"Final" USF4 Zangief




Close Standing LK: now Special-, EX Focus-, EX Red Focus- and Super Combo-cancellable
Crouch LK: advantage on hit increased by 1 frame (+4F → +5F)
Far Standing MP: hurtbox slightly expanded; hurtbox in front sticks out 1F before active
Close stand MK: advantage on hit increased by 5 frames (0F → +5F); advantage on guard increased by 2 frames (0F → +2F)
Far Standing MK: disadvantage on hit decreased by 4 frames (-7F → -3F); disadvantage on block reduced by 3 frames (-10F → -7F)
Diagonal Jump HP: hurtbox slightly expanded

L Spinning Pile Driver: throw range reduced by .05 (1.75 → 1.70)

Green Hand
L Banishing Flat: start-up reduced by 3 frames (11F → 8F); disadvantage on hit reduced (-5F → -2F); disadvantage on block reduced by 1 frame (-8F → -7F)
M Banishing Flat: start-up reduced by 2 frames (13F → 11F); disadvantage on block reduced by 2 frames (-8F → -6F)
H Banishing Flat: start-up reduced by 2 frames (16F → 14F); disadvantage after hit increased by 1 frame (-6F → -7F); disadvantage on block reduced by 2 frames (-9F → -7F)

Final Atomic Buster: range increased to match his M Screw Piledriver



The pressure we can apply with close stand MK along with crouch LK and LPGH really strong.

I think the Diagonal Jump HP nerf was fair. It was really hard to anti air.

But I do not agree with the far standing MP nerf. Matter fact, I think the move should be restored to its vanilla status.


Noticed that cl.Mk into cr.Lk in the desk teaser vid from earlier, thought maybe was some counter hit nonsense thou looks as if they are giving Gief some combo ability.

Lt. Banishing flat onhit -2 /onblk -7 (??)
Med. Banishing flat onhit -6 /onblk -6
Hvy. Banishing flat onhit -7 /onblk -7

Final atomic buster (super) range increased (1.24 → 1.45)
hmm, nothing else to speak on like those Mk changes


oh good lordy, they reverted the -3 on hit greenhand back to -2!!!


Crouch LK advantage on hit increased by 1 frame (+4F → +5F)

EDIT: 895th post I retire forever


Hmmm, a few very interesting changes.

  • I have always wanted to give Super Atomic Buster, the range of LP SPD. But as it stands, it’s better for situational punishes, but Utility will still be limited due to risk, and the value of EX meter. Definitely, the high value of EX meter, means Super will never be used, unless it KO’s on the FINAL ROUND. But is the range of the Super, now superior to Ultra 1? Because it SHOULD BE.

  • I don’t fully understand the change to close MK yet. But it’s like they compensated, by removing some greatness from the far MP, and adding it to close MK. It now means that certain links are possible. Close MK - Far MP - Far LK xx LPGH, may be possible. That will be the new bread and butter off of a jump in.

  • I can never understand the changes to the other MPGH and HPGH, hopefully MPGH on hit is ok.


i am very happy with the changes
smk looks godlike!!


I’m not buying the game until I see some viable safejump setups that work around both DWU and normal wakeup at the same time. If that’s not gonna happen, then screw it.


I think the HP green hand ‘nerf’ (was already shit outside of killshot/stun) is maybe something to do with red focus. Perhaps you can’t combo into EXRFA now because the hitstun is reduced? Dunno.

I’m still pretty miffed by hurtbox nerfs but I like the other changes a lot. Basic 2f frame trap is pretty good and -2 bnb ender is totally doable, backdash/EX SPD/unthrowable lariat are options for non-reactable stuff.

Will crouch tech work against 3 frame DPs or jabs after a -2 move? Given that the reversal DP or 3 frame button would hit first frame I’m available to act, will that option select the block and the throw tech?

Also cr.LK (crouch tech whiff outcome) is now easier to confirm so will air reset/catch people jumping away if they’re scared enough to decide to do that. Could maybe react LP green hand to backdashes but it’s unlikely.

