P4U2R/Defense

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Blocking

Ground Blocking

Narukami blocks a mid attack.

Hold 4 to block High attacks, and hold 1 to block Low attacks. Attacks labelled All can be blocked in either direction. As a general rule for ground blocking:

  • Block low until you see an overhead, then block high.
  • Most attacks coming from the air must be blocked high.
  • Every All Out Attack (5+A+B) must be blocked high.
  • Respond to to throws with throw breaks or attacks, depending on how risky you feel.

If you block incorrectly (for example, attempting to block a low attack in a standing stance), an exclamation mark will appear to show that you made a mistake.
Because there aren't as many fast grounded overheads in the game as there are fast low attacks, it's best to block low and react to jumps, overhead specials, or the white flash signaling an All Out Attack. Not all jump attacks are overheads, however; as a general rule, jumping Persona attacks are not overheads, though exceptions exist. Be sure to check each character's wiki page for details!

Air Blocking

P4Arena AirBlocking.png

Hold any backward direction while in the air to block. There is no high-low blocking in the air, making it a common place for defenders to go to avoid blocking ground-based high/low/throw mixup. That's not to say that being airborne is a fail-safe defensive posture: going airborne is a risk since jumps have a lot of vulnerability on startup (blocking is disabled during jump startup and the first 5 airborne frames) and you need to deal with air throws, crossups, and air unblockable attacks.
While you cannot block strike attacks during jump start-up and for the first 5 airborne frames, you can now block projectiles on the 4th frame of a jump.

Landing while in air blockstun does not cancel out the remaining blockstun - instead you will transition immediately into ground standing blockstun for the remainder of blockstun.

For example, after blocking an attack in the air that causes 20F blockstun, you land after 15F. That means after landing, you will be in blockstun for 5F before you are free to move.


Air Unblockable Attacks

Some ground attacks cannot be blocked in the air. Notice the yellow "!"

For the most part, a majority of attacks in this game can be safely blocked in the air. On the other hand, some attacks (such as most 2Bs) can be blocked high or low when on the ground but are unblockable if you try to block them in the air. If you are hit by an air unblockable attack, a yellow exclamation mark will appear to show that you could not have blocked it.
These attacks are only air unblockable if the opponent is not already in blockstun. If the opponent is already air blocking (plus 17 frames after coming out of air blockstun) when you perform an AUB, then they will be able to block. This means that AUBs should be the first attack in a string in order to be useful as an anti-air.

There are several attacks that are always air unblockable, however, which means you must stay grounded to avoid them. For example, Yukari's Feather Bomb is always air unblockable, even if the opponent is already in blockstun. She can take advantage of this with her Magarula super by catching an opponent airborne with Magarula, then throw and detonate a Feather Bomb while they are stuck in the air blocking the super! Similarly, Teddie's Parachute Bomb item, Mitsuru's Bufudyne super, and Sho's Moon Smasher super are also air unblockable attacks that ignore the restrictions on other AUBs.

Instant Block

P4Arena instantBlock.png

Start blocking a moment before the opponent's attack connects to perform an instant block. Your character will flash white and you will hear a clanging sound effect if you did this correctly. At present, it's assumed that you need to start blocking within 8 frames of the attack in order to Instant Block.
Instant blocking is used for the following:

  • Recover from blockstun 2F faster (4F for air IB), thus making it easier to counterattack.
  • Gain 2 SP for each successful instant block (unconfirmed).
  • Create gaps in pressure: some chains are not true blockstrings when Instant Blocked, opening up new escape routes!

Sometimes instant blocking the first hit of an attack will cause you to instant block the subsequent hits (for example, Yukiko's 5C). In these instances, you will only gain 2 SP once for successfully instant blocking.

Guard Cancel Attack

P4Arena GuardCancelAttack.png

While blocking, press 6+A+B to immediately flash white and cancel your guard into an attack that will blow the opponent away. See this section for more details.

Guard Cancel Evasive Action

P4Arena GuardCancelRoll.png

While blocking, press 6+A+C to immediately flash white and cancel your guard into an Evasive Action and escape the opponent's pressure. See this section for more details.

Unblockable Attacks

This is your cue to move.

Some attacks are completely unblockable, meaning the only way to avoid getting hit is to move out of the way! You will know which attacks are unblockable when your character shows two exclamation marks if hit while trying to block these. Most unblockable attacks have significant start-up and the unblockable sign appears before the attack becomes active, warning you to take action. Some characters can use their Furious Action to avoid the unblockable attack or use a super with significant invulnerability to avoid taking damage.

