GGST/Defense

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Blocking

Blocking is an integral action to keep yourself alive.

There are many different types of blocking, and each is useful for different situations. Correctly picking the right one for each situation is critical for survivability.

After blocking an attack, characters enters a state called blockstun where they are unable to do anything except block, Blue Psych Burst, or Yellow Roman Cancel. Both characters get pushed back varying amounts depending on the attack and type of blocking used.

Ground Block

GGST BasicGuard.png
Hold any backward direction to block.
Hold back to block standing. This blocks high and mid attacks.
Hold down-back to block crouching. This block low and mid attacks.

Normal blocking is the default type of blocking and is the most commonly type used. Standing block has slightly more pushback compared to crouching block.

Standing vs. Crouching Block

When you block a move standing, it has more pushback than when you block it crouching, both with and without Faultless Defense. This means during a blockstring such as c.S > 2S > 5H > special cancel, you can push your opponent further back than normal by stand blocking everything besides the 2S (if it is a low). Because of this, standing block can cause the opponent to whiff buttons, enabling a punish. On the other hand, crouching block is more useful when you're looking to disrupt their offense with a fast button, which is specially useful against blockstrings that move the opponent forward.

Air Block

Hold any backward direction while airborne to air block

Nearly every non-throw attack is air blockable. Air blocking raises a character's R.I.S.C. Level by 1.5 times that of ground blocking. Air blocking a strike will force your character into blockstun until landing, at which point they will be forced into 19 frames of additional grounded blockstun. If you land while performing an Instant Block or Instant Faultless Defense, your character's landing recovery will be reduced to 5 frames. Air blocking a projectile or recovering from Guard Crush will not force your character into blockstun until landing, but if they do land, they will be forced into 5 frames of additional grounded blockstun. Blocking a move in the air will also restore an air action (i.e. an air jump or air dash) if you recover while still in the air. Certain moves such as 6P have a unique trajectory on air block, conferring more advantage than normal.

Takeaways

  • The higher in the air that you block an attack, the more blockstun you'll suffer, provided that it's not a projectile or a Guard Crush.
  • R.I.S.C. Level can get out of control quickly if you fuzzy jump too often during stagger pressure involving strong buttons. You'll suffer extra R.I.S.C. Gain, and suffer extended blockstun from the air blocked normals, allowing the attacker to regain ground for an extended string.


Instant Block

Begin blocking right before the attack connects. You will flash white.
Start blocking right before the opponent's attack connects (2 frame window) to perform an Instant Block (IB).

The defender will flash white and the word "JUST" will appear on screen whenever you successfully Instant Block an attack. Inputting any backward direction without performing a successful Instant Block locks out subsequent attempts until neutral, up, or any forward direction is input for a cumulative 5 frames. While holding down will not progress the cooldown timer, inputting any backward direction before the timer is complete will reset the cooldown timer.

The benefits of Instant Block are
  • Prevents chip damage
  • Pushback for the defender is reduced to zero
  • Gain twice the amount of Tension on block and increase Tension Balance
    • Does not grant bonus Tension if blocking an attack that causes Guard Crush
  • Instant blocking a strike in the air reduces the 19 frame landing recovery to 5 frames

While blocking, players can attempt an Instant Block at any point. Think of it as a mini-game: time your blocking to the rhythm of the opponent's hits.

Since faster attacks generally have shorter range, Instant blocking an opponent's attack often creates new punish opportunities. Instant blocking might even be required to punish certain attacks that are at frame disadvantage but cause too much pushback to punish under normal circumstances.

Faultless Defense

Powerful defensive option, but drains Tension as you use it!
Hold any two buttons except D (or the FD Button if one was set) while blocking to perform Faultless Defense (FD). As long as the direction and buttons are held down (and the Tension Gauge isn't empty), you will continue to perform Faultless Defense.
  • Consumes Tension while used and on block
    • Can not Faultless Defense when you have no Tension
  • Prevents chip damage
  • Prevents R.I.S.C. Level from increasing
  • Pushback for the defender is increased compared to normal blocking
  • Using Faultless Defense to block in the air increases gravity compared to normal blocking

A unique type of guard that gradually depletes Tension when used. Faultless Defense augments your block by giving it several special properties. Firstly, it increases pushback on block, making it useful to make space between you and the opponent. By using Faultless Defense early in the opponent's blockstring, the opponent will be pushed back enough that later attacks will miss, allowing you to punish the opponent's whiffed attack or disengage. When in use, Faultless Defense also prevents the R.I.S.C Level from increasing and nullifies chip damage. This is essential for survival in situations where chip damage runs the risk of finishing you off.

Keep in mind that you don't have to hold two buttons for a long time in order to use Faultless Defense effectively. It's also possible to press the buttons briefly - slightly longer than a tap - just before the opponent's hit connects. By doing this, you can let go of Faultless Defense in between the hits of an opponent's blockstring, allowing you to save some Tension. This requires some precision though, so it will require practice.

