in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
|Universe||The Legend of Zelda|
|Other playable appearances||in Melee|
|Final Smash||Ganon, The Demon King|
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, after having previously voiced Ganondorf in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and Super Smash Bros. Melee, reprises his role in all regions with new voice clips that sound more akin to the former game, replacing Hironori Miyata's portrayal from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess used in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. 4.
Ganondorf is ranked dead last on the tier list, at 82nd out of 82, in the D- tier. This is a slight drop from his already very low placement in Smash 4, where he was tied with Zelda at 52nd/53rd out of 54, and gives him the dubious distinction of being the only character ranked last for the NTSC and European tier lists of two different games, the other being Brawl. It should be noted that his placement does not equate to the same level of unviability as in previous games, as he is overall more viable than in Brawl and Smash 4. However, despite noteworthy improvements to his raw power over Brawl and Smash 4, Ganondorf's core weaknesses continue to hold him back drastically compared to the rest of the roster: his terrible frame data and slow movement give him severe difficulty in approaching and escaping disadvantage, several of his moves have small or poorly placed hitboxes which results in poor range or glaring blindspots, and his recovery is among the worst in the game.
How to unlock
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.
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 sixth 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. Most of his moves inflict over 10% 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 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 in Ultimate, 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 despite their immense power (excluding forward aerial and down aerial), and are guaranteed to knock opponents off the stage even at medium percents, giving him a great edgeguarding game. His sweetspotted down aerial is his most 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 option 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 potential 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 frame 28 (such as forward smash, Warlock Punch, and Volcano Kick), along with many of his moves having extremely high ending lag (most notably all of his smash attacks 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 blind spots. 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 hitbox sizes, and/or high hitbox placements. Wizard's Foot and Flame Choke also have their hitboxes end earlier than their animations suggest, while forward aerial and back aerial's hitboxes do not properly match their trails. 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 middleweights 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. The ability to tech Flame Choke at any percentage works against Ganondorf, as it forces hard reads, and incorrect reads can put Ganondorf in a vulnerable position. Flame Choke also lacks a collateral hitbox, allowing doubles, Ice Climbers, and Rosalina & Luma to hit him out of the move.
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 height, 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 in its endlag. 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
Ganondorf was infamously a poorly regarded character in his previous two appearances following his debut appearance, owing to a myriad of factors such as slow mobility, vulnerability to general pressure (such as rushdowns, zoning and combos), and awful recovery. Most likely due to his low placement in SSB4, Ganondorf has received a mix of buffs and nerfs in Ultimate, but was buffed overall, albeit not enough to raise his tier standing.
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 SSB4) 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.
Ganondorf's smash attacks are now sword swings that possess increased, consistent power as well as larger, disjointed range. 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. His notoriously weak grab game was also buffed, with his grabs having a longer duration and greater range, 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). Ganondorf is also heavier, making his already great endurance better.
Ganondorf notably benefits from some of the universal gameplay changes. The increase in mobility (most notably to his running speed, although it still remains 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 hitbox placements and ineffective defensive game. His forward and up smashes, despite having disjointed range, have significantly increased ending lag; up smash has especially lost its 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, Dark Dive and Wizard's Foot make them harder to land and further worsens his blindspot issues. 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 Flame Choke, as the aerial version is now escapable at low percentages and a "Ganoncide" now KOs him first. Dark Dive's release also pushes back Ganondorf after he launches the opponent away, though this is counterbalanced by the release having less ending lag.
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, 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 slightly hinders Ganondorf, though due to his increased damage and power, this change is fairly negligible.
Overall, Ganondorf has gained some drastic increases in power that renders his punish and advantage states much deadlier, but at the cost of notable nerfs that further affect his disadvantage, exacerbating his glaring weaknesses and making him even more polarized. Although initially considered to have improved substantially from SSB4, the lack of changes from game updates, as well as various changes made to his fellow veterans both on release and through updates, have caused Ganondorf to fall behind. Said updates have also introduced a bevy of more powerful DLC characters, all of which Ganondorf struggles against in one way or another. Because of this, despite performing better as a standalone character in Ultimate, Ganondorf has not significantly improved from his appearance in SSB4, instead performing worse relative to the rest of the cast.
- 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.
- His sword has also been reverted back to the sword seen in the SpaceWorld 2000 GameCube Tech Demo.
- Palutena's Guidance conversation for Ganondorf has been changed to accommodate for his Ocarina of Time design.
