Zangief by Fluffy

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 01/01/70 | Printable Version

Zangief FAQ version 1.0
by Fluffy

For the latest version of this FAQ, go to Fluffy's Grotto at


Spinning Clothesline            All Three Punches PPP(air)

The Spinning Clothesline is Zangief's OG technique.  He's had it ever since
SFII.  It is great for air defense and will stop almost all air attacks,
sometimes even Spidey's HK.  You must time it right though.
It can also combo.

Spinning Lariat                 All Three Kicks KKK (air)

This move is just like the Spinning Clothesline, except it goes much faster
and has another interesting property.  If done in the air, it will knock your
opponent slightly upward and when they land, they are vulnerable to your
wicked grabs, including a FAB.  It also is slightly invulnerable to low
attacks.  At least it used to be.

Spinning Piledriver (SPD)       270 rotation (air)

Zangief's premire technique!  He grabs the opponent, jumps into the air while
turning them upside down, spins, and comes crashing down to the earth with 
his opponent under him causing a small explosion.  Massive damage (although 
less than in the previous vs. games) and it looks so cool.

Flying Powerbomb (FPB)          B, DB, D, DF, F, K

Zangief runs (oh no!) at his opponent and if he grabs him, he leaps into the
air and performs a powerbomb on his opponent.  This move initiates super 
armor and Zangief can take a hit or two before he reels.  However, this move 
can be tech-hitted.  A useful move if you haven't yet mastered the SPD 
motion.  Then again, if you haven't, you shouldn't play with Zangief.  If 
done close, Zangief will do a backbreaker before the powerbomb and if done in 
the corner can allow an OTG.

Glowing Hand                    F, D, DF, P

Yes!!! An anti-projectile move!!!  Eat it Ryu!!!  Anyway, this move has
another use.  It can also close some distance between you and your opponent
relatively safely.  If your opponent turtles, you can use it to get in an do
a SPD.  It also combos.

Air Grab                        F, D, DF, K

Zangief jumps into the air at an angle, which is determined by the Kick 
button you use, snatches an opponent, and then throws them to the floor.  LK 
is almost straight up, MK is out a little more, and HK is at a 45 degree 
This move isn't all that useful as air defense because it has shitty 
priority.  But, it can be used to get close to an opponent because you can 
attack on the way down.  This is nasty for setting up a throw and most 
opponents will never see it coming.


Final Atomic Buster             270 rotation+PP (Level 1)

Zangief runs (oh no, not again) at his opponent with super armor activated.
If he grabs him, Zangief performs a repeating German Suplex, throws his
opponent into the air, jumps up to greet him, and performs an air SPD with a
huge explosion at the end.  This move works like the FPB.  It does pretty 
good damage, but not as much as it used to.:(

Double Final Atomic Buster       D, DF, F, HP+HK (Level 2)

This is the double team super that Zangief does when he's close to you.  His
partner comes out and jumps on the other side of their helpless victim.  When
they grab him, the both jump into the air and perform a tandem Piledriver.
The damage on this move is relative to the power of the character you are
partnered with.  It usually does about half damage.  Plus, it's a good way to
switch out.

Ultimate Final Atomic Buster    270 rotation+KK (Level 3)

The mother of all special grabs.  If works just like an SPD, so you in theory
could do it whenever you could land an SPD on the ground.  This does more
damage that Hugo's Super Grab.  

Iron Body Transformation        B, D, DB, LK (Level 1)

Zangief taunts and when it is finished, he becomes MegaZangief.  I have Mega
Zangief listed as a different character because he plays a little different,
so check it out.

Crossover Counter               B, DB, D+HP+HK when you block (Level 1)

Zangief pops in and does a Spinning Piledriver.  It is excellent to switch
partners and works wonders against pitbulls.

Crossover Combination           D, DF, F+HP+HK (Level 2)

Zangief hops in and does a Lariat that continues across the screen.  It does
pretty good damage when it catches them up close and is great to switch in.

