Street Fighter 6/Zangief

From SuperCombo Wiki


Introduction

A colossal wrestler nicknamed the Red Cyclone. Zangief is dedicated to physical improvement and instructing his students.

Zangief is the original big-body grappler character, and acts as a lumbering monster who utilizes his size and long reach to intimidate the opponent into sitting still, before opening them back up with one of his many command grabs.

Zangief's plan is very simple: Play the throw game. Gief's huge size allows him to poke at longer distances than most of the cast, making it difficult for them to respond to his advance without surrendering space or committing to a high-risk options. 5MP, 5HP, 5LP, and 5MK can wear down the opponent while he slowly approaches. Once the opponent has been conditioned to sit still, Zangief lurches forward and grabs his opponent with the signature Screw Piledriver. This command grab has completely absurd range, is incredibly fast, and deals monstrous damage on hit. SPD has the potential to instantly turn the tide of a match and sets up the remainder of the Zangief's gameplan.

From here, Zangief continues to approach his opponent, moving between safer options and risker options to capitalize on the mistakes of his opponents. Zangief has dozens of ways to set up tick throws and punish poor decision making. He also has a bunch of unique tools for hard reads, like Siberian Express. Additionally, Zangief's signature Lariat allows him to become projectile invulnerable for a while, giving him the ability to deal with fireballs somewhat. All of this, combined with his solid pokes, makes Zangief into a midrange menace.

While Zangief can be an effective character, he is notably not a vortex-style character like some other famous grapplers. Every time Gief uses Screw Piledriver, he sends the opponent nearly fullscreen and must play neutral all over again. Zangief is notably weak to keepaway, and in general must play very patiently. There are many strong zoners on the SF6 roster, which can make his life quite difficult. Even still, a good Zangief player is more than capable of overcoming his bad matchups compared to previous games. Choosing to stick with the Red Cyclone will let you live the wrestler power fantasy of your dreams while terrifying your opponents into submission.


Pick if you like: Avoid if you dislike:
  • A powerful throw game with strong normal and command throws
  • Incredible Punish Counter damage from both strikes and throws
  • Long-range abare to challenge spaced offense
  • Making hard reads for high reward
  • Getting into your opponent's head and instilling fear into their every move
  • Having to approach your opponent slowly, both in neutral and after getting a hit
  • Relying on a small subset of tools with glaring weaknesses
  • Using a minimal combo structure that relies heavily on Drive Rush
  • Limited reversal options
  • Very unfavorable matchups


Classic & Modern Versions Comparison

List of differences with Modern Zangief
Missing Normals
  • Standing Medium Kick (5MK)
  • Standing Heavy Kick (5HK)
  • Crouching Medium Kick (2MK)
  • Jumping Light Punch (j.LP)
  • Jumping Medium Punch (j.MP)
  • Jumping Heavy Punch (j.HP)
Missing Command Normals
  • Cyclone Wheel Kick (6HK)
  • Smetana Dropkick (3HK)
  • Power Stomp (22MK)
Shortcut-Only Specials
  • N/A
Miscellaneous Changes
  • Modern Zangief has access to instant Level 3 Super Art, allowing for punishes and use in neutral that would otherwise be extremely difficult. Modern SA1 starts at 60% scaling rather than the typical 80% scaling of most modern moves.

Zangief loses access to some of his best neutral tools with Modern, 5MK and 2MK, both very valuable for being pokes with huge range that are still quite safe from drive impacts, he also loses 5HK which typically allows for immediate high-damage punish counter options with 5HK>SA1 or 5HK>OD Borscht.

6HK is gone, his only grounded overhead, and 3HK, which is a situationally useful low/throw invincible option. His best air-to-air j.HP has been gutted in favor of going all-in on his normally difficult Borscht Dynamite aerial grab with its Modern one-button input.

Generally modern Zangief has lost a lot of his important long-range kicks for the sake of his inputs being made considerably easier for his rewarding specials. He loses considerable strength in his mixup game without his overhead (6HK), but one-button inputs have made his anti-air with SA1 and Borscht Dynamite, which are very rare to see, much more consistent and common. Screw Piledriver (and SA3) is extremely scary on Modern, he can whip it out as a reaction without fear of accidentally missing, (SA3 also doesn't require a jump) but he will still need to do the standard input if he wants to use Light/Medium SPD at longer ranges, or to get the full value of SA3's insane damage.

As a character with notoriously difficult inputs, Modern can curb some of the frustrations of playing Zangief normally, while also creating new ones due to the removal of important tools.


Zangief
SF6 Zangief Portrait.png
Vitals
Life Points 11000
Ground Movement
Forward Walk Speed 0.0364
Backward Walk Speed 0.025
Forward Dash Speed 22
Backward Dash Speed 25
Forward Dash Distance 1.007
Backward Dash Distance 0.712
Drive Rush Min. Distance (Throw) 0.327
Drive Rush Min. Distance (Block) 1.455
Drive Rush Max Distance 3.040
Jumping
Jump Speed 5+38+3
Jump Apex 2.115
Forward Jump Distance 1.725
Backward Jump Distance 1.406
Throws
Throw Range 1.02
Throw Hurtbox
Frame Data Glossary - SF6
Hitbox Images

🟥 (Red): Attack hitbox

  • Appears pink for Throw hitboxes

🟩 (Green): Vulnerable hurtbox that can be hit by strikes/projectiles

  • If a move's hitbox and hurtbox overlap, the colors blend to appear orange

🟦 (Blue): Vulnerable throw hurtbox

  • Will be thrown if Pink throw hitbox touches Blue throw hurtbox


Active

How many frames a move remains active (can hurt opponents) for. For projectiles with a maximum active period, a value may be listed in [brackets], but this number is not factored into the move's total frame count.

  • For multi-hit moves with no gaps between the active hitboxes, active frames are listed as X,Y (or sometimes X*Y)
  • For multi-hit moves with gaps between hits, active frames are listed as X(n)Y where n = the frame gap between hitboxes.


Cancel

Available options for canceling one move into another move.

  • "Chn": Chain cancel (Light normals; specific chain options listed in Description)
  • "TC": Target Combo
  • "Sp": Special move
  • "SA": Super Art (if a number is listed, refers only to that specific Super; SA3 = Lv.3 Super Art)
  • "Jmp": Jump cancel (usually on hit only, if applicable)
  • "SS": Serenity Stream (Chun-Li's stance)
    • If one hit of a multi-hit attack is cancelable, this can be indicated with (1st), (2nd), etc.
    • Occasionally, a move can be canceled only into a specific follow-up (e.g. Dee Jay [4]6P > 22PP); this can be indicated by listing the move input in the Cancel field, or with an asterisk that is explained in the move notes (Sp*)


Cancel Hitconfirm windows

Hitconfirm reaction windows into Special Moves, Target Combos, and Super Arts.

  • Refers to the amount of time (in frames) you have to cancel one attack into another attack on reaction
    • e.g. most cancelable 2MKs have a 13 frame window to cancel into a Special/Super on reaction, making them nearly impossible to hitconfirm
  • Counts from the first frame the attack connects until the final cancelable frame
    • Visual effects like hitsparks and HP drain do not actually occur until frame 2; the first frame is still counted to keep the numbers consistent with previous games, and because it is technically possible to start reacting to the character's reeling animation on frame 1
  • If a Target Combo is cancelable into another attack, the hitconfirm window will include the entire sequence starting from the first hit
    • If there is a frame gap on block between hits of the TC, the hitconfirm window may also be included for just the followup hit
    • Some sequences like Ken's 5MP~HP TC may have a range of values listed (43f~47f). In this example, inputting 5MP~HP at its usual timing gives a 43f hitconfirm into a Special/Super. Delaying the chain into HP gives more total time for the final hitconfirm.
Damage

Attack damage on hit. Multi-hit moves may have the damage listed for individual hits as X,Y (or sometimes X*Y). Sometimes a move's damage changes depending on which active frame connects, or on cinematic vs. non-cinematic hits; in this case, multiple values may be listed, and it will be clarified in the move description.


Guard

Refers to the direction an attack must be blocked. L is for Low attacks (must be blocked crouching), H is for High attacks/overheads (must be blocked standing), LH is for attacks that can be blocked crouching or standing. T is for Throw attacks which cannot be blocked.


Juggles

When a character is put into an Air Knockdown state, it is often possible to follow up with a Juggle attack before they hit the ground. In the simplest terms, there are 2 main juggle states:

  • Free Juggle: any attack can juggle, causing an Air Reset or an Air Knockdown
  • Limited Juggle: only specific attacks with juggle potential may juggle


The following is a more detailed overview of the SF6 juggle system:

Juggle Count (JC): The status of the character being juggled. A high JC limits which attacks can work in juggles.

