Ganondorf (SSBU)

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This article is about Ganondorf's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For the character in other contexts, see Ganondorf.
Ganondorf
in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Ganondorf SSBU.png
ZeldaSymbol.svg
Universe The Legend of Zelda
Other Smash Bros. appearances in Melee
in Brawl
in SSB4
Availability Unlockable
Final Smash Ganon, The Demon King
GanondorfHeadSSBU.png
His new design matches his appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time! Now he uses his sword for all his smash attacks. He's a bit slimmer then [sic] he was before, but his Warlock Punch is devastating! For his final smash he transforms into Ganon, The Demon King and quickly charges forward.
Super Smash Blog, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Official Site

Ganondorf (ガノンドロフ, Ganondorf) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Ganondorf is classified as fighter #23.

Takashi Nagasako reprises his role as Ganondorf after having previously voiced the character in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Super Smash Bros. Melee, providing new voice clips, replacing Hironori Miyata from Brawl and Smash 4.

How to unlock[edit]

Complete one of the following:

  • Play VS. matches, with Ganondorf being the 40th character to be unlocked.
  • Clear Classic Mode with Yoshi or any character in his unlock tree, being the fourth character unlocked after Ryu.
  • Have Ganondorf join the player's party in World of Light.

With the exception of the third method, Ganondorf must then be defeated on the Bridge of Eldin.

Attributes[edit]

Ganondorf is the epitome of the archetype of super heavyweight: he is the fifth heaviest character in the game and possesses great power in exchange for slow mobility and poor frame data. Despite his high traction and above average falling speed, he has the seventh slowest walking speed, third slowest dashing speed, third slowest air speed, sixth slowest air acceleration, and fourth lowest jump and double jump heights. As a result, he is among the least mobile characters in the game, but his high endurance lets him survive very high percentages and benefit from rage.

Ganondorf's most defining trait is his incredible power and damage output. Almost all of his moves inflict 10%-25% damage and are capable of KOing under 150% or even 100% with ease, even from the middle of Final Destination, giving him one of the strongest punishment games in the roster. His forward tilt and down smash are very powerful semi-spikes, while his forward smash and up smash have impressive disjointed hitbox as they utilize a large sword that covers around Ganondorf's body while being able to hit ledgehangers, with the former being the third strongest of its kind that KOs well below 65%. His Warlock Punch, in spite of being his slowest move, also KOs exceedingly early, especially when used in the air and reversed, which can one-hit KO middleweights. Thanks to his strength, Ganondorf has one of the strongest KO abilities in the game, as he can rack up damage and KO opponents in less than a few hits.

Ganondorf's shield-breaking capabilities are very potent. His forward and up smashes, Warlock Punch, and aerial Wizard's Foot can bring down shields to a sliver of health, while his Volcano Kick (up tilt) has vacuum properties, deceptively large reach, and does immense shield damage allowing it to shatter shields outright over a large distance. 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, allowing him to punish their mistakes. As such, mistiming or overusing shields against Ganondorf is incredibly deadly, as his aforementioned powerful moves allow him to capitalize shield breaks.

Despite his power, Ganondorf has excellent combo starters and does not suffer from a poor combo ability. His down throw can combo into every aerial except down aerial or dash attack up to middle percentages. His dash attack is versatile, with its early hit leading into neutral aerial, up aerial, or Dark Dive at early percentages while possessing high KO power, and its late hit granting followups into neutral attack, forward tilt, grab, all aerials except down aerial, and Dark Dive, with the latter two being potential kill confirms at high percentages. Neutral aerial's set knockback on the first kick as well as the late hit of the second kick can lead into neutral attack, grab, forward tilt, down tilt, or dash attack right after landing on the ground. Sweetspotted down aerial's high hitstun combos into neutral attack, grab, forward tilt, down tilt, every aerial, up smash, or down smash up to middle percentages. Perhaps Ganondorf's best combo starter is grounded Flame Choke: it is a command grab that meteor smashes opponents into the ground which leads into a myriad of followups such as neutral attack, forward tilt, down tilt and dash attack, or create a read situation and follow with aerials, smashes, Wizard's Foot, or another Flame Choke. While Flame Choke can be teched, its low ending lag allows Ganondorf to tech-chase with the move, with some followups hitting short-distanced techs such as forward tilt covering Bowser's inward tech, up smash or turnaround down smash on Snake's inward tech, down tilt on Inkling's tech away, or neutral attack on all of Piranha Plant's tech options. Some characters can even be trapped at the ledge, where they move no distance from tech away and are hit during their neutral and inward techs.

All of Ganondorf's aerials are very useful, as they are fast for their immense power (except his forward aerial and down aerial), and are guaranteed to knock opponents off the stage even at medium percents, giving him one of the best edgeguarding capabilities in the game. His sweetspotted down aerial is his highest damaging aerial and the strongest meteor smash in the game, and when sourspotted has the second strongest horizontal knockback out of all his aerials (after his sweetspotted back aerial). His up aerial is his lowest damaging aerial, but is his second fastest aerial, can autocancel from a short hop, and its late hitbox is a very potent gimp with its semi-spike angle and high hitstun. His neutral aerial has the lowest knockback out of all his aerials, but is his fastest aerial consisting of two hits that naturally combo into each other with damage rivaling his sweetspotted down aerial, while doubling as long-lasting sex kicks, and has the greatest horizontal reach out of all his aerials allowing it to wall out approaches. His forward aerial boasts good reach in an arc that also hits slightly behind him, while his back aerial is a deceptively fast KO move that can autocancel from a short hop. Aerial Flame Choke is a chokeslam that lacks guaranteed followups, but does more damage than when used on the ground and can still tech-chase. Aerial Wizard's Foot is Ganondorf's only aerial with vertical knockback, making it a good anti-air that punishes juggles. Finally, Dark Dive is a command grab that does multiple weak electric hits that make it difficult to interrupt, which leads into a very powerful throw that can reverse edgeguard situations, especially when facing away from the stage, while also not causing helplessness and letting him reuse the move; if the grab misses, the move performs an uppercut at the end to deter edgeguards.

