Super Smash Bros. Melee/Ganondorf

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Ganondorf is the main villain of the Zelda games. Gameplay wise, he is considered a clone of Captain Falcon. As such, he fights in a brawler style similar to Captain Falcon, except in a slower but more powerful manner.

Currently, Ganondorf ranks 10th in the C tier on the Tier List. This is due to his extreme power, good reach, good chain throwing ability, surprising speed in some areas, having what is considered one of the best aerial games, great edgeguard game, and having strong matchups overall. However, he has some major flaws, such as his slow ground game, susceptibility to combos and chain throws, being so easily bogged down by fast attacks and projectiles, and being arguably the most vulnerable character to edgeguarding. Another major problem facing Ganondorf is having poor matchups against the top tier characters. While he has some great strengths, his major flaws, especially the matchup problem against the top tiers, could be what keeps him from being in the higher tiers.

"A" Moves Analysis

Ground attacks

  • Neutral attack- A quick jab that will do 7% damage. Has actual KO potential at higher %s. Since he jabs directly in front of him, some smaller characters can easily duck under it. Ganondorf's fastest attack, it is often use in combos with his other attacks, especially his down aerial.
  • Dash attack- A shoulder tackle, does 14% damage. It's fast, but its knockback is rather low when compared to his other attacks and it is rather difficult to follow up on.
  • Down tilt- A quick breakdance kick. An impressive 12% damage when fresh. Sets up aerial combos or his up special. Good reach, but is rather slow when compared to other down tilts. Can KO at very high percentages.
  • Up tilt- Lifts his leg up and then brings his leg down violently. Very laggy, though very powerful, can even OHKO if hits by the edge due to its extremely high base knockback. It can also KO opponents at low percentage. 27% damage. Is by far the most powerful tilt in the game, it can KO even earlier than the Warlock Punch.
  • Forward tilt- Quick kick in front, 13% damage. It has far reach for a tilt, but is on the slow side. High knockback for a tilt, it is capable of KOing at high percentages.
Smash attacks
  • Forward smash- Thrusts his elbow forward with impressive vertical knockback. Almost no horizontal knockback at all, which makes it hard to DI out of. 22% uncharged, 30% fully. It is very powerful and since Ganondorf moves while performing it, it has great reach. It is the second most powerful f-smash in the game, only being exceeded by Bowser's f-smash. Even though it is powerful and far reaching, it has fairly slow start-up and significant ending lag.
  • Down smash- Kicks leg in front and back of him. Can chain together, can be DI'd out of second hit. 8% then 13% uncharged, 11% then 17% fully charged. Total 21% uncharged, 28% fully charged. Is one of, if not the most powerful down smash in the game, capable of star KOing lighter/floatier characters under 100%. It is rather fast, especially for how powerful it is. Due to Ganondorf's long legs, it is one of the farthest reaching down smashes in the game. If the opponent avoids the second kick after being hit by the first kick when near the ledge, its powerful base knockback can set up an early edgeguard opportunity.
  • Up smash- Kicks both his legs upwards. The first hit can lead into the second, though is DI-able and unlikely. 22% then 17% uncharged, 30% then 22% fully charged. Total 39% uncharged, 53% fully charged. It is the fourth most powerful uncharged up smash in the game (only exceeded by Pikachu's, Fox's, and Sheik's). When fully charged, it is the most powerful and damaging up smash in the game. Even though it is extremely powerful and surprisingly fast, its lack of horizontal reach limits its effectiveness as a reliable killer.
Other attacks
  • Ledge attack- Gets up and thrusts knee, 10% damage. Can knock opponents off the edge if they are close, potentially setting up an edgeguard.
  • 100% ledge attack- Slowly gets up and punches in front of him, does 8% damage.
  • Floor attack- Does a round kick that can hit twice. 6% then 5%.

