This article is about Ganondorf's appearance in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. For other uses, see Ganondorf.

Ganondorf (ガノンドロフ, Ganondorf) is a returning veteran in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U. He was officially revealed as a playable character on October 15th, 2014, alongside R.O.B. However, he was first shown in a video leak and was officially confirmed after a live stream made from people who received Super Smash Bros. For Nintendo 3DS early.

While being a secret character in the 3DS version, he is a avaliable from start in the Wii U version, making it his first appearance as a starter character in the series.

Ganondorf currently ranks 53rd on the tier list. While avoiding the last-place spot he currently holds in Brawl, Ganondorf is still in the lowest tier. While he possesses massive strength with his attacks (such as being one of the few characters able to break a shield at full strength), he is one of the tallest and slowest characters in-game. His slow speed also hampers his recovery, which while still better than Little Mac, is still poor compared to other characters.

How to Unlock (3DS Only)

Complete the following:

  • Play 80 matches.
  • Beat Classic Mode with Link or Zelda on 5.0 intensity or higher

After completing either option, Ganondorf must be fought and defeated on Gerudo Valley.



  • Fifth heaviest character in the game.
  • High KO power for most moves.
    • Has some of the strongest Smash attacks in the game, capable of KOing opponents at 50-80%, compared to most other characters which require at least 90%.
  • 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.
  • Has three Meteor Smashes: Down Aerial, Flame Choke, and aerial Wizard Foot (on initial frames)
    • Down Aerial is the strongest Meteor Smash in the game, capable of KOing at very low percentages if sweetspotted. It also has hitboxes imbued with transcending priority.
    • Down Aerial is the only Meteor Smash in the game that cannot be teched when used on grounded opponents.
  • Reverse 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.
  • Down Smash can hit targets twice if timed correctly.


  • Second tallest character in game after Bowser, 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.
  • Third worst recovery in the game after Little Mac and Dr. Mario.
  • Has considerable lag on some attacks.
  • Most attacks, including his grabs, have poor range.
  • Poor grabbing game, barely being able to deal enough damage and knockback to kill at reliable percentages.
  • Relies too much on tech chases 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.


Ganondorf's stats by Kurogane Hammer.

Ganondorf is one of the strongest characters in the game in terms of raw knockback power, excelling at killing opponents at mid-low percentages easily. He relies mostly on Bait & Punish and Tech Chase tactics, having powerful moves to compensate his lack of speed. His massive power is also reflected in his weight, being the fifth heaviest in the game, meaning he is very hard to launch and can sustain high percentages before being KO'ed, sometimes exceeding 200% and still being able to return, depending on the angle he is launched.

All his attacks, save for his throws, are very powerful and have quite large hitboxes, but even with his natural high knockback power, he can still follow up many attacks. Up Aerial is one of his main combo tools, as it has fairly low strength and a good area of effect. It also has hitbox by the end of the move that sends opponents downwards; not a true Meteor Smash, but is still very useful, specially if used from behind. At low percentages, his Dash Attack can be followed up by many attacks, such as Forward Aerial, Up Aerial and Up Smash, depending on how and when it its. His Neutral Aerial, ever since Patch 1.1.3, now functions similar to Captain Falcon's, with the first hit having drastically reduced knockback and combo'ing into the second hit.

One of his best characteristics is how some of his attacks' high ending lag can be quickly cancelled, most notably his Up Smash and Back Aerial. By inputting another attack command, Ganondorf can quickly surprise opponents with another attack, such as a Forward Tilt/Smash. Ganondorf also has a good variety of moves with different knockback angles. His Up Smash deals high vertical knockback, while his Forward Tilt is notable for the horizontal knockback, and his powerful Down Aerial is the strongest Meteor Smash in the game, with a massively powerful hitbox.

Ganondorf is also a very effective edge-guarder, being one of the best in the game. His ground moves are great to punish opponents that incorrectly recover, with Forward Tilt being great against opponents with poor horizontal recovery, and his Up Tilt can punish foes attempting to recover from below. As mentioned, his Up Aerial can semi-spike opponents, while his Down Aerial is a powerful Meteor Smash.

His main tool is Flame Choke, allowing him to pull effective mindgames by doing tech chases. He can also perform the infamous "Ganoncide", where Flame Choke is used in midair to pull down enemies and Ganon himself down, resulting on both being KO'ed. In stock matches, the player performing "Ganoncide" will have the upper hand with this technique if both characters are on their final stock. In the event that it is performed when the target has taken no damage, the game classifies it as a self-destruct. This results in the enemy player/team losing 2 points, allowing the player and/or their teammates to catch up in score. "Ganoncide" is incredibly risky, and requires precise timing in order to successfully pull it off.

