Crouching jabs are chainable (they will cancel into each other if you press too fast) and have good frame advantage (that means the opponent can’t do anything). Your opponent won’t be able to do anything before the blockstun ends. Then, you might go for an SPD at any time. Be wary of dragon punch mashers, because most new players don’t want to guess or get grabbed. So to be clear, chained c.lp’s ARE a safe blockstring.
So after a crossup you can do :
- one or more c.lp’s, block or backdash (backdash is good if you think your opponent is wise enough to counter your block with a throw of his own; backdash will also evade most reversal dragon punch moves)
- one or more c.lp’s, SPD
- one or more c.lp, then s.mp (some people also do s.hk, but I don’t like it…leaves you too open for too long). s.mp in this situation is not comboed, but it will hit if the other player was planning on jumping out of the situation. This option is advanced, might not work on beginners.
c.lk’s combos are harder to do because you can’t chain the kicks. You have to have precise timing to hit them. Also, c.lk’s is not safe on block by a few frames. This means that any character with an invincible move (dragon punch, headbutt, etc.) will be able to get to you while you are trying to do some c.lk’s.
Yeah and about those double SRK’s trouble. Just do s.mp if you are not confident on hitting a SPD or German Suplex. It’s better than nothing and might teach him not to mash like that ;).
Some beginner Zangief pointers :
- Learn to crouch lariat. It’s actually pretty simple. You just stay crouched until the last moment, then lariat. Depending on the attack, where it would have hit Zangief and on the timing of the lariat you will either trade or straight win against a jump in. If you have meter, this is a great time to spend 1 bar to ex-green hand after trading with a lariat.
- D+HP is a much better crossup attack than D+LK. You have to hit the D+L extremely late to make it safe. Charge characters will have a harder time to reversal if they have to block it, so it depends on the situations too.
- Did you know that gief has a “short jump”? You press up, then up-forward pretty fast. This will reduce your jumping arc. You can do fake crossups with it and also bait people into trying to anti-air you.
- S.MP is Zangief best poke. It comes out super fast and has good range.
You don’t absolutely need to learn the combos right now. As soon as you get a stick, you will definetly get better and nail those combos with practice.
A good easy combo is c.lp,c.lp, s.lp, s.mp. s.lp on hit leaves you with a lot of leeway in term of timing to then hit the opponent with the mp.
It’s late and I didn’t feel like formatting my post too much, so I hope you don’t mind :D.