Let us talk about USFIV Zangief here



Good day my fellow friends, My name is called Wai, I am a Zangief player in Hong Kong and just joined this forum, I would want to share some views on the new Zangief in USFIV

Let us has a overview on the update patch note on Zangief


1 Close standing light kick is now special, focus, red focus and super cancellable.
2 Far standing medium punch hurtbox increased. Hurtbox now appears in front of him from the first frame.
3 Far standing medium kick is now -3 frames on hit, instead of -7 frames. -7 frames on block, instead of -10 frames.
4 Angled jump heavy punch hurtbox slightly increased.
5 Light Spinning Piledriver range changed to 1.70 from 1.75.
6 Light Banishing Flat now has 8 frames startup instead of 11 frames. Hit advantage is now -3 frames instead of -5 frames. It is now -8 frames on block instead of -7 frames.
7 Medium Banishing Flat now has 11 frame startup instead of 13 frames. It is now -6 on block instead of -8.
8 Heavy Banishing Flat now has 14 frames startup instead of 16 frames. it is now -6 on hit instead of -7, and -7 on block instead of -9.

Unquestionably, there are some changes being so weird such as change#1, I have completely no idea what Capcom going on and thinking.

1#Close standing light kick is totally useless in general, we always use far standing lk i/o close standing lk, what is Capcom thinking? Is it a “buff” for compensating other nerfs?? Capcom buffed the fucking Far strong punch in the previous 2 patchs but it is still damn useless, no gief player will use such slow,high punishable and small hitbox standing strong hard punch :frowning:

2#This may be a terrible nightmare, I don’t know how far the hurtbox increased, as a real gief player knows even the old version S.MP is not even enough to eat some strong punchs/legs, such as sagat SHK, chun-li SHK…etc, this is the biggest nerf & may COMPLETELY destroy zangief.

3# This buff is fine and nice, long ranged -3 frames on hit is safe in most situation, -7f on block is unsafe but I i think it is still fine

4# I am worrying how Capcom increase the hurtbox, JHP always able to avoid the fireball while it can still hit opponents, after this nerf JHP can also hit opponents when they throwing fireball but you may have to eat the fireball after landing.

5# It is still OK, just a small nerf, 1.7 range is still very long and enough to grab opponents surprisingly

6# I have just seen many players in this forum complaining on this changes, as we know the previous change log shows LGH will be -2 on hit, but now it will be -3 on hit
Actually It is fine as we will still using EXGH in combo, even if it is -2 on hit, I will not combo with it because I can do NOTHING but blocking/escaping after on -2 HIT.
-3 on hit can be punishable by anyone normal throw, but they need to input the throw command in just frame, it is not easy.
REMEMBER, now the start up of light GH increased by 3F to 8F, It is really a BIG BIG BIG buff to gief, in the previous version it is quite unsafe for gief throwing a empty LGH for closing the distance due to the slow start up and recovery, but I believe now it will be a reliable tools for getting closing opponents in long/mid screen without being punished easily.

7#+8# The start up of MGH and HGH is increase by 2F;
I think the HGH is still useless, just forget it;
However the MGH is buff is quite useful, why? Do you remember when after a SPD, you always throw out a LGH to getting in, but you are not close enough to grab a 360K/Regular throw.
You always need a MGH in order to travel enough distance for 360K/Regular throw but it is TOO SLOW, you will be punished by opponent after they wake up
Now you have a quicker MGH for getting in after SPD safely, it is very nice in my point of view

Finally i am glad gief can get a nice advantage from red focus, most character can already combo into their ultra without using ex red focus, but gief can throw out a exGH passing through fireballs, and then EXGH>EX Red Focus> UC1
EXGH is a HIGH utility skill and can always throw out individually without combo, and now you can combo it to U1, it is VERY VERY nice :slight_smile:

My friends, let us talk about the new gief here :slight_smile:


To quote the lovable Ultra David, “Zangief’s better but he’s not keeping up with the Jones”

But that was with the game changing LPGH being -2 on hit.

Sadly, if the latest news is true, that ONE and only game changer is GONE. LPGH is -3 on hit!

There is no reason to use Ultra 1 or W Ultra, as the threat of the ultra is replaced with you being thrown FOR SURE.

That 1 frame killed 80% of the utility on LPGH!!!

So in light of things, Zangief will be played the same way as in AE, except you have to deal with the nerfs.

  • Delayed Wake-up kills cross-up splash and empty jump command grabs
  • Pro-active far MP may well be gone.

OVERALL HE WILL BE WORST OFF in comparison to the rest of the cast. So USF4 Zangief has gone down in stock.

