If you’ve chosen to play Dedede, you’re in for a challenge. Dedede struggles in most match ups, is highly flawed and everyone who plays Smash 4 knows these weaknesses very well. Out of sheer boredom I have written a comprehensive guide on Dedede’s match ups on based on my experience in For Glory to illustrate my own experience and give some insight into the way Dedede plays on a semi-competent level.
This is not meant to be a competitive guide and is based solely on my experiences in For Glory. Still, I'm trying to be objective making this list and avoiding bias based on the specific player base I'm usually matched against, for example just because I run across a bunch of Corrins and Lucinas had no effect on their rank.
For anyone that somehow is reading this and doesn't know about Dedede's shortcomings, he's a very slow, easily combo'd character and is kind of broken in the sense that his set doesn't work as intended. He has a few moves like dtilt that don't hit too close, Gordos were gutted in patches to be reliant on RNG, he has a bizarre lack of KO moves, and generally struggles to win matches. However with a bit of cheesy planking (camping at the ledge with Super Dedede Jump, Dedede's up special) and liberal use of Gordos (which can be angled 4 ways), as well as relying on a foe's typical lack of knowledge on Dedede, you can win any match on FG regardless of the odds being stacked against you.
This should be no surprise, Bayonetta is the best character in the game and she counters Dedede among the hardest. Dedede’s huge size means Bayonetta can easily combo him, either off the top with her ladder or simply using her various grounded to aerial combos. At the same time, Bayonetta can very casually counter your Gordos using her Bullet Arte bullets and as they’re shot at an upward diagonal, you can’t even hop the Gordo over. You can however take advantage of the hitboxes closest to Bayonetta that do not reflect the Gordo for whatever reason, giving a nice weak point for Dedede to abuse.
If you do manage to get a foot in the door Bayonetta is super lightweight but landing any KO moves is nightmarish against a competent player, the one respite is she’s a decently big humanoid. Her Witch Time down special can also be annoying as just another gimmick to contend with alongside her ridiculous aerial ladder combos, and combos out the ass in general. The only hope is to use Dedede’s range to space and counter her attacks, but again, this is a mighty challenge if the Bayonetta is good. The other thing is her recovery is not infinite, though is near enough perfect, so can ever be gimped.
This is obviously the most controversial position on here, but I've seen many, many Falcons on FG. Falcon is not particularly great in the overall Smash 4 meta yet has all the traits necessary to shut down Dedede. He’s incredibly fast to rush in past your Gordo spam, his throw combos are insanely good on Dedede and he has a surprising amount of variety in how he can kill you at ledge. It's awful for Dedede as he's the biggest planker in the game, using the ledge to toss Gordos on stage and his great recovery to make it difficult for opponents to read his approach. Falcon's most problematic options for Dedede range from nair, fair and bair if he opts to chase you off stage, a cheap utilt spike if you’re not looking for it on stage and lastly his very good dair spike, on or off stage. All of these would be a huge problem on their own and come together as a direct counter to Dedede’s playstyle as fast, well ranged aerials.
His fast moves have a good coverage to hit back Gordos and his dash grab is obviously very oppressive against Dedede. As with Bayo, Falcon can easily slip past you with his great air speed on top of his amazing dash speed, so is hard to catch period. Falcon's reach is his one weakness here and is deceptively good for a melee fighter, making him one of the hardest Dedede match ups to outspace. Despite all these positives in this specific match up, Falcon is also a heavyweight so survives long past other similar fast combo character. Falcon's advantage state lines up almost perfectly to counter Dedede who is already struggling all match to win neutral.
Another very fast combo-heavy character who can continuously rushdown Dedede across the entire stage and on top of that, has an incredibly powerful fast usmash and uair. The usmash makes it dangerous to land as Dedede on stage, and as he can use it out of his great dash it makes him hard to predict, particularly good against Dedede's ledge options. The uair is the same, which can be very bad if Dedede doesn’t vary up his landing with jumps/fast falling to be unpredictable. His aerials are all very fast and he’s a fantastic off-stage gimper against Dedede’s slow approach. He has a bag of tricks for basically every aerial. Fox on the offensive can make Dedede appear to be a balloon being kicked across the air and largely can't do anything about it other than DI out. Not like that’s unique to Fox, but he has the best tool set to do that without them being direct combos. When compared to Bayo and Falcon, he is light and his air speed isn’t as good, so he’s actually not as bad to KO. You just have to try juggling or gimping him, but keeping this match up in Dedede’s advantage is tricky. Still, barely better than the other two.
Very Strong Disadvantage
Fastest character in the game who has an annoying up aerial and a shockingly powerful fsmash that comes out far too fast, Sonic is more-or-less a flowchart. This flowchart works very well against Dedede as he’s one of the slowest characters period so is always on the defensive. The one upside is Sonic has to approach so Dedede can at all control the flow of the fight by spacing himself well, but ultimately he has plenty of great options out of his dash, his neutral special is really aggravating, his dash grab is good and he’s another character very hard to pin down. He is light and has a worse air speed than Fox, made up for marginally by his mobile up special and at times neutral special for recovery. This is one match up I felt a lot more comfortable with as I progressed as Dedede, but is still an absolute pain.
One of the fastest characters both for his dashing and air speed, Mewtwo has one of the strongest projectiles in the game (and Dedede is incapable of stopping the charge), plus all the power in the world. Mewtwo is incredibly hard to catch out because of his air speed, making him one of the best characters for landing in the game, and has a plethora of ways to bat back the Gordo using disjointed tail attacks and his projectiles. On top of that his grab game is infinitely better than Dedede’s boasting a KO throw uthrow, a massively damaging and spacing fthrow, another KO throw in bthrow, and a combo throw in dthrow. His tail and aerials in general have great range to almost rival Dedede’s hammer.
It’s a laundry list of positives for Mewtwo, the only negative is he’s a very, very lightweight character. He’s one of the lightest in the game and is KO’d about as early as Jigglypuff, all this really means is matches tend to go fast as he combos Dedede then casually gimps, or Dedede manages to land a KO move to KO at insanely early, anywhere above 60% Mewtwo is already at KO percent. For Dedede this does let you get Mewtwo into KO range after only a handful of hits. This makes for an interesting match up but strongly in Mewtwo’s favour as he can easily outcamp Dedede, making him the hardest character Dedede has to approach.
