When talking about the Transformers, people usually don’t go much further than the battles between Optimus Prime and Megatron, i.e., the Autobots and the Decepticons. Some fans will also know about Unicton, the Quintessons and some other concepts explored in the G1 animated series, but even a lot of fans don’t know that the Transformers mythos is a vast universe with a lot of interesting stories. One of those stories is the topic of today’s article.
The original (Covenant) Thirteen consisted of Prima, Vector Prime, Alpha Trion, Solus Prime, Micronus Prime, Alchemist Prime, Nexus Prime, Onyx Prime, Amalgamous Prime, Quintus Prime, Liege Maximo, the Fallen and the “Thirteenth Prime” (generally considered to be Optimus Prime).
In 1984, Hasbro and Takara Tomy released a toy line that included robots that could transform into vehicles. They were Japanese toys rebranded for the Western market, based on the Diaclone and Microman toy lines. The toy line was named Transformers and it would soon enough become a pillar of modern pop-culture, with a series of animated shows, comic books, video games and – subsequently – live-action movies that created one of the most important franchises in the world.
In today’s article, we are going to introduce you to the Thirteen Primes, which we are going to order based on their strength, from the weakest to the strongest. Enjoy!
Alpha Trion is one of the oldest living Transformers, known for his exceptionally deep knowledge of the Transformers’ history and their place in the universe. In his youth, he went by the name A-3, and in this time, he helped lead the enslaved Cybertronians in their rebellion against their cruel masters, the Quintessons, who are known as the creators of the Autobots and Decepticons.
As a result, he was instrumental in first establishing Cybertron as an independent planet.
In his older years, he has found a comfortable role in serving as an advisor to other Transformers. Though not taking part in the battles of the Great War, he is firmly on the side of the Autobots, serving as a mentor and guide, especially to Optimus Prime (the Thirteenths Prime) and Elita One. He is an enigmatic old robot, though he is known to be the guardian of Vector Sigma and the custodian of its circuit key.
His sage-like manner paints him in almost a mystic tone, and possible connections between Alpha Trion, Primus, and the history of Cybertron itself have boosted him into legendary status.
Alpha Trion is something of a record-keeper for the Primes and is mostly known for his intellectual abilities and his encyclopaedic knowledge. And while he is stronger than most other Transformers, he is much weaker than the other Primes.
Solus Prime is the Maker and creator among the Thirteen. She is much loved both for her abilities to forge nearly any device they need and for her intelligence and positive supportive personality. But, there is another side to her personality, as she has a fierce and angry tempered that quickly flares up at any sign of injustice.
She finds joy in creation, which is why she’s particularly close friends with Nexus Prime, Micronus Prime, and Onyx Prime, who revel in similar pursuits. Her closest relationship, however, is to Megatronus. The two are bound by a close devoted romantic love unique among the Thirteen, and spend much of their time online and off rejoicing in each other’s presence.
All female Transformers are patterned from her template and thus are gifted with a similar processing architecture, which is the main differentiation between them and their male counterparts.
Many of the arsenal of magnificent weaponry and icons wielded by the other original Transformers are her impressive handiwork, created by an icon of her own, the Forge of Solus Prime, aided by her unique cognitive systems specializing in wide-ranging and powerful parallel processing, and manifesting in the holographic lattice known as the Creation Lathe.
Solus Prime is the artist among the Thirteen and is thus gifted with abilities that are not focused on sheer power. This is why she is positioned so low on our list, despite being a majestic creator.
Quintus Prime possesses a mind second to none. He is the scientist of the group and is an absolute genius. He likes to create, just like Solus Prime, but unlike her, Quintus Prime is absolutely firm in his idealism, which often led to him clashing with other members of the Thirteen, most notably Solus Prime.
Something of a daydreamer, Quintus believes that life, in all its forms, is the most important thing in the universe, and that life should be encouraged to grow and thrive at all costs throughout the galaxy. Accordingly, he wields the Emberstone, an artifact which can accelerate biological processes in base elements.
He was the tenth Prime created by Primus for a fight against Unicron. After Unicron’s defeat, Quintus drifted freely between the cliques formed in the group alongside Alchemist Prime and Optimus Prime.
