Guarding, commonly known as Blocking, is the fundamental form of defense in fighting games.
Most special and supers moves also inflict a small percentage of their damage through guard. This is known as chip damage.
When a player guards, they are put into a state known as blockstun during which their ability to act is mostly taken away. During blockstun, Counter Assault, Overdrive Cancel can be used during blockstun, if the resources are presented.
- Unblockable Attack
Some attacks cannot be guarded against. These generally fall into two categories: throws and unblockables. Throws are proximity based attacks which cannot be guarded against. Unblockables are special strikes which hit opponents even if they guard. Unblockables, such as Hakumen's YukikazeGuardUnblockableStartup1+(36 Flash)+43Recovery39Advantage-, must be avoided in some way other than guarding.
- High+Low Unblockables
There is also another class of unblockable attacks that exist by hitting a grounded opponent with high+low attacks at the same time. Because they can not block both high+low at once, they are guaranteed to get hit. There is no icon to show when this unblockable happens, though there is an exclamation mark showing that they blocked "incorrectly". Carl and Nine both have setups into these types of unblockables.
Hold 4 or 1
- 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 yellow "!" will appear over your character if you incorrectly guard a low, and a red "!" for incorrectly blocking a high. Remember, you cannot block against throws, and some attacks are unblockable.
Hold Any Backwards Direction
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 will replace any remaining air blockstun with ground blockstun!
- Ex: After air blocking an attack that causes 20F air blockstun, you land after 15F. That means after landing, you will be in ground blockstun for 5F.
Air Unblockable Attacks
Many ground based attacks are air unblockable. Typically all of a character's grounded normal moves, except 5A and 2A are air unblockable. Air unblockable attacks can still be air blocked using Barrier. A cyan colored exclamation mark will appear when 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 the frame data, 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.
Blocking can be difficult since the opponent can do tricks to swap sides. However, there is slight leniency to give players time to switch blocking direction: the first 3 frames after the opponent swap sides (not necessarily in blockstun), they will still block attacks from the opposite direction even if they are holding forward direction (with respect to opponent)! All other rules for blocking still apply, such as needing to correctly block high/low.
When a character is in blockstun for over 6 seconds with almost no gaps in between (at most 6 frame gaps are allowed), they will automatically begin Instant Blocking all attacks and the HUD will display a "Guard Bonus" message.
Begin Guard Within 8 Frames of An Attack Connecting
Instant Blocking is a more powerful, advanced form of blocking. On successful Instant Block, your character will flash white. 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
- 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.
Fast mult-hitting attack (such as Nu's 6C), if IB'd, will instant block all the hits within the 8F window. In these instances you will only gain the additional Heat once for each time you input block.
Instant blocking does not reduce chip damage, nor does it allow you to make "illegal" guards: you still must guard high/low correctly, and air IB will not guard air unblockable attacks.
While Guarding, hold A + B
Barrier is an interesting and highly useful technique. It's often used to negate chip damage, but it has other important uses.
Barrier is often used to end an opponent's offense sooner by pushing them out of attack range. An advanced strategy is to make the opponent's attack miss by pushing him away with Barrier, then counter attack while the opponent is still recovering from his whiffed attack! Note, however, that Barrier 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.
- Notable aspects of Barrier
- Consumes Barrier Gauge while buttons are held
- Emptying the Barrier Gauge will disable Barrier and put you in Danger State
- Can air Barrier to guard almost all air unblockable strikes
- 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
- Prevents Guard Crush
- Using Barrier against Crush Trigger will drain a significant portion of the Barrier Gauge
Just like with Instant Blocking, you still must block high/low attacks correctly when using Barrier.
Holding back + A + B will put you character into blocking posture and prevent walking backwards even when there's nothing to block. This is true even when the Barrier Gauge is empty.
Instant Block while holding A + B
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.
- Increases pushback (slightly more than Barrier Block)
- Decreases blockstun by 2F (5F in the Air)
- Has all other properies of Instant Block and Barrier
Some attacks cause a guard crush state on block where the defender is stuck in a reeling animation and can not block. This is often a prime time to start a combo!
Guard Crush can be prevented by using Barrier while guarding them. All Crush Triggers have this property, as well as some other special attacks like Platinum's Hammer item.
Getting Guard Crushed while standing or crouching will put the opponent in a standing state or crouching state respectively. Air Guard Crush will pop the defender upwards, and will end upon landing if still in Guard Crush state. The amount of time guard crushed depends on the move used.
The Guard Crush can be considered the first hit of a combo that does 0 damage with P1 80%, P2 100%, so ideally combo into an attack with a high P2 value. Additionally, throws cannot be escaped, and since throws have 100% minimum damage, characters with command throws can take advantage of guard crushes this way.
 or  while on the ground
Walking is the most basic form of movement by holding or .
Characters will continue to walk so long as their player holds down the directional input. 1 and 3 are not valid walk inputs. Each character has a unique walk speed for both forwards and backwards.
One of the main advantages to walking is that it provides fine grain control over one's positioning. By contrast, jumps lock the player into a fixed arc, and runs maintain momentum for a time after the player releases their input.
Because walks can be canceled immediately, they allow the user to block freely after forwards movement, which running on its own does not allow. Another advantage is that walks are usually silent. Without an associated audio queue, walks can be hard to react to.
6 while on the ground
Running is conceptually similar to walking, but faster and with some negative trade-offs.
Akin to walking, each character has their own running speed and acceleration. Some characters—such as Tager—cannot run at all. Other characters have special alternatives to running. A list of these special cases can be found below.
Although running requires two consecutive
6 inputs, the player can shift their forwards input into a
3 input so long as they maintain a constant forwards input. The player character will continue to run so long as a valid run input is held. If the player releases the run input and does not cancel the run into another action, they will perform a run skid animation.
