Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Profiles: Ganondorf

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate set to release in December. And since 'everybody is here,' Shacknews is taking some time to break down each of the game's characters individually, continuing with the King of Evil, Ganondorf.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the latest entry in Nintendo's ongoing premier platform fighter series. It's also slated to be the company's biggest release of the holiday season. After almost 20 years of battle between top characters of some of gaming's biggest franchises, Ultimate will bring together every single fighter from every Smash Bros. game to date (along with a few more) in one single game.

With so many characters to choose from, Shacknews is taking a look at each and every one of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters individually, leading up to the game's big release on December 7. Because many aspects of the game are subject to change, including character damage and special move properties, these profiles should not be considered final and can be updated at any time. Any guide that has been updated will be clearly marked.

Here's what we have up so far:
#01 - Mario
#06 - Kirby (Updated 9/8/18)
#15 - Ice Climbers
#31 - Snake
#33, #34, #35 - Pokemon Trainer
#38 - Sonic (Updated 9/3/18)
#64 - Inkling

Today, we look at one of the greatest villains of the Super Smash Bros. roster.

Who is Ganondorf?

Who would dare mess with this guy?

He started out as Ganondorf, the King of Thieves. But once he got his hands on the Triforce of Power, he became the all-powerful Ganon, the King of Evil. He has battled Link and Princess Zelda throughout the ages. While the heroes have had multiple descendants, spanning generations, Ganon has remained Ganon.

While Ganon ultimately falls at the end of every adventure, he is no loser by any stretch of the imagination. Ganon has racked up multiple victories over the course of the Legend of Zelda series, his greatest one coming in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, where he first claimed the Triforce of Power and reshaped Hyrule in his own twisted image.

Ganondorf's Moves and Fighter Overview

We need to make something clear out of the gate. This is not Ganondorf as you remember him from previous Smash Bros. games. He is one of the most improved fighters in the game, if not the most improved fighter. He's no longer slow as an ox, able to move faster and jump higher. His strikes have been completely overhauled to utilize his sword, giving him far more reach than ever before. All this stacks on top of his special moves, which feel far more impactful than before. Ganondorf is now the King of Evil that he deserves to be.

Here are Ganondorf's special moves:

  • Warlock Punch (Neutral B): This started off life as a mere clone of the Falcon Punch. It has since evolved into a powerful move all its own, with Ganondorf winding up and thrusting forward with a powerful fist. It's still harder to land than the Falcon Punch, given its relative slow speed, but Warlock Punch is still one of the most reliable KO moves in the game. On top of that, it's even stronger now than it's ever been.
  • Dark Dive (Up B): Ganondorf will leap up into the air and jolt his opponent with dark electricity if he scores a grab. The recovery on this move is now improved significantly, able to help Ganondorf get back in the fight whenever he's knocked around. And better yet, the ending and landing lag have been lowered by a huge margin.
  • Flame Choke (Side B): Ganondorf will lunge forward and grab the opponent, crushing them with dark magic. This is another wildly improved move, simply because Ganondorf will no longer run off a cliff when attempting this move. That makes it much safer and the reduced lag makes it much faster and a better combo move overall. The downside is that opponents can now escape the Flame Choke by button mashing their way out.
  • Wizard's Foot (Down B): Ganondorf pushes forward with a big boot of doom. While it's still not as fast as Falcon Kick, Wizard's Foot is now faster and has a heavily reduced lag, making is much safer.
  • Demon King Ganon (Final Smash): Ganondorf no longer becomes the mindless Beast Ganon of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, but now resembles the Demon King from Ocarina of Time. He'll strike with his twin swords for heavy damage.

Ganondorf's mixups are now open for business. Now that his Smash moves no longer have awkward startups, he's able to pound on opponents much more effectively with his sword. His sword also grants him an entirely new forward-smash, up-smash, and down-smash, all with more range than before. The up-smash, in particular, is just killer, as it's able to start up quicker and will cover Ganon on both sides. That makes it a boon in both one-on-one battles and four-player free-for-alls.

With Ganondorf having similarly improved specials, go nuts and experiment. Warlock Punch and Wizard's Foot are now much more reliable in combos, with Ganondorf even able to pull off some nifty air specials. The one element that seems to have suffered is the old "Ganoncide" strategy, where players could launch forward with Flame Choke and plummet off a cliff. Flame Choke will no longer go off cliffs and opponents are now able to fight their way out of it. Attempting a Ganoncide strategy with Flame Choke in Ultimate will now likely lead to a self-destruct.

Esports Observations

When I think of Ganondorf authorities, the first name that comes to mind is Jason "Bizzarro Flame" Yoon. He's among the top Ganondorf players in Super Smash Bros. Melee, taking this big lummox much farther than he had any right to go in a game that prioritized speed and technique above all else. So what are Bizzarro Flame's thoughts on Ganondorf? Unsurprisingly, they're greatly positive.

Bizarro Flame jumped on Twitch shortly after the E3 presentation to give his analysis on Ganondorf and his moves.

And to show that he's ready to be the 'Ultimate' Ganondorf, Bizzarro Flame traveled to EVO 2018 and went hands-on with the character himself.

Need further proof of Ganondorf's increased speed? Check out this exhibition with Nairoby "Nairo" Quezada going toe-to-toe with Link. Watch at the 30-second mark how Ganondorf's footstool has no landing lag. Nairo's even able to put Ganoncide to good use, showing it still has its place in the new game.


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is set to arrive in December on Nintendo Switch. Shacknews will continue looking into each of the game's characters from now through the big day, so be sure to come back for more breakdowns over the coming weeks.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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