In spite of his strengths, Ganondorf has glaring flaws. He is highly vulnerable to combos, juggling, and shield stabbing thanks to his heavy weight, large size, low air speed, and small shield size, and his slow mobility hinders his approach and ability to close distance or create space. His lack of projectile or reflector also leaves him susceptible to projectile camping and zoning.

Arguably Ganondorf's biggest weakness is his lack of defensive options, courtesy of the issues within his moveset. His frame data is very sluggish and among the worst in the game: he has very few moves that are active before frame 9 (these being neutral attack, neutral aerial, up aerial, and standing grab) and some not even coming out before 28 (such as forward smash, Warlock Punch, and Volcano Kick), along with many of his moves having over 60 frames ending lag (most notably Volcano Kick, all his smashes, and all his special moves). As a result of his poor frame data, many of his moves are unsafe on shield unless fully spaced, despite his aforementioned shield breaking capabilities. Combined with his poor mobility, Ganondorf struggles to compete with faster characters like Mewtwo, and forces his punishment game to heavily rely on proper spacing and mindgames.

While Ganondorf's tall size gives him better reach than most characters, some of his attacks have noticably large blind spots. In particular, neutral attack, forward tilt, neutral aerial, back aerial, Dark Dive, and Wizard's Foot, some of which are considered Ganondorf's fastest attacks and best out of shield options, all suffer from a combination of short reach, low duration, small hitboxes sizes, and/or high hitbox placements. Many small characters such as Pichu can easily avoid these attacks, especially when crouching, while also being able to exploit these blind spots.

Outside of down throw, Ganondorf's grab game is also lackluster. His grab reach is considerably below-average despite his tall stature, and despite their high damage the rest of his throws have little follow-up while being unreliable KO options, with up throw being a prime example. The ability to tech Flame Choke also works against Ganondorf, as it forces hard reads, and incorrect reads can put Ganondorf in a vulnerable position.

The other major weakness is his poor recovery, which is considered to be one of the worst in the game. Ganondorf's slow air speed and low jump heights, as well as Flame Choke and Dark Dive having low speed, distance, resilence and leaves him helpless, makes his off-stage movement linear and predictable while leaving him very vulnerable to edgeguards and gimps. His recovery specials also work against Ganondorf; aerial Flame Choke can be escaped by button mashing and KOs Ganondorf first when used as a sacrificial KO, while Dark Dive's throw can be teched and punished due to its very high ending lag and also causes him to leap back a large distance and away from the stage. As such, it's possible to edgeguard Ganondorf by even intentionally getting hit by his aerial specials, leaving him in a position where his abysmal mobility prevents him from recovering.

Ganondorf also has trouble landing safely. Despite his aerials having relatively low landing lag, the aforementioned poor hitbox placements fail to properly defend him from directly underneath, while down aerial and Wizard's Foot have noticeable start-up. While Wizard's Foot is Ganondorf's fastest option to return to the ground and can anti-air intercepting opponents with its vertical knockback, its landing possesses a small and very brief quake along with large landing lag, making it highly punishable.

Overall, Ganondorf's raw power lets him rack up damage quickly and close stocks early, but he has little means to defend himself which forces him to play cautiously.

Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

Due to his status as bottom-tier in Super Smash Bros 4, Ganondorf was quite heavily buffed during the transition from Smash 4 to Ultimate and has benefited greatly from universal gameplay changes. His ability to approach has been significantly improved due to his faster running speed, faster jumpsquat, and reduced landing lag on his aerial attacks. His neutral attack, forward tilt, down tilt, dash attack, and back aerial deal even more damage, with dash attack becoming a potent KO move like it was in Brawl. His up tilt, notorious for shattering full shields, is much easier to land with its faster startup and stronger windboxes, and its sourspot has been strengthened to match its sweetspot. Finally, his smash attacks are now sword swings that possess increased range and power, and all of his special moves provide more utility due to reduced lag and/or increased damage and knockback.

However, he still possesses glaring flaws, such as his infamously poor recovery, slow mobility, sluggish frame data, and an ineffective defensive game. Some of his most notable nerfs include increased ending lag on his forward and up smashes, his forward tilt, back aerial, and Wizard's Foot have smaller hitboxes despite already being difficult to land with, his up tilt being weaker overall and gaining an incredibly weak hitbox that cannot KO reliably, his up aerial's sourspot losing most of its gimping effectiveness due to it starting later and no longer hitting underneath him, and the Ganoncide technique being much riskier and more situational as it is now escapable and kills him first.

Overall, Ganondorf is considered to fare significantly better than in Smash 4, and is arguably better than he was in Melee. While Ganondorf has little tournament representation, some players have achieved notable results with him, such as Nairo beating Light with the character, implying that Ganondorf can be a force to be reckoned with in the right hands.