Runs will sometimes maintain momentum when canceled into another action, and other times can have their momentum negated. This varies on a case-by-base basis.
|Bullet, Carl, Hakumen, Hazama, Valkenhayn (Human)||Step Dash|
|Izayoi (Gain Arts Mode)||Hover Dash|
|Arakune, Azrael||Teleport Step Dash|
|Nine||4-Way Teleport Step Dash|
The run skid animation is a state characters enter when their run is ended without canceling into another action. Each character has their own run skid speed.
This state is cancelable into most actions, but has a major restriction. During the run skid animation, the player cannot guard. This limitation can be avoided by using a technique known as Brake. Brake cancels the run skid animation by using BarrierNo results for a short period of time.
44 while on the ground
Backdashes are movement options which provide a quick burst of backwards movement with some invulnerability. Most characters have full invulnerability, while Hakumen's and Nine's are only invulnerable to Throws and Projectiles respectively in exchange for other properties.
Each character's backdash has its own frame data and physics. The invulnerability for backdashes begins on the first frame of their animation. This means that backdashes can be used to avoid attacks with good timing.
Backdashes travel a fixed distance at a set speed, are not cancelable—except for Hakumen, Jubei, and Nine—and are completely vulnerable for some period in the latter portion of their animation. For these reasons, they are not always preferable to backwards walking.
Any Upward Direction while on the ground
Jumping is the most basic way to put one's player character into the air.
Players can jump while on the ground, or while in the air. When a character jumps, they are locked into a fixed arc which is determined by the direction of the jump input combined with any momentum they have at the time of the jump. Each character has their own jump physics. These determine the speed, height, and duration of their jumps. Before the character becomes airborne, there is a short Prejump Animation with some limitations, explained in its respective section. After a player jumps, they take on the airborne property, which affects what moves they can use, as well as how they receive incoming hit effects. During the first airborne frame, characters can only guard and not attack. This is only a factor when calculating the fastest input for Instant Air Specials.
Most characters can jump two times before returning to the ground under normal circumstances.
Any Downward Direction > Any Upward Direction while on the ground
High Jumping (aka super jump) travels higher vertically than standard jumping.
It 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. During a High Jump, characters will automatically turn to face the opponent if you jump over them.
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, characters will enter a standing state called prejump, where they can not block, but are invincible to throws.
Characters have different amount of prejump frames, but the rule of thumb is that the heavier/slower the character is, the longer the prejump. Most characters have 4 frames of prejump, but exact values can be found in each character's frame data.
It is actually possible to cancel prejump into Specials and Supers, though for most characters is not used very often. The reason for this is that attacks that involve an Up input, such as Kagura's Dragon's Ascent (8B) or Tager's Gigantic Tager Driver (360A) 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 2369A instead of 236A).
j.44 or j.66
Air Dashes are the near universal burst movement option while airborne. Most characters can air dash one time before returning to the ground. Other characters cannot air dash at all. For a breakdown of these rules, see the air options explanation. When a character air dashes, they travel at a speed specific to them for a time period specific to them. Each character's air dash has their own startup time. The player character is not actionable for a period of time after the air dash begins.
To air dash as soon as possible from a grounded state, players use a technique known as Instant Air Dash.
Air Options conceptually represent the amount of times a character can jump or dash while in the air without returning to the ground. Most characters have 1 air option; exceptions are listed below. Characters can only regain air options by touching the ground.
|Arakune, Bang, Izayoi (Gain Arts Mode)||Can air dash 2 times|
|Taokaka||2 air options (inc. 2 airdashes)|
|Nine||4-Way Teleport Step Dash|
|Izanami||Cannot double jump, instead replaced by Float|
|Tager||Cannot air dash or double jump|
Landing from the air has recovery. This recovery comes in 2 kinds: Standard Landing Recovery and Special Landing Recovery.
It is worth noting 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.
- During the first 5 frames of landing the following actions are disabled: forward/backward walk, all jumps, and backdash
- All other actions are available immediately on landing - notably attacking, guarding, run, and forward dash
Runs and attacks can be buffered before landing thanks to Advanced Input. Performing an allowed action will enable all actions, so it is possible to land, run for 1F, then jump (easier said than done, of course)!
- Special Landing Recovery
Some airborne moves, such as Jin's air HishoukenGuardAllStartup20RecoveryTotal: 49+8LAdvantage-, will apply unactionable landing recovery which overrides the standard landing recovery. This recovery does not have a unique animation, and the length of time the character is unactionable depends on the move used. This is noted in the +(X)L part of the frame data, where X is the length of such type of recovery.
Some moves that apply this special landing recovery may have their animation end and be able to recover while still airborne, or simply cancelled into another action. The special landing recovery will still apply when the character lands, unless they are hit or they override it with another move that also applies special landing recovery or has its own unique landing animation.
A landing animation is different from special landing recovery since it is still considered part of the same move. This means the landing animation could still retain things like cancel options or counter-hit recovery from an earlier part of the move.
Direction + A/B/C when laying on the ground
Unlike most other 2D fighting games, BBCF characters are vulnerable when they are lying on the ground. However, you can roll in different directions to escape an approaching opponent.
no direction + A/B/C
In general, the options from least risky to most risky are: Neutral Tech > Back Roll > Forward Roll > Quick Tech. Though each has it's uses for different situations - especially the rolls for positioning.
A/B/C During Crumple State
Some attacks place the opponent in a crumple state such as Jin's Sekkajin. The crumple state is vulnerable to attacks and after a period of time they will fall to the ground if they do not recover. The amount of time before Crumple Recovery is available depends on the attack and whether it was counter hit. Crumple recovery takes 8 frames.
If you are attacked during the recovery, you will automatically block the attack high/low as appropriate. However, if you are thrown during frames 6-8 of recovery, you will be considered out of hitstun (for the purpose of differentiating between green and purple throws). If you are thrown by a command throw during frames 6-8, it will be inescapable, so watch out!
