King Dedede (SSBU)

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This article is about King Dedede's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For the character in other contexts, see King Dedede.
King Dedede
in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
King Dedede SSBU.png
KirbySymbol.svg
Universe Kirby
Other Smash Bros. appearances in Brawl
in SSB4

Availability Unlockable
Final Smash Dede-Rush
KingDededeHeadSSBU.png
He's not very fast, but he's one of few heavyweight fighters with great recovery. Apparently, a defeat by Kirby inspired him to train hard to learn a move called Hovering, which allows him to float after taking a deep breath.
Super Smash Blog, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Official Site

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.

King Dedede’s voice clips from Smash 4, where he was voiced by series creator Masahiro Sakurai, have been repurposed for Ultimate.

How to unlock[edit]

Complete one of the following:

With the exception of the third method, King Dedede must then be defeated on Fountain of Dreams.

Attributes[edit]

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[edit]

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.

Aesthetics[edit]

  • Change King Dedede's clothing and general design is more cartoonish, with higher contrast colors and greater detail in his clothes; the fur on his coat and hat appears fluffier and more detailed, and his sash has more depth.
  • Change Normal map changes to the star textures on his hammer give the illusion that they protrude slightly more, as depicted in his official artwork.
  • Change Like many other characters, King Dedede is more expressive. For instance, he now squints during his crouching animation. He also appears furious when charging Jet Hammer.
  • Change Down taunt now has a more exaggerated animation.
  • Change Two of King Dedede's victory poses were slightly altered:
    • Change His hammer spinning victory pose now finishes with him charging Jet Hammer.
    • Change His victory pose where he stands next to a Waddle Dee and pats his stomach now shows Waddle Dee walking up to him. The ending animation is now more exaggerated, with Dedede bouncing while laughing gloatingly.
  • Change King Dedede's star KO voice clip has been shortened, as it no longer extends past the KO's animation.
  • Change King Dedede's Boxing Ring alias has been changed to "Self-Made King", making it consistent with the Japanese version.

Attributes[edit]

  • Buff Like all characters, King Dedede's jumpsquat animation now takes three frames to complete (down from 6).
  • Buff King Dedede runs faster (1.36 → 1.496).
    • Buff Initial dash is much faster (1.4 → 1.815), enabling foxtrotting for boosted ground mobility.
  • Buff King Dedede walks faster (0.98 → 1.029).
  • Buff King Dedede's air speed is much faster (0.63 → 0.735), now being nearly on par with Luigi's.
  • Change King Dedede's gravity is higher (0.08788 → 0.097).
    • Change His short hop and jump are shorter as a result (38 frames → 36 frames (short hop), 55 frames → 48 frames (jump).
  • Change King Dedede is much heavier (119 → 127), allowing him to survive even longer, but makes him more susceptible to combos.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Neutral attack:
    • Buff The first hit has less endlag (FAF 38 → 33).
    • Buff The first two hits of neutral attack can now lock.
    • Buff Neutral infinite has less startup lag (8 → 5), is faster, and connects more reliably.
    • Buff Neutral infinite's finisher has less startup lag (6 → 4) and deals significantly more knockback (scaling 150 → 162).
    • Buff Neutral infinite's finisher has 2 hitboxes rather than 1 (10u → 7u/7u), and the hitboxes extend farther vertically (Y offset: 10u-12u → 7.5u-13u (both)). The finisher has more range overall as a result.
    • Nerf The finisher has more endlag (FAF 47 → 50).
    • Nerf Except for the finisher, each hit of neutral attack deals less damage (first hit: 4% → 2.5%, second hit: 4% → 2.2%, neutral infinite: 1% → 0.5%).
  • Dash attack:
    • Buff Dash attack deals more knockback (40 base/100 scaling → 65/92 (clean), 35 base/100 scaling → 55/92 (late)), improving its already potent KO potential. This is boosted further by the changes to the Sakurai angle on the ground.
    • Buff The clean hit and first late hitbox extend further inwards (Z offset: 7.8u-11.8u → 5u-11.8u), improving their ability to hit opponents at the edge, and combined with the changes to jostleing remove its blind spot.
    • Buff Dash attack hitbox duration lasts longer with 2 new sourspot hitboxes (Frame 26-36 → 26-42).
  • Forward tilt:
    • Buff Forward tilt's looping hits have altered angles (25°/96° → 22°/100°) and have altered knockback (20 base/24/80/90 set/100 scaling → 60/50/30/26 set/100 scaling), allowing the move to connect more reliably.
    • Change Forward tilt has an altered animation.
  • Up tilt:
    • Buff Up tilt has less startup (9 → 7) and endlag (FAF 44 → 39).
    • Nerf Up tilt does less damage (12%/10% → 10%/8%).
    • Buff Up tilt deals more knockback (50 base/80 scaling → 65/94), making the move much stronger despite the damage reduction.
    • Nerf Up tilt's hitboxes are smaller (7u/8u → 6u/6.5u), reducing its range.
  • Down tilt:
    • Buff Down tilt's clean hitbox now extends inwards (Z offset: 12u → 12u-6u), removing its blind spot.
  • Forward smash:
    • Buff Forward smash has less startup (42 → 40) and endlag (FAF 82 → 78).
    • Buff Forward smash deals more damage (15%/24%/6% → 16%/18.5%/25%/11%), and all but the shockwave and early hitboxes deal more knockback (30 base/93 scaling → 50/70 base/85/74 scaling).
    • Buff There is now a hitbox on the handle during the early hit which instead of launching opponents pushes them into the sourspot of the main hit (which is still stronger than the early hit), making it slightly easier to land the main hit.
    • Nerf Forward smash has a new sourspot on the hammer's handle that's much weaker (though is still powerful in its own right), and the early hit deals less knockback (30 base/93 scaling → 85/55), hindering its KO potential despite its increased damage.
  • Up smash:
    • Buff Up smash deals more damage (14%/9% → 16%/10%) with no compensation on knockback, improving its KO ability.

