BBCF/Defense

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Blocking

Blocking is an integral part of any traditional fighting game. In BlazBlue, there are quite a few different types of blocking:

BBBlocking.png

From left to right: standing blocking, crouching blocking, jumping blocking, instant blocking, Barrier blocking

When blocking an attack, your character will be stuck in a state where you can not move, severely limiting your options. The amount of time you are locked into a blocking state called blockstun. Different attacks deal different amounts of blockstun, and can be affected by other factors like how the attack is blocked and what type of attack is blocked.

Ground Blocking

If you block incorrectly, an exclamation mark will appear

Hold 4 to block high attacks and hold 1 to block low attacks. Mid attacks can be blocked with either direction. If you block incorrectly (for example blocking a low attack high), an exclamation mark will appear to show that you made a mistake:

  • High block will not block lows. A yellow exclamation mark will show if you didn't block the low.
  • Low block will not block overheads. A red exclamation mark will show if you didn't block the high.

As a general rule for ground blocking:

  • Lows are virtually always faster than overheads, thus block low until you see an overhead, then block high
  • Most air attacks and slow short ranged attacks must be blocked high
  • React to throws with throw breaks or attacks, depending on how risky you feel. Even though you cannot do much else while in blockstun, it is still possible to switch between blocking high and low, although visibly you will not see your character change their stance until the next attack actually lands or blockstun ends. This can lead to "Fuzzy" guard scenarios, explained below.

As long as you're holding the correct direction when an attack lands, you will block it, even if it looks like you were simply walking backwards the frame before. However if you are also close to your opponent, your character will go into a blocking pose (and stop moving backwards if standing) the moment they start performing a move, unless that move is a throw or non-attacking move.

Air Blocking

Hold any backward direction while in the air to block. There is no high-low blocking in the air, making it a common place for defenders to go to avoid blocking ground-based high/low/throw mixup. That's not to say that being airborne is a fail-safe defensive posture; getting airborne is a risk since jumps have a bit of vulnerable startup and you need to deal with air throws, crossups, and air unblockable attacks. There is also 2 frames more blockstun when blocking in the air.

Landing while in air blockstun does not cancel out the remaining blockstun - instead you will transition immediately into ground standing blockstun for the remainder of blockstun. For example, after blocking an attack in the air that causes 20F blockstun, you land after 15F. That means after landing, you will be in blockstun for 5F before you are free to move.

Air Unblockable Attacks

Most ground attacks need to be Air Barrier Blocked. Notice the '!'

Many ground based attacks are air unblockable, typically a character's grounded normal moves, except 5A and 2B. These attacks can still be air blocked using Barrier Block. An cyan coloured exclamation mark will appear when you are hit by an air unblockable attack. As a general rule of thumb, use Air Barrier Block if the opponent is attacking you from the ground.

By default, Special Moves, Distortion Drives and Astral Heats can be blocked in the air normally, but exceptions apply.

In wiki, an attack that is NOT air unblockable will have their Guard values listed as All. Note that this is not the same as Mid, as these attacks are air unblockable.

Instant Block

Start blocking a moment before the opponent's attack connects to perform an instant block. Your character will flash white if you did this correctly. Start blocking within 8 frames of the attack to Instant Block.

Successfully performing an Instant blocking rewards you:

  • Recover from blockstun 3F faster (6F for air IB);
  • Gain extra 1% static Heat from blocking;
  • Reduces the amount of pushback, leaving you closer to the opponent.

A successful IB will give you more room to either escape the pressure, or to abare out the situation.

Certain mult-hitting attack (such as Nu's 6C), if IB'd, will instant block all the remaining hits. In these instances you will only gain the additional Heat once for each time you tap block.

IB does not allow you to make "illegal" blocks: you still must block high/low correctly, and you still must use Air Barrier Block versus air unblockable attacks.

Barrier Block

Barrier Block is an interesting and highly useful technique. It's often used to negate chip damage, but it has other important uses. To perform Barrier Block, hold any backward direction and press A+B. As long as the direction and buttons are held down, your character will continue to perform Barrier Block.

Just like with Instant Blocking, you still must block high/low attacks correctly when using Barrier Block.

  • Consumes Barrier Gauge even if you're not blocking anything.
  • Will Go into the blocking posture and prevent walking backwards when there's nothing to block (This is true even when the barrier gauge is empty).
  • Prevents chip damage.
  • Increases pushback. This pushback is split between attacker and defender (if one is cornered, then the other experiences the full pushback distance)
  • Increases blockstun by 1F.
  • Can air Barrier to almost all air unblockable attacks.
  • Prevents Guard Crush.
  • Barrier Block is disabled while in Danger State.

