Zangief Q&A: Ask simple questions here!

Now with F.A.Q.'s!

Zangief FAQ Post One

1. I am having trouble executing a standing 720. What is the best way to do this?

There are a number of ways to do a grounded 720. Dash > 720, whiff a throw/move (cr. mk for example)


2. I main (Insert) and want to pick up Zangief as a secondary. Is this wise?

This is all preference. To play the Gief you have to make a few more guesses than you would with other characters, and be patient because everyone knows of your massive damage output.

3. When is it smart to use Greenhand?

Normally I (and many other Gief players) greenhand after and SPD. LP Greenhand is the one to go with in this case as it has low recovery and can help set up for some mixups/shenanigans. EX Greenhand should be used to go through fireballs as it is invincible on startup. EX Greenhand is also to be used as a combo ender and you should buffer it between light attacks so you can Option Select (OS) it.

4. What is a short jump?

A ‘glitch’ that was fixed for all characters except Gief. The difference in a jump and short jump is a normal jump you press up+forward or up+back, but a short jump requires you to press up, then press the direction, thus shortening your jump.

5. Who should I use U2 against?

Play with U2 and see who you like to use it against. There are certain match ups where it does seem favorable. Blanka, Chun, Dee Jay, Akuma and Fuerte. Especially the last two because their vortex is seriously hampered by U2. And if you are really good at reading he opponent, then DK (Dive Kick/Demon Flip) spamming akumas, Kara TU (Tiger Uppercut) Sagats and sometimes actually in a mirror match vs n.jump spamming giefs or giefs that play wake up splash games with you.

U2 Demonstrations:

6. I play on a Pad. Should I switch to a stick to get better ?

Do whatever is most comfortable for you. There is no definitive answer as to what is better. Gief doesn’t have high difficulty button presses like say a honda jab > hands and 360’s are faster on an analog stick.

7. I’m having trouble with (insert) character, help?

Check here:

8. How do I AA Lariat (Anti Air Lariat)?

When a player jumps at you crouch. Stay crouched as long as possible then press PPP (Not KKK, KKK Lariat isn’t as good for AA). The lariat will either trade or beat the opponent jump-in in mot cases. If it trades they will be put in a juggle state where you can hit them with a well timed EX Greenhand.

9. What are my wakeup options?

Blocking is normally the best thing to do unless your opponent is charging a lvl3 FA, then you just backdash+SPD. Giefs wake up is in certain ways pretty shitty. All three of his specials (Lariat, SPD, Greenhand) are HIGHLY bait able and majorly punishable. Most giefs don’t seem to have issues in this department because of fear factor. Most people tend to run away from Gief. If you run into someone who is trying to meaty throw/jab you just backdash+lp SPD

Don’t Lariat when it isn’t smart.
Try to avoid wakeup spds unless you know it’s gonna land.
Stop jumping so much.
NEVER 360+k at someone with ultra/super from fullscreen away. You will get rocked.

Fireball Avoidance Patterns
Originally a blog post, but I thought this would get more attention/views/criticism this way.

In Street Fighter an important caveat is the difference between fireballs and body projectiles. Fireballs are an extension of the character without a hurt box and can cause damage full screen, while body projectiles follow the character and can be countered since the hurt box follows as well. Just as much as its important to have a seemingly random fireball pattern that zones you opponent both in mindset (impatience/annoyance) and where they are in the environment, its important to have a pattern of fireball avoidance, that moves you forward and puts you at an advantage.

The first part will be general to all characters of street fighter while the second part will be specific to Zangief, but is applicable to all characters.
Blocking a fireball usually puts you at a disadvantage because you?re in block stun and your opponent recovered moments after the fireball left them. You?re also at a disadvantage because you?re pushed back further from you opponent and because the fireball is no longer on the screen. A big change from vanilla is that there can only be one fireball per character on the screen at once.

For example in vanilla Ryu could throw a fireball, Balrog could tap past it and eat a super, no longer possible in super.
Blocking a fireball allows your opponent to fire a second projectile sooner than had you avoided it all together. This is also true for focus attacking. By avoiding a fireball without removing it from the environment, you take away your opponents ability to fire another one. This is especially useful for opponents who have fireball ultras and super since you remove their ability to use them.