Ganondorf's downsides, on the other hand, is his poor recovery, one of the worst in he game. His slow speed, both on ground and air, makes this even worse, as if knocked back horizontally, he may be unable to reach the edge due to the slow movement speed. This results in Ganondorf being weak against fast-moving, high-pressure characters. He does, however, have some spacing tools that can help against faster characters, such as a well timed Wizard's Foot, his Neutral and Down Aerials and his Forward Tilt.

Ganondorf players must know when to attack, as Ganon's slow speed and size makes him an easy opponent to punish. His massive power can be intimidating, and well timed attacks can easily throw opponents off-balance.

Differences from Brawl

Being the lowest Tier character in Brawl, Ganondorf received many buffs to further increase his power, as well speed and recovery. Many of the sourspots present on his moves have been buffed, meaning his damage and knockback is more consistent. His aerials all have reduced ending lag as well. He also, however, was nerfed in some extent, most notably in his Down Aerial (which now has a sourspot) and his Flame Choke (that can be teched). He is still a semi-clone of Captain Falcon

Physically, he retains the same appearance from Brawl, which is his design from Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. His chest now has a glowing wound which he got in that game, and his cape is more tattered. Aesthetically, all his darkness based attacks have more intense visual effects.


  • Slightly heavier, increasing his already high survivability.
  • Walk and dash speeds are slightly faster.
  • Air speed is slower.
  • Increased gravity.
  • Pretty much all attacks deal higher knockback, allowing him to KO opponents at mid-high percentages (sometimes with less than 70%).

Ground Attacks

  • Neutral Attack has less startup lag and higher range, and slightly increased damage on its sweetspot (tip of his hand), but reduced damage on the sourspot (his entire arm).
  • Forward Tilt has less startup and ending lags, and deals more knockback.
  • Up Tilt deals much more knockback and slightly more damage. It also has less startup lag, and deals drastically higher shield damage, enough to break full shields in one hit.
  • Down Tilt is faster, deals slightly more damage and has higher base knockback, being able to reliably KO at around 120%.
  • Forward Smash sourspot deals more knockback, and its sweetspot deals increased shield damage, capable of breaking shields easily if fully charged. However, it has slightly higher ending lag, and no longer has increased reach when pivoted.
  • Up Smash deals much more knockback and slightly more damage. However, it has higher ending lag.
  • Down Smash's second hit deals much higher knockback, and now pushes enemies shielding rather than dragging them, being a more safe attack overall. However, the first hit now pushes away opponents slightly, being harder to connect both hits if they're too far away Additionally, both kicks deal slightly more damage and have higher range.
  • Dash Attack deals slightly less damage and knockback, however, it has super armor on the initial frames. Additionally, the sourspot now sends opponents more vertically above Ganondorf, increased the potential for follow ups.

Aerial Attacks

  • Neutral Aerial has less startup and ending lag, and deals more knockback and damage. In Patch 1.1.3, the first hit now deals drastically lower knockback, effectively linking into the second hit, much like Captain Falcon's.
  • Forward Aerial has much less ending and landing lag, higher range and deals more knockback on both sweetspot and sourspot.
  • Back Aerial deals much more knockback and slightly higher damage, as well slightly less landing lag. Additionally, it can be cancelled in short-hop into other attacks, most notably Forward Tilt.
  • Up Aerial's knockback in the later frames, by the end of the attack, deals a more powerful downwards knockback. It also deals increased knockback and damage on the first frames. Additionally, it has slightly less landing lag.
  • Down Aerial has less ending lag, however deals less damage and knockback, and can no longer be cancelled in a short-hop, thus disabling Ganon's Thunderstomping advanced technique. Additionally it causes less knockback when used against grounded opponents. Also, it now has a sourspot on Ganon's upper body, that launches opponents in Sakurai Angle, similar to Captain Falcon's Down Aerial sourspotted. On the other hand the sourspot deals very high knockback, being able to reliably KO under 100% even when not dealing a Meteor Smash.

Grabs and Throws

  • Pummel deals slightly more damage, now being among one of the strongest in the game alongside Palutena's and Max Aura Lucario's.
  • Up Throw deals more damage.
  • Down Throw has lower knockback growth, which, allied with the removal of hitstun cancelling, allows Ganondorf to perform follow ups after it.

