King Dedede Guide: Matchup Chart and Combos | Super Smash Bros Ultimate

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate King Dedede Guide

This is a guide to using King Dedede in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. King Dedede's bread and butter combos, how to unlock, frame data, alt costumes and skins, as well as King Dedede's matchups, counters, and tier list placement can all be found here.

King Dedede Tier and Overview

Stats and General Info

King Dedede
King Dedede Image
Game Series Kirby
Smash Bros. Debut Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Fighter Number 39
Unlock Order 30
Number of Jumps 5
Weight 127 Units (3/87)
Dash Speed 1.496 (74/87)
Air Speed 0.735 (87/87)
Fast Fall Speed 3.12 (2/87)
Special Attributes None

Tier List Placement

SSBU King Dedede Icon D Tier Tier

Uses Gordos to control the stage and powerful hammer blows to KO opponents

Smash Ultimate King Dedede relies on use of his Gordos (Side Special) for stage control, which can be used to bait opponents and land a powerful hammer blow with forward aerial, back aerial, or a forward tilt. He has multiple jumps, which can be combined with his aerials to bait and punish opponents. His neutral B also allows him to inhale and reflect projectiles.

However, as is often the case with heavyweights, King Dedede is slow and easily comboed, and his poor frame data makes him struggle against quicker characters. He also needs to be very careful of the way he uses his Gordos, as most attacks will reflect them back, which can hit and even KO Dedede.

See Our Tier List Here!

King Dedede's Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths ・Every attack deals a lot of damage
・Powerful recovery (Multiple jumps + Up Special)
・High endurance thanks to his weight
・Gordos are good tools for ledgetrapping and KO'ing
・Can reflect projectiles with Neutral B
・Good range thanks to long disjoints on his attacks (F-Tilt, etc)
Weaknesses ・Extremely large hurtbox, making him a target for projectiles and his own Gordos
・Heavyweight and easily comboed
・Somewhat easy to predict recovery
・Slow movement and poor frame data makes it hard to approach opponents

King Dedede Matchup Chart

Matchup Chart

King Dedede Image
-2
FoxJokerMega ManMr. Game & WatchPalutenaPikachuSamus/Dark SamusSimon/RichterSonicWarioYoshiYoung LinkZero Suit Samus
-1
Banjo & KazooieBayonettaBowser Jr.Captain FalconChromCloudDiddy KongDuck HuntFalcoGreninjaHeroInklingIsabelleKenLinkLucasLuigiMarioMeta KnightMewtwoMii BrawlerMii GunnerMii SwordfighterMin MinNessOlimarPac-ManPichuPokemon TrainerR.O.B.RobinRobinRosalina & LumaRoySephirothSheikShulkSnakeToon LinkVillagerWii Fit TrainerWolfZelda
0
BowserBylethCorrinDr. MarioIce ClimbersIkeIncineroarJigglypuffKing K. RoolLucarioLucinaMarthPeach/DaisyPit/Dark PitRyuSteveTerry
+1
Donkey KongGanondorfKirbyLittle MacPiranha PlantRidley
+2

Notes About Matchup Chart

1. -2 = Disadvantage. -1 = Slight Disadvantage or Even. 0 = Even. +1 = Slight Advantage or Even. +2 = Advantage.
2. The matchup chart was based around both the opinions of professional players of each character, as well as our own experience through playing King Dedede.
3. Characters within each tier are unordered
4. Pokemon Trainer's individual Pokemon (Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard) as well as Echo fighters with no significant difference than their regular counterpart are not shown.
5. For other characters who are not shown here, we are still investigating the matchup.

King Dedede Combos

Nair Combos
Nair→Down Tilt
Nair→Fair
Nair→Up Tilt
Other Combos
Bair→Forward Tilt
Down Throw→Fair
Up Throw→Up Air

Nair Combos Explanation

Nair→Down Tilt

This combo can be used on opponents with lower percents. After you land on the ground from neutral air, immediately input down tilt to connect this combo.

Nair→Fair

This combo can be used on opponents with middle percents. An easy combo that can deal around 20% damage.

Nair→Up Tilt

This combo can be used on opponents with lower percents. After you land on the ground from neutral air, immediately input up tilt to connect this combo.

