SSB4 Icon.png

Ganondorf (SSB4)

From SmashWiki, the Super Smash Bros. wiki
Jump to navigationJump to search
This article is about Ganondorf's appearance in Super Smash Bros. 4. For the character in other contexts, see Ganondorf.
Ganondorf
in Super Smash Bros. 4
Ganondorf SSB4.png
ZeldaSymbol.svg
Universe The Legend of Zelda
Other Smash Bros. appearances in Melee
in Brawl
in Ultimate
Availability Unlockable (3DS)
Starter (Wii U)
Final Smash Beast Ganon
Tier G (53)
GanondorfHeadSSB4-U.png

Ganondorf (ガノンドロフ, Ganondorf) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. Alongside R.O.B., he was officially revealed as a playable veteran on October 15th, 2014, although he was leaked four times prior to his reveal: via video footage from ESRB, outside the in-game stage boundaries in an official video (later replaced with a nearly-identical video sans Ganondorf), in Twitch livestreams and even a mention in Masahiro Sakurai's Pic of the Day five days before his official reveal.

As in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Hironori Miyata's portrayal of Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was repurposed for Smash 4, with mostly returning voice clips from Brawl, and in addition to some new ones sourced from the game.

Ganondorf is ranked 53rd out of 55 on the tier list, placing him in the G tier and tying him with Zelda. This is a very slight improvement from his ranking in Brawl, where he was the game's lowest-ranking character. As in previous games, Ganondorf remains as the game's archetypal super heavyweight, boasting high endurance, slow yet powerful moves that can KO very early, along with a capable edgeguarding game courtesy of hard-hitting aerials. This is further enhanced by the buffs to his mobility, combo game and already high power, in addition to the general changes to game mechanics patching up several key weaknesses he had in Brawl. Altogether, Ganondorf's high power allows him to deal ruthless punishes when the opportunity arises, in addition to being capable of ending stocks with very few hits.

However, Ganondorf still remains significantly disadvantaged by his slow mobility, very sluggish frame data when compared to the cast, and large target, making him exceptionally susceptible to rushdowns, combos and projectile camping, in addition to giving him a linear approach. His grab game, outside of Flame Choke, is also very lackluster, while his recovery is still easily exploitable due to being slow, linear and predictable. Finally, Ganondorf has a fair number of unrewarding moves that can neither combo or KO reliably, despite his overall power.

As a result of these factors, Ganondorf still relies primarily on punishes and hard reads, and his weaknesses from Brawl are still prominent; however, he is commonly considered to fare better against difficult matchups, despite still being lackluster overall. This has resulted in Ganondorf gaining a low amount of representation in tournaments, in addition to attaining below-average success. Nevertheless, he is popular in the SSB4 community due to his extremely strong, over-the-top, and extravagant punishment options that can easily KO unaware opponents, with a number of dedicated players such as Gungnir, Vermanubis and Ray Kalm, some of which even use him as a solo main in tournaments despite his standing on the tier list.

How to unlock (3DS version only)[edit]

After completing one of the two methods, Ganondorf must then be defeated on Gerudo Valley.

Attributes[edit]

Ganondorf is the epitome of the archetypal heavyweight: he sacrifices speed and mobility for power and endurance, and has a tall frame. Aside from being tied for having the sixth highest traction, Ganondorf's archetype is reflected in his other attributes: he is the fifth heaviest character, has the second slowest walking speed, the third slowest dashing and air speeds, moderately high falling speed, high gravity and is tied for the third lowest air acceleration. However, while he has the third lowest jump and double jump heights, he still has the worst total jump height overall due to Kirby and Jigglypuff, the other lower height jumpers, possessing multiple midair jumps to counteract this. As such, Ganondorf is the least mobile character in the game due to his poor speed on both the ground and in the air being ranked among the lowest, as well as having the worst jump heights in the game.

Ganondorf's greatest trait is his raw power. He possesses attacks that are on par with Bowser in terms of damage and knockback, with almost his entire moveset granting him the ability to KO under 150% or even 100% with ease, even if the opponent is in the middle of Final Destination. This becomes especially evident with rage, making his punishes some of the most potent in SSB4, while several other moves have the ability to KO at exceedingly low percentages, such as an aerial reversed Warlock Punch (which one-hit KOs Mario with rage) and sweetspotted up tilt (which KOs middleweights at 33% near the ledge). While Ganondorf's combo game is limited when compared to the majority of the cast, his followups make up for it by dealing high amounts of damage in a short time, such as sourspotted dash attack to up aerial, or the followups from Flame Choke (either from opponents missing their tech, or through predicting their reactions). Because of his strength, Ganondorf has one of the strongest KO abilities in the game, as he is capable of racking up damage and KOing opponents in less than a few hits.

In addition, his previously mentioned attributes give him high survivability and allows him to use rage to full effect, further boosting his already powerful moves at high percentages. Ganondorf's strength also makes mistiming or overusing a shield incredibly deadly, with multiple attacks capable of dealing massive shield damage or outright breaking shields with a single hit. Notable examples of this are up tilt's sweetspot, which can break full shields, his forward and up smashes and aerial Wizard's Foot. He can also play mindgames to make opponents with low shield health play more carefully as a single hit from one of his attacks can break their shield or KO them at relatively low percentages.

Ganondorf is among the best edgeguarders in the game, as his powerful aerials are relatively fast for their immense power (excluding forward aerial and down aerial) and send foes far away from the stage even at medium percents, spelling trouble for any fighter without a long-distance recovery. His down aerial is the most powerful meteor smash in the game with low ending lag, and his up aerial's late hitbox is among the best gimps in the game with its semi-spike angle and high hitstun. Finally, his back aerial is a deceptively fast, safe and powerful KO move, as it starts up as fast as Captain Falcon's with relatively little lag and can autocancel in a short hop, despite its immense power. His grounded moveset is also useful for punishing impromptu recoveries, such as using an up tilt against badly positioned fighters or an up smash against horizontal recovering characters like Ike. Ganondorf also has the lowest and safest ledge grab, allowing him to camp on the ledge effectively and giving him decent protection from opponents when hanging from a ledge.

However, Ganondorf possesses many notable flaws. His shield is very vulnerable to shield stabbing due to its small size relative to his height. Also, small characters, such as Kirby, can easily avoid his attacks due to the majority of his moves having short range, poorly placed hitboxes with low durations, while also extending his hurtboxes and makes him vulnerable to trading or simply being grabbed out of an attack despite being visually out of range. Although Ganondorf's frame data is similar (albeit slightly slower) to Captain Falcon in terms of start up (barring neutral attack, up tilt, and Warlock Punch), his attacks are very difficult to land while being easily punished due to high ending lag and/or landing lag; most notoriously, his forward aerial has the highest ending lag out of all of his aerials, and cannot autocancel even from a full hop, forcing Ganondorf to enter the landing animation. As a result of his high end lag, some of his moves are completely unsafe on shield, making it very difficult to take full advantage of his extreme shield breaking capabilities.

Additionally, Ganondorf's overall physics leave him with very poor mobility and approaching options, which makes closing the distance or creating space considerably difficult for him, and he is easily zoned out by projectile characters due to him lacking a projectile himself. Also, his high knockback and sluggish moves, his poor range as well as his terrible air speed all give him a very poor combo game, as he cannot easily or reliably pursue his opponents in the air while his aforementioned high power moves will almost always knock his opponents too far away for follow-ups. However, Ganondorf himself is very easy to combo; his heavy weight, tall stature, low air speed, and unsafe landing options make him very susceptible to combos and juggling, and his poor out of shield options gives him difficulty protecting himself against rushdowns. Overall, this makes Ganondorf rely heavily on proper spacing and mindgames, as he cannot afford to whiff a single move.

Another prominent weakness is his frame data. As mentioned before, all of his moves are burdened with extreme amounts of lag, with very few moves being active before frame 9 (with those moves being limited to up aerial, neutral aerial, standing grab, and neutral attack), while some of his moves do not come out before frame 30, such as Warlock Punch and his notoriously powerful up tilt. This offsets Ganondorf's powerful KO ability by forcing him to rely on reads and hard punishes, with few effective setups to end stocks via combos. When considering his overall poor speed and frame data, this also makes it difficult for Ganondorf to close the gap between him and an opponent should he be going against a speedy foe, such as Sheik. As a result, he is collectively considered to have among the worst frame data in SSB4, along with Shulk, Palutena, and King Dedede.

Other issues include a poor grab game. Ganondorf's grab range is surprisingly short despite his size, while his physics, ineffective angles, and high knockback result in his throws having little follow-up, but are not strong enough to KO reliably. However, his forward throw does very high damage and can decently lead into down aerial meteor smashes off-stage, while down throw has fairly low knockback to decently combo (albeit not as good as other character's combo throws). Flame Choke can also work against Ganondorf due to it enforcing unreliable hard reads, especially if teched, with incorrect reads likely putting Ganondorf in a vulnerable position.

His recovery remains very lackluster and one is of the worst in the game due to its low distance, low air speed and high vulnerability to edgeguarding and gimps. Flame Choke's and Dark Dive's lack of speed, distance and resilience allows Ganondorf to be knocked away by even the weakest of moves, despite the former's fearsome sacrificial KO potential. Even if Dark Dive is landed and lets him reuse the move, it's high ending lag also makes it highly susceptible to being teched and punished, with opponents being able to act before Ganondorf can.

