Using focus attack as an attack?



Hey all

to get to the point, whenever I fight a Zangief, they don’t use FA much, if at all, as an attack. I discovered his FA from full screen will take him to mid screen. That in itself isn’t very useful, but just realizing what range it has, makes me wonder about its potential when in closer quarters.

I don’t use Zangief, but his FA range is tempting me to pick him up as a secondary. So I ask those who play Zangief: when do you use it? Or is there some fatal drawback to using it?



It whiffs almost all crouchers, is slow to come out, is like -21 -15 on block, and both his forward and backwards dash is 26 frames, leaving him at best -5 for a blocked lvl 2.

Anything else?


Lol noooo… Giefs focus is not worth picking him up.


Yes, it does have ridiculous range to it. But that’s pretty much the only thing going for it. The startup to lvl2 takes too long, and just randomly tossing out the lvl2 to see if you can peg the opponent is bad news, since it won’t absorb hits when tossed out - same for all lvl2 FAs with everyone else. The other aspect of tossing that out, if you miss or if they block, Gief’s recovery time and of course vulnerability after the toss pretty much puts Gief right next to the opponent for a free spanking.

Lvl3 FA isn’t all that better either. It’s horribly telegraphed so someone can armor break it. Even if someone is jumping in with a hit, they can still toss a jumping whatever and a LP/LK peg during Gief’s forward motion before the actual hit of the clothesline. Against a shoto, you can imagine how many free shoryuken chains you give up before you stop using this technique as anti-air.

Personally though, since I’ve learned some more characters beyond my main as Gief, I say toss in some Red Cyclone and have fun learning where/when to use it. Your Rose is damn good btw, I remember trading blows back and forth a number of times as Gief.


A lotta ppl think gief’s focus sucks, and because of that, people won’t expect you to use it/land it. I’ve won so many third rounds with focus, ultra because people somehow tend to forget that gief can do that.


Yeah all I was thinking was since Capcom made his focus the way they did, there must be some good use for it. I think I’d use it to punish long recovery moves like sweep (since he’s one of the more significant footsie characters, as in you have to play footsies vs him) and non armor breaking specials. and Gief has so much health, it seems reasonable to attempt even a couple times. but I know nearly nothing about how to play Gief, so this is ignorant theorizing at its best!

Thanks for the insight, everybody. I’m a fireballer by nature, but that makes the idea of a grappler or other non-projectiler so exciting. It’s not that I don’t use them, but I definitely have to change my game plan when switching around. If I were to declare anybody as a secondary, it’d either be Guile or Honda.

It must’ve been a long time since we’ve played. I don’t remember too well. I kind of become a soul cyclone when it comes to gaming. Thanks for the compliment. We’ll have to fight again since we’ve probably learned much since our last bout. :tup:


i only use it to punish after a dizzy. that’s pretty much it.


i use the focus attack to punish a dizzy, then follow up

i also use focus attack after jumping over chun li’s kikokens because 75% of the time iff u jump over a kikoken a amateur chun li would follow up with hazunshin and i would focus that and do the bear grab and start the cross up hell from there.

also if i know if m.bison is gonna devil reverse me with the damn hand i let him touch me and i level 3 his ass, i would then bait out the EX stomp and punish that crap too.


I use it build up the Revenge meter, punish missed specials and finish them with my special.


Blanka rainball makes for some really nice L3 --> Ultra.


mix in against jump ins. release when you hear it connect
use against cammys drill. release when you hear it connect(of course not every time. mix it in) someone else here talked about this and it works.
there are uses for it at times. some characters like to jump in against gief so give them something else to think about
go into training and find some uses for it.
you may not beat j wong with a fa, but the dude online you probably will.
anything will work if the other player does not expect it. how many giefs do you think they have seen use FA’s? will they be ready for yours?


if you do a Lv 1 focus at max range that it still hits and backdash cancel you are in perfect J. SPD range.

works pretty well as long as you dont whore it out.


If you have 100% Ultra, this actually lessens the damage.

I believe neutral jump fierce->St. MK-> EX GH does a little bit more damage than Lvl 3 Focus-> EX Atomic Suplex.

Doing LVL 3-> HP SPD is a waste b/c of the wakeup options you lose for the most part.

