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Warlock Punch

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The Warlock Punch (魔人拳, Majinken lit. Majin/Demon Man Fist) is Ganondorf's Neutral Special Move. Ganondorf cocks back, charging a punch, for approximately 72 frames while a dark aura surrounds his fist. He then throws a devastating punch. The move can be reversed at the start to increase the damage and knockback it delivers to foes hit by it.

Overview

General

A single hit from this potent punch causes 30%-34% damage with great knockback. The attack can kill at low percentages and even KO light characters at 0%. Except on utterly defenseless or paralyzed opponents, this attack is nearly impossible to use in combat because it is so slow and predictable. In the air, Warlock Punch is even more powerful and does about 37%-40%, with higher knockback, but the very slow start-up of the Warlock Punch combined with Ganondorf's poor jumping and fast falling speed makes landing the Warlock Punch while airborne almost impossible.

This move is considered a 'clone' move of Captain Falcon's Falcon Punch, nicknamed as "Ganon Punch" by fans, but as mentioned above, it is slower, deals more damage, and has higher knockback. Also unlike the Falcon Punch, it is nearly impossible to Sacred Combo with due to its lag. However, if Kirby Inhales Ganondorf and copies Warlock Punch, it is much easier to do an airborne Warlock Punch due to Kirby's very high jumps.

Reverse Warlock Punch

A feature of the Warlock Punch introduced in Brawl. A player can pull off a 180° punch by tilting the control stick in the opposite direction Ganondorf faces while charging. This deals roughly 3% more damage than a normal punch with more powerful knockback. This move can be done on the ground and in mid-air, but on the downside, it is about 0.5 seconds longer than a normal Warlock Punch. Though still laggy, this reverse punch is good for mindgames (as is Falcon's) and does serve as a way to turn a match around.

Also, the animation for the punch has been changed. Instead of pulling his arm back like a slower Falcon Punch, Ganondorf waves his arms, pulls back both arms while gathering magic, and punches backhanded with his left hand instead of right. On Final Destination, a Reverse Warlock Punch can KO Jigglypuff (and a few other light characters) at 0%, if hit at the very edge.

Warlock Punch usually guarantees a KO at around 20-29% damage should it be landed, the lowest of any special move without special criteria, such as Oil Panic and Judgment.

Ganondorf's Special Moves
Melee Brawl SSBWU/3DS
Standard Special Warlock Punch
Side Special Gerudo Dragon Flame Choke
Up Special Dark Dive
Down Special Wizard's Foot
Final Smash Beast Ganon

Custom Variations

Warlock Blade

Warlock Blade is one of Ganondorf's Neutral Special Moves that can be used via customization. Ganondorf draws his sword and thrusts it forward. This move deals the most damage at the tip of the blade. This move will break shields upon landing a successful hit, similar to Marth's Neutral B.

Strengths:

  • Faster than default
  • Breaks shields
  • Can be reversed
  • Greater range

Weaknesses:

  • Must be spaced correctly to deal most damage
  • Less damage than default

The Warlock Blade utilizes Ganondorf's sword, giving the move greater range; it must be spaced correctly to deal the most damage though by hitting the opponent with the tip of the sword. The move is executed faster and can be reversed but deals less damage. It is extremely effective against shields, breaking them in one hit.

Warlock Thrust

Warlock Thrust is one of Ganondorf's Neutral Special Moves that can be used via customization. This version of the Warlock Punch is faster and more explosive, but does the most damage in the sweetspot. However, it does much less damage and knockback than the default Warlock Punch, even when sweetspotted.

Strengths:

  • Can be reversed
  • Executed faster
  • Larger hitbox

Weaknesses:

  • Less damage overall
  • Must be sweetspotted to deal most damage
  • Less knockback

The Warlock Thrust is a custom variation for players that want more range and speed from their neutral special. The hitbox is larger but must hit in the center of the hitbox to deal the most damage. It is executed much faster but deals overall less damage and knockback making it a poor kill move; reversing it will still increase the damage and launch power but because the move is faster it requires a bit of practice to get the timing right.

Ganondorf's Custom Special Moves
Custom 1 Custom 2
Standard Special Warlock Blade Warlock Thrust
Side Special Flame Wave Flame Chain
Up Special Dark Fists Dark Vault
Down Special Wizard's Dropkick Wizard's Assault

Origin

Ganondorf never uses the Warlock Punch as it is in any Zelda game, but similar attacks, fitting in with Ganondorf's motifs as the Warlock Punch does, have been used in several games. In Ocarina of Time, Ganondorf uses dark magic and a similar shout as in Melee to block Navi from approaching him in order to disable Link's ability to Z-Target. Additionally, in Wind Waker, he fights using his fists during certain cutscenes, showing massive physical strength and prowess in hand-to-hand combat. He knocks Zelda out during the final battle with a backhand slap, akin to the Brawl version of the attack. However, none of these are actually the Warlock Punch, despite their similarities, and the move is overall, non-canonical.

Trivia

  • If a player performs a Reverse Warlock Punch on Pit, and Pit pulls out his Mirror Shield at just the right moment, Ganondorf will be sent flying across the stage a long way, longer than the distance of most stages.
  • Even though this attack has obscene start-up lag, it isn't the slowest attack in Ganondorf's arsenal. His up tilt, commonly referred to as the Volcano Kick, has an even slower start-up of 81 frames.
  • If the victim's damage is higher than around 200%, a Reverse Warlock Punch will have higher knockback than a Home-run Bat, which makes this move very useful in the Home-Run Contest.
  • Warlock's Blade is similar to Marth, Roy, and the Home-run Bat as all have a Tipper.
  • The Warlock Blade custom option was the very first and only attack that featured Ganondorf using a blade. Excluding Project M, which was unofficial.

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