Sorry if I’ve gone on a tangent but it’d be pretty neat if crouch tech is the strongest option for Gief after LPGH, resulting in a small metagame regarding the opponent blowing up crouch techs with slower normals (5 frames?), which then makes them vulnerable to SPDs…

Also in early matches of USF4 it’s probably worth doing nutty stuff after -2 LPGH because folk won’t punish it effectively at first. Not a long lasting strategy though.


I don’t think its possible, in the traditional safe jump sense. Since with an extra 11 frames, you only get to jump once.

You either commit to a safe jump, and abort when “technical” appears and then delay.

Or you delay first, via a meaty setup, and then go for the safe jump when “technical” appears.

Meaty SPD and AS are already quite risky, and now against Delayed Wakeup - possibly unthinkable.

Xiaat, Looks like you’ll forever be playing AE2012, or USF4 under the guise of “Ibuki”, cause I think they’ve figured it out with her.


Yeah, makes sense. The only thing other than Ibuki in that regard I can think of might be reacting to “technical” w/Rolento’s pogo stick jump and attack again, though I have no idea if you can change the direction of your attack or at least land one after a crossup. And it is very much possible that it takes much more than 11 frames to jump again and land with an attack.
Anyways, Gief isn’t looking too bad outside of DWU, especially with that 2-frame link on cr.lk, and I can’t decide for myself if DWU is a gamebreaker for him or not. On one hand, landing a splash in the corner leads to 200-250 damage and landing a blocked one leads to a mixup which is in our favor, so it’s basically losing potential damage with the introduction of DWU. On the other hand you land an AS just once in a while and most of the damage comes from footsies and in-your-face mixups, at least at mid-high level. But footsies were nerfed too and I don’t see the most horrible matchups getting much easier.
Any thoughts?


Zangief’s EXGH combo loop means you can kill without a knockdown.

And knowledge of the four option select light pokes into LPGH or EXGH, means you also kill without a knockdown

Use of “predictive” far cr.hk at max range during footsies, means you only get a LPGH or MPGH approach - NO cross-up

The SPD-LPGH or SPD-MPGH game, is unaffected somewhat by Delayed Wake Up, as you don’t get a cross-up attempt, but with +6 on SPD-LPGH, and you jump and they happen to Delay Wake Up - I think you get the cross-up, which was never there before. But we need to look at the reason why they would delay, and that is pretty much meaty SPD. But the “Technical” appearing 60 frames before they get up, practically tells you, whether you get the cross-up or not. In fact, Delayed Wake-Up is possibly a bad idea in the SPD-LPGH game, unless fast reversals can beat the cross-up jumps.

I don’t see footsies being nerfed. I see them as buffed via LPGH and o/s xx LPGH. Far MP would still be a crucial reaction whiff counter poke. But spamming it like no tomorrow, won’t be as viable. Although 4 frame start-up and that kind of range, makes its hard to beat, or even beat “safely” without taking risk. In theory.

All empty jump throws have to be confirmed for when they delay.

Ever since they took away knockdown on EXGH, knockdowns have been hard to come by. Now it’s that much more harder.

I wonder now. If close MK is +5 on hit. We could ideally link into KKK Lariat, assuming, we’ve confirmed them as standing. But if we cancel close MK into KKK Lariat and move forward, it’s gotta be able to combo - possibly even on a later rotation to allow for an EXGH juggle into a soft knockdown.

close MK: [5-2-15:+2/+5]

So if we cancel into KKK Lariat on the first frame, we have 22 frames to work with. We can hit with the second rotation of KKK Lariat at frames 11 to 15 of the Lariat. And the third rotation at frames 19 to 26. While moving forward, it seems theoretically possible to land the late KKK Lariat into EXGH, and then cross up like the Super SF4 days.

