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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

Ganondorf (ガノンドロフ, Ganondorf) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was officially revealed alongside Ryu and the rest of the returning roster on June 12th, 2018 during E3 2018. Like in games prior to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, he is unlockable, instead of being available from the start. 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 that sound more akin to the former game, 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 4th 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 Bridge of Eldin.

Attributes[edit]

Ganondorf is the epitome of the super heavyweight archetype: he is the fifth heaviest character in the game and possesses extreme power in exchange for terrible mobility and frame data. Despite his high traction, above average falling speed, and moderately high gravity, he sports the seventh slowest walking speed, the fourth slowest dashing speed, the third slowest air speed, the sixth lowest air acceleration, and fifth lowest jump and double jump heights. As a result, he is among the least mobile characters in the game, but his high weight grants him exceptional endurance, allowing him to survive at very high percentages and benefit from rage.

Ganondorf's most defining trait is his incredible kill power and damage output. Almost all of his moves inflict 10-25% damage and are capable of killing under 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 and up smashes are massive disjoints that utilize a large sword to cover Ganondorf. In particular, these two smash attacks can not only hit below the ledge, but the former is generally the third strongest of its kind in the game, having the potential to KO most opponents well below 65% (even at the center of Final Destination). His neutral special, Warlock Punch, has the most startup out of his entire moveset, but it also deals ludicrous knockback and damage (especially when B-reversed in the air), being capable of instantaneously killing middleweights and lighter (if it connects before touching the ground). Ganondorf’s sweetspotted down aerial and aerial Wizard's Foot are extremely powerful meteor smashes that can easily KO opponents offstage at exceptionally low percents. Thanks to his strength, Ganondorf has among the highest KO potential in the game, as he can rack up heavy damage and KO opponents in very few hits.

Ganondorf's shield-breaking capabilities are potent and fearsome. His aforementioned forward and up smashes, Warlock Punch, and aerial Wizard's Foot can bring shields down to a sliver of health, while his Volcano Kick (up tilt) has vacuum properties, deceptively large reach, and can shatter shields in a single hit. These options also allow Ganondorf to play mindgames to make opponents with low shield health play more carefully around him, as he can punish any mistake extremely hard. As such, mistiming or overusing shields against Ganondorf can be deadly, as his aforementioned powerful moves allow him to capitalize shield breaks.

Despite his power, Ganondorf has excellent combo starters, some of which are potential kill confirms. His down throw can combo into every aerial except down aerial or dash attack up to mid-percentages. His dash attack is versatile; not only does it possess extreme KO power at high percentages, being the third strongest dash attack, but its early hit can potentially lead into neutral aerial, up aerial, or Dark Dive at early percentages. Even better, it has a late hit sourspot that grants followups into neutral attack, forward tilt, grab, all aerials except down aerial, and grounded Dark Dive, with the latter two options 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, which is is a command grab that meteor smashes opponents into the ground, leading into a myriad of followups and reads. These follow ups include, but are not limited to: neutral attack, forward tilt, down tilt, dash attack, grounded or aerial Wizard’s Foot, any smash attacks or aerials, or even 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 (excluding 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 second 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 and juggling thanks to his heavy weight, very large size, above average falling speed and gravity, and low air speed, and his slow mobility hinders his approach and ability to close distance or create space. His lack of a 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. To begin, 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 extremely high ending lag (most notably Volcano Kick, all his smashes, and all his special moves). As a result of his abysmal 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 Fox, slow projectile users like Ivysaur, and long-ranged characters like Simon and Min Min. This forces Ganondorf's offense to heavily rely on proper spacing and mindgames.

In contrast to Ganondorf's tall size, some of his attacks have poor reach and often have problematic hitbox placements, causing them to have noticeably large blindspots. His neutral attack, forward tilt, 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, short hitbox duration, small hitboxes sizes, and/or high hitbox placements. Neutral aerial's two hits often fail to link properly, especially against grounded opponents, likely resulting in Ganondorf getting punished if he whiffs the second hit, and the second hit itself is difficult to land due to its high hitbox placement. His forward smash, despite its impressive reach, completely lacks any active hitboxes during the downward swing, giving it a notoriously large dead zone above and in front of his head. His up smash has a blindspot directly in front of him, and its rear hitboxes end just above the ground. Ganondorf's numerous blind spots allows many small characters such as Pichu to easily exploit and weave through his attacks, especially when crouching.