Aerial moves[edit]

  • Buff All aerials have less landing lag (15 frames → 10 (neutral), 30 → 19 (forward/down), 21 → 14 (back), 22 → 14 (up).
  • Neutral aerial:
    • Buff Neutral aerial possesses much greater combo potential due to its reduced landing lag and King Dedede's shorter jumpsquat, especially when hitting with the late hit.
    • Change Neutral aerial causes King Dedede's belly to wobble around during the move.
  • Forward aerial:
    • Change Forward aerial has a snappier animation, with a significant delay on when King Dedede flips.
  • Back aerial:
    • Change Back aerial is now a horizontal hammer swing, which better matches the move's hitboxes.
    • Nerf Back aerial now has 3 unextended hitboxes rather than 1 extended one (10u → 6.5u/6.5u/6.5u). Compared to the previous hitbox, the new hitboxes have both less vertical range (Y reach: 20u–0u → 16.5u–3.5u), and less horizontal range (Z reach: -25u–1u → 0.5u–-24.5u).
    • Nerf Due to his reduced short hop duration, King Dedede can no longer jump out of a short hop back aerial before landing.
  • Up aerial:
    • Change Up aerial has altered knockback (50 base/150 scaling → 55/147).
    • Nerf Up aerial launches at a lower angle (70°/80° → 60°), greatly hindering its KO potential close to the upper blast zone, while also making it much more susceptible to DI and LSI.
  • Down aerial:
    • Change Down aerial has a more forceful animation.

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Nerf All grabs have more startup (standing/dash/pivot: 7/9/10 → 8/11/12) and endlag (standing/dash/pivot: FAF 36/45/42 → 40/48/43).
  • Change Pummel is faster but deals less damage (3% → 1.6%).
  • Buff Standing grab's grabbox extends farther (Z offset: 4u-11.5u → 4u-12.5u), improving its range, making it more similar to how it was in Brawl.
  • Buff Dash grab's grabbox extends slightly farther (Z offset: 4u-14u → 4u-14.4u), slightly improving its range.
  • Nerf Pivot grab's grabbox extends a slightly shorter distance (Z offset: 4u-19.5u → 4u-19.3u), which combined with the changes to jostling hinders its utility.
  • Buff Due to King Dedede's faster jumpsquat, Up throw possesses combo potential into moves such as up aerial.
  • Change Down throw has an altered animation, with him slamming his opponent face-first onto the ground.

