Guarding, commonly known as Blocking, is the fundamental form of defense in fighting games.
Most special moves also inflict a small percentage of their damage through guard. This is known as chip damageDamage incurred when blocking an attack. Typically, only Special Attacks and Super Attacks have chip damage, but there are exceptions.. When a player guards, they are put into a state known as blockstunWhen a character successfully blocks an attack while standing or crouching, the defender is forced into a stun animation for a set period of time where they are incapable of acting. This period of time is called blockstun. during which their ability to act is mostly taken away.
Hold 4 or 1 Hold G or 2+G
- Basic ground guarding is the most common defensive option. Also known as blocking.
There are 2 types of ground guard: standing guard and crouching guard. Standing guard will block high and mid attacks, crouching guard will block mid and low attacks.
If you guard incorrectly you will get hit. A single "!" will appear over your character if you incorrectly guard a low, and a "!! " for incorrectly block a high. Remember, you cannot block against throws, and some attacks are unblockable.
Hold Any Backwards Direction Hold G
- When in the air, holding backwards or the Guard button will allow you defend in mid-air.
- Some attacks are air unblockable. As a rule of thumb, projectiles are air blockable, all ground normal attacks and all H versions of Skills are air unblockable.
- 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 guarding 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 can return to neutral.
Any Backwards Direction Within 8 Frames of An Attack Connecting
- Instant Blocking is a more powerful, yet advanced form of blocking, that comes with its own specific merits aside from simply holding back.
- One must start blocking right before the opponent's attack touches them within 8 frames before the hit connects. Guard button cannot trigger IB, but Guard button + manual blocking with , and can. Your character will flash white and the word "Just!" will appear on screen if you IB an attack. If you mistime an instant block you are unable to instant block again for [unknown number of] frames, this prevents mashing IB.
- Instant Blocking has the benefit of:
- Builds 1% additional Skybound (SB) Gauge then usually blocking would do.
- Instant blocking does not reduce chip damage or block stun, nor does it allow you to make "illegal" blocks: you still must block high/low correctly, and air unblockable attacks are still air unblockable even if you perform an IB.
Some attacks cause a guard crush state on block where you are stuck in a reeling animation and can not block. Depending on the attack, you can even start a combo on Guard Break.
An example of this is Ladiva's medium Elegant LariatGuardMidStartup35 Recovery18Advantage+6 (214M). You are +6 after, so you can combo into an attack with 6F startup, like her c.L.
 or  while on the ground
Walking is the most basic form of movement by holding or . While to the untrained eye, walking seems so basic that it's boring, it's actually very useful in GBVS. You can immediately cancel walking into any other action, thus giving you the most flexibility to immediately react to the opponent's actions. Players often use walk to safely reposition themselves slight distances in order to maintain optimal range for their attacks.
Each character has different walk speeds, and different speeds between forwards and backwards. You will also slowly build meter by walking forward, good in a pinch if you're almost at 100% SB Gauge.
6 while on the ground
There's always three key parts to basic movement, and running is the second and can be done by either double tapping and holding forward (ex: ). Running is faster than walking, but comes with certain drawbacks - specifically you can not cancel running into guard. You can still cancel run into all other actions (including Jump, Evade, and Cross-Over). Letting go of forward stops your run and puts you into a ??F stopping animation when you slightly slide towards the opponent before coming to a full stop. This stopping animation has the same properties as when you are running (i.e. no guard, all other actions available).
Running is a medium risk/reward option - you can quickly advance on your opponent, but you will need to compensate for the inability to guard.
Just like walking, each character has different run speeds.
Momentum gained from running in GBVS (and all Arc System Works games) carries over into most other actions.
This means running then forward jump will travel further than a normal forward jump, and a running f.L will have more range than a regular f.L.
Momentum can open up new punish and combo opportunities.
44 while on the ground
The tertiary form of movement and is catered to more of a defensive retreat, back dash is inputted by doing either double tapping back (ie: ). Back Dash is often used for quick retreats and has a slight amount of invincibility on startup, allowing you to escape the opponent's block strings if you can time it correctly.
Be warned that unlike most other ASW games, backdashes in this game don't have any invincibility, though they are considered airborne during the first part of the move, thus making them naturally invulnerable to ground throws. The rest is completely vulnerable to attack, and can easily be punished!
4+G while on the ground
- Evade is useful for dodging attacks while standing your ground. The duration of an evade is long, so there's usually not enough time to punish the opponent afterwards, but it will throw off the opponent's gameplan. Take advantage of their confusion!
