The King of Disrespect - Ganondorf Guide

King9999King9999 Joined: Posts: 10,787 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
This guide is a general overview of Ganondorf for Smash Bros Wii U/3DS. It covers his moveset, custom moves, and general playstyle. Note that I used Mario for testing.

Ganondorf is a returning character in Smash 4. He retains his moveset that he's had since Brawl, but with improvements. His moves generally have less recovery (or lag, as it's called in the Smash community), and he's able to get back onto the stage better, but that's mainly due to the new game mechanics in Smash 4. Warlock punch finally has armor! Yes!

Despite what some people claim to this day, Ganon is not really a clone of Captain Falcon. Ryu and Ken share the same special moves, but they don't play alike. You can't play Ganon like Falcon and vice versa. Just try it...it won't work.

Ganon's custom moves are what make him scary, specifically his 2nd set of moves. If customs were allowed in tournaments, I would expect to see his Down B 2 used often. His other moves are interchangeable, but IMO, Wizard's Dropkick is a must no matter what set is used.

Frame Data (courtesy of LordWilliam1234): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vw-lQktgLoE6tspDhOwju2Vq5a4irDPLvwfxuOKVGxk/edit#gid=533237959

PROS/CONS
+ Tremendous power. Very few moves deal damage under 10%. Most moves are potential KOs at early % (especially if Ganon has rage). If you're good at making reads, you will have a scary Ganon.
+ Custom moves are useful, particularly custom set 2.
+ Improved recovery, mainly due to game mechanics.
+ Moves are less laggy in general.
+ Suicides are still possible, and he is the only character who can benefit from it now (sorry, Bowser).
+ The king of disrespect. For example, try using Warlock Punch during the tornado portion of Link's boomerang.
- Slow move speed, and many moves have high startup and/or end lag, even though there have been overall improvements to the frame data. You can't rush down with him, and instead must play a patient game, because most characters will outrun you. Get good at reading opponents!
- Hard time vs. zoning characters such as Samus or Ness. Again, you need to be patient and pace yourself. Wizard's Dropkick helps get past projectiles. If that's not available, you can approach with run cancelled into perfect shield. Stages with platforms help Ganon, as he doesn't have to deal with projectiles head-on.
- While recovery has improved, Ganon still has a hard time getting back on stage. The fear of an air Flame Choke can help you to recover, especially if you're good at landing them. Wizard's Dropkick significantly improves his recovery, and is recommended if you can use it.
- No kill throws, and throw range is poor.

*Patch 1.1.4 Update* - Ganon is now slightly heavier. Value is now 113, up from 112. No idea how the formula works, but Ganon being heavier is nothing but a good thing.

Ground moves
Neutral A (8% close, 10% tip, 6% body *as of 1.1.5 patch*): One of Ganon's few fast moves. Launches the opponent far at high %. It's possible to combo into this move at low % after a d-air, as long as you negate the lag from the d-air (see the Down Air notes on how to do this). 1.1.5 update: jab now starts up faster and has less end lag, and does more damage up close. Not quite the jab from Melee, but it's a much needed buff.

Forward Tilt (12% close, 13% far): Ganon's best "get off me" move. Launches the opponent far & at a low angle, and it doesn't have much end lag. One of Ganon's best KO moves, and always satisfying to land. Expect to use this move at lot. A great follow-up move after Flame Choke, provided the opponent can be hit by it while they're down (see the list at the end of the post).

Down Tilt (13%): Ganon's other fast move. Has great range, so you can catch a lot of opponents with it. At low %, you can connect more than one of these at a time. KO's at high % (130+) and sends opponents straight up. A popular move to follow up with after Flame Choke until the opponent learns to tech.

Up Tilt(28% foot, 18-20% explosion): Very slow startup, but is useful for edgeguarding. The vacuum effect from Brawl is still present, but it's still easily escapable if the opponent doesn't panic. U-tilt will break shields, allowing a free Warlock Punch or U-tilt. KOs at very low % if the opponent is at the edge of the stage. Hitting with the foot launches them far; the explosion doesn't launch as far, and launches at a higher angle. U-tilt has huge range, and can hit both grounded and airborne opponents. Try to use it in a situation where the opponent can't avoid it. You can also use u-tilt to control how the opponent recovers back on stage, since they need to maneuver around it.