A fireball avoidance pattern should combine all manners of avoidance, to build meter without placing yourself at a disadvantage while still moving forward. This is the reasoning behind doing a fireball and then a slide, or Deejay doing a fireball then a slide.

The last bit about fireball avoidance is that sometimes you want to get hit by them. For example against Akuma with U1, it?s know that they bait you to avoid a fireball because they can raging demon you on your recovery, but if you get hit and they fire it off because they?re waiting/hoping you have the advantage to punish Akuma with anything since he?s lost complete control of his character and you have mobility.

Also be aware of when there?s an actual fireball pattern or if the opponents just firing off at random. Over thinking an opponents play style is an easy way to lose to simple opponents when you?ve reached that plateau and you?re even with ?skilled? players but lose to simple/scrub tactics.


Two of of Zangief’s specials are to help him avoid fireballs. Lariat (Punch and Kicks version), and the Greenhand/Banishing Flat.

Use kick lariat when at least 3/4 screen away or more.
Use Punch lariat when fullscreen away. Beware as faster characters such as Guile can follow their fireballs and punish. Best to study your opponent and choose your Lariat choice.

I normally do not use the normal version outside of combos… You also have to anticipate a fireball in order to absorb it.
EX Greenhand is to be used when you’re just outside of being in their face. It hits twice and it can knock down. It is not a UKD (Untechable Knock Down), however.

Other Options
Focus to build meter
Jump over if you have a life lead. But as said above watch out because Akuma’s with U1’s will be looking for that. t’s best to neutral jump over them in Akuma’s case.
Block (sometimes you’ll be stuck in a blockstring and just have to)

Strategically, focus absorbing when you’re close to the opponent is dangerous because you gamble losing gray health and regular health. Chip damage is preferable to jumping AND focus absorbing depending on the situation.

For those unfamiliar with how the sf4 system was in vanilla when it came to fireballs, opponents like seth and ryu could throw a projectile, you avoid it with TAP/hb, it’s still on the screen, and then they could ultra (Seth) or Super (Ryu). They can still do this on block/hit.

*Exceptions are Dhalsim’s yoga fire and Ultra 1, as well as Rose’s soul spark and Super.

credit: 3nigmat1c for posting the first half in his Balrog fireball avoidance tip write up.

Matchup tips: credit to WorstGiefEVER

Excellent. Let’s fill this thing with rib-crushing hugs…

Yup yup. This was long overdue.

what other FAQs can I add?

So whose the “sticky” God?

Cuz i already seeing new threads that should go in here.

  1. Who should I use U2 against?

I’d add here that while it is preference, there are certain match ups where it does seem favorable. Blanka, Chun, Dee Jay. And if you are really good at reading he opponent, then DK spamming akumas, Kara TU Sagats and sometimes actually in a mirror match vs n.jump spamming giefs or giefs that play wake up splash games with you.

  1. I play on a Pad. Should I switch to a stick to get better ?

I think alot of pad giefs I’ve heard over the months prefer his play on a pad. He doesn’t have high difficulty button presses like say a honda jab > hands and 360’s are faster on a d-pad. But YES, this is preference.

U2 is handy against Akuma and El Fuerte as it puts a serious dent in their vortex. You can still get blown up, but it helps a lot because

  1. You don’t have to guess and can do it on reaction.
  2. From my experience (which is mostly online so take it with a grain of salt) most people don’t know about or expect this yet.

wasn’t there a video showing zangief punishing a bunch of different moves and ultras with U2? we should put that up there.

question 1: it seems from ultradavid’s post that the EX SPD and normal SPDs leave you at different ranges, which i confirmed. however i am having trouble telling if the LP/MP/HP SPDs leave you at different ranges away from the opponent when i tried to test in training mode.

question 2: it seems that LP greenhand has the least recovery out of the greenhands, and is thus ideal to get close after SPD (yes? no?). i read in Ultradavid’s post that for some characters you get a “free meaty” after SPD and greenhanding afterwards, which i interpreted to mean that you’ve recovered from the greenhand right before their wakeup (or you are at least neutral upon wakeup). so… what are gief’s options after SPD and greenhanding back in? i found this thread, should i be going off of this?:

thanks in advance.

