Blocking is an integral action to keep yourself alive. Knowing how to use which block in which situation will improve your game immeasurably. Not only will you be able to defend better and survive longer, but in some cases you will be able to resume your offense faster.
Basic ground blocking is the most common defensive option. To guard against high attacks, simply hold back. To guard against mid attacks, hold back or down+back. To guard against low attacks, hold down+back. If you guard incorrectly, a warning sign will appear over your character.
Remember, you cannot block against throws, and some attacks are just flat-out unblockable!
Basic air blocking is even easier; simply hold any backwards direction while airborne. Air blocking does not have high/low blocking, but instead comes with another restriction... basic air blocking will not work against ground based attacks!
Ground based attacks are all non-projectile attacks that are performed on the ground, such as all standing/crouching normals, ground specials, and ground supers!
Example #1: May jumps at Ky, Ky uses 2H, May gets hit because Ky is on the ground.
Example #2: Sol uses Fafnir, Potemkin attempts to jump away and gets airborne, Potemkin gets hit because Sol is on the ground.
Any time your opponent attempts to use a grounded anti-air attack, you will need to Faultless Defense instead of basic air block. Remember this... it's important!
Also remember that after you air block (any kind), your jump options are restored! This means that you can do something like double jump to block an aerial projectile, then double jump again, or airdash afterwards, if you're not too close to ground.
As with ground blocking, you also can't air block against air throws and unblockables.
Instant Block is a slightly more advanced version of normal blocking; you must start blocking right before the opponent's attack touches you. Your character will flash white and the word "JUST" will appear on screen if you IB an attack.
The benefits of IBing are:
- Recover faster from blockstun (for exact amounts check the Attack Level table)
- Reduced pushback (which might be a good or bad thing depending on your character)
- Builds a small amount of extra tension
- Increased Tension Balance (which means more Tension later)
- Increased Tension Balance Threshold, which allows your Tension Balance to increase to a higher rate than normally possible!
- Air IB keeps a player airborne longer compared to normal block and FD. Use this to throw off an opponent's timing if they are planning to mix you up as you land!
IB does not allow you to make "illegal" blocks: you still must block high/low correctly, and you still must use air FD versus air unblockable attacks.
You can IB "during" attack patterns. This means that while normal blocking, you can begin IBing at any point if you can time your blocking with the opponent's attacks! Think of it as a mini-game: time your blocking to the rhythm of the opponent's hits.
Keep in mind that you also increase your RISC slightly by IB blocking, so in some situations it can work against you.
Faultless Defense is an interesting and highly useful technique. It's often used to negate guard damage, but it has other important uses. To perform Faultless Defense, hold any backward direction and press any two buttons except or (example: +),. As long as the direction and button are held down, your character will continue to perform Faultless Defense.
- Prevents chip damage
- Increases pushback
- Increases blockstun
- Can air FD to block most air unblockable attacks
- Prevents R.I.S.C. Level from increasing
- Drastically reduces Tension Gain temporarily (reduced by 80% for 1 second)
- Consumes Tension while used (FD is disabled when you have no Tension)
- Air FDing an attack increases your gravity. Use this to quickly fall to the ground while air blocking if you want to perform ground only attacks (like Dead Angle Attacks)!
- Holding FD out of a dash immediately cuts your momentum, allowing you to stop and block instantly, or even fake out your opponent! Tapping FD instead of holding it, or performing crouching FD while dashing will cause you to slide, but you'll still be able to block immediately.
- You can cancel a clash or Danger Time clash into FD-blocking. This is a very safe option if a Danger Time occurs.
Worth repeating is that using FD in the air allows you to air block attacks that are otherwise unblockable! Air FD is the primary way to air block things like an opponent's 6P or 2H.
Another point worth stressing is that FD increases pushback while blocking. This allows a player to escape an opponent's offense sooner by pushing him out of attack range! An advanced strategy is to make the opponent's attack miss by pushing him away with FD, then counter attack while the opponent is still recovering from his whiffed attack!
Just like with Instant Blocking, you still must block high/low attacks correctly when using Faultless Defense.
Complete knowledge and mastery of Faultless Defense is critical to high level play. Always try to keep some Tension specifically for Faultless Defense.
Press + any other attack button except with 25% Tension to Blitz Shield while in a neutral state. Blitz Shield places your character in a defensive state that will deflect the opponent's attack and stun the opponent, giving you the opportunity to gain momentum!
Blitz Shield can also be performed while crouching ( or + + other button) or in the air. Blitz Shield will only work against attacks that can be blocked in your current stance. For example: Low attacks will beat standing Blitz Shield, and overhead attacks will beat crouching Blitz Shield.
After successfully Shielding an attack, you become invincible to attacks for a brief period of time. If you shielded an opponent's strike, the opponent becomes repelled and is open to attack. If you shielded a projectile, the opponent is unaffected.