A speed up of the LPGH only means you get better at random/gimmicky SPD, if your into that stuff.

And the hail Mary that is EXGH-RFA-HP SPD is such a rare and mystical creature, that you will never see it in the Wild.

  • You will never have the FULL meter, as you are using or ending your combos with EXGH instead of LPGH.
  • Your opponent has to be standing.

It’s hard to judge the damage, but for those of us expecting a miracle, THIS WILL BE A SAD DAY.

On a more positive note, I hope the LPGH will be fast enough to make the difference in the Sagat match-up. Whiff punishing his far HK, and fast enough to position around Tigers.


I am going to place my comment below underlined


-3 can also be punished by 3F DPs and specials, 3f normals (if plinkable they require a 2f timing), many command throws (including Seth’s SPD) and many supers and ultras. Versus many characters we’ll risk a huge punish + hard knockdown as a reward for finishing our combo, exactly as now. Many of these moves can simply be mashed, so the opponent won’t always need to have a frame perfect execution.

It actually works versus some crouching characters but in any case you’re right, it will be almost useless for the meter requirement


Ultra 1 is the only thing after -2 LPGH that can beat both normal attack + throw + block. EX SPD beats normal attack + throw. PPP Lariat beats normal attack. KKK Lariat beats low normal attack. Jump cancel SPD or AS will beat the throw. W Ultra is used for that -2 LPGH game + if they jump. Having W Ultra will require you to play more solid, consistent damage, less reliance on Ultra use BUT with even more of a psychological threat.

Yes. I believe delayed wake up affects all hard knockdowns. Far MP is godly, it has no negatives and was abusable. The nerf shouldn’t affect whiff punishing, just brain dead spam.

In the current AE2012, LPGH can whiff punish Sagat’s far HK, but at -5, Sagat can reversal Tiger Uppercut or far HK you (both 1 frame punishers). His other 5 frame normals can’t reach, and he can’t throw you due to hit displacement - you hit the limb as its retracting and land further away instead of point blank. With LPGH being faster and -3 on hit means that punishing the move is 100% safe and much much easier. Just you wait and see, every Zangief will be using this in the match-up.

There is also the potential for using the -3 LPGH to whiff punish all the other long range pokes in the game, T.Hawk’s hk, Chun Li’s hk, Bison’s hk and fei’s cr.hp. Just need to check the frame data.

It will encourage a particular play from Zangief called “Meter Farming”. You know, work the fields, round up the cattle, harvest the crops, stuff like that … If there ever was a time to chill back and build meter, NOW IS THE TIME.


EX SPD loses to normal throw


whoops! my bad chief. good pick up.

but anyway, with LPGH being -3, all of the above no longer applies. Instead of it being sound theory, it is now a gimmick. You can only get them if they snooze.

I hate to think it, but currently, for Zangief’s good or even matches, a fast -2 LPGH could skew those match-ups in Big Z’s favor.
I hate to imagine the infinite barrages of safe and super fast LPGH, relentless pressure. especially in the corner, to pseudo quote a certain dictator, Fidal Castro, “Light Punch Green Hand Nightmare - this place shall become your grave”


So lp.gh being -2 on hit is horrendously broken to them but Sakura being +2 on block with her ex.tatsu is fine? Sagat being 0 on block after an ex.tiger knee is perfectly ok though?


yeah. the moves by themselves have little meaning, but when you look at the character as a whole, you’ll realize how broken it is.

If Sakura and Sagat had long ranged command grabs, or if Zangief had no SPD or 2 frame grabs - then I would definitely agree with you. A more appropriate comparison would be with Hawky, Hakan and Hugo

You’ve seen the videos of the new LPGH, and how fast it is, just how do you defend against it. Can’t back dash it, might not be able to jump it without Zangief having the advantage. Some characters without invincible reversals have no chance.

And it’s not like you can keep good Russians out consistently. If played correctly, I would believe that with -2 LPGH means game over for a cornered opponent.

Edit: What I also meant to say is, if the LPGH is speed up so fast, it will be able to whiff punish so many of the ranged pokes used by the opponent’s to keep Zangief out. And if it is fast enough, it can be made to be relatively safe on hit at -3 on impact, via limb-retraction-displacement. And that is without having to cancel a light attack into the LPGH, you will be able to whiff punish straight off the bat.


This video has a decent Zangief playing at around the 1:42 mark, some good stuff in there to see how our character looks: twitch.tv/stefanten/b/520582748


WOW. Thanks Macho Rhombus.