DUO TEAM ATTACK                 D, DB, B+HP+HK (Level 2+)

Go for broke!!!  You have an infinite super meter and both partners to join 
the mayhem.  More on this in the teamwork section.


Ground series:          None
Air series:             None
Super jump series:      Stronger
Air combo finishers:	HP, HK, Spinning Clothesline, Spinning Lariat,
                        Spinning Piledriver


Yeah, like Zangief has any.  Instead of combos, I'll just focus on jump in

J.F+HP \/ ground combo

This is like his jumping Fierce from the Alpha series.  He has lots of
horivontal range, but tends to get hit by projectiles if you try to jump it
and do this move.

J.D+HP \/ ground combo

This is his Flying Body Splash.  It has pretty decent priority and is great 
as a cross-up move.  This is what you will want to use to set up your ground
combos (which there aren't that many of.)

J.D+MK \/ ground combo

The Knee Drop.  An old Zangief stand-by.  I don't use this move to go in for 
a combo as much as I use it to go in for a throw.  Some people consider it 
cheap to Knee Drop into an SPD, but it's their fault for letting me get that 


S. or C.HP, Glowing Hand (HP)

This is a decent combo that works good for two reason.  First, it does pretty
good damage for only two hits.  Second, it puts you close to your opponent to
set up a throw.

S.HK, Air Grab (HK)

Ok.  This combo isn't all that useful.  It does work ok as an anti-air combo.
Not exact on which button to use on the Air Grab though.

In corner, HP Throw or FPB, C.HK (OTG)

This is Zangief's only useful OTG combo.  There aren't really any others.
This combo can only be done when you have your opponent in the corner.  Not
the greatest combo in the world, but the sweep OTG adds a little insult to


These aren't exactly combos in the sense that they add hits to the combo
meter.  Actually, you can't combo a throw.  But, you can wait for an opponent
to finish reeling and throw them right out of it.  Also, any time you see a
FPB, you could substitute a FAB or DFAB and I think it works the same way
between an SPD and a UFAB.


This is combo is an old combo from the Alpha series and is very easy to do in
this game.  Because of the fast recovery off of a light attack, this feels
just like a normal two-in-one.  Even if you're opponent blocks it, they
usually end up eating the SPD.  Even the computer can't avoid it.  You have 
to be really close to do this, so only attempt it off of deep air attacks or
cross-ups.  It does pretty good damage, but in my opinion, it should do more.


This combo works great.  It combos off of the magic chop and will catch most 
people off guard.  However, you can tech-hit the FPB, so be careful.  But, 
you can't tech-hit a FAB.


You can set up Zangief's air combos off of the launcher or his MP throw.  Not
very much here though.  After all, Zangief isn't a combo machine, he's a 
throwing machine.


This will work on pretty much all of the characters.  I haven't found a
character that it doesn't work on yet.  The beauty of this combo is that your
opponent will land before you do and you can attack them on the way down and
set up a cross-up or a tick-to-SPD.


This is extremely hard to time.  It looks ugly upon impact though.  However,
it lacks in damage.

S.J.LK, MK, Spinning Lariat \/ S.HK, Air Grab or FPB

This is THE Zangief aerail combo.  You have to time the HK so that it hits 
opponent on the way down.  You land before your opponent.


C.MP /\ SJ.LK, SJ.MK, Air Lariat \/ /\ J.D+MK, C.MP, /\ etc.

This infinite works.  However, it is hard as all hell to pull off.  To do
this, you have to hold a direction (forward or back) when doing the lariat.
Once you land, jump in the opposite direction with the Knee Dive and relaunch
before they hit the ground.  

If you basically understand the way combos work in the Vs. games, then you
should understand this section.  If you don't, go get another faq with that
kind of information in it.  I'm to lazy to put it in.


If we are going to be talking about strategy with the almight Zangief, we 
have to spend a major amount of time on how to land his throws.  They are his 
main offense.  Without them, he sucks.  He has almost nothing else but that.