Barrier blocking is often used to end an opponent's offense sooner by pushing him out of attack range. An advanced strategy is to make the opponent's attack miss by pushing him away with Barrier Block, then counter attack while the opponent is still recovering from his whiffed attack! Note, however, that Barrier Block and Instant Barrier (described below) do not get any increased pushback against projectiles - you will receive the same pushback as though you had blocked them normally.

Preventing a Guard Break from Crush Trigger with Barrier Block drains a significant portion of the Barrier Gauge. Other moves that Guard Break (like Platinum's Hammer) do not have this property.

There is a small amount of leniency when inputting A+B to perform a barrier, they do not need to be pressed on exactly the same frame. The game handles this by allowing A and B normals to be cancelled into barrier for the first few frames to stop those moves coming out when you wanted to barrier instead. However, be aware this isn't foolproof, if your opponent hits you between pressing one button and the other, the game still sees you as being hit during the start of a move, and you will get counterhit! So try to input barrier cleanly whenever you can. A second implication of this is if your opponent activates a move with a super flash and you're still in the early frames of any normal move, (not just a A or B) move, including normal throws, its still possible to cancel into barrier blocking during the super flash and potentially stop yourself receiving a nasty counterhit.

Instant Barrier

It's possible to do both Instant Block and Barrier Block at the same time! In addition to getting the benefits of both, there is one difference: pushback is even more than Barrier Block! This makes it even more useful for pushing the opponent away to escape pressure.

  • Consumes Barrier Gauge
  • Prevents chip damage
  • Increases pushback (slightly more than Barrier Block). This pushback is split between attacker and defender (if one is cornered, then the other experiences the full pushback distance).
  • Decreases blockstun by 2F (5F in the Air)
  • Can air Barrier to almost all air unblockable attacks.
  • Prevents Guard Crush
  • Gain more Heat from blocking. Approximately double the amount the attacker gains from getting the attack blocked.

When you Instant Barrier, your character will have both Instant Block and Barrier Block graphical effects (flashing white and barrier is visible).

BBlockDistance.png


Guard Crush

Ragna gets guard crushed. That's going to hurt.

Some attacks will Guard Crush if you don't use Barrier Block to block them. All Crush Triggers have this property, as well as some other special attacks like Platinum's Hammer item.

If Guard Crushed while standing or crouching, you will be in a standing state or crouching state respectively. The amount of time guard crushed depends on the move used.

A mid-air Guard Crush will wall-bounce and hard knockdown the opponent.

Upon guard crushing your opponent, the damage from the next attack with will not incur its P1 proration value, so use an attack with a high P2 value. Note that a 80% damage proration value will be applied to this first attack, instead. Additionally, throws cannot be escaped, and since throws have 100% minimum damage, characters with command throws should take advantage of this situation.

Additional blocking effects

This section groups together various more technical aspects of blocking, not required when first learning how to play the game.

Unblockable Attacks

Some attacks are completely unblockable, meaning the only way to avoid getting hit is to move out of the way! For example, Kokonoe's Jamming Dark (632146D) is unblockable, as is Jin's Hirensou (623D) when charged to max.

High-Low Unblockable

There is also a second class of unblockable attacks that exist because the opponent hits you with a high+low attack at the same time. Because you can not block in both directions at once, you are guaranteed to get hit. There is no icon to show when this happens, though you will see an exclamation mark showing that you blocked "incorrectly". Carl and Nine both have setups into these types of unblockables.

Block Carryover

If you block a normal attack and then get hit again while you are still in blockstun, you will automatically block that attack too, no matter what your stick's position is. This continues until you're fully out of blockstun, so it's possible to prepare the inputs for your counterattack or go for instant blocks during this time: However, be aware of the following:

  • Block carryover will keep blocking even if you switch sides.
  • Block carryover ends with even just a one frame gap of not being in blockstun, allowing your opponent to trap you trying to input some moves.
  • Low attacks still require you to have the stick pointing in any downwards direction at the point the attack connects.
  • Similarly, overheads need your stick to be somewhere not in the downwards direction.

Therefore low hits can be used to stop the opponent from mashing out certain moves whilst in blockstun!

Cross-up Protection

Since you must must always hold the direction away from your opponent to block their attacks, you must keep away of which side of you they are on in case they jump over you or otherwise swap sides, otherwise you won't block them. However, there is a small amount of lenience with this to give time to move the stick over to the opposite direction: if you are in the blocking pose as you swap sides (Not necessarily in blockstun), you will still block attacks from the opposite direction even if you haven't swapped the direction your stick is pointing yet. All other rules for blocking still apply (Such as needing to block high to block overhead attacks).

