This article is about Ganondorf's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For other uses, see Ganondorf.
His new design matches his appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time! Now he uses his sword for all of his smash attacks. He's a bit slimmer than he was before, but his warlock punch is devastating! For his final smash he transforms into Ganon The Demon King and quickly charges forward.
—Description from the Super Smash Blog.

Ganondorf is a veteran fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, first playable in Super Smash Bros. Melee. He was confirmed during Nintendo's E3 2018 presentation. His fighter number is 23.

When unlocked, he is fought at Bridge of Eldin.



  • Extremely high damage and power, arguably the most in the entire game.
  • Extremely high weight, being the 5th heaviest character in the game.
  • Many attacks, such as Up Tilt, Forward Smash and Warlock Punch, deal massive shield damage to the point of breaking in a few hits.
  • Good variety of knockback angles for various attacks.
  • Benefits greatly from Rage thanks to his weight and power.
  • Can cancel some of his moves into each other, such as Up Smash into Tilts and short-hop Back Aerial into Tilts, allowing him to reduce ending lag.
  • Powerful edge-guarding game thanks to his fast aerial attacks.
  • Down Aerial, Flame Choke, and initial frames of aerial Wizard Foot can Meteor Smash. Down Aerial is capable of KOing at very low percentages if sweetspotted. It also has hitboxes imbued with Transcendent priority. It also is the only Meteor Smash in the game that cannot be teched when used on grounded opponents.
  • Reversed Warlock Punch has extremely high knockback, capable of killing opponents below 40%. If reversed on the ground, can One-Hit KO opponents near the ledge. Both ground versions have powerful Super armor at the start of the animation.
  • Flame Choke allows him to perform many follow ups and tech chases, which is his most versatile tool. Can also perform the infamous "Ganoncide" with Flame Choke, which gives him an advantage in stock matches.
  • Can cancel the ground version of Wizard's Foot into a jump when using it towards the edge. In the air, Wizard's Foot can also Meteor Smash opponents at the beginning of the move.
  • Up Tilt can break shields in a single hit, being the second attack which inflicts the most shield damage, after Marth/Lucina's Shield Breaker. It is also a good ability to use against recovering opponents coming from below.
  • Neutral air has long lasting frames and can edge guard effectively.


  • Very tall, having a large frame and being easy to hit.
  • Slow movement, having the third slowest air speed and air acceleration and third lowest jump and double jumps.
  • Has one of the worst recoveries in the game.
  • Has considerable lag on some attacks.
  • Some attacks, including his grabs, have poor range.
  • Poor grab game, barely being able to deal enough damage and knockback to kill at reliable percentages.
  • Relies too much on tech chases and reads in order to dish out proper follow ups.
  • Lacks moves with high active frames.
  • Cannot deal very well against projectiles, zoning or fast characters that can put too much pressure.
  • Flame Choke and Wizard's Foot can lead into suicides if not well timed or misused.
  • Smash attacks are slow and predictable.


Changes from SSBWU/3DS

Ganondorf was heavily buffed in the transition to Ultimate, largely due to his horrible tier placements in previous games. The universal changes of reduced landing lag and faster jumpsquat allow him to approach more consistently with aerials. The majority of his normal moves and Specials have been buffed in terms of damage and knockback, offering greater utility. The most significant change however to Ganondorf was reworking his Smash attacks to incorporate sword swings, allowing more disjointed reach for his powerful KO options, remedying one of Ganondorf's significant problems in lack of reach.

However, to compensate for the reach of his Smash attacks, they also have increased endlag, making them easily punished if missed. The two biggest nerfs to Ganondorf however were his up aerial, as its inability to connect with opponents below him on the late hit removes its utility, and Flame Choke has less utility as a sacrificial KO move due to opponents being able to escape via mashing as well as Ganondorf being KO'd first. In addition, Ganondorf's flaws of poor recovery and slow mobility still remain problematic and make him susceptible to being easily juggled and edgeguarded.

Ganondorf's design in Ultimate is based off his appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time similarly to Melee, specifically his official art from Ocarina of Time 3D. His darkness-based attacks received new particle effects, and his sword, which is utilized in his normal moveset for the first time, is the Space World 2000 tech demo sword. Ganondof's role is reprised by Takashi Nagasako, who previously voiced the character in Ocarina of Time and Melee through new voice lines.


  • Ganondorf is 5 units heavier, improving his endurance.
  • Dash speed and initial dash speed increased.

