The only thing I’d like to see on the green hand front is for green hand to neutralize fireballs as Gief swings his hand around and kind of over his head; as he does that, his hand should neutralize fireballs that are high up (ie Akuma air fireballs, Sagat high tiger shots, Gouken’s mp fireball, and Seth’s sonic boom). On all the rest of the game’s fireballs it should work exactly the same way it does now. This seems like a pretty solid way to make him better in his bad matchups without getting any better against everyone else, which is obviously good. I think the green hand’s crappy recovery on block and hit is fine. While I think making the first hit do more damage while keeping the total damage the same is interesting, I don’t really think Gief needs to be given more damaging moves and combos.
I’d like to see far standing mk become safe on hit and not terrible on block. Gief is largely a footsie character, so for one of his potentially most important footsie attacks to be so ridiculously unsafe and to hang out for sooo long on whiff is pretty weird. Even when timed as late as possible it’s still punishable on block by lots of characters’ normal attacks, let alone specials and supers. It has as many frames of recovery as his sweep, so cut its recovery from 18 frames to something like 11-12 (ie still a little more than his far standing strong’s 10 frames) and it’d be great. Keep the long active frames.
For punch lariats, after the first swing I’d like to see both his hittable hitbox and his active hitting hitbox shrink at his legs and mid section. That way the opponent could punish him without having to worry about getting popped, but at the same time the opponent could only punish if he was a little closer to Zangief and the lariat would still be useful predictively. This is kind of a buff at higher levels of play and kind of a nerf at lower levels, both of which are good.
I’d like to see kick lariat move faster horizontally so that it’s a little more useful. I’d like to get through low tiger shots faster and I’d like to move a little farther against a Dhalsim low limb than I currently can.
Giving lariats a 2p or 2k input for regular and 3p or 3k for ex is an interesting idea, but I’m too worried about the horrible sloppy input system 4 has and how that might conflict with ex hand in annoying ways. And in any case, I don’t think the lariats need to be changed THAT much.
Crouching short should recover in 6 frames, not 7. I don’t know about you guys, but for me that cr. short xN combo is hard. This change would basically do nothing except make that combo a little easier and make Gief’s footsies almost imperceptibly better, which are both good imo.
Ex spd should start up a frame faster. It has 4 frames now, as opposed to regular spd’s 2, which restricts its usefulness in some situations. It’s a good move, but it could be a bit better for punishing and on wakeup.
Here’s the biggest buff: I want super to be totally different. I don’t want the EX-series stomps like I know lots of people do, since I think Gief’s combo damage and buffered jab/short footsies are already strong enough. What I want is an invincible and very fast running bear grab that does like 300-350 damage (instead of the 500 his super is currently at), activates its throw immediately upon getting into range, and has a qcf qcf motion. The range on the throw should be just like the current super’s range, ie in between RBG’s and fierce spd’s ranges. The opponent would be able to jump out if you did it randomly from outside of its grabbing range, but you could make him land into it as an antiair and could use it to punish lots of things, and if you did it point blank it could grab immediately like the current super. If you did it point blank it would be 300, and if not it would be 350 (note that 300 damage is less than most characters’ supers and 350 is like average-ish).
Gief currently has no reason to save meter for super, since his ex spd is good and his ex hand is totally sick and his super is totally superfluous (does less damage and has less range than ultra). A RBG super would be useful in different ways and would give Gief players an actual reason to at least consider saving meter.
Ok, so buff buff buff. You can’t buff a high or high mid tier character without nerfing him just a little. So how about nerfs?
Jab spd and ex hand should do less damage. Gief should be rewarded for getting in and should be good at mid range so he can get in, but his reward for just being at mid range shouldn’t be as strong as it currently is. Jab spd should do like 180 instead of 200 and ex hand should do 70-70 or even 60-60 instead of the current 80-80.
Punch lariat’s antiair properties need to be nerfed as well, since it’s stupid for a character like Zangief to be so good defensively (especially when he already has some great normal attack antiairs). I think what I’d do is just make Gief’s head and his backwards facing shoulder a little more vulnerable. That way it would still be fine as an antiair from certain ranges, like regular jump-ins, but it would be more susceptible to certain jumps and crossups than it is now. Note that nerfing the lariat in this way wouldn’t change its properties against almost any grounded attack.
Also, kick lariat’s hitting hitbox should be nerfed all around. Not so bad that it sucks, but for a move that’s invincible low and that I want to move faster, it shouldn’t hit quite as well as it currently does. I’m especially thinking of the lower down section; does it really need to hit on the floor when it’s already invincible there?
Plus, just take running bear grab out of the game. Gief doesn’t need it, he might be too good if it was actually useful, and it can get in the way of some motions. The idea of the bear grab has always been good, but it’s never actually been useful in more than just a couple situations (well, until HDR anyway).
By the way, as for a game-wide tweak that could apply to Gief, I’d like to see all launching attacks (ie lariat, dragon punch, etc) not launch the opponent quite as high on trades. This is mostly so that Ryu and Sagat don’t get free ultra after trading an antiair dragon punch, but it might also make it so that Gief can’t trade antiair lariat into one hit of ex hand as well too. If it does, I think that’s fine. Remember, even without a hand combo, a traded lariat still puts Gief in a position where he gets a free meaty setup, which is a very strong payoff for Gief.
So basically, I want Gief to be a little better at setting up and dealing damage (a little more mobile, a little better in footsies, have slightly easier combos), but I want his payoff for doing so to be slightly less and I want him to have to depend more on playing zoning and offense than on playing defense. I think that would make him a little smarter, a little better in his bad matchups, and a little less dominant in his good matchups.
-----Green hands neutralize high fireballs but stay the same relative to regular fireballs
-----Far standing forward kick has less recovery
-----Punch lariat first swing anti-ground hitbox is the same, but after that its hitting and hittable hitboxes at Gief’s legs and midsection are both shrunk (ie safer for the opponent to punish up close, but less punishable from a distance)
-----Kick lariat moves faster horizontally
-----Crouching short recovers 1 frame faster
-----Ex spd has 3 frames of startup instead of 4
-----Super is a very fast and invincible running bear grab that does 300 damage point blank, 350 damage from farther away, activates its throw instantly on getting into the range of the current super, and has a qcf motion
-----Jab spd does a little less damage
-----Ex green hand does a little less damage
-----Punch lariat’s hitbox is slightly nerfed at Gief’s head and backwards facing arm
-----Kick lariat’s overall hitting hitbox is shrunk, especially towards the ground
-----Regular running bear grab is removed completely
-----Traded antiar lariat to ex hand juggle is harder or impossible