Ganondorf (SSB4)

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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
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. Ganondorf is once again voiced by Hironori Miyata, albeit via recycled voice clips from his appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

Ganondorf is currently ranked 53rd out of 55 on the tier list (tied with Zelda), placing him in the G tier. This is a slight improvement from his ranking in Brawl, where he was 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 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[edit]

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

Ganondorf does not have to be unlocked in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

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. 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 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. 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 notoriously 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 (other than down throw) having little follow-up and no KO power with the exception of forward throw, which can lead to down aerials meteor smash offstage. 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 and high vulnerability to edgeguarding and gimps. Dark Dive's lack of speed, distance and resilience allows Ganondorf to be knocked away by even the weakest of moves, while Flame Choke's fearsome sacrificial KO potential is offset by its minimal horizontal distance and it sharing the same flaws as Dark Dive. Lastly, 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 the highest tournament representation out of the F-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 Brawl[edit]

Ganondorf has been considerably buffed in the transition from Brawl to SSB4, albeit not enough to significantly raise his standing among the cast. Aside from a few minor animation changes and different custom moves, Ganondorf is still a semi-clone of Captain Falcon, having even been slightly re-cloned with his down aerial and neutral aerial's first hit functioning almost exactly like Falcon's, albeit the latter having no set knockback and an added hitbox on the foot with increased knockback. Outside of this, some of his moves are faster (notably neutral attack, dash attack, and neutral aerial), have even more power (most notably down smash, back aerial, and Wizard's Foot), or deal more damage (notably up smash, forward aerial, and Flame Choke) His dash attack's sourspot has vastly improved combo potential, while the sourspots on some of his attack are less of a hindrance now due to either having consistent knockback on all their hitboxes and/or deal more damage. Unlike many other characters who got increases in landing lag, Ganondorf's aerials have less landing lag, most prominently forward and down aerials, while the others are still noticeable as well. His slowest but most rewarding moves, such as his up tilt and Warlock Punch, are much easier to land and are even more powerful. His grab game has been slightly improved, though it remains very poor. 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 significantly benefits from the general changes of SSB4. The removal of chain grabbing, which heavily plagued Ganondorf in previous games, improves his survival, while the changes to hitstun canceling, now only being possible after frame 40, allows a reasonable period for Ganondorf's attacks to connect better (notably from down throw) and makes opponents less capable of attacking him right out of Dark Dive (though it is still very capable of being attacked out). The removal of damage reduction on shields and increased shieldstun allows many of Ganondorf's attacks to break them more easily, the introduction of edge-stealing which allows Ganondorf to edge-hog more effectively while limiting his opponents' ability to do the same (which is only helped by his ledge grab animation being the lowest and safest in the game). Additionally, the new rage mechanic greatly strengthens his already high overall knockback, which he can benefit from even further due to his heavier weight.

However, Ganondorf also received noteworthy nerfs. His forward smash no longer has extra reach when pivoted, and while Warlock Punch was improved overall, it is much weaker unless reversed or performed in midair. Despite being infamous for his poor recovery, Ganondorf is even easier to edgeguard due to the removal of grab armor and his low air speed being nearly reduced to what it was in Melee. His down aerial is also significantly weaker, lasts shorter, and no longer autocancels with a short hop, drastically weakening its utility despite having significantly less landing lag and greater reach. The biggest nerf Ganondorf received was to Flame Choke, his staple move in Brawl: it not only lost its grab armor, but when grounded, it can now be teched before Ganondorf can act. This enforces unreliable hard reads, and if Ganondorf reads incorrectly, his slow attack speed will ensure he can get punished. In addition to his nerfs, some glaring flaws, outside of universal changes, from Brawl were not addressed, such as his low mobility and poor recovery, while the only issues that were addressed were his unusually low attack power in spite of his character archetype and, to a lesser extent, less landing lag for his aerials and slightly faster start-up in some areas.