Finally, despite his status as a powerhouse, Ganondorf still possesses some moves that offer little reward due to their inability to combo reliably or KO at realistic percentages (with some not even KOing past 200%), such as his neutral attack's sourspot, neutral aerial's late hitboxes, Dark Dive, and all his throws.

Ganondorf drastically benefits from some of his custom moves; most notably, Wizard's Dropkick and Dark Fists. While Wizard's Dropkick is weaker, cannot meteor smash, and has slightly more ending lag when performed in the air, it is excellent against projectiles and for recovery, acting as a superior version of Flame Choke's recovery that does not leave him helpless while allowing Ganondorf to fly over projectiles while attacking. Dark Fists is a two-hit attack with better horizontal reach, armor, and very potent power, giving him impressive protection against edgeguarders if used as a recovery and a very effective out-of-shield option, something that he lacks. When using both of these moves on his moveset, Ganondorf is granted a very efficient recovery and improved offensive prowess, as he can travel high distances while being exceedingly difficult to edgeguard without being punished. For other notable customs, Warlock Blade offers better utility over Warlock Punch due to its lower start-up, increased range, transcendent priority, and high shield damage, but replaces one of Ganondorf's best punishing options due to its reduced strength. Flame Chain and Flame Wave are semi-viable alternatives to Flame Choke, with the former being a multiple hitting attack with decent horizontal knockback and the latter having high damage and strong KO power; however, both are laggier and sacrifice powerful combos, while the latter covers significantly less distance, to the point where it only reaches opponents directly in front of Ganondorf. The rest of his custom moves are ineffective as they offer very little bonuses over the default or other custom moves; the best example is Warlock Thrust, which has extremely minimal KO power and high ending lag to overwhelmingly outweigh its benefits of a larger hitbox and faster start-up. However, while his custom moves address his recovery issues and make him a more dangerous character with better staying power, they are not allowed in the standard metagame.

All in all, Ganondorf is a powerhouse who can deal large amounts of damage in only a few hits and just as easily finish off an opponent with a single, well-placed attack, though he suffers from lackluster mobility, poorly placed hitboxes and reach, frame data, recovery, and lack of approaching and zoning options, forcing him to rely almost completely on punishes and mindgames. As such, he still must play very cautiously like in Brawl, patiently waiting and reading the opponent's movements before striking; additionally, the player should not be afraid to allow Ganondorf to trade blows due to his high endurance, but should also keep him onstage as much as possible due to his poor recovery. However, his improved power and miscellaneous buffs have made Ganondorf significantly more effective than in Brawl. As such, Ganondorf is a high risk, high reward character; while he struggles in consistent high-level play, players that are very skilled with reads and mindgames can use his raw power to their advantage and end matches in a flash with the right strategy. Due to these reasons, Ganondorf has among the highest tournament representation out of the G-tier characters and slightly better results than them, but they are still lackluster overall, with most of his success only coming from minor tournaments. Throughout the game's lifespan, Ganondorf has been consistently buffed, though they have not brought him up to speed in comparison to most of the other veterans; thus, he remains in the lowest tier of the current tier list.

Changes from Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Ganondorf was arguably the worst character in the entire game, as while he had solid damage output/KO power, high endurance, strong/useful aerials and a potent command grab in Flame Choke, he suffered from being incredibly slow (both in terms of mobility and frame data), having an incredibly short/exploitable recovery and his combination of having a large body along with high weight/falling speed/gravity made him a punching bag for much of the cast. He heavily struggled to approach due to his large size and slow speed and he was an extremely easy target to chain grab, making him struggle against almost the entire cast.

Possibly as a result, Ganondorf has been buffed in the transition from Brawl to Super Smash Bros. 4, albeit not enough to raise his standing among the cast. One of Ganondorf's most notable improvements was to his KO power. Moves such as his smash attacks, neutral/forward/back aerials and Wizard's Foot have all seen improvements to their damage output and KO potential, with some of his other moves also seeing increases to their power. Neutral/forward/back aerials especially benefit from having increased power as neutral aerial is more reliable and much stronger, while forward and back aerials have much less detrimental sourspots, along with the latter having a much stronger sweetspot. This makes it even easier for Ganondorf to secure KOes, as it takes him less hits to get his opponent to KO percents, further increasing one of the few strengths he had in the previous game. This is further boosted with the introduction of rage, which further increases Ganondorf's already improved KO power and due to his high weight, he is capable of building up a high amount of rage.

Ganondorf also has better frame data overall, with his neutral attack, dash attack, and neutral aerial being notably faster. Neutral attack is overall slightly better as a move to use in pressure or punishment situations, dash attack's sourspot has vastly improved combo potential due to its altered launch angle along with the move's lower ending lag and neutral aerial's second hit is faster and much easier to land overall. All of Ganondorf's aerials also have less landing lag, making them safer on landing (especially compared to the rest of the cast). Lastly, Ganondorf's opponent can no longer immediately act out of Dark Dive, making the move much less punishable when it connects (the move is also stronger in addition to this).

Ganondorf has also seen some other quality of life improvements. His slowest but most rewarding moves, such as his up tilt and Warlock Punch, are more powerful and have received some added bells and whistles, making them slightly more useful (although they are still extremely risky). His grab game has been slightly improved, as Ganondorf's grab has slightly more range and his down throw can no be a viable combo starter due to the changes to hitstun canceling/DI. One of the most notable changes is that the use of Flame Choke for Ganonciding now consistently KOs the opponent before Ganondorf, allowing it to be used as a guaranteed win if both players in a one-on-one match are on their last stock.

Ganondorf also has some benefits from the universal changes to Smash 4. The removal of chain grabbing, which heavily plagued Ganondorf in the previous game, improves his survival, while the changes to hitstun canceling/DI, slightly improves Ganondorf's combo potential (notably from down throw). The increase to shield damage and shieldstun makes Ganondorf's attacks safer and Ganondorf can break shields more easily, particularly with up tilt. The removal of edge hogging also notably improves his recovery and as previously mentioned, Ganondorf can utilise rage fairly well due to his powerful attacks and high weight.

However, Ganondorf also received noteworthy nerfs, mainly to some of his key moves from the previous game. Ganondorf's forward smash no longer has extra reach when pivoted, removing one of the few approach options he had in the previous game, and making it harder for Ganondorf to whiff punish moves. Ganondorf's dash attack is weaker and has less range, although the late hit is much more potent. Ganondorf's down aerial is significantly weaker and it can no longer auto-cancel in a short hop, significantly hindering its safety and utility despite having significantly less landing lag and greater reach. The move does benefit from the introduction of frame canceling, which does give it greater combo potential when performed, but the very high risk of performing the technique (due to its slow speed to set up and its sheer difficulty to perform) makes the technique extremely impractical, making Ganondorf's down aerial a much less potent move overall. Ganondorf can also no longer perform the Flight of Ganon, which hinders his aerial game.

One of the most detrimental nerfs Ganondorf received was to Flame Choke, his staple move in Brawl. While the move does have increased damage and range, the grounded version can now be teched. This significantly hinders Ganondorf as instead of getting guaranteed followups or at least putting him at a consistent frame advantage for tech chases, this enforces Ganondorf to go for unreliable hard reads, and if Ganondorf reads incorrectly, he can very easily be punished. The move is still highly effective when the opponent doesn't tech but the fact that the move can be teched makes it far less reliable and potent overall.

In some ways, Ganondorf's weaknesses from Brawl have been amplified. Ganondorf's mobility relative to the cast is even lower as well he has greater dashing speed, many other returning veterans saw even greater increases to their dashing speed, making it even easier for Ganondorf's opponent to rush him down or run away from him. Various returning veterans also walk faster while Ganondorf does not, which does not help him either. Ganondorf's air speed was flat out decreased, now making it among the worst in the entire game (especially when considering the fact that most returning veterans have improved air speed). This both worsens Ganondorf's recovery and it generally makes him even more sluggish in the air, making him easier to chase and avoid while he is in the air.

Despite being one of his most detrimental flaws in the previous game, Ganondorf's recovery has been made even worse (at least on paper). This is not only due to Ganondorf's decreased air speed but the removal of grab armor also makes Ganondorf's recovery specials even more exploitable. While Ganondorf's faster air dodge and the removal of edge hogging most definitely help him, they do not help him as much as other returning veterans. When combined with numerous other returning veterans having improved recoveries, along with a majority of newcomers possessing solid recoveries of their own, this consolidates Ganondorf's recovery as one of the absolute worst in the game.

Ganondorf's already poor defensive game has become even worse in some ways. While Ganondorf does have better Out of Shield punish options due to his grab/Dark Dive's slightly increased range/higher reward and his jab's slightly faster speed, his Out of Shield game still remains extremely poor as his grab still has very poor range (in addition to having increased ending lag) and his jab and Dark Dive are still fairly slow options. Ganondorf also flat out lost access to his second fastest Out of Shield option (his landing Wizard's Foot), which notably hurts his Out of Shield game, especially from dealing with opponents from behind.

