- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Start blocking right before the opponent's attack connects (2 frame window) to perform an Instant Block (IB).
The defender will flash white and the word "JUST" will appear on screen whenever you successfully Instant Block 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 for the defender is reduced to zero
- 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 that are at frame disadvantage but cause too much pushback to punish under normal circumstances.
- Hold any two buttons except while blocking to perform Faultless Defense (FD). As long as the direction and buttons are held down (and the Tension Gauge isn't empty), you will continue to perform Faultless Defense.
- 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
- Pushback for the defender is increased compared to normal blocking
- Pushback increases with Attack Level
A unique type of guard that gradually depletes Tension when used. Faultless Defense augments your block by giving it several special properties. Firstly, it increases pushback on block, making it 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 or disengage. When in use, Faultless Defense also prevents the R.I.S.C Level from increasing and nullifies chip damage. This is essential for survival in situations where chip damage runs the risk of finishing you off.
Keep in mind that you don't have to hold two buttons for a long time in order to use FD effectively. It's also possible to press the buttons briefly - slightly longer than a tap - just before the opponent's hit connects. By doing this, you can let go of FD in between the hits of an opponent's blockstring, allowing you to save some Tension. This requires some precision though, so it will require practice.
Instant Faultless Defense
- Perform Faultless Defense with Instant Block timing to perform Instant Faultless Defense (IFD).
- 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
- 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 is a unique animation attributed to certain attacks. While normally attributed to blocking, Yellow Roman Cancel triggers Guard Crush only on hit. If a character enters this state on block, other forms of blocking will still apply their usual properties. In Guard Crush 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. 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.
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
- Press any three attack buttons (except ) simultaneously while in blockstun to perform a Yellow Roman Cancel (YRC). Costs 50% Tension.
- 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.
Yellow Roman Cancels can be used when blocking at the cost of 50% Tension, for the purpose of stopping an attacking opponent and resetting the momentum of the match. Yellow Roman Cancels can not be performed when your character is in a Guard Crush state. Upon activation, your character creates a shockwave that forces the opponent into a Guard Crush state, granting your character massive frame advantage. Yellow Roman Cancel is a useful tool for challenging an opponent’s pressure, especially for characters that are lacking in character-specific tools.
However, Yellow Roman Cancel is -16 on block and leaves your character in Counter Hit state during its recovery frames. Sharp opponents can block it on prediction and punish it heavily. Make sure to vary when you go for a Yellow Roman Cancel to avoid becoming predictable. In addition, the hefty 50% Tension cost must always be taken into consideration. Said Tension could be used for Overdrives or extending combos or blockstrings with other types of Roman Cancels. Practice utilizing all of your defensive options so as to not end up over relying on Yellow Roman Cancel and burning Tension too quickly.
If you input a ground throw or air throw at the same time as an opponent within a 10 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.
- Press + any other attack button to perform a Psych Burst. Costs a full Burst Gauge.
A powerful defensive option that can be used in a variety of situations at the cost of a full Burst Gauge. Upon activation, your character releases an invincible shockwave that knocks opponents away. Bursts can be used at almost any point in the match, including when you’re in blockstun or hitstun. This allows Bursts to function as both a combo breaker and as a way to challenge the opponent’s pressure. The Burst Gauge refills very slowly over time, so it can be a good idea to use it early in a match to break out of a powerful combo, such as a Counter Hit combo. This will allow you to spend the rest of the round recharging it, making it more likely to have another opportunity to use it again later in the match.
While Bursts are very powerful, they are far from infallible. The activation shockwave is not instant, so sharp players can predict incoming Bursts and punish them heavily. A common method of doing so is canceling attacks with jump cancels or Roman Cancels, then blocking the Burst and punishing the recovery. Because of the risk associated with it, you should vary the timing of when you go for Burst to avoid becoming predictable. In addition, the activation shockwave's range is limited. Characters with long ranged attacks, such as Nagoriyuki and Ramlethal, have access to Burst-safe combos and blockstrings that allow them to punish Burst if you go for it or continue their offense if you don’t. Against players that employ these tactics, you will need strong match-up knowledge to survive. Lastly, keep in mind that Burst cannot be performed while your character is stuck to the wall, being thrown, or being hit by an Overdrive.
Depending on a character's current state, the Burst will be either Blue or Gold.
- 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.
Can be used while blocking or while being hit to deny the opponent damage and reset the pace of a match.
- Refills 1/3 of the Burst Gauge if it successfully hits the opponent
- Fully vulnerable after recovery, while falling, and during landing recovery
Can be used while in a neutral state. Used to gain momentum, press an advantage, or on wake-up as a reversal.
- Automatically refills 1/3 of the Burst Gauge
- Bursting character gains a full Tension Gauge on hit
- Can not be used during a combo
- Unlike Blue Bursts, fully invincible until landing recovery
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:
- Being thrown
- Being hit by an Overdrive
- Getting hit by attacks that force the opponent into non-standard hitstun, such as a Wall Stick state
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 start-up 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.
Reversal is a term used to refer to either performing an action on the first possible frame after recovery or actions that would be used in such a context, such as moves with invincibility during start-up. The HUD displays the word "REVERSAL" when performing a special or Overdrive immediately after recovering from blockstun, hitstun or knockdown. 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.
Click [★] for character's full frame data