Direction + A/B/C After Leaving Untechable State
Air Recovery (also known as Air Ukemi) is useful for getting out of the opponent's combo and regain control of your character as soon as possible. Hold Left/Right/Neutral to recover in that direction.
Usually, defenders want to recover immediately when possible, but attackers can take advantage of this behavior by setting up a mixup that defenders will be forced to block when they recover. A common counter to this tactic is to delay recovering in order to throw off the opponent's mixup timing, but this carries some risk; the attacker can simply hit the defender before they recover and continue the combo!
// + A/B/C when airborne
A/B/C when landing on the ground
A/B/C Right Before Touching the Ground
Emergency Tech is basically a Neutral Tech immediately on landing. There is an 8F window to Emergency Tech on landing, after which you are knocked down for a minimum 15F. The opponent can hit you during this time and continue the combo, though the HUD will show that the combo was invalid (since you could have escaped earlier). Most players should Emergency Tech when given the opportunity, and only delay when taking a calculated risk.
Disabling Emergency Tech
Certain moves like Hakumen's 5C on air hit do a hard knockdown, which prevents Emergency Teching and force them to a knockdown state for a set amount of time (varies by move). Hard Knockdowns are often used to extend combos, or set up unique okizeme situations.
As a general rule, attacks that slam down the opponent inflict Hard Knockdown, as do all 3Cs on Counter Hit. In training mode, attacks with the Hard Knockdown property turn the Ukemi Window red.
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.
- The defender must not have throw invulnerability.
- The defender can be thrown in hitstun or blockstun unlike in most other fighting game, but it will result in a Purple throw.
- The defender must be within the throw's range (see below).
If all of the conditions are met, then the attacker can hit the opponent with a throw.
- Throw Range
- Throws uses collision boxes for an additional range check. See this page for more details on the concept.
- In short, for a successful range check, the horizontal distance between the front of the two characters collision boxes must be at or below a specific number of pixels; for ground throws, this number is 70 pixels for the most of the cast, but exceptions do apply; you can check the Character Data for more details.
- 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.
B+C Within close proximity of an opponent
- To perform a forward throw, press neutral or forward+B+C while standing on the ground.
- To perform a back throw, press + B+C while standing on the ground.
- To perform an air throw, press B+C while airborne.
All normal throws, no matter the character, have the following properties:
However they do vary in terms of cancel options and how the opponent is launched away by the attack. Every normal throw can be followed up in some way with a combo.
Special Move Throws
Some special moves have the throw property. Tager's Gigantic Tager DriverGuardPurple throw rejectStartup6Recovery29 (Miss), 44 (Hit)Advantage- and Hazama's Bloody FangsGuardThrow(90)Startup12Recovery31Advantage- are two examples of such throws.
Special moves like this fall into two categories:
- Command Throws
These feature the same 100% minimum damage as normal throws, but cannot normally be broken (There is no green ! marks) and they typically have other unique properties, such as higher damage, more start-up, and additional hit effects. However, there are restrictions in place: just like with normal throws, if you use a command throw while an enemy is in hitstun or blockstun (or 6 frames immediately after either), a purple throw occurs, which is escapable.
- Combo Throws
Combo Throws are attacks that generally behave like throws, but can be comboed into. These can be distinguished by how they do not incur Purple !! marks if used in a combo or during blockstun, can Counter Hit the opponent instead of Throw Counter, and they do not have 100% fixed damage. Tager's Atomic ColliderGuardNoneStartup17~60Recovery19Advantage- and Hibiki's Pulverizing FinGuardThrow(180)Startup6RecoveryUntil L+15Advantage- are examples of such moves.
- Hit Grabs
Technically not throws but are often mistaken for them, these are blockable strikes that go into a throw animation on hit, such as Ragna's Devoured By DarknessGuardAll [Unblockable]Startup13+(30 Flash)+12Recovery55Advantage-39 and Bullet's Cutting SheerGuardAllStartup14Recovery38Advantage-23. These attacks can hit assist characters, but will not trigger the throw animation.
Priority of Strike vs Throw vs Command Throw
When two strikes hit each other, either a clash or trade occurs, but what happens when throws are added to the mix?
- Throw vs Strike or Any Throw vs Command Throw: The character with Priority will lose.
- Normal Throw vs. Normal Throw: The character with Priority will be thrown and immediately break the throw.
Input Throw While Being Thrown
To break a throw, press B+C withing the tech window. The throw break timing windows depend on the context:
- Green Throw is when using a normal throw under normal circumstances and will show a green exclamation mark. Green throws have a 15 frame throw break window.
- Purple Throw happens when throwing an opponent when they are in blockstun or hitstun (plus 6 frames immediately after either). This is shown by the 2 big purple exclamation marks above the defender. Purple throws have a 27 frame throw break window.
- Command throws that are usually untechable will allow you to tech if you are thrown under the circumstances that will trigger a Purple throw.
- Comboable throws are never techable.
After a successful throw reject, the attacker is pushed back about half a screen length and the defender remains stationary, and return to neutral state. Neither side will gain frame advantage after a throw.
- Throw reject animation is fully invincible and lasts 28F for both attacker and defender.
- 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.
- 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 attacker gets hit will also end if their opponent throw rejects them.
Throw Counters happens when thrown while in 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 and the HUD will show "Throw Counter". This can prevent you from breaking a throw even if that throw would have otherwise been purple!
Throw Counters usually do not gain the bonus 10% damage. Comboable throws however, do.
Throw Reject Miss
If you input a Throw Reject before getting thrown, then will then throw reject will be locked out, even if it was a Purple throw! The game will show big red X over the exclamation mark, and the HUD will show "Throw Reject Miss".
- 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 (start from the frame where an attempt to break the throw is inputted).
