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
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Ganondorf must then be defeated on the Bridge of Eldin.
Ganondorf is the epitome of the archetypal 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 falling speed, his walking speed, dashing speed, air speed, and jump and double jump heights are all among the lowest. 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 silver 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 does not suffer from a poor combo ability, as he has excellent combo starters. His down throw can combo into many aerials, and his dash attack is versatile with its early hit possessing high KO power and its late hit granting followups into aerials. His 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 tech-chase situation and follow with aerials, smashes, Wizard's Foot, or another Flame Choke.
All of Ganondorf's aerials are very useful, as they are fast for their immense power (except his forward 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 strongest horizontal knockback out of all his aerials. 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. 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. A slew of his moves have poor hitbox placements with large blind spots: neutral attack, forward tilt, and back aerial all have high positions that miss smaller opponents, especially if they're crouching, while neutral aerial and up aerial fail to cover underneath him. Ganondorf's grab range is also surprisingly below average, despite his tall stature. 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). Despite his shield breaking capabilities, his aforementioned frame data makes these moves unsafe on shield. Flame Choke also works against Ganondorf, as it can be teched to force hard reads, and incorrect reads can put Ganondorf in a vulnerable position. As a result, Ganondorf cannot effectively force his opponent off of him, making his punishment game heavily rely on proper spacing and mindgames.
Another big weakness is his lackluster recovery, which is considered to be one of the worst in the game. His slow air speed and poor jump heights leave him very vulnerable to edgeguards and gimps, while Flame Choke and Dark Dive have low speed, distance, and resilience and both leave him helpless. His recovery specials also work against Ganondorf; aerial Flame Choke can now 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.
Overall, Ganondorf's raw power lets him rack 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
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.
Throws and other attacks
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
Classic Mode: Encroaching Darkness
Ganondorf fights against the heroes of various series.
Role 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 (sans 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.
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
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase video
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