  • JC0: free juggle state - any attack that can hit an airborne opponent will work
  • JC1+: limited juggle state - juggle only works if the attack's Juggle Limit ≥ defender's Juggle Count

Juggle Start (JS): When starting a juggle, the opponent's JC will be set to this value. May be different vs. standing and airborne opponents.

  • Attack with Juggle Start value of 3 will put opponent at JC3, so only attacks with Juggle Limit value ≥ 3 can follow up

Juggle Increase (JI): When opponent is already in a juggle state, attacks will increase the opponent's JC by this amount.

  • Airborne opponent at JC1 followed by attack with Juggle Increase value of 3 will set opponent to JC4

Juggle Limit (JL): Property of an attack hitbox that determines whether it connects on a juggled opponent. The JL must be ≥ the opponent's JC to hit successfully.

  • An uppercut with a JL value of 5 will connect on an opponent at JC5 or below, but will whiff on JC6 opponent
  • Most normals have a JL value of 0, meaning they only work in Free Juggle (JC0) states
  • Some multi-hit attacks have different JL values on each hit, so a 3-hit move may only hit twice in juggles

An example to tie everything together:

  • An attack (JS3) launches opponent into the air (Opponent now at JC3)
  • Followed up with an attack (JI2/JL4); it connects, because JL4 ≥ JC3 (Opponent now at JC5)
  • Attempts to juggle again with same attack (JL4), but whiffs because JL4 < JC5 (Opponent hits the ground)

Drive Rush notes:

  • DR normals have a Juggle Start/Increase value of 0
  • DR normals have +3 added to their usual Juggle Limit
On Hit/Block

These are frame advantage values when the attack hits or is blocked. If the number is positive, then the move will recover before the defender can act again. If the number is negative, the defender will be able to act before the attacker and maybe even punish. KD refers to knockdown on hit, and the listed KD Advantage refers to how many frames the attacker can act before the defender finishes their wakeup animation.

  • Note that generally, there is an extra +2 hit advantage on Counterhits and +4 hit advantage on Punish Counters (exceptions are noted in the description).


Recovery

How many frames it takes for a move to finish after the active frames have finished. For projectiles, recovery is considered to begin after the first active frame.

  • Moves with different recovery values on hit/block/whiff may have multiple values listed like X(Y), with specific details listed in the description.


Startup

How many frames it takes before the move becomes 'active' or have a hit box. The last startup frame and the first active frame are the same frame, meaning all values are written as Startup + 1.

  • Moves with multiple relevant startup values may be listed as X(Y); for example, a move that hits airborne first before hitting grounded opponents, or a 2-hit move where the first hit whiffs at some ranges.

Normals

Standing Normals

5LP
Standing Light Punch
5LP
SF6 Zangief 5lp.png
SF6 Zangief 5lp hitbox.png
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5LP
Standing Light Punch
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
7(4) 3 9 Chn Sp SA 400 LH +4 +2
  • Cancel Hitconfirm Window: 13f
  • 4f startup on the chained version, allowing tighter blockstrings
  • Chains into 5LP/2LP/2LK (true blockstring into all)
  • Applies a 10% damage scaling penalty to the next hit when used as a combo starter (100/90/80/70...)


This standing jab has incredible range for a light normal, and at +2 it sets up a true mixup into a strike or SPD. To compensate, the startup and pushback are also much higher than most lights. Starting a light chain with 5LP will guarantee the next hit is a true blockstring, which is rare in SF6; this makes his pressure a little safer against reversals. Chaining into 5LP from another light normal will leave a small gap that can frame trap.

Despite the animation, it does not anti-air at all like in previous games.

5MP
Standing Medium Punch
5MP
SF6 Zangief 5mp.png
SF6 Zangief 5mp hitbox.png
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5MP
Standing Medium Punch
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
9 4 17 TC 700 LH +2 -2
  • Cancel Hitconfirm Window: 28f (TC)
    • Can cancel to Target Combo on whiff
    • Requires extra frame advantage for TC to combo (CH, PC, DR, meaty)


A poke with good horizontal range, decent frame advantage on block, as much pushback as a light button, low recovery, and even a target combo follow-up. All these factors make it a very valuable button for high level Zangief play. It's difficult for opponents to whiff punish it on reaction as its recovery is identical to that of Gief's 5LK and some other characters' 2MKs. Zangief extends his lower hurtbox a bit, making it slightly weaker to lows than it appears. It can lose to Drive Impact since it's not cancelable, although Zangief can recover safely if he hits the armor very early.

With the added frame advantage provided by Drive Rush, 5MP becomes +2 on block and can combo naturally into its Target Combo on hit. Combined with its minimal pushback, DR 5MP makes for a useful approach and pressure option in situations where Headbutt (6HP) or Knee Hammer (6MK) are too slow, granting a confirm into TC on hit and a tick throw setup on block.

Although the Target Combo follow-up is extremely lenient to hitconfirm when you land a Counter-hit in neutral, you can't autopilot the TC as a counterpoke because it comes out on whiff.

5HP
Standing Heavy Punch
5HP
SF6 Zangief 5hp.png
SF6 Zangief 5hp hitbox.png

SF6 Zangief 5hp hold hitbox.png
Armor when held
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5HP
Standing Heavy Punch
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
(6~22)+10 3 22(24) - 1000 LH +3 -3
  • 1-hit Upper Body Armor: 4f until button release (no armor if not held)
  • Button can be held up to 22f for partial charge; 23f gives full charge
  • Startup is 10f after releasing button (minimum 16f); 2 extra recovery frames on whiff
  • Puts airborne opponents into limited juggle state
  • Counter-hit/Punish Counter: KD +32
5[HP]
Standing Heavy Punch (hold)
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
32 3 22(24) - 1400 LH KD +40 +3
  • 1-hit Upper Body Armor: 4-34f
  • Button must be held 23f; 2 extra recovery frames on whiff
  • Counter-hit: KD +40
  • Punish Counter: HKD +54, opponent slides far along the ground


Reaching almost half screen, 5HP is one of Zangief's most threatening neutral tools. It can be used to harass characters from beyond the range of their cancelable pokes, and hits high enough to catch opponents early in their jump. Since 5HP knocks down on counter-hit, it trades favorably against most buttons, making it risky for opponents to challenge. However, the move is slow to start up, and the long total duration makes it highly vulnerable to Drive Impact.

By holding down the HP button, Zangief charges his punch, gaining 1 hit of armor in the process. The armor starts up in 4 frames and remains active until the button is released, allowing him to absorb an attack and then quickly punish. Notably, you can briefly hold the button down to still gain armor while having the move come out of the quickest possible frame. A partially charged 5HP can be extremely useful to counter safe but reactable moves like E. Honda's Sumo Headbutt. However, the armor will not protect against moves which hit the lower half of Zangief's body, including the many powerful cancelable 2MKs in the game.

When fully charged, 5[HP] gains significant range and damage, no longer requiring a counter-hit for a knockdown. It also causes an improved Hard Knockdown on Punish Counter, granting excellent oki and corner carry. Finally, 5[HP] becomes advantageous on block, though the high pushback makes this unreliable as a tick throw setup. These benefits come at the cost of making 5[HP] one of the slowest normals in the game, allowing patient opponents to easily punish Zangief with Drive Impact on reaction.

Charging 5HP can be useful as a prediction vs. fireballs or slow mid-range pokes. It acts as a pseudo-Drive Impact, and can even be used during Burnout to counter the opponent's DI. As an anti-air, it is useful against characters who can mix up their jump arc since it reaches far enough to punish baits while still armoring through normal jump-ins.

5LK
Standing Light Kick
5LK
SF6 Zangief 5lk.png
SF6 Zangief 5lk hitbox.png
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Hitboxes On

5LK
Standing Light Kick
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
7 2 17 Sp SA 400 LH -2 -4
  • Cancel Hitconfirm Window: 13f
  • Applies a 10% damage scaling penalty to the next hit when used as a combo starter (100/90/80/70...)


The long range and slow startup/recovery make 5LK more comparable to a medium normal. It has a good hitbox for whiff punishing lows when canceled to OD Lariat (PPP); at closer ranges, meterless Lariat (PP) can also combo. It is great for canceling into Drive Rush at mid-range, giving combos on hit and a true blockstring to 2LK if blocked; he can also threaten a slightly delayed command throw in either case. The Drive Rush cancel cannot be mindlessly buffered in neutral, however, since it will drain the 3 bars even on whiff.

5MK
Standing Medium Kick
5MK
SF6 Zangief 5mk.png
SF6 Zangief 5mk hitbox.png
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5MK
Standing Medium Kick
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
10 4 19 - 800 LH +1 -4


A great long-ranged poke with a hitbox that dodges most low attacks. The hitbox is slightly disjointed, so it will beat other pokes in neutral if spaced properly, and the high damage makes it trade favorably with most buttons. The pushback on block ensures that 5MK is safe unless used near point blank.