Aesthetics[edit]

  • Change Ganondorf's design has been reverted back to his appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which was the basis of his appearance in Melee; he bears a close resemblance to his official art from Ocarina of Time 3D. His sword has also been reverted back to the Space World 2000 tech demo sword.
  • Change Ganondorf's cape has better physics and rigging, allowing for more fluid animations.
  • Change Initial dash, walking, running, spot dodge, roll, air dodge, hitsun, jump, and backwards jump animations have changed.
  • Change All attacks that utilize darkness have more intense particle effects.
  • Change All taunts are faster.
  • Change Ganondorf has new victory animations:
    • The first has him flip his cape and turning to face the screen before pumping his fist.
    • The second has him levitate in the air, land on the ground while punching his palm, then reel back before thrusting his hand towards the screen.
    • The third has him flip his cape before crossing his arms and laughing wickedly.

Attributes[edit]

  • Buff Like all characters, Ganondorf's jumpsquat animation takes 3 frames to complete (down from 7).
  • Buff The inability to move past opponents on the ground prevents dash attack, Flame Choke, and Wizard's Foot from whiffing up close.
  • Buff Ganondorf dashes slightly faster (1.218 → 1.34), being nearly as fast as he was in Melee.
    • Buff Ganondorf's initial dash animation is both faster (1.3 → 1.87) and goes a longer distance, resulting in his foxtrot outpacing his dash.
  • Buff Ganondorf walks slightly faster (0.73 → 0.767), being slightly faster than he was in Melee.
  • Buff Ganondorf's traction is higher (0.068 → 0.125).
  • Buff Ganondorf's air speed is slightly higher (0.79 → 0.83), being nearly as fast as he was in Brawl.
  • Change Ganondorf's gravity is slightly higher (0.107835 → 0.108).
  • Change Ganondorf is considerably heavier (113 → 118), weighing more than Charizard. This improves his already excellent endurance, but makes him even more susceptible to combos.
  • Buff Forward roll has less ending lag (FAF 34 → 33).
  • Nerf Forward roll grants less intangibility (frame 4-19 → 4-16).
  • Nerf Back roll has more startup with less intangibility (frame 4-19 → 5-17), and more ending lag (FAF 34 → 38).
  • Buff Spot dodge has faster startup (frame 4 → 3).
    • Nerf However, its total duration remains the same, giving it one frame more ending lag.
  • Buff Air dodge grants more intangibility (frame 4-29 → 4-32).
  • Nerf Air dodge has drastically more ending lag (FAF 35 → 47).

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Neutral attack:
    • Buff Neutral attack deals more damage and no longer has sourspots (8%/10%/6% → 11%).
    • Buff It has slightly less ending lag (FAF 29 → 27).
    • Change The move's knockback values are consistent across its hitboxes (38/30/40 (base)/90/90/105 (scaling) → 41/74). This makes it stronger than its previous two sourspots, but weaker than its previous sweetspot.
  • Forward tilt:
    • Buff Forward tilt deals more damage (12%/13% → 13%/14%), with its knockback compensated (30 (base)/88 (scaling) → 31/82).
    • Nerf It has slightly smaller hitboxes (5.5u/5.3u/5.1u → 5.5u/5u/4.8u).
  • Up tilt:
    • Buff Up tilt has significantly less startup (frame 81 → 60) and ending lag (FAF 115 → 96). Because of this, the windboxes have a shorter duration (frames 6-70 → 6-53).
    • Buff Its windboxes have higher set knockback (1 → 22/22/10/10), allowing them to pull opponents in more effectively.
    • Buff Its sourspots deal more damage (20%/18% → 24%), being capable of shattering full shields like the sweetspot.
    • Nerf Its sweetspot deals less damage (28% → 24%) and has decreased knockback scaling (80 → 68), no longer KOing opponents under 50% from the center of the stage.
    • Nerf Its sourspots launches at a lower angle (80° → 70°), hindering their KO potential.
    • Nerf The explosion has much less horizontal reach.
    • Nerf On frames 62-63, the move has a new sourspot at the height of the explosion. While this gives the move more vertical reach, it launches opponents at a semi-spike angle (80° → 0°) but with much less damage (18% → 13%) and has decreased base knockback (60 → 0), being unable to KO even at realistic percentages.
    • Change Up tilt's sweetspot triggers Special Zoom.
    • Change The move has a revamped animation; rather than simply holding his pose, he reels back and anticipates the kick. His foot produces a flame effect rather than wind, and he no longer holds his leg up with his hand.
    • Change Ganondorf vocalises during the move's startup in a manner similar to Warlock Punch.
  • Down tilt:
    • Buff Down tilt deals more damage (13% → 14%), with its knockback scaling compensated (100 → 94).
    • Change Its angles have been swapped (80°/70°/60° → 60°/70°/80°), with the foot hitbox dealing the most vertical knockback.
  • Dash attack:
    • Buff Dash attack deals more damage (14% → 15% (clean), 10% → 11% (late)).
    • Buff Its clean hit has higher knockback scaling (80 → 85), KOing around 120%.
  • Change All of Ganondorf's new smash attacks utilize his sword from the Space World 2000 tech demo. They also all have the slash effect, with forward smash losing the darkness effect.
  • Forward smash:
    • Change Forward smash is a downward sword slash in front of Ganondorf, similar to Ike's.
    • Buff It has disjointed hitboxes and greatly increased range, allowing it to hit opponents above Ganondorf. It also hits below the edge of the stage, allowing it to be used for onstage edgeguarding.
    • Buff It has even higher knockback (35/30 (base)/83/75 (scaling) → 61/75), KOing around 65% from the center of the stage.
    • Nerf Forward smash has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 21-26 → 29-31) and more ending lag (FAF 60 → 70).
  • Up smash:
    • Change Up smash is an overhead sword swing from front to back, similar to Ike's.
    • Buff Like forward smash, it has disjointed hitboxes and greatly improved range. It can hit all around Ganondorf, making it more effective at covering platforms and catching landings, rolls, and directional air dodges. It also hits below the edge of the stage, allowing it to be used for onstage edgeguarding.
    • Buff It has less startup lag with a longer duration (frames 21-23 → 20-25).
    • Nerf Up smash has significantly more ending lag (FAF 42 → 62), going from one of the fastest smash attacks interruptibility-wise to one of the slowest. This removes its ability to bait opponents into approaching.
  • Down smash:
    • Change Down smash is a forward hilt thrust that leads into a backwards stab, similar to Cloud's.
    • Buff Its hitboxes are disjointed and placed lower, reliably hitting crouching opponents. It also lowers Ganondorf's hurtbox.
    • Buff It has less ending lag (FAF 64 → 60).
    • Buff The hitbox on the first hit that previously sent opponents away from the second hit has been removed, allowing both hits to connect more reliably.
    • Buff The second hit deals consistent damage (15%/13% → 15%) and sends opponents at a semi-spike angle (130° → 35°), improving its KO potential especially near edges, despite its lower knockback (60 (base)/94 (scaling) → 61/81).
    • Nerf Down smash's first hit deals less damage (6% → 5%).
    • Nerf Both hits have slightly less horizontal reach.