Special Attacks

  • Warlock Punch has a slightly different animation, with Ganon crouching slightly when dealing the punch. The attack now deals more damage and knockback on both reverse and aerial reverse, while the non-reverse deals less damage, has higher base knockback but lower scaling. It also has less startup lag and grants invincibility frames to Ganondorf during the charge when used on the ground (both normal and reversed, as in Patch 1.1.3). Also, the ground reverse Warlock Punch is one of the most powerful attacks in the game in terms of knockback, capable of KO'ing opponents at 16% near the ledge.
  • Flame Choke deals more damage (both ground and aerial) and has less ending lag. Also, when grabbing an airborne opponent, Ganondorf will delay a bit in the air before slamming his opponent on the ground and can also steer in the air (now functioning like a stall-than-fall move). However, opponents can tech the slamming hit of both versions (ground and aerial). Additionally, when used for a suicide move (also known as "Ganoncide"), it'll always be in Ganondorf's favor, with the opponent losing the stock before him.
  • Wizard's Foot deals less damage and knockback when used on ground. The aerial version, however, is much more powerful, both sourspot and sweetspot (which is a very strong Meteor Smash). The aerial version can also be interrupted much earlier, having lower ending lag. Additionally, he can no longer perform the Flight of Ganon technique, as it was a glitch that got fixed in this game.
  • Dark Dive has slightly different animation, where Ganondorf grabs the opponent with one hand instead of using both. Additionally, it covers more vertical distance, but deals less damage.
  • Beast Ganon deals less damage and knockback, no longer being a one-hit KO, however still is very powerful.


Ground Attacks


◾Jab – Thrusts his hand forward, emitting magic. No combo; does more damage at the limit of the range, on his palm. 6% sourspot, 8% sweetspot.


◾Up Tilt – Brings his leg up, then after a while (has as much startup as his standard special, Warlock Punch), slams his foot on the ground, causing an explosion. Low ending lag. Has a vacuum property when Ganondorf is charging. 28%

◾Very powerful, and breaks shields instantly unless the attack is perfect shielded. However, it's generally impractical outside of edge-guarding, due to the very slow charge speed, as it cannot be cancelled by the user. On the other hand, with the new ledge mechanics, the move is much more reliable to use for edge-guarding.

◾Down Tilt – Kicks low to the ground. A good follow up attack to his side special. 13%

◾Forward Tilt – An attack from Twilight Princess. Raises his leg and kicks the opponent forward. Commonly known as the "Sparta Kick". 13%

Smash Attacks

◾Up Smash – Kicks upwards heavily. More damage at the tip of the attack (at the end of the kick). Very low ending lag. 21-24% uncharged (tip); 29-33% fully charged.

◾Forward Smash – Thrusts his elbow forward with dark magic. Enormous launch power. Can KO uncharged at around 70% damage. 24-33%

◾Down Smash – Kicks in front of him, then to his back. Enemies caught in the first kick will be knocked to the second. For more damage on the second kick, hit the first one as close to the enemy as possible. First kick 6% uncharged; fully charged, 8%. Second kick 13-15% uncharged; fully charged, 18-21%

Other Attacks

◾Dash Attack – Tackles the opponent. 14%

◾Ledge Attack – Pulls himself back up and backhand slaps the opponent. 8%

◾Get-Up Attack – Gets up and spins around with his leg extended. 8%

Aerial Attacks

◾Up Aerial – Does a loop, kicking with both of his legs. Has very fast startup. 13%

◾Down Aerial – Slams both of his feet downwards. 19% if sweetspotted; if sourspotted, will deal less damage and launch opponents horizontally.

    • Most powerful Meteor Smash in the game, with very high knockback scaling. Able to KO opponents at 0% if used correctly.

◾Neutral Aerial – Kicks twice in front of him. First kick has more knockback and combos into the second only at low damage. Very little landing lag. 12% and 9%, given the kicks are sweetspotted.

◾Forward Aerial – Punches downward in front of him. Powerful for an aerial. 17%

◾Back Aerial – Throws a punch at his back. High base knockback allows it to KO early near the blast lines. 16%

Grabs and Throws

◾Pummel – Knees the enemy. Not very fast. 3% each hit

◾Forward Throw – Holds the enemy in front of him and punches them. 13%

◾Back Throw – Kicks enemy to his back. 10%

◾Down Throw – Slams opponent on the ground. 7%

◾Up Throw – Holds the enemy above his head and punches him. 7%

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

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


  • Up Taunt: Spins in the air for a short time while making an intimidating laugh.
  • Side Taunt: Punches his fists and makes an intimidating laugh.
  • Down Taunt: Grabs his sword and makes a small laugh before sheathing it.