Special moves[edit]

  • Inhale:
    • Buff Inhale acts as a reflector, giving a 1.5x damage boost to any projectiles spat out. Once Inhaled, the projectile is spat out almost immediately, and eliminates almost all of the move's ending lag.
      • Buff Inhale can catch and spit Dedede's own Gordos. This gives him an option to relaunch Gordos that are hit back at him, and manually allows him to launch Gordos forward much further and at a much faster velocity compared to throwing one with Gordo Throw.
    • Buff Inhale has a much larger grabbox.
    • Buff Inhale's spit deals more damage (10% → 12%).
    • Change Inhale has an updated, more opaque visual effect.
  • Gordo Throw:
    • Buff Gordos have significantly larger hitboxes that cover their bodies and spikes.
    • Change Gordos gain a surprised expression when deflected. Additionally, they have animated spines.
    • Buff Gordos stick to the edge more consistently, significantly improving their edgeguarding potential.
    • Buff Gordo Throw has less endlag (FAF 64 → 61).
  • Super Dedede Jump:
    • Buff Super Dedede Jump's landing hit deals more damage (11% → 12%).
    • Buff Super Dedede Jump deals more knockback.
    • Buff Super Dedede Jump will snap to edge when reversed.
    • Buff Super Dedede Jump has far less endlag when canceled.
    • Change Super Dedede Jump descends more quickly.
    • Change King Dedede has blue trails form around him when using Super Dedede Jump, indicating armor.
  • Jet Hammer:
    • Buff Jet Hammer breaks shields when fully charged.
    • Buff Jet Hammer deals more damage (grounded: 11%-38% → 12%-40%, aerial: 10%-27% → 11%-32%) and knockback.
    • Buff Jet Hammer has heavy armor during the swing (frames 1-14) when used on the ground.
    • Buff Uncharged and fully charged Jet Hammer's hammer head hitbox is larger (7.5u → 9u).
    • Change The fire from Jet Hammer is blue instead of red.
    • Change Fully charged Jet Hammer triggers Special Zoom upon hitting an opponent.
  • Final Smash:
    • Change King Dedede has a new Final Smash called Dede-Rush, which features King Dedede taking his "Masked Dedede" persona from Kirby Super Star Ultra before trapping opponents inside of a caged boxing ring, attacking them with a barrage of missiles, and launching them with his Jet Hammer.
    • Buff It deals more damage (46% → 59.6%) and knockback.
    • Buff Unlike Dedede Burst in SSB4, it is not possible for opponents to escape once trapped.
    • Nerf Dede-Rush cannot trap more than one opponent at a time for extra damage.

Update history[edit]

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.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 2.0.0

  • Bug fix Fixed King Dedede's knockback facial expression after Inhaling an opponent holding an explosive item.
  • Nerf Gordo has smaller hitboxes (4.8u (spikes)/4.5u (body) → 3.8u/4u).

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 3.0.0

  • Nerf Forward smash no longer hits grounded opponents twice. This significantly hinders its shield breaking potential.
  • Bug fix Fixed a glitch where using Inhale to reflect Charge Shot would launch the opposite way using Inhale.
  • Bug fix Fixed a glitch where opponents would be placed in hitstun during Inhale instead of gaining intangibility.
  • Nerf Gordo Throw deals less shield damage.
  • Change Adjusted aerial Gordo Throw's animation.
  • Nerf Removed Gordo-boosted Super Dedede Jump.[1]

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 3.1.0

  • Bug fix Fixed scenarios where the opponent would not escape from Inhale after King Dedede was placed in hitstun at a specific frame.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 4.0.0

  • Bug fix Fixed a glitch where certain projectiles would become stuck at the center of the stage after they were Inhaled.
  • Bug fix Fixed a glitch where Gordo would become stuck under King Dedede after he retrieved it during invulnerability.

Moveset[edit]

For a gallery of King Dedede's hitboxes, see here.