Ganondorf's rolls have more ending lag, making them more punishable and overall worse, but his spot dodge in particularly took a rather major hit. Ganondorf's spot dodge has 2 more frames of startup lag, less intangibility and much more ending lag. Its increased startup lag makes it far worse as a defensive tool as it is much less reliable in pressure situations, while its increased ending lag makes it a lot more punishable. As a result, Ganondorf's defensive Out of Shield options have gone from being fairly solid to among the worst, making him even more vulnerable in frame tight, high pressure situations. On a similar note, Ganondorf still possesses one of the slowest air dodges in the game, and its higher landing lag greatly hinders his ability to land, turning his air dodge into an easily exploitable landing option.

Lastly, Ganondorf overall does not benefit much from the game's universal changes. While the changes to hitstun canceling/DI slightly improve his combo potential, Ganondorf's combo potential still remains very poor overall, while some other returning veterans received much greater combo potential. This means that Ganondorf will still usually only be able to deal one or two hits on his opponent, while they will be able to chain multiple moves together for high damage. This also means that Ganondorf is much more susceptible to combos himself, with his large size and high weight/falling speed/gravity making him a prime target for combos. This also removes momentum canceling which when combined with the introduction of rage, noticeably hinders Ganondorf's endurance.

As mentioned before, the removal of grab armor noticeably hinders Ganondorf, as it makes his grab and command grabs even more exploitable (which especially hurts him while trying to recover) and while the removal of edge hogging and the changes to air dodges do help Ganondorf's recovery, it helps other returning veterans even more, making it even harder for Ganondorf to abuse his solid edgeguarding. Lastly, as much as rage improves Ganondorf's KO potential, his highly exploitable recovery and lack of practical KO setups means that he does not benefit as much from rage as other heavyweights or even some lighter weight characters, and it can naturally work against him by giving his opponent greater KO potential.

Overall, Ganondorf is considered a better and more rewarding character overall compared to how he was in Brawl as his damage output and KO potential are greater overall and he even has one of the most positive buff:nerf ratios out of the entire cast. However, this has barely helped his standing on the tier list, due to his weaknesses either not being properly addressed or flat out worsened. His mobility is still abysmal and his frame data remains very poor despite being improved. His recovery was flat out nerfed, meaning that it is still highly exploitable despite the changes to air dodges and the ledge mechanics. Ganondorf's down aerial and Flame Choke (his two best moves) have also been considerably nerfed, his defensive game is even worse and the changes to the game's mechanics do not benefit him much at all, especially compared to a majority of the cast.

Ganondorf still largely plays a Brawl esque game, where he largely has to rely on winning neutral (with his neutral being among the worst due to his large size and abysmal speed giving him a ton of trouble approaching), just to get one or two hits (in addition to having one of the worst disadvantage states) while other characters with far superior neutral games gain a much greater reward for winning neutral, while also being in a less exploitable spot when losing neutral. Because of this, Ganondorf still struggles with most of the cast. While his overall matchup spread is not as poor as it was in Brawl, it is still very poor, as he still loses most matchups as most of the cast can still abuse his extremely slow speed and large size to their advantage.

In earlier versions of Smash 4, Ganondorf was even worse, as the improvements to moves such as his jab, neutral aerial, Dark Dive and numerous other moves were not present, with Ganondorf overall having even worse frame data, range and KO power. Later patches did give Ganondorf some useful improvements but they simply were not enough to greatly improve him. When combined with other poorly regarded characters seeing even more significant improvements, along with new DLC characters being added who also outclassed Ganondorf, this resulted in Ganondorf remaining one of the absolute worst in the game.

As a result, while Ganondorf has even greater KO power and slightly better frame data, Ganondorf is still one of the worst characters in the game, due to him still having extremely slow speed, poor combo potential, poor recovery, and him still being a large punching bag who gets comboed hard and who simply cannot approach without extreme difficulty. Ganondorf still received poor tournament results, although he is not as commonly considered to be the worst character in the game.

Aesthetics[edit]

  • Change Ganondorf's design has slightly changed. His head, eyes, nose and ears have been slightly re-proportioned, and he now sports his glowing chest wound from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Additionally, his epaulettes have been slightly redesigned. Lastly, the aesthetic used in Smash 4 has resulted in Ganondorf's attire being slightly more vibrant. Altogether, these changes make him appear significantly more in line with his appearance in Twilight Princess.
  • Change Ganondorf's eye color is slightly subdued, and his cape is now tattered instead of frayed. These changes are unique to Smash 4.
  • Change Ganondorf has received three new alternate costumes.
  • Change Ganondorf is significantly more expressive. As the corners of his mouth no longer open, he now consistently scowls and has slightly pursed lips when he vocalizes. Numerous actions also result in Ganondorf angrily clenching his teeth, mockingly smirk, and even look puzzled and contemplative.
  • Change Darkness-based attacks have updated visual effects.

Attributes[edit]

  • Buff Ganondorf dashes slightly faster (1.16 → 1.218), going from the second slowest out of 39 characters to the third slowest out of 58.
    • Nerf However, his dashing speed is even lower relative to the cast, as most other returning veterans saw a higher increase to their dashing speed than he did and all newcomers (expect Robin) have greater dashing speed than him.
  • Nerf Ganondorf's air speed is slower (0.846 → 0.79), going from the 10th lowest out of 39 characters to the third lowest out of 58. This hinders his already abysmal recovery and makes him even less mobile in the air.
  • Change Ganondorf's gravity is higher (0.1027 → 0.107835).
  • Buff Ganondorf's fast falling speed is higher (2.31 → 2.65).
  • Buff Ganondorf is heavier (109 → 113).
  • Buff The 19% damage increase to shields and the increase to shieldstun significantly help Ganondorf, as they allow many of his high shield damage attacks to shatter shields more effectively, as well as making his atatcks safer on shield, especially his electric based attacks.
    • Nerf However, this also makes it even more difficult for Ganondorf to utilise his poor Out of Shield options.
  • Change The removal of meteor canceling significantly improves Ganondorf's down aerial and Wizard's Foot's reliability (despite the former's reduced power). This however makes his already poor recovery even easier to edgeguard.
  • Buff The removal of chain grabbing significantly improves Ganondorf's endurance.
  • Nerf Rolls have more ending lag (FAF 32 → 34), now being one of the slowest rolls in the game.
  • Buff Air dodge has less ending lag (FAF 50 → 35).
    • Nerf However, Ganondorf is hindered by the increase to air dodge landing lag moreso than almost any other character, as he now lacks a completely safe landing option.
  • Nerf Spot dodge has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 2-20 → 4-19) and it has more ending lag (FAF 26 → 29).

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Neutral attack:
    • Buff Neutral attack has less startup (frame 8 → 7) and ending lag (FAF 35 → 29), slightly improving its use as a panic move or as a punishment option.
    • Buff Neutral attack deals more damage (5%/7%/9% → 6%/8%/10%), improving the near hit's KO potential.
    • Buff The far hit has been moved further forward (z offset: 18 → 19), slightly increasing its range.
    • Nerf The middle and far hits deal less knockback (40/30 (base), 105 (scaling) → (38/30)/(90/90), hindering their KO potential.
  • Up tilt:
    • Buff Up tilt's main hit deals more damage (27%/19%/17% → 28%/20%/18%).
    • Buff The changes to shields significantly benefit up tilt, as the main hit now leads into a guaranteed shield break.
    • Buff The removal of ledge invincibility from ledge regrabs, combined with the introduction of two-framing improves up tilt's edgeguarding potential.
  • Down tilt:
    • Buff Down tilt deals more damage (12% → 13%), improving its KO potential.
  • Dash attack:
    • Buff Dash attack has less ending lag (FAF 42 → 38).
    • Buff The late hit now launches the opponent forwards (100° → 80°). When combined with dash atatck's decreased ending lag along with the changes to hitstun canceling/Directional Influence, this significantly improves its combo potential.
    • Nerf The clean hit deals less damage (15% → 14%), has decreased base knockback (60 → 50), and launches opponents at a lower angle (105° → 70°), hindering its KO potential.
    • Nerf The clean hit has a smaller hitbox (7.3u → 7u).
  • Forward smash:
    • Buff Forward smash's far hit has increased base knockback on all angles (30 → 35).
    • Nerf Ganondorf no longer lunges farther when performing a pivoted forward smash, significantly hindering forward smashes whiff punishment potential.
  • Upward angled forward smash:
    • Buff Upward angled forward smash launches opponents at a lower angle (45° → 40°).
    • Nerf The far hit has decreased knockback scaling (85 → 83).
  • Downward angled forward smash:
    • Buff The far hit has increased knockback scaling (80 → 83).
    • Nerf Downward angled forward smash launches opponents at a higher angle (35° → 40°).
  • Up smash:
    • Buff Up smash deals more damage (19%/22%/22% → 21%/24%/24%), the sweetspot launches opponents at a higher angle (80° → 85°) and both sweetspots have slightly higher knockback scaling (70 → 71), significantly improving its KO potential (now being the strongest up smash in Smash 4, although it is still weaker than the strongest up smashes in Brawl).
  • Down smash:
    • Buff Down smash deals more damage (5% → 6% (hit 1), 12%/14%/14% → 13%/15%/15% (hit 2)) and the second hit has increased knockback scaling (75 → 94), significantly improving its KO potential.
    • Buff The first hit can no longer be SDIed (SDI multiplier: 0.5x → 0x).
    • Buff The first hit's leg hitbox launches aerial opponents at a lower angle (141° → 160°) and has decreased set knockback (80 → 70), allowing it to connect more reliably into the second hit.
    • Change The first hit's leg hitbox launches grounded opponents at a slightly higher angle (141° → 140°).
    • Buff The first hit's foot hitbox launches opponents at a lower angle (140° → 154°) and has increased set knockback (90 → 108), allowing it to connect more reliably into the second hit.
    • Buff The first hit's body hitbox has increased set knockback (70 → 80), making it slightly safer if it connects.
    • Buff The second hit has larger hitboxes (5.5u → 6.5u).
    • Change The second hit now uses a forward launching angle (130° → 50°), but it now uses a backwards angle flipper (3 → 4). This means that the opponent is still sent behind Ganodorf at the same angle, but they are now facing Ganondorf, rather than away from him.
      • Buff Because of this, the second hit now pushes shielding opponents away from Ganondorf rather than dragging them towards him, making the move safer, especially when combined with its increased shieldstun.
      • Nerf However, this also makes it easier for the opponent to recover.