- Inputting B+C again while still in throw reject state will just reset the miss state back to 30F.
In addition, pressing B and C at the same time in any 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.
Throw Reject Miss exists to stop players from rapidly mashing throw inputs to preemptively break throws, as well as to prevent some powerful throw reject Option Selects. Tricking the opponent into attempting a Throw Reject early, then actually throwing them is a common offensive technique in high-level play.
5A+B with 25 Heat (Chargeable)
Crush Triggers are attacks that will Guard Break the opponent unless they use Barrier! The amount of time they are Guard Crushed depends on whether the Crush Trigger was charged, with an uncharged guard crush giving about 7 frames to attack the opponent, while a charged guard crush gives over 30 frames!
Crush Triggers qualify as Special Attacks, which adds to their utility as a mix-up tool; since most normal attacks can be special-cancelled, players can cancel into a Crush Trigger as well.
Crush Triggers drain a portion of the opponent's Barrier Gauge if they are Barrier Blocked. The amount of Barrier drained depends on whether it was charged or not, with an uncharged Crush Trigger draining about a quarter of a bar, while a charged one drains a little under half of a bar.
Crush Triggers are also very useful mid-combo. Some character's Crush Triggers force a hard knockdown, some ground bounce, others float the opponent very high. Whatever the case, they are all useful to help extend combos and deal more damage!
Finally, Guard points will block Crush Triggers and consume no barrier when doing so.
There are many types of cancels. A cancel is the act of interrupting the current action and starting a different one.
While most cancels are available on hit/block, some are available on whiff, some are only available on hit, and a rare few are even only available on block!
- Revolver Action
- Normal attacks can cancel into other normal attacks. Each character has different rules as to which normals can cancel into what other actions (some attacks can't be canceled at all!). The general flow is that attacks cancel from A > B > C > D.
- Each character's Revolver Action Table shows cancel options avaialbe to them and can be found in the character's Frame Data subpage.
- Special Cancel
- Most normal attacks can cancel into specials, Crush Triggers, and Distortion Drives. This is generally used to create combos and blockstrings, but can have other applications as well.
- Jump Cancel
- Some normal attacks can cancel into jump and super jump. This is used in combos as well as pressure. Some attacks can only be jump canceled on hit.
- Dash Cancel
- Some attacks can cancel into a forward run that goes a preset distance, such as Jin's 5D or Ragna's 22C. This forward run can not be canceled into other actions.
- Naoto's Dash Cancel is a key part of his gameplay since he can cancel his Dash into attacks and they get strong too!
- Some attacks can also be backdash canceled like Kagura's 5D~A
- Rapid Cancel
- See Rapid Cancel for more details
- Overdrive Cancel
- See Overdrive Cancel for more details
- See Clash for more details
A+B+C After Attack Touches Opponent and with 50 Heat (Air OK)
Rapid Cancels immediately cancel any attack that does not whiff (in other words, any attack that touches the opponent) and bring yourself back into a neutral state. These cancels are very powerful for making new frame traps, new combos, or making attacks safe. Even projectiles can be RCed after they touch the opponent!
There are very few attacks that can not Rapid Canceled, mainly the cinematic parts of attacks and supers.
6A+B During Ground Blockstun with 50 Heat
Counter Assaults are one of the few options available to a defender during blockstun. They are invincible attacks do zero damage, but blow the opponent away, and are useful for escaping an enemy's offensive pressure.
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 HP remaining.
- Heat Cooldown for 180 frames
Motion Input + A/B/C/D
Special attacks are fancier attacks that have special properties such as invincibility or unique movement. Special attacks typically do 5% of their base damage as chip damage on block unless the opponent uses Barrier.
Each character's special attacks are unique and are explained in more detail in each character's page.
Motion Input + A/B/C/D with at least 50 Heat
Distortion Drives (commonly referred to as supers) are an even stronger version of Special attacks that deal large amounts of damage or have other special properties like invincibility or powering up the character. Each character's supers are unique and are explained in more detail in each character's page.
There are some common features:
- All Distortion Drives have a brief moment where they pause time during startup (with a small number of exceptions), called the superflash. Opponents can buffer moves during this time which makes them generally poor moves to throw out at neutral since it's very easy to react to them.
- After the Heat is used, the player will enter 180F of Heat Gauge Cooldown.
- Immediately following the super flash, the opponent cannot burst if they are already in hitstun.
- All hits of a Distortion Drive attack also disable Burst on hit.
- Distortion Drives are often excellent combo enders due to having minimum damage.
- Finishing a round with a Distortion Drive is declared as a Distortion Finish, this is purely a cosmetic effect.
Character Specific Input when conditions are met
Astral Heats are fancy super attack that will instantly defeat the opponent on hit! Astrals require the following conditions:
- You have 100 Heat.
- You are on match point (if you win this round, you win the match)
- Opponent's health is below 35% at start of the combo.
Due to these restrictions, Astrals are typically only used as fancy finishing attacks at the ends of combos as there are often more practical and safe ways to use that Heat.
Astrals CAN be used in a combo if you build up the 100 Heat by the time you wish to use your Astral.
Astral Heats are Burst invulnerable throughout their startup, in addition to any other invulnerability they might have; Most Astrals Heats are also fully invulnerable until at least the super flash.
5A+B+C+D while getting hit and with full Burst Gauge (Air OK)
Bursts are a special type of attack in BlazBlue; they do no damage, are invincible until recovery, and are only available while getting hit. Bursts are useful to interrupt the opponent's combo, thus preventing some damage. Be wary - if an opponent anticipates your 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 guard or evading it.
Burst is 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.
- The 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 when Burst is unavailable. Burst will be re-enabled after recovering or when none of the above conditions are true.
Repeatedly performing multiple offensive actions will put your character in Active Flow. When you are close to entering Active Flow, the HUD will show "Attention".