Other Combos Explanation

Bair→Forward Tilt

This combo can be used on opponents with lower percents. An easy combo that can deal around 30% damage.

Down Throw→Fair

This combo can be used on opponents with various percents. Use this combo once you manage to grab your opponent.

Up Throw→Up Air

This combo can be used on opponents with lower percents. An easy combo that can deal around 25% damage.

King Dedede Frame Data and Moveset

Best Out of Shield Options

Move Frames
Neutral Air 10 Frames
Shield Grab 12 Frames
Up Air 13 Frames
Foward Air 16 Frames
Shield Release > Down Tilt 17 Frames
Shield Release > B 17 Frames

King Dedede's poor frame data means that he has limited options to use out of shield, with none of them coming out in under 10 frames. Neutral air is his quickest option to use on opponents up close, and will allow Dedede to knock them away to continue zoning with gordos. Since his out of shield options are not particularly fast, Dedede will either want to retreat, or drop shield to follow up with down tilt for spaced opponents, or neutral b if the opponent is shielding.

Jab (Neutral Attack)

1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Jab 1
(A)
3.0 10
Jab 2 2.64 11
Rapid Jab (Multi-Hit) 0.6 34
Rapid Jab (Finisher) 3.6 4

Jab

King Dedede's jab has great range and a long lasting hitbox duration. Since the startup is slow, it's not the best get-off-me tool, but it can be used when reading an opponent's air dodge. At very higher percents, the rapid jab finisher can KO.

Dash Attack / Tilts

1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Dash Attack
(Dash + A)
19.2 26
Dash Attack - Lingering 15.6 28
Forward Tilt Hit 1-3
(← or → + A)
2.4 12/16/20
Forward Tilt Hit 4 3.6 23
Up Tilt
(↑ + A)
12/9.6 7
Down Tilt
(↓ + A)
12 6
Down Tilt - Lingering 7.2 8

Dash Attack

King Dedede's dash attack boasts powerful damage and knockback, although it has a very slow startup. Its hitbox is very close to the ground, so it can be used to 2-frame an opponent, or hit an opponent hanging on the ledge after their invulnerability has run up, which can allow for an early KO.

Forward Tilt

King Dedede's forward tilt has long range. Its long range can halt an opponent's advance from any direction, and it is a good move to use toward an opponent out of a fox-trot after dashing away from them. Its long range allows the attack to hit offstage against opponents that try to recover high.

Up Tilt

King Dedede's up tilt has a quick startup. Since the attack also covers his back side, it can be used to hit an opponent who crosses up your shield. It combos well into Netural Air. Also, keep in mind you can KO your opponent with it at about ~150%.

Down Tilt

King Dedede's down tilt has great range and decently quick startup. It has a decently long horizontal hitbox, so it's a good alternative to dash attack for whiff punishes.

Smash Attacks

1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Forward Smash Hit 1
(Smash ← or → + A)
19.2 40
Forward Smash Hit 2 - Close, Far 22.2/30.0 42
Forward Smash - Shockwave 13.2 44
Up Smash
(Smash ↑ + A)
19.2 17
Down Smash
(Smash ↓ + A)
15.6 14

Forward Smash

King Dedede's forward smash is great for damage, range, and knockback. The hammer's head has the strongest hitbox, which can KO opponents at around 60%. Its slow startup and long endlag make it very punishable, so throw this move out to try and catch an opponent getting up at the ledge. If you use a Side Special to limit the opponent's movement, it will be easier to bait them into getting hit with this move.

Up Smash

King Dedede's up smash is great for damage, and knockback. It has a wide vertical range, so you can throw the attack out as an anti-air option, or to hit opponents who cross-up your shield.

Down Smash

King Dedede's down smash is also great for damage and knockback. It can be used to catch an opponent's roll. While it is King Dedede's fastest smash attack, it has the shortest range.

