Skullgirls/Game Systems/Basic Defense

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Basic Defense


The fundamental defensive tactic of any fighting game, incoming attacks can be blocked by holding away from the attacking character. Attacks that are High.png must be blocked high (←) by a standing character and attacks that are Low.png must be blocked low (↙) while crouching. All other attacks are considered mid and can be blocked either way.

  • Jumping normals are typically high.
  • Air special attacks and Blockbusters are typically mid.
  • Not all crouching attacks are low. Some characters have low attacks from standing.
  • For multi hit normals, only the first hit that contacts the opponent must be blocked high or low. Any additional hits are considered mid.
  • Air blocking defends against high, low, and mid moves at the same time.
  • Chicken blocking, or deliberately blocking during a low to the ground jump, works like it does in other 2D fighters with air blocking. If the defending character hits the ground in the middle of normal block stun the block stun ends immediately, which effectively gives the defending character a faster recovery.
  • After blocking an attack standing or crouching, the defending character will remain in their initial position even if holding the other block direction. The defending character will only change position when blocking an attack that requires the other block direction. The "fuzzy guard" tactic, which exploits this small detail, will work similar to Street Fighter series games.
  • When the attacking player whiffs a move, an opponent within a reasonably close range will show a blocking animation if holding a block direction. This range varies per move. Projectiles and any attack preformed as an Ensemble will not cause a blocking animation on whiff. The blocking animation prevents the defending player from walking backwards, but will not prevent any other action.

Push Block

A defending player can push block, or "Reaction Shot" as it is called in the Skullgirls tutorial mode, by pressing PP at any time during a block stun. The defensive technique pushes the attacking character away and prevents the recoverable portion of Chip Damage. If an attack from an Ensemble character gets push blocked, the Ensemble character gets the push back with no effect on the point character. Push blocking a Proj.png attack pushes the projectile's owner away.

Push blocking starts a 25f animation. When a single hit gets Push blocked, that single hit will always cause this minimum 25f block stun even when normal block stun is shorter than 25f. It is very possible for the defending player to actually lengthen block stun by Pushblocking at the very end of normal block stun or by Push blocking a move with a very short block stun. If any additional hits land during the Push block animation the additional hits deal the same softened chip damage, inflict only 50% of their normal block stun, and stop the push effect on the attacking character.

There are several strategies to efficiently use a push blocks:

  • Rapid fire push blocks to reduce chip damage from specials and Blockbusters with many rapid hits. This means push blocking the first hit then mashing PP until it's over.
  • Strategic push block against single hit pokes, projectiles, and specific hits in a block strings to create space. This is useful when the defending player doesn't want the attacking player anywhere near them for any reason.
  • Push Block Guard Cancel
  • Absolute Guard

Ground Recovery

After getting hit by a Knockdown.png , inputting either forward or backward and any button will preform a ground recovery in the chosen direction. Characters performing a ground recovery remain invulnerable until they are standing and free to take another action. In a typical knockdown, the defending character first hits the ground with a red impact effect. Depending on the knockdown attack, the character may briefly stay on the ground or bounce before showing a blue impact effect. The blue impact effect signals the 12f window for inputting a ground recovery. In a combo, any knockdown after the first shows the blue impact effect and allows immediate ground recovery.

  • Sweep.png attacks will cause a knockdown on hit, but the defending player gets full invulnerability on hit and a blue impact effect on the first bounce. This knockdown can never start a combo if the opponent used a reasonably quick ground recovery input. Sweep attacks lose all invulnerability, knockdown, and an special ground recovery rules if hitting as an OTG.
  • Softknockdown.png attacks can never cause a red impact effect. Unlike a sweep, they do not give invulnerability to the opponent.
  • Hardknockdown.png attacks show no impact effect, never allow a ground recovery, and force the opponent to get up with a default recovery animation.
  • The start of the first Slide.png in a combo counts as a knockdown and forces the opponent must get up with a default recovery animation. Any additional slide stuns in the combo will show a blue hit effect and allow ground recovery.
  • Crumple.png stuns never allow ground recovery; they always force a default recovery animation even when used in a combo and after a knockdown.
  • Ensemble attacks that would normally knockdown for a red hit effect cause a green impact effect instead. The defending character can use ground recovery 9f after the green impact effect, but is just as vulnerable as normal and must wait for a blue impact effect if ground recovery is not used in this window.
  • Ensembles that would normally cause a slide on hit will cause a similar green impact effect, signaling to the defending player that a ground recovery will become available in the middle of the slide animation.

SG hitbox PWrecover1.jpg SG hitbox PWrecover2.jpg SG hitbox PWrecover4.jpg
SG hitbox PWrecover3.jpg
Painwheel using a ground recovery. After the initial hit stun, a red hit effect shows as she first contacts the ground. A blue hit effect shows shortly after, signaling she can start the invulnerable ground recovery.

Throw Tech

Defending players can break an incoming normal Throw.png and Airthrow.png with a throw tech (LP+LK while being thrown). During a throw tech, both characters go through an invulnerable break animation that deals no damage and recovers on the same frame. All normal throws have a 13f tech window after the throw hits. In addition, the start up frames for a normal throw will auto-tech other throws without an additional LP+LK input. Teching is unavailable whenever the character could not otherwise throw, such as during the start up or recovery frames of any other move. Characters cannot preform normal ground throws and techs while holding any down direction, so they cannot break throws while holding a down direction. A ↓+LP+LK input always counts as a crouching LP. The popular option select throw technique, as seen in many other 2D fighting games with a 2 button normal throw input, will not work.