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Buff All aerials have reduced landing lag (17 frames → 10 (neutral), 22 → 13 (forward), 19 → 11 (back, up), 26 → 16 (down)).
    • Buff The lowered landing lag improves neutral aerial's and down aerial's safety, while allowing them to function as effective combo starters.
  • Neutral aerial:
    • Buff Neutral aerial has slightly less ending lag (frame 42 → 41), and auto-cancels slightly earlier (frame 38 → 37).
    • Nerf Both hits have a shorter duration (hit 1: frames 9-13 → 9-12, hit 2: 19-29 → 19-26).
  • Forward aerial:
    • Buff Forward aerial has increased range due to Ganondorf leaning farther forward as he punches, similar to its animation in Melee.
    • Buff Forward aerial auto-cancels earlier (frame 55 → 45), matching the move's interruptibility and autocanceling out of a double jump.
  • Back aerial:
    • Buff Back aerial deals more damage (16%/17%/16% → 17%/18.5%/17%), with its knockback scaling not fully compensated (89 → 86), improving its KO potential.
    • Nerf Back aerial has smaller hitboxes.
    • Change Ganondorf no longer crosses his legs during back aerial.
  • Up aerial:
    • Buff Up aerial has a slightly larger hitbox (5.76u → 5.8u).
    • Nerf It has more startup lag and a shorter duration (frames 6-16 → 8-16).
    • Nerf The late hit no longer hits below Ganondorf, significantly weakening its gimping potential and lock combos.
    • Change It has a slightly altered animation where Ganondorf brings his kicking leg forward midway through the spin.
  • Down aerial:
    • Buff Down aerial has less ending lag (FAF 47 → 45).
    • Buff It no longer has transcendent priority, allowing it to cancel out projectiles.
    • Change Down aerial has Ganondorf lean back slightly as he stomps, similar to its animation in Melee.

Throws and other attacks[edit]

  • Grabs:
    • Buff All grabs have more range.
    • Buff All grabs have a longer duration (2 frames → 3).
    • Nerf Standing and pivot grab have slightly more startup lag (frame 7 → 8 (standing), 10 → 12 (pivot)).
    • Nerf Standing and dash grab have more ending lag (FAF 36 → 39 (standing), 45 → 47 (dash)).
    • Change Ganondorf grabs with his left hand.
    • Change Ganondorf has a different pose while holding the enemy.
  • Pummel:
    • Buff Pummel deals more hitlag (5 frames → 15), but has less startup (frame 4 → 2) and significantly less ending lag (FAF 24 → 8), shortening its duration. This makes it more reliable for racking up damage.
    • Nerf It deals much less damage (3% → 1.6%).
    • Change Pummel has a different animation, with Ganondorf arching forward as he delivers his knee strikes.
  • Forward throw:
    • Buff Forward throw deals more knockback (60 (base)/65 (scaling) → 68/70), KOing around 150% near the edge.
    • Change Its animation has been altered, now being an uppercut with his right hand instead of a gut punch with his left.
  • Back throw:
    • Change The kicking portion has a slightly different animation, with his upper body being near parallel with the ground.
  • Up throw:
    • Buff The first hit of up throw deals more damage (7% → 10%, total: 10% → 13%).
    • Change Ganondorf punches with his right hand, and the animation itself has more weight to it.
  • Down throw:
    • Buff Down throw has improved combo potential due to Ganondorf's faster jumpsquat.
    • Buff It is no longer weight-dependent, improving its combo potential on heavyweights, while leaving it generally unchanged against lightweights due to Ganondorf's faster jumpsquat.
    • Change Down throw has a slightly different animation, with Ganondorf slamming the enemy onto the ground more forcefully.
  • Edge attack:
    • Buff Edge attack does more damage (8% → 10%).