Aerials

1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Neutral Air
(A + no direction while airborne)
14.4 7
Neutral Air - Lingering 8.4 9
Forward Air
(Hold ← or → in the direction you are facing + A while airborne)
14.4 13
Back Air
(← or → Opposite of the direction you are facing + A while airborne)
19.2 17
Up Air Hit 1-7
(↑ + A While Airborne)
1.2 10/12/14/16/18/20/22
Up Air Hit 8 6.0 24
Down Air
(↓ + A While Airborne)
18/9.6 22

Neutral Air

King Dedede's neutral air has a quick startup. It's mainly used as an approach too and combo starter, as well as a landing option. When properly spaced, it is -4/-6 on shield, making it a pretty safe poking tool.

Forward Air

King Dedede's forward air does great damage and has good range. It's mainly used for catching an opponent's jump (such as after throwing out a Gordo), or for edgeguarding offstage.

Back Air

King Dedede's back air is great for damage and knockback. It's a reliable KO attack with little end lag, and when properly spaced, it is -8 on shield, making it a good poking tool.

Up Air

King Dedede's up air is a high damage, multi-hit move. It has a wide range and a long duration, so it's a useful tool for juggling opponents in disadvantage.

Down Air

King Dedede's down air has Meteor hitbox. However, since it has a slow startup and is difficult to land a hit with, it's best not to try and recklessly throw it out. Using side special at the ledge is generally a better option.

Specials

1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Neutral Special
(B)
- 14
Neutral Special - Spit - 6
Side Special - Hammer
(← or → + B)
12.0 29
Side Special - Gordo 16.8 29
Side Special - Gordo, Lingering 1 15.0 ?
Side Special - Gordo, Lingering 2 13.2 ?
Side Special - Gordo, Lingering 3 11.4 ?
Side Special - Gordo, Wall Stick 12 -
Side Special - Gordo, Bounce - 29
Up Special - Falling
(↑ + B)
18.0 69
Up Special - Landing 14.4 3
Up Special - Stars 6.0 5
Down Special
(↓ + B) - No Charge
13.2 27
Down Special
(↓ + B) - Fully Charged
48 146

Neutral Special (Inhale)

King Dedede's neutral special inhales opponents or projectiles. After inhaling, King Dedede can walk around with them and then spit them out. The damage of projectiles is increased by 1.5x when inhaled and then spat out.

Most of King Dedede's aerial attacks have significant ending lag, so mix in this move occasionally for an approach tool. Since it is a command grab, it will work on shielded opponents.

Side Special (Gordo Throw)

King Dedede's side special will launch Gordo with his hammer. This is one of Dedede's most essential tools in neutral, as he can use them to limit his opponent's movement and bait them into picking a punishable option. The Gordo's angle can be adjusted using up or down during the move's startup, and doing a smash input on the move will in crease the Gordo's launch distance. However, weak attacks (2% or higher) such as aerials or projectiles will send the Gordos right back at Dedede, so be ready to dodge or inhale them.

A Gordo angled upward covers a good vertical distance and hardly moves forward at all. It's most effectively used at the ledge or when used as a shield. It will also be easier to inhale and spit out much faster if angled upward.

A normally launched Gordo covers a greater distance, especially if you smash the control stick while inputting the move, and is used as a zoning tool or for knocking the opponents off the stage.

Lastly, a Gordo angled downward in the air has a high bounce angle, so it can be used to hit opponents that jump to try and avoid them.

Up Special (Super Dedede Jump)

King Dedede performs his signature high jump then crashes down with the weight of his body in his up special. You can cancel the dive portion of the move by grabbing the ledge, but if you are too late, he will SD. You can also cancel the dive portion by pressing the special button or up on the control stick. This will put him into helplessness, and he will not be able to jump, but since he can move left or right, you can still nudge your way over to the ledge.

Down Special (Jet Hammer)

King Dedede chargfes up and swings his hammer, boosted by jetpower, in his down special. The down special can be charged , leading to increased damage and knockback the longer it's charged. You'll know that you've reached maximum charge when King Dedede's facial animation looks like he is struggling, and he starts to take recoil damage.

Dedede gains super armo while swinging the hammer. The swing itself deals excellent damage and knockback. However, its high endlag and slow startup make it very risky to use, so it is mostly only used as a shield break punish resulting from a forward smash or side special.

