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Street Fighter 6: Zangief Move List & Guide

Street Fighter 6 is coming out on 2nd June, which is just less than a month away. As such, the game’s roster for its launch is set with 18 characters, each with their various playstyles.

In this entry, we’ll be focusing on Russia’s Red Cyclone, Zangief. The big man who defines the fighting game term “grappler” for years to come since his early 90s debut.

Note: This guide is still in development.
All inputs are in numpad notations. For example, Hadouken from player 1’s starting side is 236P.
Attack buttons are as follows: LP, MP, HP are light punch, medium punch, and heavy punch respectively. LK, MK, and HK are light kick, medium kick, and heavy kick respectively. None of this Fierce or Roundhouse bulls*** in Asia. 

Info & video credits: Fighting Game Anniversaries, WoolieVS, FlawlessDeku, Capcom, Reversal


Street Fighter 6 Zangief Overview

Zangief is big. And slow. He can take hits as well as dish them out, with command grabs and simple footsie tools, and even has an anti-air in the form of his double lariat. He does take his time getting to his opponent due to his slow walk speed, though the Drive Rush cancels can help fix that.

When playing Zangief, know that you want to go in, get your opponent guessing whether you’re attacking or grabbing, and sort it out from there. His game plan is pretty simple, though his tools aren’t as varied as other characters which mean he can be easy to ready if you’re prepared. But when one of your command grabs does 30% damage in its OD (EX move) version AND you can make a few more mistakes at guessing and eating mixups due to your high health, you don’t really need much.

And for those who miss his Green Hand/Banishing Flat, he has Drive Rush/Drive Cancel as a lovely substitute.

Play If: You like big-bodied characters with big hard-hitting moves, big health, command grabs up the wazoo.

Avoid If: You prefer normal or fast-moving characters, you prefer fights mostly from afar.


Street Fighter 6 Zangief Move List

Special Moves

Double Lariat: PP. Anti-air plus combo ender. Good invincibility.

Screw Piledriver: 360°P (turn joystick 360 degrees then press Punch). Signature command grab and damage dealer; abbreviated to SPD. LP version has best range. MP and HP deal great damage but must be done up-close. OD version deals the most damage; three of these on an opponent will win you the match.
Because of the current fighting game’s “lax” input method and shortcuts, you don’t have to hit all 8 directional inputs to get the 360 input; 6 is enough. So you can just do the Tiger Knee-style input (412369P) to do this without accidentally jumping.

Borscht Dynamite: 360°K. Command air throw. You can do a Tiger Knee input (412369K) to do a quick command air grab that reacts to jump attacks (or to end combos when opponent is in juggle state).

Russian Suplex: 63214K. Command grab featuring two suplexes. If done from afar, Siberian Express activates. Siberian Express is a run that automatically does a command grab powerbomb when you’re immediately up-close to an opponent. Use this as a surprise if you catch your opponent at a good distance and just blocking. OD version gives you 1 hit of armour.

Tundra Storm: 22HK. Counters grounded kicks. Not much use safe for against characters who primarily footsie you with kicks. Like Dhalsim and Cammy.


Super Arts

Aerial Russian Slam (Level 1): 236236K. Anti-air. Can use as a combo ender when you have opponent in juggle state.

Cyclone Lariat (Level 2): 236236P. Hold P to change effect. Has vacuum effect.

Bolshoi Storm Buster (Level 3): 720°P. The SF6 version of Super Atomic Buster. Deals massive damage but needs to be done up close as it’s a command grab.
Protips on doing the double 360 inputs: you can buffer the motions when in Drive Rush state. When you throw an attack, just before its animation finishes, you buffer the 720 motion quick. Like the 360 shortcut, you don’t have to do all 16 directional inputs; there will be shortcuts that will be discovered by pro players when the game launches.


Unique Attacks

Hellstab: 3MP. Can be canceled into special move.

Knee Strike: 6MK. You can do an empty Knee Strike and then buffer command grab to surprise grab anyone within range. Knee Strike to SPD LP is the best tactic to use that will catch anyone off-guard, be it beginners or pros.

Headbutt: 6HP. Doesn’t absorb fireballs anymore, but you’re at frame advantage if this move is blocked. Can be cancelled to special move too.

Cyclone Wheel Kick: 6HK. Overhead, but very unsafe if blocked.

Stemana Dropkick: 3HK. Goes through low sweeps from the majority of the cast due to its airborne properties. Like a KOF shorthop but with a hard kick to the face.

Flying Body Press: During jump, 2HP. Splash attack that crosses up opponents. Use it for mixups after a knockdown.

Flying Headbutt: During jump, 8HP. Can be cancelled into air special move, like oh say an OD Borscht Dynamite.

Machine Gun Chops: MP>MP>MP. Only combos if it’s a counter-hit. Savvy opponents can interrupt it halfway if it’s not a counter-hit, so use it sparingly as a “block string“.

Power Stomps: 22MK>MK>MK. Target combo; last hit can be cancelled into special moves.

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