Frame advantage is the concept of who is free to act first after an interaction.
This is most commonly brought up after blocking an attack; who can act first - the attacker or defender? A negative value on block means the defender can act first, and a positive value means the attacker can act first. The value shows exactly how many frames one character can move before the other. For example:
- If a move is -5 on block, it means the defender is free to move 5 frames before the attacker.
- If a move is +2 on block. it means the attacker can move 2 frames before the defender.
Each character's Frame Data subpage shows both the frame advantage when an attack is blocked as well as on hit. Air attacks don't have frame advantage listed since that value is varaiable and is heavily influenced by when the attacker lands after an attack.
Frame advantage assumes that the attack connects as soon as possible against a standing/crouching opponent, and that the attacker does not cancel the attack into anything else. Hitting an attack later into its active frames is called making the move "meaty".
Read more about using frame data here.
Barrier while Running
While running, simply holding back will cancel a run into a vulnerable skid animation. Brake avoids the skid animation by immediately canceling into Barrier. This helps with advancing towards the opponent while minimizing time you can't guard.
Hold an attack button to repeat the button input every frame for up to 4 frames. This will make difficult links are easier to do -- hold the button a little early and that 1F link usually becomes a 4F link!
Inputting a run within 4F of returning to neutral (such as near the end of an attack's recovery, blockstun, wakeup, etc.) will also have the same effect; regardless of any directional inputs after that, your character will begin running as soon as recovery ends! The same principle can be applied to backdash and airdashes.
Advanced Input makes timing things as fast as possible easier, and is even better when buffering both an attack and a run. The attack will activate as soon as possible while sliding forward! This technique is useful for linking together combos as well as punishing things after blocking. In fact, some combos rely on Advanced Input to work.
Super Flash Buffer
Some attacks briefly pause the game to make the startup of the attack more dramatic. This is known as Super Flash or Super Freeze.
When the opponent does an attack with super flash, commands inputted during super flash will be executed immediately after super flash ends.
Players often use this to execute an invincible attack (such as activating Overdrive or super) to counter the opponent's super. This is because supers usually have a bit of startup even AFTER the super flash, which allows the defender to input an attack of their own risk-free!
Every character can cancel the first few frames of startup of normal attacks into Barrier. If you are in those first few frames during super flash, then cancel your attack into Barrier to save yourself!
Attacks with super flash list their startup values as:
startup pre-flash + (super flash duration) + startup post-flash
Ex: an attack with startup 5+(90 Flash)+5 has 5 frames of startup, then 90F super flash, then hits the opponent after 5 more frames for a total of 10 frames of startup.
- Supers With No Startup After Super Flash
Some attacks are special: they have no additional startup after the super flash. Super Flash Buffer is useless against these attacks - you can think of the super flash as just a formality, the attack has already become active!
Tager's Super Throw (Genesic Emerald Tager BusterGuardThrowStartup5+(28 Flash)+0Recovery41Advantage-) is a prime example of this; you must already have some way to avoid Tager's Super Throw BEFORE the super flash or else it will be too late. You can identify such attacks in the frame data by looking at their startup post-flash, which should be 0.
Certain characters can extend the range of their normal throws by taking advantage of properties of their other normal moves.
In order to make the inputs of throws slightly less strict, pressing B and C can have a small amount of time between each button press, so long as both buttons are ultimately depressed at the same time. This means that most characters's B and C moves can be cancelled into a throw very early into a throw to allow this leniency. Some characters have B or C moves that move them forward slightly during startup, meaning that if you deliberately press B and C slightly apart from each other, you start the normal move that moves you forward, move forward slightly, and then cancel it into a throw.
Offensive Option Selects
2A, 4B in rapid succession
This is the most basic Option Select that can block DPs and punish the opponent. They however, can RC'd out.
When 2A is inputted, if they blocked, they've entered blockstun and experiences extra hitstop, allows 4B (or in most cases, 5B) to connect. However if 2A whiffs, 4B is inputted in the recovery frames of 2A, which results in nothing but 4 (blocking).
The limitation is that Hitstop OS can only punish DPs that has startup longer than the recovery frames of 2A, should you time it well.
Defensive Option Selects
OS Outcome Table
All specials have higher priority than blocking, throwing, or teching a throw
- This may invalidate OSes for your character or provide new ones
|1ABCD||Throw Escape||Barrier Block||OD||OD|
|1/4D~2/5/8ABC||OD||Block||OD||Counter Hit||See Overdrive OS below.|
|1/4ABC||Throw Escape||Barrier Block||Barrier Block||Barrier Block||See Barrier/Throw Tech OS below.|
|1~7ABC||Throw Escape||Barrier Block||Barrier Block||Barrier Block||Will do 8 moves if 1 is charged.|
|7AB||Thrown||Barrier Block||Barrier Block||Barrier Block||Barrier prevents jumping. Pokayoke for blocking high on wakeup.|
|421ABC||Throw Escape||Barrier Block||Barrier Block||Barrier Block||Character Specific: When crossed up 421 will be come 623 resulting in a DP.|
Barrier + Throw OS
When blocking, 1/4/7 A+B+C
This is the most basic Option Select that can dodge throws and push away the opponent. As pressing 3 button at once might be difficult, you can use the RC macro to perform this OS.