In competitive play

Tips for Ganondorf Players

  • Being one of the slowest (despite getting a speed buff from Brawl) while being one of the most powerful characters in the game, Ganondorf usually cannot rush too aggressively. Though he is capable of putting pressure, his lack of speed and range can put him in tight situations to be punished.
    • One of the best ways to play is to counter opponents attacks by out-prioritizing. Ganon attacks packs a punch in each hit, being easy to break opponents approaches by hitting them while they try to hit Ganon.
      • Considering his power in all Smash Attacks, it is the best to save them as much as possible to prevent their weakening due the stale move negation system.
  • Up Tilt is powerful but very risky to use. However, it can be a powerful edge-guard tool since it has a very low hitbox, and hits hanging opponents. It can also break shields in one hit, which can be followed up by a reverse Warlock Punch.
  • Up Smash ending lag can be cancelled with other Ganon's attacks, such as Forward and Down Tilts or even another Up Smash.
  • Up Aerial is Ganondorf's gimping tool. It has massive hitboxes with great priority, and, if used from behind and connects with the later frames, can throw enemies downwards (but not like a Meteor Smash).
  • Despite no longer being a Meteor Smash wherever it hits, Down Aerial is still very powerful and intimidating. That allied with Ganon's slightly buffed recovery abilities allows him to follow opponents off-stage with considerate success.
  • A way to counter edge-guarders when getting up from platforms is to jump, then double jump when they try to hit with a Smash Attack, and proceed with a Wizard's Foot. Against light opponents at 100%, or medium at 115%, it is usually a guaranteed KO.
  • Flame Choke and Down Throw are arguably Ganon's main tools of combos. Though he has few true combos due his natural high knockback on most attacks, his combos are all very powerful.
    • Flame Choke opens a huge door of opportunities for Ganondorf, giving him advantage over his opponents. Players have many options after using Flame Choke, which, with some reading on the opponents patterns, allow Ganon to rack huge amounts of damage in little time.
      • Flame Choke followed up by Down Tilt or Forward Tilt works against several characters, although small characters won't be hit by Forward Tilt. It recommended to use another Flame Choke if possible on a faster character like Captain Falcon.
      • While it is possible to tech out of Flame Choke, Ganon players can read opponents teching direction and follow up with another Flame Choke, a Dash Attack or even Grab.
        • Against opponents with low percentages, Flame Choke can lead to combos that rack up around 40% to 60%. Should the opponent tech with side rolling, Ganon can go for a Dash Attack, followed by an Up Smash and then finish with a Forward or Up Aerial. Against heavier opponents it is even possible to hit two Up Aerials.
    • Down Throw can set up for Dash Attack and Up Smash against opponents, much like the setup above.

Trophy Description

SSB3DS Ganondorf Trophy1.png


Ganondorf, the King of Darkness and owner of the Triforce of Power, is bent on plunging the kingdom of Hyrule into ruin. Thankfully, he's usually stopped by Link before this happens. In Smash Bros., he makes up for his low speed with devastating power. The strength of his blows can knock back most opponents. Rush in when the enemy's open and strike hard!

  • N64 - The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (11/1998)
  • Wii - The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (11/2006)

Ganondorf (Alt)

Being the powerhouse that he is, the King of Evil is a great choice for free-for-alls. His Warlock Punch delivers a thunderous, dark-energy-fueled blow from his left hand. Unfortunately, left-handed dark-energy-fueled blows take some time to charge. You can turn to face someone as they cowardly try to hit you from behind.

Ganondorf (Ocarina of Time)

The Great King of Evil who plots to steal the Triforce from the Sacred Realm and rule Hyrule. When Link reveals the secret entrance to the Sacred Realm, Ganondorf gains entry and acquires the Triforce of Power. With it literally in hand, his only concern is Link and Zelda stopping him.

Ganondorf (Wind Waker)

Long ago, in accordance with the prayers of the King of Hyrule, the gods sealed the King of Darkness, Ganondorf, beneath a vast ocean, along with the land of Hyrule itself. But this was not the end. In the Forsaken Fortress, Link discovers that Ganondorf has returned and the legend must go on with Link himself as the new hero!

  • NGC - The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (03/2003)

Alternate Costumes

Ganondorf Palette (SSB4).png




  • Ganondorf, Robin, and Mewtwo are the only characters that can deal damage based on dark energy.
  • This is the first game in the series where Ganondorf can use his sword as an attack, albeit in the form of his custom Special Attack, Warlock Blade.
  • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is the first game where Ganondorf is unlocked on a stage other than Final Destination.
  • Ganondorf's neutral moveset has the most grab moves in the game, as both Flame Choke and Dark Dive count as grabs and cannot be shielded or countered.
  • Ganondorf is the only The Legend of Zelda character that lacks a projectile.
  • Ganondorf's amiibo description on Nintendo's official site is based on his Melee trophy description, thereby describing his The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time self.
ZeldaSymbol.svg The Legend of Zelda universe
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Sheik (Melee  · Brawl  · 3DS/Wii U  · Ultimate)
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Ganondorf (Melee  · Brawl  · 3DS/Wii U  · Ultimate)
Toon Link (Brawl  · 3DS/Wii U  · Ultimate)
Side Characters Bosses Dark Link  · Ganon
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