There are two primary normal attack buttons in P4:Arena; A and B. A is primarily weak fast attacks, and B is primarily strong slow attacks. Some normal attacks also have followup attacks if you press the button twice (or more times) in a row like Tsubaki from BlazBlue. Nearly every character's 2B attack is an anti-air attack.
Normal Attacks can usually cancel into one another, generally following the order A > B > C > D. However this is not a steadfast rule. Consult the P Combo section of your character's frame data for exact details.
All Out Attack
Press 5+A+B to perform an All Out Attack. Your character will flash white, then perform an overhead attack that automatically guard against enemy attacks (but not throws and supers!). This is useful to stop mashing opponents as well as a mixup option. Some All Out Attacks are easy to react to (such as Teddie's), while others are much more difficult (such as Yu's). All Out Attacks have lots of recovery so if your opponent correctly blocks it, prepare to be punished (or you could One More! Cancel...)!
- If you hit the opponent while they are standing/crouching, then you can rapidly press A or B to do more hits (max 15) and do the following:
- Press C to knock the opponent into the air and allow for you to followup with an air combo. This is usually used mid-screen.
- Press D to knock the opponent far away and can wallbounce in the corner if you get all 15 hits. This is usually used in the corner for combos.
- If you hit the opponent while they are airborne, they will bounce off the ground, allowing you to perform a very brief combo afterwards.
- If you are able to get all 15 hits, the opponent will be placed into the Fatal Counter state.
If you are having problems getting all 15 hits, try rapidly pressing A+B at the same time around 6 times after your character enters the dust cloud, then C/D. The timing is actually pretty simple once you get used to it!
Press 2+A+B to perform a sweep. The sweep will knock the opponent to the ground ending your combo, but allowing you time to set up a mixup. Some characters can also cancel their sweeps into jumps, specials, or other normals to set up okizeme.
By repeatedly pressing 5A, you will perform an auto-combo. The first few followup 5As will use normal attacks that are unique, analogous to followup attacks that BlazBlue's Tsubaki has. The number of followup attacks differ from character to character. For example, Yu Narukami will perform a punch, a kick, then a downward slice with his sword.
After these normal followup attacks, pressing A again will cause your character to automatically perform a Skill attack. For example, Yu Narukami will cancel the slice into Blitz (214C).
Pressing A again will automatically cause your character to Super Cancel the attack into a Super Attack, assuming you have 50 SP available (if you do not have enough SP, then your character will do nothing). For example, Yu Narukami will Super Cancel Blitz into Ziodyne (236236C).
If you are able to hit the opponent with the last normal followup attack, you gain 13 SP as well as recover 1/8 of your Burst Gauge.
Players can stop using the Auto Combo at any time and substitute their own attacks. For example, Teddie players often stop the Auto Combo after two 5As and perform a 2B to start a more damaging combo. Other players often stop the Auto Combo before the Super Attack to save the SP for future use.
Some attacks require your Persona in order to be used, such as everyone's C or D attacks, Bursts, Yukiko's Agi, Yu's Ziodyne or Kanji's Furious Action. If you OR your persona get hit while the Persona is still visible, then you lose one unit of your Persona Gauge. Persona attacks can be disabled temporarily if you are Muted or in Persona Break.
Normal Persona Attacks (simply pressing C or D) are all different depending on the character, but they generally can be used to do the following:
- As long(er) range attacks
- As a mixup tool by attacking in tandem with your persona
- As a frame trap: some C and D attacks can be canceled into another C or D attack
Persona Attacks Affected By Position
Some Persona attacks start from the current position of the Persona if it is already out. This can lead to some interesting attack angles, such as the opponent sandwiched between you and your Persona. There are no rules to determine which attacks have this property: some Persona attacks simply do and some do not.
- Elizabeth is notorious for using this to send her Persona out to attack the opponent from full-screen by using 5C > 2C!
- Yukiko can send out her Persona behind the opponent with j.D, then bring them closer to her with 5D!
- Narukami can perform a j.C, then land and do 236C to have his Persona throw a projectile from high off the ground!