Spd’s have different grab ranges lp spd longest grab range hp shortest and ex spd same as mp spd but the distance you land from them is the same on all of them unlike hakan or thawks command throws. The time they are in untechable knock down varies from light being the least time and exspd being the most.

After a spd you should lp gh because it’s the fastest that will get you in range to do a mix-up. The mix ups you can preform are dependent on what spd you landed and which char you are playing. So after ex spd you have time to lp gh jump over them then jump again for a meaty splash or cross splash. Also the lp gh after spd puts you in range where a short jump will not cross them up but a regular jump will which is nice.

Also u should add to the ex green hand thing that it’s a combo Ender move. Also you should be buffeting it into you light attacks and option selecting it. If they don’t know what this means you can explain it. As your hitting any light normal and you do exgh really quickly during the animation if the light attack hits something the exgh will come out if it wiffs no exgh will come out.

You need a section on how to do the bnb combo.

Add a AA lariet section about how to properly aa lariet. Here’s my rundown on it you can hit gief out of lariet if you hit him on the top of his head while he’s spinning below the top of giefs head while he’s spinning is the danger zone. Now if someone is jumping at gief and the gief is in crouch and then hits the ppp lariet after they are past the point where the top of giefs head would be if he was spinning then when gief hits ppp they are already in the danger zone area and the lariet will either trade or beat the jump attach cleanly.
Also stop larieting that’s bad advice. Stop larieting at the wrong time is good advice.

how about…

do you plink gief BnBs or is it not necessary?

4xclk to exgh you need to plink but that’s not giefs bnb any more the standard clpx3 to lk exgh which i consider the bnb unless your vance or a combo god I would think that’s the bnb and you don’t need to plink that. clpx2 smp slk to ex gh is what I would consider vangiefs bnb and this you should plink.

Would you happen to a visual cue like this for n.j whores like Adon, Sakura and Sagat which have angled kicks strait down?

The reason those attacks are harder is they hit you quicker than a chun nj rh or ryu’s nj hk so once you see those attacks come out you have very little time to hit ppp before the attack gets through the danger zone and hits your crouching hit box. So do it really early vs nj if they are spamming that shit. Now guile and able have the reverse his nj hp attack not sure what able attack it is moves his attack up so you need to hit ppp later so it’s tricky to aa too but they are all doable.

thanks for the reply guys. i have another question.

What do you guys feel is gief’s options on his own wakeup?

  1. ex greenhand fadc out if unsafe,
  2. ex spd (for invincibility and to beat safe jumps)
  3. backdash and escape or lp spd or ultra if they committed to a slow recovering move
  4. block (probably best if he has no meter)
  5. lariat to escape meaty fireball, but is dangerous because it’s so punishable…

what do you guys think? anymore, and any recommendations on dealing with enemies on his own wakeup?
i excluded normal spds and i think lariat is only good vs fireballs because they both lose to meaty attacks.


If they’re charging focus to lvl 3 then backdash and punish.

Wakeup 360’s work sometimes, but they’re not wise as a lot of people see them coming.

Funny, been playing Gief for a year now and I’m still at odds with this . I actually posted this question as a whole new thread once. lol.

Giefers will disagree, but I feel that Giefs wake up is in certain ways pretty shitty. All three of his specials are HIGHLY bait able and majorly punishable. Most giefs don’t seem to have issues in this department because of fear factor. Most people tend to run away from Gief. But then you run into a set of rush down balls-ey ass players who will be right in your face and double dare you to whip out a special.

So really i think it boils down to just reading the opp. As Porter said block and backdash are the best unless you get a good read for a special. I try to judge distance to eval what they might do.
Ex. If there are right up in my face 8/10 they are going to walk up throw or jump back to bait lariat for punishment. if they are a distance away, buffer for a EX GH IF they meaty fireball, if not leave the buffer alone and just block. Its basically reading the opponent as gief doesn’t have the most braindead wake up options like some other characters might. Backdash to lp spd is a fan favorite against those with the balls to wake up meaty throw/jab/short.

liluoke, you should also consider ex kick spd as it can absorb then grab.

WorstGief is correct.

Just watch out for fast armor breakers. Tatsu’s, EX fireballs. But EX 360+k is so rarely used that you might actually land it.