Active Flow lasts for approximately 840 frames (14 seconds). This timer does not count down during Overdrive.
During Active Flow:
- All attacks gain a 10% damage boost.
- Burst regeneration speed increases by a factor of four.
- Exceed Accel damage approximately doubles.
Active Flow won't always be available:
- Active Flow is only available once per round.
- Using a Burst immediately ends Active Flow and disables it for the rest of the round.
This table shows how to build Active Flow, but the gist of it is attacking will gradually build Active Flow, and hitting the opponent will trigger Active Flow.
In order to encourage aggressive play, Blazblue penalizes players for spending too much time moving away from the other player and not attacking by inflicting Negative Penalty on such players.
During Negative Penalty, the player experiences various effects:
- All Barrier meter is lost and they enter Danger State.
- Barrier Gauge does not begin regenerating until Negative Penalty ends, drastically extending the time players will be without Barrier.
- The opponent is forced into Active Flow, even if they have used their Burst or already entered Active Flow that round.
- The opponent's Active Flow timer does not count down during Negative Penalty and is reset to the maximum duration.
- Negative Penalty lasts for approximately 8 seconds
When nearing Negative Penalty your character will flash red and the HUD will show "Negative Warning". Use that as a sign to stop running away! If you don't immediately start attacking at this point, even doing nothing will cause Negative Penalty!
The formula used by the game is complex, with some characters being more resistant to Negative Penalty than others, but broadly speaking characters have a hidden Negative Penalty Gauge that is maxed out at the start of a round that decreases and increases based on how fast you manually move towards or away from the opponent. Being knocked around by hitstun doesn't affect the gauge, while there are extra bonuses for landing hits on the opponent. Moving away loses gauge faster than walking towards your opponent gains it.
Negative Penalty basically never appears in games where both players are playing even vaguely seriously, so it's best not to worry about it.
The Heat Gauge is like a traditional "super meter" in other fighting games. Heat is used to perform Rapid Cancels, Distortions Drives, Counter Assaults, etc. The Heat Gauge resets to empty at the start of each round so it's best to use all your Heat before the round is over if you can.
|Opponent getting hit||Scaled Damage × 0.72|
|Getting hit||Scaled Damage × 0.4|
|Opponent blocking attack||Base Damage × 0.18|
|Normal blocking attack||Base Damage × 0.1|
|Instant blocking attack||(Base Damage × 0.2) + 100|
|Hakumen's Heat Gain is 1/4 of the formula above.|
- Heat Gauge is 10,000 units, so 100 units = 1 Heat.
- Values are truncated after the decimal. Ex: 100.3 becomes 100, 35.8 becomes 35.
- Thus a move that generates 100.2 units and a move that generate 100.6 units actually generate the same amount of heat (100 units).
- Attacks that cost Heat (such as Distortion Drives and Crush Triggers) and Exceed Accel do not gain any Heat for the attacker.
- Hakumen's Specials are the sole exception; they still generates Heat for Hakumen.
- Using Barrier does not affect Heat Gain.
- Instant block formula only applies once to each Instant Block input (aka each time you press Back). Remaining hits gain Heat like Normal Block.
Based on this, we can note some basic facts:
- Heat gained from hitting the opponent/getting hit is directly proportional to damage.
- As a quick rule of thumb, dealing 2000 damage will earn 14 Heat, while taking 2000 damage will earn 8 Heat.
- Instant Blocking many individual attacks gives a lot of Heat. This is especially useful in long predictable blockstrings, giving defenders more resources to retaliate with in the future.
- Some moves ignore the formula and build a specific amount of Heat. For example, Tager's Gadget Finger builds 5 Heat for Tager, even though it only does 100 damage. Terumi's Drives build significant amounts of Heat for him while the opponent gains nothing from being hit by those moves unless they Instant Blocked. Attacks that consume Heat will also generate none for the attacker, but generate Heat as normal for the defender.
After using the Heat Gauge, characters gain 75% less Heat and Auto Heat Gain temporarily pauses. The cooldown is usually 180F and the countdown is in real time - it even counts down during the super flash for moves that caused it in the first place! If a new Heat Cooldown is started, it completely overrides the previous value, even if the new one is shorter than the existing one. So moves with shorter Heat Cooldown can be used to override longer durations.
Some attacks have shorter or longer cooldowns, such as Hakumen's Kishuu (30F) and Mugen (360F).
Automatic Heat Gain
When a character has under 35% health (visually the Health Gauge turns orange), they will slowly gain Heat automatically! Hakumen's meter will gain at a faster rate when he goes under 35% health.
Character gain 11 Heat Units per 10 frames: they get 1 Heat per frame, and at each 10th frame, they get 2 Heat instead.
Auto Heat Gain is temporarily disabled after using an attack that costs Heat like Crush Trigger and supers.
Characters start the match with a full Burst Gauge and its status carries over between rounds, so Bursting at the end of a round means starting the next round with an empty Burst Gauge. Ending a round while Overdrive is active will set the Burst gauge to 30% full. The Burst Gauge does not refill during Exceed Excel or powered up Distortion Drives, so using either right before Overdrive ends will keep the gauge at 30% until the attack has finished playout out.
The number in the middle of the Burst Gauge is an approximate percentage (in 10% increments) of how full the gauge is.
|Health||Increment per frame||Time to fill (seconds)|
|H ≥ 55%||10||166.7|
|40% < H ≤ 55%||15||111.1|
|H ≤ 40%||20||83.3|
- The Burst Gauge is 10,000 units
- Passive Burst Gain is ×4 during Active Flow.
- Passive Burst Gain is not paused during hitstop or super flash
Burst gained from getting hit:
(1- Current ProrationGiven as value between 1 and 0, includes the proration values of the current hit) × damageThe damage the move actually did × 10 + 100
From this, we can infer a few things:
- While Burst Gain scales with damage, it goes up as combos progress in comparison to the added damage (in fact, quadratic with respect to the products of proration).