Using Persona When Persona is Hit
If you input an attack that uses your persona the instant the opponent hits your persona, your persona attack will come out immediately after! This applies even if you opponent's attack would cause Persona Break.
Persona reliant characters (like Elizabeth) should take advantage of this to get one more extra persona attack in or to punish the opponent for hitting your persona!
Skill attacks are usually performed by doing a motion plus a button (such as 236A) and generally have special properties compared to normal attacks. Normal Skill attacks come in a few varieties: for example a Narukami's Zio attack is performed by 236C/D, with the D version being a close up attack, and the C version being a full screen attack. Most Skill attacks also deal 15% of their base damage as blue damage on block.
Attacks that require your persona will have shown.
Skill Boost Attacks
In addition to the 2 variations mentioned above, most Skill attacks also have a third variation that consumes 25 SP that is performed by pressing two buttons (ex: 236+A or B becomes 236+A+B). Skill Boost attacks consume 25 SP, are generally an enhanced version of a Skill attack, and have a light blue silhouette behind the character. For example the Boosted version of Narukami's Zio attack causes Shock.
SP Skill Attacks
SP Skill attacks (commonly called Super Attacks) consume 50 SP and are an even stronger version of Skill attacks that deal large amounts of damage or have other special properties like invincibility or powering up the character. See SP Skill Attacks for more information.
Throws are a special type of attack that are unblockable, but have other restrictions in place:
- Throws can not hit characters who are in hitstun (with the exception of Stagger) or blockstun
- Throws can not hit characters for 6 frames after leaving blockstun and hitstun. Meaning you can be thrown on the 7th frame.
- Ground Throws can not hit airborne opponents or opponents who are in jump startup
- Air Throws can not hit grounded opponents
If any of the situations listed occur, the throw will simply miss.
Initiating a throw counts as a "hit", meaning that you can remove Naoto's traps or remove a card from the Persona Gauge by throwing, even if the opponent escapes it!
Similarily, breaking a throw also counts as a "hit" and will also remove traps and remove a card from the Persona Gauge.
Every character has normal throws; throws are a key part of your offense to stop opponents who simply block and refuse to do anything else!
- Press C+D while standing to perform a forward ground throw
- Press 4+C+D while standing to perform a backward ground throw
- Press C+D while airborne to perform an air throw
- Throws that show an exclamation mark can be escaped by pressing C+D.
- If you input a throw, then you will automatically break an opponent's throw for the next 16 frames.
- An odd exception to this is Aigis, her throw will beat opponent's throws, though the opponent can still break the throw once the exclamation mark appears.
Command Throws are a special type of throw (usually a Skill attack) that can not be escaped, such as Kanji's 214C/D.
Comboing into Throws
Certain attacks cause a spinning stagger state on standing and crouching opponents such as Kanji's 5B and 5C on counter hit. This type of histun can combo into throws, similar to Street Fighter 3's "Back Turned" state.
Elizabeth commonly uses this property to cancel an All Out Attack into her Command Throw Super for massive damage!
Priority of Strike vs Throw vs Command Throw
When two strikes hit each other, either a clash happens or both characters get hit, but what happens when throws are added to the mix?
- Throw vs Strike: The throw will always win.
- Normal Throw vs. Normal Throw: A Throw Break occurs.
- Normal Throw vs. Command Throw: The Command Throw will always win.
- Command Throw vs. Command Throw: Both throws whiff for that one frame. Meaning a Command Throw with more Active Frames will win in the end.
Some attacks are completely unblockable, meaning the only way to avoid getting hit is to move out of the way! You will know which attacks are unblockable when the character shows two exclamation marks in a yellow text bubble before performing an attack.
In addition to this, there are also other types of unblockable attacks that do not show the exclamation marks, but have other restrictions in place.
For example: Kanji's 236C/D can only hit airborne opponents, and his j.214A/B will miss on crouching opponents.
Air Unblockable Attacks
Most character's 2Bs are air unblockable. This means that if the opponent tries to air block an AUB, then they will get hit. A yellow exclamation mark will appear when this happens.
There are restrictions on AUBs, and they are discussed here.