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Ganondorf (SSBB)

From SmashWiki, the Super Smash Bros. wiki
This article is about Ganondorf's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. For the character in other contexts, see Ganondorf.
in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Ganondorf SSBB.jpg
Universe The Legend of Zelda
Other Smash Bros. appearances in Melee
in SSB4
in Ultimate
Availability Unlockable
Final Smash Beast Ganon
Tier F (38)

Ganondorf (ガノンドロフ, Ganondorf) returns from Super Smash Bros. Melee in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, where he is a playable character. The director of The Legend of Zelda, Eiji Aonuma, hinted that Ganondorf would return as a playable character when he stated that he sent his (Ganondorf), Link, and Sheik's Twilight Princess designs to Masahiro Sakurai [1]. He was ultimately confirmed on March 18, 2008.

Ganondorf is now voiced by Hironori Miyata, his voice actor from Twilight Princess, albeit via reused voice clips from the game, replacing Takashi Nagasako, from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Melee.

Ganondorf is ranked dead last on the tier list, in which he is ranked 38th out of 38 characters in Brawl, his worst tier placement in the Smash series to date. This is a significant drop from his position on the Melee tier list, where he was 14th out of 26. Ganondorf's few strengths include high power throughout his moveset, respectable endurance, strong momentum cancelling capabilities, fearsome edgeguarding abilities, access to the most powerful meteor smash in his down aerial, and a great semi-spike in his up aerial. Ganondorf has also gained a new combo starter in Flame Choke and a superjump glitch in the Flight of Ganon.

However, these strengths are eclipsed by a slew of significant flaws. Ganondorf's overall mobility and frame data are among the slowest, if not the slowest in the game, with King Dedede just barely beating him. His recovery is possibly his biggest flaw; he has the third-lowest double jump in the game, Flame Choke covers minimal horizontal distance and is easily edge-guarded due to its slow speed and lack of protection, and aerial Wizard's Foot no longer restores his double jump. In particular, Dark Dive is likewise slow and its newly added hitbox at the move's climax is not sufficient enough to defend from edge-guarding, while it has also lost all of its KO power and now KOs past the Sudden Death range (300%), allowing opponents to hit Ganondorf out of it as soon as the move completes. His useful chain-grab options, the changes to hitstun, and his overall moveset were all heavily nerfed from Melee, severely weakening his KO and combo ability. Additionally, many of his moves either have large sourspots (his forward aerial, for example) or cannot KO at realistic percentages (like his aforementioned Dark Dive). Also, the loss of L-cancelling has harmed him far more than any other character in Brawl, as he is no longer able to safely use his powerful, yet laggy aerials for general usage. Most of Ganondorf's attacks either have poor reach for a character of his size or possess inconveniently placed hitboxes, putting him at a serious disadvantage against characters with long reach or disjointed hitboxes (like Marth, Snake, or Ike). In addition, his grab is not only slow, but also the shortest-reaching grab in the series, which combines with his slow attacks to give him poor out of shield options. While his great weight gives him strong endurance potential, it also makes him susceptible to chain grabs and combos (with a few being capable of zero-deathing him outright). Plus, his shield is unusually small, making it vulnerable to shield stabbing, similar to Donkey Kong. Finally, his lack of any projectile makes him easily camped and leaves him with little approach options or the ability to force approaches.

As a result, Ganondorf has had the third-highest tier drop from Melee to Brawl (behind Captain Falcon and Jigglypuff for the second-highest and highest, respectively), with terrible tournament results and no advantageous or even match-ups (Donkey Kong also had this problem in the Japanese Version of Smash 64). He has the highest number of hard counters out of any character in the series at 17, in addition to 5 nearly unwinnable match-ups. He is also the only character in the whole series to have ever been placed in his own tier at the bottom of the tier list. This incarnation of Ganondorf is often considered the worst character in the history of Smash. However, he is ranked 31st, rather than dead last, on the Japanese tier list.

How to unlock[edit]

Complete one of the following:

With the exception of the third method, Ganondorf must then be defeated on Final Destination.


Ganondorf is a heavy, fast falling, very slow character (the slowest to be exact) with sub-par range and strong attacks. His attacks, though only in the sweetspot, deal above average knockback, although this can also serve as a problem since it prevents him from comboing at medium damage percentages or higher. His side special grants him armor (only helpful in team battles or Free-for-alls) while he is holding the opponent, and it leaves opponents vulnerable for a bit of time if used on the ground, leaving them open for another quick attack being a true set up like down tilt (on most characters), his jab, or several characters getting hit by dash attack and side tilt for KOs, and even his up aerial on platforms. In the air, Ganondorf's side special can cause a Ganoncide, although it is situational because even when it is impossible to escape from it or control the trajectory, landing it is very hard work, and the results in a last-stock situation are unpredictable. Ganondorf's moves are arguably the least affected by Smash DI because he has the lowest number of multi-hitting moves (his down smash and his neutral aerial are his only moves considered to be a multi-hitting move; however, his neutral aerial's second hit will almost never connect at higher percentages), effectively rendering escape and punishment of his attacks ineffective, although his attacks are a lot easier to shield or dodge. Ganondorf's dash attack provides him with a quick speed boost, and the move is a hard hitter as well and can also KO, but it is easily punished if shielded. Ganondorf's aerials are also very strong; all have high knockback and strong edgeguarding potential; his up aerial is a very useful semi-spike that can gimp opponents due to its high hitstun and his down aerial is an extremely strong, reliable meteor smash that is the strongest in the game (sometimes can KO even at 0%, depending from how far the opponent is from the lower blast line). Ganondorf`s advanced superjump glitch, the Flight of Ganon, is very situational, but, if done right, he travels far higher in the air than any of his aerial options, allowing him to escape pressure, and allows him to set up an aerial reverse Warlock Punch, his strongest move.