- Moves that scale badly give back more Burst meter.
- Moves that take advantage of Minimum Damage while the combo is scaling heavily can give back a lot of Burst. Therefore, using an unnecessarily Distortion Drive to close a round might not be the best for Burst economy.
- Burst Gain from taking damage does not get multiplied during Active Flow.
The Barrier Gauge is consumed to perform Barrier.
- Barrier Gauge is 10,000 units.
- Each usage of Barrier instantly consumes 100 units.
- After the first frame of activation, holding Barrier consumes 10 units per frame.
- Barrier Gauge is not consumed during hitstop, superflash, etc.
- Upon defending an attack, instantly consumes (the raw damage of that attack / 2) units.
- Consumption usually caps at 500 units per hit - meaning that an attack with damage over 1000 will only consume 500 units.
- Charged Crush Trigger deals extra 4000 units to Barrier Gauge.
- Barrier Gauge starts to recover 124 frames after deactivation at the rate of 16 units every 10 frames.
- Barrier recovery is not paused during hitstop, superflash, etc.
- When the Barrier Gauge is depleted, character enters Danger State and Barrier is disabled until Barrier Gauge fully refills (900F).
- Entering Overdrive stops Barrier Gauge refill, re-enables Barrier, and ends Danger State.
Some attacks will ignore the "half-raw damage rule": such attack will usually require Barrier or it will not be blockable. For example, Terumi's Screeches of the Condemned (Jarin Renshouga) deals extra 4000 barrier damage twice.
When characters completely drain their Barrier Gauge, they enter Danger State. During Danger State, characters take 20% more damage. Danger State ends when either the Barrier Gauge refills, or they activate Overdrive.
5A+B+C+D with full Burst Gauge (Air OK)
Overdrive temporarily powers a character's Drive in a unique way. Ex: Ragna's Overdrive enhances his life-stealing abilities, while Jin's enhances his Freeze abilities.
- All versions are HBFPT invulnerable for the full activation, and invulnerable to bursts before the screen freeze (frames 1-3)
- The startup invincibility makes it useful as a reversal if not in hitstun (otherwise, you will get a Burst).
- Round timer is paused while Overdrive is active.
- Active Flow timer is also paused, essentially extending Active Flow
- Most Drives and Distortion Drives gain additional properties during Overdrive, see each character page for details.
- As a general rule, they are more damaging and easier to use in combos.
- Opponents cannot burst during your Overdrive; they can still activate Overdrive
- Gain access to Exceed Accel
- Removes Danger State and regains Barrier equal to the amount of time spent in Danger State
- Refunds 30% Burst Gauge when Overdrive ends
|100% - 91%||90% - 82%||81% - 73%||72% - 63%||62% - 54%||53% - 45%||44% - 35%||34% - 0%|
- Time is reduced by half when using Guard Cancel Overdrive or Overdrive Cancel
- Overdrive timer is paused during hitstop and superflash frames
For most moves that benefit from Overdrive, it only matters that they are activated during Overdrive to get their benefits, even if Overdrive expires part way through the move. Distortion Drives and Exceed Accels activated during Overdrive cause some passive effects to persist until the move ends (Such as the round timer being frozen, or Hazama's lifesteal ring).
You can cancel into Overdrive almost anytime you can cancel into a special move. While this is indeed very powerful, cancelling into Overdrive cuts Overdrive time by half, so use it wisely!
Overdrive Cancels can be used mid-combo to make a combo unburstable and increase damage. Since lots of moves can cancel into Overdrive and it activates very quickly (3+3), it can be used as a pseudo Rapid Cancel.
When cancelling into Overdrive:
- Start-up is 3+3, the fastest of all activation times
- The HUD will show "Cancel Over Drive!"
- Overdrive time is halved
There is no way to get a neutral Overdrive activation mid-combo. If the opponent is in hitstun, then any Overdrive activation will be an Overdrive Cancel. Yes, Rapid Canceling an attack and then activating Overdrive will still be an Overdrive Cancel!
Overdrive Cancels are also great for beating Bursts! If you counter-hit an opponent with an attack that's greater than Attack Level 2, the additional hitstop from the counter hit will increase the opponent's Burst startup, making it slower than an Overdrive Cancel! Confirming a counter-hit into an Overdrive Cancel will negate the risk of a Burst: if the opponent Bursts, the Overdrive Cancel will either invuln through it, or allow you to block it on reaction.
Guard Cancel Overdrive
While in blockstun, activate Overdrive to cancel out all blockstun! This is a potent way to turn the tables on an attacking opponent! Guard Cancel Overdrive has a long startup of 3+23, but the sheer threat of canceling blockstun into an attack makes this a strong option. When scouting opportunities to use Guard Cancel Overdrive, look for the opponent's attacks that have lots of recovery and then punish them with Guard Cancel Overdrive! Conversely, avoid using this after blocking attacks with short recovery, since the opponent will recover during Overdrive's startup, leaving you in a disadvantageous situation.
When using Guard Cancel Overdrive:
- Start-up is 3+23 and is fully invincible.
- The HUD will show "Over Drive Raid!"
- Overdrive time is halved.
5A+B+C+D During Overdrive
Exceed Accels are a cinematic super only available during Overdrive that does not cost any resources, but immediately ends Overdrive on use.
- Can be done immediately after activating Overdrive by continuing to hold all 4 buttons during Overdrive's super freeze.
- Startup is 20 frames when done at neutral
- Startup is 10 frames when done immediately after Overdrive activation or as a cancel from another attack.
- This means that a neutral Overdrive > Exceed Excel effectively has startup 3+23 and Guard Cancel Overdrive > Exceed Excel has startup 2+33
- After successfully hitting the opponent with Exceed Accel, puts you in Active Flow. Characters may only enter Active Flow once per round, so using Exceed Accel will not place you into Active Flow a second time.
