Blocking is an integral action to keep yourself alive. Knowing how to use which block in which situation will improve your game immeasurably. Not only will you be able to defend better and survive longer, but in some cases you will be able to resume your offense faster.
Basic ground blocking is the most common defensive option. To guard against high attacks, simply hold . To guard against mid attacks, hold or . To guard against low attacks, hold . While in blockstun, the character will default to standing block if no downward direction is held.
Remember, you cannot block Dragon Rushes and throws!
Basic air blocking is even easier; simply hold any backwards direction while airborne. Air blocking does not have high/low blocking, but instead come with the restriction that you suffer more blockstun than ground blocking (2 more frames to be precise), which will likely force you to the ground while giving the opponent even more frame advantage.
Landing while in air blockstun does not cancel out the remaining blockstun - instead you will transition immediately into ground crouching blockstun with 4 more frames for the remainder of blockstun.
- For example, after blocking an attack in the air that causes 13F blockstun, you land after 10F. That means after landing, you will be in blockstun for 7F before you are free to move.
Also remember that after you air block (any kind), your jump options are restored! This means that you can do something like double jump to block an aerial projectile, then double jump again, or airdash afterwards, if you're not too close to ground.
As with ground blocking, you also can't air block against air Dragon Rush and air throws.
If the character is stuck facing in a direction, they will be able to block attacks coming from behind them by holding either backward or forward directions. This crossup protection doesn't allow you to make "illegal" blocks: you still must block high/low correctly.
Projectiles and assist-type attacks has an extra layer of protection. If a side switch happens while these attacks are active, they can also be blocked with backward and forward directions, but not by running.
This usually comes into play in a grounded blockstring or in the air with normal jumps, since without using air options or high jump, the character won't auto-correct to face the opponent.
While it is impossible to have left-right mixups using assists with long blockstun, if there's even an 1F gap in the blockstring, the character will turn to face the opponent and you will not be protected from crossups.
A rule of thumb is to always block with respect to the opponent's point character.
Airborne and grounded crossups are treated differently...
Instant Overhead Protection
Most air normals when done with upward momentum will whiff against characters that are blocking low, even if their hitbox and hurtbox are overlapping!
Air normals that push the character upward are also affected by this. There are special cases that aren't air normal, also have this restriction on them.
Z Reflect is a defensive tool that puts the character in a defensive stance that will block both highs and lows, and lose to Dragon Rush and throws. On a successful reflect, you will recover sooner than normal. If you reflect a physical strike, then you will stay in place while pushing the opponent away. Reflecting a projectile will keep you in place.
Note: Videl does not have Z Reflect, but rather, a unique command dodge.
Breaking Dragon Rush
When the opponent catches you with a Dragon Rush, press any attack button between 4 frames before the hit until 4 frames after the hit to break the rush (total 9F: 4F before + the frame it hits + 4F after). Dragon Rush' green flash cue appears on frame 7, thus at point blank, the last frame you can break a Dragon Rush is frame 17 from the flash.
If two Dragon Rushes meet each other, both are automatically broken. This increases the break window as you can input L+M way earlier than the 9F window of other buttons.
On Dragon Rush break, both players break away from each other, recover full screen away, and restore all air options.
Hold A1/A2 to swap out your point character with another on your team. An alternative quick Z Change can be performed by pressing +A1/A2, which can be turned off or configure to +A1/A2. After using a Z Change, you cannot use your teammates for anything else for a short time. Following that, there's a cooldown on using the character that was called back for a Z Assist or another Z Change. Cooldown will not commence while the opponent is in stun, but will continue if it has already commenced.
You can perform Z Change while in a neutral state or any time you could perform a special cancel. Players often cancel into Z Change after hitting the opponent with 5H or 2H since that allows players to safely change in a new character while extending the combo.
You can not perform Z Change while blocking or while in proximity block animation.
When you're in blockstun and on the ground, press +A1/A2 at any point to swap out your point character with another on your team at the cost of 1 Ki Gauge. On hit, the opponent is knocked away about half screen, resetting the game back to neutral. On block, you cannot act and are fully punishable. As with a Z Change, you are locked out of using the character you tagged out for a short period of time. If you are down to one character, you will cancel into an attack that teleports behind the opponent instead, similar to a Vanish, only much slower and with some forward movement after the teleport.
Guard Cancel and combos started with it cannot KO.
† Despite being frame 1 fully invulnerable move, deals regular amount of recoverable health instead of 100% recoverable health.
Reflect Guard Cancel
Z Reflect and Super Dash can also be performed during Ki blast's blockstun as a weaker version of Guard Cancel.
More on this is described here.
When you're down to one character left, they will be given 1 Ki gauge, a 20% damage boost and will deal more unrecoverable health.
Resurrecting a teammate with Shenron will remove this buff until you're back to one character again.
Limit-Breaking Power won't trigger in Local Battle Mode's 1 vs. 1 Battle Format.