Another surprising pick to be in a top tier but if you think about it for two seconds you’ll realize immediately why. Toon Link has the best projectile spam in the game barring Villager, and compared to Villager, Toon Link’s aerials are far more versatile. He can casually combo from his bombs into his aerials for a KO, made much easier by Dedede’s size and weight, and will always bat back Gordos using his arrows, bombs, boomerang, etc. Unlike the previous characters, Toon Link also benefits from being a tiny character hard to pin down, but doesn’t have a good air speed or great dashing speed. Of course as Dedede rushing in is impossible anyway so it’s no loss for Tink. He has a surprisingly competent recovery, better than you’d expect ignoring bombs, so is not easy to gimp either, largely another one you have to learn to zone or die.
A painfully generic match up where Pikachu will be trying to space into his fsmash or usmash most likely depending on player, and rushdown Dedede the entire match. An incredibly annoying small character, among the hardest to hit in the game and very fast too with the usual combos that pummel Dedede constantly due to his size/weight combination. Most of all, trying to land a KO move on this damn rat is terrible. The only solace for Dedede is yet again his range and power, as Pikachu is a runt. He is among the lightest in the game so is at KO percent around 60-70%, and unlike Mewtwo doesn’t have a good air speed, but has an ungimpable recovery. It’s not impossible to juggle and go for vertical KOs as a result of his air speed and poor range, but his aerials are no slouch. Gordos aren’t completely useless like many of the above match ups as Thunder Jolt is pretty crap, its existence only means you have to hit over the projectile.
This low for Cloud is not saying Dedede has any easier of a time against Cloud, it’s a statement of how difficult the matches are above this one, Cloud is still very difficult for Dedede. This is because Cloud can easily camp for his Limit bar against Dedede, has several amazing moves to bat back the Gordos including his nair and uair, has fast melee moves like utilt, very good range on too many moves to mention and is a very good gimper versus Dedede. He’s another slippery character though not to the extent of Mewtwo or Falcon, the trade off is he’s technically a heavyweight. Cloud is infamously easy to gimp, but Dedede has problems getting him off stage period. Dedede can at least get something out of a typical Gordo frame trap at ledge because of Cloud’s crappier recovery options, or gimp Cloud outright. Still to get to this phase you’re battling a barrage of uairs, nairs, utilts, and Cloud is so powerful his fsmash at ledge will KO ridiculously early against Dedede’s fat ass. It might not sound that bad in writing, but it’s hard to understate the fact Cloud matches Dedede’s range a lot of the time, something Dedede can take for granted in this match up.
Same as Cloud, Diddy is great in the meta but doesn’t counter Dedede specifically that badly. It practically feels like a different game watching a competent Diddy do his shenanigans in this match up. Diddy glides across the stage with Monkey Flip/Banana Toss and if he ever lands his banana on Dedede you’re typically in for huge damage or straight up a KO. Dedede will find it hard checking Diddy’s landing due to his momentum shifting down special, his Monkey Flip side special, only let down by a very mediocre air speed so is not hard to juggle or vertically KO using uair, if he’s not flipping or momentum shifting around the air already. Obviously his fsmash is like Sonic’s fsmash, surprisingly fast and powerful. It honestly plays fairer to me than many of the above match ups despite how good Diddy is in tournament, as Dedede doesn’t particularly get countered by much Diddy can do, but it’s still very bad.
Largely the exact same character and highly irritating at times, but obviously near the bottom of this tier. The jab->fsmash combo on Dedede is very frustrating when it works, they have great all-around range due to the Falchion sword, have good combos and a decent grab game. They’re not only fast, but can use Shield Breaker to fly around the stage and their moves have ridiculously little end lag. It’s very hard to punish anything as Dedede and you have to get uncomfortably aggressive to punish anything Marth/Lucina does. They counter planking well as their aerials are quick and great at ledge to punish your jump option, and practically feels worthless to even attempt attack get up as their nair/fair will completely outrange it, basically covering the jump option too. Another nice positive for them is Counter acts as a further safeguard against moves like dsmash you could usually throw out at a safe range and not worry too much, now can be disastrous. Same for an up special landing on stage. All Dedede can do is try to outspace. The biggest positive for Dedede are Marth/Lucina are decently big humanoid size and are on the light side. If anything keeps them in this tier it’s that they’re very good at gimping Dedede.
Sheik’s ridiculous combos are what make her terrible, able to combo into her dive easily on Dedede due to his size, an extremely difficult to pin down character because of her movement speed, and practically impossible to catch in midair due to her Bouncing Fish and drift. The Bouncing Fish is stupidly fast and lets Sheik hop around midair with impunity where Dedede can’t possibly follow. On larger stages Sheik loves to run away and charge Needles then rush in once she sees the Gordo angle, Dedede can do nothing to stop this approach. Sheik can easily combo out of her utilt into aerials, then follow off stage for a disgusting early KO on Dedede if she does an elementary read. Dedede has to be extremely careful with his DI to not automatically die each time, and by comparison he may as well be swatting flies with that hammer. Sheik practically dances around Dedede in the air and any aerial will lead into a cheesy aerial combo guaranteed. Naturally Sheik can 2-frame with her dair and is a competent gimper given the chance.
Besides the rare dair 2-frame, planking tends to be a good answer when under pressure as Sheik isn’t the greatest following Dedede off stage if she can’t use her Dive, as her other aerials tend to be easily walled out by Gordos. Dedede can definitely afford to throw Gordos below the ledge so long as he’s not so low he SDs, though his actual aerials are just horrible here when Sheik gets in melee range. Sheik is not bad at hitting back Gordos, but with her OP standards, not aerials. Sheik’s one flaw is that her ledge game/recovery isn’t that complex; she either recovers low or tries to use her explosive teleport on stage which is telegraphed and easily punished. If she doesn’t do that then she’s open to Gordo frame traps on ledge. That’s pretty much all you get. And um, the Needles don’t reflect Gordos, amazing. I may as well say the Grenade is a garbage move that gets thrown out in a sorry attempt to frame trap and rarely works. Sheik is one of the few match ups so oppressive even dsmash feels too slow, prepare to spam Gordo Toss and plank.