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

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   2.5% A pair of hammer swings, followed by thrusting his hammer forward while twirling its head, followed by an upward swing. Unlike most neutral infinites, its finisher launches opponents at a nearly vertical trajectory and has KO potential, as it KOs around 150% without rage. It is much faster than it was in SSB4, and connects more reliably.
2.2%
0.5% (loop), 3% (last)
Forward tilt   2% (hits 1-4), 3% (hit 5) Thrusts his hammer forward while twirling its head. Very good range, though its fourth hitbox can only connect if the move lands at the tip of the hammer. However, its rather long ending lag makes this move unsafe if it does not connect at its farthest range. It is very useful for Dedede's ledge traps as its speed, range, and long lasting hitbox allows it to trap rolls and neutral get ups, but this is less rewarding than using his smash attacks. Also good for catching landings when reversed out of a run, and can stuff out punish attempts for a landed back aerial.
Up tilt   10% (head & neck), 8% (tip of head) An upward headbutt. King Dedede's head and upper body are intangible while its hitbox is active. Can combo into itself at low percents, and has limited KO potential at very high percents.
Down tilt Rolling 10% (early), 6% (late) A cartwheeling tackle. Dedede's fastest move, coming out on frame 6. It is capable of being used after most defensive options and attacks, as a good out of shield option, or for disrupting opponents. Can also lead into itself and other attacks if the opponent does not tech.
Dash attack Belly Flop 16% (clean), 13% (late) His signature belly flopping tackle. A slow and powerful KOing option, it is the strongest dash attack in the game and is even stronger than some of the cast's smash attacks, KOing middleweights at around 55% near the edge due to its exceptionally high knockback. The attack can be used for a hard read or setting up tech-chases. Can hit every character on the ledge after their ledge invincibility has ended. However, its high ending lag causes the attack to be very punishable when missed. Originates from Kirby's Dream Land.
Forward smash   16% (head, early), 25% (head, late), 18.5% (handle), 11% (shockwave) Rears his hammer back and slams it down. The most damaging and strongest forward smash in the game. It can KO as early as 30% near the edge, even when uncharged, and when fully charged, it is even capable of OHKOing some lighter characters like Pichu near the edge of Final Destination. It has very slow startup, but deceptively short endlag and a long-ranged quakebox. It can break shields point blank with only a little bit of charging. Originates from Kirby's Dream Land.
Up smash   16% (hammer), 10% (body) An upward hammer swing. A decent anti-air option with great vertical knockback, KOing at middleweights at 100%. Has good range in front and behind Dedede with consistent power throughout the duration, being able to hit short characters unlike in SSB4. It also has transcendent priority.
Down smash   13% A spinning hammer swing around himself. King Dedede's fastest kill move, sending foes at a low angle and can KO around 80% near the edge. Best used for catching rolls as well as ledge attacks. It also has transcendent priority. Appears very similar to the Giant Dedede Swing from Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
Neutral aerial   12% (clean), 7% (late) A splash. Dedede's fastest aerial, coming out on frame 7. Functions like a sex kick, but unlike the majority of them, it has transcendent priority, meaning that it cannot cancel out projectiles. When coupled with a fast fall, its late hit has follow-up potential, such as an up tilt at low percents, neutral, forward or back air at mid percents, and up air at higher percents.
Forward aerial   12% Somersaults to perform a downward hammer swing. Has good range in front of Dedede, but can be unsafe on hit at lower percents if spaced poorly. This move does not autocancel in a short hop and has more landing and ending lag than his back aerial, but starts much earlier. Is capable of performing a pseudo wall of pain while edgeguarding. It can also lock and fend off edgeguard attempts while recovering, due to its long range reaching through ledges.
Back aerial   16% A horizontal hammer swing behind himself. One of Dedede's best moves for spacing and KOing, doing so reliably below 120%. Can be autocanceled in a short hop, and is also relatively safe on shield when spaced at max range.
Up aerial   1% (hits 1-7), 5% (hit 8) Thrusts his hammer upward while twirling its head. Has tremendous reach above Dedede, and can beat out numerous down aerials. It is quite strong for a multi-hit move, being able to KO below 130%. Like his forward aerial, it can hit edgeguarding opponents through ledges.