Depending on your opponent's actions, several things can happen:
- If the opponent tries to throw you and you time this input correctly (within the first 3 frames the OS is inputted), you'll get a throw break;
- If the opponent tries to hit you, then you'll just use your barrier.
- If your opponent delays a throw and you time this early, you will be Throw Reject MissA state in which it is not possible to tech throws. It lasts for a few frames after a throw tech attempt.ed.
As the 3 frame window is short, the trick is to delay the input it somewhat late, until you see the attempt to throw.
When blocking, 1~7~1 A+B
As we mentioned above, Fuzzy Jump can be used to escape a basic Strike-Throw mixup. Below is an analysis:
- If the opponent goes for a throw, then you will jump out.
- If the opponent goes for an overhead, then you will also jump out as they are slow.
- If the opponent attempts a mid or a low, then depending on the timing you will either:
- If the opponent times their attack to your jump startup, then you will be hit out of jump startup. However if the opening is too big, then you will jump and block the attack.
- If the opponent did not leave an opening (i.e. still in blockstun), then you will block high for as long as you hold 7, then go back to crouch blocking.
- This means that if you attempt a Fuzzy Jump during a blockstring that contains a low, you will be hit. Of course if you can pull 1~7~1 fast enough before the low lands, then you will block, but that's mostly inhuman.
To better illustrate the purpose of fuzzy jump, you can go into Training Mode and setup some dummy recordings. Set up Ragna as your training with the following recordings:
- 3C (knock down opponent), dash 2A, dash throw
- 3C (knock down opponent), dash 2A, dash 2B
- 3C (knock down opponent), dash 2A > 6B
- 3C (knock down opponent), dash 2A, dash 2A
Alternatively, you can use the following Eddienput script:
configs\bb.json #3C (knock down opponent) 6 W1  W10 3+C W60 5 6 W1  W5 2+A 5 startmix #dash 2A, dash throw option 25 W20 6 W1  W5 B+C #dash 2A, dash 2B option 25 W20 6 W1  W5 2+B #dash 2A > 6B option 25 W5 6+B #dash 2A, dash 2A option 25 W20 6 W1  W5 2+A endmix 5 W60
Set the dummy to replay the recordings with random playback. As you recover from the knockdown, perform a fuzzy jump. If timed right, you will be able to guard or jump out of all of these common situations.
Overdrive Option Select
When blocking hold the D button then press A+B+C to perform this option select. Unlike Barrier OS, it is important to not hold 4, 1, or 7 while inputting A+B+C. Holding back will treat the input as Barrier + Throw Break and prevent Overdrive Activation. You can hold a neutral input (5 or 2) in order to block gapless overheads and lows.
These are the situations that can result from OD OS:
- If your opponent throws you, you will tech the throw.
- If your opponent has a long enough gap in their blockstring, you will activate a neutral Overdrive (NOT Guard cancel Overdrive).
- If your opponent has ~1f gap in their blockstring, you will be Counter Hit.
- If your opponent has a gapless blockstring, you will block.
This option select loses to opponents using less committal blockstrings or introducing small enough gaps in their pressure. For example, if Ragna does 5C > 2C, you can IB 5C to create a gap before 2C that can be DP'd. Because this gap is so small, inputting OD OS in it will cause you to get Counter Hit.
Activating Overdrive Shortcuts
Players that don't use button macros (or play in arcades) sometimes accidentally perform a Crush Trigger or Rapid Cancel instead of Overdrive due to the commands overlapping. To bypass this problem, hold down A or B or C, then press the remaining buttons!
When you press a button, the game checks to confirm whether all 4 buttons are being held down, and if so, counts it as an Overdrive activation. This means you don't need to press all of the buttons at the same time to go into Overdrive!
- Example: Hold C, then press A+B+D
- Example: Hold C+D, then press A+B
- Example: Press and hold each button in rapid succession: [A]~[B]~[C]~[D]
While very useful, there are restrictions with this technique: it doesn't work while holding back because the game will treat it as inputting Barrier instead. For example, holding back + [A] + [B] ~ C + D won't activate Overdrive. In fact, it disables activating Overdrive until all buttons are released. This technique also doesn't work for the first few frames after ground neutral tech and Emergency Tech.
This shortcut is very useful during combos -- hold down A or B or C, then press the remaining buttons for Overdrive Cancel!
Do note that this shortcut is specifically for activating Overdrive, not for using Burst or Exceed Accel.