A genius like no other, Quintus Prime is a better creator than even Solus Prime, who is the primary artist among the group. While Solus Prime creates objects, Quintus Prime creates life, which is also why he is more powerful than her and Alpha Trion. Still, he is not as powerful as the other Primes.
Micronus Prime, is known as conscience and moral center of the Thirteen. Although he is the smallest member of this venerated group, he possesses boundless reserves of energy and a clever mind, enabling him to predict the actions of his brothers and sisters before even they know what they’re going to do.
Micronus’s innocent nature belies his strong ethical sense; although he takes his role very seriously, he approaches his duties with a light Spark and an easy touch. He eschewed the most dour members of the Thirteen in favor of the free-spirited Onyx Prime, whom he once considered his closest friend, and his creative energies also inspired him to strike up friendships with Solus Prime and Nexus Prime. Micronus’ siblings always appreciated his presence—he could impart a fraction of his energy upon them using the Chimera Stone, directing his own energies into a form that suited their needs. He would pass a version of this ability on to his descendants, the Mini-Cons.
In recent years, Micronus Prime has retreated to the Realm of the Primes, where he temporarily served as a mentor and spiritual guide to Optimus Prime, the youngest member of the Thirteen. In this role, he prefers to let his younger sibling learn through trial and error, sometimes feigning a blithe indifference to the mental and physical rigors of his training regimen. In reality, though, Micronus cares deeply about all living things, be they Transformer or otherwise.
Despite being small and looking weak, the “father” of the Mini-Cons is actually a very powerful entity and a true fighter, unlike his predecessors on this list. This is why we think that he is stronger than them, but still weaker than the other Primes.
Amalgamous Prime is one of the Thirteen, the original Primes, who were created by Primus to battle and defeat his nemesis, Unicron. A gentle, good-natured prankster, Amalgamous Prime was known as the trickster of the Thirteen and the master of change; he could instantaneously assume just about any shape he could imagine.
Amalgamous’ curious nature and independent mind meant that he rarely stayed in one place for very long. His equally mutable Scythe mimicked his own whimsical form, constantly changing from one shape or state of matter to another. Supposedly, he would go on to found the Shifters, who took after his fluid and malleable nature.
Amalgamous Prime was the ninth Prime created by Primus to defeat Unicron. He possessed two artifacts of power – his shapeshifting Scythe and the original Transformation Cog, which caused him to shift and flow constantly; the cog was initially associated with Adaptus. In the ensuing battle against Primus’ archenemy, Amalgamous fought on the front lines as a warrior, and together the Thirteen saw off Unicron.
In the age of peace and rebuilding that followed, Amalgamous, Liege Maximo, and Micronus Prime busied themselves with mining and refining Energon, although personality conflicts simmered between the trio and Alpha Trion, Prima, and Vector Prime.
Due to his abilities and his role in the lore, it is easy to deduce why Amalgamous Prime is tougher than the preceding names on the list. He is very powerful and also unpredictable, which makes him a potentially tricky opponent to defeat.
Alchemist Prime arose from Primus with a deep connection to the elements; even among the Thirteen, his powers straddle the line between science and mysticism, which makes him one of the more special members of the group.
Alchemist’s natural intelligence and curiosity are augmented by his personal artifact, the Lenses; permanently affixed into his optics, they allow him to perceive the physical and spiritual cycles of the universe in equal measure. Always in tune with creation, Alchemist’s constant quest to understand the mechanisms of change means that he thinks of himself as a mere student of the natural world. Above all, Alchemist trusts his instincts and natural intuition, which rarely lead him wrong.
Alchemist Prime possesses the ability to transmute metals and temporarily alter the properties of any object. While these powerful abilities make him an unpredictable foe on the battlefield, Alchemist is one of the most even-tempered and gentle members of the Thirteen, with a friendly, sympathetic nature that makes him easy to be around.
Among his twelve siblings, Alchemist was closest to Alpha Trion, Vector Prime, and Nexus Prime. Alchemist Prime’s mastery of chemistry extends to various intoxicating beverages, which he has a professed fondness for.
While most of the Thirteen dispersed across space and time after their great schism, Alchemist opted to remain on Cybertron for a time, quietly guiding the progress of the earliest Transformer civilizations. Indeed, rumors swirl that Alchemist may still walk Cybertron after untold millennia, disguised as a humble bartender.