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Buff All aerials have decreased landing lag (22 frames → 17 (neutral), 32 frames → 22 (forward), 22 frames → 19 (back/up), 35 frames → 26 (down)).
  • Neutral aerial:
    • Buff Neutral aerial's second hit has less startup lag (frame 20 → 17), with the move's total duration being subsequently reduced (FAF 45 → 42).
      • Buff Additionally, since neutral aerial uses the same animation but a portion of it is sped up, this also reduces neutral aerial's aniamtion length (59 frames → 56).
    • Buff Neutral aerial auto-cancels earlier (frame 41 → 38).
    • Buff The first kick has significantly decreased knockback scaling (100 → 30), has altered angles (55°/60°/65° → 55°/70°/100°) which along with the second hit's lower startup lag, makes neutral aerial connect much more reliably at higher percents.
      • Nerf However, these changes make neutral connect even less reliably at lower percents.
    • Buff The foot hitbox has increased base knockback against grounded opponents (30 (base), 100 (scaling) → 50/110), improving its spacing potential.
      • Change This specific hitbox also has weight independent knockback.
    • Buff The second kick deals more damage (7% (clean)/5% (late) → 12%/9%) and has increased knockback scaling (100 → 106), restoring a chunk of its KO potential from Melee.
    • Buff The clean second kick has larger hitboxes (4.3u/5.7u/6.2u → 7.8u/7u/6.5u) and the foot hitbox has been positioned further out (y offset: 5 → z offset: 6.5), significantly improving its range.
    • Buff The late second kick's foot hitbox is larger (4.3u → 6u) and it has been positioned further out (y offset: 5 → z offset: 6).
    • Nerf The first kick deals less damage (11% (clean)/7% (late) → 7%/5.25%). Most hitboxes are no longer capable of KOing, and are now much more dangerous on hit. The foot hitbox still has KO potential against grounded opponents, although its knockback was not fully compensated, hindering its KO potential.
      • Nerf Altogether, these changes greatly hinder the first kick's spacing potential.
    • Nerf The late second kick's near hitboxes are smaller (5.7u/6.2u → 5.3u/4.5u).
  • Forward aerial:
    • Buff Forward aerial has less ending lag (FAF 55 → 45).
    • Buff Forward aerial has larger hitboxes (3.4u/5u → 4u/5.5u).
    • Buff The sourspot deals more damage (15% → 17%) and knockback (30 (base), 80 (scaling) → 20/93), significantly improving its KO potential.
    • Buff The sweetspot deals more damage (17% → 18%).
    • Change The sweetspot has a higher hitlag multiplier (1x → 1.1x).
    • Change The sweetspot has less base knockback but more knockback scaling (48 (base), 83 (scaling) → 20/93).
      • Buff This combined with its higher damage improves its overall KO potential.
      • Nerf However, this also hinders the move's edgeguarding potential, as well as its KO potential when used near the horizontal blast zone and even from center stage on smaller stages.
  • Back aerial:
    • Buff Back aerial's sourspots deal much more knockback (10 (base), 85 (scaling) → 40/89).
    • Buff The sweetspot deals more damage (16% → 17%) and knockback (28 (base), 85 (scaling) → 40/89), significantly improving its KO potential.
    • Change The sweetspot has a higher hitlag multiplier (1x → 1.2x).
    • Change As with most back aerials, back aerial now always launches opponents away from Ganondorf.
    • Nerf The sweetspot has lower priority (ID# 0 → 1), making it harder to land.
  • Down aerial:
    • Buff The introduction of frame canceling greatly benefits down aerial due to its very high hitlag, improving its combo potential when combined with the changes to hitstun canceling/DI, especially since it is one of the few meteor smashes which still cannot be teched by grounded opponents.
    • Buff The sweetspot is positioned lower (y offset: 3 → 1), improving its range.
      • Nerf However, this does also make the sourspot easier to land, hindering down aerial's edgeguarding potential against opponents recovering high.
    • Change Down aerial's sourspot now launches opponents horizontally (270° → 361°). This improves its onstage KO potential and grants the move spacing potential but hindering its edeguarding and tech chase set up potential.
    • Nerf Down aerial has a shorter duration (frames 16-20 → 16-18).
    • Nerf Down aerial has decreased base knockback (30 → 20).
    • Nerf The sweetspot deals less damage (22% → 19%), considerably hindering its KO potential.
      • Buff However, this does also improve its combo potential at higher percents.
    • Nerf Down aerial can also no longer auto-cancel in a short hop due to Ganondorf's lower short hop. This significantly hinders its reliability as a combo tool (due to the much greater difficulty/risk of frame canceling), as well as its safety.

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Grabs:
    • Buff All grabs have been repositioned further outwards (z offset: 8 (standing)/9 (dash)/-15 (pivot) → z stretch: 9/10.8/-15.1), giving standing and dash grabs slightly more range.
    • Buff Pivot grab has slightly more range inside of Ganondorf.
    • Nerf All grabs have more ending lag (FAF 30 → 36 (standing), FAF 40 → 42 (dash), FAF 36 → 40 (pivot)).
    • Nerf All grabs have smaller grabboxes (4.8u → 4u (standing/pivot)/3.2u (dash). This gives Ganondorf's grabs less vertical range (especially dash grab) and decreases pivot grab's overall range.
    • Nerf Pivot grab has a new animation where Ganondorf extends his hand further. This new animation more accurately reflects the grabbox, resulting in the pivot grab losing its disjoint.
    • Nerf Standing and especially dash grab have less range behind Ganondorf, due to now only consisting of one extended grabbox, rather than multiple normal grabboxes.
  • Pummel:
    • Buff Pummel deals more damage (2% → 3%).
    • Nerf Pummel has more ending lag (FAF 24 → 30).
  • Forward throw:
    • Buff Forward throw's hitbox has a longer duration (frame 11 → 11-12).
    • Buff The hitbox can no longer be SDIed (SDI multiplier: 2x → 0x).
    • Change Ganondorf releases opponents from forward throw one frame later (frame 12 → 13).
    • Nerf The hitbox has increased hitlag (1.0x → 1.5x), making the throw slower to execute and easier to DI.
  • Back throw:
    • Buff Back throw's hitbox has a longer duration (frame 12 → 12-13).
    • Buff The hitbox can no longer be SDIed (SDI multiplier: 2x → 0x).
    • Change Ganondorf releases opponents from back throw one frame later (frame 13 → 14).
    • Nerf The hitbox has increased hitlag (1.0x → 1.5x), making the throw slower to execute and easier to DI.
  • Up throw:
    • Buff Up throw deals more damage (4% (hitbox)/7% (total) → 7%/10%).
    • Buff The hitbox has a longer duration (frame 11 → 11-12).
    • Buff The hitbox can no longer be SDIed (SDI multiplier: 2x → 0x).
    • Change Ganondorf releases opponents from up throw one frame later (frame 12 → 13).
    • Change The hitbox launches bystanders at a lower backwards angle (80° → 140°).
    • Nerf The hitbox has increased hitlag (1.0x → 1.6x), making the throw slower to execute and easier to DI.
  • Down throw:
  • Floor attacks:
    • Buff Floor attacks have less startup lag (frame 20 (front)/19 (back) → 16/17).
      • Buff The second hits also have less startup lag (frame 26 (front)/28 (back) → 23/21).
    • Buff Floor attacks have less ending lag (FAF 50 → 46).
    • Buff Floor attacks deal more damage (6% → 7%) and shield damage (1 → 8) per hit, without full compensation on their knockback scaling (50 → 48).
    • Nerf Floor attacks have less intangibility (frames 1-27 (front)/1-29 (back) → 1-22/1-24).
  • Front floor attack:
    • Nerf Front floor attack launches opponents at a higher angle (361° → 48°).
    • Nerf Front floor attack now only uses one extended hitbox instead of two normal hitboxes, which covers less space.
      • Nerf Additionally, this new hitbox is static, significantly decreasing the move's vertical range.
  • Back floor attack:
    • Change Ganondorf has a new back floor attack, a somersault kick.
    • Nerf Back floor attack has much less range, only roughly covering the area where Ganondorf's leg are, rather than covering both sides around Ganondorf.
  • Edge attack:
    • Buff Edge attack no longer has set knockback (110 (set), 100 (scaling) → 90 (base)/20).
    • Nerf Edge attack deals less damage (10% → 8%).
    • Nerf Edge attack has less intangibility (frames 1-22 → 1-21).
    • Nerf Edge attack has a shorter duration (frames 24-28 → 24-26).
    • Nerf Edge attack now uses one extended hitbox, rather than multiple normal hitboxes, which gives the move less horizontal and vertical range.
      • Buff However, it does have more range behind Ganondorf.
    • Nerf As with other edge attacks, edge attack can no longer send opponents behind Ganondorf, removing its ability to set up edgeguards.
  • Trip attack:
    • Buff Trip attack deals more shield damage (1 → 8) per hit.
    • Buff Trip attack now uses one extended hitbox rather than multiple normal hitboxes, which covers more range.
    • Nerf Trip attack has less intangibility (frames 1-8 → 1-7).

