Moving from Zangeif to



Ok First off, I LOVE Playing zangeif its loads of fun, but at this point I am sick to death of getting counterpicked every other match up. So I was wondering what characters I could pick as a secondary where some of what I like/learned about zangeif would still be useful to me.

Favorite things about Zangeif are:
awesome crossups,
cramming that last bit of damage down someones throat with ex banishing flats
Stupendous Damage.

Bonus points if it makes a bad matchup for the 27,456,321,832 people playing sagat right now, and I could not care less about execution or learning curve.


I too have been trying to find a secondary. I use Rose now but I want to switch, shes just not good enough and takes waaay to much dedication to even be intermediate with. I need to save that time for Gief. I would use Abel if he wasn’t French and Emo. I like his moves.

Try Abel?


Rose seems like she’d be fun, but I dont know enough about her.
Will investigate later.
Is abel’s crossup game any good?
I know ken and Ryu have good crossups, but I dont think the community needs anymore ken or ryu.


Rose was my second for a very long time…still artguably is I just don’t put time into it.

The big plus to going Rose/Sim as a Gief player? You’ve already ‘studied’ throw situations. Rose can tick with the best of them, and has some great pressure moves that can setup…more throws. Sure you can play the keep away style, but she can be played aggresivly as well…with a decent ground mixup game because of her throws. On the flip though…her crossups sucks, her damage sucks, and her anti-air game is in need of a psylocke assist…hell servbot AAA would be an improvement…her only semi-reliable AA is her c.FP as her soul throw is only useful when psychic…her other AAs require ultra or super lol.

Abel ‘sorta’ became a secondary for me, but as Gief I’m acustom to high priority pokes for setting up throw situations, with Abel however … he doesn’t seem to have anywhere NEAR the same priority with pokes. Dont’ get me wrong, he has some nice stuff, and a well played Abel is one of the few ‘scary’ things in the game…but…he is a distant departure from Gief to say the least.

Give E-Honda a spin as a secondary. Sure you have some of the same match-up issues, but you maintain some REALLLLLLLY nasty tick options, a great mixup game, and you can ‘cross the screen’ against some of the keep away characters alot better than Gief (Seth still feels like a lost cause). Buttslam while not Lariat teir, performs some of the same defense options and has mixup as well with distance and overhead after a low’string’.

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vega was my second in SFA3…maybe even my main…i played them both pretty even. but ive had zero success with sf4 vega so i dont really use him any more. in sf4 ide have to say Akuma would be my second pick. but ive trained so much with gief, hes light years ahead of anyone else i pick. I like abel but im garbage with him. I also like seth. But i would say who ever had decent match ups against gief’s bad matchups should be your second.


I’ve actually had pretty good success with Vega in SF4…sure I just get destroyed by certain matchups namely Bison/Guile/Sagat…but Sagat is at the top anyways, and Dictator isn’t far behind but his pokes are real effective, as is the claw dive game (up to a certain level of course). I just want them to gut the time on the damn ‘hop’ he does after a wall dive. I understand having it there…but its entirely tooooooo long, makes diving ‘close’ or in front of any character a ‘punishable mistake’.

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When in doubt, pick Sagat.


Try not think about it like that. Pick who you want to pick, not what the community needs. Go for a character that is fun for you.

I tried Sagat, but I just can’t make him work like the tier list would presume I should. I main Ryu/Balrog (Sim and Gief to a lesser extent). All very different play styles that allow me to have a fair fight no matter the matchup. Granted, I like to win and I like to play a character that is fun for me, but there has to be a balance. I love Dan, but I can rarely win in G2-A champ mode, no matter how well I think I know the matchup, so I generally don’t use Dan often.


NO…don’t listen to this guy…the community doesn’t need or want anymore Ken’s/Ryu’s/akuma’s. If you want to shoto it up…pick Sakura…
I hope SF5 is 100 years in the futre and because Ryu was so busy fighting he never had kids so he don’t exist anymore…ugh I’m tired of his boring ass.

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C.Viper best matches that.
She also has one of the better matchups against Sagat, Dhalsim and Seth.
Very good crossup/wakeup game.
Tough execution barrier, but you’re not worried about that.


