King Dedede (SSBU)
King Dedede (デデデ, Dedede) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was confirmed on June 12th, 2018. King Dedede is classified as fighter #39.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, King Dedede must then be defeated on Fountain of Dreams.
King Dedede is tied for the third heaviest character in the game with Donkey Kong, making him a super heavyweight. King Dedede shares some typical attributes with other heavyweights, such as: a high damage output, high KO potential, great endurance, quick falling and third fastest fast falling speeds (both tied for second and third fastest respectively), overall sluggish mobility, and a high susceptibility to combos. In spite of having an average initial dash and the thirtieth highest gravity, King Dedede has the twenty-eighth slowest walking speed, eleventh slowest dashing speed, the worst air speed in the game, and the fourth slowest air acceleration. To counteract these flaws, however, King Dedede is gifted with four midair jumps.
As a super-heavyweight, King Dedede has immense endurance, both vertically and horizontally. His massive weight makes him difficult to launch, and his incredibly fast falling speed lets him return to the ground quickly. Despite having the worst air mobility, his four midair jumps and Super Dedede Jump, the latter of which travels a very long vertical distance and has super armor during its ascent and descent, gives him great recovery for a heavyweight. Super Dedede Jump also has a meteor smash hitbox during its descent, making it risky to intercept if he recovers high. His tech rolls are unusually long-distanced for a character of his size, making him difficult to tech-chase. Finally, King Dedede's trademark hammer grants him a long disjoint in many of his attacks, allowing him to safely space his opponents.
True to a heavyweight character, King Dedede is gifted with an abundance of KO options and finishers. King Dedede's dash attack is a notable example, dealing huge damage, easily killing shields, and being able to KO at a mere 55% on middleweight opponents. King Dedede's smash attacks all possess good damage and knockback, while having their own perks: forward smash can KO at 30%, has deceptively short ending lag, allowing King Dedede to quickly react, while also being able to destroy full shields with only a slight charge; up smash KOs at 100% and sports transcendent priority, while coming with good range and speed, easily being able to hit even the smallest of opponents, while dealing great vertical knockback; lastly, down smash is the fastest smash attack in Dedede's arsenal, KOing at 80%, having transcendent priority, and easily punishing rolling opponents.
The rest of King Dedede's grounded moveset comes with merits: neutral attack is very quick and deals multiple hits, being able to combo into itself, while the finisher's unique vertical knockback allows this move to KO at 150% under rage. King Dedede's forward tilt sports good range and startup lag, while its multiple hits are effective for dealing damage and starting combos, while also trapping rolling or floor-bound opponents; up tilt has quick startup lag and good range, allowing it to combo into itself, while dealing good damage and leaving King Dedede's body and head intangible; lastly, down tilt deals good damage and has good range, being able to pursue opponents, or retreat from them.
King Dedede's aerial game is also decent, thanks to his multiple midair jumps which allow him to stall and bait reactions from opponents. Neutral air is his fastest aerial due to coming out on frame 7, which can help disrupt enemy combos, and its late hit can also set up combos for Dedede himself, such as up tilt or up air. Forward air has a lot of range in front of Dedede, which is good for spacing with its decent start up speed, and can wall of pain at lower percents. Back air is a potent kill option with good range behind Dedede, which is also a good option for spacing and landing. Up air can beat out a lot of down aerials thanks to its long range, and it also has strong KO potential. Down air, when sweetspotted, is a powerful meteor smash offstage, but its use onstage is somewhat limited due to its slow startup.
King Dedede's grab game is less overwhelming than his grounded and aerial attacks, but it is still sufficient. King Dedede's grab only has average range, but this problem can be mitigated by simply dash grabbing. King Dedede's pummel is good for racking up on damage, due to its quick speed, which is especially deadly at high percentages; forward throw has good edgeguarding potential, due to sending opponents forward, easily being able to follow up with Gordo Toss; back throw is Dedede's strongest throw, dealing the most damage and knockback, while having limited degrees of damage racking and edgeguarding potential; up throw can also be used to launch opponents into previously thrown Gordos, and can follow up with an up aerial; lastly, down throw's low damage and knockback lend it great combo potential, easily stringing into itself, and initiating combos with Dedede's neutral, forward, and back aerials.
King Dedede's special moves have decent utility as well. Inhale acts as a strong command grab that can be B-Reversed for landing options against shielding opponents on the ground or on platforms above Dedede. The spit can force opponents into a recovery state by sending them offstage, or even spit them under the stage, which is perhaps where Dedede is strongest. Inhale also doubles as a reflector, allowing him to contest against projectile campers. The Gordos from Gordo Throw act as powerful stage control options with KO potential in their own right at 140% and above, and can set up deadly ledge traps. Lastly, Jet Hammer is an effective punishing tool with heavy armor that deals very high damage and knockback, and with a max charge it can break full shields.
In spite of these strengths, King Dedede still has a few noteworthy drawbacks. King Dedede's biggest problem is his approach, which is among the worst in the game. His mobility is sluggish, especially in the air, giving King Dedede immense difficulty catching up to or retreating from his opponents. King Dedede's below-average dashing speed also makes him over-reliant on fox-trotting to cover grounded distances, which itself is somewhat predictable.