- Damage is about 2000 damage normally (with Minimum Damage about 300), but approximately doubles during Active Flow.
- Cannot inflict Counter Hits, so never get the 10% damage bonus.
Exceed Accels are negative on block (-10 for all characters except Nu-13); however, not all Exceed Accels are equally punishable due to pushback. An opponent can use Guard Cancel Overdrive on reaction to blocking an EA, allowing them to escape and punish the recovery. Be careful!
Most attacks in the game deal standardized amounts of hitstun, blockstun, etc. based 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||Lvl 5|
|Hitstop (Counter Hit)||+0||+0||+1||+2||+5||+8|
|Hitstun (Ground Counter Hit)||+4||+4||+4||+5||+5||+6|
|Crumple Fall (Counter Hit)||67||70||73||78||81||84|
|Untechable (Air Hit)||12||12||14||17||19||21|
|Untechable (Air Counter Hit)||+11||+12||+12||+14||+15||+16|
- Blockstun (Air) = Ground Blockstun + 2
- Hitstun (Crouching) = Standing Hit Stun + 2
- Crumple Duration (Counter Hit) = Crumple Duration × 2
- Crumple Fall (Counter Hit) = (Crumple Fall - 24) × 1.5 + 24
- The above formula is the non-fall part of Crumple Fall × 1.5. The fall animation is 24F.
- Spin Fall = Standing Hit Stun + 16F Fall animation
- Fatal Counter = Hitstun / Untechable + 3
- Instant Block Blockstun (Ground) = Blockstun - 3
- Instant Block Blockstun (Air) = Air Blockstun - 6
- Barrier Guard Blockstun = Blockstun + 1
- Additional hitstop on Counter Hit only applies to the person being hit
- Jumping moves almost universally have an override of 80% P1 from the default.
Example: Blockstun when Air Instant Blocking + Barrier Blocking a Level 4 attack = 18 + 2 + 1 - 6 = 15
A counter hit (CH) occurs when hitting the opponent when they are in Counter Hit state. The opponent will flash red, the HUD will show "Counter" and the announcer will say "Counter". On Counter Hit, the attack does 10% more damage and the opponent suffers more hitstun, air untechable time, and hitstop giving more time to hit confirm, as well as allowing CH specific combos. Additionally some attacks gain new properties on a counter hit like Wallbounce or Hard Knockdown.
All attacks are in CH state during an attack's startup and active time. Most attacks are not in counter hit state during recovery, but there are exceptions:
- All normal throws
- Most command throws
- All Counter Assaults
- All Exceed Accels
- All Astral heats
- Moves with invulnerable or guard point startups.
- Some other moves, noted in frame data.
Throwing an opponent who is in counterhit state will be a Throw Counter, and they will be unable to break the throw (Even if it would be a purple throw). Throw Counters do not gain any additional histun, damage or other special properties.
Some attacks have the Fatal Counter property. Counter Hitting the opponent with these attacks will cause a Fatal Counter, which gives all subsequent attacks in the combo 3 frames of additional hitstun / untechable state. This leads to combos that cannot normally be done and also offsets the effect of hitstun decay, allowing combos to continue longer than normal. The announcer will say "fatal" and the words "Fatal Counter" will appear on the HUD when a Fatal Counter happens.
Every character has at least one move that causes a Fatal Counter instead of a normal Counter Hit. A very small number of moves can force Fatal Counter even on a normal hit (even mid-combo!).
Fatal Counter does not stack with itself, so doing two Fatals in one combo still only adds 3 frames instead of 6.
Counter Hit Carry
Most multi-hit attacks have a property where if the first hit is a counter hit, then the remaining hits are also counter hit. This is known as Counter Hit Carry. Thanks to this property, hit confirming multi-hit attacks is easier and opens up additional combo opprotunities as well. Moves with Counter Hit Carry also grants the bonus damage that CH normally confers.
- Ex: When Nu gets a CH with j.C, the opponent will be unable to recover for a long time even if the j.C did multiple hits. This allows Nu to land and run up to the opponent for a combo after a CH j.C.
However, note that the additional hitstop the opponent incurs on counter hit does not carry over to the followup hits with Counter Hit Carry. This means that even with Counter Hit Carry, some combos are still only possible on the first hit of an attack.
- Ex: Jin's Counter Hit 5B > 6C. 5B > 6C combos if done on the first hit of 5B, but not the second. This is due to the fact that the additional hitstop is effectivel more "hitstun" to combo into the 6C.
Counter Hit Carry only applies to moves that multi-hit regardless of hitting, blocking or missing. Moves that have automatic followups that activate only when the first part hits (like throws, Exceed Accels and various other special moves) do not carry counter damage or hitstun.
Each attack in the game has an attribute. There are three main types of attributes that correspond to each type of attack: strike, projectile and throw. There are also the less frequently used doll and burst attributes. These attributes interact with each other to trigger certain effects like invincibility and guard point.
- Strikes are the most common type of attribute and can clash with other strikes (with rare exceptions).
- Strike attributes are broken up into three groups: Head, Body and Foot. Generally, grounded attacks are Body attribute, and attacks look like they hit low to the ground (even if they don't actually need to be guarded low) are Foot attribute. Virtually all air attacks are Head attribute.
- Projectiles are usually attacks that move independent of the attacker and disappear after it uses up all its hits or after a certain amount of time has passed.
- Projectiles cannot clash with strikes or throws.
- The Throw attribute is found on all throws, but is not exclusive to them!
- Some attacks, such as Tager's Atomic Collider or Naoto's Phantom Pain, do not behave like normal throws as they can comboed into without triggering a Purple Throw. These moves typically have other restrictions in place, such as unable to hit crouching or airborne opponents.
