Zangief's second V-Skill in Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition should be Green Hand... right?

UltraDavid and Snake Eyez aren't so sure

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • December 3, 2019 at 7:46 p.m. PST

New information on secondary V-Skills for the cast of Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition is slowly but surely trickling in as we've gotten a few glimpses of new techniques for a few characters already, but we're particularly interested in seeing what Capcom does with the godfather of grappling: Zangief.

While there's a good bit of mystery as to what developers will give the majority of the roster, expectations for Zangief's VS2 are very heavily skewed towards one attack in particular. His Banishing Flat (aka Green Hand) has been conspicuously absent from SF5 since day one, and while the majority of fans are all but certain this the right answer for a second V-Skill, commentator UltraDavid and pro player RB|Snake Eyez aren't so sure.

There are a lot of boxes to check with V-Skills as they contribute to a number of facets when it comes to a character's experience. They offer an attack that can work with a character's kit to make other attacks and strategies more efficient as well as serving as a means of building V-Trigger.

At least in this instance, we're looking at a legacy technique that many players would appreciate for nostalgic/character identity purposes. In essence, this is an opportunity to balance, personalize, and make the character more interesting/intriguing.

While there's no doubt adding Green Hand would check off that latter box, UltraDavid is not exactly sold on the idea that it would do much for the character else wise.

"People who hope Zangief's V-Skill 2 is Green Hand... why?" he starts. "Do you expect they'll let him combo into it? They're too afraid to even let him combo cr lp into cr lp. Do you need help vs. fireball zoning? No, that barely exists. Do you need to get back in after mp/hp/EX SPD? Also no."

Indeed the Green Hand most people are thinking about when the move is referenced has to be the example we recently saw in Street Fighter 4. It was really only DNG|Itazan that rivaled Snake Eyez in Zangief proficiency in SF4, and I'll go as far as to say that no one had as strong of a Gief footsie game as Snake did. That was in major part because of his use of the move we're talking about here.

In Street Fighter 4, Green Hand was very much a hit confirm tool to follow successful attacks in the neutral. It also served to quickly close the distance after certain knockdowns, and thus gave Zangief some great okizeme set up situations.

As pointed out by David's text, Gief isn't really looking for these kinds of options here in SF5. The ability for the character to use Banishing Flat as a hit confirm would be potentially huge, but David really doesn't think that's a direction developers will want to go in based on their previous balance decisions.

The difficult thing about grapplers in fighting games is that they very easily can fall into that all or nothing kind of category where they're either game-breakingly oppressive or frustratingly hard to win with.

The post from David got a few responses as the discussion expanded, and Snake Eyez himself chimed in to agree and add a few of his own thoughts. You can see the thread, (which includes the question we're all asking, "If not Green Hand, then what?" as posed by The Derrit) by clicking the thumbnail here.

Green Hand image #1
Click images for larger versions

It is fairly clear that giving Gief the kinds of options he had in SF4 could rapidly propel him to broken status in SF5. The character's main weakness is in his struggle to get in close, but as is usual with grapplers, once he's where he wants to be it can mean the round is over.

If we had to put our money on it we'd still guess that Capcom will be bringing Green Hand back as Giefs second Skill, but as to whether or not it will have the kind of impact so many have been expecting is widely up in the air.

We also have to keep in mind that Gief will lose his VS1 abilities if he goes with VS2, and an incoming balance patch will also be a key factor in determining how these new moves will affect characters. It certainly could be the case that Green Hand is well-implented as a new key tool for Gief's kit, but that's going to take a lot of work to achieve.

There are a lot of questions to be answered between now and when the next SF5 update becomes available, but we'd love to hear your speculations in the meantime.

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