Special moves[edit]

  • Warlock Punch:
    • Nerf Non reversed Grounded Warlock Punch deals less damage (32% → 30%), launches opponents at a higher angle (361° → 50°) and it has much more base kncokback but much less knockback scaling (30 (base), 100 (scaling) → 120/42). While this does give the move more knockback at lower percents, this also considerably hinders its overall KO potential.
    • Buff Reversed Warlock Punch deals more damage (35% (grounded)/38% (aerial) → 37%/40%).
    • Buff Aerial Warlock Punch deals more damage (35% → 38%).
    • Buff Grounded Warlock Punch now grants super armor from frames 11-65 for the normal version and frames 21-67 for the reversed version, slightly increasing its safety.
  • Flame Choke:
    • Buff Flame Choke deals more damage (9% (grounded)/12% (aerial) → 12/15%).
    • Buff Grounded Flame Choke has more range (z offset: 4.5 (grounded)/4.2 (grounded and aerial) → 7.2/7.5).
    • Buff Aerial Flame has more range (z offset: 6.5 → 7.5).
    • Buff Ganoncide always KOs the opponent before Ganondorf, instead of at the same time or after, meaning Ganondorf will always win if he lands a Ganoncide on the opponent's last stock.
    • Change Aerial Flame Choke is now a stall-then-fall and removes all forward momentum, making it easier to steer backward, but covering less distance forward. While this makes off-stage Ganonciding easier, it makes returning to the stage and attempting to Ganoncide while facing the ledge much harder.
    • Nerf Grounded Flame Choke can now be teched, significantly hindering its tech-chasing potential, removing its guaranteed followups and and forcing Ganondorf to rely on hard reads.
    • Nerf The removal of grab armor makes Flame Choke easier to intercept, as traded blows will interrupt the grab (although its increased range somewhat compensates for this). This makes Ganonciding slightly more difficult to perform and thus, hinders Ganondorf's approach potential and recovery.
  • Dark Dive:
    • Buff Dark Dive's far grabbox has marginally increased range (z offset: 13.65 → 13.7).
    • Buff Dark Dive's hitbox has a lower SDI multiplier (2x → 1x).
    • Buff The loop hits deal more damage (1% → 1.2%).
    • Change The loop hits are positioned much closer to Ganondorf (y/z offsets: 14/7 → 9/0).
    • Buff The throw deals more damage (7% → 9%) and has increased knockback scaling (82 → 90), improving its KO potential.
    • Bug fix Hitstun cancelling now properly applies to opponents released by Dark Dive.
      • Buff This prevents opponents from being able to attack Ganondorf after he releases them, making it much safer to use.
    • Change Dark Dive has a new animation, in which he grabs his opponent with one hand instead of two.
    • Nerf The removal of grab armor removes the minimal protection Dark Dive provided. When combined with this also applying to Flame Choke, this hinders Flame Choke's safety and recovery potential.
  • Wizard's Foot:
    • Buff Grounded Wizard's Foot deals 2% more damage (12%/10% → 14%/12%), improving its KO potential.
    • Buff Grounded Wizard's Foot's hitboxes are positioned further out (z position -3/-2/2 → 0/-3/6), significantly increasing its range, with the hitboxes now actually matching the kick.
    • Change Grounded Wizard's Foot has a slightly different animation: the kick is slightly higher, and Ganondorf enters a three-point landing pose when the move ends.
    • Nerf Grounded Wizard's Foot has more ending lag if it ends on the ground (FAF 61 → 77).
    • Nerf Ganondorf can no longer immediately land with Wizard's Foot after jumping, removing its use as an Out of Shield option.
    • Nerf Flight of Ganon has been removed, hindering Ganondorf's already subpar air game.
  • Beast Ganon:
    • Nerf Beast Ganon deals less damage (47% → 40%), removing its one-hit KO ability.
    • Change Beast Ganon's animation has slightly changed. He now triumphantly poses, as if roaring, upon transforming back into his Gerudo form. The move also has a purple tint added in the background.
    • Bug fix Ganondorf no longer goes into his bind pose whenever he returns from the attack.

Update history[edit]

Ganondorf has been significantly buffed via game updates. Update 1.0.4 started with making aerial Flame Choke no longer be techable like the grounded version, while update 1.1.0 greatly strengthened his previously ineffective down smash, and all aerial attacks have been improved overall; possessing either less landing lag, better hitbox placement, or more damage. The changes to the shield mechanics in updates 1.1.0 and 1.1.1 gave Ganondorf the biggest, albeit indirect, buffs yet by enhancing his already excellent shield breaking capabilities and making his hitlag heavy attacks significantly safer on shield. However, this came with the weakening of his own already small shield, necessitating and encouraging a more offensive playstyle with fewer flaws in defending. Update 1.1.3 strengthened Dark Dive, which was previously considered one of the weakest and most situational moves in the game (although it is still one of Ganondorf's weakest moves), and made reverse Warlock Punch safer to use with the addition of armor, among other moderate buffs.

Update 1.1.5 improved Ganondorf's neutral game by making his infamously slow neutral attack significantly faster and adjusting its hitbox positions, which gives it slightly more reach and reduces the probability of hitting a blind spot. His dash attack had its lag reduced, which vastly improves its sourspot's combo potential. Flame Choke and Flame Wave had their grab box ranges increased, while his previously ineffective Wizard's Foot and its custom variations were improved by having their damage outputs increased and their hitbox placements widened. Aside from KOing earlier, these changes to Wizard's Foot and its custom variations enables them to out-prioritize weak projectiles and makes them safer overall. As a result, he is considered a much better character than he was in the initial release of SSB4.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS 1.0.4

  • Buff All aerials' landing lag decreased: 22 → 18 frames (neutral), 25 → 23 frames (forward), 22 → 20 frames (back), 22 → 20 frames (up), 30 → 28 frames (down).

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.0.6

  • Buff Neutral attack deals 1% more damage: 6%/9% → 7%/10%.
  • Buff Forward, up and down throws' hitlag decreased.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.0

  • Buff All variations of Wizard's Foot deal more shield damage when performed in midair: 10 → 15.
  • Buff Down smash knockback growth increased: 75 → 94
  • Buff Down smash's second hit's hitbox size increased: 5.5u → 6.5u.
  • Buff Forward aerial deals 1% more damage: 16%/17% → 17%/18%.
  • Buff Up throw deals 3% more damage: 7% → 10%.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.1

  • Buff Neutral aerial deals more damage: 7% (hit 1 late) /9% (hit 2 clean)/5% (hit 2 late) → 8%/10%/7%, its knockback has altered: 20 (base)/100 (growth) → 0/130/90 (hit 1), 100 → 120 (growth, hit 2), its second hit's hitbox sizes increased: 4.3u/5.7u/6.2u → 4.5u/5.7u/7.4u and its angles altered: 55°/60°/65° → 55°/70°/100°. This makes its hits connect together better at low percentages while retaining its KO power.
  • Nerf Neutral aerial's first hit's decreased base knockback makes it less safe on hit and on landing at low percentages.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.3

  • Buff Ganondorf is slightly heavier: 112 → 113.
  • Buff Neutral aerial's first kick has drastically reduced knockback that allows it combo into the second hit more effectively similar to Captain Falcon's, has a new hitbox on his foot that deals high knockback for spacing properties, transitions three frames faster, has 3 frames less ending lag, and deals 2% more damage on the both the clean and late hitboxes on the second kick.
  • Nerf The drastically reduced knockback on neutral aerial's first hit makes the move less safe on hit and on landing and less effective as a spacer unless hitting with the foot, while completely removing its KOing capabilities. It also deals less damage on the clean and late hitbox, and less total damage.
  • Buff Neutral, forward, back and up aerials all have 1 frame less landing lag.
  • Buff Down aerial has 2 frames less landing lag, and the hitbox is shifted down two units, giving it more range below him as well as making it easier to land the sourspot.
  • Buff Down smash's second kick now sends shielding opponents at a different angle, now pushing opponents away rather than towards him.
  • Change Down smash now flips opponents.
  • Buff Warlock Punch and Warlock Blade have increased super armor frames and have added armor when ground reversed.
  • Buff Grounded Flame Choke grabbox modified so it no longer misses grounded opponents.
  • Buff Dark Dive improved. The multi-hits deal 0.2% more damage, the final hit deals 2% more damage, and has slightly increased knockback growth.