Ground Attacks

  • Neutral attack no longer has a sourspot.
  • Forward tilt has smaller hitboxes.
  • Up tilt comes out significantly faster.
  • Up tilt's windboxes are stronger.
  • Up tilt now has a sourspot at the apex of the explosion.
  • Ganondorf now vocalizes when using up tilt, which can alert opponents of the attack more.
  • Dash attack deals higher damage and knockback.
  • All of Ganondorf's Smash attacks have been changed to now have him utilize his sword.
  • Forward smash and up smash have much more endlag.
  • Forward smash and up smash have blindspots.

Aerial Attacks

  • All of Ganondorf's aerials have less ending lag.
  • Forward aerial auto-cancels much earlier.
  • Back aerial deals higher damage.
  • Back aerial has much smaller hitboxes.
  • Up aerial covers less horizontal distance.

Grabs and Throws

  • Pummel deals significantly less damage.
  • Pummel is much faster.
  • Forward throw's animation has been changed. Ganondorf uppercuts the opponent instead of performing a gut punch.
  • Up throw deals more damage.
  • Down throw has better combo potential.

Special Attacks

  • The Warlock Punch neutral special has been given more Super Armor.
  • Hitting with Warlock Punch triggers Special Zoom.
  • Aerial Flame Choke now is escapable by mashing and kills Ganondorf first when used offstage.
  • Dark Dive does drastically more knockback.
  • Dark Dive has increased range.
  • Wizard's Foot has less ending lag and travels faster.
  • Wizard's Foot's sweetspot is now the tip of his foot as opposed to Smash 4 where it was the sourspot.
  • His Final Smash is renamed to Ganon, the Demon King, where he transforms into his Ganon form seen in Ocarina of Time. The Final Smash functions identically to Beast Ganon, however instead of slamming into the ground and burying opponents, Ganon slams downwards with his greatswords, paralyzing and meteor smashing opponents before charging.


Ground Attacks


  • Neutral Attack: Ganondorf does a palm strike with one hand.
  • Forward Tilt: Ganondorf performs a push kick. Has surprisingly short range; his neutral attack can outrange it.
  • Up Tilt (Volcano Kick): Ganondorf raises one leg, and then after some time slams his leg down to the ground, causing an explosion. It has windboxes that pull nearby opponents in range of the kick.
  • Down Tilt (Leg Sweep): Ganondorf does a front kick while crouching. Is an effective follow-up from grounded Flame Choke. Deals vertical knockback on the toe but diagonal knockback on anywhere else.
  • Dash Attack: Ganondorf charges forward with his shoulder. Is an extremely strong dash attack and the later hitboxes have combo potential into aerials.

Smash Attacks

  • Forward Smash: Ganondorf raises his sword and then brings it down until it impacts with the ground in front of him, similar to Ike's Forward Smash attack. Ganondorf's shout while using this move being heard by some as "DORIYAH!" and the sheer strength of the move itself has led to it becoming a recurring joke in the Smash community.
  • Up Smash: Ganondorf swings his sword above him in an arc. This is similar to Ike's Up Smash attack.
  • Down Smash: Ganondorf slams the hilt of the sword forwards across the ground, and then slams backwards with the blade of the sword. Despite the use of the sword, it acts mostly the same as his old Down Smash. It is also similar to Cloud's Down Smash attack.

Other attacks

  • Floor Attack (Front): A leg sweep performed out of a flare.
  • Floor Attack (Back): A somersaulting kick.
  • Floor Attack (Trip): Spins around to kick opponents.
  • Ledge Attack: Ganondorf climbs back on stage with a backhanded slap.

Aerial Attacks

  • Neutral aerial: A back kick followed by a roundhouse kick. One of Ganondorf's most effective moves, possessing both KO power and high speed.
  • Forward aerial: Ganondorf raises his fist and then brings it down in front of himself. Can hit slightly above and below him.
  • Back aerial: Ganondorf strikes behind himself with one arm. Even stronger than his forward aerial. Has poor vertical reach.
  • Up aerial: Ganondorf does a bicycle kick. Covers a large area above him. The later hitboxes launch opponents at a semi-spike angle, making it potentially deadly for edgeguarding.
  • Down aerial: Ganondorf powerfully stomps downwards with both legs. Is the second strongest meteor smash in the game, just below Byleth.