5HK
Standing Heavy Kick
5HK
SF6 Zangief 5hk.png
SF6 Zangief 5hk hitbox.png
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5HK
Standing Heavy Kick
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
13 4 21 - 1000 LH +3 +1
  • Kicking leg hurtbox is Anti-Air Strike Invuln 13-22f (vulnerable to projectiles 1f before active)
  • Whiffs on crouching opponents
  • Punish Counter: KD +51 Spin (free juggle state)
  • Puts airborne opponents into a limited juggle state


Slow to start up, but has great horizontal range and a good anti-air hitbox, especially against neutral jumps. In the corner, Zangief can follow up an air hit with a juggle into OD Borscht Dynamite (j.360+KK) for big damage on opponents that are scared of command throws. Midscreen, the knockdown advantage is enough for a Dash + Drive Rush to secure corner carry and point blank oki. If it manages to land as a Punish Counter, it will grant an improved juggle even on grounded hit, allowing an easy conversion anywhere on the screen. It can even juggle into Level 2 Super, though the follow-up juggle is much more limited.


Crouching Normals

2LP
Crouching Light Punch
2LP
SF6 Zangief 2lp.png
SF6 Zangief 2lp hitbox.png
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2LP
Crouching Light Punch
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
6(3) 2 8 Chn Sp SA 300 LH +6 +1
  • Cancel Hitconfirm Window: 12f
  • 3f startup on the chained version, allowing tighter blockstrings
  • Chains into 5LP/2LP/2LK (true blockstring into 2LP/2LK)
  • Applies a 10% damage scaling penalty to the next hit when used as a combo starter (100/90/80/70...)


A powerful jab with a good combination of speed, range, and cancelability, Zangief can harass opponents with this in the mid-range. It is plus on block, though an opponent at close range can mash a 4f normal to interrupt a tick command throw. Cancels into OD Lariat (PPP) will whiff at longer ranges, so converting into Drive Rush is the most consistent confirm option.

2MP
Crouching Medium Punch
2MP
SF6 Zangief 2mp.png
SF6 Zangief 2mp hitbox.png
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2MP
Crouching Medium Punch
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
8 3 16 Sp SA 700 LH +3 -1
  • Cancel Hitconfirm Window: 15f


2MP is a relatively stubby medium button with nearly identical range to 2LP. The hitbox sticks out beyond the hurtbox, making it a good counterpoke in neutral. From here, Zangief can cancel into Level 2 Super for big damage, or cancel to Drive Rush for an extended combo or a reset into SPD. The hitbox is high enough to swat down some airborne moves like Ken's Dragonlash Kick, granting a Forced Knockdown and a juggle to Lariat.

When used out of Drive Rush, 2MP becomes +3 on block for a strike/throw mixup that can't be mashed out of. On hit it becomes +7, linking into 3MP > Lariat consistently. While 2MP is one of Zangief's most useful buttons out of Drive Rush, the slow movement and short range can make it hard to approach with the 1-bar Parry Drive Rush version.

2HP
Crouching Heavy Punch
2HP
SF6 Zangief 2hp.png
SF6 Zangief 2hp hitbox.png
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2HP
Crouching Heavy Punch
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
12 8 35 - 1000 LH KD +20 -19
  • Punish Counter: KD +33 (higher juggle state)
  • Head hurtbox is Anti-Air Strike Invuln 10-19f
  • Active frames 4-8 cannot hit grounded, but can anti-air cross-ups


An anti-air that reaches extremely high, but has slow startup making it more difficult to use than Double Lariat. 2HP is one of the few anti-air buttons that can actually hit opponents at cross-up range, which is useful for opponents trying to jump out of the corner. However, Zangief moves forward during this move, which makes hitting cross-up attempts less consistent. The knockdown on hit gives time to set up oki; it is technically possible to juggle OD Borscht Dynamite (j.360+KK) after a max-height Punish Counter 2HP, but the timing is incredibly strict.

This button serves little purpose outside of specific anti-air scenarios; it is terribly unsafe on block and worse than 5HK as a punish starter.

2LK
Crouching Light Kick
2LK
SF6 Zangief 2lk.png
SF6 Zangief 2lk hitbox.png
Hitboxes Off
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2LK
Crouching Light Kick
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
4(3) 3 12 Chn 250 L 0 -3
  • 3f startup on the chained version, allowing tighter blockstrings
  • Chains into 5LP/2LP/2LK (true blockstring into 2LP/2LK)
  • Applies a 10% damage scaling penalty to the next hit when used as a combo starter (100/90/80/70...)


The longest 4f in the game and Zangief's only one, highly important for punishes and interrupting the opponent's pressure. The major drawbacks, however, are its abysmal advantage on hit and inability to be cancelled for confirms. If in range to chain into 5/2LP, it is possible to get a cancel into a proper confirm, but the light chains will often put the opponent out of range for a Lariat knockdown. At full range, the only thing Zangief can do is use the advantage to make spacing traps or walk forward and threaten SPD.

2MK
Crouching Medium Kick
2MK
SF6 Zangief 2mk.png
SF6 Zangief 2mk hitbox.png
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2MK
Crouching Medium Kick
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
9 3 18 - 700 L +2 -2


A long-ranged low poke with a great disjointed hitbox, though vulnerable to Drive Impact due to its slow speed. Good in neutral when combined with 5MP and 5MK, which hit much higher. Not very useful as a starter out of Drive Rush, as the link to 2LP cannot combo into anything else without another Drive Rush cancel.

2HK
Crouching Heavy Kick
2HK
SF6 Zangief 2hk.png
SF6 Zangief 2hk hitbox.png
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Hitboxes On

2HK
Crouching Heavy Kick
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
12 3 27 - 1000 L HKD +32 -13
  • Counter-hit/Punish Counter: +45 HKD
    • Opponent falls forward with a different animation
  • Has some juggle potential; no longer HKD when juggled into


A sweep with massive range and good damage, essential to Zangief's mixup game. Many characters struggle to punish when well-spaced, despite being very unsafe on paper. It is quite whiff punishable and vulnerable to Drive Impact, so it must be used carefully.

On hit, the Hard Knockdown allows for follow-up oki with Drive Rush even at max range; this does not apply if juggled into midscreen, since the opponent can back rise to escape pressure. After an SPD knockdown, Drive Rush into 2HK is a common tactic to keep the opponent in place. The extra blockstun ensures that very few characters will be able to punish properly, and it opens up the threat of an overhead or a second SPD.


Jumping Normals

j.LP
Jumping Light Punch
j.LP
SF6 Zangief jlp.png
You probably misinput an SPD
SF6 Zangief jlp hitbox.png
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j.LP
Jumping Light Punch
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
5 7 3 land - 300 H - -


Zangief's fastest air-to-air button with long horizontal range. If done too early on the way up, the opponent can land first, leaving you punishable.

j.MP
Jumping Medium Punch
j.MP
SF6 Zangief jmp.png
SF6 Zangief jmp hitbox.png
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Hitboxes On

j.MP
Jumping Medium Punch
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
8 5 3 land - 700 H - -


Another solid air-to-air, j.MP is slower but generally advantageous after landing. Also key jump-in normal in perfect safejump setups for Zangief as well, both due to its range and being +11 on block with relatively low pushback after a proper safejump.

j.HP
Jumping Heavy Punch
j.HP
SF6 Zangief jhp.png
SF6 Zangief jhp hitbox.png
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j.HP
Jumping Heavy Punch
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
9 6 3 land - 800 H - -
  • Spike knockdown vs. airborne opponents on hit


A solid jump-in option with more hitstun and blockstun than j.HK, allowing it to link to 6HP more consistently. The hitbox reaches downward on the later active frames, allowing it to work from close range jumps. If it hits an airborne opponent, Zangief gets reliable follow-up oki due to the knockdown.

j.LK
Jumping Light Kick
j.LK
SF6 Zangief jlk.png
SF6 Zangief jlk hitbox.png
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j.LK
Jumping Light Kick
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
5 10 3 land - 300 H - -
  • Can hit Cross-up


A jump-in with very short horizontal range, this button is mostly used to intentionally leave Zangief with minimal frame advantage, setting up a quick strike/throw mixup. While it can hit as a cross-up, it is much harder to use than j.2HP. The hurtbox does not extend much when using this, allowing it to bait anti-airs at some ranges. If it hits as an air-to-air, the opponent may land first, putting Zangief at a disadvantage.

j.MK
Jumping Medium Kick
j.MK
SF6 Zangief jmk.png
SF6 Zangief jmk hitbox.png
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j.MK
Jumping Medium Kick
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
8 8 3 land - 500 H - -


