MT's Actually Serious Guide to Playing Ganondorf Sort of Ok-ish

So to make up for barely ever contributing anything to this community, I decided to do what I do best and tell people how they should be playing video games better.

You're all welcome

In all seriousness, hopefully this quick guide that I'm writing instead of some dumb paper will be helpful to anyone who wants to pick up and play with by far the coolest character in Smash. This isn't a full blown guide, rather, it's just a few general tips cause I was too lazy to make anything else


For some reason, Sakurai decided that making Ganondorf into a heavy clone of Captain Falcon wasn't disrespectful enough, and so he decided to make him into a heavy utterly terrible clone of Captain Falcon in Brawl with absolutely zero potential whatsoever. Thankfully, this has mitigated somewhat in Smash 4, and now Ganondorf is a heavy merely bad clone of Captain Falcon.

My first thought on playing with Ganondorf in Smash 4 was that he was basically the exact same as he was in Brawl, but he has been given a few buffs and is now a moderately viable character.

Probably the biggest change right off the bat is that Warlock Punch (his neutral B) actually has super armor on's still super slow, and super easy to avoid and punish. The armor is also incredibly sporadic at best, and the move seems to just have random moments at which the armor will just fail you. If all of that wasn't bad enough, the move will be interrupted by any grab guaranteed, so trying this on a character with a tether grab (ZSS, Samus, Link) is an excellent way to eat a full throw combo

Thankfully, though, all of Ganondorf's moves still hit like a truck, so you've got plenty of other ways to wrack up damage. Neutral Air is probably Ganondorf's safest tool for getting in on people, as it's safe on block when spaced properly. Side Tilt (the sparta kick), Neutral A (a single jab), and Down Tilt are all relatively safe as well, and the first and third will kill around 120% on most characters unless you're in a bad spot or a really wide/tall stage

One of Ganondorf's most interesting tools that can definitely catch people off guard is his up tilt, where he grabs his leg, does the most awkward standing split ever, and after a second or two, slams it back down onto the ground. This move has the longest start up time of ANY move in the game and has absolutely zero super armor, so it's uses may seem limited. However, it's a fantastic tool to surprise your opponent with when they come back on stage. Move close to the edge as Ganondorf when your opponent is recovering, and try to time your up tilt so that Ganondorf actually performs the attack a second or so after your opponent gets to the ledge. This attack has some insane range, and if you're anywhere near the ledge, if your opponent's ledge invincibility is gone, they will get hit. Basically what this forces your opponent to do is time his recovery perfectly so that he grabs the ledge as soon as your kick hits the ground, which isn't always possible. Best of all, this attack shield breaks, so if your opponent tries to forego the ledge and simply land on stage and block it, he'll be eating a Warlock Punch for supper. Basically this setup means your opponent has to time things perfectly if they're anywhere above 15-20%, or else they're guaranteed to be dead.

Ganondorf's Side B presents some interesting opportunities as well. After connecting with a Side B, your opponent is put into a hard knockdown state, which presents some excellent mindgame opportunities. From here, your opponent has four options; they can stay still for a few seconds, roll to the right, roll to the left, or use a get up attack (alternatively they could tech, but let's not worry about that here as it's pretty hard to do and most people won't do it on reaction). All four of these options can be countered by Ganondorf effectively, however.

If your opponent stays down, you can simply down tilt them. This will kill all noon really heavy characters if this connects at around 120%. Alternatively, if you're playing in a non-fantastic internet connection online, you may be able to get this off before your opponent can do anything, which means Side B = a free down tilt as well
If your opponent rolls to the right or left, you can simply side B in the direction they roll and get them again
If your opponent does a get up attack, you can jump into the air and quickly input a down B command, which will hit them and again kill anywhere above 120% or so

The trick to this is that you have to choose one of these four options before you see what your opponent does. In other words, you have to try to predict what your opponent will do. Generally, though, your opponent will keep doing the same thing until they get punished for doing so, so past performance is a good indicator of future events

Ganondorf's grab is complete garbage, and rivals a T-Rex for worst grab range in the history of everything, but his throws are pretty useful. Down throw can lead into a neutral air at lower %s and an up air at higher %s.