Ganondorf's grab game is also lackluster. His grab reach is notoriously short despite his tall stature, and, outside of down throw, his throws have little to no followup potential. None of them are consistently viable KO options either, despite dealing respectable amounts of damage; while his forward and back throws deal passable knockback, even they are rather weak and can't KO Mario under 200% from center stage, while his up throw lacks KO potential altogether. His down throw, despite being a decent combo starter, loses much of its combo potential very quickly past low percentages. Flame Choke likewise has deceptively short reach and an absurd blindspot as it completely lacks any grabboxes on the hand. 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 the helplessness-causing Flame Choke and Dark Dive having low speed and resilience, 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 considerable 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 allows him to deal heavy damage quickly and close stocks early, but he has little means to defend himself which forces him to play cautiously, enforcing a bait-and-punish playstyle. His playstyle is a high risk, high reward character: a single mistake can lead to either player losing a stock, even at 0%. He cannot afford to make any careless mistakes himself, where his exploitable recovery allows his opponents to remove his stocks just as early as he can remove theirs.

Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

Despite his low placement in Smash 4, Ganondorf has received a mix of buffs and nerfs in Ultimate. While considered to be buffed overall, he also received notable nerfs that further affect his disadvantage.

Ganondorf's primary strengths, such as his already strong damage output and knockback power, have been further increased since the previous game. Most of his moves deal even more damage, and some of his moves (whether they were already strong or among the weakest in Smash 4) are more powerful, like his dash attack, back aerial, Dark Dive, and Wizard's Foot; notably, dash attack has become as potent as it was in Brawl, whereas Dark Dive and Wizard's Foot have had most of their lost KO power restored from Melee. Forward aerial, a move previously considered inferior to his back aerial, has improved range, making it a far safer KO move. His smash attacks are now sword swings that possess increased range and power, with their power also becoming more consistent. Up tilt, notorious for shattering full shields, is easier to land with its faster startup and stronger windboxes, and its sourspot has been strengthened to match its sweetspot. Ganondorf's notoriously weak grab game has also been buffed, with his grabs having a longer duration and greater range (although it still remains rather short), and his throws receiving improved utility such as higher power (forward throw, although it still remains rather weak), damage (up throw) or combo potential (down throw). Lastly, Ganondorf is heavier, further improving his endurance.

Ganondorf notably benefits from some of the universal gameplay changes. The increase in mobility (most notably to his running speed, although it still remains very slow), his faster jumpsquat, and the reduced landing lag on his aerial attacks all improve his very poor neutral game and approach. His faster jumpsquat and landing lag reduction also improve his combo ability, thus further strengthening his damage racking game.

Despite these notable buffs, Ganondorf is not without nerfs, especially toward his infamously poor recovery, hitbox placements and ineffective defensive game, exacerbating his glaring weaknesses even further, and counterbalancing his buffs. His forward and up smashes, despite having disjointed range, have significantly increased ending lag, making them less safe to use and removing the latter's ability to bait approaches. His down tilt's vertical angles on its close hitbox make it a much less effective KO option, especially out of Flame Choke. His up tilt is weaker, and has gained an incredibly weak late hitbox with no KO potential. Hitbox adjustments and/or reductions on his forward tilt, up tilt, back aerial, his new smash attacks, Dark Dive and Wizard's Foot make them harder to land and further worsens his blindspot issues. His grabs also have even more startup and ending lag, toning down some of the improvements to his grab game as a whole. Among his biggest nerfs were to his up aerial, which has more startup and its sourspot no longer hits underneath him, thus removing most of its gimping effectiveness and lock combos, and the Ganoncide technique, now being escapable and KOing him first, making it more risky and situational. Dark Dive also pushes back Ganondorf after he launches the opponent away, making his already terrible and exploitable recovery even worse.