Down aerial   15% (middle of head), 8% (edge of head) A downward hammer swing. The sweetspot is a very powerful aerial-only meteor smash. The meteor smash only activates at 28% or higher. On grounded opponents, it deals high horizontal knockback, KOing at around 100% near the edge. However, its usage is very limited due to its high startup, causing it to be Dedede's slowest aerial.
Grab   Reaches out. King Dedede's grab range is average.
Pummel   1.6% A headbutt. Quicker but less damaging than it was in Smash 4. Good for racking damage.
Forward throw   4% (hit 1), 6% (throw) Strikes the opponent forward with his hammer. Can be used to set up an edgeguard or launch the opponent into a previously thrown Gordo.
Back throw   4% (hit 1), 9% (throw) Strikes the opponent backward with his hammer. King Dedede's strongest throw, but due to the fact that it launches at a very high angle, it does not KO until very high percentages, depending on the opponent's weight and DI. It is better at damage racking due to these factors. Like forward throw, it can be used to launch the opponent into a previously thrown Gordo.
Up throw   4% (hit 1), 5% (throw) A jump set, a technique used in volleyball. Can lead into up aerial at low to medium percentages, but down throw is generally more rewarding and consistent. Like forward throw, can be used to launch the opponent into a previously thrown Gordo.
Down throw   6% A one-handed body slam. King Dedede's best combo starter, it can initiate true combos into a neutral or forward aerial at very low percents and back air at low to mid percents. At medium percentages, down throw to up aerial is a KO combo if the opponent DIs incorrectly.
Floor attack (front)   7% Gets up and kicks in front of himself and then behind himself.
Floor attack (back)   7%
Floor attack (trip)   5% Swings his hammer in of himself and then behind himself while twirling the hammer's head.
Edge attack   10% Performs a kick while climbing up.
Neutral special Inhale 12% (spit) Inhales the opponent. While they have been Inhaled, King Dedede can then walk around and spit them out to inflict damage. He will also receive a 0.25x Received Knockback Multiplier, making it almost impossible to KO him while someone is inhaled. Inhale can also be used to swallow items and spit back projectiles, acting as a reflector. The reflector property is quite notable as unlike the rest of the cast, it has no reflect limit. Inhale is also a good landing mix-up to catch sidesteps and shields.
Side special Gordo Throw 10% (hammer), 14%/12.5%/11%/9.5% (Gordo) Hits a bouncing Gordo with his hammer. Its trajectory can be angled upward, forward, or downward, which can be used for mindgames. By extension, his throws can be used to launch the opponent toward a previously thrown Gordo. The Gordos disappear after almost 3 seconds. An upward-angled gordo can be used to deny most options at the ledge or even all when combined with an attack. Gordo can also stick to any surface that allows wall jumping, and is much consistent than it was in SSB4. They can also be reflected by any attack dealing at least 2%. Of further note is that Dedede can hit opponents with the hammer swing used to serve the Gordo, potentially leading into a hit by both the hammer and Gordo for a considerable amount of damage. Dedede can also inhale his own Gordo and spit it out at a considerable speed.
Up special Super Dedede Jump 15% (drop), 12% (landing), 5% (stars) His signature jump. It concludes with a diving double foot stomp that buries grounded opponents and meteor smashes aerial ones. Like Yoshi Bomb, it emits stars on both sides after the diving double foot stomp hits the ground, which can make it difficult to punish, especially against characters that lack a projectile. While it cannot grab edges during its descent, it can do so upon being canceled. However, if it is canceled too late before landing, Dedede will endure landing lag that lasts for more than a second.
Down special Jet Hammer 12% (uncharged grounded), 11% (uncharged aerial), 40% (fully charged grounded), 32% (fully charged aerial) Activates the afterburner in his hammer to charge up a very powerful swing, which is released when the special button is released. Dedede can walk around slowly and jump once while charging. It has heavy armor during the swing, and it can hit opponents hanging from the ledge after their invincibility wears off. The jet hammer will inflict the most amount of knock back if released just before the full charge. Dedede can hold the hammer out indefinitely, but it slowly deals recoil damage if he holds it when fully charged up until 100%. A fully charged Jet Hammer can easily KO opponents below 50% near the edge, and is able to break shields with a full charge.
Final Smash Dede-Rush 8% (hit 1), 1.8% (missiles), 20% (hammer hit), 10% (last hit) Strikes the opponent with his hammer sending them into his trademark boxing ring with a cage set up. Adopting his Masked Dedede persona, he attacks his opponent with a barrage of missiles, followed by a powerful spinning hammer swing. Deals approximately 60% in total with considerable knockback, but can only trap one opponent at a time.

