The Red Cyclone FAQ Version 1.10 Last Updated Feb. 28, 2009 Dustin M. Kulwicki kwix29@gmail.com AIM: L kwix L PSNID: k-wix No 360, sorry. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Version History 1.10 - More added on the Spinning Piledriver. - Found some interesting details about his Headbutt. - Changed Opinion on Jumping Sideways MK. - Added new strategy 'Doing the 360'. - New Combo 'Banishment' added. - A Few characters better detailed in the Matchups section. 1.00 - Faq is completed -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Contents 1: Intro 1.1: Why Play The Red Cyclone? 2: Movelist 2.1: Basic Moves 2.2: Unique Moves 2.3: Special Moves 2.4: Super and Ultra 3: Strategies 3.1: General Strategies 3.2: Combos 4: Match-Ups 4.A: vs. Abel 4.B: vs. Akuma 4.C: vs. Balrog 4.D: vs. Blanka 4.E: vs. C. Viper 4.F: vs. Cammy 4.G: vs. Chun Li 4.H: vs. Dan 4.I: vs. Dhalsim 4.J: vs. E. Honda 4.K: vs. El Fuerte 4.L: vs. Fei Long 4.M: vs. Gen 4.N: vs. Gouken 4.O: vs. Guile 4.P: vs. Ken 4.Q: vs. M. Bison 4.R: vs. Rose 4.S: vs. Rufus 4.T: vs. Ryu 4.U: vs. Sagat 4.V: vs. Sakura 4.X: vs. Seth 4.Y: vs. Vega 4.Z: vs. Zangief 5: Credits and Legal 1: Intro -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Hey all - So im writing this faq for two purposes, the first is to educate and help out all new and aspiring Zangief players. The second is to help myself learn and understand how to play Zangief better. One of my favorite things about the Street Fighter series is that its a lot like chess - easy to learn and impossible to master, writing this FAQ helps me be one step closer to mastering the ins and outs of The Red Cyclone. This FAQ assumes you have a basic rudimentary understanding of how SF4 works. I'm not going to go through and list out all the terms like QCF+P, I'm not going to explain the focus system, EX moves and how they function. I'm assuming you've already played the game and want to learn how to play (or beat) Zangief. If you seriously find yourself at any point in this FAQ having a hard time understanding a specific combo or how i am explaining things then just ask me. Another small note, This Faq was made entirely while playing the PS3 version. 1.2: Why Play The Red Cyclone? -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Zangief is one of the original powerhouses of the street fighter universe and he is arguably at his best in SF4. He is primarily a throwing character and has an extremely strong presence in the fight. Advantages: - Strongest throws in the game - Intimidating and commanding presence - Easy to use - Great anti-projectile game - Strong defense - Impressive damage output - Great focus attack Disadvantages: - Easy to setup and counter - Slow and Obnoxious - 360 motions are a pain - Only strong when very close - Easily predicted - Weak combo game 2: Movelist -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= 2.1: Basic Moves -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= I'm going to list all of Zangiefs basic moves and rate them between 1 and 5 stars. This rating is very general and just works as a basic guidline. ANY move can be used well in proper circumstance, but still - I feel that (and especially with Zangiefs moves) a rating system might help newcomers. This general rating system takes combo potential, the base move, damage output, and any other properties of the move and tries to score it based on those. LIGHT PUNCHES -=-=-=-=-=-=- Standing LP (***) he throws out a quick sideways jab. This is one of Zangiefs quickest and most efficient attacks. Easily spammable into a 4-hitter that deals about 112 damage. Another thing to note is the range - his jab has an amazing reach. (for a jab, that is) Close LP (***) another simple jab - this has a shorter range and he chops down instead of sideways. again - also chain and spammable. Nothing much else to note. Crouching LP (**) Pretty much a mirror image of his standing LP. The biggest thing to note is that it deals 10 less damage then his standing LP so try to use the standing one whenever possible. Jumping LP (*) Another mirror image of his standing and crouching lp - In my opinion this move is not very good - its damage is small and its hit zone is also small. Since your already vulnerable once your in air, i think your better off doing something else to try to trade hits with someone. Jumping Sideways LP (**) A downwards chop that deals little damage, again - I think this suffers from the same problem as Jumping LP - There are better moves to be done here. LIGHT KICKS -=-=-=-=-=- Standing LK (**) So fast it looks odd, this move outranges his Standing LP but only by a tiny bit. Beyond that, his lp actually deals more damage and is more combo friendly. I'd suggest sticking to that. Close LK (*) Another one of Zangiefs