His usmash and utilt/throw combos are really annoying super early, he’s a powerhouse and his KO moves come out ten years before Dedede’s do while not being all that weaker. He’s a bit clunky statistically but far faster than Dedede specifically, though he’s at least not that fast, not the hardest character to juggle or space with Gordos. Mario players typically try and use fireballs to bat back Gordos on FG. This is a good idea as fireballs largely make it impossible to get Gordos anywhere near Mario and force Dedede to jump up above and rain them down on top of Mario. From here, Mario can fish for usmash or just push Dedede aggressively, and has the frame data to do that. Being outcamped by Mario of all characters due to the Gordo reflection is very oppressive. The utilt combos and insane usmash are what seals it as a complete pain in the ass.
Any character that can match Dedede’s range is a problem and Corrin is frustrating because of their range alone. If that wasn’t enough, Corrin has a slow but huge projectile that can reflect Gordos casually and the usual FE counter to make sure a casual dsmash isn’t as easy for Dedede. Easy to snag Dedede with the Dragon Pin and then he’s fodder for any follow ups or combos. As Dedede is so huge too, the sweetspots aren’t hard to land, which practically delete his built in weight advantage if they land, giving Corrin a pressure advantage and putting Dedede at KO percent earlier on. Corrin’s landing is not great however, and their recovery is pretty bad, so Dedede can push his advantage decently well. Corrin isn’t small either, and just seems easier than most to hit with Gordos because of their hitboxes prioritizing range over coverage.
Rosalina & Luma
Dedede has few characters able to outrange him, Rosalina is one of those few and on top of it, her luma acts as a constant way to reflect the Gordo! And Rosalina has an amazing hard to gimp recovery, a gimmick uair that is terrible for Dedede, a great landing that makes her hard to punish, a fair few specific things that make it painful for Dedede. The projectile deleter is irrelevant because of how fast Gordos are created/a waste of her time. The saving grace here is Rosalina is randomly a giantess who has a huge hurtbox which is a massive plus for Dedede if you look at who he has decent match ups versus the average character. As a big hurtbox, Dedede can punish Rosalina’s landing easier out of an air/spot dodge and roll or simply land his many hitboxes for moves like jab, ftilt or uair that are lingering/multihit. It makes a huge difference. Getting past the luma is also not quite as bad for Dedede because of his hammer range and Gordos, so he gains a little in the match up compared to some, but is still a challenge.
ZSS is very similar to Sheik, a fast and combo-centric rushdown character. She lacks too many great responses to Gordo and I rarely see any good ZSS on For Glory. The dive’s utility is much worse than Sheik’s and ZSS can’t nearly fly around the stage as Sheik the cheese master. The other big thing she does besides spam dive and combo throws is spam her whip but it's so slow it's actually not that effective versus Gordos, and use her stun gun. Typically after landing a gun shot she then grabs for the dthrow combos, and goes for a ladder-style combo near the top, but it's a lot harder on Dedede than most due to his high fall speed, the KOing part not the combo which is easier. By comparison to Bayonetta ZSS just feels outright worse; has a worse projectile, a worse/non-existent ladder and is KO'd easier as she's a little lighter. Still, the throw combos and the gun especially to both stun into throw combos is enough to make it painful. You can't really punish her landing at all due to her ridiculous air speed and high fall speed, and her dive if good for anything, is good for avoiding Dedede on the ground. This means you are forced to punish her at ledge, plank her or spam overhead Gordos while avoiding the gun and whip.
Another one who never does much on FG in my experience, but the few times I’ve faced a good Ryu show off his dominance. Ryu can combo Dedede into a spike when competently played, it’s seriously grim. Dedede being combo food is at its worst in this match up and to a lesser extent but similar to Falcon Ryu can bat back Gordos using most of his melee moves. The main difference is that Ryu unlike Falcon has a very predictable slow recovery so is easier to gimp, has a pretty obtuse landing to punish even if his air speed is good, with an average dash speed. He’s still much faster than Dedede, but can’t chase down as oppressively as Falcon and while combos are potent on Dedede there’s nothing making it as nightmarish. As a big character and with a clunkier projectile, he finds it harder to reflect Gordos in the air too, which is primarily how Dedede can deal damage.
Very annoying small character who is hard to hit, fast and Gordos become almost pointless. He’s fast on the ground, but slower in the air, just not that slow, thankfully for him he also falls fast so punishing his landing is harder, especially with his specials. The one thing you can say for Dedede is MK is very light and has no projectile so has to approach; unlike Sonic he isn’t nearly as cheesy spamming dsmash versus Sonic’s fsmash. Once you learn how to get around his down special and do simple reads he’s far from the worst, but largely comes down to range and power.
The entire match is just Villager spamming fair/bair projectiles at Dedede, making Gordos very hard to use and really aggravating because of Dedede’s hurtbox size. Villager doesn’t have any real combos or rushdown beyond the projectile spam however and his KO moves are limited, but the sheer spam and power of the fair/bair is more than enough. Villager is small-ish and has infinite recovery even better than Dedede’s making him very hard to gimp or punish, though his low range and light weight mean he’s easy to frame trap with Gordos and outrange with hammer.
Another important factor here is Pocket. Villager can just destroy Dedede if he utilizes a pocket Gordo well, making it risky to use them in the match up. On the other hand Pocket is itself very punishable so it works both ways if Dedede can bait it out. As you can angle the Gordo to go less far, you can bait a Pocket quite easily, or vice versa if they expect the bait. Unfortunately the Pocket will still work on Gordos going overhead so you can’t be too clever. If the Villager is good, it's not like Villager is bad compared to Dedede once he gets in past the tacky slingshot.
Dedede has bad KO options and as a result he can accidentally build up Lucario’s Aura, which then invalidates Dedede’s weight through sheer power. Lucario has a great projectile as well which makes using Gordos difficult, has decent combos, if not the best, and isn’t slow though isn’t that fast. The counter is also very good if a bit worse than Marthcina’s. Dedede is under unique pressure here to get an early KO which is very bad in the context of his defensive playstyle, though Lucario also has to be somewhat pro-active eventually too, so it can be very tense for both players as they get early KO percents. Lucario still wins for having much better KO options.