Special moves[edit]

  • Warlock Punch:
    • Buff Warlock Punch has a longer duration (frames 70-71 → 70-73 (normal), 80-81 → 80-83 (reversed)).
    • Buff It has more super armor (frames 11-65 → 11-68 (normal), 21-67 → 21-75 (reversed)).
    • Change It triggers Special Zoom upon hitting the opponent.
    • Change It has slightly altered animation, with his other hand being closer to his body.
  • Flame Choke:
    • Buff Both versions of Flame Choke have less ending lag upon grabbing an opponent (grounded: FAF 62 → 58, aerial: FAF 41 → 38), significantly improving its combo potential, with the grounded version allowing for more possible follow-ups on missed techs; in particular, a combo into down tilt or dash attack is guaranteed against all characters.
    • Buff The grounded version's super armor upon grabbing an opponent lasts slightly longer (frames 17-40 → 17-41).
    • Buff The grounded version no longer dashes over an edge, and ends earlier if used toward an edge, making it safer to use.
    • Buff The aerial version has less startup lag (frame 19 → 16), no longer whiffing up close.
    • Nerf The aerial version can be escaped by button mashing, which scales with the opponent's damage percentage, significantly hindering Ganoncide's utility at low percentages.
      • Nerf Additionally, the opponent is no longer KO'd first during a Ganoncide, removing the technique as a viable option when both players are on their last stock and its ability to deter edgeguards.
  • Dark Dive:
    • Buff Dark Dive's multi-hits deal more damage (1.2% → 1.9%, total: 13.8% → 16.6%).
    • Buff The throw deals drastically more knockback (40 (base)/90 (scaling) → 50/108), KOing around 89% near the edge.
    • Buff The throw has less ending lag (FAF 60 → 50).
    • Nerf Ganondorf leaps back much farther out of a throw. While this makes it very slightly harder to punish out of a stage tech, it significantly hinders Ganondorf's already poor recovery.
    • Change Dark Dive's grabbox has been moved vertically upward. This gives it better vertical reach, but has a blindspot that misses small opponents on the ground.
    • Change The throw causes a vibrant burst of purple magic rather than a fiery explosion. It also has the electric effect.
  • Bug fix Flame Choke and Dark Dive no longer experience RCO lag.
  • Wizard's Foot:
    • Buff Grounded Wizard's Foot's foot hitbox deals more damage (12% → 16%), now being the move's sweetspot. The move also has altered knockback (60 (base)/70 (scaling) → 65/65), with the new sweetspot KOing around 93% near the edge.
    • Buff The grounded version travels faster and has significantly less ending lag (FAF 77 → 61).
    • Change The grounded version's hitboxes are placed lower, making it harder to crouch or slide under, but easier to jump over.
    • Buff The aerial version's meteor smash can no longer be teched by grounded opponents.
    • Nerf Both versions have smaller hitboxes, and a hitbox on the thigh was removed.
    • Change The aerial version's late hit has a shorter duration (frames 19-38 → 19-29), however this change is negligible as the attack animation does not exceed 30 frames.
    • Change Wizard's Foot's animation is closer to its appearance in Melee.
      • Change The grounded version has a slightly different animation at the start-up, with Ganondorf bending his knee forward before kicking.
      • Change The aerial version has a slightly different animation and pose upon landing, where Ganondorf's landing arm is more centered to his body and he no longer brings his free arm down.
  • Final Smash:
    • Change Ganondorf's Final Smash is called Ganon, the Demon King, and is based on his bipedal form from Ocarina of Time. It is functionally identical to Beast Ganon; however, instead of slamming the ground with his body, Ganon slashes with his twin greatswords before rushing forward. When Ganondorf activates his Final Smash, the Triforce of Power briefly flashes on the back of his hand.
    • Buff The charge deals more damage (40% → 45%).
    • Change Opponents are immediately meteor smashed upon being hit by the twin greatswords.
    • Nerf The burying hitbox that occured when transforming was removed.
    • Nerf The meteor smash hitbox has significantly less horizontal reach, stopping at his twin greatswords.
    • Nerf The charge has a sourspot at the start that does less damage (45% → 35%).

Update history[edit]

Ganondorf received a small bag of mixed changes over the game's updates. 1.1.0 removed one of his edgeguard deterrents and best punishment options by making his Flame Choke Sacrificial KO kill Ganondorf first, which further worsens his already poor recovery. 3.0.0 adjusted his hurtbox so that he is more consistently hit by multihit attacks.

On the upside, 2.0.0 allowed foward aerial to autocancel out of a double jump, which was infamous in Brawl and SSB4 for not cancelling even out of a full hop and would almost always force him to enter the landing animation. Ganondorf also benefits from the universal nerf on projectiles dealing less shield damage in 3.0.0, improving his approach against projectile camping.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 1.1.0

  • Nerf Aerial Flame Choke now KOs Ganondorf first.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 2.0.0

  • Buff Forward aerial autocancels earlier (frame 55 → 45), matching the move's interruptibility and now cancelling out of a double jump.
  • Buff Shortened the amount of time Ganondorf cannot grab the ledge after performing up aerial (63 frames → 58).

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 3.0.0

  • Nerf Ganondorf's aerial hitstun animation has been changed so his legs do not shift as much, which causes certain multihit attacks (e.g. Dancing Blade, Peach's dash attack and more) to connect more reliably against him.
  • Bug fix The void glitch has been removed.

Moveset[edit]

Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   11% A palm thrust that discharges electricity upon landing. Ganondorf's fastest ground attack, with good range, knockback and fairly low ending lag, with enough power to KO around 145% near the edge and 195% from center. A decent out of shield option. However it is among the slower jabs in the game, coming out at frame 7, and its high hitbox placement allows some smaller characters to crouch under it.
Forward tilt   14% (foot), 13% (leg) A front kick. Good start-up with high semi-spike knockback, making it a powerful edgeguarding option against characters with minimal horizontal recoveries, while outright KOing around 140% from the center. However, its range is rather poor, with his neutral attack being able to outreach it, and can be crouched under by some smaller characters. Based on the kick used by himself and other large, sword-wielding enemies in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
Up tilt Volcano Kick 24% (clean, late sweetspot), 13% (late sourspot) A delayed axe kick that produces an explosion. Has vacuum properties, a disjointed hitbox that can reach past ledges, and its clean hit is incredibly powerful, being infamous for instantly shattering full shields and its leg hitbox KOing as low as 45% 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, making it an extreme "high risk, high reward" move. The move has a late hibox on the height of the explosion that is extremely weak, not KOing until 195% from the center of Final Destination.
Down tilt Leg Sweep 14% A crouching front kick. Good start-up and range, making it a decent out-of-shield. Also deals powerful, mostly vertical knockback on the toe, allowing it to KO around 133%. Also a reliable follow-up and tech-chase out of grounded Flame Choke.
Dash attack   15% (clean), 11% (late) A shoulder tackle. Ganondorf gains both a quick speed boost during the move's duration. The clean hit can combo into up aerial at early percentages, and is able to reliably KO around 120%. The late hit, 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. Also a reliable follow-up and tech-chase out of grounded Flame Choke.
Forward smash   24% A lunging, two-handed downward sword slash. Humorously nicknamed as Doriyah by the community, based on his exclamation during the attack. The third strongest forward smash in the game, behind King Dedede's and Max Aura Lucario's, KOing at 65% from the center. Great reach that covers overhead and slightly behind him, and hits slightly underneath the stage, allowing it to hit ledgehangs. However, it is Ganondorf's slowest smash, coming out at frame 29. Deals more than half shield health uncharged and can nearly break them if fully charged. While it has rather noticeable ending lag, its immense range and damage output allow it to be safe on shield if spaced. Due to an error in interpolating hitboxes, the move has a large blindspoint above and in front of Ganondorf's head.
Up smash   24% (sword), 21% (arm) An overhead 180° arcing sword slash from front to back. Has some start-up, but has deceptively large vertical reach, reliably punishing airborne or rolling opponents, and hits slightly underneath the stage, allowing it to hit ledgehangs. Very powerful, with the sword hitbox KOing opponents around 85%. Deals more than half shield health uncharged and can nearly break them if fully charged.
Down smash   5% (hit 1), 15% (hit 2) Kneels and thrusts the sword hilt forward, then performs a reverse gripped thrust behind himself in a similar manner to Cloud's down smash. The first hit launches opponents into the second, though it is possible to tech or DI after the first hit, causing the second to miss. The first hit can stage spike with ease due to its angle, while the second hit is a semi-spike, making it useful for launching opponents with weak horizontal recoveries off-stage. It hits on frame 15, making it Ganondorf's fastest smash attack. The second hit by itself KOs around 67% near the edge.
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 sex kicks, and the late hits can cause opponents to trip. Has the farthest horizontal reach out of all of Ganondorf's aerials, allowing it to wall out approaches, but the second kick's high vertical hitbox misses some smaller characters on the ground. The first kick has a hitbox on the toe that knocks opponents away and is useful for creating distance. Starts on frame 7, making it Ganondorf's fastest aerial attack and a decent out-of-shield move. The second kick by itself KOs around 133%.
Forward aerial   18% (fist), 17% (arm) An overhand. Good reach and is 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. Has the latest autocancel window out of all of Ganondorf's aerials, only cancelling when used from a double jump.
Back aerial   18.5% (fist), 17% (arm) A backfist. Despite it being even stronger than his forward aerial, it is rather fast, with decent startup, and low ending 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 102% 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 around 94% near the edge. It also starts on frame 8, making it Ganondorf's second fastest aerial attack, and can autocancel from a short hop. 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. However, the move does not hit below Ganondorf, and can only hit opponents standing on the ground with the earliest hitbox.
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 115% while being unable to tech the move, and can KO any character starting at around 15% offstage. 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. It does not meteor smash until 10%, although Ganondorf can follow this with a jab.
Grab   Reaches out with his left hand. Despite Ganondorf's tall stature, its reach is below average.
Pummel   1.6% A knee strike.
Forward throw   5% (hit 1), 8% (throw) Lifts the opponent and hits them with an uppercut. One of the highest damaging forward throws in the game, and tied with up throw for Ganondorf's highest damaging throws. KOs around 150% 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 around 145% near the ledge.
Up throw   10% (hit 1), 3% (throw) Lifts the opponent overhead and hits them with an upward palm strike. Tied with forward throw for Ganondorf's highest damaging throws. High base knockback, but low knockback growth prevents it from KOing until 240%. 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.
Down throw   7% A one-handed body slam. Very low knockback growth makes it useful for setting up into dash attack, neutral aerial, forward aerial, reverse aerial rush back aerial, up aerial, or Wizard's Foot at 0% to medium percentages.
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   10% 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 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 even if he lands.
Side special 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. On the ground, the move has super armor as Ganondorf holds his opponent in the air, and its low ending lag allows follow-ups into neutral attack, forward tilt, down tilt, or dash attack, but the opponent can tech and enforce tech-chases. 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, however opponents can escape by button mashing if their percentage is lower than Ganondorf's, and Ganondorf himself will always lose if he and his opponents 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.
Up special Dark Dive 1.9% (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 a dark explosion. The throw is very powerful, KOing around 89% near the edge, making it somewhat risky to edgeguard should he land it while facing away from the stage. Should Ganondorf successfully lands a grab, he is not rendered helpless and can use it again. If the grab misses an opponent, Ganondorf will perform a dark magic-infused uppercut that deals weak knockback. Covers a very small amount of horizontal distance, but a decent amount of vertical making it a sub-par recovery. The move also has very high endlag, enough for a opponent that is thrown onto the stage to tech and punish Ganondorf.
Down special Wizard's Foot 14% (ground leg), 16% (ground foot), 15%/14% (air, clean/late), 8% (landing) A dark magic-infused flying kick. On the ground it has good damage that beats most weak projectiles and high knockback that KOs around 93% near the edge. 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 moderate ending lag, very high landing lag, and is extremely risky to use off-stage.
Final Smash Ganon, The Demon King 10% (greatswords), 45%/35% (charge) Ganondorf transforms into his mighty Demon King form, slashes his opponent downwards with his swords and charges straight ahead.