However, Ganondorf's high power and heavy weight are counter-balanced with a slew of flaws. Ganondorf is the tallest fighter in the game, a problem shared with other heavyweights. His horizontal standing grab range is the shortest in the game (though his pivot grab has good range, but slower start-up). Because of his poor grab range, slow moves, and short distanced rolls, his out of shield options are some of the least effective in the game (though his grab is the shortest in the game, it can sometimes still shield grab depending on the range of the opponent's attack and the shieldstun of it), forcing him to rely on powershielding, and because of how much he relies on his shield that hasn't the size of characters like Snake without being able to punish the opponent, it makes him easy to shield-stab with multi-hit moves. Ganondorf also has difficulty jumping out of shield due to the significant jump lag (7 frames). Ganondorf has poor air speed, and a very small second jump (though it auto-sweetspots ledges, allowing him to plank). He lacks a projectile and he is easy to outcamp for those who have a projectile. Ganondorf's mobility is also very poor with his poor air speed and ground speed; because of this, characters with a good projectile can easily break his approach and force him to jump and still get very little distance. Ganondorf's overall ground attack speed is among the slowest in the game along with Ike (but three of Ganondorf's aerial attacks are only laggy if he lands while attacking; Ganondorf's fastest ground attack is his short-ranged grab which has 7 frames start-up).

Although his weight and good momentum canceling allows him to potentially live up to very high percents, his slow, predictable and easily gimped recovery compromises this. His main recovery move, Dark Dive, not only gains little distance, but it can be hit out of from above by certain characters where he lacks hitboxes (e.g. Falco, at around 90% damage, can spike Ganondorf out of his up special with his down aerial). It can poorly stage spike edgehoggers, but Dark Dive is easily teched, and in fact the uppercut at the end is stronger than the primary attack (which can reliably KO starting at 300%). Because of these reasons, Ganondorf's up special is one of the worst in the game and is practical only when used offensively if the opponent is at a low percent or is one of the few who cannot punish it. Although his damage input and KO power allows to compensate his poor recovery somewhat, it still lacks sufficient utility, as opponents can act as soon as they are let go, while Ganondorf must wait for a while before attacking, giving enemies the chance to attack Ganon as soon as he lets go. He, like Captain Falcon and Wolf, has a fast falling speed and a heavy weight that can backfire by making him vulnerable to chain grabs from the Ice Climbers and King Dedede. Also, certain characters can avoid much of his moveset by crouching (jab, f-tilt, non-down angled forward smash, down smash, auto-canceled short hop down aerial, Warlock Punch, grounded Wizard's Foot and even standing grab and dash grab).

Ganondorf's high knockback attacks also gives him one of the worst comboing ability, due to the ability to act out of hitstun and many of his combos lasting only for 2 or 3 hits. His only combos are the thunder hopping technique and his Flame Choke and those 2 moves are also deemed ineffective at comboing, with the former being easily avoidable by crouching and stops working at 60% and the latter requiring proper reads.

Changes from Melee to Brawl[edit]

Ganondorf's overall moveset has received an overhaul from Melee. While he still shares some moves from Captain Falcon, he has received different animations and moves that now makes him a semi-clone rather than a full clone.

Despite being a low-mid tier in Melee while also receiving some good buffs, Ganondorf was immensely nerfed from Melee, being one of the most nerfed characters in the transition alongside Jigglypuff and one of the most severely nerfed characters in the entire series. His already slow mobility has been weakened, and some of his moves have less reach (despite his tall stature), leaving him very easily out-maneuvered and vulnerable from all sides. His comboing and KOing ability also have been severely crippled: his grabs can no longer chain throw nor set-up effectively as before; and his great power has been toned down to being only slightly above-average, due to his moves either being drastically weakened to the point where they cannot K.O. even at 200% or have received extremely large sourspots that cannot KO reliably, most notably his forward aerial, the crux of his metagame in Melee. Finally, his already poor recovery was significantly weakened to be among the worst, with his main recovery move (Dark Dive) being completely unsafe on hit.

On the other hand, he did receive a few notable buffs. His air speed is much faster (although still among the slowest), his forward tilt now semi-spikes and is effective against enemies with weak recoveries, his up and down tilts have significantly improved range, and he now has the highest damaging forward throw in the game. Warlock Punch and aerial Wizard's Foot are much stronger, and Dark Dive now has a hitbox at the move's climax that provides decent protection against edgeguarders, along with being able to grab ledge-hangers. Arguably the biggest buff he received is a new side special, Flame Choke, which gives Ganondorf a combo starter and tech-chasing move. However, none of these are significant enough to counterbalance the nerfs he had received, while most of these moves were also nerfed as well.


  • Change Ganondorf's design is now based off his appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess rather than The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and his sword is now the Sword of the Six Sages. The overall boost in graphics also give his outfit more detail.
  • Change Ganondorf's ledge hanging animation is altered, he now hangs onto a ledge with both hands.
  • Change Ganondorf has a new dashing animation where he jogs instead of sprints, and his backward rolls are now sidesteps rather than backflips.
  • Change Ganondorf's up taunt now has him leaning more backward after uncurling. He also now laughs after he spins rather than at the beginning of the taunt.
  • Change Ganondorf's sword waving victory pose has been replaced by a laugh with crossed arms.
  • Change Ganondorf has a new sleeping animation, now being different from Captain Falcon.
  • Change As on screen appearances were not present in Melee, Ganondorf now receives one.