- Total: 29F
- Strike and Projectile Invul on 1-25F
- 26F onward in counter hit state
6+G while on the ground
- Cross-Overs will dodge incoming attacks while moving the character forward; however, the player is vulnerable to low attacks and throws while performing this method of defense. Still, it's a useful tool to get through standard projectiles while still advancing forward.
- Everyone Else
- Total: 29F
- 1-21F Upper Body Invul from knee up
- Total: 33F
- 1-22F Upper Body Invul from knee up
Any Upward Direction while on the ground
Jump is one of the air movements in Granblue Fantasy Versus and is done by inputting , , or . You can control which direction you jump by using , , or . Jumps are generally the highest risk/reward movement option, since your options are the most limited - you are in a set jump trajectory, and you can not guard certain attacks (See here for more details). After going airborne, you can not block for ??F.
Any Downward Direction > Any Upward Direction while on the ground
High Jumping is one of the secondary means of getting around from ground to air movement in GBVS and can be done by going from neutral , then tapping any downward direction (), then tapping any upward direction (). Pressing will change which direction you high jump, just like normal jumping.
It is always best to mix up the two types of jumps to keep your opponent on their toes depending on the situation.
Jumps and High Jumps are not instantaneous - before going airborne, character will enter a crouching state called prejump. During prejump they can not guard, but are invincible to throws.
Characters have different amount of prejump frames, but the rule of thumb is that the heavier/slower a character is, the longer the prejump. Exact values for prejump can be found in each character's frame data.
It is actually possible to cancel prejump into Skills and Skybound Arts, though for most characters is not used very often. The reason for this is that Skills that involve an Up input, such as Charlotta's Holy Ladder (8X) or Ladiva's Jewel Resort Screwdriver (360X) can be used without going through hoops to hide the jump input (such as whiffing moves beforehand). It also allows players to be slightly sloppy with their inputs and still get specials (ex 2369L instead of 236L).
Landing from the air has recovery. This recovery comes in 2 kinds: Standard Landing Recovery and Special Landing Recovery.
Another quirk about landing is that the frame before actually landing is considered grounded. Meaning during this frame, getting hit will result in ground hitstun and ground throws can hit.
Standard Landing Recovery
Whenever the player lands from being in the air, they experience landing recovery.
- 1F after landing can cancel into all actions except forward/backward walk, all jumps, and backdash
- 5F after landing all actions are possible
To help visualize this time frame, we can plot a character's landing recovery. The first frame after landing is marked in green, and the recovery period is marked in pink.
Special Landing Recovery
Some airborne moves, such as air throw on whiff, have unique, unactionable landing recovery which overrides the standard landing recovery.
Ground Recovery and Knockdown
or + Any Attack right before touching the ground
- Ground Recovery
- will recovery in place, while will shift back before recovering.
- Ground Recovery is the preferred way of recovering after getting knocked down, the down version is faster, while the back version will put some distance between you and the opponent. Force the opponent to guess between the two options to make their okizeme weaker.
- If you don't perform a Ground Recovery, then you will transition to a Knockdown state automatically.
- When a character is knocked down, they are unable to move and are usually vulnerable to more complex okizeme options since the attacker has more time to prepare.
- Certain attacks disable ground recovery, and the defender will be forced into a Knockdown.
- As a rule of thumb: Sweeps (2U), EX Skills, all Normal Throws (ground and air), and Skybound Arts all cause Hard Knockdown.
- The HUD will show "Down!" after hitting a character with an attack with the Hard Knockdown property.
- 28F after groundbounce
- In-place: 32F
- Back roll: 41F
- Recovery can be buffered 5F before landing, and can be done during the first 6F after landing.
- All knockdowns have 9F throw invincibility upon wakeup.
- Air recoveries are automatic and take ??F. You are fully invincible until landing and are invincible to throws until landing + 9F.
- If you touch the ground before you can air recover - common on Counter Hit, then you can do a ground recovery unless you are hit by a Hard Knockdown.
L/M/H after c.L/c.M/c.H
All characters have 2 autocombo followups performed one after the other, and they're done the same way: press L/M/H to after the preceding attack.
Autocombos act as an easy way to tack on a bit of extra damage, but compared to other combos they usually don't as much damage. As well as this, they're minus on block - so it's best to use them only when you need them for a specific combo. Most midscreen combos will use a character's autocombo, however autocombos in the corner are often not advised due to their lower damage and/or ability to add to Combo Limit with little reward.