Additionally, some characters are able to combine certain moves to force an "unblockable," but "unblockable" does not mean the same as "inescapable"; most, if not all set-ups can be escaped with universal defensive options or other counterplay. One example of a set-up for this is Labrys (Ariadne) placing you in blockstun with her Weaver's Art: Breaking Wheel super, then One More! Cancelling into Brutal Impact, an unblockable attack that must be jumped or avoided with Evasive Action. Due to the blockstun from Breaking Wheel, you will be forced to remain blocking as an unblockable attack heads toward you for massive damage -- but this set-up can be escaped by performing a Guard Cancel Evasive Action. Other variations of this kind of "unblockable" exist, but almost all can be escaped with the right defensive choice or universal defensive options.

High-Low Unblockable

There is also a second class of unblockable attacks that exist because the opponent and their persona hit you with a high and low attack at the same time. Because you can not block high and low simultaneously, you are guaranteed to get hit. There is no icon to show when this happens, though you will see an exclamation mark showing that you blocked "incorrectly".

High-low unblockables are rare and do not exist outside of certain set-ups, which can almost always be escaped.

Guard Bonus

P4Arena Guard Bonus.png

If you are stuck almost constantly in blockstun for over 6 seconds straight (the blockstring doesn't have to be gapless, but still must be very tight), you automatically begin instant-blocking all attacks and the words "Guard Bonus" will appear on the side of the screen. This doesn't happen often, but it's good to keep it in mind.

Crossup Guard

The guard bubble animation appearing during the changing direction animation

Certain characters can easily perform very ambiguous crossups with their personas. As a small aid against this, for 2 frames after the opponent passes to the other side of you, you are allowed to block their attacks holding either towards them or away from them. This also applies when you are in an unspecified amount of blockstun during a cross-up, preventing unblockable left-right mix-ups.

Throw Break

P4Arena throwBreak.png

When normal thrown by the opponent, press C+D within 13 frames to break the throw. Note that you can not break throws while performing/recovering from an attack.
On a successful throw break the two characters push away and causes the two of you to enter a quick recovery animation that is invincible. The character who breaks the throw will be at slight frame advantage (+2) afterward.

After an air throw break, both players regain their double jump/air dash. Thus it is possible to air dash > air throw > throw break > air dash again!

Furious Action

Yu using his Furious Action. Notice that some of his health has turned Blue as a result.

Press B+D to make your character briefly flash orange, then perform a reversal action, like a Street Fighter-style shoryuken or a counter attack like Hakumen from BlazBlue. This varies from character to character, but they are all mostly used for the same purpose: to stop the opponent's offensive momentum.
While Furious Actions do not consume SP, they do transform 5% of your max health into Blue Health, regardless of whether they hit the opponent or not. Furious Actions can not be One More! Canceled or One More! Burst canceled, but you can Super Cancel them.

Furious Actions count as special attacks, so it's possible to cancel most normal attacks into a Furious Action.

Furious Actions are known as "R Actions" (Reversal Action) in Japan, and are often referred to as "DP" (short for Dragon Punch) in the West, and some players use those terms instead of Furious Action.

Defensive Techniques & Option Selects

If you don't know what an option select is, check the explanation and examples on the Metagame page about it before reading on.

Please also note: Everything in this section consists of relatively advanced concepts and strategy for this game. You should not worry about these until you feel like you are already around general competency in your basic defense (when to block, reactions, when to reversal, etc), and would like to learn more theory or technique surrounding it.

Fuzzy Jump + Air Throw OS


Input: 1~7C+D~1

Explanation: Mid-pressure option select that is used to escape gaps that may be large enough to jump out of, with an extra layer of defense against P4U2-specific pressure options.

Execution:

  1. It is assumed you are most likely holding [1] first (to block standard pressure).
  2. When you expect a gap in pressure, quickly switch to 7, and then input the C+D after a tiny delay (to jump out of pressure, and get instant air throw on top of that).
  3. Do not hold 7, go back to holding [1] ASAP to continue blocking standard pressure (in case there was no gap at all). If you managed to jump, this is inconsequential.

Results:

  • If the opponent continues an airtight blockstring: You stand block briefly due to the input, but no jump or throw will come out of course (because you are stuck in blockstun).
  • If the opponent attempts to tick throw or reset pressure without plus frames: You will jump out and whiff an air throw, dodging their throw attempt or typical Re-dashWhen the attacker in a pressure situation dashes back in on the opponent after a frame advantageous or low frame disadvantageous attack, to reset and thus continue their offense. pressure.
  • If the opponent jump-cancels a normal to attempt an IAD or airturn airdash mix-up: You will jump out, and air throw them

Certain characters in this game can jump-cancel some normals on block to extend pressure or go for mix-ups (i.e. Minazuki), so adding the air throw to additionally shut down this option and start your own offense makes this classic OS even better. Even if you don't catch the opponent with the air throw, air throw whiff recovery in this game is typically short enough for you to perform an air action before landing, such as a j.A or air backdash to stay relatively safe.