  • Buff Ganondorf now has access to the Flight of Ganon technique.
  • Buff Air speed is significantly faster (0.78 → 0.846), going from being tied for 3rd lowest to tied for 9th lowest, improving his recovery and ability to chase opponents.
  • Buff Ganondorf's traction is lower (0.07 → 0.068), going from the 14th highest in Melee to the 7th highest. Compared with the returning veterans, however, Ganondorf's traction is significantly higher, making it easier for him to punish out of shield.
  • Nerf Dashing speed is significantly slower (1.35 → 1.16), going from 6th lowest to 2nd lowest.
  • Nerf Jumpsquat is 1 frame longer (6 frames → 7), slightly slowing Ganondorf's ability to be airborne and perform aerials.
  • Nerf Ganondorf now crouches upright instead of hunching over, increasing his crouching hurtbox.
  • Nerf Ganondorf's air acceleration is lower (0.02 → 0.01 (base), 0.06 → 0.04 (max)) going from the 5th highest in Melee to the 2nd lowest in Brawl.
  • Nerf As with the returning veterans, Ganondorf's Falling speed is slower (2 → 1.65). Compared to the returning veterans, however, he falls much faster relative to them, going from the 10th highest in Melee to tied for 7th highest in Brawl. Compared to the cast, while this slightly improves Ganondorf's vertical endurance, it worsens his already poor recovery, and makes him especially vulnerable to chain throws and combos. Considering his lack of movement speed and mobility, and his very laggy aerials, this falling speed change does him more harm than good.
  • Change Ganondorf's gravity is lower (0.13 → 0.1027).
  • Nerf In a similar vein to Captain Falcon and Jigglypuff, the changes to hitstun prevent Ganondorf from relying on his higher-knockback moves to combo his opponents, and it also makes his finishing moves harder to land (exacerbated by his terrible mobility).
  • Nerf The loss of L-cancelling hurt Ganondorf far more than any other character aside from Bowser and Link, as he can no longer safely use his powerful but laggy aerials for general usage, which was a major part of Ganondorf's success in Melee.
  • Nerf Ganondorf is significantly larger and taller, making him even more vulnerable to combos, projectiles, and hits in general. While very few of his attacks have more reach, this size increase fails to properly compensate his moves that had their range reduced.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Neutral attack:
    • Nerf Neutral attack's body hitbox is now a sourspot that deals 3% less damage (8% → 5%).
    • Buff Neutral attack's hand hitbox is now a sweetspot that deals 2% more damage (7% → 9%).
    • Change Neutral attack now has a hitbox on the arm that deals 7%.
    • Buff Neutral attack has more reach and significantly more knockback (30 base/100 growth → 40 base/105 growth), allowing the sweetspot to KO under 125%-150% near the ledge.
    • Nerf Neutral attack has more startup (frames 3-6 → 8-9) and ending lag (IASA 19 → 34), making it much slower, significantly weakening his close-range game and out of shield capabilities while completely removing its combo potential. It also has a shorter duration.
    • Change Neutral attack now uses Ganondorf's right arm instead of his left.
  • Dash attack:
    • Buff Dash attack has increased base knockback (40 → 60) and damage (14% → 15%), now being a reliable KO move that can KO in the 100-125% range. Despite the significant power increase, however, it is now only the second most powerful dash attack.
    • Nerf Dash attack has slightly more startup (frame 7 → 10) and ending lag (IASA 38 → 41). It also has much less range and now has a sourspot with less knockback scaling.
  • Forward tilt:
    • Buff Ganondorf has a new forward tilt: a front kick. It launches enemies at a semi-spike angle (361° → 22°), making it good against characters with poor recoveries.
    • Nerf Forward tilt deals slightly less knockback (20 base/100 growth → 30/88), hindering its KO potential. It also more startup (frame 9 → 10) and ending lag (IASA 29 → 39), can no longer be angled, and has less reach, making it more difficult to land and a less safe and less useful spacer, as well as reducing its maximum damage output.
  • Up tilt:
    • Buff Up tilt's startup animation produces a stronger vacuum effect and the explosion produced is significantly larger, giving the move drastically better reach and making it overall much easier to land. The hitbox also has a slightly longer duration (81-83 → 81-84).
    • Nerf Up tilt has drastically reduced base knockback (110 → 60), now KOing in the 50% range. It also now has large, drastically weaker sourspots covering the explosion that deal much less damage (27% → 19%/17%) and KO around the 75-100% range, though it is still the most powerful tilt by far. The introduction of ledge auto-sweetspotting also makes the move less effective as an edgeguarding tool.
    • Change Up tilt has a slightly altered animation, where Ganondorf holds up his leg while it's charging.
  • Down tilt:
    • Buff Ganondorf has a new down tilt: a low front kick. It has slightly more reach.
  • Forward smash:
    • Buff Forward smash launches at a lower angle (80°/70°/60° → 45°/40°/35°) and all angles are now as strong as the non-angled version from Melee. It also has a much larger hitboxes (3.6 → 5).
    • Change Forward smash has 1 frame more start-up but with 1 frame more duration (frame 20-24 → 21-26), making it no longer hit opponents before he completely thrusts his elbow outward but makes the attack's hitbox linger more, which may surprise Ganondorf's opponents.
  • Up smash:
    • Buff Ganondorf has a new up smash: a single upwards kick. Compared to the previous up smash, it has significantly more reach.
    • Nerf Up smash deals less knockback than the first kick in his Melee up smash (50 base/80 growth → 40/70) and has much less damage potential due to the removal of the second kick (39% → 22%). The move additionally has more ending lag (IASA 40 → 43) and a sourspot on the leg that deals less damage (22% → 19%) and has slightly less knockback scaling (80 → 75).
  • Down smash:
    • Buff Down smash has slightly faster startup (frames 19 → 16).
    • Nerf Down smash transitions from the first kick to the second much slower (frame 29 → 36), making it more difficult to link. Along with this, the move has much more ending lag (IASA 46 → 63), making it much less safe to use. The second kick additionally hits at a lower angle (120° → 130°) with much less knockback scaling (110 → 75), now survivable past 150% under standard conditions and overall a much less reliable KO move. The first kick also deals 3% less damage (8% → 5%).