Forward Smash (24%): Highly damaging, but slow. Use it to punish moves with high lag or if you make a good read. Will KO at low % depending on the opponent's position.

Up Smash(21%, 24% sweetspot):Ganon's best smash due to its power & low lag, allowing for frame traps. Use that fact to surprise the opponent with a f-tilt or whatever move you wish. Since u-smash's hitbox hits in front of Ganon in addition to above him, it's great for catching side B attacks such as Fox Illusion or Raptor Boost. You can also use it to punish roll recoveries towards Ganon. KOs at 105-110+% uncharged. You can use this move out of shield by jump cancelling (while shielding, press the jump button and immediately input the u-smash command).

Down Smash (6+15%): This move is a bit inconsistent in its damage, as the 2nd hit sometimes deals 13% (and I think has a sourspot?). Also, the first strike may not always lead into the second. Still, d-smash is handy for catching rolls behind Ganon. You want to land that second hit because that's what will launch the opponent. 1.1.3 Update:, the angle of the knockback on the 2nd hit has been altered. a side effect of this change makes d-smash a little safer on shield, as it pushes the opponent away from Ganon.

Dash Attack (14%, 10% late hit): Ganon's main method of closing the gap. the 10% variant is handy for combos, as the 14% version often launches too far for follow ups. On hit, sends opponent up. Active frames will negate projectiles. 1.1.5 update: dash attack now has less end lag.

Aerials
Neutral Air (7+12% max as of 1.1.3 patch): This move has been reworked yet again. It's now even more reliable than before so that the 2 hits are guaranteed, especially in the air. The damage has been reduced a bit in exchange for the consistent damage. N-air also has less landing lag now, so you can use it to keep the pressure on the opponent. Overall, the new n-air is a move that should be used by every Ganon player.

Up Air (13%): Good move to use if you don't fear going off the stage for KOs. Can also use it to protect yourself when getting back to the stage. Landing lag only comes into effect if you use the move really low to the ground (in other words, if Ganon doesn't complete the flip); otherwise, you can short hop it and move afterwards, unlike n-air and d-air. Has variable damage and knockback properties, depending on how you land the move.

Down Air (19%, 17% upper body): Ganon's spike. His entire body is a hitbox when active. If the upper body hits, the move acts differently by sending the opponent away instead of straight down. Great edgeguarding tool if you read the opponent's side B; if they run into you during the active frames, they get spiked, and you're safe on the stage. If you use d-air at the apex of your first jump, you won't suffer the landing lag. Be careful using d-air on an opponent with low % (~20% or less), as they will not get launched. In such a case, it's best to just shield because the opponent will likely attack once they're out of hitstun. 1.1.3 Update: d-air now has 2 frames less landing lag, and its hitbox was adjusted to make it easier to land the spike.

Forward Air (16-17% 1.10 Update:17-18%):A good KO move, especially when going off stage. It hits at an arc, so it's possible to hit an opponent above you. Be careful not to use this move during a low jump, unless you're sure it'll hit. It's possible to cancel into any of his B moves if you piano the inputs. Basically, if you press jump and then f-air immediately after, you can cancel the end lag with a B move upon landing. Sadly, you can't cancel into anything else. Note that this only works if you hit the apex of your first jump.

Back Air (17%): Like u-air, you won't suffer lag unless b-air is done low to the ground. Use this move often, but note that it will whiff against many characters on the ground since Ganon is tall.

Throws

Forward Throw (13%): Probably Ganon's best throw, but that's not saying much. Only good for setting up stage gimps or spikes.

Back Throw(10%): Sadly, Ganon has one of the weaker b-throws. Doesn't KO until very high % (160+).

Up Throw (7%, 1.10 Update: 10% ): Weak. You won't get any use out of this. The 1.10 update doesn't make this throw any more useful.

Down Throw(7%): Useful for combos at low %. If you're at the edge of the stage, you can follow up with a late d-air for the KO if the opponent DIs incorrectly.