An invaluable air normal due to its long horizontal and downward reach. It allows Zangief to attack quite early in his jump arc while still being advantageous after landing, making it more difficult to anti-air him. It can also work as an air-to-air from a backwards jump in situations where Double Lariat and 2HP are risky to attempt.

j.HK
Jumping Heavy Kick
j.HK
SF6 Zangief jhk.png
SF6 Zangief jhk hitbox.png

SF6 Zangief jhk hold hitbox.png
Hitboxes Off
Hitboxes On

j.HK
Jumping Heavy Kick
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
10 7 3 land - 800 H - -
  • Can hold the button 20f for a charged version
    • Holding less than 20f gives regular j.HK after release
j.[HK]
Jumping Heavy Kick (hold)
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
32 6 30 land (oH/oB)
20(12) land (whiff)
- 1500 H Wall Splat +1(+33) -30(-43)
  • Body is Projectile Invuln 32f until land (legs are still vulnerable)
  • Causes Wall Splat on hit, Wall Bounce on Punish Counter; opponent is in free juggle state
    • KD Advantage varies based on connect height and distance from corner
  • Landing recovery: 30f oH/oB (bounce away), 20f full charge whiff, 12f partial charge whiff
    • 20f landing recovery is cancelable (starting frame 2) into Dash or any attack
  • If active frames 2-6 connect right as Zangief lands, he does not bounce away
    • Landing recovery becomes cancelable into any move except jump (-1 oB if not canceled)


Good horizontal range for a jump-in. Pairs well with j.HP which hits from closer range. The hitstun and blockstun of j.HK is a bit lower, making it harder to link into 6HP.

When fully charged, j.[HK] does 700 more damage and sends the opponent flying fullscreen. If the HK charge is released early, Zangief does not gain any extra benefits; it simply becomes a slower j.HK. Conversely, starting the input too late and then landing before the active frames come out will cause Zangief to incur extra landing recovery; it's important to start the input early in the jump.

The most useful situation for j.[HK] is a hard read against fireballs; you can start charging the HK right as you jump, and continue holding it if you see the opponent threw a projectile. This will cause it to land as a Punish Counter, ensuring a wall bounce combo into 3MP or OD Borscht Dynamite midscreen. In the corner, the opponent will fly over Zangief's head, making follow-ups difficult or impossible. It can also punish very unsafe moves, like the OD reversals of Dee Jay, Jamie, Juri, and Luke, as well as some Supers.

Unfortunately, the move is extremely unsafe on block; despite bouncing far away, the opponent can close the distance with Drive Rush for a punish. The risk vs. reward is slanted heavily in favor of the opponent, so j.[HK] should be used sparingly. However, it is technically possible to land the full charge without the unsafe bounce away. By timing a perfect safe jump that hits on a later active frame, Zangief will drop down immediately and can cancel his recovery into any action except walk or jump, keeping in mind that canceling into Drive Parry enables Zangief to properly safejump against every anti air reversal in the game, including Lily's 4f Enhanced Tomahawk Buster. Practical knockdowns where Zangief is specifically at a 43 frame advantage do exist and enable perfect safe jump setups where a charged jHK cancel can be executed consistently, though whether or not it is optimal to specifically safejump with charged jHK is situational due to the rather high pushback on block being inconvenient for strike/throw mixups.


Command Normals

3MP
Hellstab
3MP
SF6 Zangief 3mp.png
SF6 Zangief 3mp hitbox.png
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Hitboxes On

3MP
Hellstab
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
7 3 21 Sp SA 800 LH -1 -3
  • Arm is Anti-Air Invuln 7-12f (not useful AA due to head hurtbox)
  • Forces stand on hit
  • Puts airborne opponents into a limited juggle state
  • Cancel Hitconfirm Window: 21f


Zangief's fastest medium attack, great meaty, and one of his most important combo tools. The range is very short, so it doesn't have much use in neutral. It is slightly disjointed, allowing it to counterpoke situationally, but that role is usually best left to 2MP. As an anti-air, the range at which it's effective is so precise that it's not worth attempting in most cases; the hurtbox around Zangief's head is simply too large. However, the fast startup and upward angle can let it interrupt some airborne attacks that usually go over crouching buttons, like Ken's Dragonlash Kick.

The hitconfirm time is very lenient; with a little practice, it can be easily confirmed into Lariat or OD Lariat. Note that the final cancel frame does not combo into meterless Lariat (PP), so use the OD version if you want to be safer. By forcing stand on hit, Lariat is much more consistent in combos outside of point blank range.

The ability to maintain a juggle state lets Zangief extend his combos for big damage. 3MP does not have any natural juggle potential itself, instead relying on free juggle states or Drive Rush to get things started. After a high juggle, Zangief can jump directly into OD Borscht Dynamite (j.360+KK). In the corner, he can cancel a low-height 3MP to OD Lariat (PPP), which staggers the hits if done correctly; this allows a meter dump combo ending in OD Borscht. It also combos directly to Level 1 Super when canceled, making it his most reliable way of landing this Super.

6MK
Knee Hammer
6MK
SF6 Zangief 6mk.png
SF6 Zangief 6mk hitbox.png
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6MK
Knee Hammer
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
14 7 14 - 600 LH 0(+6) -4(+2)
  • Lower Body Invuln: 7-23f
    • Hops over low pokes; not actually airborne


A hopkick that can be spaced for better frame advantage; the final active frame is wider than the others, making it easier to land at max distance. A max-range 6MK can lead to combos on hit or a strike/SPD mixup on block. If combined with Drive Rush, Zangief's unlocks even better options, though this makes it harder to space precisely if not used in an oki setup.

The move is useful against low pokes in neutral, low crushing about halfway through its startup. It is not actually airborne, however, so Zangief is vulnerable to throws or a full counter-hit combo if interrupted.

6HP
Headbutt
6HP
SF6 Zangief 6hp.png
SF6 Zangief 6hp hitbox.png
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6HP
Headbutt
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
14 5 15(17) Sp SA 900 LH +6 +4
  • 2 extra recovery frames on whiff
  • Puts airborne opponents into a limited juggle state
  • Cancel Hitconfirm Window: 19f


One of Zangief's most important pressure tools; at a whopping +4 on block, Zangief can choose between a frame trap or command throw mixup. 3MP is a great button to frame trap with, as it's single-hit confirmable into Lariat; another good option is 2LP, which will link to 2MP on Counter-hit (but leaves an interruptible gap if blocked). Making the opponent block these sequences will quickly drain their Drive Gauge.

On hit, 6HP can be Drive Rush canceled into another 6HP for big damage. Other than that and a deep j.HP, it can be difficult to combo into 6HP without bonus advantage from a Punish Counter or Drive Rush normal starter.

When used in neutral, the Headbutt has fairly short range. Zangief extends a hurtbox after the active frames, making it easy to whiff punish and limiting its use as a counterpoke. The recovery time is fairly short, however, so it can be useful to mix 6HP in with other neutral buttons to see how they respond.

6HK
Cyclone Wheel Kick
6HK
SF6 Zangief 6hk.png
SF6 Zangief 6hk hitbox.png
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Hitboxes On

6HK
Cyclone Wheel Kick
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
22(24) 7(5) 25 - 1300 H KD +28(+30) -12(-8)
  • Lower Body Invuln: 13-28f
    • Hops over low pokes; not actually airborne
  • Active frames 1-2 only hit airborne, 3-4 only hit standing
    • Effectively 24f vs. stand, 26f vs. crouch (with 2f better KD Advantage)
  • Has juggle potential; puts airborne opponents into limited juggle state
  • Punish Counter: puts opponent into OTG free juggle state


A long range and fairly slow overhead with significant pushback on block. It is very disadvantageous on block, but with good spacing (or with the help of Drive Rush) it can be difficult for some characters to punish. The move starts with a hitbox straight above Zangief that anti-airs, then continues downward in an arcing motion. Unlike most overheads, Zangief can't threaten with a combo follow-up after a Drive Rush hit since it knocks down.

Cyclone Wheel Kick can be used in a manner similar to 6MK to beat low pokes, though the slower startup makes it less likely to punish. If it does land as a Punish Counter, the ground bounce allows a 3MP juggle follow-up. On a grounded punish, this gives the exact height needed for 3MP > OD Lariat to juggle into OD Borscht Dynamite in the corner. If the Punish happens on an airborne opponent, the juggle height is less consistent. Because 6HK does high damage itself and leads to this powerful juggle, it can be used as a DP punish starter.