bad moves. This move has pathetic range and deals very little damage. Beyond that, you can't combo it with much either. Stay away from this one guys. Crouching LK (***) Just fast enough to be spammed, his crouching LK is probably the best of his light kicks in general. It has the reach of his Standing LP and because of its spammable nature, it's a safe move to execute. Jumping LK (**) Not quite the damage of his Jumping LP, but solid reach and it has a slight delay on it while it can still connect to the target. Not a bad move. Jumping Sideways LK (**) Slightly better then his Jumping Sideways LP but there are still loads of better moves to be doing with Zangief, the hit is so small that you really can't link it to much. There are some clever throwing strategies by hitting your opponent with a weak attack so he can act sooner so you can throw him easier, but more on that later. MEDIUM PUNCHES -=-=-=-=-=-=-= Standing MP (****) Zangiefs Standing MP is very solid. It has a decent reach, and comes out almost as fast as his LP. Whats even better is that properly timed you can combo his standing LP into his standing MP which deals more damage then his 4spam jab combo. Close MP (****) About the same speed as his Close LP and yet connects almost as quick with little downtime. You can combo this into either of his Lariats but it wont connect with everyone. Ryu is short enough to where it will not combo, but it nails Sagat everytime. Not exactly combo friendly, but nice for mixups against aggressive opponents. They may try to attack into the lariat after the medium punch. Crouching MP (***) He shoots an anti air fist almost straight up. This move has little reach but decent anti air properties. if your in a pinch with someone coming down on you, this move can serve you well. Jumping MP (**) Better in every way then his Jumping LP, tactics aside. This move still isn't very effective for Zangiefs air game. It works well if you predict them to jump to you, but even then, you still have better options then this. Jumping Sideways MP (**) Not bad, It's good for jumping backwords expecting them to jump after you. But again i feel that in most situations there are better moves to use. MEDIUM KICKS -=-=-=-=-=-= Standing MK (**) It has a surprising range going for it, but thats about it. Has a decent wind up and is very combo unfriendly. Still, that range is surprising. Close MK (****) A strong, quick, fast attack that deals solid damage and combo's into his Lariat for about 210 damage. Very nice. Crouching MK (***) This move pulls Zangief forward a good amount and keeps him pretty low to the ground. You can use this to advance on Sagat and dodge his high fireballs. That being said, Zangiefs Crouching HK does the same thing and trips the target. His Crouching MK does pull him faster across the ground however. Jumping MK (***) This move has a slight wind up, but hits a wide arc and does it quickly. Its a solid air-to-air game move that zangief always has. Jumping Sideways MK (****) A great opener to many of Zangiefs combos. While not quite the damage of his Jumping Sideways HK, it has great priority and stuffs quite a few moves like Guiles flash kick. (Thanks to Robin Palm on this one) HEAVY PUNCHES -=-=-=-=-=-=- Standing HP (**) Deals respectable damage and has a rough windup, but the fact that it is so hard to combo means that most Zangiefs will pass this up in favor of Linking to other special moves. Pass it up. Close HP (**) Quick and generally safe, It's combo unfriendly nature makes it very difficult to recommend to anyone but newbie Zangiefs who have trouble with combo moves. Crouching HP (*) Has about the same range as his Crouching HK and has significantly more wind-up time without the trip effect. I'd pass this up in favor of Crouching HK every time. Jumping HP (***) Short reach but a great lead in if your jumping straight up above a target that just got up. Jumping Sideways HP (***) Good reach, but has a large windup, I'd drop this in favor of his Jumping HK every time. HEAVY KICKS -=-=-=-=-=- Standing HK (****) This is one of Zangiefs best moves for a few reasons. #1: It has an extremely long reach and great priority. #2: It pulls Zangief forward very quickly, arguably quicker then his forward dash. It has a bit of wind up, but the reach makes up for it. Close HK (**) Surprisingly similar to his Close HP in terms of how it works. It's not a bad move, but again - most skilled Zangiefs will drop these big 1-hitter moves in favor of medium->special combos that deal more damage and are exceedingly easy to perform. Crouching HK (****) Pulls the Cyclone forward a bit, and is pretty standard for how trips work. Zangief has some unique advantages to employ when a opponent is fallen, so the trip effect is a big deal. That alone