Zangief is the only true Pro Wrestler in the game, literally.  He is the only
wrestler character in the game.  Because of this, Zangief is limited in his
defensive capabilities and has to primarily stick to offense.  He doesn't 
have the great defensive moves like a dragon punch or a captain corridor.  
This doesn't make Zangief an underdog, it just forces you to be more 
creative.  Face it, Zangief has to be close to do any damage, right?  No, he 
doesn't.  He can attack from almost anywhere, however most of his attack 
strategies do involve putting you closer to your opponent to land a grab.  If 
you've played Zangief before in another game, you would have noticed that his 
grabs to way less damage than they did before.  I think that because of that, 
it is more important to set up your grabs in combos and use his other combos.  
I've played people who I just repeatedly SPD and it does pathetic damage.  
You have to rely more on Zangief's power and less on his grabs.  With 
Zangief, it's not a question of when to attack, but how to attack.  

Zangief's Ground Game

Zangief has more than one way to attack you.  Some people will think, "Huh?",
but it's true.  People often underestimate Zangief's ground game.  He has 
some of the best ground attacks in the game.  They do all kinds of weird 
things and people just seem to walk right into them.  The only problem is 
that most of his attacks are slow and people who have fast specials and 
supers can nail him before he strikes.  So, you have to be cautious if you're 
opponent has some a character with fast specials or supers.  The highlight of 
his ground arsenal is the crouching Roundhouse.  It has the best range in the 
game and if used moderately close to the opponent can set up a FPB or a FAB.  
It is very hard to escape one when it is times right.  It also is pretty fast 
and people tend to not see it coming.  Another great move is the standing 
Fierce.  It chains into a Glowing Hand for some serious damage.  People often 
run into it sometimes because it has so much range and it isn't too bad on 
speed either.
I basically use it when I think my opponent is going to do a move.  They just
walk right into it.  Pow.  Another move people don't use that much is the
standing Strong.  I'm not sure about in this game, but in the alpha series, 
it has some sort of magical ability.  It would cancel out most sweeps because 
it hit so low.  It also can set up a FPB.  But, you almost have to be psychic 
to know when to use these moves.  A lot of Zangief's strategy involves trying 
to predict what your opponent will do and how he will respond to things.  You 
may have to spend some of the match to figure out your opponents patterns.  
After all, humans are creatures of habit and tend to do the same things and
sometimes even fall for the same tricks.

Landing his grabs

First off, if you've checked the combo page, there is a type of combo that
Zangief does to allow him to land his throws that way.  These require you to
be right next to your opponent.  Later, we'll talk about getting next to your
opponent.  But now, we have to talk about ways to set up your grabs.

Tick into Grab - This is a very easy to do technique and is also easy to
escape.  You basically do a jumping attack which forces your opponent to
block.  Then, you grab as soon as you land.  The best attacks to use for this
are the the Knee Drop and the Flying Body Splash.  You have to time it just
right or a fast opponent will be able to get a move in before the grab or
they can just jump.  You can also tick off of a Glowing Hand or do the tick 
in a combo that your opponent has blocked and the SPD will usually connect.

Laying in Wait - This is sometimes referred to as turtling, but I don't think
it is.  Basically you can just sit there and wait for an aggressive opponent
to attack you.  When you see an opening, do an SPD.  Best time to do it is
after you block a jumping heavy attack.  The SPD is fast enough to interupt
most ground attacks with some exceptions to faster characters.  A word to the
wise, don't push block unless you absolutely know it will benefit you.  Push
blocking all of the time will put your opponent out of the way of your 
You have to know what strings your opponent uses to know what attacks to 
If you've got their pattern, do it when you know it will benefit you.  I see
a lot of people push with Zangief at the wrong time.  If you don't know when
to do it, then chances are you shouldn't, unless you are trying to lessen the
chipping damage of a beam super or something.

Charge! - Sweep your opponent and do an FPB.  This works Ok, but the FPB can
be tech-hitted.  This also doesn't work too well on opponents that roll
constantly either.  It can also be jumped out of if you don't time the FPB to
grab as soon as they are able to block.

