How to Warlock: A Ganondorf Guide
Fri 30th Nov 2018 - 12:45pm
Ganondorf is a bit of a dark horse within Melee. Even though Ganondorf is a low-mid/low-tier character, he is a decently represented character that is known for his power and high amount of disrespect. Despite this, Ganondorf is a character with plenty of weaknesses and is often overshadowed by his faster counterpart, Captain Falcon. Regardless, Ganondorf is a fantastic character that can be a blast to play, if played properly. Here are a few tips on playing Ganondorf so that you too can join in on the disrespect.
Not Just a Clone
While it is obvious that Ganondorf is a Captain Falcon clone, the differences between the two force different playstyles. Due to his higher mobility, Captain Falcon is better played as a rushdown character, going in for grabs and aerial pressure. It is ideal that Ganondorf players do the exact opposite, trying to play around with his spacing. One strength that they both share is a great back air that can be great for spacing and edgeguarding. Another key difference is movement options. While both are able to moonwalk, only Captain Falcon can wall-jump. One key weakness that both characters share is that they are easy combo food, especially Ganondorf due to his heavier weight. Lastly, another key weakness is that both characters have the same property on their side-special, meaning that if you use it on the edge of a platform, your character will go into freefall and likely fall to their doom. So, despite a lot of similarities, it is not a good idea to try and play both characters the same way.
Spacing is Key
Due to Ganondorf’s aforementioned slow mobility, it is best that players try to use his ranged moves in neutral. For starters, Ganondorf’s forward tilt and down tilt are great spacing tools due to their long range and decent speed. If done properly, you can trick your opponent into going for dangerous options and you can go for a well-spaced aerial or grab. Speaking of which, Ganondorf’s aerials are also key in terms of spacing. One of Ganondorf's bread and butter aerials is his forward air, which comes out quickly and can cover most of his body when jumping. Feel free to spam this in neutral. It hits hard as well as fast. While Ganondorf’s up air and nair are excellent for combo strings, they are also quite slow. The best application of Ganondorf’s aerials in terms of spacing is for combos and edgeguards. Ganondorf’s up air in particular is great for edgeguarding, due to its wide range and its strength. Another reason why up air is great is that it sends your opponents in odd angles that are hard to recover from. If you use these tools correctly, your opponent is going to have a hard time.
While it is ideal that players play around Ganondorf’s spacing, his close range game is decent enough to get you out of a rough spot. Ganondorf’s jab is a fantastic tool for when you in close quarters, due to it being a one-hit jab that comes out quick. Ganondorf’s grabs are fantastic, being able to chain grab over half the roster at certain percents. Ganondorf’s down throw in particular is fantastic, due to the fact that it can link into plenty of options, such as up smash and forward air. Speaking of which, Ganondorf’s smash attacks are great to chain into, but his best smash attack is down smash. Ganondorf down smash is crucial in fastfaller matchups, (Fox/Falco, Captain Falcon), due to its ability to be a guaranteed hit if it is used after a down throw. Feel free to use this all the time, because it can be used as a great combo starter.
(Visual credits to Super Smash Bros. Tutorials https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ngKzPPgQNs)
If there is one thing that Ganondorf can do well with all of his tools, its pressure. Ganondorf’s up special is great for shield heavy opponents, due to its ability to hit opponents out of shield. Ganondorf’s down air can get in some great shield damage as well, due to its hard hitting nature. Ganondorf’s down special (otherwise known as a Wizard Foot) is a great edgeguarding tool due to its ability to spike while in the air and is a great move to use when your opponent least expects it. Ganondorf’s side special is great for those in between moments when you can’t get a grab or space a tilt properly, plus it can lead into up air.
(Visual credits to ShowdownGG https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-ULR6m_Kjs)
If you are able to master these tools, you can go for some crazy combos and set-ups. The most important thing though? Disrespect. Due to Ganondorf’s toolset, you can go for great combo strings off of jabs, go for Wizard Foot edgeguards and Warlock Punch people when you break shields. It is almost a requirement that you play Ganondorf like supervillain because he is one! Plus, you will look pretty cool when doing it.
- Do not go for dash attacks in neutral. They are slow, easy to punish, and do not lead into much. Not worth it.
- Do not use up tilt at all…. Unless you are going for the disrespect, then it's ok.
- Same thing goes for Warlock Punch.
- Do not go for random up smashes. If your opponent can read it, you are very vulnerable.
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