Despite gaining considerable improvements from the game's engine, Ganondorf is also hindered by some of the universal changes; the universal increase to mobility makes it slightly harder to catch up with some characters. The increased shield drop frames impairs his poor out of shield options, and the universally increased traction which reduces shield push makes his attacks, especially his aerials, even less safe unless perfectly spaced. The increased tech window, as well as the restoration of buffering techs during hitlag, makes Flame Choke easier to escape from, and makes Dark Dive much easier for opponents to survive from being launched under the stage and retaliate. Although Ganondorf’s heavier weight allows him to survive even longer, he is also easier to combo. The changes to air dodging are a mixed bag for Ganondorf, as they improve his great edgeguarding ability, but make him easier to edgeguard in return. Finally, the weakening of rage can slightly hinder Ganondorf's KO power at high percents, though due to Ganondorf's increased damage and power, this change is fairly negligible.

Overall, Ganondorf is considered to be superior to his Smash 4 incarnation; though in spite of improvements toward his strengths, his weaknesses are even more exploitable, making him even more polarized then previously. Initially, Ganondorf was believed to be a high mid-tier character and one of the best super heavyweights due to his improvements, as some players had achieved a few notable results with him such as Rickles and Smokk; most notably, Nairo would counterpick Light with the character, beating him. However, Ganondorf's overall tournament representation remains very low, and he hasn't achieved any other notable results. In addition, the majority of his crippling flaws from previous titles haven't been addressed properly, if not at all (and in some cases, namely his recovery, made even worse). Additionally, multiple other low-tier characters from Smash 4 have received bigger improvements. This is made even worse with the lack of notable improvements given to Ganondorf from game updates unlike other low-tier characters in Smash 4, making him fall behind the cast even further. Because of this, Ganondorf is usually still considered a low or bottom-tier character, with multiple players considering him to be a contender for the single worst character in the game, which could be potentially be even worse than his already very low placement in Smash 4.

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. His model features a more vibrant color scheme due to the aesthetic used in Ultimate, and his clothing and hair now feature simple detailing.
    • Change His sword has also been reverted back to the sword seen in the SpaceWorld 2000 GameCube Tech Demo.
    • Change Palutena's Guidance conversation for Ganondorf has been changed to accommodate for his Ocarina of Time costume.
  • Change Ganondorf's model has been updated from Melee. His facial features and muscles are more pronounced; his skin tone is more green; his hair is now slightly longer and a more vibrant shade of red. His bracers and greaves now have visible hair detailing; his attire overall now has a suede finish, instead of a leather finish. His crown, earrings; boots, gauntlets, and epaulettes have been slightly redesigned. His cape is now red instead of brown, having been redesigned with intricate gold lines as well as golden tassels at the bottom. Altogether, these changes make Ganondorf's design directly based on his appearance in Ocarina of Time, as opposed to his appearance from the SpaceWorld 2000 GameCube Tech Demo.
  • Change Ganondorf has received two new alternate costumes based on his appearance in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess respectively; the latter replaces his yellow costume in SSB4, which was based on his Ocarina of Time appearance, effectively swapping its place with his default costume.
  • Change Ganondorf's cape has improved physics and rigging, allowing for more fluid animations.
  • Change Ganondorf's darkness particle effects appear more liquid-like, most notably seen during his on-screen appearance and Flame Choke.
  • Change Initial dash, walking, running, spot dodge, roll, air dodge, hitstun, jump, and backwards jump animations have changed, further differenciating him from Captain Falcon.
  • Change Like many other characters, Ganondorf is more expressive. The corners of his mouth once again open, allowing for his facial expressions to be more natural and dynamic.
  • Change Ganondorf's new blast KO voice clips no longer play past the duration of the KO animation.
  • Change Much like in Melee, Ganondorf vocalizes upon waking up from sleep status when not suffering from any knockback. He shares this addition with Link, Zelda and Wolf.
  • Change Ganondorf has new victory poses, which appear to be updated versions of his previous ones:
    • Change His left-inputted victory pose now has him flip his cape and turning to face the screen before pumping his fist, showing the back of it. Ganondorf also no longer kneels when pumping his fist.
    • Change His up-inputted victory pose now has him levitate in the air, land on the ground while punching his palm, then reel back before thrusting his hand towards the screen rather than pumping his fist.
    • Change His right-inputted victory pose now has him flip his cape before crossing his arms and laughing wickedly, then looking at the screen with a sinister smile.