Rolling to Safety - They think they are rolling out of harms way, but if you
sweep them and they roll, chances are they are going to roll right back in
front of you again.  This is perfect to set up another FPB or an SPD.  If you
can get a FPB after a sweep to connect a couple of times or maybe even just
once, your opponent will try to roll after a sweep.  Just wait for him to
finish rolling and grab him.

Near the Corner - If you're near the corner and you land a close FPB, you can
OTG with the sweep.  The FBP up close will cause you to land about half the
screen away and you have enough time to get back in and throw again.  You 
have to be careful because your opponent probably isn't going to just stand 
there. So, do a tick into grab.

Call for some Back-up - Most people don't think about it, but you can use 
your helper to set up your grabs.  The best ones to do are the ones that your
opponent will either block or duck and ones that are out for a long time, 
like Lou, Arthur, Thor, and Iceman.  My favorites are Thor for big and medium 
sized characters and Arthur for small ones.  Most people will just duck their
attacks and think that I am wasting a helper character.  While my helper is
doing his thing, I'm walking up to them and doing a FAB.  Warning:  I have
been accused of being the son of Satan for doing this.  I've heard things 
such as, "That's just wrong." to "Oh my god!  I was raped!" and my personal
favorite "Damn.  That was evil."  Definitely pisses people off because they
can see it coming and can't do anything about it once the start ducking.  A
word to the wise, even though I've never seen anyone think of it, the way out
of this is to block instead of duck and push block Zangief away as he runs at
you.  This will put him right in front of you as both him and his helper are
finished and he'll be at your mercy.  Then again, I've never seen  anyone do
that, but it's possible.

Getting close enough to smell their breath

In order to land your throws, you have to be close.  Here's how to get close. 

The March of Doom - This one is simple enough.  Just walk up and grab them.
Don't dash because Zangief's dash is pathetic.  Just walk in and jump
occasionally.  If your fighting a fireball happy character, jump over the
fireballs.  Most people won't be aggressive enough to keep you away.  You can
get in and land the grab.  If you're opponent starts to stick out moves when
you get close to push you away, do a jumping Fierce.  You have to do it
slightly early, but it works great.  His jumping Fierce has range, power, and 
just looks cool.  If you can get close, but have trouble getting next to your
opponent, do the Glowing Hand.  If you have good timing, you can SPD them
before they do anything else.

Death from Above - Another easy way to get close to an opponent is to
superjump.  Because you can block while you jump, this is a very effective 
way too close ground between you and your opponent.  Two things usually 
happen when you superjump at them.  Either they will try to launch you or 
they will jump at you and attack.  If they try to launch you, block and grab 
when you land.
If they try to meet you in the air, block or make them block and SPD.  If 
they don't do anything but stand there, SPD.  They deserve it.

I don't have a versus section for Zangief because he really doesn't need one.  
Whoever he fights, he's going to use the same basic strategy.  Go Kill.  It's 
actually a very simple concept. <p>


In closing, I would like to say that these are techniques that I use with
Zangief.  You may not think they are worth a shit, but they work for me.  If
you've got anything you want to say, mail me at or post on
the MVC: THE SITE message board.  I read it all the time and MVC: THE SITE is
a great site.


Thanks to
All of the Zangief users on the MVC Message board because they helped me get
my Zangief back up to par with my the competition.

sCrub for writing a good Zangief FAQ.  I tried to put stuff in that wasn't in
his and I hope he doesn't think that this is a rip-off of his.  Most of the
techniques I wrote about were ones that I personally use and are ones I've
been using since back in the day.

Chung, who I finally beat after 5 years.  Damn, you're good.

Ross and Chuck for playing against me and driving once in a while.


Um, you oughta know the drill by now.  I actually sat down and wrote it.  If
you want to do anything with it, fine.  Just give credit where credit is due.
If you don't, I will have master Satan castrate you when you get to hell.