This is a real hellish match up when played correctly for both players, only so low because MegaMan technically suffers similar flaws as Dedede, but the match up is about as painful as it gets. This ranks among the longest matches I ever played on For Glory. Basically, MegaMan can defensively camp with lemons, Crash Bomber, Metal Blade, his fsmash, his ftilt or nair in the air, or his uair when you’re below him. As Dedede there’s no way to respond to this other than slowly approaching, very slowly, and trying to hit a Gordo over everything.
You are forced to corner MegaMan by which point you’re going to be suffering heavily in the damage department… the one upside is that Dedede can match that damage within a few hits, and MegaMan is quite cumbersome/easy to punish. Unfortunately MegaMan is also heavy and hard to KO, but hasn’t got good coverage. MegaMan can easily reflect Gordos in front but has very little above or below because of his gimmicky utilt/uair and dair. MegaMan has problems trying to KO Dedede also because of Dedede’s super heavy status. This all means it’s a very slow, very campy match where Dedede is forced to approach which is bad, but he has a decent shot if he can get beyond that phase.
Not a ton of Luigis on FG that aren’t bad, Luigi’s surprisingly not as good against Dedede as other combo-heavy characters. In large part this is because he’s pretty much a toned down Mario playstyle wise. Luigi relies on his great combo throws and challenges Dedede off stage, importantly his overall movement is worse than Mario. Air speed is incredibly worse. Dedede can much, much easier punish Luigi’s landing and use frame traps against him with Gordos because of his worse speed than Mario. The cape versus missile is just irrelevant for the most part as reflector are redundant on Gordos anyway. Overall Luigi is still another combo character who is effective against Dedede, but hasn’t got that many advantages.
Just really doesn’t feel that threatening despite her playstyle you’d think that’d make her excel in the match up. Dedede doesn’t care about her hover, he is one of the best equipped to hit her out of the sky, and her cute turnip game is outshone massively by his Gordo versatility, plus he completely outranges her in the air. What it comes down to that’s a pain is she’s simply overtuned compared to Dedede. Peach’s KO options are obviously far superior, and while Dedede can punish her hover and aerials, he can’t always do that. He’s still doing a lot of work compared to the Peach player.
A small character who has projectiles particularly annoying on Dedede and a godlike grab game that puts Dedede's to shame because of the infamous bthrow. Ness has some very annoying aerial combos using his fair that shut out Dedede and has a good selection of aerials to check Dedede's recovery, and naturally bat back Gordos. Dedede's one big advantage is he massively outranges Ness, his hammer going past the disjointed PK hitboxes and Ness is a little fat and awkwardly slow in all respects. Ness can't effectively camp Dedede and PK Fire can't reliably reflect Gordos anyway so Dedede can surprisingly camp Ness competently enough. As a slow faller, Ness is susceptible to uairs and obviously the PK Thunder recovery sucks. If he can get Ness off stage Dedede should be able to gimp fairly easily. Dedede's practically infinite recovery means he can get creative in his gimp attempts compared to other characters versus Ness. A match up where both characters have strong advantage states, but Ness' combo game gives him an edge.
Two words: ding dong. DK can reliably land his ding dong combo on Dedede to KO at ridiculously low percents. I found playing Dedede if he's ding dong'd early he would otherwise be able to survive another 50%. DK only isn't higher because as a huge character, the Gordos are very good against him and he is easily outranged and outpowered by many of Dedede's attacks. It's easy to zone DK in neutral and Dedede has a lot more options than DK does because of his Gordo frame traps. DK has a very good air speed meaning you'd think he would be hard to check landing, but is so large Gordos are extremely good and DK is not well suited to batting them back with his aerials from many angles. DK suffers generally trying to reflect Gordos and not eat them in his shield or trade a reflect for getting hit, at which point Dedede casually reflects it back or perfect shields the Gordo. DK's recovery is also extremely bad and easy to gimp.
Generally annoying rushdown character, though has a pretty goofy approach that makes him predictable. He's pretty gimmicky, even compared to patented Gordo Spam, and his projectile is the kind of stupid that is easy to let Gordos hop over. He has some great range in a few moves like usmash but overall lacks too many good KO options against Dedede, just having to consistently win neutral. That said Dedede is obviously going to struggle against a fast, relatively small character, it's just nothing extraordinarily hard compared to similar characters, for example Pikachu is better in every way. The rush in side special and Counter give Dedede some problems, but no more than the FE characters and ZSS/Sheik, not nearly enough to make this that problematic.
The one thing making this hard is the arrow spam from Pit, which forces Dedede to approach. The arrows are superior for camping over Gordos period as like Gordos, they have a few angles, so it's pointless trying to hit over them. At the same time Pit has an amazing air speed that makes checking his landing hard, is relatively small, has an ungimpable recovery and is fast. The reason he's not higher is because of Pit's notorious flaws as a character. His KO moves are a discount version of characters such as Meta Knight, his grab game isn't very good and his range is deceptively poor against Dedede. He just doesn't quite come together and most matches are testament to that if Dedede can win neutral.
Lucas is largely a worse Ness. A good grab but not anywhere near the level of Ness' bthrow, a projectile that is better than Ness' for Gordos but worse in every other way and the same awful recovery. Lucas just seems to have outright worse combos than Ness and no bthrow, though the combos are still there as a nuisance. Lucas like Ness can reflect Gordos fairly casually with his disjoints, but is outranged by the hammer and generally too slow to not be outspaced by a competent Dedede. Despite what everyone says online this is a borderline character to the next tier and I really can't say enough how much worse this is than Ness, at least in this match up.
I've not seen many Olimars, all I can say on this match up is that it's pretty annoying getting rid of Pikmin as Dedede because his options to do so are limited to utilt and nair. Dedede fortunately doesn't care too much as a super heavyweight and Olimar is going to struggle to KO in this match up most of the time. This is another super campy match up like Mega Man or Villager but unlike those Olimar has no great way to reflect Gordos. On the other hand, he's a tiny target to hit, but it's not so much of an issue because of his lack of projectiles (besides the purple one). The Pikmin are really no substitute for projectiles in this match up and lose out to Gordos. Olimar is also very slow and easy to juggle, he can't combo and has slow attack speed, so the clash of the Pikmin and Gordos is very important for Dedede. It may as well be even, but I give a small edge to Olimar solely because of his ability to outcamp Dedede.