- 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, epaulets, and cape have all been redesigned. Altogether, these changes make Ganondorf's design directly based on his appearance in Ocarina of Time, as opposed to his appearance in the SpaceWorld 2000 GameCube Tech Demo.
- Ganondorf's design takes elements from his appearance both before and after the seven-year time skip depicted in Ocarina of Time. His short hair, eye color, and earrings are retained from his pre-time skip design, while also wearing his stylized crown and red cape from his post-time skip design.
- 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.
- Ganondorf's cape has improved physics and rigging, allowing for more fluid animations.
- Ganondorf's darkness particle effects appear more liquid-like, most notably seen during his on-screen appearance and Flame Choke.
- Initial dash, walking, running, spot dodge, roll, air dodge, hitstun, jump, and backwards jump animations have changed, further differentiating him from Captain Falcon.
- 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.
- Ganondorf's new blast KO voice clips no longer play past the duration of the KO animation.
- 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.
- Ganondorf has new victory poses, which appear to be updated versions of his previous ones:
- His left-inputted victory pose now has him flipping 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Like all characters (with the exception of Kazuya), Ganondorf's jumpsquat animation takes 3 frames to complete (down from 7).
- The inability to move past opponents on the ground prevents dash attack, Flame Choke, and Wizard's Foot from whiffing up close.
- Ganondorf dashes slightly faster (1.218 → 1.34), being nearly as fast as he was in Melee.
- Ganondorf's initial dash animation is both faster (1.3 → 1.87) and moves him farther, resulting in his foxtrot outpacing his dash.
- Ganondorf walks slightly faster (0.73 → 0.767), being slightly faster than he was in Melee.
- Ganondorf's traction is higher (0.068 → 0.125).
- Ganondorf's air speed is slightly higher (0.79 → 0.83), being nearly as fast as he was in Brawl.
- Ganondorf's gravity is slightly higher (0.107835 → 0.108).
- Ganondorf is considerably heavier (113 → 118), weighing more than Charizard. This improves his already excellent endurance.
- Forward roll has less ending lag (FAF 34 → 33).
- Forward roll grants less intangibility (frame 4-19 → 4-16).
- Back roll has more startup with less intangibility (frame 4-19 → 5-17), and more ending lag (FAF 34 → 38).
- Spot dodge has faster startup (frame 4 → 3).
- However, its total duration remains the same, giving it one frame more ending lag.
- Air dodge grants more intangibility (frame 4-29 → 4-32).
- Air dodge has drastically more ending lag (FAF 35 → 47).
- Neutral attack:
- Neutral attack deals more damage and no longer has sourspots (8%/10%/6% → 11%).
- It has slightly less ending lag (FAF 29 → 27).
- 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:
- Forward tilt deals more damage (12%/13% → 13%/14%), with its knockback compensated (30 base/88 scaling → 31/82).
- It has slightly smaller hitboxes (5.5u/5.3u/5.1u → 5.5u/5u/4.8u).
- The sourspot takes priority over the sweetspot.
- Up tilt:
- 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).
- Its windboxes have higher set knockback (1 → 22/22/10/10), allowing them to pull opponents in more effectively.
- The explosion has more vertical reach.
- Its sweetspot has decreased knockback scaling (80 → 68), no longer KOing opponents under 50% from the center of the stage.
- The explosion has much less horizontal reach.
- 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.
- The move deals consistent damage (28%/20%/18% → 24%), dealing more than the original sourspot, but less than the original sweetspot.
- The sourspots increased damage allows it to shatter full shields like the sweetspot, and boosts its KO potential despite its lower angle (80° → 70°).
- Its sweetspot triggers Special Zoom.
- The windboxes no longer affect items or attackable stage elements. Notably, this prevents Ganondorf from riding on rolling crates at high speed.
- 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, much like in Melee.
- Ganondorf now vocalizes during the move's startup.
- Down tilt:
- Down tilt deals more damage (13% → 14%), with its knockback scaling compensated (100 → 94).
- 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:
- Dash attack deals more damage (14% → 15% (clean), 10% → 11% (late)).
- 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.
- The late hit has improved combo potential due to Ganondorf's faster jumpsquat.
- The late hit deals more shieldstun (1x → 1.3x), improving its safety on shield.
- 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:
- Forward smash is now a downward sword slash in front of Ganondorf, similar to Ike's.
- 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.