Fuzzy Guarding

See the Universal Strategy page for more info.

Guard Bonus

If you are stuck in blockstun for over 6 seconds with almost no gaps inbetween (at most 6 frame gaps are allowed), you automatically begin instant-blocking all attacks and the words "Guard Bonus" will appear on the side of the screen.

Burst

BBCF Burst.png

To Burst, press A+B+C+D while getting hit with a full Burst Gauge. Doing so also completely empties the burst gauge to zero.

Bursts are a special type of attack in BlazBlue; they do no damage, are invincible until recovery, and can be done while getting hit. Bursts are useful to interrupt the opponent's combo, thus preventing some damage. Be wary, if an opponent knows you're going to burst, they can stop their attack early and punish your recovery. Additionally, Bursting immediately ends Active Flow and disables it for the rest of the round.

Uniquely, bursting ignores (almost) all kinds of attribute invulnerability and guard points. Outside of some niche cases, the only way to defend against a burst is with a standard block or simply evading it.


Burst Frame Data
P1 P2 Startup Active Recovery Frame Advantage Untechable Invuln.
10 80 6 6 43 -24 300 1-48 All
  • Air Burst is vulnerable until landing
  • Ends Active Flow and disables it for the rest of the round


Disabling Burst

BBCP DisabledBurst.png

Bursts can be temporarily disabled under the following conditions:

  • Getting hit by a Throw attribute move, distortion drive or astral heat as well as some additional moves, noted in the frame data.
  • Your opponent activating any move with a super-flash pause. (Distortions, Astral heats and Overdrive)
  • Being in hitstun while the opponent is in Overdrive, including if they activate their overdrive after hitting you.
  • Getting hit by a Burst or Counter Assault

The Burst Gauge will be crossed out during these situations.

Guard Cancel Overdrive

Press A+B+C+D while blocking to cancel out all blockstun and go into Overdrive! This is a potent way to get out of a defensive situation and then go back on the offensive! Guard Cancel Overdrive is explained in more detail here.

Counter Assault

Ragna using Counter Assault to get out of a defensive situation

Counter Assaults are invincible attacks that do zero damage, but blow the opponent away, and are useful for escaping an enemy's offensive pressure. Counter Assaults cost 50 Heat and are performed by pressing 6+A+B while in blockstun.

Every character's Counter Assault is unique, but they share many similarities:

  • Invincible startup
  • Does zero damage
  • Combos including a Counter Assault can not kill the opponent, no matter how much damage is dealt; they will always survive with at least 1 hitpoint remaining.
  • Heat Gauge Cooldown for 180 frames


Throw Reject

Two types of exclamation marks will appear when a character can break a throw. Press B+C to break the throw and escape.

  • Green exclamation mark throws have a 15 frame window to break the throw.
    • Normal throws show a green exclamation mark under normal circumstances.
  • Purple exclamation mark throws have a 27 frame window to break the throw.
    • If you throw an opponent when they are in blockstun or hitstun (plus 6 frames immediately after either), the throw will be purple
  • Pressing B+C will break throws for 16 frames if the throw animation comes out. Afterwards, you will be in Throw Reject Miss state for 14 frames.
  • Pressing B+C will break throws for only 3 frames if no animation comes out, such as when using the Barrier + Throw OS or when attempting a throw break while in blockstun. Afterwards, you will be in Throw Reject Miss state for 27 frames.
  • After a successful throw reject, the attacking player is pushed back about half a screen length and the defending player remains still.
    • Throw rejects last 28F for both characters.
    • In the air, the player pushed back will also be pushed up slightly, but start falling sooner, meaning they will hit the ground first if the reject was high up, but not if low to the ground.
    • Characters will retain whatever air options they had left before the throw was attempted
    • Both players are invulnerable to all forms of damage while the throw reject occurs and can immediately block any projectile hitbox they might have been pushed into if this happens.
    • No cancel options exist to shorten the recovery time for either player.
    • The throw reject itself counts as an attack that deals zero damage to the player originally attempting the throw. Therefore projectiles, status effects etc... that end if the player gets hit will also end if their opponent throw rejects them. This prevents certain setups from forced throw rejects being possible.
    • Throw rejects do no damage, but they still count as a "hit" against the attacking player for the purposes of causing various effects, such as for projectiles owned by that player to disappear, deactivating Nirvana etc..


Throw Counter

You won't be able to break a throw if the opponent throws you while you are attacking them.

