Warlock Punch (魔人拳, Demon-Man Fist) is Ganondorf's neutral special move. In every game since its introduction in Super Smash Bros. Melee, it has consistently been one of the most powerful attacks of any character that is not a Final Smash.
Ganondorf slowly clenches his fist, moves it backwards and then releases a heavy forwards punch with a darkness effect. It is extremely similar to Captain Falcon's Falcon Punch, with the main difference being that Warlock Punch is slower and stronger. The move comes out extremely slowly, taking over a second to come out but it has immense power, dealing at least 30% and being capable of KOing opponents in the low double digits or even in the single digits depending on the character/stage position.
From Super Smash Bros. Brawl onward, Ganondorf can turn around during the startup of the punch to perform a Reverse Warlock Punch. A reversed Warlock Punch is even slower however, it does deal more damage and knockback to make up for it. Additionally, unlike Falcon Punch in Brawl, Smash 4, and Ultimate, it does even higher damage and knockback if done in the air, and both the reverse and air bonuses can actually stack.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Warlock Punch comes out on frame 70, its hitboxes last for 3 frames and it takes 119 frames to complete. This naturally makes it an incredibly difficult move to land as its extremely slow speed makes it incredibly easy to avoid and heavily punish, as well as making it very limited as a punishment option on its own due to its poor speed. The move cannot really be used as a guaranteed followup either due to its extremely poor speed. Additionally, it also has a small hitbox size, so it is overall harder to land than its visuals may often suggest.
Warlock Punch's damage depends on how close the opponent is to Ganondorf. If the opponent is far away, it will deal 30% while if they are closer to Ganondorf, it will deal 32%. If the opponent is extremely close to Ganondorf, it will deal 34%. The weaker hitboxes do have higher priority however, with the 34% being incredibly difficult to land, even if the opponent is right in front of Ganondorf. The grounded version of the move KOes Mario at anywhere from around 45% to 30% in the middle of Final Destination, depending on which hitbox lands (and if Mario does not DI). The aerial version is slightly stronger, KOing around 5% earlier. This naturally makes it an incredibly powerful KO move although the move is held back by its extreme startup, which make it near impossible to land in most scenarios.
Overall, Warlock Punch is an extreme risk, extreme reward move which is incredibly situational at best. The move is simply far too slow to justify using in almost all scenarios. Even in scenarios it can be used, up tilt may be the preferred option as it is usually stronger and it can hit below Ganondorf more reliably (although Warlock Punch is faster and can be used in the air). It is not only Ganondorf's worst move but it is even considered to be one of the worst moves in the game due to its extremely slow speed.
In addition to dealing consistent damage and doing much more damage while airborne, starting from Brawl, a player can pull off a 180° punch by turning in the opposite direction during the beginning of the charging period. This is known as a Reverse Warlock Punch. This version of Warlock Punch deals roughly 3% more damage than a normal punch with more knockback. This move can be done on the ground and in midair, but on the downside, it is 0.167 seconds longer, or 10 frames slower, than a normal Warlock Punch. This reversed move is good for mindgames (as with Falcon's) and does serve as a way to turn a match around, but is still very laggy.
Warlock Punch usually guarantees a KO at around 20-29% damage upon connecting and a reverse aerial Warlock Punch being able to KO Mario at 5% from the middle of Final Destination, the second lowest of any special move without special criteria (such as Oil Panic), behind Ike's stage 8 Eruption which KOs at 2%. Kirby's Warlock Punch after copying Ganondorf is slightly weaker, with reverse aerial KOing Mario at 7%.
In Super Smash Bros. 4, the regular grounded version of Warlock Punch has been reduced in power, now dealing 30% damage with much lower knockback scaling. However, all other versions of the move have drastically increased power with slightly increased damage; grounded reversed Warlock Punch deals 37%, regular aerial Warlock Punch deals 38%, and aerial reversed Warlock Punch deals 40%. These three versions of Warlock Punch KO Mario below 25% in the middle of Final Destination even with DI and without rage; lighter characters are guaranteed to get KO'd near the ledge if they do not DI at all, regardless of rage. With the increase in damage for the other versions of Warlock Punch, as well as the decreased shield health in Smash 4, they can easily shatter any shield that is not at full size.
Both grounded versions also have super armor during most of their startup, from frame 11-66 for the regular version. 1.1.3 added super armor to the reversed version, with it being active from frame 21-67 for the reversed version.
In Super Smash Bros Ultimate, all hitboxes had their durations increased by 2 frames, and the super armor lasts much longer, being active from 11-67 for normal and 21-75 for the reverse. Landing the move also triggers the Special Zoom effect. The hitboxes have been made smaller, however, making the move a bit more difficult to connect.
Warlock Punch has four stages of power depending on what type of punch is performed. Smash 4 KO percents assume no DI on Mario and in the middle of Final Destination.
Special Move customization was added in Super Smash Bros. 4. These are the variations:
Ganondorf never used the Warlock Punch as it is (a superpowered punch enhanced by dark energy) in any Zelda game.
In Brawl and Smash 4, Ganondorf uses his left hand to perform the Warlock Punch and its custom variants, even though he is depicted as right-handed in the GameCube version of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. As with Flame Choke, this is likely due to the mirrored Wii version of Twilight Princess, and has the side effect of further differentiating the move from Falcon Punch animation-wise.
Warlock Blade involves Ganondorf wielding the Sword of the Six Sages, which he used extensively during the final battle in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. The sword was used by the Sage of Water in an attempt to execute Ganondorf for his crimes, but the Triforce of Power kept Ganondorf alive and he proceeded to kill the Sage of Water, keeping the sword throughout the events of the game. While the animation in Smash Bros. is a modified version of the Warlock Punch itself that involves Ganondorf wielding the sword in a reverse grip, one of Ganondorf's moves during the aforementioned boss battle is a similar one-handed thrust/stab with the sword.
Names in other languages