Competitive amiibo training has been around since the release of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U in November 2014. Since then, Ganondorf has always been considered at least high-tier — and this is true in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as well. As you can imagine, his powerful moveset is often too much for AI opponents to manage, and this trait helps Ganondorf along in high-stakes tournament brackets. If you’d like to learn more about his metagame history before we continue, please refer to the Ganondorf wiki page. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!
Special thanks to jozz for contributing Ganondorf’s training information!
Ganondorf benefits significantly from a Spirit team. His already-strong attacks become even more fearsome, and in some cases, he’s able to consistently KO his enemies at around 50% damage. That’s kind of crazy! As a result, Ganondorf is considered top-tier in the Spirits metagame — but in vanilla tournaments, he’s just high-tier instead. If you’re new to amiibo training and want to learn more about Spirits, please read our full Spirits guide! In the meantime, here are some character-specific builds that work well on Ganondorf:
- Banned bonuses: Super Armor, Armor Knight, and Great Autoheal are all excellent on Ganondorf! Super Armor prevents his attacks from being interrupted at low percentages, while Great Autoheal allows him to restore health over time. Armor Knight is no slouch either and should be used alongside Trade-Off Ability ↑ for best effect.
- Tournament-legal bonuses: Our competitive training guide for Ganondorf employs a mixture of physical and weapon attacks, so running either (or both) of Physical Attack ↑ or Weapon Attack ↑ is a viable choice. Fire & Explosion Attack ↑ works too; it actually boosts the strength of Ganondorf’s darkness moves (including Flame Choke, for example). Trade-Off Ability ↑ is amazing when equipped on the King of Evil; it significantly increases his damage output and lets him KO opponents extremely early. Shield Damage ↑, Floaty Jumps, Lightweight, and Move Speed ↑ are well worth considering too — just don’t combine Lightweight with Trade-Off Ability ↑, as Ganondorf’s durability will take a hit.
- Raid Boss bonuses: Our Raid Boss training guide recommends more physical moves than weapon moves — which means you’re better off using Physical Attack ↑ than you would be using Weapon Attack ↑. Any of the bonuses above work well here, really; some highlights include Super Armor, Move Speed ↑, and then Landing Lag ↓ to make his aerials a bit safer.
Regarding stat distribution, a balanced spread (2100 / 2100) is likely your best bet here. Make sure your FP’s Spirit-type is Neutral before you begin its training; you can check to make sure by opening up the amiibo menu and then pressing the R button. That way it won’t lose Spirit-type matchups later on.
The best FPs in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate actually kind of emulate how the AI behaved in Super Smash Bros. 4. That is to say, they constantly walk, stay on-stage, and remain grounded as often as possible. This is true for Ganondorf as well, so do your best to replicate that playstyle as you train your amiibo. Perfect shield as often as possible, too! Here’s what an optimal Ganondorf FP’s moveset looks like:
- Up smash is your top priority. It deals an impressive amount of damage and an even more impressive amount of knockback. Use it to catch landings as well.
- Flame Choke covers a wide area directly in front of Ganondorf. Use it as your secondary move and try to follow up with a forward or down tilt afterward.
- Dash attack works well for approaching opponents, and can combo into an up air. No worries, though — this combo is hard-coded into Ganondorf’s AI at later levels. That means you don’t have to teach it!
- At close range, you’re welcome to mix in forward tilt and neutral attack. Forward tilt is generally best used after Flame Choke, but can be sprinkled in on its own every so often.
- At later levels, your FP will occasionally launch you upward. When this happens, land with neutral air or forward air. Use both moves about equally.
- One last note here: during your entire training session with Ganondorf, use one or two forward smash attacks. It’s incredibly powerful, but far too slow to be worth relying on.
Have you trained a Ganondorf amiibo prior to reading this guide? If so, then perhaps you’ve encountered the AI’s nasty up tilt problem. Indeed, it tends to overuse this move, and in suboptimal situations that often get it killed. Avoid using up tilt at all costs, and if your FP manages to damage you with the attack, quit out of the match and try again. Quitting out of games is frustrating, but it’s worth it!
Raid Boss Training
Ganondorf’s frame data is rather poor, which is not a trait that an optimal Raid Boss wants to have. Thankfully, he kind of makes up for his low speed by boasting incredible power. With Spirits equipped, a Raid Boss Ganondorf will likely KO its enemies within three or four hits — that’s crazy! To be clear, you’re allowed to dash and jump around as often as you’d like. We only suggest that you walk and remain grounded if you’re training a competitive FP. Here are the most optimal moves for a Raid Boss Ganondorf, then:
- Down tilt, neutral attack, and a little bit of forward tilt are your best close-range moves. Unfortunately, they’re still quite slow… but we’ll take what we can get.
- Forward air, back air, and especially neutral air and up air are solid offensive tools. Up air can be used to juggle, and you can then finish off the string with a powerful up smash — which can also be used all on its own every once in a while.
- All three smash attacks, including forward smash, up smash, and down smash, are to be used very infrequently. They’re super strong, but their sluggishness leaves Ganondorf vulnerable.
- Sprinkle in a tiny bit of Flame Choke, and then follow up with forward tilt or down tilt afterward.
Other than the occasional Flame Choke, you’ll want to avoid using any of Ganondorf’s other special moves — with one exception, that being Dark Dive for recovery purposes only. By the way, lots of new amiibo trainers start out by raising Ganondorf. If that sounds like you, too, then you might want to check out our general training guide for more information on how Figure Players work in this game.
Thanks so much for reading! If you only just found out that Ganondorf is high-tier in amiibo land, this must be a great day for you! It’s not often that Ganon enjoys the top spot in any Super Smash Bros. metagame. If you have any questions during your training sessions, feel free to direct them to our Discord community. We’ve also got a tournament guide, a Patreon page, and a donation box — check them all out, if you’ve got an extra moment. Until next time — happy training!
If you would like to read more amiibo training guides, please follow this link.