3HK
Smetana Dropkick
3HK
SF6 Zangief 3hk.png
SF6 Zangief 3hk hitbox.png
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Hitboxes On

3HK
Smetana Dropkick
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
16 4 40 - 1000 LH KD +21 -18
  • Throw/Lower Body Invuln: 5-26f
    • Beats lows and throws, but not airborne
  • Has juggle potential; puts airborne opponents into a limited juggle state
  • Punish Counter: KD +60 Tumble; if opponent reaches corner HKD +128 Wall Splat
    • Wall Splat is grounded and throwable, but strikes still put opponent into limited juggle state afterwards


A dropkick that can be used to bait lows and throws, similar to a move like Guile or Chun-Li's 6HK; unlike those moves, however, 3HK is horrendously unsafe on block and whiff. The hitbox has an excellent disjoint for counterpoking, but even from half screen it is trivial to whiff punish with a Drive Rush starter on reaction.

If landed as a Punish Counter, the opponent is sent tumbling across the screen, giving Zangief great corner carry. Upon reaching the corner, the opponent hits the wall with a rare grounded wall splat that allows a combo into throws. This can be used to improve your punish damage over a raw SPD, or to get decent damage without spending meter on the 6HK Punish Counter route.

22MK
Power Stomp
22MK
SF6 Zangief 22mk.png
SF6 Zangief 22mk hitbox.png
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22MK
Power Stomp 1
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
9 3 17 TC 500 LH +4 -3
  • Cancel Hitconfirm Window: 22f (TC)
  • Can perform Target Combo follow-ups on whiff


Zangief takes a step forward and stomps the ground, leaving him safe on block; on hit, he can link 2LK, 5LP > Lariat from point blank or go into a throw reset. The Target Combo follow-up is unusual; Zangief can chain into the 2nd hit on reaction, but this leaves him at -3 on hit; from there, he cannot combo to the 3rd hit, so there is little reason to continue the TC if the initial stomp connects.

j.2HP
Flying Body Press
j.2HP
SF6 Zangief j2hp.png
SF6 Zangief j2hp hitbox.png
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j.2HP
Flying Body Press
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
9 9 8 land - 800 H - -
  • Can hit Cross-up
  • Spike knockdown vs. airborne opponents on Counter-hit/Punish Counter
  • Counts as 2 hits for damage scaling when comboed into


The classic "Body Splash", this is a great cross-up tool with a wide hitbox and high reward on hit. It can be tricky to anti-air when mixed with his other options, since the hurtbox shifts upward during the attack. It has more landing recovery than most air normals; as a result, it will always be punishable when Perfect Parried, even at the latest possible timing.

After a Drive Impact crumple, Zangief can side switch by crossing up with this move; from there, he can juggle Lariat or an immediate Level 1 Super. This applies extra damage scaling on the juggle ender, but is definitely worthwhile to gain better screen position.

j.8HP
Flying Headbutt
j.8HP
SF6 Zangief j8hp.png
SF6 Zangief j8hp hitbox.png
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j.8HP
Flying Headbutt
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
8 4 3 land Sp* 800 H - -
  • Puts airborne opponents into limited juggle state
  • Combos to j.360+KK when canceled


A specialized and powerful tool, Flying Headbutt can be used to punish vertical jumps and cross-up attempts. Zangief can score big damage by canceling to OD Borscht Dynamite; the meterless version will not juggle here. If Drive meter is in short supply, he can also land and move forward to get oki instead.


Target Combos

5MP~MP~MP
Machine Gun Chops
5MP~MP~MP
SF6 Zangief 5mp mp.png

SF6 Zangief 5mp mp mp.png
SF6 Zangief 5mp mp hitbox.png

SF6 Zangief 5mp mp mp hitbox.png
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5MP~MP
Machine Gun Chops 1
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
9 4 20 TC 600 LH +2 -6
  • Only combos from 5MP on Counter Hit, Punish Counter, or when used after Drive Rush
  • Can be canceled into on whiff
  • Cancel Hitconfirm Window: 22f (single hit) / 57-65f (TC)

A follow-up to Zangief's large 5MP. Without additional frame advantage, it cannot be comboed into, but can catch an opponent trying to jump away on hit or block. If this second hit connects, Zangief can either finish the combo for corner carry and guaranteed damage or attempt a mixup. The hitconfirm time into the final MP is quite lenient, even when reacting only to this 2nd MP in the sequence.

Due to the follow-up having the same range as Zangief's 5MP, it can whiff due to pushback or if 5MP strikes an extended hurtbox, leaving Zangief open for a punish. It's also incredibly vulnerable to Drive Impact.

5MP~MP~MP
Machine Gun Chops 2
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
15 3 32 - 900 LH KD +27 -17
  • Can be canceled into on whiff

On hit, knocks the opponent away with solid corner carry but poor okizeme.

Be wary when canceling into this final attack on block or whiff, as it will leave Zangief wide open if it fails to hit.

22MK~MK~MK
Power Stomps
22MK~MK~MK
SF6 Zangief 22mk mk.png

SF6 Zangief 22mk mk mk.png
Pretty much useless
SF6 Zangief 22mk mk hitbox.png

SF6 Zangief 22mk mk mk hitbox.png
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22MK~MK
Power Stomps 2
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
9 3 19 TC 500 LH -3 -4
  • Combos naturally from 22MK, but counter-hit is required to combo into the final stomp
  • Cancel Hitconfirm Window: 23f (TC)

An incredibly situational target combo. On hit, Zangief can attempt a mixup between a frame trap with the third stomp, a delayed throw attempt, or a delayed strike with another normal.

22MK~MK~MK
Power Stomps 3
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
10 3 24 Sp SA 700 LH -2 -10
  • Cancel Hitconfirm Window: 19f (single hit) / 50f (CH 22MK~MK > Special)

A high risk, low reward frame trap option after 2MK~MK. Unsafe on block, but each hit of this TC leaves a 2 frame blockstring gap that can punish an opponent trying to take back their turn. Canceling the final stomp into Drive Rush allows a decent combo on hit, while creating enough block advantage for Zangief to get in for a mixup.


Throws

Neutral Throw (5LPLK)
Neutral Throw
5LPLK
SF6 Zangief 5lplk.png
SF6 Zangief 5lplk hitbox.png
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5LPLK
Bodyslam
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
5 3 23 - 1200,600 (2040,600) T KD +22(+0) -
  • Input can be held for an additional hit (+600 damage, but less KD advantage)
  • Punish Counter: HKD +22(+0); damage increased to 2040 (+600 more if held)
  • Applies 20% immediate damage scaling when comboed into (e.g. after Crumple)


Zangief has the unique ability to hold his throw input, turning Body Slam into the most damaging throw in the game at the cost of okizeme. This allows Zangief to finish off weakened opponents in situations where other normal throws may not, without the risk of whiffing a high-recovery command throw.

By omitting the follow-up hit, Body Slam can be used in corner throw loops with manual timing. This is not particularly useful, as Spine Buster (3LPLK) gets the same damage with better okizeme and some auto-timed throw loop setups.

Forward Throw (6LPLK)
Forward Throw
6LPLK
SF6 Zangief 6lplk.png
SF6 Zangief 6lplk hitbox.png
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6LPLK
German Suplex
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
5 3 23 - 1500 (2550) T KD +10 -
  • Punish Counter: HKD +10; damage increased to 2550
  • Applies 20% immediate damage scaling when comboed into (e.g. after Crumple)


While more damaging than most normal throws, German Suplex provides poor okizeme, even on Punish Counter. Generally inferior to Spine Buster (3LPLK) if you want okizeme and held Body Slam (5LPLK) if you want damage.

Back Throw (4LPLK)
Back Throw
4LPLK
SF6 Zangief 4lplk.png
SF6 Zangief 4lplk hitbox.png
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4LPLK
Capture Suplex
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
5 3 23 - 1400 (2380) T KD +8 -
  • Side switch
  • Punish Counter: HKD +8; damage increased to 2380
  • Applies 20% immediate damage scaling when comboed into (e.g. after Crumple)


Less damaging than Zangief's other back throws, but gives marginally better okizeme.

A solid defensive throw that switches sides while keeping the opponent close. The okizeme after a midscreen Back Rise is poor, but if you throw the opponent into the corner or land a Punish Counter Hard Knockdown, Zangief can threaten the opponent with a strike/throw mixup. Beware though that Zangief is unable to avoid immediate wakeup attacks by walking backwards against an opponent's normal getup, and that the opponent is also close enough to cross over with a forward jump. For side switching by the corner, you may opt for Brain Buster (2LP2LK) instead to mitigate volatility when trapping your opponent in the corner.