- It now deals consistent and more knockback (35/30 base / 83/75 scaling → 61/75), KOing around 65% from the center of the stage.
- It has noticeably more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 21-26 → 29-31) and more ending lag (FAF 60 → 70).
- Forward smash can no longer be angled.
- Ganondorf does not lean back during his new forward smash, making it less safe than his previous forward smash.
- Forward smash is now a downward sword slash in front of Ganondorf, similar to Ike's.
- Up smash:
- Up smash is now an overhead sword swing from front to back, appearing visually similar to Ike's up smash, and Link's previous up tilt from Smash 4.
- 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.
- It has less startup lag with a longer duration (frames 21-23 → 20-25).
- 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.
- It has a blind spot directly in front of Ganondorf. This can cause it to miss on certain situations.
- Up smash is now an overhead sword swing from front to back, appearing visually similar to Ike's up smash, and Link's previous up tilt from Smash 4.
- Down smash:
- Down smash is a forward hilt thrust that leads into a backwards stab, similar to Cloud's.
- Its hitboxes are disjointed and placed lower, reliably hitting crouching opponents.
- Ganondorf ducks while performing it, lowering his hurtbox.
- It has less ending lag (FAF 64 → 60).
- 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.
- 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).
- The first hit deals less damage (6% → 5%).
- Both hits have slightly less horizontal range.
- Down smash is a forward hilt thrust that leads into a backwards stab, similar to Cloud's.
- All aerials have less landing lag (17 frames → 10 (neutral), 22 → 13 (forward), 19 → 11 (back, up), 26 → 16 (down)).
- The lowered landing lag improves neutral aerial's and down aerial's safety, while allowing them to function as effective combo starters.
- Neutral aerial:
- Neutral aerial has slightly less ending lag (FAF 42 → 41), and auto-cancels slightly earlier (frame 38 → 37).
- Both hits have a shorter duration (hit 1: frames 9-13 → 9-12, hit 2: 19-29 → 19-26).
- Forward aerial:
- Forward aerial has an altered animation: Ganondorf leans farther forward as he punches, similar to its animation in Melee. This increases its range.
- The move auto-cancels earlier (frame 55 → 45), matching the move's interruptibility and auto-canceling in a double jump.
- Back aerial:
- 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.
- The hitboxes are significantly smaller (5.5u/6.3u/4.8u → 4u/4.5u/3u), greatly reducing its vertical range.
- It has an altered animation where Ganondorf leans further back into the move, kicks one of his legs out and keeps his arm out for a longer duration. This makes Ganondorf significantly more vulnerable to being punished and makes him a larger target to hit.
- In addition to the aforementioned change, Ganondorf's arm hurtboxes are stretched during and after the swing, making him even more vulnerable to being attacked and reducing the effective safety of the move.
- Up aerial:
- Up aerial's hitbox is marginally larger (5.76u → 5.8u).
- 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.
- It has a slightly altered animation: Ganondorf brings his kicking leg forward midway through the spin.
- Down aerial:
- Down aerial has less ending lag (FAF 47 → 45).
- It no longer has transcendent priority, allowing it to cancel out projectiles.
- It has a slightly altered animation: Ganondorf leans back slightly as he stomps, similar to its animation in Melee.
Throws and other attacks
- All grabs have a longer duration (2 frames → 3).
- All grabs have more range (Z2 offset: 9.0u → 10.0u (standing), 10.8u → 11.8u (dash), -15.1u → -15.6u (pivot)).
- Standing and pivot grab have slightly more startup lag (frame 7 → 8 (standing), 10 → 12 (pivot)).
- Standing and dash grab have more ending lag (FAF 36 → 39 (standing), 45 → 47 (dash)).
- Ganondorf now grabs with his left hand.
- Ganondorf has a different pose while holding the enemy.
- Pummel deals much less damage (3% → 1.6%).
- 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.
- Pummel has a different animation, with Ganondorf arching forward as he delivers his knee strikes.
- Forward throw:
- Forward throw deals more knockback (60 base/65 scaling → 68/70), KOing around 150% near the edge.
- 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:
- Back throw has a slightly altered animation: his upper body is near parallel with the ground during the kicking portion.
- Up throw:
- Up throw's first hit deals more damage (7% → 10%, total: 10% → 13%).
- It has an altered animation: Ganondorf punches with his right hand. The animation itself also has more weight to it.
- Down throw:
- Down throw has improved combo potential due to Ganondorf's faster jumpsquat.