makes this move worth using. Jumping HK & Jumping Sideways HK (*****) In my opinion this is one of Zangiefs best air moves. It has some wind up, but it has increadible reach, works well as both anti air and as a lead in to start a big combo. You really can't ask for more. BASIC THROWS -=-=-=-=-=-= Forward Throw (**) Zangief grabs them, picks them up - and throws them forward. At any point in the game where Zangief can connect with this throw, he could be doing one of his Special throws, making this move almost worthless. Theres a certain percentage of Zangief players who can do the 360 motion without jumping. If you can't do this, then you can use these to nail those hard-to-throw opportunities. Back Throw (**) Picks them up, and drops them backwords over his shoulder. Very cool looking throw. This throw is just like his forward throw in terms of game mechanics - if your doing this you should be using his special throws. 2.2: Unique Moves -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Flying Body Attack (*****) ~Down+HP (During Angled Jump) Zangiefs FBA is one of his best air moves. The first big deal is that it deals almost as much damage as his Jumping HK/HP attacks yes comes out FASTER then his Jumping LK/LP moves. Thats a huge deal. The second big thing is priority. Did you know that this move cancels a LOT of special attacks? Sagats Super Combo can be completely nullified by a single Flying Body Attack. As if that was not enough, the third thing is that its one of Zangiefs only air moves that has a HUGE crossover property. you can jump right over most targets and use this as your coming down and string it into a big combo. A wonderful move. Double Knee Drop (****) ~Down+LK (During Angled Jump) Most early players and even some Zangief pro's will quickly dismiss this move as worthless in favor of the Flying Body Attack, However, this move has a unique property that makes it very tricky. It's more useful against tall targets, but it hits very low and stuns for a very short period of time. It's possible to jump in with this attack, then throw them AFTER they have recovered. If timed properly, you can fake out a lot of people with this move. The more you understand how throws work, the more you will see the advantage of this move. Headbutt (***) ~Up+MP or Up+HP (During Verticle Jump) It is a respectable air defense and has good priority in general. The big deal about this special move is it deals a monstrous amount of stun damage to the target. It deals about 600 stun damage - to put that into perspective, the move deals as much stun as three of Zangiefs SPD. That means it can stun just about anyone in the game in 2 hits initially. That being said, its not an easy technique to use and can lead to problems if you try to lure an enemy into your jumps. I suggest experimenting with this only if your an advanced Zangief player. (Special thanks to Damon on the headbutt stun effect. Robin was also nice enough to point this out - thanks!) Long Kick (***) ~Down+Forward+HK This move is a simple mirror of his Crouching HK. The difference is that it pulls him forward much farther if your holding forward while you do it. This is a fairly quick way for Zangief to advance while avoiding certain high projectiles. (Sagat) Focus Attack (*****) ~MP+MK (Charge) Zangiefs Focus Attack is one of the Best Focus Attacks in the game. He charges up and delivers an overhand choke slam. About the focus attack itself, the move has a great range, even uncharged - it has an awesome range to it. The real strength is that you can link ANY throw to Zangiefs focus attack. Even his Super Guage and Ultra Revenge combo's can be chain linked right into his focus attack. Anytime you land one of these on a target, its an automatic SPD. 2.3 Special Moves -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= SPINNING PILEDRIVER ~360+P (Throw Range) A Staple of Zangief since the beginning, The spinning Piledriver is the single most damaging throw in the entire game. At any point you and your opponent are standing within throw distance to each other, you should be doing this move. The first major thing to note about the SPD is that the range and power of each version changes quite a bit. Zangiefs Light SPD deals the smallest amount of damage (200) but has the longest reach. His Hard SPD deals the most damage (about 240) but has the smallest reach of all 3. It's worth noting that all 3 of these outrange Zangiefs normal throw reach, and the normal throw reach of any other character. Make sure you spend some time using the light and hard versions of this special and make special notes of the distance and power that each one deals. There are many times when the light version is better to use then the heavy. One last thing, This is a great defense against focus