Neutral Crouch Throw (2LPLK)
Neutral Crouch Throw
2LPLK
SF6 Zangief 2lplk.png
SF6 Zangief 2lplk hitbox.png
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2LPLK
Brain Buster
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
5 3 23 - 1500 (2550) T KD +14 -
  • Side switch
  • Punish Counter: HKD +14; damage increased to 2550
  • Applies 20% immediate damage scaling when comboed into (e.g. after Crumple)


An alternative to Capture Suplex (4LPLK) when you need to side switch, especially near the corner. Midscreen this throw is unremarkable, but against a cornered opponent Zangief is positioned at a distance where he can tag his opponent with an immediate 5HP. This throw is valuable because it leaves Zangief at a perfect range to anti-air opponents attempting to jump out of the corner. This is something that can be more difficult to do after Capture Suplex, which leaves Zangief too close to the opponent to walk out of their attack range; this essentially forces him to commit to a meaty normal/throw at a range where the opponent's forward jump will cross-up, which is very difficult for Zangief to deal with.

While Zangief cannot threaten a conventional meaty throw/SPD after 2LPLK, he is advantageous enough to Punish Counter even wakeup light attacks with walk forwards M.SPD or 5MP. The freedom to be precisely spaced outside of the range of your opponent's pokes, which is also a spacing where Zangief can reliably anti air without worrying about cross-ups and effortlessly bait perfect parry, is an extremely valuable layer to his pressure against cornered opponents.

Forward Crouch Throw (3LPLK)
Forward Crouch Throw
3LPLK
SF6 Zangief 3lplk.png
SF6 Zangief 3lplk hitbox.png
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3LPLK
Spinebuster
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
5 3 23 - 1200 (2040) T KD +33 -
  • Punish Counter: HKD +33; damage increased to 2040
  • Applies 20% immediate damage scaling when comboed into (e.g. after Crumple)


A uniquely powerful normal throw, and a third element to add to Zangief's mixup game on top of his strikes and command grabs. Even against Back Rise, Zangief gets incredible okizeme anywhere on screen.

Against midscreen Back Rise, you can dash up and mix the opponent up between strikes and SPD. Alternatively, you can Drive Rush to increase the threat of your strikes or Spine Buster again, letting Zangief loop the mixup. This is something entirely unique to Zangief, as no other character can throw loop midscreen.

If the opponent does not Back Rise or is cornered, the mixup becomes even stronger, allowing you to throw loop without a Drive Rush. Whiffing 2MK leaves Zangief at +4, allowing him to auto-time his mixup.

Back Crouch Throw (1LPLK)
Back Crouch Throw
1LPLK
SF6 Zangief 1lplk.png
SF6 Zangief 1lplk hitbox.png
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1LPLK
Russian Drop
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
5 3 23 - 1500 (2550) T KD +9 -
  • Side switch
  • Punish Counter: HKD +9; damage increased to 2550
  • Applies 20% immediate damage scaling when comboed into (e.g. after Crumple)


This throw leaves the opponent further away than Brain Buster (2LPLK) while only giving the same knockdown advantage as Capture Suplex (4LPLK); as a result, it is generally outclassed by better options in any situation. Zangief recovers too far away from the opponent for any follow-up oki on hit. This throw is mostly used unintentionally while crouch blocking and inputting a delayed throw tech to cover the standard strike/throw mixup.


Drive System

Drive Impact (HPHK)
Drive Impact
HPHK
SF6 Zangief hphk.png
SF6 Zangief hphk hitbox.png
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Hitboxes On

HPHK
Double Russian Chop
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
26 2 35 - 800 LH KD +35 / Wall Splat KD +65 -3 / Wall Splat HKD +72

See Drive Impact

When canceled from a normal, these are the important blockstring gaps; a gap of N will trade with an N-frame startup attack; [] = Burnout

  • 6HP: 5[1]
  • 3MP: 8[4]
  • 2MP: 9[5]
  • 22MK~MK~MK: 11[7]
  • Note: A gap ≥ 6f can be thrown, and a gap ≥ 9f can be jumped out of by most characters

Drive Reversal (6HPHK)
Drive Reversal
6HPHK (in blockstun)
SF6 Zangief 6hphk.png
SF6 Zangief 6hphk hitbox.png
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6HPHK
Reverse Russian Kick
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
20 3 26(31) - 500 recoverable LH KD +23 -8

See Drive Reversal

  • Full Invuln: 1-22f; Armor Break

Drive Parry (MPMK)
Drive Parry
MPMK
SF6 Zangief mpmk.png
SF6 Zangief mpmk hitbox.png
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MPMK
Drive Parry
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
1 8 or until released 29(1)(11) - - - - -

See Drive Parry

  • Perfect Parry has only 1f recovery, and disables the opponent from canceling their attack
  • Perfect Parry vs. projectiles puts you into a fixed 11f recovery

Drive Rush (66)
Drive Rush
66
SF6 Zangief 66.png
SF6 Zangief 66 hitbox.png
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66
Drive Rush
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
9(11) 45(46) 24(23) - - - - -

See Drive Rush. Frame data shown in (parentheses) refers to Parry Drive Rush.

  • Distance:
    • 0.327 (min, cancel into immediate Throw)
    • 1.455 (min, earliest blocking/movement frame)
    • 3.040 (max, final DR frame)
  • See Strategy page for Blockstring Gaps and Combo Routes


Special Moves

Double Lariat (PP)
Double Lariat
PP
SF6 Zangief pp.png

SF6 Zangief ppp.png
THE combo ender
SF6 Zangief pp hitbox1.png
SF6 Zangief pp hitbox2.png
SF6 Zangief pp hitbox3.png
THE combo ender
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PP
Double Lariat
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
15 2(3)2(4)2(8)2(6)2 27 SA3 1200 LH KD +27(+56) -12(-41)
  • Anti-Air Invuln: 6-16f; Projectile Invuln: 6-45f
  • No head hurtbox on frames 1-5; shorter hurtbox on frames 6-13
  • Connects once on hit, up to 4 times on block; only first hit connects on crouching opponents
  • Cancel Hitconfirm Window: 18f (SA3; no combo unless armor absorbed)
PPP
Double Lariat
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
12 2(2)2(3)2(6)2(4)2 26 SA2 SA3 (1st) 500,1000 (1500) LH KD +38(+57) -11(-30)
  • Anti-Air Invuln: 6-13f; Projectile Invuln: 1-36f
  • No head hurtbox on frames 1-5; shorter hurtbox on frames 6-13
  • Connects twice on hit, up to 5 times on block; only first 2 hits connects on crouching opponents
  • Cancel Hitconfirm Window: 18f (SA2, 1st hit) (No SA3 combo unless armor absorbed)


A slow but reliable anti-air, Double Lariat's large size allows it to cover a variety of jump-ins and aerial special moves. Despite the animation, it can’t hit against cross-ups. The anti-air invincibility does not occur immediately, so Lariat must be used a little preemptively; this can make it difficult to use against moves that alter the opponent's air trajectory.

The projectile invincibility lasts throughout most of the animation, making it possible to use as a fireball counter; this is especially useful on the OD version since the invincibility starts immediately, allowing for a later reaction. However, the short horizontal range and slow startup makes it impractical in many situations. Holding forward or back causes Zangief to move slightly in that direction, possibly allowing a later hit to connect against a fireball's recovery.

In combos, it is most common to use 2 light normals canceled into meterless Lariat; beginning with Drive Rush can allow a third light normal for extra hitconfirm time. OD Lariat hits more consistently, allowing for a knockdown from 6HP > 2LP or from a 3-hit string ending with 5LP. It's important to practice which version of Double Lariat to use in every situation, as a dropped hitconfirm can lead to a massive punish for Zangief.

The knockdown situation from Double Lariat is mediocre, granting little to no oki outside the corner. OD Lariat is a bit better, usually allowing Zangief to chase down a back rising opponent with Drive Rush. If OD Lariat connects at the right height (such as after a low-connect 3MP), the second hit will connect much later, allowing for a high-damage juggle into OD Borscht Dynamite (j.360+KK).

Screw Piledriver (360+P)
Screw Piledriver
SPD
360+P
SF6 Zangief 360lp.png
THIS is why you play Zangief

SF6 Zangief 360pp.png
SF6 Zangief 360lp hitbox.png
LP (Range 1.62)

SF6 Zangief 360mp hitbox.png
MP (Range 1.47)

SF6 Zangief 360hp hitbox.png
HP (Range 1.22)

SF6 Zangief 360pp hitbox.png
OD (Range 1.52)
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360+LP
Screw Piledriver
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
5 3 54 - 2500 (2875) T HKD +30 -
  • Applies 10% immediate damage scaling when comboed into; () refers to Punish Counter damage
360+MP
Screw Piledriver
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
5 3 54 - 2900 (3335) T HKD +28 -
  • Applies 10% immediate damage scaling when comboed into; () refers to Punish Counter damage
360+HP
Screw Piledriver
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
5 3 54 - 3300 (3795) T HKD +28 -
  • Applies 10% immediate damage scaling when comboed into; () refers to Punish Counter damage
360+PP
Screw Piledriver
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
5 3 54 - 3400 (3910) T HKD +28 -
  • No additional combo scaling; () refers to Punish Counter damage


A highly damaging command grab and Zangief's defining move, Screw Piledriver (SPD) boasts excellent range, damage, and speed in exchange for high whiff recovery and poor okizeme advantage on hit. Its pros make it an excellent punishment and mixup tool, while its cons tend to reinforce Zangief's "return to neutral" style of grappling where he gets his damage and has to work his way in all over again.