- Uncommon Attributes
- Strikes with Throw or Projectile Attribute
- Strikes with Projectile attribute can clash with projectiles, and are always clash level 1.
- Strikes with Throw attribute behave the same as strikes, with the Throw attribute only comes into play when calculating invincibility/guard point.
- The Doll attribute is uncommon and used primarily by Carl and Relius as they have partners (Nirvana and Ignis) that don't technically count as projectiles, but do move independently.
- For all intents and purposes, the Doll attribute has no mechanical effect on gameplay and can be ignored; just look at the other attributes on the Doll attack and treat it as that. Any known unique properties of doll and doll-attribute attacks is specific to the move/character.
- Bursts have their own "Burst" attribute. Almost all attacks with invincibility and guard point are still vulnerable to Bursts. Blocking normally still works however, so they aren't perfect.
- In most cases, invuln listed on the wiki as "All" does not include Burst. The following actions are universally Burst invulnerable:
- Burst itself
- The pre-superflash frames of Overdrive activation
- Astral Heat, if it has any invulnerability (noted separately if the Burst invuln timing/duration is different from other invuln)
- Specific characters' moves with Burst invulnerability will have it specifically noted.
- Some attacks have attribute invincibility, meaning they are always invincible to attacks with that attribute, regardless of any possible hitbox interaction that might hit them.
- Example: Ragna's 6A has Head attribute invincibility, so it functions very well as an anti-air since most jump attacks have the Head attribute.
- Attribute invincibility is only active for a specific time frame, see Frame Data for each move for details. This is especially important with regard to anti-air attacks: a jump attack that's already active will Counter Hit an opponent for attempting to anti-air too late.
- Strike + Throw Invincibility
- Interacting with strikes and throws functions under an "all or nothing" system; a character must be invincible to all of the attributes to become invincible.
- For example, Hakumen's 214D (Body+Throw attack) will beat both Hazama's 236C (Throw invul) and Noel's 4D (Body+Projectile invul).
- Strike + Projectile Invincibility
- Strikes that also contains Projectile attribute will beat Projectile invincibility. The Projectile attribute basically doesn't matter in these case, so just look at the non-projectile attributes.
- For example, Nine's backdash (Projectile invul) will get hit by Jin's 5D (Body+Projectile attack), and Ragna's 6A (Head invul) will beat Noel's j.C (Head+Projectile attack).
- Guard Point
- "Guard Point" (also referred to as autoguard, armour or super armour) allows a character to automatically guard against the opponent's attacks while continuing to attack.
- Guard Point may also have other restrictions not related to Attributes, such as only able to guard High/Low attacks or only able to guard a certain amount of damage. These details are listed in the character's Frame Data.
- It can be used similar to invincibility albeit with some differences:
- An attack that hits autoguard is considered "blocked" and the attacker retains all "cancel on block" options, unlike invincibility.
- Conversely, if a move still has active frames when normal invincibility ends, the move will hit, however for Guard Point, once a move is blocked by it, that hit is consumed even if it would otherwise remain active after the guard ends (each hit of a multihit attack needs to be blocked by a guard point individually, as normal).
- On the whole, invincibility tends to be better.
- Esoteric Guard Point Details
- Unlike normal guard, Guard Point will:
- Prevent any chip damage
- Cannot be guard crushed
- Can guard a Crush Trigger without consuming Barrier.
- Guardpointing an attack treated the same as blocking it for the purposes of Heat gain for both players.
- Can change the blockstop duration, for one or both characters.
Hurtbox invincibility is when parts of the character's "body" (i.e., their hurtbox) disappears. This type of invincibility is not from attribute invincibility and is purely a matter of hitbox/hurtbox positioning. Certain actions remove or shrink parts of a character's hurtbox, so they cannot be hit by an attack, even if their body appears to occupy that space. An extreme example is Nu's Act Parcer command dash: Nu crouches down while dashing forward but her hurtbox shrinks down below her knees, allowing her to dash through everything but attacks towards the ground. This phenomenon of dodging under an attack by lowering hurtboxes is commonly known as "low profile". This phenomenon is explained in more detail here.
In Blazblue Dustloop pages, Hurtbox Invincibility does not count as invincibility (unlike in Guilty Gear Pages), hence it is not listed in the invul section of the frame data. Nevertheless, notable cases of low profile moves and their interactions may be noted on character pages and move overviews.
- Strike Clash
- During a clash, that hit is nullified and each character can cancel the attack into any other attack at no cost, but not standard movement options (such as jump, walk, run), nor guard. Almost all strikes can clash, with very few exceptions.
- A clash happens when attacks hit each other in a way that hits each charater's attackbox, but not their hurtbox. See here for a more detailed visual example.
- When clashes happen either the players are unable to react to the clash because it is unexpected, or they understand how the attacks interact well enough to intentionally cause the clash to cancel out the opponent's attack, then retaliate with their own!
- Projectile Clash
- Each projectile has a clash level. When two projectiles of equal level clash, each projectile will lose one hit (i.e. a 3 hit projectile will become a 2 hit projectile, and a 1 hit projectile disappears). Higher level projectiles will reduce one hit of lower level projectiles without losing any hits.
- The frame data will list the clash level alongside its attribute. For example, a projectile with clash level 2 will show P2.
- Strikes with the Projectile attribute are generally able to clash with projectiles and are Clash Level 1.
- Edge Cases
- Some projectiles like Platinum's Dream Sally and Hibiki's clones are surrounded by a hurtbox and can be hit by strikes and projectiles. Other projectiles can hit them without losing any hits, so you can think of them as Clash Level 0.
- Some attacks have guard point against projectiles, like Nine's 4A/B/C and Susano'o's 6A.
- This explains why many people mistakenly think Susano'o's 6A can "clash" with projectiles of all clash levels. The 6A technically doesn't clash with other projectiles, it guards the other projectile for one hit and then it disappears itself.