Specials
Neutral B1 - Warlock Punch (30%, 37% reverse, 38% air, 40% reverse air): This move got armor this time around, which improves its usefulness in 1v1 matches. Does heavy damage to shields, and KOs at low %. The initial startup and recovery are not armored. The reverse & air version of Warlock Punch is not armored at all. Speaking of the air version, you aren't likely to ever land it in a match, but it can happen if you make a huge read and you're off stage. I saw it happen once during a match and it was super hype. 1.1.3 Update: grounded reverse Warlock punch is now armored! It doesn't have as much armor as the regular version, though. Regular punch has additional armor frames now.

Neutral B2 - Warlock Blade (18%, 22% tip, 20% reverse, 24% tip reverse, 21% air, 24% air tip, 22% reverse air, 24% air reverse tip, ): Great move. Starts up a bit faster than Warlock Punch, yet it retains its armor (though not as much). Has deceptively long range; if the opponent doesn't think it'll hit, it probably will. Like Marth's sword, if you hit at the tip, the opponent goes flying much further and takes more damage. Deals heavy damage to shields up close, and the tip breaks shields. 1.1.3 Update: grounded reverse Warlock blade is now armored! It doesn't have as much armor as the regular version, though. Regular warlock blade has additional armor frames now.

Neutral B3 - Warlock Thrust (16% sweetspot, 9% sourspot, 19% reverse sweetspot, 12% reverse sourspot): Much faster startup than the other two moves, but has no armor. Need to hit exactly at the fist area to get max damage and launch power. Air version of move is identical to ground, presumably because it's much easier to hit with it.

Up B1 - Dark Dive(11% grab, 7% fist): Not Ganon's best recovery move. It won't KO the opponent, but it's possible to score stage spikes with it. Connecting with the grab will allow Ganon to use the move again. The fist will send the opponent flying, but requires very high % or a low ceiling to KO. 1.1.3 Update: The knockback has received a buff, allowing Ganon to KO at lower % now, and not at ridiculously high levels.

Up B2 - Dark Fists(6+11%): Has the same reach as Dark Dive. Instead of grabbing, does 2 hits, with the final hit causing a KO as low as 80%. Startup has armor, including the air version, which makes Dark Fists a great recovery move. The only downside is that it doesn't grab, so once you use it, that's it.

Up B3 - Dark Vault(4%): Has the most height of the 3 recovery moves, but doesn't have much horizontal range. Also, it doesn't grab until either at the beginning or end of the move, and it does poor damage and knockback.

Side B1 - Flame Choke (12% ground, 15% air): Flame Choke creates a guessing game for the opponent. If they try a wakeup attack, you can punish with a d-air, simply block, or step away and flame choke again; if they roll away and you guess the correct direction, you can pursue with another choke, use a dash attack, etc. If they do nothing or tech in place, you can d-tilt or f-tilt. Even if they do tech the choke, you can follow up with another flame choke if you guess the correct direction they roll in. It may be useful to make a habit of using short hop chokes as it does a bit more damage, it's untechable, and it has less end lag. If you think the opponent will try to gimp you while you're recovering to the stage, you can let loose a choke and send the both of you to hell. A very important note to remember: if both you and the opponent are on your last stock, you will win the match! Be careful though, as a whiffed choke will put you in the helpless state. Air Flame Choke can be slightly controlled to the left or right after the grab, so if you grab the opponent while on the edge of the stage, it's possible to suicide. On the ground, if you happen to side B off the stage, you can press the stick in the opposite direction and grab the ledge. Ground version of Flame Choke is armored after a successful grab, making it useful in teams/FFA. 1.1.3 Update: The move no longer has a blind spot at close range. 1.1.5 Update: Hitbox range extended slightly.

Side B2 - Flame Wave(10+8% ground, 10+10% air): Doesn't travel as far as Flame Choke, plus it has more startup and recovery. However, it's a potent KO move. The air version deals more damage and has higher KO potential, so short hop Flame Waves are recommended. The air version also has less end lag than the ground version. Still possible to suicide with this move. 1.1.3 Update: The move will no longer has a blind spot at close range.

Side B3 - Flame Chain(15% ground, 12% air): Travels far, making it useful as an alternative side B recovery tool. It doesn't grab, so the fear of a Ganoncide is gone. Ground version has high end lag so the short hop version may be preferable, but be careful when using it near the edge of the stage. The Choke or the Wave are better options overall, unless you plan to use this move solely as a recovery option.

