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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 landing recovery. 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 will not force your character into blockstun until landing, but if they do land, they will be forced into 5 frames of landing recovery. 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.

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).

The defender will flash white and the word "JUST" will appear on screen whenever you successfully Instant Block (IB) an attack. Inputting any backward direction without performing a successful Instant Block locks it out until neutral, up or any forward direction is input for a cumulative 5 frames. Holding down or any backward direction will not progress the cooldown timer.

The benefits of Instant Block are
  • Prevents chip damage
  • Pushback is reduced to zero (except for Guard Crush)
  • Gain a small amount of Tension and increase Tension Balance
  • 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!

Faultless Defense

Powerful defensive option, but drains Tension as you use it!
Hold any two buttons except GGST D Prompt.png while blocking.

As long as the direction and buttons are held down (and the Tension Gauge isn't empty), you will continue to perform Faultless Defense (FD).

  • Gradually consumes Tension while used
    • Can not Faultless Defense when you have no Tension
  • Prevents chip damage
  • Prevents R.I.S.C. Level from increasing
  • Pushes the defender back further compared to normal blocking
  • Blockstun increased by 2 frames

Faultless Defense is 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.

Instant Faultless Defense

Perform Faultless Defense with Instant Block timing.
  • Consumes Tension on use
    • 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
  • Blockstun increased by 2 frames
  • 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. While normally attributed to blocking, Yellow Roman Cancel triggers Guard Crush only on hit. In this 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. Because of this, 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. There is also no throw invincibility after recovering from a Guard Crush.

Getting hit during Guard Crush state results in an invalid combo which deals full damage, and treats the initial Guard Crush as the "starter", which can result in much higher damage combos due to high/low attacks no longer applying their initial starter proration. Since you are unable to Yellow Roman Cancel during Guard Crush, and will take increased damage for combos started from typical high/low mix-up options, this can be a deeply threatening state to be stuck in if the opponent is able to capitalize.

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 buttons (except GGST D Prompt.png) simultaneously while in blockstun. Costs 50% Tension.

Yellow Roman Cancels (YRC) are used to stop an attacking opponent and reset the momentum of the match. Yellow Roman Cancels can not be performed during a Guard Crush.

  • On hit, Yellow Roman Cancel slows down the opponent for 10 frames and puts them in Guard Crush state for 43 frames (or until landing + 5 frames if the opponent is airborne) 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.

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 5 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 GGST D Prompt.png + any other attack button. Costs a full Burst Gauge

Bursts are an extremely expensive but highly versatile tool in Guilty Gear. The character will rise into the air and an aura of energy will strike all around him. Bursts are completely invincible on startup, fully vulnerable while falling, and have landing recovery as well.

A common way to punish Bursts is to predict when the opponent will Burst, cancel the remainder of your attack with a jump cancel or Roman Cancel, then block the Burst and punish the recovery.

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

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. Throws list the amount of Frame Advantage upon successfully throwing the opponent. Invuln
Gold Burst 0 All 18 6 22+9 after landing -10 1~45F Full
Blue Burst 0 All 14 6 33+9 after landing -30 1~27F Full
  • 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 listed is while grounded.
    • If activated while airborne, recovery is until landing + 9 frames after 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.

  • Regains 1/3 of the Burst Gauge if it successfully hits the opponent

Gold Bursts

Max Tension on hit! Cannot be combo'd into.

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

  • Gains full Tension on hit
  • Can not be combo'd into
    • It can hit opponents in wall splat state, but they can block it
  • Automatically regains 1/3 of the Burst Gauge

Disabling Burst

Usually this is a bad sign

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:


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 startup 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.


The HUD shows "REVERSAL" when performing an attack immediately after blockstun or immediately after getting knocked down. 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.