The range and damage vary according to button strength, with LP having the lowest damage and longest range, while HP has the highest damage and shortest range. The MP version occupies the middle ground for both attributes. The OD version grants even more damage than HP SPD, with range slightly below the LP version, making it the most suitable for punishes, dealing nearly 40% damage for only 2 bars.

As a command grab, Screw Piledriver can only be comboed into under very specific circumstances: a Drive Impact crumple, 3HK Punish Counter wall splat, or a stun during Burnout. Meterless versions all receive additional damage scaling in these combo scenarios, so the OD version is ideal for damage.

After landing Screw Piledriver, Zangief's options are limited. He cannot threaten with a real meaty throw afterwards, meaning his strike options are difficult to enforce. After a Drive Rush, he can meaty with 2HK and 2MK, catch jumps with Cyclone Wheel Kick (6HK), stuff slower buttons with 5MP, or whiff Knee Hammer (6MK) for a gimmicky reset. By buffering a 360 motion during Drive Rush, Zangief can attempt to catch a blocking opponent with a delayed LP SPD, although this leaves a large gap and can sometimes whiff if the opponent walks backwards. LP SPD has slightly more frame advantage, which additionally allows a meaty drive rush 5LK; Drive Rush canceling the 5LK gives him access to another strike/throw mixup, albeit at the incredibly expensive total cost of 4 drive bars.

Borscht Dynamite (j.360+K)
Borscht Dynamite
Air SPD
j.360+K
SF6 Zangief j360k.png

SF6 Zangief j360kk.png
Aerial combo ender
SF6 Zangief j360k hitbox.png
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Hitboxes On

j.360+K
Borscht Dynamite
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
4 3 21(36)+16 land - 2900 (3260) T HKD +19 -
  • Cannot be juggled into; () refers to Punish Counter damage
  • Forced Knockdown state until landing; crouching state during whiff landing recovery
j.360+KK
Borscht Dynamite
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
4 3 21(36)+16 land - 3000 (3375) T HKD +19 -
  • Can be juggled into; () refers to Punish Counter damage
  • Forced Knockdown state until landing; crouching state during whiff landing recovery


An aerial command grab that only works against airborne opponents. The startup is quite fast as an air-to-air option, but the fastest possible startup is 10f from a grounded position (5f prejump, 1f airborne, 4f grab startup). It can be done very low to the ground with a 360+K input, or you can store the input up to 12 frames and input the grab with a delayed K input; be careful not to attempt a jumping kick if you buffered a 360 motion in anticipation of the opponent's jump.

The OD Version has slightly longer range and can be juggled into from other moves, as the normal version is incapable of grabbing an opponent during a limited or free juggle state. It combos from a j.8HP when canceled as an air-to-air, and gives great damage after PC 5HK, 3MP > OD Lariat juggles, or a Lv.2 Super launch.

The okizeme afterwards is largely identical to that of Screw Piledriver (360+P), preventing Zangief from throwing the opponent during their wakeup but leaving him advantaged enough to threaten with other options.

Russian Suplex (63214K Close)
Russian Suplex
63214K (Close)
SF6 Zangief 63214k close.png

SF6 Zangief 63214kk close.png
SF6 Zangief 63214k close hitbox.png
Hitboxes Off
Hitboxes On

63214K (Close)
Russian Suplex
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
10 2 50 - 2900 (3335) T HKD +26 -
  • Switches sides on hit; Range: 1.14
  • Applies 10% immediate damage scaling when comboed into; () refers to Punish Counter damage
63214KK (Close)
Russian Suplex
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
10 2 50 - 3200 (3680) T HKD +27 -
  • Switches sides on hit; Range: 1.14
  • () refers to Punish Counter damage


Zangief's other close range command grab grants superior okizeme and meter build in exchange for reduced speed, range, and damage. If activated from too far away, he will use the mid-range Siberian Express instead. The move is somewhat difficult to use, as Zangief struggles to get close to the opponent with sufficient frame advantage to activate it without being interrupted by the opponent's light normals. The most practical way to set up this grab requires a cornered opponent, which forces Zangief to lose valuable screen real estate.

While much less versatile than Screw Piledriver (360+P), Russian Suplex is still a valuable tool in Zangief's arsenal. On hit, Zangief can Drive Rush at the opponent to threaten with a meaty 5MP or Knee Hammer (6MK), a meaty LP/MP SPD, a delayed Headbutt (6HP), or a delayed normal throw. The 6MK option is notable, as when done instantly, it is advantageous enough on hit to link into 3MP and leaves you close enough on block to land HP SPD.

The OD version of Russian Suplex deals slightly more damage, but not enough to make it worth the Drive cost. However, it does have two advantages: it does not receive additional damage scaling after a Drive Impact crumple or Punish Counter 3HK wall splat, and it builds significantly higher Super gauge on hit. Landing a Punish Counter Drive Impact into OD Russian Suplex builds almost an entire bar of Super on its own. This makes it a great option for finishing a round, as Zangief has nothing to lose from the Drive cost or the side switch.

Siberian Express (63214K Far)
Siberian Express
Running Bear Grab
63214K (Far)
SF6 Zangief 63214k far.png
Fine. I'LL come to YOU then!

SF6 Zangief 63214kk far.png
SF6 Zangief 63214k mid hitbox.png
Mid-Range Meterless
SF6 Zangief 63214kk mid hitbox.png
Mid-Range OD

SF6 Zangief 63214k far hitbox1.png
SF6 Zangief 63214k far hitbox2.png
Long-Range Version
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Hitboxes On

63214K (Mid)
Siberian Express
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
28 2 41 - 2700 (3105) T HKD +29 -
  • Activates in between Russian Suplex range and ~1/2 screen
  • () refers to Punish Counter damage
63214KK (Mid)
Siberian Express
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
23 2 44 - 3000 (3450) T HKD +29 -
  • Activates in between Russian Suplex range and ~1/2 screen
  • () refers to Punish Counter damage


The mid-range version of Siberian Express causes Zangief to immediately lunge forward to grab the opponent. This has better frame advantage than Russian Suplex and doesn't force a side switch, but is much slower to start up and sends the opponent farther away. The initial run has a fixed distance, so opponents may be able to walk or backdash out of its range before it even reaches them. Canceling into this grab from a normal like 5LK is a good way to surprise the opponent, as the startup animation is not immediately obvious. Be careful when cancelling into Siberian Express however, as a cancelling into a special move shifts Zangief forward. This will often trigger a Russian Suplex to come out even at ranges where Siberian Express would normally trigger without a cancel if care is not taken to space special cancellable moves more than normal.

The OD version starts up noticeably faster, but the yellow flash takes away some of the surprise factor.

63214K (Far)
Siberian Express
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
55(81) 2 40 - 2700 (3105) T HKD +29 -
  • 1-Hit Armor: 11f until active; activates from over ~1/2 screen
  • () refers to Punish Counter damage
63214KK (Far)
Siberian Express
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
54(81) 2 40 - 3000 (3450) T HKD +29 -
  • 2-Hit Armor: 3f until active; activates from over ~1/2 screen
  • () refers to Punish Counter damage


At farther ranges, Zangief throws up his hands before starting his run animation. This makes the overall startup time extremely slow and more visually apparent in exchange for gaining armor during the run. Far Siberian Express reaches more than a full screen length and doesn't activate until it reaches the opponent's position (unless it reaches its max distance). If the armor absorbs a strike, Zangief will immediately transition to the grab animation, which makes it useful against ranged attacks like Dhalsim limbs.

The OD version gains its armor much faster and can absorb an additional hit, making it a better approach tool in certain situations.
On hit, the mid and far versions of Siberian Express give the same knockdown advantage. Zangief can Drive Rush for a meaty 5MP, or attempt a spaced 6MK. To punish reversal normals, he can stop short and use 360+LP near max range for a higher risk option.

Tundra Storm (22HK)
Tundra Storm
22HK
SF6 Zangief 22kk.png
You’ll probably forget he has this move
SF6 Zangief 22kk hitbox.png
You’ll probably forget he has this move
Hitboxes Off
Hitboxes On

22HK
Tundra Storm
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
6 50 24 - 2400 - HKD +5 -

Counters any kick move that makes contact with the parry hurtbox between his raised hands. This includes specials and Drive Impacts (but not Supers). It will not activate against kicks that hit on the lower half of his body. On a successful parry, Zangief's counterattack is a throw; this means that it will whiff against airborne or throw invincible kicks. This also happens against kick-based Drive Reversals since they are fully invincible, but Zangief is usually +1 in this scenario.