Technical changelist 1.1.3

Change Old value New value
Neutral aerial first kick knockback 0 (base)/130/90 (growth) 20 (base)/30 (growth)
Neutral aerial first kick new hitbox N/A 30 (base)/110 (growth)
Neutral aerial first kick damage 12% (clean)/8% (late) 7%/5.25%
Neutral aerial second kick frame 20 frame 17
Neutral aerial second kick damage 10% (clean)/7% (late) 12%/9%
Neutral aerial total damage 22% (clean)/15% (late) 19%/14.25%
Neutral aerial ending lag 45 frames 42 frames
Neutral aerial landing lag 18 frames 17 frames
Forward aerial landing lag 23 frames 22 frames
Back and up aerials landing lag 20 frames 19 frames
Down aerial landing lag 28 frames 26 frames
Down smash second kick shield angle 130° 50°
Grounded, non-reversed Warlock Punch super armor frames 11-63 11-65
Grounded, reverse Warlock Punch super armor frames N/A 21-67
Grounded, reverse Warlock Blade super armor frames N/A 18-55
Dark Dive multi-hits 1% 1.2%
Dark Dive throw damage 7% 9%
Dark Dive knockback growth 82 90

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.5

  • Buff Neutral attack has increased damage, modified positioning, and faster startup and endlag.
  • Buff Dash attack has less ending lag.
  • Buff Flame Choke and Flame Wave grab range increased.
  • Buff Grounded Wizard's Foot and variants 2% deal more damage and have altered positioning.

Technical changelist

Change Old value New value
Neutral attack damage 4%/7%/10% 6%/8%/10%
Neutral attack start-up 8 frames 7 frames
Neutral attack ending lag 34 frames 28 frames
Neutral attack hitbox X position 12/18 11/19
Dash attack ending lag 41 frames 37 frames
Flame Choke grab X position 5.2 (ground)/5.5 (air) 7.2/7.5
Flame Wave grab X position 5.2 (ground)/6.0 (air) 7.2/8.0
Grounded Wizard's Foot (clean) damage 12% 14%
Grounded Wizard's Foot (late) damage 10% 12%
Grounded Wizard's Foot and Wizard's Assault Z position -1/-3/4 0/-3/6
Grounded Wizard's Dropkick (clean) damage 9% 11%
Grounded Wizard's Dropkick (late) damage 7% 9%
Grounded Wizard's Dropkick Z position 1/-1/6 0/-1/8
Grounded Wizard's Assault (clean) damage 10% 12%
Grounded Wizard's Assault (late) damage 9% 11%

Moveset[edit]

For a gallery of Ganondorf's hitboxes, see here.