Sweeps must be blocked low, and trigger a hard knockdown, making them a great way to set up okizeme, though usually at the cost of ending a combo early.
M+H while on the ground
All characters have a Universal Overhead (commonly referred to as UOH), performed by pressing M+H. This attack must be blocked standing.
Landing an overhead on grounded opponent will put them into crouching hitstun.
Landing an overhead on a whiffed throw will force counterhit state. Note that from frame 4 onwards, UOH is throw-invincible, and thus is a great, high-reward counter to players attempting to early tech a throw. These moves also crush low attacks, such as most 2Ls and 2Us, however the timing is non-universal throughout the cast.
Unique Actions provide an extra option to a character, such as attacks like Gran's Power RaiseGuardMidStartup20Recovery13Advantage-5 and movement options like Beelzebub's ShadowstepGuardStartupRecoveryTotal 36Advantage-.
L+M or L+U Within close proximity of an opponent
Throws are proximity based attacks which the opponent cannot guard against.
In order to throw an opponent, a few conditions must be met:
- The players must be in a similar grounded or airborne state.
- To throw a grounded opponent, the attacker must also be grounded.
- To throw an airborne opponent, the attacker must also be airborne.
- The defender must not be in hitstun or blockstun, nor have throw invulnerability.
- The players must be within the throw's activation range of each other.
If all of the conditions are met, then the attacker can hit the opponent with a throw.
The horizontal range of throws is measured from the edge of the attacker's collision box. The vertical range is measured from the origin of the attacker's collision box, which is at the bottom-center of the box.
Opponents can not always be thrown. Below is a list of situations when the opponent cannot be thrown:
- Hitstun + 6F after
- Blocking + 5F after
- Hard Knockdown + 9F after
- Neutral/Back Tech + 9F after
- Prejump + 0F after
- Air Recovery + Until L + 9F after
- Late Throw Break + 5F after
Attempting an attack against an opposing throw attempt while being throw invulnerable will always result in the attack succeeding.
- Ground throws will miss airborne opponents and vice versa.
- Some attacks are throw invincible, which is noted in the Frame Data.
Priority of Strike vs Throw vs Command Throw
When two strikes hit each other, either a clash happens or a character(s) get hit, but what happens when throws are added to the mix?
- Throw vs Strike: The throw will win
- Normal Throw vs. Normal Throw: A Throw Break occurs
- Normal Throw vs. Command Throw: The Command Throw will win.
Command Throws have a few different classifications. In order of priority, from lowest to highest:
- Skill Input (Command Throws performed using the Skill Button)
- Technical Input (Command Throws performed with motion + L/M/H)
- Skybound Arts and Super Skybound Arts
Lower priority Command Throws will lose to higher priority Command Throws. Throw Breaks will occur when two Command Throws are of equal priority.
- Percival's X-SeeleGuardThrowStartup14Recovery41Advantage- and Ladiva's Love GrappleGuardThrowStartup31-40Recovery32Advantage- both count as Skill Input Command Throw in terms of throw priority.
- Skybound Arts and Super Skybound Arts will whiff instead of Throw Break.
Input Throw While Being Thrown
- You can break the incoming throw by inputting your own normal throw, but you can not input a throw break while holding .
- You have 22 frames to break a ground throw and 10 frames to break an air throw, however the result depends on how fast you input the throw break.
|Throw Break On||Attacker||Defender|
- All animations are fully invincible
- Damage taken is not scaled by Guts and can not KO.
Skills are attacks that have unique effects and properties. A list of your character's Skill are presented under the HUD, once the input is recognized, that Skill will be activated and will be rendered unusable until the cooldown has passed.
The H versions of Skills are generally the most expensive. They have the longest cooldown but cause hard knockdown, and generally have other properties such as wallbouncing or additional hits.
Skill Input vs. Technical Input
Direction + S or Motion Input + L/M/H
Just pressing S will do the L version of a Skill. Hold M or H before pressing S, to use the M/H versions of that Skill.
Instead of using the S Button as a shortcut, button inputs for activating Skills, Skybound Arts, and Super Skybound arts can be entered manually. This reduces the Skill's cooldown, as well as improving the properties of the attack.
- Attacks do 25% chip damage instead of 20%.
- Damage of projectile, reversal and command grab Skills are increased.
- Invincible attacks have a higher Crush level compared to the Simple Input version.
- The high-damage (cutscene) distance is increased for Skybound Arts and Super Skybound Arts.
