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The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

How to Beat Gloom Hands and Phantom Ganon Combat Strategy

Jessica Dillon

Gloom Hands are one of the most horrifying enemies in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of The Kingdom. These enemies spawn in fixed locations throughout Hyrule and will relentlessly hunt Link down as long as he stays within their spawn radius. Defeating them can be challenging as well, and even after all five are dealt with, a stronger enemy, Phantom Ganon. will spawn in their place. The guide below goes over how to defeat them and how to defeat all three versions of Phantom Ganon.

Gloom Hands spawning near Rassla Lake in Faron.

Best Strategies For Defeating Gloom Hands

"Gloom Hand" iconGloom Hands are a terrifying enemy that can quickly be the end for players both new and old. This is a fast enemy that will grab a hold of Link squeezing the life out of him with one of its five hands. Similar to the Wallmaster from previous Zelda games, Link must struggle to get loose of a hand when caught, or he will continue to be affected by Gloom. You can get loose by shaking the thumbsticks, the faster you shake them, the smaller the amount of damage you will take. Even touching the red muck that surrounds them will inflict Gloom damage to Link, making it hard to take them on with close-range weaponry. With a lot of testing though, we’ve come up with several strategies to defeat this enemy.

The best strategy for defeating Gloom Hands is to get on top of a rock or cliff. Once you are at a high elevation, you can safely shoot them with an arrow. Damaging the hands one by one won’t work, as long as one hand remains alive, the other four will keep respawning. The best strategy is to use "Bomb Flower" iconBomb Flowers to deal damage to all five hands at the same time, this will quickly wipe them out without causing you to take damage.

(1 of 3) Gloom hands will grab at Link, when caught they will inflict Gloom.

Alternatively, you can use Gloom-resistant food or the Depths armor set to negate some of the damage taken from the hands. This will allow you to fight them close-up, although we don’t recommend this method. Once you can damage the Gloom Hands, it doesn’t take too much damage to defeat them all, be warned though, "Phantom Ganon" iconPhantom Ganon always appears after you defeat a set of Gloom Hands. Once you defeat both the Gloom Hands and Phantom Ganon, you shouldn’t have to worry about them appearing in the area again until the next Blood Moon triggers.

Best Strategies for Defeating Phantom Ganon

As soon as all five Gloom Hands are defeated, Phantom Ganon will spawn in their place. Phantom Ganon is able to teleport around, so fighting him from above won’t work. He is able to inflict Gloom damage when he hits Link and will usually keep a puddle of Gloom around him making it hard to get close. You should also note that there are different versions of Phantom Ganon that will appear.

When defeated, all three variations of Phantom Ganon have the ability to drop the King’s Bow, "Gloom Sword" iconGloom Sword, Gloom Club, and Gloom Spear. You will also get a few pieces of "Dark Clump" iconDark Clump. This is a cooking item that you can use to make Gloom-resistant dishes.

How to Defeat Sword-Wielding Phantom Ganon

The sword-wielding version of Phantom Ganon is a bit annoying to deal with. This is the most familiar version of Phantom Ganon, as players will have to fight him inside the Great Deku Tree. He has the ability to slice horizontally through the air, and a spin attack to knock Link back with. He can also do a dash attack where he rapidly swipes at Link with his sword. Watch his arm movement, if he begins to raise the sword quickly back up and ready your shield to deflect any attacks he launches at you. If you get too far away, he will pull out his bow to give himself a ranged attack.

(1 of 3) Phantom Ganon will slash his sword in front of him.

He also has the ability to turn into a cloud that quickly moves through the air and then emerges slashing at Link. Look for openings in his attacks for Flurry Rush and be sure to go in for strikes when the pool of Gloom around him dries up. With each attack you hit Phantom Ganon with the Gloom pool will shrink, so ready your shield and bide your time until you can release several strikes with your weapon. If you wish to stagger him, hit his forehead with an arrow a couple of times, just realize this is hard to do and will leave you open while you are attempting it.

How to Defeat Spear-Wielding Phantom Ganon

The spear-wielding version of this mini-boss seems to be the easiest to deal with. He essentially has two main attacks for you to deal with. The first is where he readies his spear and then stabs forward. You can easily see this coming, making it easy to dodge. His next attack involves him rushing toward Link with his spear. He also will stab with his spear if he teleports to Link. This happens if you get too far away, alternatively he can also pull out a bow and shoot arrows at you. This has a possibility of pushing Link back, leaving him vulnerable.

(1 of 3) Phantom Ganon will thrust his spear at Link from close range.

The best way to deal with this form is by equipping a shield to block his strikes. The biggest worry is the Gloom pool at his feet, but it does grow smaller every time your attacks land. You can also stagger him by hitting him on the forehead, although this is tough to do in the middle of battle. It’s best to shoot him with arrows when you have an opening and attack him after his Gloom pool has shrunken. While he may seem tough, his health can be quickly depleted if you have a strong weapon.

How to Defeat Club-Wielding Phantom Ganon

The final version of Phantom Ganon uses a club. This version of Phantom Ganon is able to do a backflip, allowing him to dodge some of your attacks. While this is a bit annoying, his club is easy to dodge for Link. Watch out for when he swings it in front of him. He will also jump towards you, slamming the club into the ground, these attacks are both easy to see coming. Either dodge them or use your shield to block his strikes.

(1 of 3) Phantom Ganon will swing his club directly in front of him.

This version of Phantom Ganon can’t teleport around as smoke so that you can’t just attack him from above. He does have a bow to use, but this is relatively easy to deal with since it’s his only form of long-range defense. Like the other version of Phantom Ganon, the gloom pool around him will shrink every time you land a hit. Use this to make an opening for yourself and release a string of strong attacks on him every time you get an opening.

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
  • Platforms,
  • Genre
    Action Adventure
  • Guide Release
    12 May 2023
  • Last Updated
    30 August 2023
    Version History
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Embark on a quest to find the missing princess, uncover the truth behind a cataclysm, and explore Hyrule’s landscapes and floating islands. This guide for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the sequel to Breath of the Wild, includes:

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