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 moves him farther, 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).
  • Buff Ganondorf is considerably heavier (113 → 118), weighing more than Charizard. This improves his already excellent endurance.
  • 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). It deals more knockback than its previous two sourspots, but less 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).
    • Nerf The sourspot takes priority over the sweetspot.
  • 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 The explosion has more vertical reach.
    • Nerf Its sweetspot has decreased knockback scaling (80 → 68), no longer KOing opponents under 50% from the center of the stage.
    • 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. 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 The move deals consistent damage (28%/20%/18% → 24%), dealing more than the original sourspot, but less than the original sweetspot.
      • Buff The sourspots increased damage allows it to shatter full shields like the sweetspot, and boosts its KO potential despite its lower angle (80° → 70°).
    • Change Its sweetspot triggers Special Zoom.
    • Change The windboxes no longer affect items or attackable stage elements. Notably, this prevents Ganondorf from riding on rolling crates at high speed.
    • 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 now vocalizes during the move's startup.
  • Down tilt:
    • Buff Down tilt deals more damage (13% → 14%), with its knockback scaling compensated (100 → 94).
    • Nerf The priority on its angles has been swapped (80°/70°/60° → 60°/70°/80°). This weakens its KO ability especially out of Flame Choke.
  • Dash attack:
    • Buff Dash attack deals more damage (14% → 15% (clean), 10% → 11% (late)).
    • Buff Its clean hit has higher knockback scaling (80 → 85). Combined with its higher damage, it now KOs around 120%, making it the second strongest dash attack in the game.
    • Buff The late hit has improved combo potential due to Ganondorf's faster jumpsquat.
    • Buff The late hit deals more shieldstun (1x → 1.3x), improving its safety on shield.
  • Change Ganondorf has new smash attacks: they utilize his sword from the Space World 2000 tech demo. They also all have the slash effect, with forward smash losing the darkness effect, and up and down smash losing their normal effect.
  • Forward smash:
    • Change Forward smash is now a downward sword slash in front of Ganondorf, similar to Ike's.
      • Buff This new forward smash has disjointed hitboxes and significantly more range, allowing it to hit opponents above Ganondorf, further in front of him, and slightly below the edge of the stage. This gives the move more coverage and allows it to be used for onstage edgeguarding.
      • Buff It now deals consistent and more knockback (35/30 base / 83/75 scaling → 61/75), KOing around 65% from the center of the stage.
      • Nerf It has noticeably more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 21-26 → 29-31) and more ending lag (FAF 60 → 70).
      • Nerf Forward smash can no longer be angled.
      • Nerf Ganondorf does not lean back during his new forward smash, making it less safe than his previous forward smash.
  • Up smash:
    • Change Up smash is now an overhead sword swing from front to back, appearing visually similar to Link's previous up tilt from Smash 4.
      • Buff This new up smash has disjointed hitboxes and significantly more range that hits all around Ganondorf, making it more effective as an anti-air, at covering platforms and catching rolls. It also hits slightly 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 It 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.
      • Nerf It has a blind spot directly in front of Ganondorf. This can cause it to miss on certain situations.
  • 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.
      • Buff Ganondorf ducks while performing it, lowering his hurtbox.
      • Buff It has less ending lag (FAF 64 → 60).
      • Buff The hitbox on the first hit that previously sent opponents away from Ganondorf has been removed. In addition, its first hit launches at a more horizontal angle (160°/165°/147°/150° → 160°/175°/147°/150°) with decreased base knockback (90/110/90/110 → 90/95/90/95). This allows it to connect into the second hit 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 The first hit deals less damage (6% → 5%).
      • Nerf Both hits have slightly less horizontal range.