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   10% (hand), 8% (arm), 6% (body) A palm thrust. All hitboxes except for the sourspot (the body hitbox) discharge electricity upon landing. Ganondorf's fastest ground attack, with good range, knockback and fairly low ending lag. Despite Ganondorf's overall raw power, its non-sweetspotted damage outputs and set-up are among the weaker ones in the game, though its sweetspot has enough power to KO around 155% near the ledge. A decent out of shield option.
Forward tilt   13% (foot), 12% (leg) A front kick. Good start-up with high semi-spike knockback, making it a powerful edgeguarding option against characters with minimal horizontal recoveries. However, its range is rather poor, with his neutral attack being able to outreach it. Based on the kick used by himself and other large, sword-wielding enemies in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
Up tilt   28% (leg), 20%/18% (explosion) A delayed axe kick that produces an explosion. While it is the strongest up tilt in the game, its immense 81 frames of starting lag make it the game's slowest standard move, thus an extreme "high risk, high reward" option. Although weaker and slower than a Warlock Punch, it has vacuum properties on frames 6-70, a disjointed hitbox that can reach past ledges, and is still incredibly powerful, with the sweetspot being infamous for instantly shattering full shields and KOing at very low percentages when near the edge, therefore becoming one of Ganondorf's best edgeguarding options if used wisely.
Down tilt   13% A crouching front kick. Good start-up and range, making it a decent out-of-shield. Also deals powerful, mostly vertical knockback, allowing it to KO at high percents. It can also be used as a follow-up to a grounded Flame Choke, however most characters can tech or DI out of it with precise timing. It also has noticeable endlag.
Dash attack   14% (clean), 10% (late) A shoulder tackle. Ganondorf gains both a quick speed boost during the move's duration. The sweetspot is able to reliably KO around 140%. The sourspot, while lacking any KO potential, has combo utility due to its long lasting hitbox and weak knockback that can combo into any of Ganondorf's aerials at varying percentages, with the follow-up into up aerial striking the entire cast between 70%-90%.
Forward smash   24% An elbow thrust. It can be angled and emits dark magic upon landing. Relatively slow start-up and high ending lag, but its extreme knockback is capable of KOing under 80%. Hitting closer to Ganondorf deals slightly higher knockback, but the damage output remains the same. When uncharged, it whittles a shield down by more than half of its health, while it can nearly break them if it is fully charged. While it is based on Captain Falcon's forward smash, it is also very similar to a move Ganondorf uses in the final battle of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess as part of a sword combo.
Up smash   24% (foot/leg), 21% (body) A stretch kick. Has some start-up, but has good vertical reach and deceptively low ending lag because of its interruptibility, so it can be used to bait opponents. Notably, it is the strongest up smash in the game when sweetspotted, with his foot being able to KO opponents under 100%, and it is thus useful for hard punishing aerial approaches. Also has deceptive horizontal range due to a small hitbox being positioned directly in front of him. Deals more than half shield health uncharged and can nearly break them if fully charged.
Down smash   6% (hit 1), 15%/13% (hit 2) A mid-level roundhouse kick followed by a back kick. The first hit has low knockback to naturally combo into the second hit, which has the most damage and knockback. However, there is a hitbox on Ganondorf's thigh that causes it to not connect together properly, as it launches opponents out of the combo. Ganondorf's weakest smash attack, but fastest in terms of start-up, hitting on frame 15. Despite this, it is one of the most powerful down smashes in the game, being the second most powerful down smash (behind max aura Lucario) and can KO at around 100%-115% without rage. Can be used to punish a roll and if used near an edge, the first hit can stage spike opponents if positioned correctly.
Neutral aerial   7% (hit 1 clean), 5.25% (hit 1 late), 12% (hit 2 clean), 9% (hit 2 late) A back kick followed by a roundhouse kick. The first hit's overall weak power allows it to combo into the second kick, which has higher damage and KO power. Both kicks act as short-lasting sex kicks, and the late hits can cause opponents to trip. While the first kick has a hitbox on the toe that knocks opponents away and is useful for creating distance, the rest of the first hit's hitboxes are ineffective for spacing due to its extremely low damage, which make it unsafe even if landed. Moderate landing lag if not used with a full hop. The second kick KO's Mario at the center of Final Destination at 133%.
Forward aerial   18% (fist), 17% (arm) An overhand. Very powerful, with the sweetspot KOing middleweights at 104% from center-stage. Also has decent start-up and a wide hitbox that starts slightly behind Ganondorf's head. However, while it has decent ending lag (interrupts on frame 45, being one frame faster than Captain Falcon's forward aerial), it has moderately high landing lag. Additionally, it cannot autocancel even from a full hop due to a programming error (which also occurred in Brawl).
Back aerial   17% (fist), 16% (arm) A backfist. Despite it being even stronger than his forward aerial, it is rather fast, with decent startup, low ending lag and moderate landing lag, alongside being able to autocancel from a short hop. All these factors make it rather useful to wall out approaches. The sweetspot KOs middleweights at 101% from center-stage and at 75% near the edge, making it very likely to take a stock at medium percents if used quickly after a ledge trump. However, it has short reach, while its high vertical hitbox and low amount of active frames makes it difficult to land on most grounded opponents, particularly those that are crouching.
Up aerial   13%/12% (clean), 12%/10% (mid), 8%/6% (late) A flip kick. Covers a large arc above him that has good coverage and great power, with the clean hit KOing middleweights at 100% near the edge. It also starts on frame 6, making it Ganondorf's fastest aerial and his fastest starting move overall. Deals more damage and knockback when it hits closer to his body. The last few frames of this attack is a sourspot that semi-spikes with extremely low horizontal knockback and high hitstun, which is deadly for edgeguarding, especially at the end. The sourspot can also lock at any percent, making it one of Ganondorf's few combo tools. Has little ending lag with moderate landing lag, and can autocancel with a short hop.
Down aerial   19% (legs), 17% (body) A double foot stomp. It discharges electricity upon landing and is the most powerful meteor smash in the game if hit with the lower half of his body, with grounded opponents being KO'd under 120% while being unable to tech the move. There is a sourspot on his shoulder that hits horizontally with less damage, but is still stronger than his forward and back aerial at higher percentages, though not as effective as when hitting with the meteor smash hitbox off-stage. Has surprisingly little ending lag, but moderately high landing lag unless used with a full hop. It does not meteor smash until 10%, making it very unsafe at low percentages, although it is capable of chaining into itself at very low percentages. All hitboxes have transcendent priority, meaning that it cannot cancel out projectiles.
Grab   Reaches out with his right hand. Despite Ganondorf's size, it is one of the shortest reaching grabs in the game, to the point of almost requiring him to be physically touching his opponent. His pivot grab has better range, but suffers from ending lag.
Pummel   3% A knee strike. A moderately slow pummel.
Forward throw   5% (hit 1), 8% (throw) Lifts the opponent and hits them with a short straight-punch. One of the highest damaging forward throws in the game. Decent knockback that is good for setting up down aerials meteor smash, though it does not KO until 189% near the edge.
Back throw   5% (hit 1), 5% (throw) Throws the opponent behind himself and hits them with a side kick. Decent knockback and can set up an edgeguard. Ganondorf's strongest throw, KOing 31% earlier than his forward throw, though its moderate ending lag means it has severely less combo potential in comparison.
Up throw   7% (hit 1), 3% (throw) Lifts the opponent overhead and hits them with an upward palm strike. High base knockback, but low knockback growth prevents it from KOing until 245%. It is not reliable for follow-ups, but it can be used for DI mix-ups, mindgames and start juggles against characters who have a hard time dealing with juggles, though this can be difficult to do so due to Ganondorf's physics.
Down throw   7% A one-handed body slam. Very low knockback growth makes it useful for setting up into dash attack, neutral aerial, up aerial, Wizard's Foot or Wizard's Dropkick at 0% to medium percentages. However, Ganondorf's slow speed and physics, an opponent's DI and the move's low hitstun and horizontal angle often make these follow-ups difficult.
Floor attack (front)   7% A legsweep performed from a flare, an acrobatic technique used in breakdancing and gymnastics.
Floor attack (back)   7% A somersault kick.
Floor attack (trip)   5% Spins around to kick those who are near.
Edge attack   8% Performs a backfist while climbing up. Has a very long range and can even occasionally stage spike enemies near or at the edge behind him.
Neutral special Default Warlock Punch 30% (ground), 37% (ground reverse), 38% (aerial), 40% (air reverse) Winds up his left arm while charging dark magic and then performs a powerful, dark magic-infused backfist. Ganondorf can rotate 180° by turning in the opposite direction during the charging period to deal more knockback and damage, at the cost of slightly more startup. It also receives a damage and knockback bonus if used in the air, with these bonuses being stackable. As a result, an aerial reverse Warlock Punch is powerful enough to one-hit KO any character at the ledge with enough rage and break any shield not at full size, while the grounded version can OHKO certain lightweight characters near the ledge. When reversed, it can KO middleweights at a mere 16% with no rage. The grounded version has armor until just before the punch, though the aerial version does not.
Custom 1 Warlock Blade 22%/18% (ground), 24%/20% (ground reverse), 24%/20% (air), 26%/22% (air reverse) Wields the Sword of the Six Sages and performs a reverse gripped thrust. Deals less damage overall than Warlock Punch when sourspotted, but has greater range, faster start-up, and a powerful sweetspot at the blade's tip. Has armor until just before the thrust, unless used in the air. Deals greatly increased shield damage, with the sweetspot being able to instantly shatter a full shield. All hitboxes have transcendent priority.
Custom 2 Warlock Thrust 16%/9% (normal), 19%/12% (reverse) The backfist is faster and produces a large explosion of dark magical energy, giving it more vertical range, transcendent priority, and less ending lag (though it is still notably large due to its faster start-up). The explosion, however, is a large sourspot, with Ganondorf's fist being the only sweetspot in the move. As a result, it deals extremely weak knockback that does not KO until past 300%.
Side special Default Flame Choke 12% (ground throw), 15% (air throw), 4% (release) Lunges forward with his hand extended out and infused with dark magic. Upon contact, he grabs the opponent's face and blasts them with a pulse of dark magic that drops them onto the ground. The opponent can tech the hit to avoid guaranteed follow-ups, though the move can be tech-chased due to having minimal ending lag. In the air, Ganondorf grabs onto and descends in order to chokeslam them to the ground, or to the lower blast line in a suicide KO if used off-stage. Much less unwieldy than in Brawl, as Ganondorf will always win if he and the opponent are on their last stocks. Due to functioning as a grab, it bypasses shields and counterattacks, while it can also can be used for a short-ranged horizontal recovery option due to it grabbing edges. When Ganondorf grabs his opponent, he gains armor on frame 17-40.
Custom 1 Flame Wave 10% (hit 1), 8% (ground throw), 10% (air throw), 4% (release) Upon contact, Ganondorf blasts the opponent into the air after grabbing them. Hits twice, with the second hit dealing vertical knockback while also launching bystanders. Has actual, good KO power, but at the cost of combo potential, range and speed. It also has more starting lag and ending lag.
Custom 2 Flame Chain 1.2% (loop, 9 hits), 5% (last hit) Hits multiple times instead of grabbing and ends with a blast that deals decent knockback. It also provides very long range, more traction on the ground and passes through shielding enemies. As it cannot grab, it cannot perform a Ganoncide. It also has slightly more start-up and significantly more ending lag.
Up special Default Dark Dive 1.2% (hits 1-4), 9% (throw), 7% (uppercut), 6% (release) Leaps upward and, upon coming into contact with an opponent, latches onto them and discharges electricity before launching off of them with an explosion. Covers a very small amount of horizontal distance, but a decent amount of vertical making it a sub-par recovery. If Ganondorf successfully lands this move against an opponent, he is not rendered helpless and can use it again. Ganondorf will perform a dark magic-infused uppercut that deals weak knockback if the grab misses an opponent. It has the weakest knockback out of all of Ganondorf's moves (not counting Flame Choke's set knockback, which has combo potential to compensate) and does not KO until 170%, though it does KO slightly earlier when near the edge and also functions as a decent out of shield move.
Custom 1 Dark Fists 6% (hit 1), 11% (hit 2) Leaps upward and, instead of latching onto the opponent, performs two dark magic-infused swiping punches. The punches can chain into each other, dealing very high knockback at moderate percentages and enables it to KO much more reliably than Dark Dive. Due to the increased horizontal reach and the armor frames on the move's start-up, it is considered one of Ganondorf's most effective recovery alternatives.
Custom 2 Dark Vault 1% (hit 1), 3% (throw), 6% (release) Leaps upward twice, but can only grab opponents during the start of either leap. The grab animation is significantly sped up, but its KO power is even weaker than Dark Dive, as it only KOs at 400%. The jumps together cover slightly more vertical distance.
Down special Default Wizard's Foot 14%/12% (ground), 15%/14% (air), 8% (landing) A dark magic-infused flying kick. Deals decent damage and knockback, but has considerable ending lag. In the air, Ganondorf flies diagonally downward and performs a powerful meteor smash during its start-up, while its late hit launches opponents vertically instead. A small shockwave is formed around Ganondorf when he lands on the ground, which deals a small amount of knockback. Deals relatively high shield damage in the air, bringing shields to a sliver of their health if all of its hitboxes connect. Slows down significantly on impact with anything, has considerable landing lag and is extremely risky to use off-stage.
Custom 1 Wizard's Dropkick 11%/9% (ground), 11%/8%/9%/7% (air), 6% (landing) Slightly jumps into the air before performing a blue-colored, dark magic-infused flying kick that travels farther but is slightly weaker. The grounded version has very little ending lag, enables Ganondorf to vault over most projectiles and is a true combo out of down throw until medium to high percentages. The aerial version moves at a 45° angle downward, making it great for horizontal recovery and avoiding juggles if he is launched. The aerial version can also be used more freely for edgeguarding. Both versions deal less damage, while the aerial version cannot meteor smash and has significantly reduced vertical KO power, though its overall utility outweighs these downsides.
Custom 2 Wizard's Assault 12%/11%/7% (ground), 14%/12% (air), 6% (landing) A magenta-colored, dark magic-infused flying kick that travels faster, farther and pierces opponents without slowing down on impact. The aerial version travels straight down, can still meteor smash, and its landing shockwave launches opponents behind Ganondorf. However, it has slower start-up and ending lag, with a more obvious purple "flash" at the beginning which makes it easier to anticipate.
Final Smash Beast Ganon 10%/5% (appearance), 10% (paralyze), 40%/30% (charge) Transforms into Ganon, his demonic beast form and rams into the opponent. Opponents too close upon its activation are buried, whereas those otherwise will be paralyzed if they are in front of him.

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Emerges from a portal of dark magic.
GanondorfOnScreenAppearanceSSB4.gif

Taunts[edit]

  • Up taunt: Floats in the air and then curls into a ball while spinning before opening up from his curled position and striking a pose while laughing.
  • Side taunt: Punches his right hand into his open palm in a threatening pose and scoffs, with dark magic emitting from his hands afterward. When the dark magic is emitted, his cape will either Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DSremain stationary or Super Smash Bros. for Wii Uflow as if being blown by wind.
  • Down taunt: Unsheathes the Sword of Sages, grunts, looks at it while sporting a mocking smirk as the blade's tip pulses with dark magic, then sheathes it.
Up taunt Side taunt Down taunt
GanondorfUpTauntSSB4.gif GanondorfSideTauntSSB4.gif GanondorfDownTauntSSB4.gif

Idle poses[edit]

  • Brings his hands together, then swings his right arm over his head.
  • Crosses his arms and looks in the opposite direction while sporting a mocking smirk.
GanondorfIdlePose1WiiU.jpg GanondorfIdlePose2WiiU.jpg

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Cheer
Description Ganon-dooorf! Gan-on!
Pitch Group chant Male

Victory poses[edit]

A flourished remix directly from Brawl. It is a remix of the tune that plays when Link obtains a Triforce Piece in The Legend of Zelda for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
  • With his back facing the screen, Ganondorf punches his fist into his open palm, turns to face the screen and pumps his fist.
  • Pumps his fist as it emits dark magic and crouches while Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DSbriefly opening his mouth or Super Smash Bros. for Wii Ubriefly clenching his teeth before resuming his typical scowling expression.
  • Crosses his arms while laughing, then looks toward the screen with a stern expression. This references a scene in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
GanondorfPose1WiiU.gif GanondorfPose2WiiU.gif GanondorfPose3WiiU.gif

