Flame Choke (炎獄握 Engokuaku) replaces Gerudo Dragon as Ganondorf's Side Special Move in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. When used, Ganondorf charges at his opponent, similarly to Gerudo Dragon, but in this move he grabs the opponent by the neck and attacks them with a dark pulse, before slamming them into the ground.
Flame Choke is Ganondorf's main combo starter, as many combos can be done with it. The most common combo (which is also done by Ganon AI's), is a Flame Choke followed by a Down Tilt, which will guarantee a KO against lighter targets at 100%+, medium at 115%+ and heavy at 130%+. However, this only affects a few characters such as Kirby, and will not work against characters like Captain Falcon. Other combos that can be done with Flame Choke is a follow up Flame Choke to rack up quick damage on your opponent, a down tilt followed by Dark Dive, or jumping after using the ability followed by a Wizard's Foot against characters which Down Tilt cannot be used as a follow up.
When the move is used in midair, both Ganondorf and the grabbed foe are launched directly towards to the ground, which if used offstage can cause Ganoncide- Ganondorf sacrificing himself to KO the target. If done successfully, it will KO both Ganondorf and the enemy. However, despite the appearance of the player's beam (which will be the color of the Ganondorf player's port, and indicates they have been KO'ed), in stock matches the opponent is always KO'ed first. "Ganoncide" is also effective when in a time match against an untouched opponent; the game treats the victim as if they had self-destructed, subtracting 2 points from them.
If this is used while on the ground with the opponent near the edge of the stage, it can "Meteor Smash" the opponent straight down off of the edge, However, this is not very useful, as it has set knockback and is too weak to prevent most characters from recovering. They will also grab the ledge if possible.
Unlike Captain Falcon's Raptor Boost, this move does not cause Ganondorf to trip and fall if he misses on the ground. It does, however, still put him into a helpless state if he misses it in the air. If Ganondorf is too close to an edge when he misses the move on the ground, he will go over the edge and instantly go into a helpless state and fall, just like with Captain Falcon's Raptor Boost. However, unlike Captain Falcon, Ganondorf has a chance to move towards the ledge and grab it (if it can be grabbed) before he falls to his death.
|Ganondorf's Special Moves|
|Standard Special||Warlock Punch|
|Side Special||Gerudo Dragon||Flame Choke|
|Up Special||Dark Dive|
|Down Special||Wizard's Foot|
|Final Smash||—||Beast Ganon</noinclude>
Flame Wave is one of Ganondorf's Side Special Moves that can be used via customization. After the initial choke, instead of the opponent being shot downward, they are launched upwards. They will even do damage to other opponents if the victim hits them while in the air.
The Flame Wave is worse for horizontal recovery because it travels less distance both on the ground and in the air. It can still Ganoncide on the edge though, and is a good combo starter on the ground since it can easily be followed up with an aerial attack.
Flame Chain is one of Ganondorf's Side Special Moves that can be used via customization. Rather than grabbing the opponent, this move has multiple hits, and is more similar to Captain Falcon's Raptor Boost.
The Flame Chain is an attack rather than a command grab, making it poor for trumping shields and starting combos. It covers more distance on the ground and in the air making it good for horizontal recovery; it hits multiple times, racking up damage quickly on opponents.
Ganondorf performs a similar rushing move in Twilight Princess that kills one of the sages who impaled him, though lacking the dark flames. In the GameCube version of Twilight Princess, Ganondorf uses his right hand, which is inscribed with the Triforce of Power, whereas in Brawl, he uses his left hand. Ganondorf's slight ambidextrous capabilities in Brawl are likely due to the mirrored Wii version of Twilight Princess.