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# Advancing Guard/Push Block/Tech Hit detailed explanation - a primer for new players.

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This came up in the Facebook group, so I just wanted to post it somewhere. This may be common knowledge for a lot of players, and it's well-known already. This post is mainly to give new players some perspective on Push Blocks and probability.

Anywhere you go to find Vampire Savior information, you'll find this info on Push Blocks:

- Press buttons SEPARATELY during blockstun (technically block stop but stfu) to try and trigger an Advancing Guard (hereafter AG). Simultaneous button inputs count as only one input.

- First two inputs: 0% chance to AG.

- Third input: 25% chance to AG.

- Fourth input: 50% chance to AG.

- Fifth input: 75% chance to AG.

- Sixth input: 100% chance to AG.

- The strength of attack determines the pushback distance of the AG. In other words, if you trigger an AG with Light Kick (Lk), your opponent will be pushed back a short distance. If you trigger an AG with Hard Kick (Hk), your opponent will be pushed back a far distance.

None of this is technically wrong; however, it is incredibly misleading, and also doesn't give the whole picture.

The biggest problem with this figures is that they look at each input "in a vacuum". If you're familiar with game emulation, you could make a savestate where you've just blocked an attack and pressed two buttons. If you load this savestate and immediately press a button, you will trigger an AG 25% of the time. Same goes if you make a savestate where you're just blocked an attack and pressed three buttons; assuming the third input didn't trigger the AG, you will trigger it with your fourth input 50% of the time when you load state and press a button.

But, you already know this if you've read anything about AGs. This is exactly what the conventional wisdom says. But, the problem is, PRECISELY BECAUSE Advancing Guards work this way, we can use probability to extrapolate some better information.

Advancing Guard probability chart #1: Probability of individual triggers

This chart shows the individual probability that each input will trigger an Advancing Guard.

• You have a 0/32 chance (0%) of AG'ing on the first and second inputs.
• You have a 8/32 chance (25%) of AG'ing on the third input.
• You have a 12/32 chance (37.5%) of AG'ing on the fourth input.
• You have a 9/32 chance (28.125%) of AG'ing on the fifth input.
• You have a 3/32 chance (9.375%) of AG'ing on the sixth input.

The important information here, is that the fourth and fifth input have the highest probabilities to trigger an AG. This is also a large part of why the Lk Lp Mp Hp Hk sequence for AG is popular - it puts HP and HK on the fourth and fifth inputs, giving the highest chance to trigger an AG with the buttons that generate the greatest amount of pushback.

You might notice that looking at individual probability is weird. Of all the hits that can trigger an AG, the sixth input has the lowest chance. That seems counter-intuitive, since we know that a sixth hit will trigger an AG 100% of the time.

What this means is that the likelihood that you'll even need to input six button presses to trigger an AG is very low (...9.375% low, in fact). So, here's a slight better chart:

Advancing Guard probability chart #1: Probability that you will have triggered Advancing Guard

This chart shows AG probability in a different way. That is, it sums up the individual probabilities of each input going forward, to tell you the probability that you will have triggered an AG by the time you reach a certain input.

• You have a 0/32 chance (0%) of AG'ing on the first and second inputs.
• You have a 8/32 chance (25%) of AG'ing by your third input.
• You have a 20/32 chance (62.5%) of AG'ing by your fourth input.
• You have a 29/32 chance (90.625%) of AG'ing by you fifth input.
• You have a 32/32 chance (100%) of AG'ing by your sixth input...obviously!

As you can see, even if your fourth input has a 1/2 chance of triggering the AG, when you look at probabilities, you realize that you have a 62.5% chance of triggering on your fourth input...not because the fourth input suddenly changes from 50% to 62.5%, but because your chance of having already triggered the AG by a certain time goes up with each failed press.

This is important to take into account, because now we can see that your chances of having triggered an AG by your fifth input is already almost 100% - much higher than it seems at a glance, looking at the raw data. This is also another reason why perhaps the 5-input AG technique is popular; if you are consistent at it, you'll 1-hit AG any attack 90% of the time.

tl;dr

- Mathematical probability gives later inputs in the AG sequence a higher chance to AG than you might think.

- Your fourth and fifth inputs in the AG sequence have the highest individual probability of triggering the AG.

- A five-hit AG technique might be "good enough", as probability states you have a 90% chance of triggering AG by your fifth hit.

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Is it blockstop or blockstun? it's kind of an important detail.

It's blockstop.

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