On-screen appearance[edit]

King Dedede's on-screen appearance.
  • Is carried in on a palanquin by four Waddle Dees, then jumps off, scattering them.

Idle poses[edit]

  • Puts his hammer on his shoulder.
  • Smacks his belly.

Taunts[edit]

  • Up taunt: Holds up his hammer in celebration.
  • Side taunt: Twirls his hammer and laughs.
  • Down taunt: Spins around in a circle, chanting.

Victory poses[edit]

  • Left: Swings his hammer twice before turning to the camera and posing.
  • Up: Laughs and repeatedly slaps his belly while a Waddle Dee walks into the scene. The Waddle Dee doesn't appear in Team Battles.
  • Right: Twirls his hammer with a grimace, then activates the Jet Hammer.
The victory theme of the Kirby universe is a cover of the short recurring theme that plays when Kirby completes a stage or defeats a boss, debuting in Kirby's Dream Land, though the shortened version that this track is based on debuted in Kirby's Adventure.

In competitive play[edit]

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.

Notable players[edit]

Active[edit]

Inactive[edit]

Classic Mode: Royal Rumble[edit]

King Dedede's congratulations screen.

King Dedede faces off against characters with royal titles such as kings and princesses.

Round Opponent Stage Music Notes
1 King K. Rool KingKRoolHeadSSBU.png Pirate Ship Gang-Plank Galleon
2 Marth MarthHeadSSBU.png and Roy RoyHeadSSBU.png Castle Siege Fire Emblem Theme
3 Zelda ZeldaHeadSSBU.png Hyrule Castle Overworld Theme - The Legend of Zelda (64)
4 Peach PeachHeadSSBU.png and Daisy DaisyHeadSSBU.png Princess Peach's Castle Underwater Theme - Super Mario Bros.
5 Bowser BowserHeadSSBU.png and Bowser Jr. BowserJrHeadSSBU.png Find Mii (Battlefield form) King Bowser - Super Mario Bros. 3
6 Ganondorf GanondorfHeadSSBU.png Bridge of Eldin Calamity Ganon Battle - Second Form
Bonus Stage
Final Master Hand Final Destination Master Hand (Less than 7.0 intensity)
Master Hand / Crazy Hand (Intensity 7.0 or higher)
On intensity 7.0 and higher, Crazy Hand fights alongside Master Hand.

Credits roll after completing Classic Mode. Completing it as King Dedede has King Dedede's Theme (Brawl) accompany the credits.

Role in World of Light[edit]

Finding King Dedede 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.

Fighter Battle[edit]

No. Image Name Type Power Stage Music
39
King Dedede SSBU.png
King Dedede Attack 9,000 Fountain of Dreams (Ω form) King Dedede's Theme (Brawl)


Spirits[edit]

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[edit]

As the main opponent[edit]

Spirit Battle parameters
No. Image Name Series Enemy Fighter(s) Type Power Stage Rules Conditions Music
180
Moblin.png
Moblin The Legend of Zelda series King Dedede Team KingDededeHeadGreySSBU.png (×4)
Neutral
1,900 Skyloft (Battlefield form) •Move Speed ↓ •The enemy favors down specials
•The enemy has reduced move speed
Overworld Theme - The Legend of Zelda
312
Raven spirit.png
Raphael the Raven Yoshi series •Giant King Dedede KingDededeHeadBlackSSBU.png
Shield
4,000 Mario Galaxy N/A •The enemy is giant Yoshi's Island (for 3DS / Wii U)
314
Pak E Derm Spirit.png
Pak E. Derm Yoshi series King Dedede KingDededeHeadGreySSBU.png
Shield
3,900 Yoshi's Story •Jump Power ↓ •You have reduced jump power
•Timed battle
•Only certain Pokémon will emerge from Poké Balls (Alolan Exeggutor)
Yoshi's Story (Melee)
316
Don Bongo.png
Don Bongo Yoshi series •Giant King Dedede KingDededeHeadGreenSSBU.png
Shield
3,900 Yoshi's Story •Move Speed ↑
•Move Speed ↓
•The enemy has increased move speed after a while
•The enemy is giant
•The enemy has reduced move speed
Yoshi's Story (Melee)
340
Kracko.png
Kracko Kirby series King Dedede KingDededeHeadGreySSBU.png
Pikachu PikachuHeadBlueSSBU.png (×2)
Grab
3,500 Skyworld (clouds only) N/A •Defeat the main fighter to win Boss Theme Medley - Kirby Series
365
Gordo.png
Gordo Kirby series •Clear King Dedede KingDededeHeadCyanSSBU.png (×3)
Shield
3,800 Green Greens N/A •The enemy's side special has increased power
•The enemy favors side specials
•The enemy is invisible
Kirby Retro Medley
386
Peppy Hare Spirit.png
Peppy Hare Star Fox series •Bunny King Dedede KingDededeHeadGreySSBU.png
Fox FoxHeadWhiteSSBU.png
Falco FalcoHeadWhiteSSBU.png
Neutral
8,800 Venom N/A •Defeat the main fighter to win
•Reinforcements will appear during the battle
Main Theme - Star Fox 64 (Melee)
727
Dyntos Spirit.png
Dyntos Kid Icarus series King Dedede KingDededeHeadGreySSBU.png
Neutral
7,500 Palutena's Temple (Battlefield form) N/A •The enemy is easily distracted by items Lightning Chariot Base
819
Yellow Wollywog Spirit.png
Yellow Wollywog Pikmin series King Dedede KingDededeHeadGreenSSBU.png (x3)
Shield
3,800 Distant Planet N/A •The enemy favors up specials Garden of Hope (Remix)
853
Lyle Spirit.png
Lyle Animal Crossing series King Dedede KingDededeHeadBlueSSBU.png
Attack
1,700 Smashville •Defense ↑
•Attack Power ↑
•The enemy has increased attack power when the enemy's at high damage
•The enemy has increased defense when the enemy's at high damage
Town Hall and Tom Nook's Store - Animal Crossing: Wild World
1,125
Fish Spirit.png
Fish Ballon Fight Series King Dedede KingDededeHeadCyanSSBU.png
Grab
3,900 Balloon Fight N/A •The enemy's neutral special has increased power
•Timed Battle
•The enemy favors neutral specials
Balloon Fight Medley
1,235
Chef.png
Chef (Personal Trainer: Cooking) Personal Trainer: Cooking series King Dedede KingDededeHeadGreySSBU.png
Shield
3,500 PictoChat 2 •Item: Food •The enemy becomes more powerful after eating
•The enemy is easily distracted by items
Personal Trainer: Cooking
1,344
Gruntilda Spirit.png
Gruntilda Banjo-Kazooie series King Dedede KingDededeHeadGreenSSBU.png
Dr. Mario DrMarioHeadGreenSSBU.png (x3)
Attack
13,900 Find Mii (Ω form) •Hazard: Poison Floor •Defeat the main fighter to win
•The floor is poisonous
•Stamina battle
Vs. Klungo