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Buff All aerials have less 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 (FAF 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 an altered animation: Ganondorf leans farther forward as he punches, similar to its animation in Melee. This increases its range.
    • Buff The move auto-cancels earlier (frame 55 → 45), matching the move's interruptibility and auto-canceling in 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 The hitboxes are significantly smaller (5.5u/6.3u/4.8u → 4u/4.5u/3u), greatly reducing its vertical range.
    • Change It has a slightly altered animation: Ganondorf no longer crosses his legs during it.
  • Up aerial:
    • Buff Up aerial's hitbox is marginally larger (5.76u → 5.8u).
    • Nerf It has more startup lag and a shorter duration (frames 6-16 → 8-16). Not only is the move no longer Ganondorf's fastest attack, this causes the late hit to no longer hit below Ganondorf, significantly weakening its gimping potential and lock combos.
    • Change It has a slightly altered animation: 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 It has a slightly altered animation: Ganondorf leans back slightly as he stomps, similar to its animation in Melee.

Throws and other attacks[edit]

  • Grabs:
    • Buff All grabs have a longer duration (2 frames → 3).
    • Buff All grabs have more range (Z2 offset: 9.0u → 10.0u (standing), 10.8u → 11.8u (dash), -15.1u → -15.6u (pivot)).
    • 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 now grabs with his left hand.
    • Change Ganondorf has a different pose while holding the enemy.
  • Pummel:
    • Nerf Pummel deals much less damage (3% → 1.6%).
    • Buff It 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 faster and more reliable for racking up damage.
    • 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 It has an altered animation: it is now an uppercut with his right hand instead of a gut punch with his left hand.
  • Back throw:
    • Change Back throw has a slightly altered animation: his upper body is near parallel with the ground during the kicking portion.
  • Up throw:
    • Buff Up throw's first hit deals more damage (7% → 10%, total: 10% → 13%).
    • Change It has an altered animation: Ganondorf punches with his right hand. The animation itself also 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 It has a slightly altered animation: Ganondorf slams the enemy onto the ground more forcefully.
  • Edge attack:
    • Buff Edge attack deals more damage (8% → 10%).

Special moves[edit]

  • Warlock Punch:
    • Buff Non-reversed Warlock Punch has more knockback scaling (42 → 46).
    • Buff All of its variants have 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)).
    • Buff The outermost hitbox is slightly larger (4.3u → 4.8u).
    • Change Like up-tilt, it triggers Special Zoom upon hitting the opponent.
    • Change It has slightly altered animation, with his other hand being closer to his body.
    • Change Ganondorf's voice clip now echoes during the move, similar to that of a Final Smash.
    • Nerf Ganondorf no longer slides forwards as the hitbox is coming out, instead simply leaning forwards, reducing the move's range slightly.
  • 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 The disjointed grabbox on frame 14 can now grab aerial opponents, giving the move more range against them.
    • Buff The grabbox while rising is extended above Ganondorf, increasing the move's vertical range.
    • Buff Dark Dive's looping 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), restoring most of its lost KO power from Melee, now 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, worsening Ganondorf's already poor recovery.
    • Nerf The grounded version's grabbox is now only active after Ganondorf has left the ground, causing it to whiff against smaller opponents.
    • Change The throw causes a vibrant burst of purple magic rather than a fiery explosion. It also has the electric effect.
    • Change The uppercut at the end of the move now uses the kick SFX instead of the burn SFX.
  • Bug fix Flame Choke and Dark Dive no longer experience RCO lag.
  • Wizard's Foot:
    • Buff The grounded version'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), restoring most of its lost KO power from Melee, now KOing around 93% near the edge.
    • Buff The grounded version travels faster and has significantly less ending lag (FAF 77 → 61).
    • 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 The move's animation is closer to its appearance in Melee.
      • Change The grounded version has a slightly different animation at the startup, 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% (sweetspot) / 30% (sourspot) → 45%/35%).
    • Nerf The charge has altered knockback (20 base/70 scaling → 122/25), being stronger on very small stages at the ledge and weaker in all other circumstances.
    • Nerf The charge launches at a worse angle for KOing (30 → 42).
    • Nerf The sourspot is more likely to connect due to the hitboxes being rearranged.
      • Nerf Additionally, the sword hit will knock opponents into the sourspot now.
    • Change Opponents are meteor smashed sooner upon being hit by the twin greatswords. This can cause the dash to miss, but against offstage opponents it allows for gimps due to the high set knockback.
    • Nerf The burying hitbox that occurred when transforming was removed.
    • Nerf The meteor smash hitbox has significantly less horizontal reach, stopping at his twin greatswords.