attacks. He can interrupt every single one of them with this throw. The EX Version of this move has the range of his light punch version and the damage of the medium version. I'm still trying to figure out if using the EX move has different throw priorities then the other one, but one big thing to note is that if you miss, the downtime is much, much shorter. (Special thanks to Jake on the advanced mechanics of the SPD.) ATOMIC SUPLEX ~360+K (Throw Range) Dealing slightly less damage then the SPD (230), the Atomic Suplex has other advantages going for it. the range is the same as the Heavy SPD, but the big thing to note is that instead of pushing the opponent far away after its completed, it literally leaves them right next to you. This is a very advantageous position for Zangief. One last thing, This is a great defense against focus attacks. He can interrupt every single one of them with this throw. The EX version of this move actually outdamages the SPD. A very good move to EX. BANISHING FIST ~DP+P One of Zangiefs best moves, it stop projectiles if timed right and allows Zangief to *RAPIDLY* close distance on a target. It moves him so quickly that many Zangief tactics are made around this single move. It's also worth noting that a common Zangief tactic is to attempt a Banishing Fist into one of his two special throws. While this is a 'solid' tactic, there are many, many weak spots. The EX version has the added advantage of coming out almost twice as fast(!!) and hitting the target twice. The EX version also knocks a target down, once again putting Zangief in that advantage position. DOUBLE LARIAT ~PPP Another one of Zangiefs great moves, the Double Lariat has a high priority when it is initiated. It is also one of Zangiefs best combo moves. When he begins the turn and brings that shoulder up, that hit can smoke a lot of people out of whatever they are doing. The other great property of the DL and one of the main reasons why Zangief has such a good anti-fireball game is that this move bypasses all projectiles while it is active. Another big thing is that you can move forward or backword while your spinning. Its a great way for Zangief to close distance against fireball spammers, and the fact that his arms swing so high makes it a solid choice for anti-air. All that being said, A smart opponent can trip you out of it pretty easy and if you get spammy with it and they predict you, its an easy move to counter. You cannot EX this special move. QUICK DOUBLE LARIAT ~KKK Very similiar to the Double Lariat, but it comes out a lot quicker. It only lasts about half as long and that makes it difficult to use against very slow moving projectiles. It has all the properties of the Double Lariat but deals slightly less damage. The real advantage is the difference in speed. You can throw off predictions by mixing up your Lariats and coming out of them with fast moving attacks like a EX Banishing Fist. Just like Double Lariat, you cannot EX this move. FLYING POWER BOMB ~360+K Zangiefs Flying Power Bomb definitely has its uses. Once executed he raises his arms and blindly runs towards his opponent to give him a hug. Each kick goes a slightly different distance that he runs but he generally travels about half the screen. If he at any point reaches his opponent and they are unable to be thrown (like being on the floor, blocking, or jumping) he will immediately stop his run and hug the air, as though he missed. If at any point during his run he is attacked, he will take the damage and the move is stopped. If he catches his opponent, its a special throw in which he picks them up and slams them into the floor. It deals considerably less damage then his other ones (200) but does put them in a good position for a followup when they get back up. The EX version of this move is MUCH more useful then its normal counterpart. It comes out a little quicker but the big deal is that Zangief can absorb one attack (much like a focus attack) before he stops running. The move also deals an extra 20 damage, making it just about as effective as his regular atomic suplex. YOu can setup some insane tricks and tactics with his EX FPB. Initiating it so your running as they get up is a really good trick. 2.4: Super and Ultra Moves. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Super Combo Final Atomic Buster ~720+P Zangiefs Super Combo is basically an enhanced version of his SPD. It follows all the same rules and properties for the way that throw works, learning how to connect with it is key. It deals a massive 500 damage. Ultra Revenge Combo Ultimate Atomic Buster ~720+PPP Basically the same as the one above - he's a bit more showy with this move, but its a throw all the same and follows all those rules as such. It deals an incredible 600 damage. 