So...word on the street is that Zangief is beastly in HDR


I heard in this thread from Damdai - a very, very good player - that Zangief is way too powerful in Super Street Fighter 2: HD Remix. I have trouble believing this; even though I’ve seen and played Damdai online and would admit that he knows his stuff, I would mostly chalk it up to just being an out-there opinion from a top player; it’s not without merit, but it’s also not automatically true jut cos he said so.

But then, other good players which I also respect came in and corroborated his statements somewhat. This is somewhat of a surprise to me; I never heard anyone, let alone Damdai, saying “Yo dawg, Zangief is broke as fuck” until just before Evo when he said it on the SRK Podcast.

So, I wanna know. Just why the hell is Zangief soooo~O~O~O~oooo strong now? Don’t list the changes to me, because I already know them. What do you guys know that all of us apparently don’t?

  • Are normal humans completely incapable of reacting to his new, faster moves? I would say that I can still react to them just fine and almost never get hit by them(which is true), but I’m only one person, so that’s not very good evidence. How do other people feel about this?

  • Does his simplified motions on the SPD just make him so much stronger? I doubt it’s this, because good players in ST could walk-up SPD any damn way. Thus, if this were the case, one could make the argument that Gief was broken in ST.

  • Is it the new, easier Running Grab? Is it the fact that you can cancel it off a normal move that much easier now?

  • Do the new lariats make such a big difference that several matchups are turned completely on their heads?

  • For that matter, do Zangief’s improved normals secretly allow him to wreck other matches that were even of stacked against him?

Which changes are doing the trick? I’d really like some specifics here, cos the claim is coming up a lot all of a sudden, but I’m not actually hearing much justification.

Keep all whining about Evo and Snake Eyes and Kuni and who could beat who with which character in what game during which time period OUT of this thread. I don’t care about that whiny-ass shit. This thread is for people who can actually explain why he’s really good now, or to refute it (but I’d much rather hear from people who think he’s buff).


'Gief is broken? Everyone’s going to pick Gief at EVO next year? Great! I’m going to EVO next year for sure now! Thelo, EA Megaman, Kurropi, I’ll be seeing all you guys with me in top 8 next year at EVO! LOL.

Truthfully, could you imagine an HDR EVO final of Honda vrs. Honda? Anti-hype! LOL.


As I stated in another thread, I would be interested in seeing an updated matchup chart of damdai’s; a lot seems to have changed since last year, when he claimed HDR Zangief lost most matches 3-7.

Damdai’s matchup chart from last year:

vs. Ryu: 3-7
vs. Ken: 3-7
vs. Honda: 3-7
vs. Chun: 3-7
vs. Blanka: 3-7
vs. Guile: 3-7
vs. Dhalsim: 4-6
vs. Hawk: 6-4
vs. Fei: 3-7
vs. Dee Jay: 3-7
vs. Cammy: 3-7
vs. Boxer: 6-4
vs. Claw: 3-7
vs. Sagat: 3-7
vs. Dictator: 4-6

I hope that other Zangief experts will post their own specific ratings for all of those matchups; perhaps they will even explain how each matchup has changed since ST (see this chart).



I been on fei spree lately, and i react to green hands/bear with st.hp and jump ins with

Its not hard to react with one button, and I’m pretty sure shotos could react with st.hp/, or even to the bear and green hands.


He’s not too powerful (and I don’t consider him top tier) but I think he’s much improved and deservedly so.

IMO easily his biggest improvement is his improved lariats. And to a lesser extent his improved green hand and his improved running grab.

All the other changes help and add up though. He no longer has “unwinnable” match ups like he did in ST.


So I used to think that Chun Li destroyed Zangief “for free” in HDR unless the zangief player was Haru Teyjo, in which case Chun loses “for free”. I chalked that up as an anomaly, and went on beating every other gief I played.

But I feel the same way about Snake’s gief too. So maybe Chun does lose to gief after all?


You know why? Because he sucks with Zangief. Look at his chart for ST - super nohoho fighter ii x: Super Diagram Turbo Version 3 and compare that to the T.Akiba diagrama/diagramb or even the Gian one that you linked. Now look at his HD chart again and tell the guy to stick to Ken.

  • Pete


Before anyone misquotes anyone just to be clear the only confirmed statements from Damdai I’ve heard about geif is that he as well as other players like DGV more or less think the spd motion is too easy for a move that does so much damage.


EST 1991 was doing this last night, he basically stood outside shoto range, and would do spd with no jump risk, and it really felt gay.

Can shotos actually poke with gief now?


From NKI’s translation of T. Akiba’s data.

T. Hawk fierce Typhoon: 46
Honda fierce Ochio: 17+27=44
Zangief fierce SPD: 43
Chun Li strong throw: 38
Boxer mash grab: 28+4 per additional hit


I’ll give you typhoon, but the other throws aren’t really in the same category, ochio has low range, and the others are techable, mashable.


One only learns to deal with very good Giefs by playing very good Giefs. And they are rare*. As with any other character, that is nothing that different that the best players do in relation to the others, but a difference in consistency and decision making. It is just something one simply can not learn before having contact with. One learns not to jump straight up by doing it and getting SPDed a few times in a row, one learns not to spam cr.fw by eating cr.rh/st.fw, one learns that he must punish blatant jump-ins by accepting them and eating an SPD right after and one learns not to spam (reversal or not) SRKs by getting baited/punished.

