Deformations can be done without webgl. I’ve done it before in plugins, it’s just not super fast.
If you want to do deformations now, there are a few plugins that can be used.
For one, there is the creature2d plugin. It does mesh deformations but you have to design them with the creature2d software. There may be another plugin for some other animation software as well.
If you want to do the deformations manually with events. There is the custom draw and paster plugins. They both let you draw deformed quads. Combine multiple quads together and you can get some nice effects. The paster examples are a bit harder to find in the plugins topic.
If neither of those float your boat then you can make your own plugin I suppose. The sky is the limit.