Zangief General Thread: Our Russian Skies Are Protected



Interesting, I now seem to trade with Body Splash in situations where it used to get beaten clean. Is this just my imagination? I know they adjusted the hurtbox, but they didn’t specify how.


it seems like you can beat most jab anti airs with a jumping roundhouse if you do it early. Problem is doing it early doesnt allow for a combo of anything but lk lariat. so in a way they are still viable.


clp, cmp wont combo even on counter hit. it really was a stupid nerf.

on the plus side clk, cr mp vtrigger cancel is quite good. if they are under 300 hp to kill it wins the match if not it is a hell of a reset.

even if they left him alone with the buffs to other characters this would still be a tough season because of the buffs to other characters.

the matchups that got better Rog, Bison, cammy, ken, vega(vtrigger 1 was useless against him and it is still tough just better) Karen, Ibuki(her nerfs more than our buffs). These all got slightly easier.

The matchups that got worse are everyone else. Chun is a problem again, Nash is a problem again, Laura/Rashid/Birdie/Sim/Juri/Akuma/Kolin/Ed all became harder. Menat Sim Guile and Abigail all feel impossible.

Vtrigger2 makes him a lot more fun but it didnt really make him better. Itazan/Snake will still place high in tournaments due to the burst damage but he is absolutely low tier now. I am not dropping him but it looks like rough seas ahead my friends.


I’m going to play devil’s advocate here for a second.

Even though he’s lower on the tier list now, I actually like how he plays in S3. I prefer VT2 even in fireball matches, as my game has always been SPD/Borscht mixup heavy. The extra damage on cr. jab really adds up with the many counter hits you get, and I seem to get crush countered less than before when poking with it. Might be the adjusted hurtbox. It’s also easier to get in with nerfed jab AAs and buffed jumping attacks.

I don’t know, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Itazan do better with him in S3. Let’s wait and see. Mind reader Itazan with activated VT2 up close is a scary thought for any opponent.


thats kind of what i was saying i am having alot more fun with him now. being able to poke with fp and cr mk to vt2 cancel feels awesome.

Last night i was playing an alex i got him in the corner knocked down and i did meaty cr mp to vtc and then proceeded to land three headbutt on him because the guy didnt want to stand still.

I hate picking VT1 now but it is needed for Urien, Guile and a few others. the biggest problem is with the cr jab nerf vt1 is not as good.

I do see why they took out after the beta exspd in combos. He is so good when you can have random pokes lead to spd if he had access to that the whole match…the salt levels would be thought the roof.


I’m having a lot of fun with VT2 not even by cancelling, but just raw activation and jumping in with splash or j. short for a true 50/50. Guess correctly and he eats 350 dmg when he sits still and 330 if he jumps.

On an unrelated side note: I recently discovered that the chokeslam/EX Borscht option select on oki doesn’t work on Dictator. Works on everyone else, Dictator just jumps too high.


Can you Dash forward first and then do it ?


No, I tested it in training mode. Doesn’t work.


Been playing more Gief now and i am actually not so depressed anymore. Sure, he got some nerf into his mobility, but c.lp nerf is still bearable. You just have to use more now. Also been doing some labwork with that new VT2 and really like it :). That VT2 can deal huge amount of raw damage or linked/cancelled into other comboes.

I take back my bad words. Zangief may not be in top rank, but he should still be doing at least ok :). Take it or leave it ^^.


The nerf on cr. lp is hurting, but I will be dammed if VT2 doesn’t make people’s days turn sour and turn matches around.
I am having a lot of fun playing him. I just need to break some bad habits with cr. lp and with the double lariat.


I would like to pick this game up again, but the nerfs are trash. I can’t play ST or SFV gief similarly.


Nononono, I cant not survive without V1 in most of the matchups.
Especially dealing some fireball character which is almost impossible to jump in, e.g Urien


Going to be hard, using VTII: Cossack Muscle, for any new concept. The strategies aren’t there yet.

Plus, this will definitely be the Expert Zangief player’s V-Trigger.

You need to be stronger in many areas to use this V-Trigger:

  • Anti-fireball strategy needs to be stronger, as you don’t have VT1 suction.
  • Whiff punishing needs to be stronger, you have to whiff punish into VT2.
  • Hit confirms needs to be stronger, you have to confirm combos into SPD, after resets.
  • V-Skill usage, needs to be stronger, you have to V-Skill to take the frame advantage and activate into VT2.

Calling it now.

“Cossack Muscle: The Expert Zangief Player’s V-Trigger”


Frankly Speaking, V2 is totally useless when comparing with V1 in my point of view.