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Neutral aerial:
    • Buff Both hits of neutral aerial have longer hitbox durations (hit 1: 7-8 → 7-13, hit 2: 20-21 → 20-32) with sex kick properties.
    • Nerf The second kick of neutral aerial is drastically weaker, dealing less damage (12% → 7%) and base knockback (50 → 25), completely removing its KO potential. The first kick also deals less damage (12% → 11%), though it can still KO under 150%. Due to the longer hitbox durations, the move autocancels significantly later (frame 26 → 41), no longer doing so from a short hop.
  • Forward aerial:
    • Change Sweetspotted forward aerial has altered knockback (60 base/80 growth → 48/83), hindering its gimping potential, but boosting its overall KO potential.
    • Nerf Forward aerial has more landing (frames 25 → 32) and ending lag (IASA 35 → 45), now has a large sourspot on Ganondorf's arm that deals 2% less damage (17% → 15%) and significantly weaker knockback (30 base/80 growth), the hitbox on the fist was removed, and has a slightly altered animation where Ganondorf doesn't lean as forward as he did in Melee, decreasing its reach. In addition, the move autocancels significantly later (frames 34 → 55), forcing it to go into the landing animation except when used at the start of his full hop double jump. This results the move's usability being significantly hindered, completely removing its capability as an effective aerial spacer, while making it a dangerously unsafe and difficult to land KO move.
  • Back aerial:
    • Buff Back aerial has slightly less landing lag (25 → 22).
    • Nerf Back aerial has more ending lag (IASA 29 → 36) and deals weaker knockback (30 base/100 growth → 28/85), now being only slightly stronger than Captain Falcon's back aerial. Its hitbox duration was halved (10-15 → 10-12), and the move has less reach, making it more difficult to land. It also autocancels slightly later (frame 19 → 22).
  • Up aerial:
    • Buff Up aerial has slightly less landing lag (frames 25 → 22).
    • Nerf Up aerial has slightly more ending lag (IASA 30 → 34).
  • Down aerial:
    • Buff Down aerial can now autocancel from a short hop (frames 36 → 32), allowing it to be used as a combo starter.
    • Nerf Down aerial now has a large sourspot on Ganondorf's body that deals 5% less damage (22% → 17%), and the move has smaller hitboxes overall due to the hitbox on Ganondorf's head being removed. It also deals less base knockback (50 (NTSC)/40 (PAL) → 30).
    • Change Down aerial now has an altered animation: Ganondorf's arms to his side instead of up next to his head, and no longer has him leaning backward. He also no longer flips after the move has ended.

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Change Ganondorf has a new forward smash with battering items like the Beam Sword, which is similar to one of his attacks in Twilight Princess.
  • Nerf Grab range was significantly reduced to being the shortest-reaching grab in the game, significantly hurting Ganondorf's out of shield capabilities and inclose game, despite technically being increased (7.59u → 8u) and having a larger hitbox (4u → 4.8u).
  • Buff Forward and back throws are stronger; forward throw dealing 4% more damage (9% → 13%) while back throw deals 1% more (9% → 10%), getting opponents offstage more effectively, but not enough to KO at realistic percentages.
  • Change Forward throw has a new animation, where Ganondorf punches his opponent in the gut, instead of punching from the side.
  • Nerf Ganondorf has an altered up throw, where he holds his opponent higher into the air, giving it a much higher hitbox placement and sending opponents beyond his reach. This completely removes its chain throwing capabilities and making it completely unreliable for setting up followups, while it still can't KO at realistic damages under standard conditions.
  • Change Down throw now sends opponents horizontally (100° → 65°), completely removing its chain throwing capabilities and making it much less reliable at setting up followups, especially with his slower mobility and the hitstun changes. However, this improves its safety and allows it to set up edgeguards.

Special moves[edit]