Alchemist Prime is immensely powerful and is a truly unpredictable foe. The fact that his powers are closer to the ones of Solus Prime and Quintus Prime makes his position even more interesting, because he seems to be a much better fighter than the “artistic” members of the group. Due to his connection with the basic elements in the universe, there is no telling what he could do and the fact that he is the only living member of the Thirteen (beside Optimus) says enough about his endurance.
Liege Maximus was among the Thirteen created by Primus to battle and defeat Unicron and witnessed the activation of the Well of Allsparks.
He was a talker, the manipulative one, who could bend words and thoughts much more easily than metal. His silvered tongue was capable of the most eloquent charm and he soon learned how to pitch whatever line he was selling to the person in question, tailoring his language and methods to exactly match their desires or to feed their suspicions.
He was often watchful and quiet, absorbing, calculating and planning his next move. He is depicted as a great psychologist who can easily decipher how the mind of a Transformer works. The power these skills gave him over others, most of whom were naive at this point, was incalculably immense. The other Primes were not ready for someone as scheming as he could be.
Maximo’s artifact was the Liegian Darts, which were actual darts, filled with toxins of all kinds, which he could deploy to disrupt others, but the real darts were his words and his thoughts, their barbs and effects unsurpassed by any mere physical object.
In the final battle that tore the Thirteen apart, Liege Maximo was literally torn apart and had his head blown off by The Fallen.
It is absolutely clear why Liege Maximo is considered to be one of the most dangerous Transformers in the whole universe. He is manipulative, scheming and is basically the embodiment of true evil within the Thirteen Primes. Luckily enough, he is not as physically imposing as he is treacherous so there are Transformers that could defeat him.
Vector Prime is Primus’ appointed guardian of time and space, which makes him one of the most powerful Transformers ever. Though recorded history pegs him as being 25 million years old, he has identified himself as being 9 billion years old(!), making the clockwork-covered Transformer one of the Thirteen.
He’s so old that in many of the Transformers timelines, the locals have called him “the First Autobot”. Despite his age, Vector Prime is very powerful, and can warp both space and time, though excessive use of this power can severely weaken him. His powers allow him to traverse the multiverse at will, allowing Vector Prime to track and record events across a countless number of realities.
Vector Prime was once a holder of the Matrix of Leadership before he left Cybertron to guard space and time; this was a very lonely task which isolated him from Cybertronian culture for tens of millions of years.
Though he has rejoined the timestream on occasion to protect it from large-scale dangers, his extraordinary exile has left him emotionally, culturally, and politically disconnected from his race. He speaks in archaic terminology steeped in chivalry from an age long past, which has led some to believe him to be little more than a doddering relic.
Despite this disconnect, Vector Prime never forgets that these strange modern creatures are the reason he guards space and time so fiercely. It is the miracle of time that allows these precious lives to continue and flourish across the multiverse.
Vector Prime is one of the most powerful Transformers and his abilities to manipulate time and space make him a truly formidable foe. Just imagine fighting an enemy who can manipulate the very reality you exist in and use it as he pleases! Well, that “enemy” is Vector Prime and it is a great thing that he is on the side of good.
Onyx Prime, also known as the “Lord of Beasts”, is the most spiritually-orientated member of the Thirteen; he is in tune with both the creatures of the natural world and the intangible realm of the spirit. He alone has the ability to properly use the three-faced Triptych Mask given to him by Primus; this artifact allows him to cast his spirit across vast distances to commune with the dreams of far-off beings, or even track the journey of a Spark across the afterlife.
Though some view these strange mental voyages across distant realms as mere flights of fancy, Onyx and his visions make him one of the most inspirational Primes.
Onyx Prime’s spiritual aptitude allowed him to cultivate an inscrutable presence that made him appear mysterious and slightly intimidating at the best of times, even to the other members of the Thirteen. In spite of his powers, Onyx Prime is a kind-hearted and friendly individual at Spark, a trait that made him one of the most liked members of the Thirteen.
Indeed, all of his siblings treated him as a fiercely loyal companion and a steadfast confidant—Micronus Prime, in particular, once regarded Onyx as his closest friend.