- 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.
- It has a slightly altered animation: Ganondorf slams the enemy onto the ground more forcefully.
- Edge attack:
- Edge attack deals more damage (8% → 10%).
- Warlock Punch:
- Non-reversed Warlock Punch has more knockback scaling (42 → 46).
- All of its variants have a longer duration (frames 70-71 → 70-73 (normal), 80-81 → 80-83 (reversed)).
- It has more super armor (frames 11-65 → 11-68 (normal), 21-67 → 21-75 (reversed)).
- The outermost hitbox is slightly larger (4.3u → 4.8u).
- Like up-tilt, it triggers Special Zoom upon hitting the opponent.
- It has slightly altered animation, with his other hand being closer to his body.
- Ganondorf's voice clip now echoes during the move, similar to that of a Final Smash.
- Ganondorf no longer slides forwards as the hitbox is coming out, instead simply leaning forwards, reducing the move's range slightly.
- Flame Choke:
- 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.
- The grounded version's super armor upon grabbing an opponent lasts slightly longer (frames 17-40 → 17-41).
- The grounded version no longer dashes over an edge, and ends earlier if used toward an edge, making it safer to use.
- The aerial version has less startup lag (frame 19 → 16), no longer whiffing up close.
- 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.
- 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:
- The disjointed grabbox on frame 14 can now grab aerial opponents, giving the move more range against them.
- The grabbox while rising is extended above Ganondorf, increasing the move's vertical range.
- Dark Dive's looping hits deal more damage (1.2% → 1.9%, total: 13.8% → 16.6%).
- The throw deals drastically more knockback (40 base/90 scaling → 50/108), restoring most of its lost KO power from Melee, now KOing around 110% near the edge.
- The throw has significantly less ending lag (FAF 60 → 25), greatly reducing the effectiveness of Tech Checking, and thus improving the safety of Ganondorf's recovery.
- However, Ganondorf leaps back farther out of a throw, and he still does not regain directional control until much later in the animation, allowing his recovery to still be gimped to some degree.
- The grounded version's grabbox is now only active after Ganondorf has left the ground, causing it to whiff against smaller opponents.
- The throw causes a vibrant burst of purple magic rather than a fiery explosion. It also has the electric effect.
- The uppercut at the end of the move now uses the kick SFX instead of the burn SFX.
- Flame Choke and Dark Dive no longer experience RCO lag.
- Wizard's Foot:
- The grounded version has a slightly different animation at the startup, with Ganondorf bending his knee forward before kicking.
- The grounded version's foot hitbox deals more damage (12% → 16%) without full compensation on its knockback (60 base/70 scaling → 65/65), now being the move's sweetspot. This significantly improves its KO potential, now being a reliable KO move under 100% near the edge.
- The grounded version's foot hitbox is larger (3.5u → 4u) and it has been moved further away from Ganondorf (x offset: 6 → 7), improving its range.
- The grounded version travels faster.
- The grounded version's animation is closer to its appearance in Melee, with Ganondorf traveling closer to the ground. This means that shorter characters and characters with a low crouch can no longer consistently crouch under the move.
- The grounded version has significantly less ending lag when it ends on the ground (FAF 77 → 61).
- If Ganondorf travels from one platform to another using the grounded version, the move will now end in the grounded ending animation rather than the aerial ending animation. As the grounded ending animation is now shorter, this benefits the move overall.
- Due to the changes to meteor smashes, the aerial version's meteor smash can no longer be teched by grounded opponents.
- If Ganondorf immediately performs the aerial version after dropping through a platform, he will no longer quickly land on the platform for a frame before he falls through the platform, improving its reliability.
- The aerial version's late hit is coded to have a shorter duration (frames 19-38 → 19-29), however this change has no impact on gameplay as the attack animation was only 29 frames long in the previous game, making it active from frames 19-29 previously.
- Ganondorf 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.
- The grounded version's leg hitbox deals less knockback (60 base/70 scaling → 65/65), hindering its KO potential.
- The grounded version's leg hitbox is smaller (4.5u → 3u) and it has been moved closer to Ganondorf (x offset: 0 → 2.7), reducing its range above and behind Ganondorf.
- The aerial version has smaller hitboxes (5.8u/6.8u → 5u/3.5u) and the leg hitbox has been moved closer to Ganondorf (x offset: 6 → 8), reducing its range, especially above Ganondorf.