As a minion[edit]

Spirit Battle parameters Reference
No. Image Name Series Enemy Fighter(s) Type Power Stage Rules Conditions Music Character
343
DarkMatterSpirit.png
Dark Matter Kirby series Meta Knight MetaKnightHeadNavySSBU.png
King Dedede KingDededeHeadGreySSBU.png
Attack
13,500 Halberd (Ω form) •Assist Trophy Enemies (Nightmare) •The enemy's melee weapons have increased power
•The enemy can unleash powerful critical hits at random
Stamina battle
02 Battle Possessed King Dedede (Kirby's Dream Land 2)
745
Captain Syrup.png
Captain Syrup Wario Land series Bayonetta BayonettaHeadPinkSSBU.png
•Giant King Dedede KingDededeHeadGreySSBU.png
Grab
3,500 Pirate Ship N/A •Items will be pulled toward the enemy
•The enemy is giant
•The enemy is easily distracted by items
The Great Sea / Menu Select Genie
1,312
Yusuke Persona 5.png
Yusuke Kitagawa Persona series Chrom ChromHeadBlackSSBU.png
King Dedede KingDededeHeadCyanSSBU.png
Grab
2,500 Suzaku Castle (Battlefield form) •Assist Trophy Enemies (Vince) •Defeat the main fighter to win
•Hostile assist trophies will appear after a little while
Last Surprise Goemon
1,328
Hero's Comrades Spirit.png
Hero's Comrades DRAGON QUEST series Ike IkeHeadBlackSSBU.png
King Dedede KingDededeHeadPinkSSBU.png
Zero Suit Samus ZeroSuitSamusHeadShortsBlueSSBU.png
Sheik SheikHeadRedSSBU.png
Robin RobinHeadRedSSBU.png
Zelda ZeldaHeadGreenSSBU.png
Link LinkHeadTealSSBU.png
Shield
13,300 Yggdrasil's Altar N/A •The enemy has increased melee-weapon damage and move speed
•The enemy's smash attacks have increased power
•Stamina battle
The Hero Goes Forth with a Determination Rab
1,359
Kim Kaphwan.png
Kim Kaphwan Fatal Fury series Ken KenHeadWhiteSSBU.png
•Giant King Dedede KingDededeHeadBlackSSBU.png
•Tiny Ridley RidleyHeadGreenSSBU.png
Attack
1,800 King of Fighters Stadium Jump Power ↓ •The enemy's kicks and knee strikes have increased power
•Reinforcement will appear after an enemy is KO'd
•All fighters have reduced jump power
Let's Go to Seoul! - FATAL FURY 2 Chang Koehan