As the first Transformer to possess a beast mode, those Transformers who revere him as the greatest of the Primes tend to eschew the vehicular alternate modes of other Transformers, preferring to wear the animalistic forms exemplified by their spiritual progenitor.
The thing that makes Onyx Prime so powerful is his connection to the nature and the spiritual afterlife. Also, he is much more powerful than regular Transformers, due to being able to transform into animalistic forms. This gives Onyx Prime immense powers and makes him one of the stongest members of the Thirteen.
Nexus Prime was the first combiner, often associated with Rarified Energon, and one of the member of the original Thirteen Primes. He is sometimes wrongly referred to as Nexus Maximus.
Known as the “Wizard of Forms”, Nexus Prime was all about change and mutability. As the first and greatest combiner, he was able to merge any robots into new combined forms at will or separate himself into multiple independent components. When standing alone, his body seemed to shift or be overlaid with ever-changing forms and combinations he might take.
Powerful, proud, and frequently unpredictable even to those who knew him best, Nexus Prime was also full of good humor and can even be a bit of a prankster at times. He was the “mad experimenter” of the Thirteen and is fascinated by changing states of matter and the creation of new elements in solar forges. This shared affinity for creation led Solus Prime, the “Maker” of the Thirteen, to have special feelings for Nexus, which in turn seemed to have earned him the enmity of Megatronus and Liege Maximo.
The Thirteenth Prime (Optimus Prime)
The Thirteenth Prime, also known as 13, is the last of the original Primes and the most mysterious member of the group. Generally, not much is known about him, save for the fact that his powers are passed on to the Autobot leaders.
In the original continuity, The Thirteenth Prime was Optimus Prime, the mediator and visionary of the Primes, who united them by being the first of their number to raise a hand in greeting. After the Thirteen were torn apart by internal conflict, Optimus chose to be reborn as an ordinary Cybertronian through the Well of All Sparks, losing memory of his past and becoming known as Orion Pax.
Pax would eventually take up the Matrix of Leadership to become Optimus Prime once again, and—after sacrificing his life to restore Cybertron—rejoined his brethren in the Realm of the Primes, where they trained him for a mission to Earth in order to defeat his fallen brother Megatronus.
In the 2005 IDW continuity, he Thirteenth Prime—whose name was eventually forgotten, with Cybertron remembering him only as the Arisen—was one of the leaders of the Thirteen Tribes, who came together with his fellow Primes in Crystal City to build a new civilization.
Millions of years later, the Mistress of Flame would come to believe that Optimus Prime was the Arisen, a belief that Optimus exploited to effect change on Earth; and Shockwave named Optimus as the Arisen while in the guise of Onyx Prime. At the end of his life, Optimus would claim to be the Arisen but perished before he could explain the statement. Later on however, Arcee would come to the conclusion that the Arisen’s true name hadn’t mattered compared to the heroic legacy he’d left behind.
Whether or not The Thirteenth Prime was Optimus, the legacy of 13 is enormous and there is absolutely no doubt that the is the second most powerful good member of the Thirteen Primes. He has managed to unite the Primes and help in them in defeating Megatronus, which was an amazing feat that deserves all the praise.
The Fallen (Megatronus)
Megatronus was initially one of the Thirteen Primes, but this fallen Prime would become better known under a new nam – The Fallen. The Fallen is a name given to Megatronus after he had risen against his brother Primes and decided to pursue his own ends, also earning the moniker “the first Decepticon” in the process.
His frightening form is a robotic symbol of primal, burning forces of chaos, giving him the appearance of a living furnace. These cauldron-like forces purged him of what empathy and morality remained; all that remains now is hatred and purest rage.
The Fallen is immensely powerful. He commands mystic, entropic arts, and when at full strength he can un-make creation at his focused will. He is rarely defeated; at best he is contained, where he waits with eternal patience for the chance to unleash his dark powers once again. Though he has at times been imprisoned between dimensions, this rarely lasts. When his power is at its height The Fallen can open space bridges and travel between dimensions and realities at will.
Like his brothers, The Fallen was once a multiversal singularity, meaning that in all of the vast multiverse, he had no alternate-universe doppelganger, but that is now no longer the case. In several realities he is the originator of the Decepticons, the catalyst that prompted Megatron to claim power for himself rather than the greater good. While the exact details of his past are complicated beyond the understanding of mortals – even us here at Fiction Horizon – we know that it’s better if you don’t cross this guy’s path.