If you’re looking for someone who gives Sagat trouble, then you’re probably not ever gonna find anyone in SF4 that is a bad match-up for him… except maybe Akuma, and he’s more a nuisance than anything because he’s pretty much the only character I think Sagat can’t out-zone.


Hmm, I will investigate this. Sounds like a challenge worth tackling.


She’s def a challenge. I picked her up, but don’t have the work ethic to get my execution good enough…I also struggle with a true sense of ‘gameplan’ with her…like you spend so much time on combos and what not, that landing those comboes falls to the wayside…sorta the opposite of Gief, where you dont’ spend time working on comboes, your studying is based on ‘how do I land my dmg’. But its all based on the individual.

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you should only have one character. and thats gief. if you good with gief, you can beat anyone. hit me up for tips. GO ZANGIEF!!!


First, I feel obligated to respond to this:

Would love to play nothing but geif, but theres a couple things: I said before Practically everyone good in my pool of opponents Knows I play nothing but gief; this means they counterpick me ALOT. If I mix it up with even one other character even a 1/4 of the time, those anti-geif counter picks wont be so safe for them anymore, and I will be able to fight someone other than seth or blanka, every match being a seth or a blanka is challenging but VERY VERY boring.

2.Knowing more than one character has the potential to make me a better player at the very least against the character I learn, and quite possibly in general since it will familiarize better with not only other playstyles, but my own shortcomings. I definitley intend to continue improving my Zangeif, and zangeif will undoubtedly remain my character of choice, but I am at the point with zangeif where progress is slow, and adding another character to my repertoire provides an opprotunity for more rapid development

OK Now that thats out of the way, Started playing around with C-Viper, and you guys werent kidding some of the execution is just nuts. Im going to stick with it for now and see where it goes. HOWEVER, while I was playing C. Viper I came to a realization. All the things I really like about Zangeif are things I like not for their own sake but because they allow me to control the pacing and flow of the match, especially once I have even the most marginal of life-leads. Its been somewhat somewhat self-enlightening to come to that realization and it has altered my zangeif play for the better. I find myself more likely to use the threat of the spd than the actual spd, and using the atomic suplex more often since it provides a more advantageous position in most scenarios.

This seems grounds to rephrase my original supposition in favor of something a little more broad, a lot more vague, but with potentially more useful end results, for myself and in particular, others.
What other characters are particularly adept at controlling the Pacing and flow of the match?

My thoughts so Far:
C-Viper certainly has the capacity because of her zoning game, but it appears you have to be damn near psychic to really take advantage of it. Online the lag delay ( however minimal) makes this that much more difficult.

Zangeif does great, from the moment the match starts your opponents strategic goals have been determined by YOUR character choice not his; and the pace of your advance sets the pace of the entire match. With zangeif, I can force a methodical opponent to be more agressive, or an aggressive opponent to be more methodical as required to assure my victory.

Gouken SEEMS like he should be awesome. more fireball options than you can shake a stick at AND reversals? It sounds too good to be true, but then he really needs EX for anything too punishing, and I just dont have the playtime to make any kind of real judgement.



knowing more than one character also will make your friends hate you less. I am switching my second from ryu to sakura, she’s really fun…


Well I’m a Rose player. I think she’s both fun and awesome with lots of interesting tactics. However seeing as you’re a grappler, I think Rose wouldn’t be good to switch to as her fireball game along with using reflects effectively is kind of a drawback to learning her. I’ve been consistently playing as her for maybe 4 months, and while I’ve gotten those things pretty solid, a lot of how you play as her depends on your match up which I’m definitely still learning.

I recommend you either stick with Zangief, or go with another character that doesn’t use fireballs. Maybe Rufus or Fuerte since both can avoid fireballs very well and have a much easier time getting in there than Zangief.


After almost 99% maining Gief I just started playing Dan because it is pure fun. However, I like his “Dan knee” which stuffs a lot of moves and the way his ultra goes through fb’s. Its a whole different game, but it is reallyreally challenging.

ow yeah, the whole taunting stuff… GREAT


My alternate is Sagat.

If you are the type who wants to win a lot with someone other than Zangief, Sagat is the one to use.

If you really want to try something different, try Akuma


I alt Boxer. Coincidentally enough, he has favorable matchups against both Seth and Blanka.