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 and negates the viability of Ganoncide tactics. 3.0.0 adjusted his hurtbox so that he is more consistently hit by multihit attacks.

On the upside, 2.0.0 allowed forward 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.

Due to his key weaknesses not being addressed from updates, he is considered to fare worse compared to the game’s release.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 1.1.0

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 2.0.0

  • Buff Forward aerial auto-cancels earlier (frame 55 → 45), matching the move's interruptibility and now auto-canceling with a double jump.
  • Buff Ganondorf can grab edges earlier after using 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, Shulk's forward smash and more) to connect more reliably against him.
  • Bug fix The void glitch has been removed.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 3.1.0

  • Buff Down smash's first hit launches at a more horizontal angle (160°/165°/147°/150° → 160°/175°/147°/150°) with decreased set knockback (90/110/90/110 → 90/95/90/95), allowing it to connect into the second hit more reliably.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 4.0.0

  • Change Up tilt's windboxes no longer affect items or attackable stage elements. Notably, this prevents Ganondorf from riding on rolling crates at high speed.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 7.0.0

  • Buff Overall shield size has been increased.

Moveset[edit]

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

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 the 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 startup on frame 10 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% (leg/explosion), 13% (explosion apex) 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 at 60 frames, making it an extreme "high risk, high reward" move. The move has a late hitbox 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 startup on frame 10 and range, making it a decent out-of-shield option. Also a reliable follow-up and tech-chase out of grounded Flame Choke. While it has powerful vertical knockback on the toe that can KO around 133%, it has more diagonal knockback on the thigh, making it Ganondorf's weakest and most inconsistent tilt attack overall.
Dash attack   15% (clean), 11% (late) A shoulder tackle. Good startup on frame 10 and Ganondorf gains 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 fourth strongest forward smash in the game, behind King Dedede's,Max Aura Lucario's and Hero's (if a critical hit occured) and 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 ledge hangs. However, it is Ganondorf's slowest smash attack, coming out at frame 29 and has 39 frames of ending lag, making it highly punishable if not fully spaced. Deals more than half shield health uncharged and can nearly break them if fully charged. Due to an error in interpolating hitboxes, the move has a large blindspot above and in front of Ganondorf's head.
Up smash   24% (sword), 21% (arm) An overhead 180° arcing sword slash from front to back. Deceptively large vertical reach, reliably punishing airborne or rolling opponents, and hits slightly underneath the stage, allowing it to hit ledge hangs. 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. However, it is Ganondorf's second-slowest smash attack, coming out at frame 20 and has 37 frames of ending lag, making it punishable. Has a blindspot right in front of his leg, and its rear hitboxes end just above the ground.
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, and 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, and has rather low ending lag at 22 frames. The second hit by itself KOs around 67% near the edge. The second hit has a deceptively large vertical hitbox to help the two hits connect.
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. It 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 has a tendency to whiff against smaller characters. The first kick has a hitbox on the toe that knocks grounded opponents away and is useful for creating distance, but with no KO power. It 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%. Despite the move's noticeably large blindspot and the two hits sometimes not connecting properly, its extremely high damage and knockback, quick speed and surprisingly long duration make it notorious among the community for its sheer effectiveness in Ganondorf's arsenal.
Forward aerial   18% (fist), 17% (arm) An overhand. It has good reach and is very powerful, with the sweetspot KOing middleweights at 104% from center-stage. It also has decent startup and a wide hitbox that starts slightly behind Ganondorf's head. Has the latest autocancel window out of all of Ganondorf's aerials, only canceling when used from a double jump. It also has above average startup lag, coming out on frame 14.
Back aerial   18.5% (fist), 17% (arm) A backfist. Despite the fact that it is even stronger than his forward aerial, it is rather fast, with moderate startup at frame 10, and low ending lag of 24 frames, alongside being able to autocancel from a short hop. All these factors make it rather useful to wall out approaches and is safe on shield when fully spaced. Second strongest back aerial in the game, with the sweetspot KOing middleweights at 102% from center-stage and at 75% near the edge, and is very likely to take stocks at medium percents if used quickly after a ledge trump. However, it has short reach and very small hitboxes, while its high vertical hitbox and low amount of active frames make it difficult to land on most grounded opponents, particularly those that are crouching.
Up aerial   13%/12% (clean), 12%/10% (mid), 8%/6% (late) A flip kick. Covers a large arc above him that has good coverage and great power, with the clean hit KOing middleweights 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. It 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. It was the most powerful meteor smash in the game before the addition of Byleth. If hit with the lower half of his body, it can KO grounded opponents under 115%, 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. Ganondorf's slowest aerial move at frame 16. It does not start launching grounded opponents upwards 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 among the shortest.
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 sidekick. 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 and low knockback growth make it unsuitable for follow-ups while preventing it from KOing until 240%.
Down throw   7% A one-handed body slam. An extremely useful combo starter, capable of 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. Additionally, its back aerial combo becomes a KO setup at higher percentages.
Floor attack (front)   7% A leg sweep 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. It has 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 for 70 frames 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 10 frames 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 be used for a short-ranged horizontal recovery option due to it grabbing edges. Moderately slow startup of 16 frames and surprisingly poor reach as the grab box does not even cover Ganondorf's hand.
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 does weak knockback. Covers a very small amount of horizontal distance, but a decent amount vertically making it a sub-par recovery move. The move also has very high ending lag (50 frames) after a successful grab, enough for an opponent that is thrown onto the stage to tech and punish Ganondorf. Decent startup at frame 14 making it a decent out-of-shield but has a high grab box placement that frequently whiffs smaller opponents on the ground.
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 startup, while its late hit launches opponents vertically instead. A small shockwave is formed around Ganondorf when he lands on the ground, which does 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 moderately slow startup (16 frames), moderate ending lag (26 frames), very high landing lag (45 frames), very small hitboxes, and is extremely risky to use off-stage.
Final Smash Ganon, The Demon King 10% (greatswords), 45%/35% (charge) Uses the Triforce of Power to transform into Ganon, his boar-like demonic form. Immediately upon transforming, Ganon performs downward slashes with his swords and then 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 the 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]

