What is Proximity Guard?
When defenders hold back to guard an attack, their character will preemptively enter their guard animation when both:
- It is during the startup or active frames of an attack
- Defender is within range of the attack (plus sometimes a little more, the range varies by move and game)
The range aspect leads to this phenomenon's name - Proximity Guard, though it is also known as Pre-block. This phenomenon occurs for all types of guarding (standing, crouching, air).
During Proximity Guard, the defender still has access to all actions except walking back. Defenders can end Proximity Guard immediately by attacking or by ending their guard input.
The guard animation also changes the defender's hurtbox to the guarding version as well. This subtle hurtbox change can be the difference between an attack hitting or whiffing under very specific conditions. Attacks with long proximity guard ranges can be used to make an opponent stop walking backwards.
Throws do not trigger Proximity Guard - they effectively have a proximity guard range of zero.