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; this is known as frame advantage/disadvantage. An attack that is -11 on block means that the defender can use an attack that has startup 11 frames or faster to punish the opponent. Of course just because an attack is fast enough does not mean it can 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 mid-match. Did you actually punish the opponent's attack or were they just not blocking? Now you can know for sure.
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.
Frame advantage is the concept of who is free to act first after an interaction.
This is most commonly brought up after blocking an attack; who can act first - the attacker or defender? A negative value on block means the defender can act first, and a positive value means the attacker can act first. The value shows exactly how many frames one character can move before the other. For example:
- If a move is -5 on block, it means the defender is free to move 5 frames before the attacker.
- If a move is +2 on block. it means the attacker can move 2 frames before the defender.
Each character's Frame Data subpage shows both the frame advantage when an attack is blocked. Air attacks don't have frame advantage listed since that value is varaiable and is heavily influenced by when the attacker lands after an attack.
Frame advantage assumes that the attack connects as soon as possible against a standing/crouching opponent, and that the attacker does not cancel the attack into anything else. Hitting an attack later into its active frames is called making the move "meaty".
Read more about using frame data here.
Hold an attack button to repeat the button input every frame for up to 3 frames (speculated). This will make difficult links are easier to do -- hold the button a little early and that 1F link usually becomes a 3F link!
Inputting a run within 3F (speculated) of returning to neutral (such as during an attack's recovery, during blockstun, on wakeup, etc.) will also have the same effect; regardless of any directional inputs after that, your character will begin running as soon as recovery ends! The same principle can be applied to backdash and airdashes.
Advanced Input makes timing things as fast as possible easier, and is even better when buffering both an attack and a run. The attack will activate as soon as possible while sliding forward! This technique is useful for linking together combos as well as punishing things after blocking. In fact, some combos rely on Advanced Input to work.
Super Flash Buffer
Some attacks briefly pause the game to make the startup of the attack more dramatic. This is known as Super Flash or Super Freeze.
When the opponent does an attack with super flash, commands inputted during super flash will be executed immediately after super flash ends.
Players often use this to execute an invincible attack (623M) to counter the opponent's super. This is because supers usually have a bit of startup even AFTER the super flash, which allows the defender to input an attack of their own risk-free!
Attacks with super flash list their startup values as:
startup pre-flash + (super flash duration) + startup post-flash
Ex: an attack with startup 5+(90 Flash)+5 has 5 frames of startup, then 90F super flash, then hits the opponent after 5 more frames for a total of 10 frames of startup.
- Supers With No Startup After Super Flash
Some attacks are special: they have no additional startup after the super flash. Super Flash Buffer is useless against these attacks - you can think of the superflash as just a formality, the attack has already become active!
Grappler's Awakening SkillGuardMidStartup5+0RecoveryAdvantage- is a prime example of this; you must already have some way to avoid the throw BEFORE the super flash or else it will be too late. You can identify such attacks in the frame data by looking at their startup post-flash, which should be 0.