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- Also known as blocking.
- Blocking is an necessary action to lower damage taken.
Hold or to Standing Guard and hold or + to Crouching Guard.
- Standing Guard blocks Mid and High attacks, but not Lows.
- Crouching Guard blocks Mid and Low attacks, but not Highs such as many (but not all) jumping attacks.
- Air Guarding and guarding Throw attacks is not possible.
After blocking an attack, characters enter a state called blockstun where they are unable to do anything except continue blocking or Guard Cancel. Normally, blocking attacks results in the defender taking no damage, but MP Skills will deal a portion of their damage as White Damage when blocked.
Blocking attacks depletes the defending character's Guard Gauge. When the Guard Gauge completely empties, the defending character will be stunned for 60 frames and unable to take any action, including blocking.
- Also known as Roll
Performed by pressing +. This moves your character forward while avoiding attacks, but is vulnerable to throws. They are strike invulnerable for a significant amount of time until their recovery, and projectile invulnerable up until its very last frame. Using dodges to move through big attacks with slow recoveries can guarantee punishes, or allow you to safely close in on your opponent at the cost of frame advantage.
Dodges cannot be performed by holding and pressing , but can be released and pressed again while holding to dodge, or while holding in general (such as forward dashing).
- All Characters Except Enchantress
- 31 Frames Total
- 3-13F Crosses through opponent if close
- 1-20F Strike Invulnerable
- 1-30F Projectile Invulnerable
- 21-31F Recovery
- 31 Frames Total
- 5-13F Crosses through opponent if close
- 1-4F Strike and Projectile invulnerable
- 5-22F All Invulnerable (including throw)
- 23-30F Projectile invulnerable
- 23-31F Recovery
Performed by pressing ++ while blocking. An invincible attack that launches the opponent away on hit. It costs 100 MP and cannot be performed without having at least 100 MP. The damage it deals is minor and cannot K.O. the opponent. Guard Cancel also gives the opponent white health on hit, giving them access to Conversion for a few seconds afterwards. Different characters use different moves for their Guard Cancels so their hitboxes widely vary, but they are universally strike/projectile invulnerable and unsafe when blocked. Like reversals, Guard Cancel leaves you in a counter hit state during recovery, allowing many characters to punish it more heavily on block.
If you input a ground throw at the same time as an opponent within a 4 frame window, then both characters will back off a short distance and recover. The defending character starts their tech animation 1 frame earlier than the attacker, leaving the defender +1 afterwards. If both characters throw on the same frame, the attacker is considered the character who attacked most recently.
- Throw techs cannot be performed while recovering from a move, so unsafe attacks are still unsafe.
- If the throw connects while the defender is holding the button, the defender cannot tech, even if they release .
Sometimes "Punish" will appear on the HUD. This means that a character was hit during the recovery of their attack.
Attacks are punishable on block if the defender has enough time to hit the attacker after blocking the attack. Each character's frame data lists the amount of time to punish an attack on block. Of course, just because an attack is fast enough does not also mean it has the range to reach the opponent, so knowledge and practice are still necessary even when a player knows the numbers.
While the concept of punishing exists in all fighting games, the HUD indicator is helpful for learning while mid-match. Did you actually punish the opponent's attack or were they just not blocking?
Reversal is a term used to refer to either performing an action on the first possible frame after recovery or actions that would be used in such a context, such as moves with invincibility during startup. The HUD displays the word "Reversal" when performing a move immediately after recovering from blockstun, hitstun, or knockdown. This message is useful to tell when an attack was performed as fast as possible.