Alternate costumes[edit]

King Dedede Palette (SSBU).png
KingDededeHeadSSBU.png KingDededeHeadPinkSSBU.png KingDededeHeadGreenSSBU.png KingDededeHeadPurpleSSBU.png KingDededeHeadCyanSSBU.png KingDededeHeadGreySSBU.png KingDededeHeadBlueSSBU.png KingDededeHeadBlackSSBU.png

Gallery[edit]

Character Showcase Video[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • During the segment of the Nintendo E3 Direct that focused on King Dedede's Final Smash, his eyes are normal colored while he is wearing his mask. In the final game, his eyes are yellow.
  • King Dedede is one of four characters to have appeared since Brawl to have a different Final Smash across every installment; the other three are Pit, Zero Suit Samus, and R.O.B..
  • King Dedede's pose in his official render resembles one of his idle poses.
  • King Dedede's prank to the Kongs in King K. Rool's reveal trailer has gained somewhat of a meme status in the fandom, as it is perceived as his voice actor, series director Masahiro Sakurai, making a practical joke at the expense of the fans.
    • Ironically, both King Dedede and King K. Rool are opponents for each other's Classic Mode route.
  • In the Korean version of the game, the Announcer calls him "King Dedede", despite having a slightly different name in Korean, "Dedede Daewang", which translates to "Dedede King".
  • In the Chinese version of the game, the Announcer calls him "King Dedede" in the Simplified version, while the Traditional version has the "Dedede!" announcement from the Japanese version.
  • In the European Spanish version, the name tag and voice clip from the announcer on the victory screen is slightly different from the one used on the character select screen, instead featuring a noticeable translation of "the" (el Rey Dedede). This trait is shared with Wii Fit Trainer, Pokémon Trainer, Villager, Ice Climbers, Inkling, Hero, and the Mii Fighters. Additionally, he and Duck Hunt are only two fighters having this trait in the European version, but not in the Latin American version.
  • King Dedede is the one of the only two antagonists that can be unlocked in the Light Realm, the other being Bowser.
  • King Dedede is unlocked in Donkey Kong's Classic Mode unlock column, referencing the fact they're tied as the third heaviest fighters in Ultimate, whereas only King K. Rool & Bowser (the latter of which is unlocked in Donkey Kong's unlock column as well) are each heavier than them.
    • Interestingly, King Dedede can also be unlocked by Bowser as they appear in Brawl's event Two Trouble Kings.
    • Not to mention, all three characters appear in King K. Rool's route alongside Charizard (another fighter unlocked in Donkey Kong's unlock column via Pokemon Trainer).
  • Prior to 3.0.0, if King Dedede threw a Smart Bomb at his opponent and tried to Inhale them, the Inhale would not affect anyone until the bomb explosion was over. This glitch may likely have be caused by opponents stuck during the hitstun. When this happened, anyone caught in the Inhale from before will teleport into King Dedede's mouth once the explosion ended. Kirby could do this too. This was patched, where characters can now no longer be put into hitstun during Inhale.
  • King Dedede is one of the five veterans from Smash 4 to have their Boxing Ring alias changed in Ultimate, the others being Link, Kirby, Mega Man, and Ryu.
  • King Dedede is one of three characters whose Classic Mode route centers around princesses, or in his case, any characters with royal titles for adversaries. The other two who share this trait with King Dedede are Daisy and Bowser Jr., both of which appear as King Dedede's opponents and thus makes him the only fighter of the three to face more than just humans for opponents.
    • Although King Dedede's Classic Mode mostly contains royalties, Lucina and Chrom do not appear as his opponents.
    • Furthermore, considering said boss doesn’t face characters outside his own series, Ganon does not appear as King Dedede's boss despite being Ganondorf’s more powerful form with the title of “Demon King”.
  • As of Challenger Pack 4, King Dedede is the only character to appear in every single DLC Spirit Board, appearing in the Yusuke Kitagawa, Hero's Comrades, Gruntilda, and Kim Kaphwan spirit battles.

References[edit]