3. Gameplay -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Here is where i explain some basic strategies for using Zangief effectively. How to line up his throws, what not to do, how to close on targets, all that stuff is covered here. By this point you should have a basic understanding of all of Zangiefs moves and how to perform the properly and in a pinch. 3.1: General Strategies -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= - Closing the Gap, How do you do it? -------------------------------------- Generally, one of the most common Zangief questions asked is 'how do you get close' Zangief is a power thrower - so obviously his strongest power game only gets applied when you are next to or close to a target. Getting close is absolutely critical for the Zangief player. In short, there is no easy answer for this question. Every fighter is unique and each one can emply different attacks to stop Zangief. That being said, however - The Cyclone has 2 'general' tactics to close the gap. The first tactic is the jump game. Jumping avoids fireballs and a lot of ground-based attacks. Whats better is that if you land next to your opponent you can *instantly* throw them. Many players initiate the throw game by jumping to a target and getting an initial throw off and closing the gap from there. The jump game is easily counter'd. Any general anti-air move will take him down quick and his jump is average - its really easy to see common and since the tactic is so commonplace - most basic players will see it coming. The 2nd tactic is the Lariat/Banishing fist setup. Alternating those moves to Nullify any projectiles your opponent has and how to get close. Popping an EX Banishing fist at an Ideal time can cover more then half the distance, if you can bait your opponent into jumping forward - all the better. A lot of times you will end up banishing fisting into them. From there you can attempt a throw, or if you think your opponent might try a quick interrupt, try a focus attack or a jump, then a throw. - Okay! I'm close! what do i do now?! --------------------------------------- Throw them!!! Seriously though, this can be a tough question, especially when your going up against someone who knows Zangief in and out. The real trick here is to try and predict your opponent if he's bunny-hoping all over the place (obviously does NOT want to get thrown) then emply combo & anti-air moves to stop him. Once he gets comfy on the ground, start throwing again. Another very good strategy is to attempt a focus attack, it puts up a barrier that may get you throw and if you DO manage to land the attack, its automatic throwing time, which is great. Another popular technique is the Light Punch Spam. It can throw someone off if you just jab at them from a decent distance and even better - you can EX Cancel out of a LP into a Focus Attack. - The Throw Game - Want to Win? -------------------------------------- Its very important to understand when someone can be thrown in SF4 and when someone can NOT be thrown. Especially with a character like Zangief. Trying to blindly throw whenever you close with Z will get you punished. You must be sure your throws will hit. Anytime a character is being attacked, or blocking, they cannot be thrown. This means you cannot do a light punch into a throw, unless they can act again JUST before the throw. The only exception to this rule is focus attacks. You can throw someone who is charging a focus attack. You can also throw someone after you focus attack them as a followup with any character in the game. If a character is JUST getting up, they have throw priority. That means if your trying to throw someone right over them as they stand up, they can interrupt with you something like a Dragon Punch. If a character is JUST landing from a jump, they are vulnerable to throws. Anytime a character jumps or does an air move and lands next to you - if you have free control of Z you can throw him no questions. - Throws interrupt EVERYTHING. -------------------------------- seriously. This kinda goes hand in hand with The Throw Game, but you can interrupt just about any move in the game with a throw. Ryu's Fireball, Kens Hurricane Kick, Adels Roll, More then Half of Balrog's Moves? All of them can be interrupted by a simple SPD. Even focus attacks can be totally 100% interrupted by a throw. Another big thing is a lot of moves leave people vulnerable to a throw. Rose's Soul Spiral, if blocked and she's deep enough, you can immediately throw her after. Ken's Hurricane kick, even if it hits you, you can immediately throw him after he touches the ground. Vega's Low slide. Any Special move that ends with them touching you. Fei Long is another one. Wait for those special moves and HAMMER them for using it. - The wakeup