If this is the case: close MK xx KKK Lariat. EXGH would definitely be a solid option, instead of close MK. far MP. st.lk xx EXGH


I think DWU helps Gief much more than it hurts him. He got most of his safe jumps off of normal throws and atomic suplex, both of which rarely happen against good opponents. And even when it does, the opponent knows you’re going to safe jump because splash doesn’t work well against most characters (especially 3f DPs). The only other option is knees, which, when done at the height where it beats DP, can be punished with normal throw.

On the other hand, LP SPD xx LPGH is a much more common occurrence. If the opponent does DWU, it just give Gief more time to meaty/get an extra LPGH in for corner carry. Also, any advantages that Gief gets from normal wakeup is FAR outweighed by the horror he has to experience at the hands of vortex chars like Akuma, Sakura, Honda, THawk, Hakan etc.


It is really refreshing seeing some positive in this subform. I hope you guys are right and I can’t wait to see what you do with him.


Sakura,Honda,and T.Hawk are vortex characters lol


Iirc just 1-2 days ago i read somebody say that Combofiend told him that you can’t exRFA from LPGH, but you can from MPGH and harder versions (HP and EX)

Maybe is the contrary, HPGH got nerfed in normal situations but become a ridicolous wiff punisher with exRFA

HPGH (140) -> exRFA (135) -> U1(520)

Even with the scaling sound huge


Of course. Don’t tell me you didn’t know.


I’ve decided to answer my own question about Gief’s worst matchups getting better or worse considering the changes our opponents get, so I’ll go through all changes for certain characters I personally had the most problems with. Maybe this will serve as a quick reference guide for people considering buying the game such as myself or either sticking with Gief or moving on. The comments will rely on my personal experience.

I’ll begin with… Seth.

[details=Spoiler]I’m going to leave out the changes which are irrelevant for this particular matchup. The matchup with a good Seth to my mind consists of him running away throwing Sonic Booms and far st.HP and DPing your jump-ins, never engaging into any footsies. When you finally walk him into the corner, he promptly walljumps out of danger.
Triangle Jump movement distance reduced I don’t know whether they refer to the walljump or 6+HK during a forward jump. If it’s the walljump, then it’s a good thing, we might be actually able to punish it on landing, if not, then it’s irrelevant.
Far Standing HP advantage on hit increased by 6 frames (-11F → -5F), disadvantage on block reduced from 7 frames (-15F → -8F) I’m not entirely sure if you can safely throw out a LP GH after blocking/getting hit by this punch anymore, but it getting buffed certainly means worse for Gief.
L, M, and H Shoryuken 2nd hit no longer can be Focus-cancelled on guard Always a good thing, if Seth is late on his AA now he probably won’t be able to react to it and FADC to safety.
M and H Shoryuken invincibility time reduced by 2 frames (7F → 5F) Good, if Seth throws the DP out too early it’s more likely to trade (assuming he won’t be able to follow up with anything like Sagat for example, if he will then it’s a disaster).
Tanden Stream (UC1) recovery reduced by 10 frames (66F → 55F) It’s unclear if it refers to recovery on hit or block, on hit it doesn’t change much or changes a bit for worse, on block it’s a bad thing for sure, blocked Stream will be harder to punish. However, at the same time…; pushback on block reduced …it will be easier to punish improperly spaced AA Streams.[/details]

Then comes our beloved Sagat.

[details=Spoiler]Well… You all know what a match with Sagat looks like.
Close Standing LK 2nd hit now Special-, EX Focus-, EX Red Focus-, and Super Combo-cancellable This attack is a decent footsie tool, and being able to cancel it hurts our footsie game with Sagat in the corner.
Step High Kick (6+HK) damage reduced by 20 (100 → 80) Very good! This is a decent AA for a certain range, and getting hit by it out of air hurts a lot.
Tiger Shot recovery increased by 3 frames (39F → 42F) This is a godlike change. Easier to hit from a jump-in, easier to react to with an EX GH.
L, M, and H Tiger Knee 1st hit now forces stand If Sagat actually decides to try some combos on Gief (or possibly punish a Focus Attack dash-in, or even try something like cr.MK OS xx M Tiger Knee in footsies), Tiger Knee hitting you at the end of the combo will send you flying much more of a distance then combos being ended in Tiger Uppercut or Tiger Shot.
EX Tiger Knee advantage on block increased by 1F (-1F → ±0F) Quite bad, no free U1 on block anymore, Sagat now can spend 1 bar just to try and send you across the screen every once in a while and is unlikely to get punished if he doesn’t succeed.
Tiger Destruction (UC1) air hit damage reduced by 55 (395 → 340); forward movement reduced; when hitting air opponents in the corner, now does full hits More damage in the corner, less damage out of the corner. Arguably better positioning for Gief in the corner.[/details]