Grabs and Throws

  • Grab: Reaches out. Very short range.
  • Pummel: A knee strike.
  • Forward Throw: Ganondorf uppercuts the opponent. Deals very high damage.
  • Back Throw: Ganondorf tosses the opponent behind himself and then kicks them away. Has the highest knockback out of Ganondorf's throws.
  • Up Throw: Lifts the opponent upwards and hits them with a palm strike. Deals high damage but low knockback makes it unsuitable for KO'ing.
  • Down Throw: Ganondorf slams the opponent into the ground. His only throw with any combo potential, setting up opponents for aerial attacks or Wizard's Foot.

Special Moves

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


  • Up Taunt:
  • Side Taunt:
  • Down Taunt:

On-Screen Appearance

Idle Poses

Victory Poses

In Competitive Play

Public opinion on Ganondorf has risen and fallen. At Ultimate's release, hopes were high as some Ganondorf mains such as Vermanubis expressed optimism, with some comparisons made to his Melee self. In addition, Nairo managed to defeat Light with Ganondorf, which also contributed to people believing that Ganondorf was potentially viable, or at the very least much better than what he was in the previous two games.

However, Ganondorf's standing in the metagame has fallen since Ultimate's release due to issues regarding his gameplay: he still has severe difficulty in approaching, recovering, and recovering from disadvantage. Most of his matchups were discovered to still be quite difficult despite his buffs, as most other characters from the previous game retained similar tools to overwhelm him, such as Pikachu, Palutena, and Cloud). This has culminated in Ganondorf has garnering a small number of regional and national results from players such as Litany and Rickles.

Ganondorf is also indirectly hurt from patches, as most other potential low-tier characters have received significant buffs, while Ganondorf has received mostly minor changes. Because of this, his competitive reception has become much worse compared to the early metagame, with most professionals universally believing him to be bottom-tier, or even the worst character in the game much like his Brawl counterpart.

Classic Mode: Encroaching Darkness

Round Opponent Stage Music Notes

Role In World of Light

Although Ganondorf does not appear in the World of Light opening cutscene, he was vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (except for Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.

Ganondorf was one of the many fighters that fell under Dharkon's control upon Galeem's first defeat. He is unlocked in the Sacred Land in The Dark Realm on the top of the land which makes up the Triforce of Power. This land can only be accessed after interacting with the Master Sword (just after the Cloud unlock). Unlocking Ganondorf will briefly reveal the Triforce of Power in the center of the map before disappearing to reveal Ganon's castle and his boss battle.

In Spirit Battles

Palette Swaps



ZeldaSymbol.svg The Legend of Zelda universe
Characters Link (64  · Melee  · Brawl  · 3DS/Wii U  · Ultimate)
Sheik (Melee  · Brawl  · 3DS/Wii U  · Ultimate)
Princess Zelda (Melee  · Brawl  · 3DS/Wii U  · Ultimate)
Young Link (Melee  · Ultimate)
Ganondorf (Melee  · Brawl  · 3DS/Wii U  · Ultimate)
Toon Link (Brawl  · 3DS/Wii U  · Ultimate)
Side characters Bosses Dark Link  · Ganon
Assist Trophies Tingle  · Skull Kid  · Midna  · Ghirahim  · Moon
Mii Fighter Costumes Link  · Princess Zelda  · Sheik  · Majora's Mask  · Yiga Clan  · Skull Kid  · Ancient Soldier Gear
Background characters Four Giants  · Moon  · Tingle  · Toon Link  · Alfonso
Stage Hazards King Bulblin  · Koume and Kotake
Enemies Bubble  · Cucco  · Darknut  · Like Like  · Octorok  · Peahat  · ReDead  · Stalfos
Other Navi  · Beedle
Stages Hyrule Castle  · Great Bay  · Temple  · Bridge of Eldin  · Pirate Ship  · Gerudo Valley  · Spirit Train  · Skyloft  · Great Plateau Tower
Underground Maze  · Majora's Mask
Items Beetle  · Bombchu  · Bunny Hood  · Cucco  · Deku Nut  · Fairy Bottle  · Gust Bellows  · Heart Container  · Triforce
Music List of Music (The Legend of Zelda series)
Collectibles Trophies Melee Trophies  · Brawl Trophies  · 3DS Trophies  · Wii U Trophies
Stickers List of stickers (The Legend of Zelda series)
Spirits List of spirits (The Legend of Zelda series)
Masterpieces The Legend of Zelda  · Zelda II: The Adventure of Link  · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time