How to defeat Phantom Ganon - The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Phantom Ganon stands between you and the Great Deku Tree. Our guide will show you how to defeat him and clean up the Lost Woods.


In 2017's The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the Lost Woods was a verdant and happy place where you found the Master Sword and chatted with the forest children as they watched over the Great Deku Tree. In Tears of the Kingdom, it's been corrupted by Gloom, and a villain who will be familiar to long-time fans of the series.

Cleaning up the Lost Woods

Before you can clean up the Lost Woods, you need to crack the code for how to navigate them. There's no way to get through the forest from the surface; you'll have to travel a nearby chasm. Refer to this guide for getting through the Lost Woods, then keep reading when you've arrived.

Now that you're in the Lost Woods, climb up the giant root leading to the Great Deku Tree. The Gloom has poisoned him and the Koroks; your job is to clean it up. Inside the shop area, look for another pit leading into a chasm. You'll want to prep for a major battle before diving in: You'll have to defeat several Gloom Hands and then face off with Phantom Ganon, one of the game's toughest bosses and a recurring series villain since 1998's Ocarina of Time.

Before you dive into the Depths, make sure you have plenty of Bomb Flowers and several meals that restore heart containers stolen by Gloom attacks. Gloom Hands will steal your maximum heart containers if they get close and grab you. The best way to fight them is from afar. Equip your best bow, then drop into the pit. The Gloom Hands will surface across from you. Take aim with your bow and blast them with bomb flowers until you've defeated them. Aiming for the hand in the center of the pack should inflict enough splash damage on the others and make them easier to pick off.

As soon as the Gloom Hands are defeated, Phantom Ganon will appear. He's a master swordsman and can steal your hearts, just like his handy servants. There are a couple of ways to deal with Phantom Ganon. One is to use your best weapon and look for opportunities to parry his attacks, or dodge them and launch a flurry follow-up. The other is to keep your distance and pepper him with arrows. This strategy will only take you so far; Phantom Ganon closes distances quickly, so be ready to dodge or block.

Defeat Phantom Ganon to eradicate the gloom choking the Lost Woods.
Defeat Phantom Ganon to eradicate the gloom choking the Lost Woods.

Once you've toppled Phantom Ganon, the Gloom will clear away. Return to the surface and go talk to the Great Deku Tree. As a reward for your valor, he'll mark the location of the Master Sword on your map of Hyrule. You don't have to defeat Phantom Ganon and clean up the Lost Woods to get the Master Sword, but having the sacred blade's location marked is convenient.

Refer to our Tears of the Kingdom strategy guide to learn how to get the Master Sword as well as find walkthroughs for other tough spots in the game.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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