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Emerges from a liquid-like vortex of darkness.

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 electricity emitting from his hands afterward. When the electricity is emitted, his cape will flow as if being blown by wind.
  • Down taunt: Unsheathes his sword, grunts, looks at it while sporting a mocking smirk as the blade's tip pulses with dark magic, then sheathes it.

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.

Victory poses[edit]

  • Facing away, Ganondorf turns to face the screen while flipping his cape, and pumps his fist.
  • Briefly levitates in the air before landing on the ground while punching his palm, then reels back and thrusts his hand towards the screen.
  • Flips his cape, crosses his arms, and laughs.
A flourished and abridged remix of the theme that plays when Link obtains a Triforce Piece in The Legend of Zelda and has since become the main theme of The Legend of Zelda series.

In competitive play[edit]

Notable players[edit]

Classic Mode: Encroaching Darkness[edit]

Ganondorf fights against the heroes of various series.

Round Opponent Stage Music Notes
1 Mario MarioHeadSSBU.png and Luigi LuigiHeadSSBU.png New Donk City Hall Underground Moon Caverns
2 Fox FoxHeadSSBU.png and Falco FalcoHeadSSBU.png Lylat Cruise Return to Corneria - Star Fox Zero
3 Shulk ShulkHeadSSBU.png Gaur Plain Time to Fight! - Xenoblade Chronicles
4 Marth MarthHeadSSBU.png, Ike IkeHeadSSBU.png, and Roy RoyHeadSSBU.png Coliseum Lords-Showdown
5 Palutena PalutenaHeadSSBU.png and Pit PitHeadSSBU.png Skyworld Destroyed Skyworld
6 Zelda ZeldaHeadSSBU.png and Link LinkHeadSSBU.png Great Plateau Tower Calamity Ganon Battle - Second Form
Bonus Stage
Final Master Hand Final Destination Master Hand (Less than 7.0 intensity)
Master Hand / Crazy Hand (7.0 or higher intensity)
Crazy Hand teams up with Master Hand on Intensity 7.0 or higher.

Credits roll after completing Classic Mode. Completing it as Ganondorf has Death Mountain accompany the credits.

Role in World of Light[edit]

Finding Ganondorf in World of Light

Although Ganondorf does not appear in the World of Light opening cutscene, he was vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (except for Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.

Ganondorf was one of the many fighters that fell under Dharkon's control upon Galeem's first defeat. He is unlocked in the Sacred Realm in the Dark Realm on the top of the land which makes up the Triforce of Power. This land can only be accessed after interacting with the Master Sword (just after the Cloud unlock). Unlocking Ganondorf will briefly reveal the Triforce of Power in the center of the map before disappearing to reveal Ganon's castle and his boss battle.

Fighter Battle[edit]

No. Image Name Type Power Stage Music
23
Ganondorf SSBU.png
Ganondorf Attack 10,700 Bridge of Eldin (Ω form) Death Mountain


Spirits[edit]

Ganondorf's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Ganodorf in World of Light allows the player to preview the first spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a Fighter Spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.

Additionally, Ganondorf makes appearances in various Primary Spirits, including a few as Ganon.

In Spirit Battles[edit]

As the main opponent[edit]