In competitive play[edit]

Official Custom Moveset Project[edit]

Character Custom sets available
GanondorfHeadSSB4-U.png Ganondorf 2121 2122 2321 2322 2132
2332 2222 3122 3121 3112

Notable players[edit]

Active[edit]

  • Israel Adom - Highest-ranked Smash 4 player in the Middle East. He is considered one of the best Ganon mains in the world. He placed 9th at Syndicate 2017, the highest placement made by a Ganondorf main thus far. Has wins over players such as quiK, Fire, and Cyro.
  • France Dr.DORF - Placed 13th at Albion 2, 17th at Deflagration, and 25th at SALT. Has wins over players such as Meru and Kibzu~.
  • USA E-Serpent - Prominent Michigan Ganon main with sets off of several power-ranked midwestern Smashers.
  • USA GanonTheBeast - 5th on Minnesota Power Rankings. Infamously defeated Dexter in a best-of-five set in less than five minutes.
  • Japan Gungnir - The best Ganondorf in Japan and one of the best Ganondorf players in the world. Placed 17th at Umebura Japan Major 2017. He has sets off of high-caliber players such as Taiheita, Shimitake and Earth.
  • Canada Koskinator - Notorious for his online play before competing in his home region of Alberta. Placed 1st at the Smash 4 Alberta Arcadian.
  • Italy Orsone - Placed 7th at ICARUS II and 17th at ICARUS III. Currently ranked 10th on the Italian Power Rankings. Has defeated Dinamirer (#5 in Italy) and Sim-Max (#2 in Italy).
  • Japan Pon - Considered to be one of the best Ganondorf mains in Japan alongside Gungnir. He has wins over players like Ally, Kameme, Raito and Gackt.
  • Canada Ray Kalm - Formerly 9th on Ontario Power Rankings. Considered for a while as the top Ganondorf in the world.
  • USA Rhino - Was 3rd in New York's Mid-Hudson Power Rankings as solo Ganondorf.
  • USA Rice - Formerly ranked 2nd on the NorCal Power Rankings. Has won entire tournaments using solo Ganondorf despite not maining the character.
  • USA Rickles - One of the best Ganondorf mains in the world. Placed 1st at The Arcadian 3 and 49th at 2GG: Hyrule Saga. He has wins over tyroy, K9sbruce and Razo.
  • USA The Forkies - Has won a couple of tournaments in his home state of Louisiana. Has a win off CaptainZack.
  • USA Vermanubis - More known for playing Ganon in Brawl, he still competes to this day and gets impressive results in the Pacific Northwest.
  • USA yeti - Master of diversity. Used Ganon and placed high in multiple Level Up Games weeklies.

Inactive[edit]

  • USA Deotay - Prominent New England Ganon, with wins off of high-caliber players such as Pugwest. Currently attending college and playing there.
  • USA Jile - Best Ganondorf main in New England with high-placing regional results. Currently focusing on Rivals of Aether.
  • USA Matt Hazard
  • USA Vex Kasrani

Tier placement and history[edit]

Public consensus on Ganondorf in Smash 4 has risen and fallen throughout the game's history despite his numerous direct buffs. Hopes were high when the game was released due to the very noticeable buffs and the very large benefit of the change of mechanics, with some players often drawing comparisons to his Melee self. Players such as Gungnir and Matt Hazard were already earning impressive results, with the latter even defeating Mew2King in a now-infamous 3DS set. This excitement, however would gradually die off following the Wii U release, as while many characters like Sheik and Diddy Kong benefited from the discovery of new tech and a better controller setup, Ganondorf proved to not be as mechanically intensive as many would have thought. Even despite numerous buffs between game updates, the metagame continued to develop, leaving Ganondorf behind for the most part, which inevitably led to his 54th placing in the bottom tier of the first 4BR tier list.

Despite this, Ganondorf proved to be surprisingly popular in competitive play for a bottom-tier character, gaining a reputation as a "disrespectful" character thanks to his low tier standing and extravagant punishes. As such, he has garnered much better results than most other bottom-tiered characters (and even outplacing most low-tiered ones such as Dr. Mario and Wii Fit Trainer), especially in Japan and Eastern Canada, both places of where there is a surprisingly large number of Ganondorf players. This resulted in Ganondorf holding the third-worst position on the second tier list, at 56th (due to the inclusion of Corrin and Bayonetta). Thanks to big advancements to his metagame, as well as still having good results for a poorly regarded character, Ganondorf was ranked 53rd on the third tier list, allowing him to rise out of the "bottom five" position; furthermore, with the abolishment of the "bottom" tier ranking, Ganondorf was then ranked as a low-tier character. However, while Ganondorf gained a notable result in Umebura Japan Major 2017 with Gungnir placing 17th with solo Ganon (also upsetting Earth during the tournament), and he retains his placing at 53rd on the fourth and current tier list, this placing is now notable for not only having Ganondorf share the spot with Zelda, but also dropping back to being the second worst character alongside her, after the exclusion of Miis from the most recent tier list.

Altogether, Ganondorf has improved notably from his Brawl incarnation, where he was not only considered the worst character, but he was indisputably a bottom-tier character and his worst matchups were far more difficult to win than most bad matchups in the game. While Ganondorf keeps being consistently ranked either among or barely outside of the "bottom five" characters on the Western and European scenes, the Japanese scene is still more optimistic about the character, especially after Gungnir's high placing. As such, Ganondorf's true tier placing has remained in contention throughout the game's competitive lifespan.

Trophies[edit]

Ganondorf
Ntsc The King of Evil that awaits Link at the end of most of his adventures. Ganondorf possesses the Triforce of Power. In Smash Bros., he makes up for his low speed with devastating power. The strength of his blows can knock back most opponents. Get close with a dash attack, and pummel your foes!
Pal The King of Evil is Link's arch-nemesis in most games in the Legend of Zelda series. With the Triforce of Power at his disposal, he's a fearsome opponent. In this game, his mighty attacks have so much impact, they easily make up for his slow speed, and his launching ability is extra impressive! Rush in when the enemy's open and strike hard.
N64: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (11/1998)
Wii: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (11/2006)
Ganondorf (Alt.)
Ntsc Being the powerhouse that he is, the King of Evil is a great choice for free-for-alls. His Warlock Punch delivers a thunderous, dark-energy-fueled blow from his left hand. Unfortunately, left-handed dark-energy-fueled blows take some time to charge. You can turn to face someone as they cowardly try to hit you from behind.
Pal Being the powerhouse that he is, the King of Evil is a great choice for free-for-alls. His Warlock Punch focuses dark energy into his left hand to deliver a thunderous back-hander. Unfortunately, focusing all that energy takes time. If someone sneaks behind you just as you start the move, quickly try to turn around.
N64: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (11/1998)
Wii: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (11/2006)
Beast Ganon
North America For Ganondorf's Final Smash, he morphs into a beast and attacks. As soon as he's transformed, he buries nearby fighters in the ground and then stuns them with his roar. Finally, he charges forward, dealing heavy damage and launching anyone in his way. Any foes buried by the first strike are doomed to be hit by the rest.
Pal For Ganondorf's Final Smash, he morphs into a beast and attacks. As soon as he's transformed, he buries fighters nearby in the ground, then stuns them with his roar. Finally, he charges forward, dealing heavy damage and launching anyone in his way. Any foes who are buried by the first strike are guaranteed to be hit by the rest.

In Event Matches[edit]

Solo Events[edit]

Co-op Events[edit]

Alternate costumes[edit]

Ganondorf Palette (SSB4).png
GanondorfHeadSSB4-U.png GanondorfHeadWhiteSSB4-U.png GanondorfHeadPurpleSSB4-U.png GanondorfHeadGreenSSB4-U.png GanondorfHeadRedSSB4-U.png GanondorfHeadYellowSSB4-U.png GanondorfHeadGreySSB4-U.png GanondorfHeadBlueSSB4-U.png

Gallery[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • Super Smash Bros. 4 is the first entry in the series to have Ganondorf utilize his sword as an attack, albeit as a custom special, Warlock Blade.
  • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is the first game where Ganondorf is unlocked on a stage other than Final Destination.
  • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is the only game where Ganondorf is a starter character.
  • Ganondorf's neutral moveset has the most grab moves in the game, as both Flame Choke and Dark Dive count as grabs and cannot be shielded or countered.
  • When Ganondorf uses Ganoncide on an opponent with one stock left, he will usually still emit his KO voice clip despite not being KO'd.
  • Ganondorf's amiibo description on Nintendo's official site is based on his Melee trophy description, thereby describing his The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time self.
  • Of all the veterans that retain their voice clips from Brawl, Ganondorf, Link and Captain Falcon are the only ones to not make use of knockback voice clips that weren't used in-game in Brawl despite having them.
  • When using Ganondorf's down taunt under the effects of the Timer item, his sword will move in an unusual way due to its motion not slowing down with him.
  • Ganondorf's NTSC crowd chant is very similar to the one in Melee, where the crowd eerily drags out the second part of his name.
  • Despite his Ocarina of Time design appearing as a trophy in 3DS, Wii U is the only game where Ganondorf's design from that game does not appear.