  • Warlock Punch:
    • Buff All hitboxes of Warlock Punch now deal a consistent 32% damage, now being capable of reliably KOing under 25%. It also deals more damage in the air (36%), and can be reversed for more damage (35% (grounded)/38% (air)) at the cost of ten frames more startup (70 → 80).
    • Change Warlock Punch is now a back handed punch with his left hand instead of a straight punch with his right.
  • Flame Choke:
    • Buff Ganondorf has a new side special: Flame Choke. Ganondorf charges towards his opponent, grabs them by their head and attacks them with a dark pulse that weakly meteor smashes enemies into the ground. This allows Ganondorf to potentially follow-up with an additional attack and tech-chase.
    • Buff Flame Choke is inescapable, cannot be teched, and provides Ganondorf grab armor frames.
    • Buff Flame choke can grab the ledge, improving Ganondorf's recovery options.
    • Change Aerial Flame Choke causes Ganondorf and his opponent to plummet downwards until they hit the ground, allowing it to be used a suicide KO (although it usually KOs Ganondorf first), but does not meteor smash on landing.
    • Nerf Aerial Flame Choke does not provide Ganondorf and his opponent armor, meaning any hit causes Ganondorf to release his opponent.
    • Nerf Flame Choke deals less damage than Gerudo Dragon (17% (ground)/16% (air) → 9%/12%) and has weak set knockback, removing its KO potential. It also cannot cut through projectiles and has more startup lag (15 → 16).
  • Dark Dive:
    • Buff Dark Dive can now grab opponents hanging on the ledge. It additionally gains slightly better vertical distance, has a significantly larger grabbox that covers his upper body, and Ganondorf now performs an uppercut at the end to prevent edge-hoggers, which deals less damage (11% → 7%) but has higher knockback than the throw.
    • Buff A successful Dark Dive now grants Ganondorf grab armor.
    • Nerf Dark Dive is significantly weaker, dealing 6% less damage (17% → 11%), no longer capable of KOing at realistic percentages outside of stage spiking (KOs at 300%); this extremely weak knockback combined with the hitstun changes now allows opponents to hit Ganondorf as soon as they're released from Dark Dive, weakening Ganondorf's already poor recovery farther, and making the move completely unsafe to use in general. It also has more difficulty turning around (1 frame window), slightly slower start-up (frame 13 → 14), and its furthest grabbox has slightly less reach (14.4 → 13.65).
    • Change Dark Dive now has Ganondorf spinning sideways with a sweeping uppercut with his hand at the climax of the move, and no longer spins forward while falling.
  • Wizard's Foot:
    • Nerf Grounded Wizard's Foot is significantly weaker, dealing less damage (15% → 12%/10%) with less knockback scaling (85 → 70), going from a reliable KO move under 120% near center to unreliably KOing under 150% when near the ledge.
    • Buff The ending animation of grounded Wizard's Foot can now be canceled if Ganondorf lands and slides off a ledge just as the move ends.
    • Buff Aerial Wizard's Foot has significantly more knockback scaling (80 → 100), and the non-initial hitboxes of the move no longer spikes, allowing it to be an effective vertical KO move, as well as a better anti-juggle attack. In addition, the move's hitboxes now fully covers Ganondorf's leg and foot rather than stopping at his thigh.
    • Nerf Aerial Wizard's Foot no longer restores Ganondorf's midair jump, drastically hindering Ganondorf's recovery. The initial hitbox can now be meteor cancelled, making it a meteor smash instead of a spike, but still retains its diagonal angle. Additionally, since it no longer meteor smashes outside the initial hitbox, the move is less useful for offstage edgeguarding, and the loss of the midair jump restoration making it invariable suicide on certain stages. Both versions of Wizard's Foot also have slightly more startup (frame 14 (grounded)/15 (aerial) → 16 (both versions) and have weak hitboxes through the later portions of the move.
    • Change Aerial Wizard's Foot has a longer duration (frames 19-29 → 19-38), however this change has no effect on actual gameplay due to the attack animation not exceeding 30 frames.
    • Change Grounded Wizard's Foot has Ganondorf sticking his leg out before thrusting forward, rather than immediately thrusting forward, and his foot is now pointed outwards instead of upward. He also he now grunts while using it.
    • Change Ganondorf now has a Final Smash, Beast Ganon. Upon activation, Ganondorf turns into Ganon, his monstrous alter-ego and stomps the ground, stunning anyone who gets hit by it, and performs a a dash at lightning speed. The move is extremely powerful, dealing high damage and knockback, usually one-hit KOing anyone who gets hit.


