Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ryu vs Zangief


In order to win this match up, the goal is to keep Zangief out successfully. I am sure everybody knows what kind of strategy to use in this match up, but I realized that a lot of people do have trouble in this match up (a reason why this match up was voted in the poll). 

Ground Game:

Far Range: Throw fireball to make Zangief move and build meter by whiffing SRK.

Mid Range: Throwing fireball at this range is extremely risky regardless Zangief with or without meter. Zangief can hit you with his forward jump fierce (REALLY GOOD RANGE) when you throw fireball. With meter…I don’t think I need to say it…HIS EX GREEN HAND CAN GO THROUGH YOUR FIREBALL AND LEADS TO AN KNOCKDOWN, BEWARE.
Ryu’s low forward fireball works extremely well at this range (confirm with yourself that your low forward fireball is close enough that there’s no gap in between to let Zangief’s EX green hand to go through). Standing far roundhouse is also a good tool against Zangief. However, Zangief’s standing forward has a better range than Ryu’s low forward. Therefore you can punish his with sweep after he whiffs his kick or counter it with Ryu’s low strong. *NOTE* Ryu’s low strong beats most of Zangief’s normals, don’t be afraid to spam this.

Close Range: 4 words. GET THE FUCK OUT!!!


Spinning PileDrive (SPD): SRK and EX Tatsu

Ex Version: Same as normal version except you have to use EX SRK.  (EX SPD beats normal any version’s normal SRK)

Banishing Flat (Green Hand): Anything except fireball, and can be punished with anything on block.

Ex Version: JAB SRK beats this move. The other version of SRK will whiff and get ready to get punished!! Ex tatsu also beats this move clean.

Lariat: EX SRK. Best solution is to block and punish this move

Atomic Suplex: Any version of SRK and low jab.

Ex Version: EX SRK

Against Ultra 1: Make sure when you are attacking, you use your safe poke strings + back dash to bait this move or at least not get hit by it. There’s really no “special” strategy to not get hit by this move, as long as you are not at the range then you don’t get hit. As easy as it sounds… thing I want to remind you guys is that when you are in a huge lead, Zangief’s biggest comeback move has to be his U1, which means whenever he can get close or about to get close, he’s going to try and land it. JUMP BACK AT ALL TIME even if he’s hitting you with weird pokes.

Against Ultra 2: This ultra is pretty unique. It can grab whatever you do, as long as you are off the ground. Therefore when Zangief jumps at you when he is sitting on ultra meter, it’s better to use normals to AA him instead of SRK since it is not safe to do so. His U2 can grab you out of your SRK.

On Ryu’s Wakeup:

Just in case people don’t know, there is actually a technique called “DELAYED QUICK WAKE UP”. Let me explain. Basically it looks like a normal quick wake up, but you actually delayed 5f if you input this correctly.  So this is how you do it: right when you land on the ground, then you press buttons (Whatever you usually do to quick wake up), there is only one timing and if you did it properly you will notice a slight slower wake up than usual. If failed, you won’t be able to quick wake up at all…it’s hard to explain the timing L. Anyways, so what’s good about this? Since it 5f delayed, therefore when Zangief jumps over you to cross up, when you wake up, he’s already on the other side, this allows you to AA with SRK instead of having your SRK beat by Zangief’s SLAM.
Always back dash on wake up if Zangief is not close enough to cross you up. He has no option select to punish your back dash (I believe…).

Mind games and Option Select:

There are not much mind games or OS against Zangief, I mean even if there is any…it’s probably not a good idea to do so. In this matchup you might want to stay away from him at all times unless you really need to make something happen in order make a comeback. However, there IS a safe jump against Zangief after an un-techable knockdown. Same timing against any 5f wakeup, but it loses to wake up EX SPD. 
When you are trying to make a comeback, after a knock down, you can take the risk and throw, it usually works because the Zangief player is in a huge lead and probably wouldn’t want take any unnecessary to lose life. After a throw, they might want to back dash on their wakeup (which might be the safest thing in their mind) THEN here you input OS sweep…just play around with their minds and think as if you are the Zangief player at that situation and what will you do yourself to hold the lead.  Jump back fierce beats his Lariat on his wakeup and it’s 100% safe even if he doesn’t do Lariat on wake up. And not to forget to use EX Tatsu on wakeup which is usually safe as well.

Things to be aware of:

The most common mix up Zangief uses on Ryu is that after a knock down, cross you up with a jump short, then immediately grabs you with Atomic Suplex which it seems like a combo. However, you are getting hit by it because you are trying to tech, therefore in this case, you would probably want to try and mash on low jab to stop Atomic Suplex from grabbing you. Of course, smart Zangiefs would mix this up with a low short into Lariat just to play around with your mind. There’s nothing really you can do when you get knocked down, it’s all guessing and I do not have any more tips to give out. It’s all depends on your own anticipation and reading skills.

As usual, comment below or ask questions @ my facebook page. Hope this guide helps!


  1. Thanks man I dont really understand the delayed quick wacke up though.

    Didnt even know it existed until now.

  2. Hey Air,

    Thanks for the quick write up on fighting Zangief! As always, an excellent, well-written piece of information.

    Quick question: does the "delayed quick wake-up" apply only to Ryu or to everyone as well? Sorry for this stupid question.

    Also, I've noticed that some Zangiefs go for the body splash (forward jump + down + FP) for a crossover and it beats or trades with SRK. Can you do the "delayed SRK" (363+MP) to beat that cross up?

    Thanks again!

  3. Are block string cr.lp cr.lp cr.lp st.lp push far enough for zangief whiff ultra? Is that good blockstring? i saw daigo use it vs zangief.

  4. Just a few things I want to add if thats okay Air:
    I do not recommend throwing fireballs at mid range, good gief will react and EX GreenHand, thus knock down, giving him the mind game startup, this will lead to all the options Air has mention above. He can also c.LP OS EX GreenHand if you back dash... so be aware and not make it too obvious.

    However in AE EX GreenHand does not knock down but give him frame Advantage, you have the option to jump, mash SRK or and backdash.
    I think its actually really hard to determin what you do here,
    Gief can use command grab and U1 which will beat ur,

    his has lariet, U2, neutral jump headbutt to beat ur jump,

    his U2 beats ur SRK (risky) and his OS GreenHand and U2 beats ur backdash

    At sweep range, I like to use low forward mix with low strong or s.HK work wonders^^

  5. @zos'la yep yep can add stuff that's missing anytime. uhh, nothing to worry about his low jab OS ex green hand because it's extremely hard to input.

    @anton yes that's a good poke string

    @Harold yes it beats it if you do delayed quick wake up

    this technique also works against Rufus' crossup dive kick. If input correctly, you will be able to SRK n beat his crossup dive kick clean!

  6. i just have a quick question to this match up. I have also heard that neutral jumping also helps in this match up whenever gief is at midscreen and also does cross up tatsu beat wake up lariat clean?

  7. Thanks for the extra tidbit on Rufus and the display of excellency, Air!

  8. @barbar sometimes i can beat it clean sometimes i can't..i wouldn't take the risk unless i really need to make something happen