- Both versions no longer have a hitbox on Ganondorf's thigh, reducing the grounded version's range behind Ganondorf and reducing the aerial version's range above Ganondorf.
- Final Smash:
- 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.
- The charge deals more damage (40% (sweetspot) / 30% (sourspot) → 45%/35%).
- 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.
- The charge launches at a worse angle for KOing (30 → 42).
- The sourspot is more likely to connect due to the hitboxes being rearranged.
- Additionally, the sword hit will knock opponents into the sourspot now.
- 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.
- The burying hitbox that occurred when transforming was removed.
- The meteor smash hitbox has significantly less horizontal reach, stopping at his twin greatswords.
Ganondorf received a mix of buffs and nerfs via in game updates, but has been slightly buffed overall. A majority of these buffs were dedicated to fixing inconsistencies that plagued him ever since previous games.
Update 1.1.0 changed the properties of aerial Flame Choke to always kill Ganondorf first when reaching the blast zone, significantly reducing the effectiveness of Ganoncide. Update 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 due to an incorrectly coded timer, and would almost always force him to enter the landing animation. After being absent from patch notes for little over a year, Ganondorf was granted a small but important buff in 11.0.0, which significantly decreased the ending lag of Dark Dive, slightly improving his recovery while making it harder to Tech Check Ganondorf, a technique that has existed since Melee.
Due to his key weaknesses not being addressed from updates and other characters having received more substantial buffs, Ganondorf is considered to fare worse compared to the game’s release, despite receiving more buffs than nerfs throughout his update history.
- Aerial Flame Choke now KOs Ganondorf first.
- Forward aerial auto-cancels earlier (frame 55 → 45), matching the move's interruptibility and now auto-canceling with a double jump.
- Ganondorf can grab edges earlier after using up aerial (63 frames → 58).
- 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.
- The void glitch has been removed.
- 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.
- Up tilt's windboxes no longer affect items or attackable stage elements. Notably, this prevents Ganondorf from riding on rolling crates at high speed.
- Overall shield size has been increased.
- Dark Dive's throw has significantly less ending lag (FAF 50 → 25), making it considerably harder to Tech Check Ganondorf's recovery.
For a gallery of Ganondorf's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
|Neutral attack||Thunder Punch (雷打, Thunder Hit)||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||Piercing Kick (突破蹴, Breakthrough Kick)||14% (foot), 13% (leg)||A front kick. Above average 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 (爆裂蹴, Exploding 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 edgeguarding options if used wisely. However, while it is the strongest up tilt in the game, it is also the slowest tilt attack of any sort, rendering it only effective for hard reads or covering ledge options. 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, though it has some niche combo ability.|
|Down tilt||Leg Sweep (掃脚, Brush Leg)||14%||A crouching front kick. Above average 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||Iron Shoulder (剛肩, Strong Shoulder)||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||Mountain Cleaver (斬岩, Slashing Rock)||24%||A lunging, two-handed downward sword slash similar to Ike's forward smash. The 2nd strongest forward smash in the game, behind only King Dedede's (and the 5th strongest when applying buffs, behind Kazuya’s (when Rage is active), King Dedede's, Max Aura Lucario's and Hero's (if a critical hit occured)), KOing at 56% from the center uncharged, and at 25% fully charged. 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||Heavens Slayer (天上斬, Heavens-Above Slash)||24% (sword), 21% (arm)||An overhead 180° arcing sword slash from front to back similar to Ike's up smash. Deceptively large vertical reach, reliably punishing airborne or rolling opponents, and its starting frames hit 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||Linked Strikes (連携突, Linkage Thrusts)||5% (hit 1), 15% (hit 2)||Kneels and thrusts the sword hilt forward, then performs a reverse gripped thrust behind himself similar 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||Whirlwind Formation (旋風陣, Whirlwind Array)||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||Skull Splitter (頭蓋割, Cranium Splitter)||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||Backhand Fist (裏拳, Backfist)||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||Backflip Kick (後転脚, Back Turn Leg)||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||Thunder Drop (落雷蹴, Thunderbolt Kick)||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||Grab (つかみ)||—||Reaches out with his left hand. Despite Ganondorf's tall stature, its reach is among the shortest.|
|Pummel||Grab Knee Kick (つかみ膝蹴)||1.6%||A knee strike.|
|Forward throw||Sturdy Thrust (剛突, Strong Thrust)||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||Rear Kick (衝脚, Piercing Leg)||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||Jaw Breaker (顎砕, Jaw Smash)||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||Dirt Drop Crusher (地割落, Earth Splitting Fall)||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% (aerial 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 noticeable ending lag (25 frames) after a successful grab, making it possible (though relatively difficult) to tech against a wall and punish Ganondorf with good timing. 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. The downward slashes at the start are extremely powerful meteor smashes, usually making it a guaranteed KO against opponents who are not on solid ground. Meanwhile, the charge appears to have high base knockback but very little knockback scaling, resulting in it KOing most characters at low percents when used near the ledge of Final Destination, but conversely, not KOing when used on the center, even at 100%, ironically for a Final Smash.|
|Stats||Weight||Dash speed||Walk speed||Traction||Air friction||Air speed||Air acceleration||Gravity||Falling speed||Jumpsquat||Jump Height||Double jump Height|
|Value||118||1.87 – Initial dash
1.34 – Run
|0.767||0.125||0.015||0.83||0.01 – Base
0.03 – Additional
|0.108||1.65 – Base
2.64 – Fast-fall
|3||25.49 - Base
12.24 - Short hop
- Emerges from a liquid-like vortex of darkness.