I’m enjoying that action.

Love those cr.lk links - SOLID!!!

The NEW Zangief sure looks strong. It might be due overcompensation for delayed wake-up. But just wait till we get counter DWU tech.

Can’t wait to see the godly LPGH whiff punishing in action. “You wanna keep me OUT??? f, d, f + jab says you CAN’T”


I’ve played USF4 Gief and LPGH is faster, but not so much that you’re going to be whiff punishing limbs with any sort of consistency. And even if your reactions allow you to do that, why wouldn’t you just punish with a normal buffered into LPGH? Higher chance of success and more damage.

LPGH wasn’t broken at -2. Anytime I hit it, people either threw me or just jumped back. And whiffing into SPD didn’t work at all against the good players. At -3, the only thing significantly good about LPGH is getting a slightly better post-SPD positioning.


Guys, I am sorry to say that the new Thawk seems to be a much better choice than Zangief if you really want to play a grabber
Hugo is a terrible character, he don’t have any reliable moves to pass through fireballs, his sagat,akuma,seth match will be much more worse than Zangief
On the other side, Thawk can deal with them much much more better than Gief/Hugo
In USF4 his ex Condor Spire have been buffed so fucking & damn hard
The previous input comment (421PP) which is terrible, you will always moving backward when you are aiming your b,d,b+PP, but now the comment has been changed to f,d,fpp, which will be it MUCH easier to executing this command while you are moving forward.
Second, the traveling distance of his ex Condor Spire has been GREATLY increased, almost 50% further than previous version, this is a CRAZY buff for him
Third, EX Condor Spire is almost impossible to be punished even it is blocked, not like EX Green Hard, you have to eat full combo punishment after it being blocked.
Forth, EX Condor Spire is a knock down move, ex Green Hand is not.
Fifth, EXGH has the problem that you always hit opponent in only 1 hit, and then you have to eat another full combo punishment, but you never worry about this matter for EX Condor Spire
Sixth, EX Condor Spire has much bigger vertical hitbox than EXGH, making it possible to an-ti air in far range, while EXGH is very hard for anti-air purpose

Apart from EXGH & EX Condor Spire comparison, Thawk has more solid normal moves than Gief, such as much reliable standing HK, crouching medium kick, standing HP…etc

Thawk may completely replace Zangief’s position in USF4 :frowning:


Can i know how Gief can whiff punish Sagat’s SHK?
SHK don’t have long recovery even it is whiff, you may need god like reaction to punish Sagat’s whiff SHK with your LGH…


I think Hawk will easily overtake Gief in Ultra now. I’m probably switching to him even though I still wanna play Gief but I’m sick of them nerfing him every time. I really wanna try Hugo but I know he’s gonna be garbage when all is said and done. I predict he will be the worst character in the game in the end. I can’t even imagine how horrible it’s gonna be to play Sagat, Juri, Guile, Gouken, Sim, Seth, etc lol. His list of terrible mu’s is almost endless.


T.Hawk is not the same as gief dou, T.Hawk is full of gimmicks and “mixups.” I think hes a scrubby grappler.


Ah, a non believer. It’s all in the frame data!

You don’t need godlike reactions, you need GOOD spacing and GOOD reaction!

To WHIFF punish stand as close as possible to the poke WITHOUT the poke making contact. LEARN and memorize this spacing.

For Sagat’s far HK, the range is deceptive, it’s longer than it really is. As the hit box is slightly beyond his toe.

You can actually remain crouched and sit somewhere between the range of the knee part whiffing while being inside his far HK range.

A few important terms to understand:

  • Outside Poke Range: Stand as close as you can to the poke, without the poke making contact. The closer the better your options and reaction to punish
  • Inside Poke Range: Standing or being inside the range of the poke. You can crouch his HK to be closer and then stand and whiff punish on reaction
  • Whiff confirm: If you counter with an unsafe attack, you need to confirm a) that the opponent has thrown out the RIGHT poke, by letting the poke extend to it’s MAX length.
  • Reaction window: The amount of frame leeway to get the punish out.

Unless it’s changed in USF4, Here is what AE012 Sagat’s far HK looks like:

Far HK [5-23-18:-3/+1] = 8040 (100*100) - Presented as startup, active, recovery, block advantage, hit advantage, damage, stun

Note the 5 active frames, 2*3 - as the move hits twice; and the 18 recovery frames.

You need to whiff confirm (so Sagat doesn’t fake you out with far LK or the fake far HK), by letting the poke extend to its MAX range, this occurs at frame 10, after which you have 18 frames where he’s retracting his limb and is vulnerable. Your reaction window depends on which counter poke you use.

