A Guard (ガード, Gādo?), also referred to as a Block, is a type of action in the Guilty Gear series. It is an universal move that helps mitigate damage received and is integral to keeping a character alive, and may even help resume one's offense faster.
Guarding is done by pushing the directional button opposite of the opponent's direction. There are standing and crouching guards which the player must use according to the incoming attack; if the controlled character is facing the right of the screen, either (standing) or (crouching) should be pressed. Standing guards are used to defend against high and mid-level attacks, while crouching guards are used against mid and low attacks. A player can use guards in mid-air—if successful, jump options are restored—, but these are basically useless if the opponent is attacking on the ground. One cannot block against Throws, and some attacks have unblockable properties, like Undertow or Heavenly Potemkin Buster.
From Guilty Gear X onwards, guarding against the opponent's attack right before it hits activates an Instant Block (直前ガード, Chokuzen Gādo?). This will cause the defending character to start shining white with a bright light and the word "JUST" appears. Unlike a normal guard, which has a period where one cannot move or attack, this time frame is shorter for the Instant Block. It also reduces pushback, builds a small amount of Tension (0.5% since ♯Reload), and increases the Tension Pulse. It is otherwise a basic block move.
In the same entry, the Guard Level (ガードレベル, Gādo Reberu?) gauge was introduced, later renamed from Xrd onwards to R.I.S.C. Level (Ｒ.Ｉ.Ｓ.Ｃ.レベル, Risku Reberu?). Located below the health bar, this gauge increases each time a character guards an attack—with a basic block or an Instant Block—, but decreases when taking a hit. When it exceeds 75% the gauge starts flashing, and every attack received will have Counter Hit properties. Also, the more the gauge is filled, the greater the damage received from the opponent. The less filled, the less damage.
When a character is blocking an opponent's attack, Dead Angle Attacks can be performed. It will cancel the blocking animation and strike the enemy while they are still attacking.
- Basic guard
- Faultless Defense
Faultless Defense is a recurring special type of blocking in which the character does not lose any health at the cost of decreasing the Tension gauge with each hit. It is generally done by simultaneously holding down any two attack buttons except .
- Slash Back
Λ Core titles have the Slash Back (スラッシュバック, Surasshu Bakku?) option. Simultaneously pressing + + creates a yellow effect. If successful, the yellow effect flashes and will dramatically cut the stun time after a guard; however, one becomes temporarily defenseless if it fails. It has a 2% Tension consumption rate.
- Blitz Shield
In the Xrd games, the Blitz Shield option is added. It can be used by pressing plus another attack button ( or or ) that costs 25% Tension, and will repel the opponent's attack and stun them. A Blitz Attack can be performed while in this state.