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Blocking is a key part of staying alive in GBVS. After blocking an attack, your character will be stuck in a state where you can not move, severely limiting your options. The amount of time you are locked into a blocking state called blockstun. Different attacks deal different amounts of blockstun.

Ground Blocking

Lancelot stand blocking Katalina's mid attack on the ground.
Lancelot incorrectly blocks low, resulting in being hit by Katalina's overhead attack.
Basic ground blocking is the most common defensive option.

To guard against high attacks, simply hold 4. To guard against mid attacks, hold 4 or 1. To guard against low attacks, hold 1. If you guard incorrectly, a single "!" will appear over your character if you incorrectly block a low, and a "!!" for incorrectly block a high. Remember, you cannot block against throws, and some attacks are unblockable.

Air Blocking

Katalina is blocking in mid-air to successfully guard against Lancelot's incoming attacks.
When in the air, holding backwards or the Block 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 blocking 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.

Instant Blocking

Charlotta's blocking animation flashes white briefly while performing an instant block against an incoming special attack from Ferry.
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 7, 4 and 1 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.

Guard Crush

GBVS GuardCrush.png

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 LariatGBVS Ladiva 214X.pngGuardMidStartup35 [28]Recovery18Advantage+6 (214M). You are +6 after, so you can combo into an attack with 6F startup, like her c.L.

Throw Breaks

Image #1: Ferry attempts to throw Charlotta and misses. Charlotta grabs back in response, resulting in a throw punish.
Image #2: Charlotta attempts to throw Ferry again, and Ferry inputs throw, resulting in a successful throw tech.
You can break the incoming throw by inputting your own normal throw, but you can not input a throw break while holding 7 8 9.
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 Effects
Throw Break On Attacker Defender
Ground 1F
  • Break Animation: 27F
  • Break Animation: 27F
Ground 2-15F
  • Break Animation: 27F
  • Break Animation: 27F
  • gains 3% Skybound Gauge
Ground 16-22F
  • Break Animation: 27F
  • Break Animation: 51F
  • gains 3% Skybound Gauge
  • takes 500 damage
Air 1F
  • Break Animation: Until L +6F
  • Break Animation: Until L +6F
Air 2-10F
  • Break Animation: Until L +6F
  • Break Animation: Until L +6F
  • gains 3% Skybound Gauge
  • All animations are fully invincible
  • Damage taken is not scaled by Guts and can not KO.

Evasion/Avoiding Damage

Image #1: Gran using the Evade system mechanic.
Image #2: Gran using the Cross Over system mechanic.
Alongside any form of blocking, GBVS allows you to avoid incoming damage with the Evade and Cross-Over mechanics.


By pressing 4 + Block, you trigger an Evade. By using Evade, you are able to avoid damage from all incoming attacks for its duration. It is important to note that evading still leaves you open to throws, and is not fully invincible through out the animation.
  • Total: 29F
  • Strike and Projectile Invul on 1-25F
  • 26F onward in counter hit state


Akin to Evade, pressing 6 + Block will trigger a Cross-Over.

Cross-Overs will dodge incoming attacks while moving the character forward; however, the player becomes vulnerable to low attacks in addition to throws while performing this method of defense.

Both methods of this defense can be also done by holding down the Block button, and inputting either direction.
Everyone Else
  • Total: 29F
  • 1-21F Upper Body Invul from knee up
  • Total: 33F
  • 1-22F Upper Body Invul from knee up


This means you hit the opponent during their attack's recovery. Good job!
Waiting for the opponent to whiff attack, then punishing them is a common tactic.

Sometimes you'll see the word "Punish" on the HUD. This means that you punished the opponent's 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!

The HUD message is helpful for learning while you play. Did you actually punish the opponent's attack or were they just not blocking? Now you can know for sure.


Backshift is a Tactical Move option that is used to gain space on the opponent with invulnerability. Done by performing 4M+H and costs of 50% of your Skybound Gauge. Backshifting grants invulnerability from the first frame of activation to frame 15, at which point the move enters recovery. The amount of recovery Backshift has is dependant on your character. Characters with a reversal option such as a  Gran's Rising SwordGBVS Gran 623X.pngGuardMid, AllStartup9Recovery30Advantage-22 or  Seox's ThunderflashGBVS Seox 236x6u.pngGuardStartupRecoveryTotal 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.

High Recovery Backshift Characters: Anre, Avatar Belial, Beelzebub, Belial, Charlotta, Djeeta, Ferry, Gran, Katalina, Lancelot, Narmaya, Percival, Seox, Vira, Yuel, Zeta

  • Invulnerable: 1f - 15f
  • Recovery: 16f - 30f
  • Total: 30f

Low Recovery Backshift Characters: Cagliostro, Eustace, Ladiva, Lowain, Metera, Soriz, Vaseraga, Zooey

  • Invulnerable: 1f - 15f
  • Recovery: 16f - 20f
  • Total: 20f


A reversal is the term used to refer to any special move that has invulnerability frames on startup, allowing them to serve as strong anti-airs and "get off me" tools to escape pressure. They are also commonly referred to as DP's or "Dragon Punch" and the two terms can be used interchangeably. Most characters have this input on 623X or 6S.

While DPs are very useful tools, they are considered high-risk if not done on reaction. A blocked DP has enough recovery for opponents to land a full combo.

Input Failures

Although GBVS makes inputting the DP easy with use of the special button, there are edge cases that can cause both the Easy and Technical input to fail.

  • Mashing DP on wakeup will often cause it to not come out on the first possible frame and will lose to meaties. If you want to DP it is best to do it timed with your character's wakeup animation and to perform the input cleanly.
  • If you accidentally input 3S the game will prioritize your character's down special resulting in a 2S instead of a 6S.
  • If you press 6S outside of the game’s buffer window no special move will occur. This timing will change based on how much blockstun you are in or if you are in recovery of another move while attempting to DP.

Stuffing Reversals

A few methods are available to beat reversals


Many characters in the game have a safe jump off of hard knockdowns that involve a Jump or Superjump. A safejump is timed in such a way so that a jump in attack will connect if the defender presses an attack or blocks, but will recover in time to block if the opponent uses a DP on wakeup.

Please refer to the individual character pages for safejump information.

Gapless Low blockstrings

Any blockstring that utilizes low attacks will result in a failed DP because of the forward motion in the DP that causes the character to stop blocking before the move is applied. This applies to both easy and technical input variations.

Examples Include:

  • Safe Jump > 2L > 2L
  • Any Meaty Jump-in Attack > 2L > 2L
  • 2L > 2L > 2L
  • Other character specific setups involving gapless blockstrings > low pressure.


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