Beware that a repelled opponent isn't entirely helpless... they can still attempt a Blitz Shield while repelled!
|Standing||1-12F||38F||Guards High, Mid, and Unblockable strikes/projectiles|
|Crouching||1-10F||46F||Guards Lows, and Unblockable strikes|
|Air||1-12F ※1||Until Landing + 12F||Guards all strikes/projectiles|
※1: Previously 1-8F, changed in consumer Ver.1.04 (arcade Ver.1.11).
- Blitz Shield will not work against throws, max charge Blitz Attacks, and Overdrives
- Successfully Blitz Shielding an attack (strike only) will regain half the Tension used (12.5%) and a little bit of Burst Gauge (strike only)
- Throws will whiff on a repelled opponent
- Standing Blitz Shield must be performed with . Crouching Blitz Shield must be performed with or . Air Blitz Shield must be performed with . Holding back or forwards will not work!
When performing a ground Blitz Shield, hold the button to charge the Blitz Attack, releasing the button cause you to attack. If you hold the button long enough, your character will glow red.
- While charging, you will continue to reject attacks
- Upon glowing red, the charge will reject all rejectable moves until release, regardless if they're high, mid or low
- At max charge, the attack itself gains a greatly increased Attack Level and can no longer be rejected by a Blitz Reversal
- On ground hit, causes horizontal blowback with wall stick in the corner at partial charge, crumples at max charge (or on Counter Hit at partial charge)
- On air hit, causes horizontal blowback with wall stick in the corner at partial charge, floats with wall stick in the corner at max charge (or on Counter Hit at partial charge)
- Partial charge version has 55% initial proration, max charge version does not prorate
- All levels of charge steal a small amount of the opponent's Burst Gauge on hit
Dead Angle Attack
Dead Angle Attacks are invincible attacks that knock the opponent away and cost 50% Tension Gauge. To perform a Dead Angle Attack, press forward + any two buttons (except , as that will cause a burst) simultaneously (+ for example) while in blockstun.
DAAs are used to hit away an attacking opponent and reset the momentum of the match. It can also be used to do a small amount of damage and some characters (particularly Potemkin) can set up a combo afterwards. Each character's DAA is unique and as a result, some are stronger than others. When the opponent is low on life, DAAs themselves do no damage.
Like most other attacks, DAAs have startup, so it's possible to bait an opponent's DAA with attacks that recovers quickly or by Jump Cancel > air block. It's best to use DAAs when you are certain it will connect or else the opponent will be able to severely punish you.
As mentioned in the Tension Gain section, using a DAA will reduce the amount of Tension you gain by 80% for a full 4 seconds.
If you input a normal throw at the same time as an opponent within a 2 frame window (speculated), then both characters will back off and recover at the same time.
- Only normal throws can be broken; command throws cannot be broken
- Throw breaks CANNOT be performed while recovering from a move, so unsafe attacks are still unsafe
- The throw break animation is fully invincible
- Breaking air throws will reset your air options
Bursts are an extremely expensive but highly versatile tool in Guilty Gear. To Burst, press + any other attack button. The character will rise into the air and an aura of energy will strike all around him. Bursts are strike invincible, but not throw invincible!
Depending on a character's current state, the Burst will be either Blue or Gold; in terms of defense, both types of bursts have their uses:
- Blue Bursts can be used while blocking or while being hit to deny the opponent damage and reset the pace of a match.
- Blue Bursts are strike invincible during startup, but completely vulnerable while falling.
- Blue Bursts are throw vulnerable during their entire duration.
- Blue Bursts can be performed while OTG (on the ground). Any hits landed after an OTG burst count as OTG, meaning their damage, hitstun, and combo ability are reduced significantly. This is very powerful since it reduces most punishes to a throw at best. The downside is that you are required to be in OTG state... which usually means the opponent's combo is already over!
- Gold Bursts can be used to gain momentum, press an advantage, and can be used on wakeup as a reversal that also grants full Tension on hit!
- Gold Bursts are strike invincible during the recovery, so you must use an air throw, or a ground throw within 3 frames of landing, to punish a (blocked) Gold Burst.
- Gold Bursts have more hitstun than Blue Bursts, meaning they will usually knock the opponent down (particularly on Counter Hit), and can even be combo'd off of in some cases, though they prorate heavily.
- Gold Bursts also have more blockstun than Blue Bursts, so they're harder to punish after being blocked than Blue Bursts.
More information on bursts can be found here.
Reversals are the act of doing an action immediately after waking up or leaving blockstun. A common example is Sol doing a reversal Volcanic Viper after getting knocked down.
When performed correctly, the word "REVERSAL" will appear on the side of the screen, but this doesn't appear for all reversal actions.
2F Window: Normal, Throw, Special, Overdrive, Blitz Shield, Backdash, Instant Kill
1F Window: Gold Burst
Remember that button presses have a 3 frame input buffer in Guilty Gear Xrd, so these windows may be more generous than they sound.