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Advanced Instant Block

Though Instant Block was explained in the General section under Guarding, it deserves a more thorough breakdown so players can understand the unique abilities and advantages that it posesses.

From General (Guarding) Section -

Instant Block (also known as "Just Defend") is a precise version of Basic Guard. Instead of just holding back to guard incoming attacks, you actually wait until the last moment and press back or down+back right as the move connects. An Instant Block will be signified by your character flashing white. Instant Block shares the exact same properties and abilities of the Basic Guard except your character recovers much faster (they are in less block stun for every move that is Instant Blocked). Just as with Basic Guard, you can perform Instant Block in the air, however, ground-based attacks are still unblockable and you must use Faultless Defense.

As a special feature of Instant Block, you can perform it "during" attack patterns. What this means is, if your opponent has you in a guard pattern and you are simply using Basic Guard, you can switch to Instant Block at any point in the pattern if you can time the back or down+back presses. This is highly useful for escaping many common attack sequences. By Instant Blocking certain hits, you can escape and/or retaliate where you normally couldn't.

So you should have the general idea of how Instant Block works. Tap back or down+back the instant a move strikes you to perform the Instant Block. In the air, simply tap back at the precise moment. This greatly reduces the amount of guard-stun your character will suffer from. Remember that you still have to guard properly against overhead/high (back only) high/mid (back or down+back) and low (down+back only) as IB is just an extention of Basic Guard.

One additional note on Instant Block is that you and your opponent are not seperated as much for every hit that is IB'ed when compared to Basic Guard. This makes it much easier to punish some moves that usually push your opponent to safety.

Below are examples of how Instant Block can be used. Hopefully this will help you better understand the importance of the technique and give you ideas on how you can incorperate it into your game.

Application 1: IB -> Guaranteed Ground Throw
Character Example: Sol vs Potemkin

Example Sequence: Sol 2K,S,S -> 236[K] (Bandit Bringer) / Potemkin IB -> 632146P (Potemkin Buster)

When the Bandit Bringer is blocked using Basic Guard, there is a 0F advantage. This means that both characters are able to move at the exact same time. This is because LV5 rated moves (see Attack Effects - Stun Recovery Chart) inflict 18F stun on guard. Bandit Bringer has 6 active frames (AC) and 13 recovery frames (RE). Subtracting the first frame of AC, you see that the move has 18F true recovery if it hits at the earliest possible moment. Therefore, after inflicting 18F of guard stun, neither character has the advantage. However, since the Bandit Bringer is easy to see, you can opt to use Instant Block instead.

When Instant Blocked, LV5 rated moves inflict only 14F stun. This leaves the defender at +4! This allows the character that Instant Blocked the Bandit Bringer to throw or connect with any move that is 4F EX or faster. Due to the fact that Potemkin's 632146P command throw is EX4, it's guaranteed! Obviously the best way to guard against the Bandit Bringer is using Instant Block. However, you could also run under it (if your char is fast enough, Potemkin isn't), or use a specialized anti-air move... but that's a different section =).

Application 2: IB -> Guaranteed Air Throw
Character Example: Ky vs Johnny

Example Sequence: Ky j.P-K-S / Johnny (air) Guard P, (air) Instant Block K -> Air Throw

As anti-air, it's common for some characters to jump up at an incoming opponent and hit them with a barrage of quick strikes. Then, once they see if the strikes connect or are blocked, they change their strategy accordingly. In this case, Johnny knows Ky will jump at him with a quick P-K-S sequence so he simply guards the first hit, then Instant Blocks the second. Before Ky's S executes, Johnny is able to air throw Ky! If Johnny used Basic Guard only, Ky would be safe. However, since Air Instant Block substantially cuts the guard stun (moreso than ground Instant Block), Johnny can grab Ky right out of the air. This technique requires a good mix of anticipation and reflexes, but it's definitely possible. Practice and utilize!

Application 3: Mid Gatling IB -> Retaliation
Character Example: Ky vs Johnny

Example Sequence: Ky dash S(c),S(f),2S,H -> 236K / Johnny IB -> Retaliate

This sequence is used because it's one of the more common scenarios you might encounter. Also, because Ky's 236K is very safe when blocked at maximum range, it's a good indicator of how effective Instant Block can be. Normally Johnny wouldn't be able to punish Ky, but when using IB against the last hit, he can connect with a 6K for a free launch -> combo opportunity. In addition, if Johnny IB's the last 2 or 3 hits of the sequence, he can actually connect with his 632146H Overdrive. This is because every time you IB a move, you and your opponent are pushed back less than if a Basic Guard was used. Keep this in mind and use it when you think you'll be able to take advantage of lesser recovery!

Instant Block has many uses and is another technique that can greatly benefit your defense as well as offense. By ising IB to shut down commonly used Gatling Chains and obvious striking moves (like the Bandit Bringer and Ky's Slide) you can turn your defense around into offense much faster than usual. Also, in some cases, you will get guaranteed damage!

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