SPD is more dangerous for the range than damage, IMHO. If Gief works you into the corner, you are safe-jump-able and don’t have something as a short tatsu, e.g. Guile or Boxer, assume yourself dead. If you survive, you gotta think: “If he was better or played right/not sloppy, I would have lost.” It like facing a consistent Fei, getting jumped on a hadouken at the worst distance and not eating 5 hits: you should have. Ryan would have lost to one of those Feis at EVO just like ShootingD lost to a Fei last time I watched him in a stream that same way. He beat 2 or 3 top tiers, a Honda, but lost to a Fei. It is not something that detracts from a player to lose to a top player with a low tier character, it happens if they are good enough, and if you scape certain things from ordinary players, you should wonder what better players would have done, if your win would happen if you made the same mistake or guessed wrong against a consistent guy.

Damdai has faced good Giefs in ST in the past. He made a rant at that other thread, but if everyone continues this “I am gonna hate back” BS this section will remain the piece of crap it is right now. At this moment, rants about either version of the game help nothing. Damdai’s old ranking matter nothing now, what matters is his current view. Shit, 2-3 years ago many of us were not even average players, but straight up bad ones, suckers who couldn’t grasp the idea behind a number of things. Personally, I learned Gief is good in VST the “worst” way, but that is the only way. Whatever, let it be. Attacking Damdai will not detract from his points, and remembering how Snake Eyes’ victory was not much acknowledged by him will only cause more flame wars.

As for rumors, Dark Gaiden, Choi and damdai all have accounts here, it is better that we just wait to see what they say, if they ever care to state it.

*no offense to all other Gief, my Ryu kinda sucks but I know many differences that separate great ones from mediocre ones and they are not trivial.


There’s nothing wrong with a Zangief player being able to do walk up SPDs without jumping. In ST, good Zangiefs could do this all the time. It was deadly in ST, and it’s deadly in HDR too. Even before HDR dropped, I had played ST good Zangief players who are capable of walk up SPDs without jumping 100% of the time, and I would always try to play with that tactic in mind. If I predicted correctly that a Zangief player is gonna walk from just outside SPD range into SPD range, and do a walk up SPD (like Snake Eyez likes to do), I will either jump back or do a Jab Shoryuken, or with Ken a st RH (as it outranges the SPD).

This is nothing new, and IDK why some people are acting like it’s new. Just gotta improve your game and get more creative with your defense to beat this tactic.


Walk up SPD in ST are quite easy… they are very unsafe unless done correctly… yet SnakeEyes makes it seem broken…

Zangief is just simply a better character… I wonder how good he would seem if a Japanese Gief expert picked him up…


I am not sure why people think there is this great skill gap in ST/HDR between the US and those from the land of the rising sun. The game is explored and old enough that I would argue it has the smallest gap or even no gap at all compared to other fighting games that have a sincere following.

  • Pete


We’ll see how the US team performs at this year’s SBO. I hope they do well. In previous SBOs tho, the US teams usually don’t do well, even top players like Valle and Choi have a hard time (even though they’re using O Sagat!).


in my personal matchup chart.

Ken vs Gief: 4-6
Ryu vs Gief: 4-6
Deejay vs Gief: 5-5
Honda vs Gief: 7-3

In general, shotos aren’t the big deal for the russian tough guy, i was in shock when damdai said that the gief vs ken matchup is pretty easy for ken, as a matter of fact i remember to be disagree with that statement, but of course i’m not damdai or someone popular, so i think i was talking to the wall ^^.


One can not really find a proper definition of “skill” in fighting games. Is it combos, fast motions, hand-eye coordination? Is using all normals in appropriate situations “skill,” or the ability to win with just a couple of attacks? You will probably agree that there is no agreement here. What we can fathom is someone’s ability to win matches. That can be measured, somehow.

As for the difference between US and Japan, that is experience. They can go to arcades and find top players there. That includes the average Joe, and other top players as well. Afro has stated he hadn’t thought of a plan B against Snake Eyes because he hadn’t thought he needed one in the first place. Had he played him many times at arcades and other Zangiefs of similar skill, either he would at least know he had it coming, or - it is sensible to believe that - he would have found a few more answers to at least a few of Snake Eyes’ tools, just like the latter could know better how to face players like Afro. That is to say, both players would be even better. That is high competition, it helps everyone step up their game and it also makes it much easier for the better players to be identified. That is why, even though many believe the very tops from US can make it hard for Japanese players, overall they are below. It is not inherent “skill,” it is the environment. As Ponder has said, competition is that good.


This right here is the reason why people who play HDR religously know that Gief is not broken/overpowered…People took for granted & just use their ST skills to fight Gief. Although Gief had some improvement, they weren’t drastic enough by having an aluminum bat assist :lol:, Damdai was just not prepared for Gief like most people were when they play Snake Eyes. Damdai ego got blasted & started scrubbing out crying about HDR is an intermediate friendly & Zangief is broken cuz i dont know what to do against Snake Eyes. Oh & loss to AquaSnake…

For being a top player he sounds like a salty scrub. Damdai hate Snakes


With the exception of a couple players who might make the SBO team from the east coast, I highly doubt the US will have a good team. Weren’t like 5 or 6 out of the top 8 in hdr from the west coast (st and hdr skill transfers reasonably well in my opinion? I highly doubt any of the WC top players will go out to tennesse to play in the SBO qualifiers. Last time people actually took it seriously back in 07 i think. The wolfe brothers made it to Semi’s at SBO so I would agree with Gouki and say that their might be a small gap in skill level but not as great as everyone thinks that there is.