Grabs and Throws

1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Pummel 1.92 2
Grab (Normal) - 8
Dash Grab - 11
Pivot Grab - 12
Forward Throw (Hitbox)
(← or → While Grabbing)
4.8 12
Forward Throw (Throw) 7.2 14
Back Throw (Hitbox)
(← or → While Grabbing)
4.8 16
Back Throw (Throw) 10.8 19
Up Throw (Hitbox)
(↑ While Grabbing)
4.8 16
Up Throw (Throw) 6.0 19
Down Throw (Throw) 7.2 26

Forward Throw

King Dedede's forward throw smacks his opponent forward with his hammer. It's not good for combos, so it's mostly used to knock opponents off the stage. At very high percents, it can KO near the ledge.

Back Throw

King Dedede's back throw smacks his opponent backward with his hammer. It's likewise not good for combos, so it's also mostly used to knock opponents off the stage. At high percents, it can KO near the ledge.

Up Throw

King Dedede tosses his opponent upward with his up throw. It can lead into a juggle with up air, so it is the go to throw for racking up damage.

Down Throw

King Dedede tosses his opponent downward with his down throw. It sets up for a forward air, or lets you put an opponent offstage where you can try for an edgeguard.

Final Smash

Attack How to Use Effect
Dede-Rush Press B after obtaining the Smash Ball King Dedede hits an opponent with his hammer and sends them into a ring, where he fires upon them with his hammer and strikes with a final powerful blow, dealing heavy damage and knockback.

King Dedede Balance Changes

Version 11.0.0 Balance Patch

Change
Side Special Decreased the startup frames.
Increased the chance the Gordo will get stuck on a wall.
Increased the speed you can hit back Gordos that were reflected by the opponent.

Version 8.0.0 Balance Patch

Change
Up Tilt Attack Increased power.
Extended launch distance.
Down Tilt Attack Adjusted launch angle.
Forward Air Attack Extended launch distance.
Up Air Attack Extended launch distance of the final attack.
Neutral Special Increased the speed to start Inhale.
Increased the range fighters can be inhaled when using Inhale on the ground.

Version 7.0.0 Balance Patch

Change
Other Increased shield size.

Version 3.0.0 Balance Patch

Change
Side Special Reduced the power against shields.

Version 2.0.0 Balance Patch

Change
Side Special Reduced the attack range of the moving Gordo.

Changes From Smash 4

Change
General Movement is slightly quicker. Buff.
Neutral Special
(B)
Can now inhale projectiles. Buff.
Back Aerial
(← or → + A While Midair)
Changed to an animation where he swings the hammer horizontally.

How to Unlock King Dedede

Unlocking Via Smash Mode
30th Fighter Unlocked
After unlocking Roy, let 10 minutes pass OR play another battle in smash after soft-resetting OR return to the menu from World of Light
Unlocking via Classic Mode
Clear Classing Mode 4 times using Donkey Kong.
Unlocking via World of Light
Gourmet Race

There are three ways to unlock King Dedede. Completing any of these, then defeating King Dedede when they appear in the “a New Challenger Appears” screen will allow you to use them afterward.

How to Unlock Characters Fast

King Dedede Alt Costumes and Skins

King Dedede Alternate Costumes

King Dedede Reveal Trailer

Smash Ultimate Character Guides

Fighters.png
List of Fighters
Tier List
Tier List
Unlocking Characters
Unlocking Fighters

Character Stat Lists

Character Stats
Weights of All Characters Run Speeds of All Characters
Air Speeds of All Characters Fast Fall Speeds of All Characters

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    New Comment

    • >>[6]
      Depends on who it is you struggle against. I'd say generally someone like Wolf or Palu is a good secondary for any character. Byleth's largest drawback is mobility and frame data, so a character with faster options and movement is your best bet.

    • >>[4]
      Hi! We actually have a section on Marth's matchups here:
      https://game8.co/games/SSBU/archives/281194#hl_2
      As Marth has great range and framedata, a good matchup will be a character that can whiff punish with quick burst options, and have a way to get in and find an opening! Quick characters with excellent frame data, like Pika, Greninja, or Sheik, ZSS, or Sonic are our top recommendations!
      Thank you for using our guides!

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