Aerial attacks

  • Neutral aerial- Very fast one-two kick. 12% then 10%. Total 22%. Both kicks have high knockback, but it is very difficult to land both kicks at very low percentages and it is impossible to land both kicks at percentages higher than 25% (unless another opponent is grabbed by another character or the opponent is under the effect of a Super Mushroom).
  • Forward aerial- "Skull Crusher". Brings his fist down rather quickly, impressive knockback and damage, though slightly weaker than The Knee doing 17%. Unlike the knee, it always strikes with the same force. It is also just as fast as the knee with much more range, but it has more landing lag.
  • Back aerial- Punches behind him, with high power doing 16%. It is fast, powerful, and good for edgeguarding. It is actually exactly as powerful as his fair, knockback wise. Has the exact amount of frames as Captain Falcon's back aerial, but hits with the same power throughout the entirety of the attack.
  • Down aerial- Stomps with electrical power, extreme spiking power, doing 22% if fresh. Extremely powerful Meteor Smash, very hard to escape it's knockback and recover. It is by far the most powerful meteor in the game and it is overall the most powerful aerial in the game. It has a massive hitbox (it covers Ganondorf's entire body), and it is surprisingly easy to recover from (this is due to its low aerial ending lag). It is capable of setting up combos at low percentages and it is a great finisher at high percentages (KOs everyone but Captain Falcon, DK, Falco, and Bowser under 100%).
  • Up aerial- Spinning kick. Knockback direction depends on which angle the foe was hit on. Good for juggling. 13% damage. Very versatile aerial, it can be use for combos and juggling, KOing, and edgeguarding with the famous reverse up aerial semi-spike.

Grabs & throws

  • Pummel- Knees foe. does 2-3% damage per pummel.
  • Forward throw- Punches foe in front. Two hitboxes, does 5% then another 4%, adding up to 9%. It's only use is to set up edgeguarding situations at high percentages.
  • Back throw- Takes foe and bring them behind him, and kicks. 5% then 4%, adds up to 9%. Can set up edgeguards at high percentages.
  • Up throw- Knocks his foe above him. 3% then 4%, adds up to 7%. Excellent set up for juggles and can be an effective chainthrow at low percentages and fastfallers at mid percentages.
  • Down throw- Takes foe and violently bashes them to the floor. A one-hit 7% damage, another better suited to set up juggling. Can also chain throw a variety of characters at low percentages and can chain throw fastfallers up to high percentages.

"B" Moves List

Move Analysis


Frame Data


Wall of pain & Ken Combo

A player can use Ganondorf's forward aerial twice as a wall of pain or combine them with his down aerial for an effective Ken Combo. In addition, forward aerial combined with Wizard's Foot is a more effective Ken Combo.

Spiking abilities

Ganondorf has a series of spikes at his disposal which help make him an even fiercer opponent to face. Most spikes are often aerial A moves, but in the case of Ganondorf, he has both aerial A and B attacks that can send an opponent to an early KO.

Spike/meteors and description

Also referred to as the stomp. Both feet are thrust under Ganondorf, and on contact, the opponent receives an electrical shock animation. If the opponent is on the ground, they are shot upward very fast, which can be DI'ed left or right. If in the air, the attack sends the opponent straight down very fast. The attack can be used multiple times over to combo opponents with low percentage, but requires the ability to SHFFL, and tech chase. This is a meteor, and although it is difficult, the opponent can meteor cancel and recover.

Surprisingly Ganondorf's up aerial attack can be used to semi-spike an opponent very effectively. The attack has very high priority, so if done correctly, it greatly contributes to Ganondorf players. Ganondorf does a backflip that resembles a flash kick in actual martial arts. One foot is extended during the flip, that creates a hitbox about 200 degrees in rotation around Ganondorf. Ganondorf must be facing away from the opponent, and hit the opponent with the top of his extended foot. There is little knockback, but considerable stun for the amount of damage the attack actually does. As an added bonus, this move is extremely hard to walltech. Something about the physics just makes it next to impossible to tech.

Also used to regain the double jump while recovering, Ganondorf's down B will spike an opponent if connected in air. Ganondorf extends one foot and travels diagonally down accompanied by a cloud of purple energy. The opponent receives an animation of cloudy purple energy when damaged by this attack. The attack itself puts Ganondorf in an inconvenient position to recover, so it is inferior to the down aerial and up aerial in most situations. Ganondorf can still double jump and triple jump, so it still has its advantages, as the opponent cannot "cancel" the attack.


Serious Advantage Match-ups

Mew2, G&W, Ness, Bowser, Pichu, Kirby

Advantage Match-ups

IC, Doc, Samus, Mario, Luigi, DK, Y.Link, Zelda, Roy, Yoshi

Fair Match-ups

Marth, Peach, Pikachu, Link

Disadvantage Match-ups

Fox, Falco, Puff, Sheik, C.Falcon

Serious Disadvantage Match-ups