The Red Cyclone FAQ
Version 1.10
Last Updated Feb. 28, 2009

Dustin M. Kulwicki
AIM: L kwix L
PSNID: k-wix
No 360, sorry.

Version History 

 - 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.

 - Faq is completed


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.

 - Strongest throws in the game
 - Intimidating and commanding presence
 - Easy to use
 - Great anti-projectile game
 - Strong defense
 - Impressive damage output
 - Great focus attack

 - 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.

	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.

	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.

	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

	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.

	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

	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) 

	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. 

	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. 

	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

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

(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


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 

The EX version of this move actually outdamages the SPD. A very good move to


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. 


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. 


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.


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

-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

 - 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

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.

~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

	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

	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