Overall, Ganondorf is considered a much better and more rewarding character overall compared to how he was in Brawl. However, this has barely helped his standing on the tier list, due to the vast number of his fellow veterans having been buffed as well, while he also remains arguably inferior to how he was in Melee in certain aspects. The changes to Ganondorf and his fellow veterans are also somewhat evident in his match-ups against them; while he generally fares poorly against them, his match-ups are not as abysmal as they were in Brawl. Lastly, some of Ganondorf's custom moves address a few of his glaring flaws to the point that they noticeably improve him even further, although it is very debatable as to whether their benefits make him as viable as he was in Melee.

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 SSB4 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 original to SSB4.
  • 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]

  • Change Ganondorf is heavier (109 → 113), improving his endurance, but making him more susceptible to combos.
  • Buff Ganondorf dashes faster (1.16 → 1.218).
  • Nerf Ganondorf's air speed is slower (0.846 → 0.79), hindering his already poor recovery.
  • Nerf Ganondorf's gravity is higher (0.1027 → 0.107835), hindering his already poor endurance potential, as well as making him slightly more susceptible to combos.
  • 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 and more often.
  • Change The removal of meteor canceling significantly helps Ganondorf, as it makes his down aerial and Wizard's Foot even more viable (despite the former's reduced power) and makes them function similarly to spikes from Melee. However, it makes his already poor recovery even easier to edgeguard.
  • Bug fix Flight of Ganon has been removed.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Buff Neutral attack deals 1% more damage (5%/7%/9% → 6%/8%/10%), has decreased start-up (8 frames → 7) and has decreased ending lag (IASA 34 → 28), improving its out of shield potential. Its sweetspot and sourspot were moved 1 unit forward and backward respectively (x position 18/12 → 19/11), decreasing the blind spots covering his body while slightly increasing its range.
  • Nerf Neutral attack has reduced knockback (40/30/40 (base)/105 (growth) → 38/30/40 (base)/90/90/105 (growth)), making it slightly weaker despite its damage increase.
  • Nerf Sweetspotted dash attack deals 1% less damage (15% → 14%) and has decreased base knockback (60 → 50), now KOing around 140% instead of the 100%-125% range in Brawl.
  • Buff Sourspotted dash attack has an altered angle (100° → 80°) and has decreased ending lag (IASA 41 → 37), improving its combo potential. It also received 2 frames of invincibility after start-up, improving its defensive potential against powerful projectiles.
  • Buff Down tilt deals 1% more damage (12% → 13%), making it stronger.
  • Buff Up tilt deals 1% more damage (17%/19%/27%/27% → 18%/20%/28%/28%). Additionally, it deals more shield damage across all hitboxes (0 → 20), on top of shields taking 19% more damage, which allows its sweetspot to instantly shatter even full shields. Lastly, the changes in ledge mechanics also makes it much easier to trap opponents with, improving its edgeguarding potential.
  • Buff Sweetspotted forward smash has increased base knockback (30 → 35).
  • Nerf Ganondorf no longer lunges farther when performing a pivoted forward smash, decreasing its range.
  • Buff Up smash deals 2% more damage (19%/22%/22% → 21%/24%/24%) and has very slightly higher growth (70 → 71), making it stronger (now the strongest up smash in Smash 4), and has decreased ending lag (IASA 43 → 42).
  • Buff Down smash deals 1% more damage (5% → 6% (hit 1), 12%/14%/14% → 13%/15%/15% (hit 2) and second hit has increased knockback growth (75 → 94) and a larger hitbox (5.5u → 6.5u), improving its KO potential and making the move function similarly to how it did in Melee. The second hit now pushes away shielding opponents rather than dragging them toward him, making the move safer.
  • Nerf Down smash's first hit received a hitbox on Ganondorf's thigh that launches opponents forward and away from the second hit, making it much harder for both hits to connect together and making Ganondorf more susceptible to being punished.
  • Change Down smash's second hit now flips opponents.