Tundra Storm is a niche special move with extremely high risk and only moderate reward. If Zangief is in Burnout, it may occasionally be useful as an unexpected counter to Drive Impact, however Zangief has other far superior options for that. Builds significant Drive Gauge on a successful hit.

See Strategy Page for a full list of moves that are countered by Tundra Storm.


Super Arts

Level 1 Super (236236K)
Aerial Russian Slam
Level 1 Super Art
236236K
SF6 Zangief 236236k.png
"I AM THE PROTECTOR OF RUSSIA’S SKIES!"
SF6 Zangief 236236k hitbox.png
"I AM THE PROTECTOR OF RUSSIA’S SKIES!"
Hitboxes Off
Hitboxes On

236236K
Aerial Russian Slam
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
11 7 13+47 land - 3500 T HKD +29 -
  • Full Invuln: 1-17f; Airborne 2-30f (Forced Knockdown state)
  • Depletes 1/2 Drive bar from opponent on hit
  • Applies 20% immediate damage scaling when comboed into; 30% minimum damage scaling


A ground-to-air command grab with the highest damage in the game for a Level 1 Super. While invincible on startup, it cannot hit grounded opponents, making it a poor defensive option. As a result, Zangief cannot spend 1 bar to avoid a Drive Impact stun during Burnout like most characters.

As an anti-air, it can be used somewhat consistently against neutral or back jumps; however, it cannot hit against cross-ups. The first active frame occurs high in the air, causing it to whiff against opponents low to the ground; combined with the slow startup and the move input, Aerial Russian Slam becomes difficult to use as a consistent anti-air.

Zangief can juggle into this Super if the opponent is launched high enough. It combos consistently after a held Lv.2 Super for a powerful meter dump combo, though the damage is only slightly higher than juggling into OD Borscht Dynamite. It can also be canceled from a juggled 3MP, or juggled after a DI crumple into j.2HP.

On hit, Zangief has okizeme similar to that of Siberian Express (Far 63214K). He can Drive Rush into a meaty 6MK or 5MP. Alternatively, he can stop short and use L Screw Piledriver (360+LP) to space out and punish fast buttons and counter-hit slow buttons.

When performing a normal throw, a strong tactic is to buffer the Lv.1 Super input immediately afterward. If the opponent attempts to neutral jump or back jump to escape Zangief's pressure, this allows a quick anti-air reaction; it is important not to input the attack button if the opponent backdashes or jumps forward. If the throw connects or the opponent performs a throw escape, there is plenty of time to react to the scenario and decide what to do next.

Level 2 Super (236236P)
Cyclone Lariat
Level 2 Super Art
236236P (HOLD OK)
SF6 Zangief 236236p.png
Thankfully doesn't turn Zangief into an owl this time around

SF6 Zangief 236236p hold.png
SF6 Zangief 236236p hitbox1.png
Thankfully doesn't turn Zangief into an owl this time around

SF6 Zangief 236236p hold hitbox1.png
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Hitboxes On

236236P
Cyclone Lariat
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
18 102 52 - 3160(3060) LH HKD +5(+1) -35
  • Full Invuln: 1-18f; Projectile Invuln: 19-119f; Armor Break
  • Depletes 1 Drive bar from opponent on hit; 40% minimum damage scaling
  • On a grounded hit, transitions to invincible cinematic that switches sides
  • If juggled into, automatically performs the non-cinematic launcher version
  • Holding Forward/Back pulls the opponent in that direction; 100 less damage but controls which side opponent lands on
    • Keeping the same side also results in 4f worse KD Advantage (+1)
236236[P]
Cyclone Lariat (hold P)
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
18 105 25(52) - 0,60x9,560 (1100) LH KD +87 Launch -35
  • Full Invuln: 1-18f; Projectile Invuln: 19-122f; Armor Break
  • Depletes 1 Drive bar from opponent on hit; 40% minimum damage scaling
  • Launches opponent into free juggle state on grounded hit (limited juggle state if juggled into)
  • Extra recovery on whiff/block


Zangief spins and creates a whirlwind that pulls opponents inward. Can be used to punish fireballs, Drive Impacts, or certain slower moves on reaction. The slow startup makes it easy to bait when used as a reversal, but it's fast enough to be a threat against meaty throws. Will generally not work as an anti-air unless the opponent's move has significant landing recovery.

If Cyclone Lariat hits, Zangief has access to a few different follow-ups.

  • If no additional input is performed, Zangief will yell "JACKHAMMER!" and slam the opponent behind him for a side switch. This is the highest damage option if you don't want to spend any extra meter.
  • By holding Forward or Back, Zangief will carry the opponent a short distance in the held direction, dealing 100 less damage. This allows Zangief to better control his screen position; he can keep the same side or pull the opponent backwards before the side switch. The knockdown advantage is slightly worse on the same-side ender.
  • By holding the punch button, Zangief spins in place and ends with a launcher. This deals much less initial damage, but has a higher damage potential if you are willing to spend more resources. The most common ender is simply Dash + 3MP into OD Borscht Dynamite, but in the corner you can squeeze out more damage by starting with 3MP > OD Lariat before the air command throw. Level 1 Super also juggles, but only does marginally more damage than OD Borscht. Zangief can also juggle into Drive Impact to secure a Burnout. If you have no other resources available to spend, any normal or Lariat can finish the juggle, but in that case it is usually better to stick with the unheld Super.

Level 3 Super (720+P)
Bolshoi Storm Buster
Level 3 Super Art
720+P
SF6 Zangief 720+p.png
MY LOYAL FANS!

SF6 Zangief 720+p(ca).png
CA version grants 500 extra damage. Somehow doesn't break the bridge at Ranger's Hut.
SF6 Zangief 720+p hitbox.png
CA version grants 500 extra damage. Somehow doesn't break the bridge at Ranger's Hut.
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Hitboxes On

720+P
Bolshoi Storm Buster
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
6+0 2 116 - 4800 T HKD +26 -
  • Full Invuln: 1-7f; applies 10% extra immediate damage scaling when comboed into
  • Depletes 1.5 Drive bars from opponent on hit
  • 50% minimum damage scaling
  • Range is between LP and MP SPD
720+P
Bolshoi Storm Buster (CA)
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
6+0 2 116 - 5300 T HKD +26 -
  • Full Invuln: 1-7f; applies 10% extra immediate damage scaling when comboed into
  • Depletes 2 Drive bars from opponent on hit
  • 50% minimum damage scaling; available at 25% HP or below
  • Range is nearly identical to LP SPD


An incredibly potent defensive and mixup option, Bolshoi Storm Buster boasts impressive speed, damage, and range. While it cannot be used in combos except after Punish Counter DI or a corner Punish Counter 3HK, it boasts two major upsides to compensate.

First and foremost, unlike other command grab supers, it cannot be jumped or backdashed on reaction to the super flash. If the opponent is not already airborne, out of range, or invincible to throws as the super flash starts, they will be grabbed. Second, Bolshoi Storm Buster deals 800 more damage than other Level 3 Super Arts, making it the single most damaging attack in the game. These two factors, when combined with the move's incredible range and fast startup, make the move perhaps the strongest invincible reversal in the game. While expensive, once Zangief can perform the move, the opponent need act with extreme caution, lest they be consigned to oblivion.

Note: The in-game frame meter display lists this Super as 7f startup, but the first active frame actually occurs during the Super freeze. There are 6 pre-freeze startup frames, and the move can be used to punish attacks that are -6 on hit/block.


Taunts

Neutral Taunt (5PPPKKK)
Neutral Taunt
5PPPKKK
SF6 Zangief 5pppkkk.png
"My beautiful body is built better!"

5PPPKKK
Neutral Taunt
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
194 (total) - - - - - - -

Forward Taunt (6PPPKKK)
Forward Taunt
6PPPKKK
SF6 Zangief 6pppkkk.png
"You'd be right at home in the ring!"

6PPPKKK
Forward Taunt
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
227 (total) - - - - - - -

Back Taunt (4PPPKKK)
Back Taunt
4PPPKKK
SF6 Zangief 4pppkkk.png
"You're lacking, just bring it!"

4PPPKKK
Back Taunt
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
202 (total) - - - - - - -

Down Taunt (2PPPKKK)
Down Taunt
2PPPKKK
SF6 Zangief 2pppkkk.png
"The power of Zangief is limitless!"

2PPPKKK
Down Taunt
Startup Active Recovery Cancel Damage Guard On Hit On Block
210 (total) - - - - - - -



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