- 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. Resembles his transformation into Ganon before the final battle in Ocarina of Time.
- 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.
- 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.
|Cheer (English)||Cheer (Japanese/Chinese)||Cheer (Italian)||Cheer (Dutch)||Cheer (French)|
|Description||Ganon - dooorf!||Ganondorf!||Ga - non - dorf!||Ganondorf!||Ga - non - dorf!|
- Left: Turns to his left, flips his cape, and pumps his fist, showing the back of it. Resembles the way Ganondorf beckons Link into his battle in Ocarina of Time.
- 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 before crossing his arms while laughing; reminiscent to the cutscene that plays after Link pulls the Master Sword in Ocarina of Time, and ending with a sinister grin.
In competitive play
Most historically significant players
See also: Category:Ganondorf players (SSBU)
- Gungnir - A notable Wi-Fi Ganondorf player who regularly performs well on Smashmate, ranking as high as 5th on the 14th Smashmate SP ranking. He has seen some success offline, such as placing 2nd at the regional NUMASUMA 8 defeating Ly and 33rd at the major Maesuma TOP 9.
- Litany - The best Ganondorf player in Canada. Placed 13th at The Amuka Smash Cup, 65th at Get On My Level 2019, and 97th at both Frostbite 2019 and Frostbite 2020 with wins on players such as Jw, Smokk, and tamim. Currently ranked 2nd on the York Region Power Rankings,
- Komegura - One of the best Ganondorf players in the world in the post-pandemic metagame. His 25th-place finish at the UltCore is the highest placement for a Ganondorf player at a major since the early metagame, and he has also placed well at several other events, such as 33rd at the supermajor Kagaribi 7 defeating Jagaimo.
- Major - One of the two best Ganondorf players in the world in the post-pandemic metagame with several strong results in his region, including 9th at ALOHA BEACHES, 17th at Daddy’s Den X Supreme defeating Scend, and 33rd at the major Port Priority 7.
- Rickles - One of the best Ganondorf players in the world from the early metagame to 2021. He was one of the first to show notable Ganondorf results at supermajors with several solid performances such as 33rd at Riptide and 65th at Frostbite 2020 defeating Lima and Rivers.
Tier placement and history
Public opinion on Ganondorf during Ultimate's early metagame was high due to improvements to his flaws from previous games, with some players comparing him to his Melee self. This positive opinion was supported by Nairo's surprise yet successful usage of the character against Light at Collision 2019, which led many players to believe that Ganondorf was viable, or at least better than what he was in the previous two games.
However, this positive perception did not last long as more players noted issues regarding his gameplay: he still has severe difficulty in approaching, recovering, and escaping disadvantage. Despite the buffs he received in the transition, his matchup spread remains atrocious, as most other characters from the previous game retained similar tools to overwhelm him, such as Pikachu, Palutena, and Cloud. This was compounded with how Ganondorf mostly received minor changes in patches while other low-tier characters received significant buffs. As a result, Ganondorf's playerbase remains one of the smallest in the current metagame, with sporadic success seen from players such as Rickles in the early metagame and Komegura and Major in the post-online metagame. Despite being significantly better than his Brawl and Smash 4 incarnations, Ganondorf is once again considered one of the worst characters in the game, and as such is ranked dead last on the current tier list, albeit as a low tier due to the lack of a bottom tier.