  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   9% (hand), 7% (arm), 5% (body) A slow palm strike. Ganondorf's fastest attack on the ground, with decent range and knockback, but is among the slowest jabs in the game as it comes out on frame 8.
Forward tilt   13% (foot), 12% (leg) Leans back while forcefully thrusting one leg forward. Good low angle horizontal knockback with a semi-spike trajectory. Despite its semi-spike ability, it deals the lowest knockback out of all of Ganondorf's tilts. It is similar to a kick used by Ganondorf himself and other large, sword-wielding enemies in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
Up tilt 27% (leg), 19%/17% (explosion) Ganondorf lifts his leg before smashing it down in an explosion. Has vacuum properties dealing huge damage and knockback if it connects, and it does very high damage on shields. Considered the slowest start up tilt and the slowest move overall with a total of 81 frames of startup, but also the strongest if hit with the sweetspot. Can KO at low percentage if used very close to the edge and the opponent doesn't utilize DI and momentum cancelling.
Down tilt   12% Ganondorf kneels on one leg and thrusts the other leg forward. Great range and sets up for aerials, including a slight disjoint in the end but is not safe when shielded.
Dash attack 15% (clean), 10% (late) Charges at the opponent and rams into them. Ganondorf gains a quick speed boost during the move. Considered the second strongest dash attack in the game.
Forward smash   24% Thrusts his elbow forward, dealing darkness damage on contact. Relatively slow start-up and high cool down, but its extreme knockback is capable of KO'ing past 70%. Hitting closer to Ganondorf deals slightly higher knockback, but the same damage. Can be angled. While the move is based on Captain Falcon's forward smash, it is also very similar to a move Ganondorf uses in the final battle in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
Up smash   22% (leg), 19% (body) Forcefully swings his leg up. Has great vertical range but also has poor horizontal range.
Down smash 5% (hit 1), 14%/12% (hit 2) Kicks his leg in front and then behind him. The knockback from the first kick usually makes the second kick connect as well.
Neutral aerial 11% (hit 1 clean), 7% (hit 1 late), 7% (hit 2 clean), 5% (hit 2 late) Two quick mid-air kicks. The first hit deals the most damage and knockback, making it unlikely to combo into the second hit above extremely low percents.
Forward aerial rowspan="1" 17% (fist), 15% (arm) An overhead punch in a downwards arc. Very powerful with decent start-up, but has high cool down and landing lag. It also has a large sourspot that prevents it from KO'ing at realistic percents. Due to a programming error, the move auto-cancels much later than it is supposed to (it is supposed to auto-cancel on frame 36 but due to the wrong kind of timer being used, it does not auto-cancel until frame 55). This same error also gives the move more ending lag (it should be interruptible starting from frame 45 but since the game has to wait for the move to be auto-cancellable first, it cannot be interrupted until frame 55).
Back aerial 16% A back-handed punch. One of Ganondorf's fastest aerials dealing good knockback. Also one of his few moves that are fairly safe on shield even when it's not auto cancelled, but unfortunately its high vertical hitbox reduces its usefulness as it can't hit grounded opponents with a buffered short hop back aerial. Can be ground canceled.
Up aerial 13%/12% (clean), 12%/10% (mid), 8%/6% (late) A flip kick, covering a large arc above him. Fast start-up, good coverage with great power. Deals more damage and knockback when it hits closer to Ganondorf. The last few frames of this attack is a sour spot that semi-spikes with extremely low horizontal knockback, which can be a deadly edgeguarding move. Considered Ganondorf's fastest attack.
Down aerial 22% (legs), 17% (body) Stomps his legs downward, dealing electric damage. The strongest meteor smash in the game, with all hitboxes sending opponents downward, and is capable of KOing grounded opponents under 100%. Has little cool down, but high landing lag unless used with a full hop. Can autocancel in a short hop, allowing it to combo into other moves such as another down air. All hitboxes have transcendent priority, meaning that it cannot cancel out projectiles.
Grab A short ranged grab. Has high vertical range but one of the shortest horizontal grab ranges (the shortest in the game) except the pivot grab which has good range.
Pummel 2% Knees the opponent. A moderately slow pummel.
Forward throw 5% (hit 1), 8% (throw) Punches his opponent forward. High damage for a throw and good power.
Back throw 5% (hit 1), 5% (throw) Throws opponent backward and kicks them. Strong knockback for a throw, it easily sets up edgeguard opportunities, and can even KO at high percentages when near the edge.
Up throw 4% (hit 1), 3% (throw) Throws opponent upward and jabs his/her back. A poor throw that isn't strong enough to KO under 200%, but has too high of base knockback to able to combo effectively.
Down throw 7% Throws his opponent violently on the ground. A weak throw that works very well for setting up at low percentages, even a shutter-step Forward Smash for high damage. Can often be led into a Flame Choke, up aerial, back aerial, or even down aerial depending on the opponent's DI.
Floor attack (front) 6% Flips up and lands on his feet.
Floor attack (back) 6% A spin kick that can hit twice.
Floor attack (trip) 5% Spins around to kick those who are near.
Edge attack (fast) 10% Gets up with a horizontal left back hand to the opponent.
Edge attack (slow) 10% Slowly gets up and performs a low kick.
Neutral special Warlock Punch 32% (ground), 35% (ground reverse), 36% (air), 38% (air reverse) Winds up a large amount of darkness and releases it all in a powerful forward backhand punch. The move can be reversed, which deals more damage.
Side special Flame Choke 9% (ground throw), 12% (air throw) Boosts forward with his hand extended out. Upon contact he grabs the opponent's neck and attacks them with a pulse of darkness before dropping them onto the ground (though an opponent can tech the hit to avoid guaranteed follow-ups, though the move can be tech-chased due to having no end lag). In the air, Ganondorf grabs onto and descends holding the opponent before slamming them into the ground, or to the lower blast line in a suicide KO if used off-stage.
Up special Dark Dive 1% (hits 1-4), 7% (throw), 7% (uppercut) Ganondorf latches onto an opponent and unleashes electricity onto them before launching them with an explosion. If the move connects, Ganondorf's free to use the same move again and avoid helplessness.
Down special Wizard's Foot 12%/10% (ground), 15%/14% (air), 8% (landing) Surrounded by darkness, Ganondorf launches himself while extending his leg out, dealing decent damage and knockback (but lots of cool down). In the air, Ganondorf launches diagonally downwards while extending his leg out below him. A small shockwave is formed around Ganondorf when he lands on the ground, which has small amount of knockback. Slows down significantly on impact with anything, has a lot of landing lag, and is extremely risky to use off stage.
Final Smash Beast Ganon 10% (grounding), 10% (stomp), 45% (charge) Ganondorf becomes his beast form and rams into the opponent. Opponents too close upon initiation are buried, while those otherwise in front will be paralyzed.

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Emerges from a portal of dark magic. It also appears to be similar to the purple color of Subspace.


  • Up taunt: Floats in the air, curls into a ball, spins, opens up from his curled position and poses, all while laughing maniacally. (Same as in Melee)
  • Side taunt: Punches his hands together, and dark energy appears.
  • Down taunt: Takes his sword out, dark energy pulses from the tip, looks at it, then puts it away.
Up taunt Side taunt Down taunt
GanondorfUpTauntBrawl.gif GanondorfSideTauntBrawl.gif GanondorfDownTauntBrawl.gif

Idle poses[edit]

  • Crosses his arms and looks in the other direction
  • Brings his hands together, then swings his right hand over his head
Ganondorf Idle Pose 2 Brawl.png Ganondorf Idle Pose 1 Brawl.png

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Description Gan-on-dorf! Gan-on-dorf!
Pitch Deep male Deep male

Wii Remote selection sound[edit]

  • Ganondorf says "Oooh-yah!". The sound clip is taken directly from Melee. Interestingly, the sound was unused in Melee and can only be heard in the Sound Test.
Ganondorf's selection sound

Victory poses[edit]

This flourish is a cover of the music that played whenever Link obtained a Triforce Piece in The Legend of Zelda.
  • Up: With his back facing the camera, Ganondorf turns to face the camera, and holds up his fist, the back of it facing the viewer (similar to how he displays his Triforce piece).
  • Left: Pumps a victorious fist and crouches.
  • Right: While crossing his arms, he laughs, then looks down at the camera.
Up Left Right
Ganon-VictoryUp-SSBB.gif Ganon-VictoryLeft-SSBB.gif Ganon-VictoryRight-SSBB.gif

In competitive play[edit]


Ganondorf has, unarguably, the worst matchup spread not only in Brawl, but in the entire Smash series. Being one of two characters in any game to hold this distinction (the other being Donkey Kong in the Japanese version of Smash 64), he has a losing matchup against every other character. He is soft countered by 3 characters, countered by 11 characters, hard countered by 17 characters, and has 5 nearly unwinnable matchups. Characters can overwhelm him with blinding attack speed (Meta Knight and Sheik), outcamp him at any range (Olimar and Falco), or chain grab him to death (Ice Climbers and King Dedede), all of which almost completely nullify his strong punish game. Ultimately, Ganondorf is completely outmatched by every character in the game, and is the only positive matchup for some characters (Captain Falcon, Jigglypuff, and Zelda).