Megatronus, or The Fallen, was the second strongest among the original Primes. He is practically an unstoppable force, but he derives all of his power from hatred and other negative emotions, unlike the rest of the Primes. His story could be compared to that of the fallen angel, Lucifer, but with more destructive power, as The Fallen is bent on destroying everything he used to hold dear.
Prima, also known as Prima Prime is the first ever Transformer in history. Created by Primus, he was appointed as the Warrior of Light and given the legendary Star Saber sword with the Matrix of Leadership in its hilt. He was also chosen to lead the Thirteen Primes in their fight against their eternal enemy and Primus’ brother, Unicron; he and the rest of the Thirteen were made stewards of Primus’ planetary form, Cybertron.
Prima was created from the corpse of another robot which the Quintessons deactivated for its underperformance in its tasks. The robot was instantly smelted down and reformed into Prima, who, through unknown circumstances, became the second documented bearer of the Matrix of Leadership.
Prima was unusual amongs his consumer goods brethren in that he was equipped for combat, and was made to battle in the Quintessons’ gladiatorial pits. He found the endless fighting repellent, and, after a battle with Sentinel Major, decided to strike back at his masters, leaping at the group of Quintessons that had been watching the match. He was blasted out of the air, and fell to the ground in a smoking wreck, apparently deceased. He was succeeded as Matrix-bearer by Prime Nova.
When Rodimus Prime journeyed inside the Matrix, Prima was the second guide he encountered, and told him the story of the Quintessons’ gladiatorial matches.
Despite Prima’s story being similar to a myth, there is no doubt that he was the most important figure in the early history of the Transformers. He was exceptionally strong and as the leader of the Thirteen primes, he was the first among equals and their strongest member. He is also a very important symbol in the Transformers mythology which is why he earned the top spot on our list.
The multiversal Thirteen is the group present through different incarnations within the multiverse. Most of the members were the same as the Covenant Thirteen, but there were three differences:
Billions of years ago, before going into his eon-long slumber, Primus prepared a Transformer called the Last Autobot. He gave the Last Autobot a measure of his power and set him to wait for the “chosen one.”
After Primus’s death, Cybertron appeared to be tearing itself apart and the Transformers abandoned their home world. The only remaining Transformer was Optimus Prime, whose soul was in the body of Hi-Q.
Prime traveled into the depths of Cybertron where he discovered the Last Autobot. Upon awakening, Last Autobot was surprised to find the form that the chosen one had taken, but soon realized the true nature of the warrior before him. The Last Autobot merged the two souls and rebuilt Optimus Prime into a new body. He then revealed that Cybertron wasn’t tearing itself apart, but merely reformatting itself. The Last Autobot stabilized and guided the process, allowing Cybertron to be safely reborn.
The Legend of the Last Autobot is actually associated with one of the multiversal Primes, Autonomous Maximus, who is considered to be the last among the multiversal Thirteen Primes.
One of the Transformers forming the Guiding Hand, Solomus was one of the first five Cybertronians, known in legend as representing wisdom itself. When Adaptus rebelled against his brothers, he unleashed his electromagnetic weapon on the others, erasing their memories of themselves.
As a result, Solomus adopted the new persona of Tyrest and became Cybertron’s most esteemed lawmaker, taking his duty to be that of mitigating conflicts and providing a framework for the enforcement of order.
As Tyrest, he was very accomplished, but was not afforded the respect and dignity a god would warrant. He later played an important role in the evolution of Cybertron and is one of the key figures in the Transformers lore, despite the fact that a lot of his story is still a mystery.
In some distortions of his true history, Solomus is known as Arrius.
Epistemus was a Transformer deity who lived during the earliest period on Cybertron. Once a multiversal singularity, he has been shown to be a member of two separate ancient pantheons in different universes.
Epistemus was one of the five members of the Guiding Hand, the revered founders of the Transformer race and society on Cybertron. Sadly, he and his brothers were betrayed by one of their own, Mortilus, who sought to lead them in conquest of the universe. The resulting conflict resulted in Epistemus being broken down into the brain module that would serve as the model for future Cybertronians, Epistemus having been created as the personification of knowledge.