Basically all of Ganondorf's moves will KO, but some good options on an unsuspecting opponent are down tilt, side tilt, dash attack, and down B are all fairly quick-ish attacks that will kill at around 130% from center stage.

Hopefully some of this was useful. The world needs more Ganondorf mains and less Shulk mains (@Hawkflight)



smiley This is actually really helpful for me seeing how I kinda want to start playing smash competitively! I've been playing as Bowser for years and I'm super happy he got a huge boost! If only I knew how to use him effectively smirk

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I actually know a Ganondorf main, who played Smash 4 for the first time the last week. Beat him at it.
Also, I'm actually a double/triple main with Shulk, Lucario, and Ike.

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Fight me

I shall avenge his defeat



On of my friends was an amazing Ganondorf in Brawl, actually using the character from time to time in tournaments. T'was awesome.

If I were to add something to this, I'd have to say DownB is great for mobility, and if you can get the hang of it for approach, it makes a nifty one too. But most of the time, Ganon's best left avoiding approach and instead trying to bait an opponent.

I find it funny that you said it's hard to tech Flame Choke. If you aren't playing online, he always holds you for the same amount of time, so it should be less a reaction and more a prediction to tech out of the move. I wouldn't say I get it every time, but often enough.

I find myself using his DTilt a lot as a nice surprise attack, as it's deceptively quick for it's power. Also use DAir a lot, but you cannot land during the move, or else you will have some rough landing lag (I don't believe it autocancels like it used to in Brawl anymore). It's easily the best meteor smash in the game, but also has potential as a combo starter or even a KO move on grounded opponents.

My experience with Ganon is obviously limited, but I've found that down B's uses for mobility are...extremely limited. I suppose it's useful if your opponent is going after you in the air, and you're simply trying to get to a lower altitude as quickly as possible, but other than that, it's just way too unsafe to make it worthwhile, at least imo.

I probably should've mentioned this before, but I was more writing this as a guide for online play, since that's where most of the TTV community plays (all of our tournaments are online, for instance). Plus, shall I put this...general play level that this guide is aimed at (the average TTV smasher) isn't one that necessarily presumes more than a basic amount of skill.

Yes, that was extremely tactfully put.

D-Tilt is quite useful, though. I'm still not super sold on Dair, as it's...pretty easy to avoid off the edge unless you're stuck in an awful spot and basically have only one way to recover. In terms of combo starting, I've only really seen Bizarro Flame use it well, and I get the feeling he could make Warlock Punch look useful if he really wanted to.

DAir into BAir or UAir. I've seen those pulled off. Perhaps not the safest maneuver in the world, but it certainly looks cool.

Have they nerfed his DownB in 4? I admittedly don't have a huge amount of experience in 4 yet, but in Melee and Brawl, I thought it was one of his better moves. Especially in Melee, but I still saw it used in Brawl.

You guys have tournaments? Why haven't I heard about those? Not that my cruddy internet connection would suit those well, but this is news to me stuck_out_tongue

Has Bizzarro done any SSB4? I've only seen him doing Melee stuff. I'd love to see what he makes of Ganon in 4!

Indeed he has; not much, but he has done some. I have never seen anyone play competitive Smash while caring so little about everything. Dude throws out raw Warlock Punches and Fairs and still dominates.

I don't think Down B was really nerfed, at least compared to Brawl, but it was really unsafe in Brawl too, unless there's some setup to make it way safer that I just missed.

You haven't heard of tournaments because we can only do them very rarely...every time I try to host a non-staggered one, I'll be lucky if half the people who initially said they would show up actually do so.


I uh

I have never played Smash

so I have no idea how to comprehend what's happening

but it sounds cool


You poor, poor man.


To add on to that I don't own the devices with which to play Smash.

At the very least

Download one of the PC versions for one of your two computers

The question is

is it free

because i have no budget for games that cost money


I'm fairly certain there's a free one.


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B...but that's illegal! scream

What? Coughing is illegal? stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

Nintendo won't be getting any money if you buy any version from Brawl or before from the after market anyway. Just don't do it for SSB for Wii U, and your fine, enough. wink

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So, I ended up picking Ganondorf up again this afternoon.

I did quite well in the one-on-one endings, but ended up getting thrown around in group setting.