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)).
  • Buff Neutral aerial has been improved. The first kick has significantly decreased knockback growth (100 → 30), has altered angles (55°/60°/65° → 55°/70°/100°) and transitions into its second hit slightly faster (frame 20 → 17). It also gained a hitbox on his foot with increased knockback (20 (base)/100 (growth) → 50/110), improving its spacing potential when hitting with his foot. The second kick deals more damage (7% (clean)/5% (late) → 12%/9%), has increased knockback growth (100 → 106) and a larger hitbox (4.3u/5.7u/6.2u → 4.5u/5.7u/7.4u), restoring its KO potential from Melee and making it function similarly to Captain Falcon's neutral aerial. It also has decreased ending lag (IASA 45 → 42).
  • Nerf Neutral aerial's first hit deals less damage (11% (clean)/7% (late) → 7%/5.25%) and its significantly decreased knockback makes it less safe on hit and on landing, removing its KO potential and hindering its spacing potential unless hitting with his foot.
  • Buff Forward aerial deals more damage (15% (sourspot)/17% (sweetspot) → 17%/18%) and increased knockback (30/48 (base)/80/83 (growth) → 20/93), making the sourspot much less of a hindrance.
  • Buff Sweetspotted back aerial deals 1% more damage (16% → 17%) and has increased knockback (10/28 (base)/85 (growth) → 40/89), making the sourspot much less of a hindrance.
  • Buff Sourspotted down aerial now launches at the Sakurai angle, improving its onstage edgeguarding and KO potentials. In addition, the move's hitboxes were moved lower, giving it more range below him as well as making it easier to land the sourspot.
  • Nerf Down aerial lasts 2 frames shorter (16-20 → 16-18), has decreased base knockback (30 → 20), and deals 3% less damage on the sweetspot (22% → 19%). This makes it meteor smash grounded opponents later (0% → 10%) and KO grounded opponents later (100% → 120%), though it is still the most powerful meteor smash in the game. It can also no longer autocancel with a short hop, hindering its combo potential and making Ganondorf more susceptible to being punished at very low percentages. The sourspot also further worsens the move's offstage edgeguarding ability.

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Buff Pummel deals 1% more damage (2% → 3%).
  • Buff Up throw deals 3% more damage (7% → 10%).
  • Buff The changes to hitstun canceling improves down throw's follow-up potential from 0% to medium percentages.
  • Change Forward, up, and down throws have decreased hitlag.
  • Buff Front and back floor attacks deal 1% more damage (6% → 7%).
  • Change Ganondorf has a new back floor attack, a somersault kick.
  • Nerf Edge attack deals 2% less damage (10% → 8%).

Special moves[edit]

  • Nerf Grounded Warlock Punch deals 2% less damage (32% → 30%) and has altered knockback (30 (base)/100 (growth) → 120/42), slightly hindering its KO potential.
  • Buff Aerial Warlock Punch deals 3% more damage (35% → 38%).
  • Buff Grounded and aerial reversed Warlock Punch deal 2% more damage (35% (grounded)/38% (aerial) → 37%/40%). Grounded and grounded reversed Warlock Punch now grant armor lasting from frames 11-66 and frames 11-58, respectively.
  • Buff Flame Choke deals 3% more damage (9% (grounded)/12% (aerial) → 12/15%) and its grab range increased (5.2 (grounded)/5.5 (aerial) → 7.2/7.5). Grounded Flame Choke no longer has any blind spots and due to the changes in ledge mechanics, using grounded Flame Choke on an opponent using their normal get-up option will cause them to miss their ledge grab. Lastly, 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.
  • Nerf Flame Choke can now be teched, though the grounded version's low ending lag allows tech-chasing. The removal of grab armor makes it easier to intercept, as traded blows will interrupt the grab. This makes Ganonciding slightly more difficult to perform and thus less of a deterrent for opponents edgeguarding Ganondorf.
  • 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.
  • Buff Dark Dive deals 2.8% more damage (11% → 13.8%) and slightly increased knockback growth (82 → 90), improving its out of shield and KO potentials.
  • Buff The changes to hitstun canceling results in opponents no longer being able to attack Ganondorf after he releases them from Dark Dive, improving its defensive potential.
  • Nerf The removal of grab armor removes the minimal protection Dark Dive provided. When combined with the previous point about Flame Choke, this makes Ganondorf more susceptible to edgeguarding.
  • Buff Grounded Wizard's Foot deals 2% more damage (12%/10%/10% → 14%/12%/12%), improving its KO potential near the ledge and its safety potential at low percentages while also out-prioritizing most weak projectiles. Its hitboxes were also widened (z position -1/-3/4 → 0/-3/6), increasing its range. Aerial Wizard's Foot deals more shield damage (10 → 15). It can also be interrupted much sooner, giving Ganondorf much greater leniency to successfully recover after using it off-stage when edgeguarding and when using it as a recovery mix-up. This also allows it to be used over ground from not as high up without going into its laggy landing animation.
  • 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 Beast Ganon deals 7% less damage (47% → 40%) and has decreased knockback, 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.