Down B1 - Wizard's Foot (12% close, 10% far, 15% air, 8% shockwave 1.1.5 Update: 14% close, 12% far ): Useful for closing the gap, and it has decent knockback at high %. Air version spikes during the initial active frames, and any active frames after the spike can kill at low 100s, especially if the opponent is airborne. Ground version is good tool for KOing opponent when they're trying to recover on stage. Be careful using this move to spike a grounded opponent, as it will take much longer to KO this way. Proper spacing is key here. The shockwave from the air version can help keep the opponent away from you, as there is significant end lag. Wizard's Foot has limited usefulness as a recovery tool; when you get launched far, you can use it as a way to get back on the stage if the double jump hasn't been used yet. It can also be used to nullify some projectiles, helping Ganon approach the opponent. Be careful using this move at low %, as you can be punished on hit. 1.1.5 Update: Wiz Foot now has increased damage; as a side effect, Wiz Foot will now blow through certain projectiles such as Mega Man's neutral A attack (lemons) and Bayonetta's Bullet Climax.

Down B2 - Wizard's Dropkick(9%, 11% close air, 6% shockwave):Hands down, Ganon's best recovery move due to its horizonal angle. The ground version is useful for punishing zoners, as the hop before the kick will sail over most projectiles (and in some cases blow through them) and strike the opponent. The ground version has significantly less end lag than down B1. By using this move, you sacrifice some kill power, but the dropkick significantly raises Ganon's survival rate enough to not matter. Ground version of the move has partial invincibility from frame 5 to 8 (source: http://pastebin.com/PzTjdtx8).

Down B3 - Wizard's Assault(10% close, 7% far, 14% close air, 12% far air, 6% shockwave): More startup than the other two down B moves. Air version has more spike frames than Wizard's Foot, but it goes straight down, making it very bad for recovery. Ground version sends the opponents flying backwards. Don't really see a use for this move.


List of characters that can be hit by F-Tilt after Flame Choke (If they didn't tech)

Mario - Y
Luigi - Y
Peach - N
Bowser - Y
Yoshi - Y
Rosalina - N (If Luma is present, it will take the hit)
Bowser Jr. - Y
Wario - Y
Donkey Kong - Y
Diddy Kong - Y
Game & Watch - Y
Little Mac - N
Link - Y
Zelda - N
Sheik - N
Ganondorf - Y
Toon Link - Y
Samus - Y
Zero Suit Samus - N
Pit - Y
Palutena - N
Marth - N
Ike - Y
Robin - N
Duck Hunt - Y
Kirby - Y
DeDeDe - Y
Metaknight - Y
Fox - Y
Falco - Y
Pikachu - Y
Charizard - Y
Lucario - Y
Jigglypuff - Y
Greninja - An interesting case. Y if Ganon is facing right, N otherwise
ROB - Y
Ness - Y
Falcon - N
Villager - Y
Olimar - Y
Wii Fit Trainer - N
Shulk - Y
Dr. Mario - Y
Dark Pit - Y
Lucina - N
Pac-Man - Y
Mega Man - Y
Sonic - Y
Mewtwo - Y
Mii - Y (I haven't checked if a smaller size affects whether F-tilt connects or not)
Lucas - Y
Roy - N
Ryu - N
Cloud - Y

List of characters that can be hit by D-smash after Flame Choke (If they didn't tech)