The Gyro and laser are better projectiles than you'd think. ROB has a good set of aerials against Dedede because of their good coverage, range and strength, so Dedede is not as safe as he'd like to be in the air. For various reasons including his specific type of recovery ROB is hard to check landing, but is also cumbersome and a big, clunky target to hit with Gordos using various angles. While the projectiles are good, they do have gimmicks that make them more situational than say, Villager and his fair/bair spam. Generally ROB’s just clunkier because of his size and speed, without a ton of good KO options so Dedede will generally survive a long time.
Put off ranking this one a long time as I have a ton of experience in this match up and while I can't justify it as even, I am confident it is only a small advantage to Bowser. Bowser's throw combos just seem unable to work as well against Dedede for some reason...? At the same time, Bowser is so fat and big, he will regularly get hit multiple times by the same Gordo. Yes, that's right, the same Gordo, this does upwards of 20% damage. Though Bowser has tools for landing, these are very unsafe (Bowser Bomb) or can be easily shielded (dair) at which point Dedede can bring out the big guns like dsmash or fsmash if he's ballsy. This is despite Bowser's amazing air speed, basically he's a worse DK without the ding dong and the same huge hurtbox. Off stage Bowser does have good aerials like his fair, but is banned from using his dair to spike and his laggy nair is pretty much reserved entirely for throw combos. For good measure, Flame Breath does nothing but kind of slow down Gordos.
On top of having his landing options that are punished heavily Bowser is basically banned from using any smashes. Dedede's multiple midair jumps mean he can bait and punish a usmash, the dsmash is terrible and fsmash is so slow Bowser may as well SD if it whiffs. Bowser also has no answer to Dedede's planking game. Bowser has decent options to reflect the Gordos but a lot of the time can't answer the up angled Gordo and even against the down or smashed angle, has a hard time responding as he lacks good, grounded coverage moves. That all said, Bowser has obvious strong points that do give him a notable if reduced edge. His grab is far better than Dedede's and has KO throws (!!!) as well as aforementioned combo throws, even if Dedede escapes them more than most. His ftilt and fair are very oppressive fast attacks that have deceptively good range and turn into KO moves relatively early on. At the ledge the dtilt and dair can get a lucky 2-frame, that's anything. Dedede himself is extremely fat so Bowser gains the same advantages Dedede does. While he can't answer planking, Bowser's grounded up special is really annoying for Dedede's ledge options and in general is a great move against Dedede, while not being as unsafe as Bowser Bomb.
In the end what gives Bowser the edge is his far superior KO moves to Dedede. For Dedede, you have bair, uair, dsmash for reads, fsmash is situational, dair is laughably bad, jab can KO at around 200%. No throw ever KOs. Maybe you get lucky and land a nair or dtilt at a super high percent. Most of the time, a Gordo will be what KOs, emphasizing that Bowser's massive hurtbox is the biggest positive for Dedede. Bowser has fthrow, bthrow, ftilt, jab, dtilt, utilt, uair, fair, bair, and his fsmash if he gets very lucky. If Dedede had a few more KO moves it might be an even match up.
You wouldn't expect G&W to be a problem but this is Dedede, and something as generic as his BBQ projectiles are a big issue, as well as his long reaching, far covering aerials nair, bair and fair. These long range moves on the fatass Dedede are difficult off stage. Dedede's also going to have problems hitting such a small target and G&W's weird hitboxes are a good fit to counter Gordos, on top of the BBQ where every individual chicken wing will reflect Gordos. It's about as obnoxious as lemons for MegaMan, only G&W lacks any other projectile to drive it home. G&W is however incredibly light, has no KO throw, finds it extremely hard to land and only has a few good KO options.
G&W’s usmash is dangerous against Dedede if he can't bait out a failed juggle of some kind, but in general Dedede is susceptible to G&W's juggles more than almost any other character due to his size and speed. G&W also has decent options to check Dedede's ledge options, and has anything to check his planking. This largely fits into the same mold as Tink or Villager, a small character who has an annoying projectile, annoying 2-frame or gimping dair and wacky disjointed hitboxes. In this case, G&W has no power and a gimmicky moveset so Dedede isn't that hard pressed to zone and punish. G&W is another super lightweight who can be KO'd ridiculously early, alleviating Dedede's own KO problems.
Duck Hunt Dog
The dog has a few annoying projectiles, his disc is annoying for Dedede due to his big hurtbox, the can is not as much of an issue as it could be but still bad. Dedede's midair jumps and incredible fast fall means the can is easy to dodge around and Gordo typically doesn't get reflected by it, more the disc is the problem in a competent match up. DHD has a surprising amount of good hitboxes to get decent range on Dedede, particularly his aerials and his disjointed smashes, these are much better on Dedede as a big heavyweight than most of the roster. The dog also has no problem reflecting Gordos using these moves. Dedede by comparison gets no special bonus fighting DHD. The dog has the same weaknesses as always, but this doesn't really extend to any area where Dedede excels. DHD's KO potential is low, but so is Dedede, and due to the dog's camping this match up can go for a long time... but DHD should win out in that situation solely because he has less risky KO moves, even if they are generally bad.
A character who has long range projectiles, disjointed sword attacks and the potential to do kill confirms off these projectiles is all good. Robin's problem as always for the character is he's slow, has awkward traits such as grab and has a poor recovery. Robin is one of the slowest characters in the game, even slower than Dedede, and can almost never approach when Gordos are in play without a telegraphed reflection move. Those crap Bronze Sword tilts especially are not good to just throw out and help drag Robin down to Dedede’s level. The projectiles still give Robin an edge, but as he is not really a combo character and has limited potential for rushdown, Dedede largely plays evenly in the neutral.