Contrary to the stories, Epistemus had survived the God War intact. When the Knights of Cybertron made their pilgrimage into space, Epistemus joined in the exploration.
Epistemus’ head would become known as the “The Magnificence”.
Particularly following the Shroud, different realities have included different members of the Thirteen. Most of them remained the same, but these three were added in certain universes:
Adaptus is a Transformer deity, believed to have “forged” the Cybertronians and given them the ability to transform. As such, the transformation cog is associated with him.
Despite being remembered as an immortal deity in the legends, Adaptus was a decidedly mortal robot, not so different from those that would come after him. He is supposedly one of the first four Transformers to come into existence after the creation of their progenitor, Primus; he was created at the same time as Mortilus, Solomus, and Epistemus. Adaptus became the “teacher” of change; supposedly blessed with an “infinity” of shapes and sizes, he would introduce the art of transformation to Cybertron.
Ultimately, however, Adaptus would be the ”robot who brought about its downfall”. Worried that their immortal, utopian society would only bring about stagnation and prevent the mechanical race from accessing the Higher Realms, the way organic beings could, Adaptus sought to bring war to Cybertron and encouraged the Guiding Hand and their followers to strike out at other civilizations across the galaxy.
The other members of the Guiding Hand refused to so, and so Adaptus turned on his own kind instead, bringing conflict to Cybertron for the first time. In the subsequent conflict, Adaptus was defeated and fled, planning a counterattack. Adaptus’ plan was a success: his ambitions gave rise to the neurological condition known as information creep, while at the same time leaving the other four members of the Guiding Hand with no recollection of their origins. His plan was ultimately annulled by the Transformers.
In some universes, he is considered to be the same individual as Amalgamous Prime.
Mortilus was one of the first five Transformers born on Cybertron, representing death in later mythologized accounts of the Guiding Hand. When Adaptus rebelled against his brothers, he unleashed his memory-erasing weapon on the others, erasing their memories of themselves. As a result, Mortilus adopted the new persona of Censere and dedicated himself to the recording of every Cybertronian death.
“Censere” himself would be mythologized as a mute Neutral known as the Necrobot, who travels the battlefields of the Great War, administering posthumous rites to fallen Cybertronians.
They say that he can determine the cause of death just by letting his shadow fall on the corpse and that he has devoted his life to recording the fate of every last Transformer. Whether there is any truth to these stories is unknown to most, but they persist.
Sentinel Prime is an imposing Transformer and one of the alternative universe Primes; he is much, much larger than an average Autobot. Bristling with some of the most heavy-duty weapons and armor available to the Autobot army has instilled in Sentinel Prime a supreme confidence in his own abilities as both a leader and a fighter. Unfortunately such pride usually precedes a fall, and there will always be someone out there keen to prove a point, or who merely sees Sentinel Prime as an obstacle on the path to a bigger destiny.
Sentinel Prime is typically, but not always, depicted as Optimus Prime’s immediate predecessor as Autobot leader.
Sentinel Major was originally one of the Quintessons’ slave robots on Cybertron around twelve million years ago. Sentinel Major was equipped for combat and was forced to participate in gladiatorial games for the Quintessons’ amusement. He was once defeated in battle by Prima, who attacked their Quintesson masters when their match was over, only to be destroyed himself.
Subsequently, the robots rose up against the Quintessons in a rebellion that ultimately forced the aliens off the planet. Sentinel Major survived this clash, but he and the rest of his race—now dubbed “Autobots”—were robbed of any chance of peace when the military hardware robots, now known as “Decepticons”, set their sights on conquering Cybertron for themselves.
Two Autobot leaders fell during the war that ensued, and Sentinel Major inherited the Matrix of Leadership and became Sentinel Prime, leader of the Autobots. Under his leadership, the Autobots realized that they would never be able to defeat the Decepticons with firepower, and they turned instead to stealth, reconfiguring their bodies to be able to transform into other forms. With the power of his new ability, Sentinel Prime defeated the Decepticons’ leader, and the Autobots won the war. The ensuing period of peace was known as the Golden Age of Cybertron, but was not long lasting.
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