This happens when you are thrown while in recovery and/or a counter hit state. For example, getting thrown out of an attack with a lot of startup will not let you attempt a throw break. A big red X will appear when you are thrown and "Throw Counter" will show on the side of the screen. This can prevent you from breaking a throw even if that throw would have otherwise been purple!

Throw Reject Miss

If you try to break a throw early, then you will automatically fail to break throws for a while.

To stop players simply mashing the throw buttons when being comboed or blocking; if you input a throw break before you are thrown, then you will automatically fail the throw break (even if it was Purple!), the game will show big red X over the exclamation mark, and the words "Throw Reject Miss" will appear.

  • If the throw whiff animation appears, you will be in Throw Reject Miss state from 17-30F.
  • If the throw whiff animation does not appear (such as attempting a throw break while in blockstun), you will be in Throw Reject Miss state from 4-30F.
  • Inputting B+C again while still in throw reject state will just reset the miss state back to 30F.

In addition, pushing B and C at the same time in other situations (e.g. A+B+C for executing an RC; ukemi and rolling using B+C; etc.) will also place the character into the Throw Reject Miss state.

Tricking the opponent into attempting a throw break early, then actually throwing them is a common offensive technique in high-level play.

Defensive Option Selects

Video Tutorial for Barrier and OD OS

OS Outcome Table

All specials have higher priority than blocking, throwing, or teching a throw

  • This may invalidate OSes for your character or provide new ones
Input Grab Attack Nothing 1F Gap Notes
1ABCD Throw Escape Barrier Block OD OD
1/4D~2/5/8ABC OD Block OD Counter Hit See Overdrive OS below.
1/4ABC Throw Escape Barrier Block Barrier Block Barrier Block See Barrier/Throw Tech OS below.
1~7ABC Throw Escape Barrier Block Barrier Block Barrier Block Will do [2]8 moves if 1 is charged.
7AB Thrown Barrier Block Barrier Block Barrier Block Barrier prevents jumping. Pokayoke for blocking high on wakeup.
421ABC Throw Escape Barrier Block Barrier Block Barrier Block Character Specific: When crossed up 421 will be come 623 resulting in a DP.

Barrier + Throw OS

When blocking press A+B+C to perform this option select.

Depending on your opponent's actions, several things can happen:

  • If the opponent tries to throw you and you time this input correctly you'll get a throw break
  • If the opponent tries to hit you, then you'll just use your barrier.
  • If your opponent delays a throw and you time this early, you will be TRM'd.

However, using this method, a throw break will only work up to 3F before being thrown. The trick is to input it somewhat late, but nevertheless if the opponent delays his throw timing, this, too will put you into a TRM state.

Overdrive OS

When blocking hold the D button then press A+B+C to perform this option select. Unlike Barrier OS, it is important to not hold 4, 1, or 7 while inputting A+B+C. Doing so will cause you to barrier and throw tech, but will prevent Overdrive. You can hold a neutral input (5) or 2 in order to block gapless overheads and lows.

These are the situations that can result from OD OS:

  • If your opponent throws you, you will tech the throw.
  • If your opponent has a long enough gap in their blockstring, you will activate a neutral Overdrive (NOT Guard cancel Overdrive).
    • If your opponent has ~1f gap in their blockstring, you will be Counter Hit.
  • If your opponent has a gapless blockstring, you will block.

This option select loses to opponents using less committal blockstrings or introducing small enough gaps in their pressure. For example, if Ragna does 5C > 2C, you can IB 5C to create a gap before 2C that can be DP'd. Because this gap is so small, inputting OD OS in it will cause you to get Counter Hit.

Negative Penalty

Negative Penalty automatically empties your Barrier Gauge (inflicting Danger State) and prevents you from regaining any until it ends. It also forces your opponent into active flow and ends yours immediately if you have it currently active. Visually, that player will be surrounded with vertical red lines moving downwards. Because negative penalty keeps your barrier gauge at zero until it ends, going into overdrive will not end danger state!

Negative Penalty happens when you perform too many "Evasive Actions" in a row without performing any "Offensive Actions". Moving away from your opponent in any way, or using certain evasive commands are considered defensive actions (Blocking is not penalised). Running towards the opponent, attacking the opponent, etc. count as Offensive Actions. Your character will flash red and the screen will show the text "Negative Warning" shortly before you actually get Negative Penalty, so use that as a sign to running away!

The formula used by the game is complex, but broadly speaking you start off with a value that is maxed out at the start of a round and it decreases and increases based on how fast you are moving towards or away the opponent, with extra bonuses for landing hits on your opponent and moving away much more heavily penalised than moving towards your opponent. Negative Penalty basically never appears in games where both players are playing even vaguely seriously, so it's best not to worry about it.

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