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 Landing lag on all aerial attacks has been reduced, with neutral aerial having a moderate decrease while the rest of his aerials had a slight decrease.

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 has been improved. It 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

  • Change Ganondorf is slightly heavier: 112 → 113.
  • Buff Neutral aerial is significantly improved. The 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.
  • 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

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

Moveset[edit]

  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. Has vacuum properties on frames 6-70 and is incredibly powerful, with the sweetspot being infamous for instantly shattering full shields and KOing at very low percentages when near the edge, making it one of Ganondorf's best edgeguarding options if used wisely. However, while it is the strongest up tilt in the game, it has immense starting lag at 81 frames and is both Ganondorf's slowest attack and the game's slowest standard move, making it an extreme "high risk, high reward" move.
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 and very brief invincibility after the move's start-up, though the invincibility lasts too short to be practical. 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 bicycle 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. 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 195% 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 37% 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 significant damage and knockback bonus if used in the air or rotated 180°, 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 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%, while the jump covers less horizontal 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. 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, 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.jpg GanondorfSideTauntSSB4.jpg GanondorfDownTauntSSB4.jpg

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
Ganondorf Cheer NTSC SSB4.ogg
Ganondorf Cheer JP SSB4.ogg
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 main in the world. He placed 9th at Syndicate 2017, the highest placement made by a Ganondorf main thus far. Has wins over Loota, and CFive.
  • 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 - Currently considered the best Ganondorf player 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.
  • USA Opana - Was 3rd in New York's Mid-Hudson Power Rankings as solo Ganondorf.
  • Italy Orso - Was 5th on the Italian Power Rankings. Has defeated BlueLink (#1 in Italy).
  • Japan Pon - Considered to be one of the best Ganondorf mains in Japan alongside Gungnir.
  • Canada Ray Kalm - Formerly 9th on Ontario Power Rankings. Considered for a while as the top Ganondorf in the world.
  • USA Rice (NorCal) - 2nd in NorCal Power Rankings. Has won entire tournaments using solo Ganondorf despite not maining the character.
  • 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.

Inactive[edit]

  • USA 8 Inches - One of the midwest's best Ganons, he is the only Ganondorf main in Smash 4 to have taken a game from ZeRo in an offline tournament (albeit in the ditto). Currently pursuing other characters.
  • 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
  • Norway Vaataji - Prominent online player, with sets off VoiD and Mr. R. Currently on a hiatus.
  • 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 benefitted 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 is now ranked 53rd on the third and current tier list, allowing him to rise out of the "bottom five" position; furthermore, with the abolishment of the "bottom" tier ranking, Ganondorf is now ranked as a low-tier character. 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, sometimes placing him above other characters in the higher tiers. As such, Ganondorf's true tier placing is still debatable.

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.
  • 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 an aerial Flame Choke 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 that do not make use of their unused Brawl knockback sound clips.
  • 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.
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