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Super Smash Bros Ultimate: Ganondorf Moveset Analysis

Ganondorf is an iconic character from the Legend of Zelda franchise that’s been in most Smash games so far.

He has never particularly stuck out from the crowd because of his slow and heavy attributes. Ganondorf embodies the high risk, high reward playstyle archetype seen in most fighting games. With his devastating moves, he can wrack up large percentages with not too many connecting attacks. It’s accurate to say that he hits like a truck.

On the other hand, Ganondorf lacks in many areas due to his slow speed and overall predictability. Outside of the stag,e he can be edge guarded fairly easily due to his linear recovery. Rock crocking exists to put a nail in his coffin as it leaves him utterly helpless.

However, in this iteration, the demon king has received a lot of quality of life improvements.

His Kit

Standard Jab

Standard jab has a moderate amount of knockback and comes out fairly quick. It’s a good move to punish an opponent whiffing an option that has a small amount of lag.

Forward Tilt

This tilt comes out slowly, but it has a lot of knockback. It can start killing at around 90% with light characters making it a pretty powerful move. To hit it the player needs to get a proper read because of its startup.

Up Tilt
Ganon’s flame choke gives him an opportunity to severely damage his opponents – Image: Team Dignitas

This move is an option used to completely annihilate the opponent. It has a ridiculous amount of knockback, and it breaks shield. The downside: it has about a second of lag time. That’s right! It takes ages for it to go off making it an option best reserved for toying around with newer players (or disrespecting more seasoned ones!).

Down Tilt

Similar to forward tilt, this has a considerable amount of knockback, but comes out very slowly. It sends the opponent flying in an upwards diagonal angle. Not a good option nor a horrible one.

Neutral Air

Ganon’s nair is great in Ultimate – considered by some to be one of the best nair’s in the entire game. It’s a multi-hit move that auto-cancels most of the time and can help space out opponents.

Back air

Ganon swings a punch backward. This move packs a lot of force, but it’s pretty slow to come out.

Down Air

One of the strongest spikes in the game. It comes out really slow, but hitting it means the opponents certain doom.

Forward air

With this move, Ganondorf delivers a mega strong hit that can kill very early on. Like most of Ganon’s moves, it is very slow and hard to hit, making it option that necessitates good finesse, reading, and timing.

Up air
Ganondorf’s smash attacks now use his iconic sword. Giving him more range while keeping his trademark power – Image: Gamebanana

A very slow yet versatile move. It goes from where Ganon is facing to the opposite side in a semi-circle motion making it useful for certain situations, particularly with baiting air dodges when juggling opponents.

Other notable facts

His side special grabs the opponent and drops them into the ground. This gives Ganon an opportunity to make a read that could potentially end the stock.

His weaknesses

In Ganon’s moveset, a pattern establishes itself. Most of his options are slow, unsafe, or both things at the same time. Pair this off with Ganon’s slow aerial and ground movement and his weaknesses become pretty apparent.

Recovering with Ganondorf is a nightmare. Only players that take most options into consideration are able to make quick calls and reach the edge. One mishap and rock crocking can easily end Ganon’s stock. His life outside the stage is full of hardship.

His strengths

Ganon hits like a truck. If a player gets a feel of the opponent’s patterns and starts to make correct predictions, Ganon can easily get an opponent into kill-able percents upon dealing anywhere from three to six attacks.

Ganon has the potential to make some of the most brutal punishes in all of Smash Ultimate, making him an optimal choice for players that like to capitalize on opponents leaving extended openings.

The verdict

Ganon is a character that needs a particular type of player to succeed. To play Ganon at a high level, a player needs to make every move count. Perhaps the most critical part of playing Ganon is avoiding giving advantage to the opponent at any point in the match. Staying out of a disadvantaged state – primarily by remaining on the stage – is what Ganon desperately needs in order to see any kind of successful results.

The demon king is not by any means a low tier. His kit is slow but rewarding. All of this puts him at the mid-tier. Around the low to the mid section of the tier. He has a lot of room to grow and shows obvious flaws. Still, great players can get some use out of him.


Featured image provided by Geek

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