game. How to fake out. ------------------------------------- So you got your opponent on the floor, and your standing over them. This is one of Zangiefs most advantageous positions because your already close. follow these tips to maximize your advantage on a downed opponent: -If you hover over them try to throw them your going to eat it, but what if you block what they do (because you know they WILL do something to interrupt the throw) then follow it up with a combo or throw. This is really good against Kens or Ryus. You can wait for the Dragon Punch then punish the crap out of them after the block. -As they are getting up, attempt a vertical jump, At the peak of your jump, attempt a Jumping HK or Headbutt as a guard against any anti air they may try. Timed right, they may just attempt to attack as you land. Since they are attacking, they are now vulnerable to throws, Throw immediately as you land. -Back up not quite the distance of a full back dash, but a decent amount away, and charge a focus attack. This puts increadible pressure on them. If timed right, and they end up eating it, go for a big throw. If they jump no big deal, your still there. If they punch it may still go through. - The Lariat Priority Game. ----------------------------- The initial shoulder hit has a high priority against a lot of moves. Since so many opponents predict that you will try to throw them, they may try to do a move instead of blocking. Using this to your advantage, time a Lariat JUST as they are getting up so that initial shoulder hit slams them. You can spam this and easily frustrate an opponent. If your opponent gets smart though, its very punishable. - Doing A 360' ---------------- Zangiefs 360 motion can be daunting - especially to new players who aren't very experienced with Zangief or Street Fighter in general. A lot of new players end up doing random jumps hoping to land next to a target and throw them instantly. This isn't precisely a terrible strategy in all cases, but many times you can be punished for it and its such a common tactic that just about everyone expects it. There are a few tricks to allow you to do a 360 on the gamepad without even touching up. (WHAT?!) yea, here's a huge piece of advice. If you find yourself jumping instead of piledriving, then go into training mode and try this trick out. Instead of thinking of the command as a 360' motion, instead think of it as a 7-motion-direction-based input. What i mean by that is you don't actually have to do a full 360 to actually trigger his throw moves. You only have to hit 7 out of 9 directions to do it. So, Try going from Forward, to Down-Forward, to Down, to Down-Back, to Back, then just very quickly slide your thumb to Up-Back then hit punch super quick to cancel your backwords jump into a throw. Practice makes perfect in this regard, especially in laggy online matches. Just so you guys know, this trick doesn't really work for his ultimate and super guage attacks, since they are 720'. More to come later.... 3.2 Combos -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= I'm not going to list lots of Zangief combos, as i feel he is not a very combo friendly character but also because i like seeing others develop there own combos and techniques. I will list the basics, and once you understand what chains into what, you can go nuts with him and pick out what you like best. The 4 Spam Jab Combo ~LP+LP+LP+LP (140 Damage) ~Difficulty: * One of Zangiefs simplist and easiest combo's. Just spam the LP button for a 4-hitter. It deals very little damage but has solid range and is very safe. The Chop Chop Combo ~LP+LP+MP (152 Damage) ~Difficulty: *** A simple variation on the Spam Jab Combo, this deals more damage but is significantly harder to do. The Red Lariat ~MP(or MK)+PPP (210 Damage) ~Difficulty: * You can link either of Zangiefs standing mediums into his lariat for some pretty big numbers. You can also tag a lariat onto his chop chop combo if you want, but it may not hit as smoothly, depending on who your fighting. Not Done Yet! ~PPP+Focus Cancel+EX Banishing Fist (200 Damage) ~Difficulty: **** this is a tough one, but if you hit an opponent on the shoulder of a lariat, you can EX Cancel it with a forward dash into an EX Banishing Fist and follow it up for some big numbers. You can even take the Chop Chop Into The Red Lariat and finish them off with the Not Done Yet. Huge damage. Banishment ~FBA+Crouching LP+Crouching LP+Crouching LP+Standing LK+EX Banishing Fist (322 Damage) ~Difficulty: *** A medium difficulty combo with impressive results. As a general rule of thumb linking any light attack to Zangiefs Banishing fist is a great damage combo. Beyond that, it knocks them down and puts you in that good position. (Thanks to Robin on this one) Focus Throw ~Focus