Faultless Defense Gauge Consumption
Level Gauge Consumption (Strikes) Gauge Consumption (Projectiles)
Lv.0 250 62
Lv.1 300 75
Lv.2 350 87
Lv.3 400 100
Lv.4 450 112
  • Tension Gauge maximum value is 10000.
  • Holding ground Faultless Defense takes 400 frames to empty the gauge from max, air Faultless Defense takes 200 frames.
    • (Holding Faultless Defense in the air consumes twice as much Tension as holding Faultless Defense on the ground.)
  • During Instant Faultless Defense, Tension is reduced by the normal amount for Faultless Defense and then increased by the bonus amount for Instant Block.


Instant Faultless Defense

GGST IFD.png
Perform Faultless Defense with Instant Block timing to perform Instant Faultless Defense (IFD). There's no restriction on the duration the buttons can be held for, but tap the correct direction to block with the correct timing (and sufficient Tension) to Instant Faultless Defense.
  • Consumes Tension while used and on block
    • Can not Instant Faultless Defense when you have no Tension
  • Prevents chip damage
  • Prevents R.I.S.C. Level from increasing
  • Pushback for the defender is reduced to zero
  • Pushback for the attacker is greatly increased, even more so than defender pushback from Faultless Defense
  • Using Instant Faultless Defense to block in the air increases gravity compared to normal blocking
  • Using Instant Faultless Defense to block a strike in the air reduces the 19 frame landing recovery to 5 frames

The benefits of Instant Faultless Defense are like a combination of both Instant Block and Faultless Defense, minimizing threats from the opponent and keeping them away from you without giving up any space yourself.

Guard Crush

You can still block during this, but you can't Yellow Roman Cancel.

Guard Crush is a unique animation attributed to certain attacks. In Guard Crush state, you can only block or Burst, but it is not a blocking animation in and of itself, so you can be hit during it if you release the block button.

Unlike blockstun there is no 5 frame throw invincibility after recovering from a Guard Crush.

Also unlike blockstun, being forced into Guard Crush state in the air does not extend its duration until landing, so it may be possible to recover in the air depending on your trajectory. Similarly, landing after an air Guard Crush does not apply the 19 frame landing recovery that normal blocks have, instead applying a 5 frame landing recovery.

Getting hit during Guard Crush state results in an invalid combo.


Unblockable Attacks

Finally, some attacks are completely unblockable, meaning the only way to avoid getting hit is to move out of the way! For example, Potemkin's Heavenly Potemkin Buster (236236S) is completely unblockable against airborne opponents.

Yellow Roman Cancel

It's just like Xrd, but not at all!
Press any three attack buttons (except D) simultaneously while in blockstun to perform a Yellow Roman Cancel (YRC). Costs 50% Tension.
  • On hit, Yellow Roman Cancel slows down the opponent for 10 frames and puts them in Guard Crush state for 43 frames including slowdown, granting the user a frame advantage of +10 on ground hit.
    • Yellow Roman Cancel applies 50% forced proration on hit, so even if the opponent doesn't block in Guard Crush state, the damage is greatly reduced.
  • On block, Yellow Roman Cancel is punishable at -16 and leaves the user in Counter Hit state during their recovery.

Yellow Roman Cancels can be used when blocking at the cost of 50% Tension, for the purpose of stopping an attacking opponent and resetting the momentum of the match. Yellow Roman Cancels can not be performed when your character is in a Guard Crush state. Upon activation, your character creates a shockwave that forces the opponent into a Guard Crush state, granting your character massive frame advantage. Yellow Roman Cancel is a useful tool for challenging an opponent’s pressure, especially for characters that are lacking in character-specific tools.

However, Yellow Roman Cancel is -16 on block and leaves your character in Counter Hit state during its recovery frames. Sharp opponents can block it on prediction and punish it heavily. Make sure to vary when you go for a Yellow Roman Cancel to avoid becoming predictable. In addition, the hefty 50% Tension cost must always be taken into consideration. Said Tension could be used for Overdrives or extending combos or blockstrings with other types of Roman Cancels. Practice utilizing all of your defensive options so as to not end up over relying on Yellow Roman Cancel and burning Tension too quickly.

Throw Clash

Works for ground and air normal throws.

If you input a ground throw or air throw at the same time as an opponent within a 10 frame window, then both characters will back off and recover in 31 frames. For air throws, both players regain their air actions afterward.

  • Only normal throws can be broken; command throws cannot be broken.
  • Throw clashes CANNOT be performed while recovering from a move, so unsafe attacks are still unsafe.
  • The throw clash animation is fully invincible.


Psych Burst

Press D + any other attack button to perform a Psych Burst. Costs a full Burst Gauge.