Off stage the bulky Dedede hates encountering Shulk and his disjointed, if slow aerials as he has no answer with his own awful fair and is easily combo'd to death. Other than that, Shulk's range is a difficult learning curve for Dedede, and Dedede's size is again a huge negative for Shulk if he wants to use some of his fastest options like his dtilt or grab from close range without getting hit out of dodge or rolling back to the right position. At a longer range, Dedede can try to outrange using ftilt or just Gordo as always from a safe distance. Monado makes many of Dedede’s moves unsafe that generally are safe, which is the learning curve. Shulk, when not using Monado Speed or Jump anyway, isn’t that hard to zone and pressure which is why it’s not too bad. He’s not small either, which makes a big difference for Gordos and Dedede’s hammer.
This is laughably inferior to Toon Link, although not as big a downgrade as Dr. Mario, Link's only advantage over Tink is weight. On the flipside of that, his big hurtbox compliments his weight and that's a huge negative against Dedede. Compared to the smaller Tink, Link can be easily caught out by Gordos after dodging/rolling or just generally in the air, where he's particularly vulnerable from below due to his stall then fall dair, which is easily punished if it is forced out, and he's pathetically slow in the air. This means Dedede can continuously combo Link from below and even go for a finale uair to KO due to his cumbersome aerial mobility. Even Link's aerials are a little slower than Tink's so worse for reflecting Gordos without punishment. The only thing keeping this a small advantage for Link is he's got the same projectiles as Toon Link, though even there lacks the combos and confirms Tink does that make them all that powerful.
Yoshi is decent at reflecting Gordos, but his recovery is just terrible against Gordos and he has to go very aggressive to not be outcamped by Dedede, as his egg obviously can’t do any work. Dedede has an easy time hitting him out of Egg Roll and Inhale outprioritizes it too. Yoshi is very speedy, obviously in the air he’s almost uncatchable and is one of the last “usmash and pray” playstyles to go through, but is so vastly outranged by Dedede he's easy to bait. I find Yoshi is one of the easier characters to bring out the usually bad usmash on because of his floaty fall/fast fall speed, despite his great air speed, his air-to-ground is not great. He lacks good KO options outside his smashes, his grab is bad and despite being fast his rolls/dodges are easy to punish. Most of this however doesn’t help Dedede nearly as much as his recovery being poor. Dedede's dsmash that can easily deal semi-spike knockback is really strong against Yoshi due to his recovery. The only thing making it overall bad is Yoshi’s still pretty heavy, hard to catch and has serviceable combos.
Samus’ main claim to fame in this match up is her surprisingly good aerial combos. Her uair and dash attack combos are especially good against Dedede, her floaty stats line up well to counter Dedede’s floatiness and he’s a huge target for her big hitboxes. Dedede isn’t going to have too many problems with her fairly standard projectiles, the Charge Shot can be easily jumped over or fast falled below. Planking as always is a great way to deter the opponent’s projectile spam. Samus being such a slow faller and predictable on landing means she’s fairly easy to KO, and she’s obviously slow and finds it hard to KO anyone, let alone Dedede. What makes it a disadvantage as opposed to even is simply her versatility in the air. Samus can follow Dedede off stage with impunity and Dedede has to respect her far more than most characters due to his crap aerials outside of his bair (which is itself not a particularly fast option, just not horrid).
Another very slow, heavy hitter heavyweight, this might be even if not for again Charizard’s massive KO advantage over Dedede. Both characters are painfully slow but where Zard lacks in speed, he makes up for in power, and having multiple KO throws is a huge advantage. Dedede really can’t afford to be grabbed at high percents. Charizard is slow enough he doesn’t have a great amount of Gordo reflecting moves, and his answers to planking aren’t the greatest but he does have the potential to 2-frame with dair. Unlike Bowser’s Flame Breath, Charizard’s Flamethrower actually can reflect Gordos so is harder to hit past. Compared to Dedede and his dsmash, Charizard is simply much better at punishing/reads with practically all 3 smashes. His range is inferior to Dedede’s, but is still very good, especially his aerials. Zard is definitely cumbersome and a big target, but Zard simply outdoes Dedede at the basics.
The bike isn’t too bad once you realize dtilt casually outranges it, and invalidates the bike from the front. Gordos obviously get hit away from the bike but it’s not a big deal considering the bike’s lag. Wario has some of the best coverage in the game to bat back Gordos but he’s also not the kind of character who can do aerial combos on Dedede, the neutral here is not that bad either, it’s fairly even and I might give a small edge to Dedede for his range. When Wario has no projectile and is short on range outside his bike, it’s a decent match up for Dedede. This is another case of simple KO power doing in Dedede. Wario has a plethora or aerial KO moves, a KO throw (even if on Dedede it takes a while to come online), Wario Waft, his smashes are slow but superior to crap like Dedede’s usmash. Dedede on the other hand finds it very hard to KO the fast in the air Wario with his bair or uair, and he’s too slippery for fsmash, so you are reliant entirely on jab, dsmash and Gordos.
Ike’s Ragnell sword and its range can be a real nuisance in this match up as Dedede’s main advantage is meant to be his hammer’s range. The sword as a disjointed hitbox is also naturally good at batting back Gordos. His aether technically can 2-frame, but isn’t that great of a tool for it other than the fact it buffers easier, on FG with lag it’s still not nearly as good as say, Falcon’s utilt. His recovery is pretty bad and Dedede for once is well poised to abuse it as he can go very far off stage to punish Quick Draw. Like Charizard, Ike is another slow heavy who’s great at punishing and unlike Dedede has a good few KO moves. Ike might be even nonetheless, but the fact he’s a heavyweight offsets his weaknesses against Dedede, it’s painful dragging out a FE match up. The counter is more relevant in a longer match and Ike has more opportunities to punish your mistakes. Generally the longer it drags on the only advantage Dedede gains is through Rage to give a few more KO options.
Fitting that Roy and Ike end up in the same area, this is largely a reverse of Ike where Roy is very frail by comparison in the middle of the roster, but is much faster. However Roy’s set doesn’t connect together as well as Marth/Lucina. He can’t combo Dedede around nearly as well and lacks the Shieldbreaker’s mobility in the air, making him far easier to punish, and doesn’t have the frame data in his aerials, especially his landing lag, to do all the cheesy combos available to Marth/Lucina. By comparison to Ike, he’s a lot faster, but also a bit more reliant on gimmicks. His unique hilt tipper is a lot harder to utilize in practice than Marth’s and means he has to try rushing in close to Dedede, which is not hard but works against him as Dedede wants to force the enemy to approach. While decently close, his speed and for the umpteenth time his advantage in KO options make it a little more challenging than an even match up.