Although King Dedede's high weight and falling speeds allow him to easily return to the ground, they also render him vulnerable to combos, juggling, and chain throws, while hindering his recovery. King Dedede's recovery is further hampered by his low air speed and jump height, often forcing him to use his Super Dedede Jump to return onstage. Super Dedede Jump itself, in spite of traveling high, also causes King Dedede to descend very quickly; this, coupled with its limited horizontal maneuverability, renders Super Dedede Jump unreliable for recovering at certain distances offstage.
King Dedede's other specials can work against him, as well. Inhale has high ending lag, allowing other characters to easily punish him. Gordo Toss' Gordos can be reflected back at King Dedede from any attack that deals 2% or higher, dealing immense damage to him and potentially resulting in a self-induced KO, requiring him to exercise caution or utilize Inhale on his reflected Gordos. Jet Hammer also takes a long time to charge, leaving King Dedede susceptible to attack, and its high ending lag leaves him vulnerable to punishment from his opponents.
Overall, King Dedede's high weight, endurance, range, and power allow him to punish his opponents with relative ease from distances, but his poor overall mobility makes King Dedede's approach somewhat abysmal, and renders his recovery somewhat predictable and overly reliant on Super Dedede Jump.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
King Dedede was quite infamous for being a bottom 5 character in Super Smash Bros. 4, which was further compounded when he received multiple nerfs from game updates. Possibly as a result of his notoriously poor competitive reception, King Dedede has been significantly buffed in the transition from SSB4 to Ultimate.
King Dedede's previously abysmal horizontal mobility has been buffed (although it is still among the worst across the series), while the effectiveness of his aerial moveset has been buffed even further as the reduced landing lag on his aerial attacks gives him landing options, with his neutral aerial in particular being a more potent combo starter. Additionally, due to his Inhale gaining the ability to spit out inhaled projectiles, he has effectively gained a reflector, helping to alleviate his vulnerability to projectile camping. The new reflecting abilities of his Inhale also gives him more safety when using Gordo Throw.
King Dedede's biggest buffs, however, were to the utility of his ground game. His already good neutral attack has been improved even further, his already strong smash attacks are stronger overall, and his previously slow forward smash is much faster overall.
Altogether, King Dedede is clearly much better than in the previous installment. Thanks to solid results from players like ZAKI, Big D, Atomsk and Peli, his viability has drastically increased, to the point that most top players consider Dedede to be one of the best super heavyweights in the game.
However, King Dedede's success has been hampered because of game updates shrinking his Gordos' hitboxes and significantly nerfing his forward smash's shield breaking potential. When coupled with the retention of some of his weaknesses from SSB4, King Dedede's true viability has become questionable as Ultimate's metagame has progressed. Players are debating on whether he is as effective as they originally imagined, and the sporadic opinions of him being a high tier character have dissipated. However, the general consensus is that Dedede is a mid-tier character because of him being unarguably better than in SSB4 and his decent tourney success. As such, he is a popular pick at the local and regional levels, while also maintaining decent representation at the national level.
King Dedede has been slightly nerfed via game updates. The most notable nerfs were to Gordo Throw, as Gordos have smaller hitboxes and deal less shield damage, removing some shield break set-ups. Additionally, the Gordo-boosted Super Dedede Jump was removed altogether. Moreover, King Dedede's shield pressure was further toned down by removing forward smash's ability to hit grounded characters twice, which removed its ability to instantly break shields.
For a gallery of King Dedede's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
At the beginning of Ultimate's metagame, many professionals noticed Dedede's improvements from the previous installment, albeit still retaining some of his weaknesses there. This led to most of the community considering him as a low-mid or even low tier character. However, as professionals such as ZAKI and Atomsk began making notable impacts in major tournaments, most players' perception changed, citing his positive qualities such as his great edge trapping with Gordos, resilient endurance, disjointed range, and stronger KO power in comparison to SSB4. This led to Dedede becoming a popular choice among all levels of play in comparison to his release, most notably in local and regional tournaments, with the general perception casting him as an upper mid-tier or even high tier character.
However, updates removing Dedede's shield break combinations as well as shrinking the Gordos' hitboxes hurt Dedede's success, with ZAKI not reaching the success prior, along with Peli and Atomsk even dropping him in favor of other characters. While the latter two restored him as a co-main instead of a solo main, Dedede's representation has been toned down, with some players going back to considering him to be a firmly mid-tier character instead of a potentially high tier character or, in some instances, even a low tier character. In addition, his struggling disadvantage state, inconsistency in scoring KOs, and laggy frame data have caused Dedede to struggle against most top tier and/or high tier matchups, such as Palutena, Mega Man, and Fox. While Dedede is much better compared to his appearance in SSB4, his first definitive tier placement in Ultimate remains to be seen.
Classic Mode: Royal Rumble
King Dedede faces off against characters with royal titles such as kings and princesses.
Role in World of Light
King Dedede was among the fighters that were summoned to fight against the army of Master Hands.
During the opening cutscene, King Dedede was present on the cliffside when Galeem unleashed its beams of light. He was vaporized offscreen and placed under Galeem's imprisonment along with the other fighters, excluding Kirby.
Dedede can only be accessed in a sub-area themed after the Gourmet Race minigame from Kirby Super Star, where the player must collect exactly 11 pieces of food for him to appear on the podium.
King Dedede's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking King Dedede 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, King Dedede makes an appearance as a Primary Spirit under his Masked Dedede alter ego.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video