Like the original Hyrule Warriors, Age of Calamity allows players to use the main antagonist as a playable character, though in Calamity Ganon’s case, it takes a little more work to unlock him. After completing the main story and several side missions involving Astor and the Blight Ganons, you will unlock a side mission to defeat Astor, Harbinger Ganon, and Calamity Ganon one after another before finally being able to use him.
Until the inevitable DLC is released that may allow you to play as other villains, Calamity Ganon is the only choice available if someone wants to play through Age of Calamity as the bad guy. Thankfully, he definitely lives up to his reputation.
Ganon’s playstyle is similar to the Great Fairies, as he is a large character with wide, sweeping attacks and a relatively slow combo string. However, where the Great Fairies fail in their slow movement speed and overly large hitbox, Ganon is still quite nimble, at least more so than would be expected for a character of his size.
Ganon is just as capable of outmaneuvering enemies as he is of pummelling them into a fine paste. The main way he achieves this is through his Malice form, where he will gain a huge attack boost that will always shield break enemies and open them up to weak point smashes.
While Ganon is stationary or moving at regular speed, his strong attack will summon Malice around the battlefield for him to easily absorb using his unique action. This version of Ganon’s strong attack is basically useless in the middle of combat and is only really useful to build up the last of his Malice meter quickly since every other method of increasing the gauge is better.
Ganon’s sprinting strong attack, however, is much better. It will cause Ganon to attack in a wide band while leaping forward, making it good for both closing the distance as well as clearing small groups of Bokoblins or Lizalfos.
While Ganon has a lot of positives in his favor, his special attack isn’t one of them. While it is great for single targets, causing a mid-sized explosion in front of him, it should have been a much better AOE attack and suffers as a result of its lack of width.
It is also very easy for this attack to accidentally miss. If you are positioned in point-blank range before executing, the explosion will occur behind the target rather than on top of them and do significantly less damage as a result. For the best outcome, stand back a few paces from the target before using Ganon’s special attack.
Basic Combo String
Ganon’s basic combo string is fairly short and has a few moves that are similar to the Great Fairies, but the entire combo is executed much faster and has the added bonus of not leaving Ganon wide open for attacks while using his basic string.
The basic string is also the most efficient way to gather Malice and fill its meter. Ganon will generally produce more of it when executing the full basic string than any that is created with his strong attack combo.
Strong Attack Combos
For the most part, Ganon’s strong attack combos feel like they are ripped straight out of the original Hyrule Warriors, with his first combo being a launcher, his second dealing damage straight ahead, and his third being a wide sweeping attack that is good for dealing with multiple enemies at once.
If you’re familiar with when and how to use the combos in Hyrule Warriors, then you should be able to pick up and use Ganon fairly easily. The one issue is the first combo, which has the habit of executing behind the enemy if Ganon is too close and can prevent them from being launched as a result.
Weak Point Drainer
Although by far the best way to train an enemy’s weak point is with the Malice form, this isn’t always available to you and can take quite a long time to fill up, unlike Kohga’s and Urbosa’s meters. Without the Malice form, the best weak point drainer is the third combo, which also doubles as a great way of getting rid of smaller enemies that might try to swarm you.
You should also be wary of Ganon’s weak point smash in general, as it is easily one of the longest in the game and can take up a large chunk of time to complete. While this doesn’t affect mission timers, since they stop during special attacks and weak point smashes, it may result in enemies moving further away during the animation, causing some to be out of range.
Despite the several flaws in Ganon’s character, his Sheikah Runes are some of the best in the game, even compared to Zelda’s. Ganon has one of the only Magnesis effects that is useful outside of prompts, as it will perform the same metal spike attack as Thunderblight Ganon in Breath of the Wild, dealing lighting damage in a fairly large AOE attack.
Cryonis will summon a wall of jagged ice pillars to block incoming attacks, while Bombs will simply throw five in a wide band ahead of Ganon before detonating, making it easy to hit its mark. Ganon’s Stasis is easily one of the better ones as well, as it will freeze enemies all around him in an AOE style attack.
Despite his size, Ganon is pretty capable of dodging attacks when necessary. That said, you are at a slight disadvantage compared to smaller characters since his model can easily obscure the view of incoming attacks from time to time, particularly in enclosed levels.
In general, Ganon is an all-out-attacking character, so blocking should be used only when absolutely necessary.
Like the Great Fairies, Ganon’s biggest weak point is his slow attack speed, so any Attack Speed modifiers will go a long way into making him a true killing machine.
Damage From Enemies is also a useful modifier, as his larger hitbox makes him more susceptible to incoming attacks. Lastly, Dash Attack Damage can help you get the most out of Ganon’s pretty good dash attack.
The ZR button for Ganon has two uses. While the Malice meter is depleted, it will draw in Malice that has been summoned by Ganon’s attacks from all around him with a fairly wide range; however, when the meter is full, it will transforming Ganon into his Malice form instead.
While in this form, Ganon’s attacks are a little slower but will always stun anything he hits. This form is a great way to deal with difficult bosses such as the Blight Ganons or Malice Lynels, which can be quite challenging for big characters to overcome due to their larger hitboxes.
Next: Age of Calamity: 10 Pro Tips For Playing As The Great Fairy
- Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
Callum Archer is a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia. He is an avid gamer, Nintendo fanboy, and lover of weird sci-fi novels, who also dabbles in manga from time to time, usually dark and twisted work like Uzumaki and Death Note.
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