Attack+360+P(or K) (362 Damage) ~Difficulty: ** This easy-to-do combo simply involves following up a focus attack with any throw you want. The damage listed assumes you use his basic Spinning Piledriver. If you use it with something like his Revenge Throw, it deals about 590 damage. The Jumping Cyclone ~Jumping HK+MP(or MK)+PPP (306 Damage) ~Difficulty: ** An extremely easy-to-do combo that yields devastating results. More then either of his special grabs. Unexpected Driver ~Double Knee Drop+360+P(or K) (290 Damage) ~Difficulty: **** This is not an official combo, but it works very well. the trick is the timing on the DKD. You must jump into the target and do this move asap. If you timed this right, as you land they will recover and be open for a throw. More to come later.... 4. Matchups -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= I've tried to rate opponents on difficulty. 3 stars means a pretty even match in my opinion. 5 stars mean its a hard fight and so on. Im only offering a few tips for each character. More to come as I play. 4.A: vs. Abel (***) -You can throw Abel while he is rolling. -You can punish his Change of Direction if you block all three hits. -You can punish his wheel kick if you block it. -Beware his throw, understand how throw priority works and only engage him there when you have the advantage. -Abel has a weak keepaway game that works to Zangiefs advantage. Be patient and take your shots when he throws them. 4.B: vs. Akuma (****) Akuma fighters are fun. He has some great keepaway game between his teleport, fireball, 3-hit fireball, and his air fireball. Good Akuma players can keep you at bay all day. Maximizing your time spent close will yield victory here. Because Akuma has a low defense, he goes down extremely quick. 4.C: vs. Balrog (**) Balrog is a pretty easy win against Zangief. Time your throws proper and you can take away just about every special move he has. you can throw him before he reaches you and sometimes if he's deep enough, you can throw him after blocking. 4.D: vs. Blanka (*****) A well played Blanka is an extremely tough opponent to deal with, his Electric shock destroys a LOT of your close game and since many of his charge attacks put him in the air he's immune to throws. You gotta abandon your throw game in favor of some well placed combo's here. 4.E: vs. C. Viper (***) I really haven't played many smart Vipers yet, but generally i've noticed that most of her moves tend to leave her pretty open. you can EX Banishing Fist right up to her and get away with a throw a lot because she's busy trying to set up a special combo. 4.F: vs. Cammy (***) Depends on the skill, She can interrupt you all day with her Cannon Spike, but Her Spiral Arrow and Quick Spin Knuckle are both Extremely easy to throw her out of. Whats worse is that her Cannon Spike leaves her pretty safe against you so its easy for her to spam it and play an easy keep-away game. If she abuses her Hooligan Combination throw, jump back and throw her after she lands 4.G: vs. Chun Li (***) Chun Li is deadly in the hands of an expert, but absolutely terrible in the hands of an average skilled player. She has a lot of oddball and unorthodox combo's, but even against expert chun-li players, realizing that you can throw her out of a large portion of her combo's is critical. Stick close and keep the pressure on her. 4.H: vs. Dan (**) Dan's Air Hurricane Kick is a solid defense against Zangief's throws, but properly blocked - you can punish it to a rediculous degree. His fireball is terrible so that makes it all the easier for you to close in on him. 4.I: vs. Dhalsim (****) I have yet to fight a solid Dhalsim, but i've learned him quite a bit and I think he would be a very tough fight in the hands of an expert. His keep away game is extremely good - possibly better then akumas. Smart Dhalsims will throw ranged attacks at you and fake you out by teleporting all the time. Try to track his jump and predict where he will land, If he tries to do any of his special air attacks that send him a certain direction, just throw him when he lands. 4.J: vs. E. Honda (****) A Honda expert can wreck Zangief. His specials have a certain air property to them that make it extremely hard to throw a skilled Honda player. Fight him evenly and try to use your combo's in this instance. E-Honda is very dangerous when you get close. 4.K: vs. El Fuerte (*****) I honestly believe El Fuerte is like the Anti-Zangief, he has a few setups he can do to chain-link throws on Zangief. Since many of his throws put him in the air, it makes it that much harder to counter him. 4.L: vs. Fei Long (***) Depends on skill, smart Fei longs will stutter flame kick and bait you with it. Dumb ones will spam the three punch combo that you can throw them out of. Try to avoid focus attacks here, his fast attacks and guard break attack will tear you right out of it every time. 4.M: vs. Gen (***) A well played Gen is hard to find, but he has some great specials and some sick combo moves that you can't punish him out of with a throw. Try to play a steady combo game here and only throw when your sure it will connect. 