A powerful defensive option that can be used in a variety of situations at the cost of a full Burst Gauge. Upon activation, your character releases an invincible shockwave that knocks opponents away. Bursts can be used at almost any point in the match, including when you’re in blockstun or hitstun. This allows Bursts to function as both a combo breaker and as a way to challenge the opponent’s pressure. The Burst Gauge refills very slowly over time, so it can be a good idea to use it early in a match to break out of a powerful combo, such as a Counter Hit combo. This will allow you to spend the rest of the round recharging it, making it more likely to have another opportunity to use it again later in the match.

While Bursts are very powerful, they are far from infallible. The activation shockwave is not instant, so sharp players can predict incoming Bursts and punish them heavily. A common method of doing so is canceling attacks with jump cancels or Roman Cancels, then blocking the Burst and punishing the recovery. Because of the risk associated with it, you should vary the timing of when you go for Burst to avoid becoming predictable. In addition, the activation shockwave's range is limited. Characters with long ranged attacks, such as Nagoriyuki and Ramlethal, have access to Burst-safe combos and blockstrings that allow them to punish Burst if you go for it or continue their offense if you don’t. Against players that employ these tactics, you will need strong match-up knowledge to survive. Lastly, keep in mind that Burst cannot be performed while your character is stuck to the wall, being thrown, or being hit by an Overdrive.

Depending on a character's current state, the Burst will be either Blue or Gold.

Psych Burst Frame Data
Version Damage GuardHow this attack can be blocked. Throws have their throw range listed instead. StartupThe number of frames between inputting an attack and when the attack becomes active. Includes first active frame. ActiveThe number of frames for which a move has hitboxes. Occurs after Startup. RecoveryThe number of frames after a move's active frames during which the character cannot act assuming the move is not canceled. On-BlockThe difference between the attacker's recovery and the period that the opponent is in blockstun. This Frame Advantage value is based off the fact that the very first active frame touches the opponent. On-HitThe difference between the attacker's recovery and the period that the opponent is in hitstun. This Frame Advantage value is based off the fact that the very first active frame touches the opponent. Throws list the amount of Frame Advantage upon successfully throwing the opponent. Invuln
Gold Burst 0 All 18 6 22+9 after landing -10 +29 1~45F Full
Blue Burst 0 All 14 6 33+9 after landing -30 +11 1~27F Full
  • Psych Bursts become airborne on frame 1.
  • Gold Burst has an Attack Level of 2, Blue Burst has an Attack Level of 1.
  • Blue Burst has 6 frames of hitstop.
  • Recovery, On-Block and On-Hit values listed are while initially grounded.
    • If activated while airborne, recovery is until landing + 9 frames after landing.
    • If activated while airborne, Gold Burst is fully invincible until landing.


Blue Bursts

Get off me!

Can be used while blocking or while being hit to deny the opponent damage and reset the pace of a match.

  • Refills 1/3 of the Burst Gauge if it successfully hits the opponent
  • Fully vulnerable after recovery, while falling, and during landing recovery


Gold Bursts

Max Tension!

Can be used while in a neutral state. Used to gain momentum, press an advantage, or on wake-up as a reversal.

  • Automatically refills 1/3 of the Burst Gauge
  • Bursting character gains a full Tension Gauge on hit
  • Can not be used during a combo
  • Unlike Blue Bursts, fully invincible until landing recovery


Disabling Burst

Heaven or Hell

Bursts can be temporarily disabled even with a full Burst Gauge. A red X will cover the Burst Gauge during this time.

Blue Bursts will be disabled while:

  • Being thrown
  • Being hit by an Overdrive
  • Getting hit by attacks that force the opponent into non-standard hitstun, such as a Wall Stick state


Punish

This means you hit the opponent during their attack's recovery. Good job!
Dodging the opponent's attack, then punishing them is a common tactic.

Sometimes "PUNISH" will appear on the HUD. This means that you hit the opponent during the recovery of their attack.

Attacks are punishable on block if the defender has enough time to hit the attacker after blocking the attack. Each character's frame data lists the amount of time to punish an attack on block; this is known as frame advantage/disadvantage. An attack that is -11 on block means that the defender can use an attack that has start-up 11 frames or faster to punish the opponent. Of course just because an attack is fast enough does not mean it can reach the opponent, so knowledge and practice are still necessary, even when a player knows the numbers. Instant blocking an attack earlier in the blockstring will keep the defender closer to the attacker and make attacks easier to punish.

While the concept of punishing exists in all fighting games, the HUD indicator is helpful for learning while mid-match. Did you actually punish the opponent's attack or were they just not blocking? Now you can know for sure.

One caveat to this is certain attacks are in Counter Hit state during their recovery, such as Ky's Stun Edge. In these cases, the HUD will show COUNTER instead of PUNISH.

Reversal

Reversal is a term used to refer to either performing an action on the first possible frame after recovery or actions that would be used in such a context, such as moves with invincibility during start-up. The HUD displays the word "REVERSAL" when performing a special or Overdrive immediately after recovering from blockstun, hitstun or knockdown. This message is useful to tell when an attack is performed as fast as possible. Please note that there are two different reversal messages depending on whether the reversal is performed out of stun or after waking up.

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