Decepticons. Many of his failures at his expense for power and glory are seen as comedic to fans, which is the stem of his appeal.
Eventually, he would temporarily show how powerful he was without Megatron after dumping his damaged body in space and would win an all out brawl for leadership. But his coronation would end thanks to Megatron’s revival as Galvatron and blasting Starscream to pieces. However, Starscream would come back on a small number of occasions as a ghost only to fail and forever float through space and time.
5. Deathsaurus (Dezarus)
Kicking into our top five is Deathsaurus, one of the main villains of Transformers Victory, and the leader of the Breast force of the Destrons/Decepticons. Due to his position in the Victory series, he is also the chief rival of Star Saber. Long prior to his introduction in the series, he was already looting and plundering across the stars and was feared as a vicious monster. His robot form resembles a dignified knight, but he transforms into a bird-like creature that can use his metallic wings as deadly weapons.
Like all villains, he is driven by his hate for mankind. Regardless of his personal dislike for humans, he has a rather soft spot for children. His most dastardly deed in the series, he managed to kill Ginrai, but it only motivated the Cybertrons/Autobots to rebuild him. Throughout most of the series, he is motivated to regain his lost fortress capable of destroying planets in his quest to conquer the Galaxy. But in order to do that, he wishes to use the energy of the Earth to power his fortress.
4. Devil Z
Though the Michael Bay second Transformers movie, The Revenge of the Fallen, considers the titled villain the top Decepticon/Destron, in the anime editions, especially in Super-God Masterforce, is the mysterious Devil Z, who is considered a Decepticon/Destron God. In addition to being a god, he also carries the moniker Yami no Soutou, or The Fuhrer of Darkness. The most frightening thing about him, despite being labeled as the Destron leader in the series he appears in, he’s not at all a robot, but a being of pure energy who can destroy planets with his devil power.
However, his ultimate goal is to combine humans and Cybertronians as one being with the use of some transtectors (lifeless robot bodies) he stole. Despite his title as a god, he still manipulates his own men, such as Scorponok for absolute loyalty. The fact he goes as far as brainwashing his own people despite his rank shows he is not a villain to mess with.
3. Scorponok (aka Mega Zarak)
In third, we have the leader of the Destron/Decepticon faction of the Headmasters, Scorponok. Like Starscream, he is motivated in becoming the top dog, but Scorponok’s methods were much more methodical and patient. Early in his introduction, he demonstrates great knowledge in strategy and tries his best to offer his wisdom to Galvatron, but Galvatron in some ways dismisses them as if he were being bossed around (only for him to be proven that Scorponok was almost always right on the money).
In the first third of the series, Scorponok worked behind the scenes manipulating events to gain leadership of the Destrons/Decepticons and his ruse actually worked (by lying to the Destrons/Decepticons that Galvatron granted him leadership after the destruction of Seibertron). The reason for him staying in the shadows is that his transtector body, or the Mega Zarak, a giant scorpion body that can serve as a spaceship like Fortress Maximus, had yet to be completed.
However, upon Galvatron’s return during Scorponok’s coronation, as opposed to blowing him up like he did with Starscream, he humiliates him by regulating him to being used as a carrier to plunder planet to planet across the galaxy as if he were a chariot. Thankfully, the events would return in his favor to resume supreme leadership and like his predecessor, he would destroy only to come back more powerful than ever as BlackZarack in Masterforce, the sequel to Headmasters.
In the Japanese exclusive Headmasters series, Scorponok is voiced by the iconic Ginga Banjo, also famous as the voice Giren Zabi in the original Gundam series in addition to being the voice of Liquid Snake in the Japanese version of Metal Gear Solid. His distinct baritone voice gives him the combination of being both a leader and as a dastardly villain.
In second place is Megatron’s most loyal servant, Soundwave, a transforming tape recorder. Thanks to his personal army of cassette bots such as Laserbeak who can easily conceal themselves for spying missions, they can get the upper hand on the Cybertrons/Autobots. In addition to Laserbeak, he also has Rumble and Frenzy who can transform their arms into jackhammers and cause devastating earthquakes by pounding the ground. Adding to his undying loyalty to Megatron, he is also a capable soldier in combat situations. In the early part of Headmasters, he fights his Cybertron/Autobot counterpart, Broadcast/Blaster to a draw where both perished in battle but would both be revived. As Broadcast would be reborn as Twincast, Soundwave would be rebuilt as Soundblaster with a more shiny paint job and heavier armor.
Regardless of the (little to no) changes in his design, his function to the Destrons/Decepticons remains the same. What is probably the most memorable quality of Soundwave to English-speaking audiences is his voice is distinctly the most robotic also voiced by Frank Welker. The voice is pretty much his Dr. Claw voice in Inspector Gadget, but modulated to make him sound appropriately like a robot. Masamune Issei, his Japanese voice actor brings a more calm tone to the character and exhibits a little more emotion. The modulation to his Japanese voice sounds a bit more sonar while his English voice appropriately has an auto-tune like feel to it.
At number one we have the grand Destron/Decepticon Emperor himself, Megatron. He is all-mighty and all-powerful. He is charismatic as he is frightening. Every time he directs a mission, he wants nothing but destruction. Whether he is transformed as a gun or in his regular robot mode, his cannon is not to be trifled with. The only one that can face him in hand-to-hand combat is the Cybertron/Autobots leader himself, Convoy/Optimus Prime. Many times throughout the series they would duke it out.
However, their last tangle would be in the 1986 movie where both men fought to every last spark. Convoy would perish and before Megatron was about to die, Unicron rebuilt him as Galvatron. Though he claims to not tolerate disobedience, he has forgiven Starscream, one of his top lieutenants, on numerous occasions but eventually brought him to his doom shortly after he was remodeled as Galvatron. As Galvatron, as opposed to a gun, he could turn into a devastating cannon. His updated body made him more frightening and stronger.
Thanks to the new generation of Cybertrons lead by Rodimus, his plans for domination never come to fruition. A majority of the character’s appeal is the raspy performance of Frank Welker (such as Fred in Scooby Doo), one of the most legendary voice actors in American voice acting. He brings an appropriate tone that conveys that the character is evil in both an inside and outside definition. The late great Kato Seizo whose fame was mostly in old school titles such as Hoshi Ittetsu in Kyojin no Hoshi and Dr. Yamaguchi in Voltes V, provides the Japanese voice of the character. His performance thanks to how the Japanese version modulates his voice brings the same flavor of intimidation audiences would hear in the English version.
As the cliche goes, a hero is only as good as its villain and there it nothing more true with the Destrons/Decepticons complementing the Cybertrons/Autobots. Though the Destrons/Decepticons have superior firepower and sturdier bodies, their inner-conflicts have always been the core of their undoing. Megatron may have been a sturdy leader but the disloyalty of some of his own men in their quest for power have also been a clearer definition in their source for failures.
Maybe if they took a page out of the Cybertrons/Autobots and learn to unify and learn about the people with the planets they interact with, they would probably enforce peace through tyranny.