When a Skill is used, the Skill will go into cooldown and can not be used until cooldown period passes. ALL VERSIONS of that skill (L/M/H) can not be used during cooldown. The corresponding icon for that Skill will turn gray and will slowly refill over time.
To find out the duration of each Skill's cooldown, refer to each characters' pages or go to GBVS/Frame_Data to check it. As a general rule, the H version of skills have a significantly long recovery, and the shortcut versions have longer cooldowns than their technical counterparts.
At the cost of 50% of the Skybound Gauge gauge, every character in the game gets access to Tactical Move - Rush and Tactical Move - Backshift. These act as powered-up movement options that come with invincibility, with each one bolstering offense and defense respectively. Using these can sometimes forsake your Skybound Art for the round due to how much meter they cost, but are incredibly strong when used well.
4M+H with 50% meter while on the ground
Backshift is a Tactical Move option that is used to create space between you and the opponent. Backshifting has invulnerability from the first frame of activation to frame 15. The amount of vulnerable recovery Backshift has is character dependant. Characters with a reversal option such as a Gran's Rising SwordGuardMid, AllStartup9Recovery30Advantage-22 or Seox's ThunderflashGuardStartupRecoveryTotal 32Advantage-8 have high recovery Backshifts with 15 total frames of recovery. Characters without a reversal option, such as Vaseraga and Soriz have low recovery Backshifts with only 5 total frames of recovery.
- Anre, Avatar Belial, Beelzebub, Belial, Charlotta, Djeeta, Ferry, Gran, Katalina, Lancelot, Narmaya, Percival, Seox, Vira, Yuel, Zeta
- Total: 30F
- 1-15F Full Invul
- Cagliostro, Eustace, Ladiva, Lowain, Metera, Soriz, Vaseraga, Zooey
- Total: 20F
- 1-15F Full Invul
6M+H with 50% meter while on the ground
Your character will gain a blue aura and dash forwards half a screen's length and attack with their autocombo normals. This attack is invincible to all strikes from frame 4, but is completely vulnerable to projectiles and throws throughout its duration. When used in a combo, it is special cancellable and will always move your character point-blank with the opponent. When used outside of a combo, it is not special cancellable but is always +20 on hit and +4 on block.
|Damage||Guard||Startup||Active||Recovery||On Block||On Hit||Invuln|
|500, 400||Mid||+4||+19 (cancel), +20 (no cancel)||4 - 18~? Strike Only (Projectile vulnerable)|
Hold G, then M+H with 100% meter while on the ground
Overdrive is a once-per-round buff that costs 100% of the Skybound Gauge. A glowing red icon next to your character's portrait will show when it can be used. Overdrive is a slow (25f startup) but invincible and unblockable reversal which will buff your character in several ways:
- Attacks (except throws, Skybound Arts and Super Skybound Arts) deal 25% more damage.
- Normal attacks deal chip damage.
- Become immune to chip damage.
- Universal Overhead becomes two frames faster.
- The penalties for Simple Input Skills are removed.
The meter will become a timer showing how much Overdrive time is left. Getting hit will drop the timer by 33%, with three hits emptying the gauge. It will also slowly deplete over time, but it can also be used up all at once with a Skybound Art or a Super Skybound Art. Knowing when to use Overdrive can potentially turn the tables in a dire situation, just be careful that it does not get baited - Overdrive's activation recovery leaves you in a counterhit state!
Please note that during Overdrive you cannot perform either Tactical Move option.
Skybound Art/Super Skybound Art
Unique Command (usually 236S/236236H) with 100% meter
- Skybound Arts (SBA) are attacks that are even more powerful than Skills, cost 100% SB Gauge, and can be most often activated by inputting S or H.
Note that some characters have more than one Skybound Art, with different inputs for each.
Super Skybound Arts
236S+U/236236U with 100% meter and less than 30% health
- Super Skybound Arts (SSBA) are even more powerful than Skybound Arts and give a different cinematic winscreen if you end games with it.
To perform this Super, your health must be at 30% or lower, and your SB gauge must be at 100%. Your health bar and SB Gauge will turn blue and your character's icon will flash white when you meet the requirements. If you are in Overdrive, the health bar and SB Gauge will be red, but the character portrait will still flash.
From there, a Super Skybound Art can be activated by inputting S+U or U.
Most Skybound Arts/Super Skybound Arts have a cinematic finisher that's triggered when you hit the opponent within a certain range. Aside from looking flashy, these finishers also do more damage.
The range needed for these finishers varies from move to move, and is even increased if you do the Technical input version!