Mario - N
Luigi - N
Peach - N
Bowser - Y
Yoshi - Y (1st hit only; air flame choke allows both hits)
Rosalina - N (vs Luma, 1st hit only)
Bowser Jr. - Y
Wario - Y
Donkey Kong - Y
Diddy Kong - N
Game & Watch - Y
Little Mac - N
Link - Y (1st hit only, N vs. air flame choke)
Zelda - N
Sheik - N
Ganondorf - Y (1st hit only)
Toon Link - N
Samus - Y
Zero Suit Samus - N
Pit - N
Palutena - N
Marth - N
Ike - Y (1st hit only)
Robin - N
Duck Hunt - Y (1st hit only)
Kirby - Y
DeDeDe - Y
Metaknight - Y
Fox - N
Falco - N
Pikachu - N
Charizard - Y
Lucario - N
Jigglypuff - Y
Greninja - N
ROB - Y
Ness - N
Falcon - N
Villager - Y
Olimar - Y (air flame choke works but you'll only get the first hit of d-smash)
Wii Fit Trainer - N
Shulk - N
Dr. Mario - N
Dark Pit - N
Lucina - N
Pac-Man - Y (1st hit only; air flame choke allows both hits)
Mega Man - N
Sonic - N
Mewtwo - Y (1st hit only)
Mii - N (I haven't checked if a bigger size affects whether D-smash connects or not)
Ryu - N
Roy - N
Lucas - N
Cloud - Y (1st hit only)

Generally, if the character has a wide body, d-smash will connect.
Post edited by King9999 on
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Comments

  • King9999King9999 Joined: Posts: 10,787 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    edited February 2015
    I haven't confirmed it yet, but I think Warlock Blade's tip breaks shields.

    EDIT: Confirmed!
    Post edited by King9999 on
    Switch Friend Code: SW-2722-8799-3295
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  • King9999King9999 Joined: Posts: 10,787 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    Just watched this vid and thought it was cool.

    Switch Friend Code: SW-2722-8799-3295
    PSN/Steam ID/NNID: mmking9999
    Tile Crusher now available on Android & Itch.io!
    "On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer." -Satoru Iwata, 1959-2015
  • King9999King9999 Joined: Posts: 10,787 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    edited May 2015
    1.06 changes:

    -Ganon now falls faster. This makes him feel better in the air. Placebo

    -Neutral A damage was increased. 7% close, 10% far.

    -Ground Flame Choke now does 12% damage, up from 11%. (Apparently this was always the case? I swear it did 11% before and not 12)

    -F-Smash end lag reduced by 2 frames (Unconfirmed)
    Post edited by King9999 on
    Switch Friend Code: SW-2722-8799-3295
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  • King9999King9999 Joined: Posts: 10,787 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    Ganon could use a few tweaks here and there. Here's what I would do.

    -Reduce the end lag on the ground version of Wizard's Foot. The speed and KO potential doesn't justify the high end lag.

    -Increase the priority of both versions of Wizard's Foot. Ground version should blow through small projectiles instead of trading with them, which ends up cancelling the move. Alternatively, ground version could be armored until end lag animation.

    -Connecting with the first hit of Down Smash should guarantee the second hit.

    -Increase the pummel speed after grabbing the opponent.

    -Increase throw range. Just a little bit would make a big difference.
    Switch Friend Code: SW-2722-8799-3295
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  • Mood4food77Mood4food77 Joined: Posts: 9,153
    i think making the hitbox taller for ganon would be more important than anything else, it's too easy to crouch dodge the grab with some characters
  • King9999King9999 Joined: Posts: 10,787 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    I've updated the first post with a list of characters who can be hit by an F-tilt after flame choke. Greninja's an interesting case.
    Switch Friend Code: SW-2722-8799-3295
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  • King9999King9999 Joined: Posts: 10,787 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    Updated with link to LW's frame data.
    Switch Friend Code: SW-2722-8799-3295
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  • King9999King9999 Joined: Posts: 10,787 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    Updated thread with D-smash follow up after flame choke.
    Switch Friend Code: SW-2722-8799-3295
    PSN/Steam ID/NNID: mmking9999
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  • King9999King9999 Joined: Posts: 10,787 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    edited August 2015
    Here's something Ganon can do vs. Sheik (I'm not the Ganon player):
    Switch Friend Code: SW-2722-8799-3295
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  • King9999King9999 Joined: Posts: 10,787 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    Updated the first post with 1.1.3 changes. Also updated the Flame choke list with Cloud.
    Switch Friend Code: SW-2722-8799-3295
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  • King9999King9999 Joined: Posts: 10,787 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    Updated first post with 1.1.5 changes.
    Switch Friend Code: SW-2722-8799-3295
    PSN/Steam ID/NNID: mmking9999
    Tile Crusher now available on Android & Itch.io!
    "On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer." -Satoru Iwata, 1959-2015
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