This is a good use of focus armor. But, You shouldn’t actually charge it up all the way, as Blanka can land behind you or recover before your attack hits. Not to mention he’s short. Just absorb, dash, buffer 720, ultra.

Except anyone with an uppercut beats that for free, b/c the animation is slow as hell. 12 frames for a lvl 2. AFTER you let it go.

or simply block it and LP SPD for free. It’s not safe at all. Good cammy’s don’t use drill, so you shouldn’t be randomly doing focus. Focus is good against cammy, since her Armor breaks suck, but Gief’s FA sucks worse so…

Don’t practice to beat scrubs. Practice to beat J. Wong. Scrubs fall for anything. Use scrub tactics in a tourney, and you’ll get killed. Scrubs die to good zoning, footsies, wakeup game, and blocking.

This only works in the corner. Otherwise they are pushed too far back. For the backdash at least.

Decent uses of focus attacks:

  1. vs. Balrog’s Dash Straight- this isn’t so much to counter the dash straight, b/c it doesn’t really. This is to start making Balrog use his armor breakers: turn punch and corkscrew… both are easily thrown/lariated/EXGH on reaction.

  2. vs laggy fireballs at mid range. Itabashi does this against poongko at 0:51 here:

He quickly absorbs the FB and pelts Ryu in recovery. As this wasn’t a lvl 2, Itazan dashes back and Poonko (expecting a dash forward) uppercuts.

  1. Vs Bison’s LK Scissors. Actually, don’t attack really, just focus->Backdash 1hit and SPD. Someone mentioned devils reverse, but that will never work. Besides he can EX it on reaction and hurt you bad.

  2. Shenanigans with FADC’s. You can FADC Lariat/GH/C.FP forward or back, sometimes mix it up with actual focus attacks. It sucks, but it may make an opponent more cautious about punishing your FADC Forward. This is shenanigans and should only work once on any good players.

  3. After Ken/C Viper’s Ultra… so I don’t fuck up Ultra.

That’s all I can think of for now. I hardly ever use it.


I mostly just use it on rainbow rolls and bait rogs exactly like what Renegade said. I’ll also use it to gain meter from fireballs. I’ve never tried to focus lk scissors before. I think that might be a bit hard to time. You have to predict when he’s going to do it so I guess it’s more of a psych out type thing like with rog.


I only use focus as an attack after dizzy, there are other scenarios where its good like Itabashi in that video and what Renegade described, but I tend to fuck those up online :stuck_out_tongue:

As far as defending yourself from a FA, whenever I see someone using focus attack as an attack, I walk into it and lariat. If they’re unlucky they eat two lariat hits. DONT do this if you see them dash cancelling, they’ll bait it and combo your face off. If you see them dash cancelling, EXGH. It breaks focus and catches them dashing away.

LVL 3 -> HP SPD is a waste because of the damage reduction, but if you do while they’re crumpling and then do an spd it breaks the combo and does full spd damage. This move only works once a match though, because it is not a combo and after you pull it off they’ll see it coming and jump out of it. Worth trying it out once in a while online, it does a poopload of damage.


This doesn’t work on all characters. Ones that I know of are Gief, Honda, Abel.


hmm, I’ve never had that problem, at the very worst its traded for me. Can you explain a little on how it doesn’t work?


guys, dont forget focus attack to ultra does 590 max damage, while the ultra on its own when maxed out will do 600 damage.

So, if yo have full ultra and a dizzy opponent, dont bother with focus attack, you’ll just deal less damage.


I use it in cancels mostly just from quick lariat like:
Crossup body-splash->St.MP->KKK->EXFA(lvl3)->whatever you feel like presuming they fall for it.
Works waaaayy more often than it should. people try to stuff something in your face not expecting you to charge that focus attack, especiialy good if you mix it up with dash cancels and lvl 2 attacks.


Try it in training, even if Abel absorbs 1 hit, he can just let go and break your lairat. If they try and hold it they can get hit 2 times, but for these 3 characters atleast they can easily take 1 hit and get that life back even if you are just walking up and doing lairat while they focus.

In a mirror match, it is impossible for Gief to lairat through another gief’s focus.