Classic Mode: Encroaching Darkness
Ganondorf fights against the heroes and protagonists of various series.
|1||Mario and Luigi||New Donk City Hall||Underground Moon Caverns|
|2||Fox and Falco||Lylat Cruise||Return to Corneria - Star Fox Zero|
|3||Shulk||Gaur Plain||Time to Fight! - Xenoblade Chronicles|
|4||Marth, Ike, and Roy||Coliseum||Lords-Showdown|
|5||Palutena and Pit||Skyworld||Destroyed Skyworld|
|6||Zelda and Link||Great Plateau Tower||Calamity Ganon Battle - Second Form|
|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.|
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 (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.
|23||Ganondorf||10,700||Bridge of Eldin (Ω form)||Death Mountain|
Ganondorf's fighter spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 300 Gold, but only after Ganondorf has been unlocked. 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. His fighter spirit has an alternate version that replaces it with his artwork in Ultimate.
Additionally, Ganondorf makes appearances in various primary spirits, including a few as Ganon.
In Spirit Battles
As the main opponent
|220||Ganondorf (Twilight Princess)||The Legend of Zelda Series||•Ganondorf (160 HP)||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||The Legend of Zelda Series||•Giant Ganondorf
|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||Dark Mind||Kirby Series||•Reflect Ganondorf||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
|401||Andross (Star Fox 64 3D)||Star Fox Series||•Ganondorf||9,900||Venom||•Assist Trophy Enemies (Andross)
•Hazard: Low Gravity
|•Gravity is reduced
•Hostile assist trophies will appear
|604||Black Shadow||F-Zero Series||•Ganondorf
|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||Fire Emblem Series||•Ganondorf||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
|663||Ashnard||Fire Emblem Series||•Ganondorf (80 HP)
•Charizard (80 HP)
|3,600||Reset Bomb Forest (hazards off)||•Defense ↑||•Stamina battle
•The enemy has increased defense
|Against the Dark Knight|
|673||Walhart||Fire Emblem Series||•Ganondorf (160 HP)||9,900||Coliseum (hazards off)||•Jump Power ↓||•The enemy has super armor and is hard to launch or make flinch
•All fighters have reduced jump power
|Id (Purpose) (Remix)|
|686||Garon||Fire Emblem Series||•Ganondorf (160 HP)||9,600||Final Destination||•Jump Power ↓
•Hazard: Poison Floor
|•The floor is poisonous
•You have reduced jump power
|Lost in Thoughts All Alone (Remix)|
|717||Hades||Kid Icarus Series||•Giant Ganondorf||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||Reaper & Reapette||Kid Icarus Series||•Ganondorf
•Tiny Ganondorf ×8
|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||Sigma||Mega Man X Series||•Ganondorf (160 HP)||9,500||Midgar (hazards off)||N/A||•The enemy's melee weapons have increased power
|X vs ZERO|
|989||M. Bison||Street Fighter Series||•Reflect Ganondorf (180 HP)||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
|M. Bison Stage Type A|
|1,349||Bullet Walker (Brigadier General)||DAEMON X MACHINA||•Tiny Ganondorf (50 HP)
•Giant R.O.B. (60 HP) (50 HP) (50 HP)
|9,300||Bridge of Eldin (Battlefield form)||•Move Speed ↑
•Attack Power ↑
•Item: Exploding Types
•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
|632||Nyna||Fire Emblem Series||•Palutena
|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||Jill||Resident Evil Series||•Wii Fit Trainer
|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
|1,384||Dimitri (Fire Emblem)||Fire Emblem Series||•Byleth (100 HP)
•Ganondorf (80 HP)
|5,000||Distant Planet (Ω form)||N/A||•Stamina battle
•The enemy has increased attack power
|Between Heaven and Earth||Dedue|
Idling on Bridge of Eldin.
Performing Ganon, The Demon King on Arena Ferox.
Idling towards the Moon on Bridge of Eldin.
Using Warlock Punch on Sheik.
Fighter Showcase Video
- 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.
- 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 as Doriyah by the community, based on his exclamation during 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.
- 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.
- Ganondorf is the only opponent in Peach's Classic Mode route that is not from the Mario universe nor its sub-universe Donkey Kong.
- If Ganondorf continually uses his up taunt on the floor of Mute City SNES, he cannot be damaged by it.