Notable players[edit]

See also: Category:Ganondorf professionals (SSBB)
  • USA DLA - Widely considered best Ganondorf in argument with Vermanubis. Known for having the best overall results of a Ganondorf player, but played several top/high tier secondaries in addition to Ganon in achieving those results.
  • USA Fonz - Known for being one of the best Ganondorf players, achieving particular notoriety when he once won a legitimate tournament using primarily Ganondorf, which even with it banning Meta Knight and being in a weaker region, was a feat that other Ganondorf and bottom tier players could not achieve.
  • Canada Ray Kalm - Highly regarded on Smashboards' Ganondorf boards as one of the best Ganondorf players, that was perhaps on par with Vermanubis and DLA, but Canada's then less-developed scene and his lack of travel limited his exposure to the general competitive community.
  • USA Vermanubis - Widely considered best Ganondorf in argument with DLA, and if not, was unanimously considered best solo-main of Ganondorf. Also known for finding practical applications of Ganondorf's difficult advanced techniques such as the Flight of Ganon, and for being a prominent and well-liked community figurehead for Brawl.

Tier placement and history[edit]

Ganondorf initially was not seen as the worst character, being ranked above Link and Captain Falcon on the first tier list, and was still ranked above Captain Falcon on the second tier list. From the third tier list on however, Ganondorf has been consistently ranked the worst character, and, on the fifth tier list, was considered to be so much worse than everyone else he was ranked in his own tier at the absolute bottom. Despite his reputation as the worst character, he has a dedicated playerbase that has achieved better tournament success than most other bottom/low tier characters (however minor it is). A player named Fonz even once won a legitimate tournament using Ganondorf (except for in one match), an accomplishment players of most other low/bottom tier characters have not been able to achieve. As such, with Ganondorf's better tournament success compared to most other low/bottom characters, there has been some dispute on if Ganondorf is actually the worst character in Brawl, with Zelda and Jigglypuff frequently being cited as even worse. Interestingly, the Japanese do not consider Ganondorf the worst character, and actually have him listed above five other characters on their tier list. Despite this, the BBR still considered Ganondorf the worst character in their most recent tier list.

Role in The Subspace Emissary[edit]

Ganondorf's introduction in the Subspace Emissary

Ganondorf plays the role of the secondary antagonist (under Tabuu) alongside Bowser in the Subspace Emissary. Ganondorf first appears in a control room on the Isle of the Ancients, where Zero Suit Samus was in to find her Power Suit, giving Bowser the coordinates to find King Dedede, who had stolen Wario's trophies.

Later, in the same control room, he receives orders from Master Hand to destroy the Isle of the Ancients. Appearing in their island base as a hologram, he consequently orders the R.O.B. Squad to activate all of the Subspace Bombs on the Isle. When the Ancient Minister objects, Ganondorf presses an override button that forces the R.O.B.s to ignore the Minister and continue. When he continues to intervene, Ganondorf goes further and forces the R.O.B.s to attack the Ancient Minister, setting him aflame; while sending a flock of Auroros to distract an approaching group of heroes. Suddenly, the burning Ancient Minister fires beams from his eyes, destroying the Auroros and shedding the remnants of his robes to show that he himself is a R.O.B., and proceeds to help the others fight the advancing Subspace troops.

After the Isle of the Ancients is engulfed in Subspace, Ganondorf appears on the Subspace Gunship as its co-commander, with Bowser, but they are forced to retreat into Subspace when the Gunship is destroyed by Kirby and his Dragoon. Ganondorf then decides it is time to betray Master Hand, so he takes out the last remaining Dark Cannon and fires it at Bowser, his own co-captain and the most loyal of Master Hand's henchmen. Kicking the Bowser trophy out of the way, Ganondorf proceeds to present himself to Master Hand. However, as he prepares to betray Master Hand for complete control of the Subspace Army, he sees that Master Hand was literally a puppet of Tabuu, the supreme ruler of Subspace. Ganondorf tries to attack him, but is quickly defeated and turned into a trophy. As he falls, however, he bumps into the chains of light which puppeteer Master Hand, freeing him from Tabuu's control. Master Hand then attempts to attack Tabuu, but is also defeated with ease.

Later, after the main group of heroes had been defeated by Tabuu and rescued by Luigi, Ness and King Dedede, Kirby finds Ganondorf's trophy - leading the resurrected Bowser to appear and brutally attack the trophy as an act of revenge for shooting him with a dark cannon before tossing it aside. If both Link and Zelda were rescued, a cutscene will show Ganondorf being revived by them (with a headache from his trophification and Bowser's retaliation) and after the Hyrulian heroes walk away, he clenches his fist in anger and reluctantly decides to help the heroes travel through The Great Maze in order to defeat Tabuu.

Cameo Appearances[edit]

Ganondorf appears frequently during The Subspace Emissary.