Zangief’s far HK which hits in 15 frames, gives you a 3 frame window to punish. (The move starts up in 11, but you hit late)
Zangief’s EXGH which hits in 13 frames, gives you a 5 frame window to punish.

The two main properties of whiff punishing are: speed and range.

Zangief’s far HK, EXGH use range. While far MP uses speed. And LPGH uses a mix of both speed and range.

With LPGH, you won’t have the range to hit Sagat in his very last recovery frames. But you hit him as he is retracting his far HK, when his hurtbox is closer!

LPGH starts up in 11 frames, and is what, 8 frames in USF4. So it will be VERY AMAZING.

Whiff punishing with LPGH and EXGH requires pre-buffering. I can do it consistently in AE, and my reaction time is average. But you get sharper with constant training.

Use this trainer: Sagat far HK, crouch block for a second … and PLAYBACK

The required whiff punish depends on many factors, speed, range, and more importantly which of the FOUR option select light pokes is the best counter poke - which depends on hit boxes. You can do infinite option select pokes into LPGH, but they aren’t whiff punishes. They are predictive counters, or what I would term pro-active counters. You just throw it out randomly while in max POKE to POKE RANGE, as its SAFE. But random and NOT guaranteed like a whiff punish.

If you can normal buffer into LPGH, you would. But the limitation is RANGE. Basically your light attack, assuming far LK, may not be able to reach certain pokes in time UNLESS you have GODLIKE 0 or 1 frame reaction time. So it is better to use a counter poke with RANGE, such as far MP, far MK, EXGH and now LPGH.

Whiffing into SPD won’t work against good players, unless you make it a mix-up. You might also be arriving too close, ideally somewhere inside MAX LP SPD range. It still essentially forces the same guessing game. Do they jump, throw, back dash, normal, reversal or block. If they guess back dash or jump, you can confirm it and punish. If they commit to reversal or normal, its a difficult 1 frame execution window, although bufferable. If they are cornered, then you have to wish them Good Luck.

Nothing against you Chief, but it’s only been a few days. I predict LPGH to become very powerful. Opponent’s will essentially ask, how do you beat LPGH? You would definitely need to be calm and have GODLIKE reactions. It would be very difficult to counter, I would imagine.


Don’t worry, I’m not the type of person to take discussions personally.

Even if you can whiff punish things with LPGH consistently, you’re still gonna get hit with a 3f move or normal throw. And whiffing LPGH is not a mixup at all. The spacing is absolute and when you whiff into a spacing where you can be punished, good players will do it every single time. That gimmick has been around since vanilla and it just doesn’t work any more.

Anyone who calls themselves competitive will go into the lab and learn that spacing. They’ll get the 1f punish down and punish you every time for hitting LPGH. And this is something that people will get better at over time, not worse. That’s how grapplers are. Their tools don’t typically get stronger over time; they get weaker.


The guaranteed 3 frame punish from the opponent is true, and would be a gimmick given the frame data. Combos and option selects into LPGH, should be used rarely. But I still would class it as hard to do, hard to punish without reversal. If they have a 3 frame reversal - forget it. But if they have a 3 frame normal (non-plinkable would help) or use throw. It could be a gamble, that’s entirely on them - for them to lose if they aren’t frame perfect.

Using the LPGH to whiff punish, may be its only saving grace. A faster startup, would mean, impact against the retracting limb occurs sooner, so Zangief would be displaced earlier. Basically, after you hit, you’ll be further from the opponent instead of point blank. If that happens, which I’m predicting it will, based on 8 frame startup, you can confirm SPD when you see their throw or 3 frame normal whiff.

Perhaps it is a gimmick - much like the now proven FADC forward dash into SPD through fireballs is a gimmick even at point blank range. Not sure on the specifics of the opponent’s ability to whiff punish the LPGH when you arrive at max LP SPD range. Don’t have a working theory and haven’t extensively tested it. There should be loads of recovery, depends how many frames he’s vulnerable when he arrives at the LPGH destination.

By tools not getting stronger over time, I presume you mean, people get smarter at reading the frame data and learning the match-up. But that’s the same with any character. C.Viper gets weaker and weaker, when players figure out her game. It really amazes me, how a tier list for USF4 is already out, when so much of the universe is unaccounted for. Just ONE technique or ONE key piece of knowledge could change the match-up.

Again, Thanks for sharing Chief.


Any ideas on that? It’s so easy for me to imagine Gief instead of Hugo here. One counterpick to rule them all?