This is a crapshoot match up as are all Little Mac match ups, the only relevance to Dedede is in Little Mac’s inability to go off stage and his plethora of KO moves/armour. Dedede is absolutely destroyed by Mac in terms of power, but Mac can’t do anything about Dedede’s planking for the most part. Dedede also can take advantage of Mac’s purely melee range with his Gordo spam. Any time Mac is sent into the air or off stage, Dedede can quite easily punish or outright KO. The problem is that likewise if Mac is grounded he can do a number on Dedede because of his frame data, armour and mobility. What I think makes it even is that Mac is very light. Mac on top of his famous flaws alleviates Dedede’s weak KO moves because of that weight.
Unlike Little Mac, this is more of a traditional match up and character. Palutena is fairly gimmicky and as a result, easily punished. She lacks any real capacity to combo and that already puts her and Dedede on an even footing. She can’t really do much about planking or Gordos, another big positive. It’s simply a problem of being outranged and Palutena having superior KO options to Dedede, particularly her usmash. Dedede’s air speed is bad enough that getting out of the way of usmash is a genuine problem. The counter is also a slight problem, though really not that bad on a character who’s easily punished already, no need most of the time to take any risks here. The reflector wall is a little annoying, but doesn’t work very long on Gordos and is pretty redundant when Gordos are so easy to reflect.
This is a pretty broken character in a bad way, Kirby has a few mildly annoying aerials, but no propensity to combo, and is horribly outranged in most respects. He’s only kept even because of decent smashes as punish options. He’s fairly slow, but has a decent combo utilt and much faster attacks than Dedede. Kirby is hard to gimp, but easy to punish landing because like Dedede is slow moving in the air and a floaty character. Unfortunately Dedede is severely lacking in vertical KO moves besides jab finisher and Gordos, so this isn’t as handy as you’d expect. Kirby also can’t do anything about planking and is screwed over a lot by Gordos.
This match up is surprisingly annoying when the Jigglypuff player is competent. Jigglypuff can wall of pain Dedede more effectively than almost any character because of his size. It’s also really annoying to hit Jigglypuff when she can jump around higher up around Dedede’s hurtbox, as his options to hit her there (short hop nair/uair, utilt, up smash) all are incredibly slow and telegraphed. (Though if you do land these moves, it may as well be a OHKO on Jigglypuff.) So Dedede is forced to back away and play defensively. If Jigglypuff ever gets in close it’s shockingly bad. At the same time, Jigglypuff is absurdly weak/light, easy to zone and very slow. It’s pretty ridiculous how early Dedede can KO Jigglypuff if he makes the right read. While Jigglypuff can wall of pain Dedede off stage, Dedede can wall out Jigglypuff easily by utilizing his ftilt, Gordos and dtilt well.
Her projectile is irrelevant suffice to say. The reflector is too pretty much. The problem is getting used to her Teleport as Dedede is so slow, there’s plenty of time to punish during say, a Gordo Toss. This is a bit of a shock to Dedede’s playstyle but once adapted, she’s really not that big of an issue. She like Dedede has serious problems netting KOs and is slow. As a floaty and humanoid/not small character, she’s most susceptible to uairs or the few good up-angled moves Dedede has besides the Gordo one. Her aerials aren’t fast, but do have good coverage which is good for Gordos and to gimp Dedede off stage, just not very well compared to other characters. Moves like uair are pretty bad for Dedede’s statistics on paper but in practice she’ll find it hard to get below him, and mostly relies on gimps or reads, like Dedede.
A slow and awkward character that relies on gimmicks, largely these are redundant in the match up. His fruit selection is not needed for Gordos, and against Dedede? Just a generic fast rushdown move would be a lot more useful, something Pac-Man lacks. His terrible grab really doesn’t help either as being grabbed out of shield is one of Dedede’s worst nightmares that keeps him from spamming his dtilt and dash attack to break shields… though I honestly haven’t tested this enough to see if it’s really that bad on Dedede. Besides those things, Pac-Man just has to get pretty up close and personal, going for typical read/punish options to KO. He has some nice disjointed smashes but besides those, is very easy to zone. Pac-Man doesn’t struggle as much as Dedede for KOs, but is definitely awkward; Dedede can just fish for bairs and not have too many problems. Still, it’s not like Dedede excels either in this match up, it largely plays the way you’d expect a Dedede should if he was balanced to be a normal character.
Here is a character who is an even a match up by default. Falco is a massive, massive downgrade from Fox, arguably worse than Dr. Mario as regular Mario isn’t so inherently counter to everything Dedede does like Fox. Falco has awful combo potential, is surprisingly cumbersome, is very predictable and is randomly very slow on the ground. In the air, he’s really fast and has the best jumps in the game, as well as a good uair, but on Dedede it’s all largely irrelevant. Dedede would you’d think be vulnerable to uairs due to his stats but he can casually fast fall or jump to evade them, negating the advantage Falco has in his great jumps. At the same time he outranges almost every Falco move. The Falco lasers are also so bad the Gordos have to be really lazily tossed for it to be relevant. Falco’s reflector is far more useful just for not having ten years of end lag like the lasers. In the end, this might even be a good match up for Dedede if not for Falco’s usmash, a decently fast and strong KO move that while weaker on Dedede, still checks his ledge get up as well as being a superior option to anything in Dedede’s arsenal. Just that and having any aerial presence keeps Falco in the match.
This match up was difficult to say whether even or advantage for Dedede as like Bowser, I have plenty of experience in the match up, but logically this should only be even. Koopalings are just about the most awkward character in the game for size/hitbox placement. They are extremely susceptible to Gordos and are a dream match up for a projectile spammer Dedede. For the koopalings player, the Mecha Koopa doesn’t work nearly as well because of Dedede’s jumps, and Dedede obviously can use the Gordo Toss in the air. At the same time, Koopalings’ usual advantage of range is nullified by Dedede’s hammer, they have an awful recovery so bad Dedede can abuse it, and their KO power is locked behind very easily punished moves for the most part.