Spirit Battle parameters
No. Image Name Series Enemy Fighter(s) Type Power Stage Rules Conditions Music
220
Ganondorf Spirit.png
Ganondorf (Twilight Princess) The Legend of Zelda series Ganondorf GanondorfHeadGreySSBU.png
Attack
9,400 Hyrule Castle (hazards off) •Attack Power ↑ Stamina battle
•The enemy has increased attack power when the enemy's at high damage
Calamity Ganon Battle - Second Form
243
Calamity ganon.png
Calamity Ganon The Legend of Zelda series •Giant Ganondorf GanondorfHeadGreySSBU.png
•Ally: Zelda ZeldaHeadBlueSSBU.png
Attack
13,900 Great Plateau Tower (Ω form) •Sudden Damage •You lose if your CPU ally is KO'd
•You'll occasionally take sudden damage after a little while
•The enemy is giant
Calamity Ganon Battle - Second Form
350
Darkmind.png
Dark Mind Kirby series •Reflect Ganondorf GanondorfHeadWhiteSSBU.png
Shield
9,700 Kalos Pokémon League (Battlefield form) •Curry-Filled •The enemy reflects projectiles
•The enemy's explosion and fire attacks have increased power
•The enemy breathes fire after a little while
02 Battle
401
Andross spirit.png
Andross (Star Fox 64 3D) Star Fox series Ganondorf GanondorfHeadWhiteSSBU.png
Grab
9,900 Venom •Assist Trophy Enemies (Andross)
•Hazard: Low Gravity
•Gravity is reduced
•Hostile assist trophies will appear
Sector Ω
604
Black Shadow.png
Black Shadow F-Zero series Ganondorf GanondorfHeadGreySSBU.png
Captain Falcon CaptainFalconHeadRedSSBU.png
Shield
13,500 Port Town Aero Dive (Battlefield form) •Sudden Damage •You'll occasionally take sudden damage after a little while Devil's Call in Your Heart
621
Jagen.png
Jagen Fire Emblem series Ganondorf GanondorfHeadVioletSSBU.png
Shield
3,600 Castle Siege (Throne Room) N/A •The enemy starts with damage but is more powerful
•The enemy starts with damage but has increased defense
•The enemy doesn't like to jump
Advance
663
Ashnard.png
Ashnard Fire Emblem series Ganondorf GanondorfHeadGreySSBU.png
Charizard CharizardHeadPurpleSSBU.png
Attack
3,600 Reset Bomb Forest (hazards off) •Defense ↑ Stamina battle
•The enemy has increased defense
Against the Dark Knight
673
Walhart Spirit.png
Walhart Fire Emblem series Ganondorf GanondorfHeadVioletSSBU.png
Attack
9,900 Coliseum •Jump Power ↓ •The enemy has super armor and is hard to launch or make flinch
Stamina battle
•All fighters have reduced jump power
Id (Purpose) (Remix)
686
Garon Spirit.png
Garon Fire Emblem series Ganondorf GanondorfHeadPurpleSSBU.png
Attack
9,600 Final Destination •Jump Power ↓
•Hazard: Poison Floor
•The floor is poisonous
•You have reduced jump power
Stamina battle
Lost in Thoughts All Alone (Remix)
717
Hades Spirit.png
Hades Kid Icarus series •Giant Ganondorf GanondorfHeadPurpleSSBU.png
Shield
9,700 Final Destination •Attack Power ↑
•Item: X Bomb
•The enemy's punches and elbow strikes have increased power
•The enemy's smash attacks have increased power
•The enemy has increased attack power after a little while
Hades's Infernal Theme
720
Reapette & Reaper Spirit.png
Reaper & Reapette Kid Icarus series Ganondorf GanondorfHeadPurpleSSBU.png
•Tiny Ganondorf GanondorfHeadGreenSSBU.png (×8)
Grab
8,900 Spear Pillar (Ω form) N/A •Defeat the main fighter to win
•The enemy can deal damage by dashing into you
•Reinforcements will appear after an enemy is KO'd
Underworld
910
Sigma.png
Sigma Mega Man X series Ganondorf GanondorfHeadVioletSSBU.png
Attack
9,500 Midgar (Battlefield form) N/A •The enemy's melee weapons have increased power
Stamina battle
X vs ZERO
989
M.Bison.png
M. Bison Street Fighter series •Reflect Ganondorf GanondorfHeadVioletSSBU.png
Grab
13,600 Great Plateau Tower (Ω form) •Attack Power ↓
•Attack Power ↑
•Jump Power ↓
•The enemy reflects projectiles
•The enemy's special moves have increased power
Stamina battle
M. Bison Stage Type A

As a minion[edit]

Spirit Battle parameters Inspiration
No. Image Name Series Enemy Fighter(s) Type Power Stage Rules Conditions Music Character
632
Nyna.png
Nyna Fire Emblem series Palutena PalutenaHeadCyanSSBU.png
Ganondorf GanondorfHeadGreySSBU.png
Shield
4,200 Temple N/A •Defeat the main fighter to win
•The enemy tends to avoid conflict
•The enemy heals over time
Shadow Dragon Medley Hardin

Alternate costumes[edit]

Ganondorf Palette (SSBU).png
GanondorfHeadSSBU.png GanondorfHeadVioletSSBU.png GanondorfHeadBlueSSBU.png GanondorfHeadGreenSSBU.png GanondorfHeadPurpleSSBU.png GanondorfHeadBrownSSBU.png GanondorfHeadWhiteSSBU.png GanondorfHeadGreySSBU.png

Gallery[edit]

Character Showcase video[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • Ultimate marks the first time in the Smash series that Ganondorf utilizes a sword in his base moveset.
    • However, a custom special in SSB4 allowed him to use a sword.
  • Ganondorf's entry on the official Super Smash Blog has a grammatical error, using the word "then" instead of the correct "than." Also, the words "Final Smash" are lowercase instead of uppercase like in other fighter entries.
  • Despite now being based on his Ocarina of Time appearance again, Ganondorf's unlock battle takes place on Bridge of Eldin, which is from Twilight Princess.
  • Ultimate is the first game to utilize new voice clips for Ganondorf as opposed to reusing them from the Zelda series.
  • Ironically, despite now being based on his Ocarina of Time appearance again, neither game whose bases served as the redesigns for Link and Zelda in this game featured Ganondorf with a humanoid form. This is especially most noticeable during their brief cameos in King K. Rool's reveal trailer.
  • According to Sakurai from a Famitsu column,as of January 2019, Ganondorf was the most used fighter in Elite Smash.[1]
  • Despite reverting back to his Ocarina of Time design in this game, Ganondorf is the only returning Zelda character from SSB4 (excluding Toon Link) to have his Twilight Princess design directly referenced in this game, as a spirit.
  • Ganondorf’s extreme power has become a popular meme within the community, most notably associated with his Forward Smash (humorously nicknamed the “Doriyah” as he exclaims when executing the attack.) as well as his general ability to take stocks before his opponents despite being at much higher percentages than they are.
  • In World of Light, despite being able to transform into Ganon, the Demon King, Ganondorf is awakened before having to fight his monstrous form. This is unlike fellow transforming king of evil Bowser, who is fought in his Giga Bowser form and is awakened after the battle.
  • Ganondorf can be unlocked in Yoshi's unlock column, alongside Lucario. This is a reference to Brawl, as all three characters occupy the third row in Brawl's character selection screen.
  • There's a visual glitch on Ganondorf's cape whenever he descends from a ladder where it will suddenly snap back down if the descending animation lasts for more than 40 frames.

References[edit]

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