  • Left: Turns to his left, flips his cape, and pumps his fist, showing the back of it.
  • Up: Briefly levitates in the air before landing on the ground while punching his palm, then reels back and thrusts his hand towards the screen.
  • Right: Flips his cape, crossing 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]

Public opinions on Ganondorf have risen and fallen. At Ultimate's release, hopes were high, as some Ganondorf mains such as Vermanubis expressed optimism, with some comparisons made to his Melee self. In addition, Nairo managed to defeat Light with Ganondorf, which also contributed to people believing that Ganondorf is potentially moderately viable, or at very least much better than what he was in previous two games.

However, Ganondorf's standing in the metagame has fallen since Ultimate's release, as issues regarding his gameplay, such as blindspots on his smash attacks, his poor recovery being retained, difficulty in approaching, as well as most of his matchups still being very poor despite his buffs (such as Pikachu, Greninja, and Mr. Game & Watch). Despite his setbacks, Ganon has still garnered a good amount of regional results and a a few national results from players such as Litany and Rickles.

Ganondorf is also indirectly hurt from patches, as most other potential low-tier characters have received significant buffs, while Ganondorf has received mostly minor changes. Because of this, his competitive reception has become worse as of recent, with most professionals universally believing him to be low tier, with some of them considering him to be one of the worst characters in the game. Multiple professionals, such as ESAM, Mr.R, and Fatality, the latter who has used Ganondorf as a secondary, goes as far as believing Ganondorf to be the worst character in the game.

Notable players[edit]

Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Fall 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from July 13th, 2019 to December 15th, 2019.

Active[edit]

Inactive[edit]

Classic Mode: Encroaching Darkness[edit]

Ganondorf's congratulations screen.

Ganondorf fights against the heroes and protagonists of various series.

