Using Meter and Playing Defense in BlazBlue Central Fiction

The “!” is an example of a really slick learning tool that you can see during a real match.
  • Reduce your blockstun by 3f
  • Directly builds your Heat, and passively cranks your Active Flow rating. (We’ll talk about this later.)
  • Reduces pushback taken on block, leaving you closer to your opponent
I don’t get the punishes but you can see when I IB when Mai flashes white.
In training mode, the green bar on the right shows you how long the dummy is in hitstun. Throwing the dummy while that green bar is active will always trigger the purple throw.
  • Strikes will lose to throws if the hurtbox is successfully thrown.
  • Two normal throws at the same time will tech.
  • Command throws always beat normal throws. When you tech a command throw you have to do it during the purple “!” throw tech window.
  • If two command throws are performed on the same frame, the one with more active frames will win. Individual properties like invincibility will also be a factor.
  • Forward roll tech: Hold 6 and any button. Here, you are only fully invuln for 3 frames. From frames 4–17, you are throw invuln, and from frame 18 on, you can begin blocking. You become fully actionable on frame 30. The forward roll lets you pass through your opponent on the first ten frames.
  • Back roll tech: Hold 4 and any button. You are fully invuln longer here- from frame 1–10, you can pass through your opponent on the backward roll and are fully invuln. You remain throw invuln until frame 17 and can start blocking from frame 18, and become fully actionable on frame 30.
  • Quick tech: Hold 2 and any button. This getup is not strike invuln at all. Instead, you are tech invuln from frames 1 to 13, and can begin guarding on frame 14. The main advantage of Quick Tech is that you are actionable much earlier, as soon as frame 19, and you can cancel this window into a grounded abare attempt. It’s probably worth mentioning that if you hold no tech at all, you will automatically do a Quick Tech, but this is only after 68 frames, during which time you could potentially be OTGed at any point.
  • Neutral tech: Just hold a tech button. You are fully invulnerable until frame 32, at which point you become actionable. Neutral tech is also the only one of these that can be performed as an emergency tech within an 8-frame window as soon as you touch the ground after being hit.
Here, back roll and neutral tech beat the meaty 2C, but forward roll loses.
Jin’s 2C is an antiair because it’s invulnerable to attacks with the head attribute, which constitutes most air buttons.
Dashing into 2C without BB braking, with BB braking, and with IBB (note the white flash.)
  • Much like FD, it consumes Barrier even when you’re not actively blocking something.
  • You can use BB to brake your dash like FD as well, and it also blocks air unblockables. (The window to BB brake an airdash is really late, so try not to do it too early and get counterhit out of your j.B instead.)
  • BB prevents chip damage and increases pushblock. Pushblock is split between both characters unless one of you is in the corner, in which case the character outside of the corner takes the full brunt of it.
  • Blockstun is increased by 1 frame.
  • A significant addition to BB is that it prevents Guard Crush (we’ll go over this in a bit.)
  • Prevents chip and blocks air unblockables.
  • Decreases blockstun by 2 frames (5 in the air.)
  • Like BB, it prevents Guard Crush.
  • You gain the Heat bonus from IB.
  • Pushblock is slightly higher than if you used regular BB. If you IBBed an attack while in the corner, you would push your opponent nearly fullscreen.
I use an RC macro (A+B+C) to make this easier. I included a demo of what it looks like if you get the OS ‘wrong’ (the Throw Reject Miss in the second part of the .GIF.)
  • If your opponent tried a throw within 3 frames of your OS input, you’ll break it. (This is where inputting it ‘wrong’ and getting put into Throw Reject Miss comes into play. Try inputting your OS later rather than early, or you’ll just get thrown out of BB every time.)
  • If they didn’t try to throw you, you’ll still get BB and block their offense.
If Jin had blocked the 236A with BB, he wouldn’t have been Guard Crushed. (Mai’s 236A tipper GC isn’t advantageous enough to get a followup without RC.)
  • Distortion Drives (your supers.)
  • Rapid Cancels (aka Roman Cancels.)
  • Counter Assaults (this game’s Dead Angle.)
  • Crush Triggers, which we’ve discussed above.
  • Astral Heats (a unique version of Instant Kill.)
  • The round timer is paused while Overdrive is active.
  • Your character may get some unique properties during Overdrive- typically your specials, Drives, and Distortion Drives are all powered up, but there may be some additional properties.
  • Most importantly, any combos you land while in Overdrive cannot be broken with Burst.
  • Much like Burst, Overdrive is the other main way to remove Danger State as described above, and will fill your Barrier Gauge equivalent to roughly however long you spent in Danger State.
236A would normally* not lead into a combo, but OD makes it possible. (*With this spacing. OD buffs Mai’s Juncture hits.)
  • You can immediately perform an EA after activating OD by continuing to hold the buttons down. Startup of EA is always 20 frames when done in neutral, but halved to 10 when cancelled into as a special cancel or when performed by continuing to hold A+B+C+D after OD activation.
  • A successful EA triggers Active Flow, which we’re about to go into detail on (unless you had already been in Active Flow once during the round.)
  • Base damage is around 2k, with a bare minimum of 300 if cancelled into at the end of a combo, but these numbers are doubled during Active Flow.
  • All EAs except for Nu-13’s are -10 on block, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re all punishable due to things like pushblock and such.
Over Drive Raid into Exceed Accel is a common guard cancel/reversal attempt.
  • OD will always last longer when activated in neutral, but that also increases the risk of you not being able to cash in on it. Using it as a guard cancel or to extend your offense may not last a long time, but at least you can guarantee the bonus damage and maybe even end with an EA.
  • If you have it and you need to save yourself, you should just spend the Burst. Even if the cooldown on the gauge is longer, creating space in a pinch and stopping your opponent from continuing their combo (and maybe even preventing their chance to enter OD themselves!) is still extremely useful.
Don’t give your opponent a buff.
  • you will tech the tick throw,
  • you will activate a neutral Overdrive instead of guard cancelling into it, giving you a longer timer,
  • or you will continue to block.
Seriously, fuck this move.
  • Remember to always mix up your defensive options. Overly relying on only one type will leave you vulnerable in different ways. Solely relying on normal block will leave you chipped or Guard Crushed; spending all of your Barrier will leave you defenseless in other situations; using only a single tech direction every time on wakeup can be predictable. Learning how to mix things up and adding IB to your repertoire will help a ton.
  • Research your character’s defensive options. We can’t all have Naoto’s EX 623D, but you may still have some other type of tool you can rely on in addition to system options.
  • Burning Heat to open up your opponent or stay safe is important. Remember, you don’t retain Heat between rounds, and you carry your Burst Gauge process through as well. You’ll feel dumb for dying with 100 Heat instead of spending it on offense or even a reversal super.
  • There’s a billion different ways to get creative with Overdrive in this game, and the creative layers will expand as you continue playing and experimenting. Just remember that Bursting is almost always a safe choice unless you know your opponent has a setup that can bait it.
  • Once again, don’t forget about even the most basic stuff like just backdashing or jumping out of the way. As long as you remember to play offensively to avoid Negative Penalty, you may find that the easiest defensive option was the best one in a given scenario.




Nathan “Lite the Iron Man” Dhami can be found on Twitter (@LiteTheIronMan,) on Twitch (,) and at your local.

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Nathan Dhami

Nathan Dhami

Nathan “Lite the Iron Man” Dhami can be found on Twitter (@LiteTheIronMan,) on Twitch (,) and at your local.

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