Playable Appearances[edit]

Exclusive Stickers[edit]

These stickers can only be used by Ganondorf or by a select few including him:

  • Boomerang: [Weapon] Attack +4
  • Bowser (Mario Power Tennis): [Darkness] Attack +21
  • Colin: [Specials: Direct] Attack +4
  • Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule: [Electric] Attack +31
  • Darknut: [Slash] Attack +13
  • Epona & Link: [Arm, Leg] Attack +9
  • Fierce Deity Link: [Slash] Attack +21
  • Ganondorf (Ocarina of Time): [Darkness] Attack +29
  • Ganondorf (Wind Waker): [Darkness] Attack +33
  • Happy Mask Salesman: [Leg] Attack +9
  • Hylian Shield (Twilight Princess): Slash Resistance +10
  • Lantern: [Flame] Resistance +7
  • Legend of Outset: [Arm] Attack +26
  • Linebeck: [Throwing] Attack +20
  • Link (Link to the Past): [Electric] Resistance +31
  • Link (Twilight Princess): [Slash] Resistance +27
  • Link (Wind Waker): [Flame] Attack +31
  • Link with Goron Mask: [Slash] Attack +17
  • Link's Grandma: [Arm, Leg] Attack +2
  • Lon Lon Milk: Launch Power +18
  • Midna & Wolf Link: [Leg] Attack +26
  • Moblin: [Slash] Attack +15
  • Octorok: [Leg] Attack +4
  • Petey Piranha (Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour!): [Darkness] Attack +47
  • Phantom Ganon: [Darkness] Attack +40
  • Piece of Heart: Heart Container Effect +50
  • Revolver Ocelot: [Darkness] Attack +17
  • Ridley (Metroid): [Darkness] Attack +30
  • Salvatore: [Electric] Attack +9
  • Shadow Beast: [Darkness] Attack +28
  • Sheik: [Body, Spin] Attack +17
  • Skull Kid (Ocarina of Time): [Darkness] Attack +7
  • Space Pirate: [Darkness] Attack +13
  • Tingle (Wind Waker): [Flame] Resistance +24
  • Young Zelda (Minish Cap): [Battering] Resistance +16
  • Zelda (Ocarina of Time): [Flame] Resistance +18

In Event Matches[edit]

Solo Events[edit]

Co-op Events[edit]


Ganondorf's main and Final Smash trophies can be obtained by clearing Classic Mode and All-Star mode respectively with Ganondorf.

A man who wants to use the power of the Triforce to conquer the world. In Twilight Princess, he gives strength to the Twilight King, Zant, and tries to change the land into a world of darkness. He possesses Zelda, transforms into a magical beast, and attacks Link. In the end, however, Link deals him a finishing blow and defeats him.
N64: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Wii: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Beast Ganon
Ganondorf's Final Smash. When he grabs a Smash Ball, he transforms into a repulsive, evil beast. He'll vanish momentarily from the screen, then rampage from one side to the other in a straight, headlong rush. When he begins the move, any character before his eyes will flinch, so try to start the move near other characters.
Wii: Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Alternate costumes[edit]

Ganondorf Palette (SSBB).png
GanondorfHeadSSBB.png GanondorfHeadBlackSSBB.png GanondorfHeadBlueSSBB.png GanondorfHeadGreenSSBB.png GanondorfHeadRedSSBB.png GanondorfHeadBrownSSBB.png


  • Ganondorf is the only playable villain who is never fought in the Subspace Emissary, excluding his dark clone in The Great Maze.
  • Though Ganondorf can be the first character unlocked by completing Classic Mode as Link or Zelda on Hard difficulty, he is one of the last characters to be unlocked by playing the Subspace Emissary, as the mode's antagonists are among the last characters to join the player's party.
    • He is the only character in Brawl when going through the Subspace Emissary that is neither unlocked by simply clearing a level, nor defeated in a secret room.
  • The sound clip that plays on the Wii Remote speaker when Ganondorf is selected is a sound clip from Melee that was only present in the Sound Test.
  • While Ike has the most meteor smashes in Brawl, two of them are impossible to land on aerial opponents. Because of this, Ganondorf is tied with Diddy Kong for having the most meteor smashes landable on aerial opponents, with four.
  • Ganondorf and R.O.B. are the only unlockable characters in Super Smash Bros. Brawl to be unlocked on a stage that is not from their respective universes. Ganondorf is unlocked on Final Destination, and R.O.B is unlocked on Mario Bros. Ganondorf is also the only unlockable character in Brawl to be fought on a Super Smash Bros. universe stage (Final Destination) when unlocking. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Ganondorf along with Falco and Mewtwo, were all fought on a Super Smash Bros. universe stage (making it three unlockable characters to be unlocked on a stage from the Super Smash Bros. universe instead of their respective universe), though Falco was fought on Battlefield when unlocking. Ganondorf and Mewtwo were both fought on Final Destination before getting unlocked.
  • Ganondorf, Link, Mario, and Bowser are the only veterans in Brawl to receive a new special move. In Ganondorf's case, his side special was changed.
  • Ganondorf is one of the few known characters to have an obvious error in his moveset coding - his forward aerial cannot be autocanceled, but the coding of the move shows that it was intended to do so; this was caused by using the wrong type of timing function. It was also meant to have a third, disjointed hitbox like in Melee.
  • In a Japanese television show, Masahiro Sakurai played as Ganondorf in a versus match. [2]
  • Ganondorf's Brawl design has various changes from his appearance in Twilight Princess: he, for some reason, does not seem to have the glowing chest wound, and his cape is hemmed instead of tattered like the one worn in that game as well. This is ultimately corrected in SSB4.
    • Strangely enough, in the game Hyrule Warriors, Ganondorf's Twilight Princess costume is clearly based on his appearance in Brawl due to the lack of his glowing chest wound and possessing a hemmed cape instead of a tattered cape.
  • Ganondorf, the Ice Climbers, Meta Knight, Mr. Game & Watch, Samus are only characters whose icon in the Subspace Emissary and the Sticker menu is not based on their renders.

External links[edit]