What the koopalings have in their favour is speed, a much better grab, and an overall superior set of smashes. The fsmash can be surprisingly tricky for the fat Dedede to avoid, the dsmash is a generic check on his get up roll and other defensive options he has to utilize a lot to survive and the up smash is a nice disjointed multihit if Dedede gets too cocky with his jumps. It all amounts to decent pressure on Dedede to keep him on the defensive, compared to Dedede’s pretty awful KO options. Besides the difference in smash quality, Koopalings have a very nice all-around ftilt and grab, and anything quick at all in their set. Dtilt, jab, hell even the Clown Kart Dash side special’s actual hit are fast options that make it hard hard for Dedede to react. Thing is the Koopalings are just so clunky, slow and above all else a huge target, Dedede’s weaknesses (his weak KO moves, slowness, poor frame data) are a natural fit, so it’s a close one whether this is truly even or in his advantage.
This is worth mentioning as the mirror is pretty interesting, doesn’t even play like Smash Bros. What happens a lot in this mirror is Gordos colliding which can have… unique results. Most of the time they’ll both reflect in opposite directions, and you’re lucky to be able to shield. Other times, both Gordos will be shot in one direction seemingly at random. This either does a ton of damage or brings a shield down to half health. Dedede is so big that he’s a perfect target for his own moves emphasizing their range. Dedede can easily stop planking himself, largely by taking control of the ledge through sheer force so is ill advised to even try in the mirror. The usually fairly pointless dthrow->uair combos are more relevant because Dedede is naturally vulnerable to his own combos, due to his size/weight/fall speed, so there’s that. There’s a lot of randomness to the mirror that makes it pretty chaotic.
This might be my opinion seeping in but this is a really shoddy character and compared to Mario, works badly in the Dedede match up. His up smash sending you forward at a weird angle is not good as Dedede has nearly infinite horizontal recovery, his fair not dunking is bad, his even worse recovery is a nice boon for Dedede. The pills are annoying but when the usmash is useless, and he has to rely on fsmash or dsmash to KO, it’s extremely predictable. It practically feels like Dedede for a change has better KO options than his opponent. He’s very slow too and is like the fat kid chasing a less fat kid desperately trying to rushdown Dedede. Mario was never that good at countering planking or outranging Dedede in the first place and these negatives return with a vengeance. All you can say is that the generic pressure of fsmash and dsmash, as those are half decent KO moves, stop this from being a huge advantage to Dedede.
Wii Fit Trainer
Rarely seen on For Glory for good reason, Wii Fit Trainer's reliant on Sun Salutation to try and outcamp Dedede. However, Sun Salutation can only go straight forward, so is pathetic as an option to outcamp the Gordos. The best they can do is jump and launch the projectile midair, which is very predictable with both a 5 frame jump squat and 20 frames to fire the projectile. At the same time, WFT lacks a competent melee game to contest Dedede's hammer range, and has a fairly mediocre grab game that neither combos nor can KO Dedede at a relevant percent. They have powerful moves, and some that require you to be wary like the random jab bury/pitfall, the ftilt's wacky backward hitbox and they are largely ungimpable because of Super Hoop's vertical range into a ledge snap - none of this is all that good compared to everyone else in the game. Dedede simply outdoes WFT at camping, at hard punishes and at planking, WFT's one advantage is speed. WFT are much faster than Dedede both for attacks and mobility, but so is everyone in the roster. My evaluation of this match up is WFT was designed to be unorthodox and play well against normal characters, but when it's pretty weak as well it doesn't work against an oddball.
Bowser and Ganondorf are two of my most played match ups and this might well give me bias in Dedede's favour, but this one I feel is even harder to argue is not to Dedede's advantage than the other two in this tier. That is because Ganondorf has to rely so hard on a handful of moves to reflect the Gordo. That would be usmash, jab, ftilt, the other moves are too slow to reliably reflect Gordo, hitboxes are too limited or require too precise of timing to do it without leaving him punishable from even moderately far away. The other problem Ganondorf has is Dedede's heavyweight status and ability to plank. Ganondorf isn't the worst at challenging Dedede off stage, but poses a great risk to himself if he does go. Dededede likewise has to respect Ganondorf's recovery as if he goes off stage he leaves himself open to Flame Choke at a stock disadvantage, nair, dair, uair; Ganondorf has far better aerials. The match can largely come down to Ganondorf and Dedede taking turns controlling the ledge.
Where the match up veers into Dedede's favour is the Gordo's ability to control space on stage and the ledge frame trap. Unique of most characters, Ganondorf is unable to do much to get over the Gordo frame trap because of his awful jumps, air speed and middling fall speed. He is quite possibly the easiest character to zone with Gordos, though is able to challenge for pressure because of his options such as Flame Choke or Wizard Foot on stage. Ganondorf falls short of having enough tools to threaten Dedede's Gordo angles and hammer range. This is fairly unique in the cast and it's not a large advantage at all for Dedede. Nonetheless Ganondorf only has to get a couple of hard reads to end a stock, but that's not enough to make it even.
Whenever I play FG I always see Ganondorf used in an attempt to counter-pick Dedede and it never works. The times the other player is very competent and knows the match up, it quickly slips away into a win for Dedede over a session of matches. The only way Ganondorf can win is if you fall for his usmash bait, don't respect his aerials or don't know how to react to Flame Choke/know how to tech. Beyond that bag of tricks, he's one of the only characters who should be a relief to see on FG.
I have so rarely played this match up period in a 1v1 setting, let alone on FG that I can't give a good summary (is it even allowed there?). I would estimate based on friendlies it is quite bad for Mii Brawler and Swordfighter as they are generally pretty bad movesets, using the default lowest settings. It might be okay for them when they're allowed to be heavier, but they have very gimmicky sets and poor frame data, particularly Brawler, as well as horrible recoveries. The Gunner might be a different story because of his projectiles and disjoints. I would guess the Mii Brawler and Swordfighter would be two of the other slight advantages for Dedede (if not his only two plain advantages). As far as Mii Gunner, Dedede doesn't enjoy playing against characters who have big disjoints that outrange his hammer or projectile spammers. The Gunner I would guess at an even or slight disadvantage.