A Fuzzy Overhead (also known as F-Shiki) is a unique type of overhead attack that only works in specific conditions.
The term F-Shiki (F式) can be roughly translated as F-technique. "F" coming from the Japanese Venom player F who popularized the technique, and shiki (式) which roughly translates to technique or formula.
An example of a fuzzy overhead
There is a property in fighting games that most overlook: When you are in blockstun, you can switch high/low blocking, but your blocking animation and hurtbox does not change until you leave blockstun or block another attack.
This means in the above example you are considered blocking low, but with the animation and hurtbox of a standing block. Fuzzy overheads take advantage of this and use overheads that would miss on crouching character, but not on standing characters. The most common version of this is doing a jumping normal immediately after jumping, such as Neo's j.A in the example above. This also means that characters that are very tall when stand blocking are more susceptible to fuzzy overheads compared to shorter characters.
Thus fuzzy overheads require:
- Opponent blocks the first attack standing
- The second attack is an overhead that is fast enough to hit the opponent before the first attack's blocktstun ends.
Avoiding Fuzzy Overheads
With this knowledge, we can infer a way to avoid the fuzzy overhead completely: block the first hit crouching! This will keep you in a crouching animation and the fuzzy overhead will miss. However, many of the strong fuzzy overhead setups involve blocking a regular overhead into a fuzzy overhead, so this isn't always a viable solution.
Certain fuzzy overhead setups only work on tall characters since they are tall enough to be hit by the fuzzy overhead while other characters are too short and the fuzzy overhead will miss.
Depending on the setup, instant block mechanics can help you avoid the fuzzy overhead since it may reduce the amount of blockstun enough to let you move before the fuzzy overhead is active. Pushblock mechanics such as Faultless Defense in Guilty Gear or Barrier Block in BlazBlue may also work to push you outside of the range of the fuzzy overhead.
So why go through all this trouble to set up a fuzzy overhead? If the opponent recognizes a fuzzy overhead setup does that mean they are no longer useful? No, because after setting it up it's usually just as easy to go for a low attack! The timing difference between the overhead and the low is nearly imperceptible, thus making fuzzy overheads a very powerful mixup tools even after the opponent is aware of them.
Some Games Prevent Fuzzy Overheads
Some games like Dragon Ball FighterZ and Under Night In-Birth have built in protection against fuzzy overheads, either by making jumping attacks blockable both high and low during the rising part of a jump or through other means. These systems don't technically remove fuzzy overheads from the game, but do remove the majority of the strong fuzzy overhead setups.
Fuzzy Overhead vs. Instant Overhead
Some players may get confused between the two because both often look similar, but the key difference is that instant overheads can hit crouching opponents, thus not requiring setup like fuzzy overheads. Having said that, some Instant Overheads only work on characters that are taller while crouching.