  1. In real battle, it is almost impossible to perform 2 times V2, so that advantage of 2 bar VT is seriously reduced.
  2. There is no dash follow up on after V2, but you can keep pressuring opponent after V1>exairSPD>dash
  3. Poor combo damage in many situations.
  4. You can separate V1 into few times, which means that you can mix up your opponent for few times with huge potential damage.
  5. You really need V1 to deal with heavy zoner
  6. Not much setup you can bring into V2, at this moment I only know 2MP>VT2>mixup

It seems that V1 can perform everything V2 can do, but V2 cannot do anything V1 can do.


Hi, at first I also feel that V2 is useless. But after using V2 for almost all my matches I found that there are merit in it.

Firstly, in this new season, in my own opinion, Zangief biggest nerf is all nerf and no significant buff. This means that you have to play more skillful than before, especially against characters with good buff. Therefore use V2 to train yourself to move into your opponent without V1. If sucessful, the reward from V2 is great.

Yes, I find that it is hard to get 2 V2 in a round also. There are a few reason why this is so:

  1. Not using V2 as soon as possible. This is because I try land a V2 combo.
  2. Zangief not the type of fighter for this. As his tactic is to take damage to close the gap.
  3. The first V2 already enough to kill.

Here are some tips to V2:

  1. Once V2 is fill up. Decide to activate or do V2 combo. Assess the situation but decide early.
  2. V2 combo give you free damage while still retain the V2.
  3. To get huge damage, do reset instead of combo into SPD. In one match against Sakura I did a jpHK, stHK, V2, HeadButt, StLK then reset to Light SPD and it do half health bar of damage.
  4. Combo into SPD is good when you need a little extra damage to close a round.
  5. Do not afraid to combo into SPD because of the lowered damage. A long Ex SPD combo with deal a lot of stun than normally could. Sometime this is more advantageous to sacrifice some damage.
  6. Using V2 to train yourself on defense. I took a lot of damage when sticking out a move or move too aggressively toward. But wit V2 I can tell my self to be patient knowing that I can deal a lot of damage with it. And the Key to getting 2 V2 in a round is not to take up unnecessary damage.

Therefore V2 is of more use to adapt to different situations. In summary, you can use V2 to get free damage, reset more damage, for stun, to close a round. Also it can be a mind game by activating V2. Or simply use it if you think V1 is not good against certain characters.

Lastly, is it possible to win a round by just doing 2 V2 SPD and a CA? I would like to see someone do it a match.


It would be quite possible to win a round against anyone if you manage to land 2 VT2 H SPDs (350 damage per) for 700 damage and a CA for 400 damage for a total of 1,100 damage.
That is enough to KO even Abigail.

Jab VT2 SPD only deals 310 damage, so two of them would deal 620 damage and with the CA you are up to 1,020 damage. Enough to KO most of the cast, but not the likes of Zangief and Abigail.


Vtrigger 2 is not useless because it allows us to hit confirm combo off of lights and mediums on normal hit. against any matchup with a non fireball character it just made us even more vortex happy.
I have closed out a lot of rounds with walkup st mp,st hk, cr mk etc canceled into vtrigger if it hits i win if it doesnt i am at a massive advantage. we have so many options off of this that it is very strong. it takes the guess work out of vtrigger activations and makes it an option select in footsies.

the problem is his matchups against fang, rashid, guile, sim, abigail, nash, chun, ed, vega, menat and birdie got signifigantly worse and it was not like he won those matchups before. This is almost half the cast that can reliably counter pick him so the odds of someone having one of those as a secondary is really high.

my feeling is he will be more polarizing as someone could have a good run if they have a bracket that avoids these characters the odds are just worse.
if i was to ask for one thing it wouldnt be any of the old buffs back it would be for faster walkspeed, faster vskill attack, and a lower jump. this would fix most of his bad matchups and make him fair.

we better hope for a midseason patch because even though i am having alot of fun with Vtrigger2 it is going to be a long season with him in this state.


Yeah, I am struggling far more with him on ranked since AE dropped.
I am hoping for a mid season patch as well that will bring some small buffs like the ones you cited and the ability to string cr lp at least twice.
And bring back lariat recovery to what it was in S2.5.
That is pretty much all I want.


on the plus side cr hp is a much better anti air. I am trying to train myself to use it most of the time as it leaves you in a mixup position unlike lariat.

Jumping Roundhouse is also a much jump in beating or trading with anti jabs if timed properly, the one i still seeing an issue with is body splash. i still get anti air jabbed everytime i cross up. is there a timing issue i am having or does this move still just suck?


I will have to test body splash more. It felt better, but I didn’t do many cross ups with it.
I am in bronze ranks now, so I get too many Kens and Akumas that just back dash themselves into the corner, so little chance to do a cross up there.
Jumping MK has been feeling better at landing than it was in season 2.5, at least for me. Seems to beat cleanly almost all jab AAs I have ran into.
But loses to heavier AA attacks.