Round Opponent Stage Music Notes
1 MarioHeadSSBU.png Mario and LuigiHeadSSBU.png Luigi New Donk City Hall Underground Moon Caverns
2 FoxHeadSSBU.png Fox and FalcoHeadSSBU.png Falco Lylat Cruise Return to Corneria - Star Fox Zero
3 ShulkHeadSSBU.png Shulk Gaur Plain Time to Fight! - Xenoblade Chronicles
4 MarthHeadSSBU.png Marth, IkeHeadSSBU.png Ike, and RoyHeadSSBU.png Roy Coliseum Lords-Showdown
5 PalutenaHeadSSBU.png Palutena and PitHeadSSBU.png Pit Skyworld Destroyed Skyworld
6 ZeldaHeadSSBU.png Zelda and LinkHeadSSBU.png Link 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 Land 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
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 Ganondorf 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 Inspiration
No. Image Name Series Enemy Fighter(s) Type Power Stage Rules Conditions Music Character
220
SSBU spirit Ganondorf (Twilight Princess).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
SSBU spirit 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
SSBU spirit Dark Mind.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
SSBU spirit Andross (Star Fox 64 3D).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
SSBU spirit 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
SSBU spirit 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
SSBU spirit 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
SSBU spirit Walhart.png
Walhart Fire Emblem Series Ganondorf GanondorfHeadVioletSSBU.png
Attack
9,900 Coliseum (hazards off) •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
SSBU spirit Garon.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
SSBU spirit Hades.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
SSBU spirit Reaper & Reapette.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 Reaper (normal Ganondorf)
Reapette (tiny Ganondorf)
910
SSBU spirit Sigma.png
Sigma Mega Man X Series Ganondorf GanondorfHeadVioletSSBU.png
Attack
9,500 Midgar (hazards off) N/A •The enemy's melee weapons have increased power
Stamina battle
X vs ZERO
989
SSBU spirit 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
1,349
SSBU spirit Bullet Walker (Brigadier General).png
Bullet Walker (Brigadier General) DAEMON X MACHINA •Tiny Ganondorf GanondorfHeadGreenSSBU.png
•Giant R.O.B. (×3) (ROBHeadGreenSSBU.pngROBHeadRedSSBU.pngROBHeadBlueSSBU.png)
Shield
9,300 Bridge of Eldin (Battlefield form) •Move Speed ↑
•Attack Power ↑
•Item: Exploding Types
Stamina battle
•The enemy has increased attack power
•The enemy has increased move speed after a little while
Battle in the Base Brigadier General

As a minion[edit]

Spirit Battle parameters Inspiration
No. Image Name Series Enemy Fighter(s) Type Power Stage Rules Conditions Music Character
632
SSBU spirit 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
1,375
SSBU spirit Jill.png
Jill Resident Evil Series Wii Fit Trainer WiiFitTrainerHeadSSBU.png
•Giant Ganondorf GanondorfHeadGreySSBU.png
Neutral
2,200 Luigi's Mansion (hazards off) •Item: Ray Gun •Defeat the main fighter to win
•The enemy's shooting items have increased power
•Reinforcements will appear during the battle
Cavern Nemesis
1,384
SSBU spirit Dimitri (Fire Emblem).png
Dimitri (Fire Emblem) Fire Emblem Series Byleth BylethHeadBlueSSBU.png
Ganondorf GanondorfHeadWhiteSSBU.png
Shield
5,000 Distant Planet (Ω form) N/A Stamina battle
•The enemy has increased attack power
Between Heaven and Earth Dedue

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. This also applies to Link.
  • 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 and Banjo & Kazooie's reveal trailers.
  • 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 (nicknamed “Doriyah” after the cry 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 Bowser, who is fought in his Giga Bowser form and is awakened after the battle.
  • 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.
    • This also happens to Ike during his descent when using Aether.
  • The lattermost part of Ganondorf's up smash is fully incapable of hitting Snake and Wii Fit Trainer when they are crouching, due to the fact that the hitboxes go away before the sword fully hits the ground.[2]
  • Ganondorf is the only opponent in Peach's Classic Mode route that is not from the Mario universe nor its sub-universe Donkey Kong.
  • Despite being a semi-clone of Captain Falcon, Ganondorf appears in Yoshi's unlock tree instead of Fox's. Roy and Chrom also hold similar distinction.

References[edit]