Just like Skills, using the Technical input gives Skybound Arts have benefits compared to the Simple input version.
- Attacks do 25% chip damage as opposed to 20%
- Have a higher Crush level compared to the Simple Input version
- Have higher minimum damage
- Have further range to trigger their cinematic finishers
- Enhanced versions give better positioning for okizeme
Characters with command grabs, such as Ladiva's Jewel Resort ScrewdriverGuardThrowStartup6Recovery38AdvantageHKD and Belial's VassagoGuardThrowStartup34Recovery36Advantage- will do more damage when inputted using technical commands. This also includes Skybound Arts that act as command grabs, such as Beelzebub's AnthemGuardThrowStartup13+0Recovery71AdvantageHKD and Avatar Belial's Wild SinGuardGrab[All]Startup13+0Recovery100Advantage-32.
Attacking, blocking, and walking towards the opponent all gain Skybound Gauge. The Skybound Gauge is reset at the beginning of each round, so it's best to use it each round if possible. When your Skybound Gauge reaches 50%, you gain access to both Tactical Move options, Rush and Backshift. At 100%, you gain access to Skybound Arts and Super Skybound Arts, as well as a special Overdrive state.
Gaining Skybound Gauge
To increase the Skybound Gauge, perform some type of offensive action. This includes attacking the opponent, or simply advancing towards them. As a general rule: the more aggressive the action against the opponent, the faster the Skybound Gauge will fill up.
Normal Attacks have a base Skybound Gauge gain on hit or block. Special Attacks have a base Skybound Gauge gain both on start-up, and upon touching the opponent on either hit or block.
|Opponent getting hit||??|
|Opponent blocking attack||??|
Most attacks in the game deal standardized amounts of hitstun, blockstun, etc. depending on their Attack Level. Note that some moves override these default values, which will be noted in the frame data. In addition to these exceptions, some attacks knock the enemy into the air, wallbounce, crumple, etc.
|Lvl 0||Lvl 1||Lvl 2||Lvl 3||Lvl 4|
|Hitstun (Ground Hit)||14||16||18||20||22|
|Untechable (Air Hit)||14||16||18||20||22|
|Untechable (Air Counter Hit)||28||32||36||40||44|
|Counter Hit Hitstop||+2||+2||+4||+8||+12|
- Crouching hit adds 1F additional hitstun
- Air attacks from levels 0-2 inflict 14F of hitstun, levels 3 and 4 inflict 18.
- Air counter hit doubles the amount of untechable time
- Additional hitstop on counter hit only applies to opponent.
When two strike's attackboxes intersect, they may clash, or one might crush the other. This depends on each attack's clash level; equal level attacks will Clash, higher level attacks will crush lower level attacks. This priority system only applies to strikes. Projectiles and throws follow their own priority systems.
As a rule of thumb, each attack's clash level equals their Attack Level. Exceptions to this rule will be noted in the frame data.
Clashes occur when two strikes with the same clash level hit each other at the same time. During a clash, the hit is nullified, and each player can cancel into almost any attack, run, Evade, or Cross-Over. Each player also gains 10% Skybound Gauge!
- Specifically you can cancel into any attack except itself, but c.L, f.L and Skills can cancel into themselves indefinitely, while 2L and j.L can only cancel into themselves a max total of 3 times.
Because of the unpredictable nature of clashes, they are often difficult to take advantage of, but some players understand how the attack interact well enough to intentionally cause a clash to cancel out the opponent's attack, then retaliate with their own!
A Crush occurs when two strike's with the different clash levels intersect. You will see the word "Crush!" appear on the HUD. This means that one attack beat the other, commonly known as having higher priority.
Invincible Attacks and Crushing
Attacks with invincibility, like Gran's Rising SwordGuardMid, AllStartup9Recovery30Advantage-22, or most Skybound Arts will Crush all non-invincible attacks, and might even crush each other depending on the moves involved.
In order of lowest priority to highest priority:
- Skill Input Specials
- Technical Input Specials
- Skill Input Skybound Arts
- Technical Input Skybound Arts
- Skill Super Skybound Arts
- Technical Input Super Skybound Arts
You might think that thanks to the Clash and Crush systems, it is impossible for two strikes to trade (aka both characters get hit), but this is not true! Trades are still possible, just fairly rare.
Remember, Clash and Crush only occur when two attack's hitboxes intersect. If two strike's hit each other's hurtboxes without touching attackboxes then they will trade, regardless of clash level!