4.N: vs. Gouken (****) Gouken has some sick anti-air game and has quite a few moves that are hard to punish, He can give you quite a hard time with his charging fireballs. You have to stay close on him and maximize your throw potential. 4.O: vs. Guile (***) Well played Guile's can be tough to counter, they have a lot of very good ground combo's and the Flash Kick ensures you can't throw them openly. You gotta try to fake them out and throw them after the fact. you can lariat through the fireball but a smart guile can follow that up with a trip or something you can't counter while your spinning. 4.P: vs. Ken (**) -Lariat/Jump over his fireballs to corner him. -His Hurricane kick is punishable if you block it OR if you get hit by it. as SOON as he starts hitting you, just start doing 360 motions and throw him as soon as the special move ends. -When Ken is on the floor, Get close and Block. When he dragon punches, wait for him to come down and rail him for it. -If he starts throwing you or trying to get close, take advantage of this and throw him when the opportunity presents itself. -Try to avoid jumping, just keep getting close by bypassing his fireballs to put pressure on him. 4.Q: vs. M. Bison (***) A well played Bison can give you a hard time. You can usually punish his Scissor Kick, But his Psycho Crusher is harder to deal with. Play safe and wait for him to make a mistake. If He abuses his specials too much then start putting pressure on him by simply walking towards him. A lot of Bisons love the low sweep, this is als completely punishable. 4.R: vs. Rose (**) Rose is an easy fight. Her Soul Spiral can be blocked and then you can throw her if she's deep enough, Her low sweeps are also easily punishable. You do, however need to watch out for her Soul Throw, which can be very good against a hoppy Zangief, but use Banishing Fist and Lariats to close and you should be fine. 4.S: vs. Rufus (**) Being an extremely flambouyant combo-friendly character, Zangief has an easy time crushing him. You can even jump into his specials and throw him out of them. Most of his specials are punishable. 4.T: vs. Ryu (***) -Lariat/Jump over his fireballs to corner him. -His Hurricane kick is punishable if you block it. You can also attempt a low sweep if he sails over your crouchin guard and generally be safe. -When Ryu is on the floor, Get close and Block. When he dragon punches, wait for him to come down and rail him for it. -If he starts throwing you or trying to get close, take advantage of this and throw him when the opportunity presents itself. -Try to avoid jumping, just keep getting close by bypassing his fireballs to put pressure on him. 4.U: vs. Sagat (*****) It's really hard to close and throw a well played Sagat player. Don't forget about the low sweetp trick to close faster while he high fireballs. Between Tiger Uppercut, his Fireballs, and his Tiger Knee - He can bypass all of your defenses if he's sharp and paying attention. your best bet is to try to bait them into making mistakes here. EX Banishing Fist probably your best bet. Use it to suprise him and get close, force him to make mistakes. 4.V: vs. Sakura (***) It's a close fight. Sakura has a lot of sick combo's that are hard to punish. Conversely, a few good throws and she's going down. Her Hurricane Kick is a real bane to Zangief because of its combo potential and guard break property. 4.X: vs. Seth (***) Play Safe and predict his teleports and take advantage of his oppenings. He has a piledriver like you, but his deals significantly less damage. Don't be afraid to get close and rail him. 4.Y: vs. Vega (***) -Smart use of Zangiefs Focus attacks can stop a large portion of vegas wall leaping special moves. Its a great tactic against good vega players. -Beware the backflip. If you miss a throw, try closing with EX Banishing Fist or even a low sweep to counter him. -His low sliding sweep is very, very punishable. throw him after you block. 4.Z: vs. Zangief (***) -Combos are your friend here, try to mix things up and don't get predictable. -Remember your throw priority and ensure that you have it more then he does. 5. Credits and Legal -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Thanks to Kyle, Joe, Tyler and all my opponents online who helped me discover all these strategies and tricks. Also thanks to Gamefaqs. This may not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright. Copyright 2009 Dustin M. Kulwicki