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.


Once he makes the grab, he cannot be knocked out of it (he has super armor while he has an opponent in his grip, allowing Ganondorf to, for example, snag a passing Wario off his motorcycle).

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
Melee Brawl SSBWU/3DS Ultimate
Standard Special Warlock Punch
Side Special Gerudo Dragon Flame Choke
Up Special Dark Dive
Down Special Wizard's Foot
Final Smash Beast Ganon

Custom Variations

Flame Wave

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.


  • Combo starter
  • Ganoncide


  • Less distance
  • Poor for horizontal recovery

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

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.


  • More distance
  • Horizontal recovery
  • Racks up damage quickly


  • Poor for starting combos

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's Custom Special Moves
Custom 1 Custom 2
Standard Special Warlock Blade Warlock Thrust
Side Special Flame Wave Flame Chain
Up Special Dark Fists Dark Vault
Down Special Wizard's Dropkick Wizard's Assault


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.


  • Unlike some other special grabs such as Force Palm, Flame Choke can't be escaped from even if the victim is giant, neither the grounded or air version.
  • The whole screen shakes when Flame Choke is used on the victim.
  • Depending which stage it's used on, the aerial variation may have different effects. On Norfair, Ganondorf can bounce in the lava but the trapped opponent doesn't bounce on it on the first hit. On certain portions of Port Town Aero Dive, it's possible to have Ganondorf survive while the other character is dragged off the screen. On other stages, both characters or neither may be KOd.
  • In Home-run Contest, if used on the Sandbag, the move will fail. Ganondorf will pass through the Sandbag just like any other grab-related special on any other item.
  • Ganondorf players still tend to refer to this move as the "Gerudo Dragon" or the "Ganoncide", his previous Side-B special.
  • Flame Choke bears a resemblance to the "Kototsuki Yō/In" special moves used by Kyō Kusanagi and Iori Yagami in SNK Playmore's "The King of Fighters" series. All three special moves involve the attacker charging at the enemy in some fashion, grabbing them and forcing them to explode in a burst of flames. The ground version of Flame Choke indeed resembles Kyō's in that Ganondorf lifts his victim off of the ground and the aerial version wherein Ganondorf slams the opponent into the ground headfirst resembles Iori's. Furthermore, both Ganondorf and Iori's flames are purple in colour.