How to beat it:

  • Incorporate more low-hitting moves into your blockstring, either with buttons, Sweep (2A+B), or specials that hit low to catch the opponent switching to stand block.
  • Frame-trap the opponent's jump start-up, or early jump frames where they cannot block.
  • If nothing else, you still have the option to chase down the opponent and punish them for being airborne with a 2B, or even an air throw of your own!
Video Tutorial on fuzzy jump OS, by LordKnight

Fuzzy DP on Wake-Up


Input: [4]~B+D

Explanation: A hitstop/blockstun OS to defend against safe-jumps and their possible mix-ups that come after conditioning, to DPDragon Punch A move that has invulnerability during its startup, long recovery, and a rising motion. against mixes while still blocking potential meaties.

Execution:

  1. Hold [4] so you are blocking on wake-up.
  2. Shortly after the timing where you should be blocking a meaty, input B+D.

Results:

  • If the opponent performs a meaty: You block the meaty attack, and your DP will not come out. Continue blocking pressure like normal.
  • If the opponent goes for a late airdash overhead / empty jump low: You will attempt to block for a moment, and then DP before they hit you.

How to beat it: There's no surefire way to beat this without dealing with RPS, but anyway, there's no need to do so. Simply take your meaty and go into pressure.

Temporary twitter link to a demonstration of the OS: https://twitter.com/Elite_Soba/status/1534017356489367552

Wake-Up Block/Throw Tech/Backdash OS


Input: On wake-up, [4][4]~1C+D

Explanation: Wake-up option select to deal with strike/throw mix-up, while also utilizing a backdash to avoid a throw whiff animation and its Counter Hit state recovery.

Execution:

  1. Tap and shortly hold [4] so you are blocking on wake-up.
  2. Next, quickly tap and hold [4] again to buffer backdash shortly, for when the backdash lockout window ends (to backdash if no meaty).
  3. Once the backdash is to execute, quickly switch to 1 and input C+D for throw at about the same time (to block low if meaty, and/or tech if you got thrown).

Results:

  • If the opponent performs a meaty: You block the meaty attack
  • If the opponent attempts to "meaty" throw you as okizeme: You tech the throw
  • If the opponent attempts to delay meaty or bait your throw tech if you attempt a normal fuzzy throw tech: You backdash away from the situation

How to beat it: The video goes into depth about counterplay, and also solutions to the counterplay, but here is the most basic solution if the OS is executed correctly:

  • The opponent can be hit with a delayed meaty or delayed low that are timed just right to hit during a 2-4F window after they wake up while they are buffering the backdash, since they must tap 44 and return to neutral in the middle to backdash. The attacker can also just wait for the opponent's OS backdash and punish it while it's in motion.
    • However, the timing to catch the backdash input is variable, and waiting to punish the backdash leaves a big gap. As a result, this leaves the attacker susceptible to wake-up rolls and eventually abare in future interactions to get past their attempts to punish the OS.
Video Tutorial for this OS, by SKD

(Video is recorded in P4U, but technique is still applicable to P4U2 2.0.)

"Stone Hat" Technique


Input: While cornered, hold [6] while an opponent is air dashing overhead

A technique originating from the oldest corners of poverty land, Melty Blood.

Explanation: A technique to potentially escape corner IAD pressure, put the opponent themselves into the corner, and punish the opponent for their pressure.

While you are cornered, if the opponent chooses to IAD into you during a pressure string, you are actually able to hold [6] to walk forward for just a tiny bit and make your collision boxes pass one another. As a result, you will end up on the other side of them and can potentially punish the opponent with a full combo on their pressure reset / mix-up attempt.

Doing this over other options has its advantages:

  • As opposed to 2B: More characters can take the corner from the opponent instead of just get a combo out of the corner.
  • As opposed to simply dashing out (into buttons): If mistimed, you can get a backdash and you won't be able to punish the opponent. One input ([6]) is also safer and more reliable to do on reaction than 2 (66)
  • As opposed to Fuzzy Jump + Air Throw OS: Early IAD > air buttons can stuff that OS in some situations.

Do note that this isn't foolproof versus every character, though; some characters with more privileged air buttons that hit on both sides of them (i.e. Narukami

j.A
Error: Table MoveData_P4U2 not found.

) can still force you to block even when you walk out, and in other cases you can end up letting yourself get hit with direction screwery.

Video sample for this defensive technique, made by yours truly (scatteraxis)

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