I’ll try and cover Juri shivers, Akuma, Blanka and maybe some more later today. Let me know what you think guys.


Hey, I like this kids logic.


Far HP: Currently, in AE2012, on block we never could get a LPGH to close distance, as another Far HP gets us. I’m sure we can’t even get in a forward dash. But in USF4, the improved Far HP block stuns, with a slightly faster LPGH - means Seth improves by 4 frames. We still don’t have access to much. Even with improved block stun for Seth, if its spaced poorly, we could answer with Far MP, Far MK, st.lk xx EXGH. As we still hit the retracting limbs, regardless of Seth’s reduced recovery. Note: st.lk xx LPGH would whiff and we get punished. Even though Seth is -15 on block, we didn’t have any ranged options to reach him, at further spacing. Even though, EXGH hits in 13 frames, Seth’s limbs would have retracted to safety and thus be out of range. I would guess that -8 on block, makes jumping forward not as viable.

U1 Tandem Stream: Currently, it’s really hard for us to get any sizeable punishment from a blocked U1. Punishment has always been linked to the pushback, and Seth’s recovery - Either EXGH or nothing. They could improve Seth’s recovery even further, and it still wouldn’t affect us, because we could never reach him with the extra frames. But now with less push back, it increases the chance of kara EXGH hitting. *Although I don’t know if in AE2012, at -25, whether wake up LP SPD, is possible. The 10 frames less recovery would also mean, that activating U2: Sibberian Blizzard, to shield yourself won’t be viable. In AE2012, Seth’s U1 recovers before your U2, and you have to steer a quarter screen away from him, any closer and you eat magic kick or shoryuken. Now in USF4, you can’t use the U2 shield in that way. Anyhow, jumping U1 without a sonic boom on screen is death.


Far LK: This is the POKE to watch out for, on top of watching out for far HK. [5-4-9] Definitely, option selectable into Tiger Knee. But the poke has so much recovery over your traditional lights. Can’t be whiff punished by any GH (*LPGH is a 1 frame reaction window). Bad News is, if your far cr.HK is blocked (even at max range?), you eat this: Far LK xx HP Tiger Uppercut FADC - Step Kick - U1.

Step Kick: Not an issue. You shouldn’t be jumping vulnerably from afar. Ideally, the only Step Kicks you take, are those from Tiger Uppercut FADC. Step Kick won’t be a factor against Zangief’s early jumping MK up close.

EX Tiger Knee: For me, it doesn’t change much as I’ve always used U2. It’s still next guess wins though. Aiming to beat Tiger Uppecut, jump back or back dash or throw. But hopefully LPGH into PPP Lariat is viable against jump back AND back dash. His 3 frame cr.lp is too risky to use in this spot.

Tiger Shot: I think the increased recovery is referring to the HIGH only version. As the Low is currently 45 frames. It doesn’t make jumping it any easier, as you most likely can’t clear the tiger shot with a reaction jumping HP. Easier reaction EXGH is a plus. But I wonder if, the extra 3 frames, makes FADC absorb forward dash SPD viable? It will definitely make FADC absorb forward dash safer, perhaps unpunishable from close range.

Xiaat, thanks for sharing a round of theory fighter.


Vortex Characters??? I thought they were Boogie Characters, in that they dance well. I know Hawkey can shift and rock pretty good, it depends on the music though. But he does have one heck of a double step.