Blocking in killer instinct

I havent bought the game yet because im waiting for the pc release and im already feeling like i’ll be salty about blocking. I was watching some tournament games and saw sabrewulf’s dash into eclipse thing and most of the time they couldnt block it. That was odd because i thought why would they stop blocking while they should be blocking. So i searched and found out that to block in ki you need to hold the opposite move direction button. So i figured why they cant block it and i think this is extremly unbalanced. Not just wulf tech but also for close combat chars vs zoners. I mean as an offensive char and while playing full screen if you think an attack is coming and its actually not coming you are hurting yourself anyway by walking backwards to block and incoming attack. And its stupid when you clearly should be blocking but cant just because they dashed to other side and you couldnt react fast enough because you should be focusing on throw techs or blocking overheads and lows. So i think we should be able to change block input to another button. Again, i havent played the game yet so i might be wrong about this. But as a mkx player i think it would be really annoying to not being able to block just because they switched sides. Also giving an option to change block input would make it easier for players who are used to block button system to get into ki.

Mixups and crossups.
Part of the mind games we play in KI involves tricking the opponent into blocking incorrectly, or making them think they need to block while you walk up and throw them.

It’s not as bad as it looks though. You can have an opponent throw projectiles at you, teleport behind you (so you turn your back to the slow projectile) and start pressuring you and those projectiles hitting you in the back will still register as having been blocked… But they can fool you into blocking the wrong way if you’re not aware.

A lot of the Wulf Dash-Eclipse shenanigans is getting patched out in Season 3, but the SF style move back to block isn’t going anywhere. This is because a lot of characters use tools that “cross-up”, meaning they are designed to get past an opponent who is using a block on one side. Examples include Riptor’s tail flip, several characters Jumping HP (including Jago, Shago, Kan-Ra, Thunder, and Hisako), Thunder’s Instinct/CoS dash, Wulf Dash, Shago/Omen ninja slide, Spinal/Fulgore teleports, and more. These attacks are generally harder to block, since they can often catch you off guard or force you to anticipate that it is coming.
While it may seem daunting to defend against, though, though, these tactics generally require that the offending playing must put themselves in an unsafe situation that leaves them open for a punish.It is possible to block against these sort of tactics, it just takes practice in learning how to spot someone using them. The exceptions are generally either as a result of a temporary instinct bonus, or are being further tweaked in S3 to emphasize the risk>reward meta of Killer Instinct.
It will take some getting used to if you’re coming from MKX, but it’s a worthwhile system of defense that works in its own way. (Heck, I didn’t like the block button in MK all that much. Always forgot about it :stuck_out_tongue: )

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Yes riptors tail thing i was going to mention it too but forgot the character and move’s name. it looks really easy to block but its not (i think) just because it switches sides and (looks like) it has awkard hit timing. But i still dont think its fair… You made the read but couldnt block just because of bad re-block input timing… And encourages random play which i HATE. MKX Online was a mess of random(in matter of play) players. I had more than my fair share of blocking unsafe moves and punishing those and i feel i’ll be really angry when i make the read but couldnt block just because i pressed the wrong button(or bad timing thx to lag) aginst a unsafe move spammer. I want the ‘option’ to change it and i dont think could-be-blocked-only-if-it-didnt-switched-sides unsafe moves should be rewarded. (sorry bad english)

Hold back to block has been the standard in 2D fighters since the dawn of time. Street Fighter 2 had it, something like 30 years ago. It’s a valuable part of the mixup and mind games - if I knock you down, then jump attack, will I hit you in front or in the back? If I chuck a fireball at you then teleport behind you, which way do you block? It’s an awesome dynamic that’s missing from block button games.

I don’t know where the block button first appeared (MK maybe?) but its main use is in 3D fighters and makes sense there. Introducing a block buutton in 2D games ultimatelyleads to MKX - since you lose out on the whole directional mixup facet, you have to build in mixups some other way. And so you get really fast, unreactable strings that contain both overheads and low and just have to learn them by heart for each matchup, pretty much, instead of playing the game, paying attention and reacting to what’s happening. If you like that fine, go play MKXL with the new netcode.

Learn to block. Also, we’ve been playing this game for two years and doing fine, coming in and making uneducated assertions about something you think you don’t like even though you don’t even play the game (or SF, or SG, or KoF, etc. apparently) is just asinine. Imagine one of us hitting up the MK forums or TYM and yelling “I’m looking to buy MKXL, I haven’t played MKX, but man, that block button is bullshit, you should remove it form the game! Give me directional blocking”. A small change like this changes the way you play the entire game, you would have to re-adjust the whole system, frame date, animations, moves, etc. Not gonna happen.


Most moves that switch sides or cross up set ups do allow you the time to react and block accordingly. Wulf dash through and riptor tail flip are already getting nerfed in season 3 to better allow this.

First, no, mkx mixups arent hard to block or unreactable. There are only couple of chars that has fast mixups and top tiers arent those. all said to be S+ tier chars(kung lao liu kang tanya) Are pressure chars. They lack one of the two low or overhead combo starter.
Second, after you had dealt damage in a combo, why other player has to guess the direction and then mixup?
Third, If you read the thread you can easly guess why i cant play mkx. Or if you didnt know pc players arent recieving any patches. Basically we got scammed.
Fourth, If we think logically button block is better because it removes the croosup reset and gives an opportunity to the blocking player to block the mixup only and not the free crossup which makes sense.
Lastly, I said i could be wrong about this idea and i dont like your attitude. I hope your type arent common in KI community.

I heard about the wulf nerf but my main concern is the crossup and if its reactable im okay with hold backwards blocking. I hope online lag lets you block as you wanted tho. i would feel better with block button option tho.

I think this is subjective. Personally, I like that my opponent and I have to be paying attention to where the attack comes from. You can get rewarded by punishing if you read the attack properly and block accordingly. Or they can get rewarded for succeeding at confusing you. KI has several layers of such subtleties. High levels of play can be mentally taxing.

I didn’t play MKX for long before I returned it. I thought it was child’s play compared to KI.

Well, i understand you like the free crossup mixup then once more mixup and im okay with that.
And i see you are a arrongant game fan boy “I thought it was child’s play compared to KI.” and i wont waste anymore effort to reply to your comments anymore because you clearly think the game you play is the best(i still havent played ki yet so i cant make comment about that) and you think you are better than everyone else. Good day.

@GreenCannon540 A few points to provide counter arguments I’ve seen in the thread. [quote=“GreenCannon540, post:7, topic:4991”]
button block is better because it removes the croosup reset and gives an opportunity to the blocking player to block the mixup only and not the free crossup
If an opponent is using a jump-in cross up, it’s probably better to use a reversal than to try and beat them out of it. Pick a character with a shoryu-ken (DP uppercut) or similar option and you won’t need to worry about jump in pressure on wake up.

There are a lot of things in this game that look unfair, ranging from 100% potential damage Omen grabs to Shago’s instant 50% raging demon attack to unblockable full screen Glacius openers. However, looks can be deceiving. In all of my time online, I’ve yet to be hit with an Omen grab, I’ve learned how to force a whiff or stuff Shago’s Annihalation, and I’ve learned to use jumps or quick attacks to foil Glacius unblockables. And yes, I’ve even learned how to deal with the cross ups and overhead mix-ups you seem to be dreading so.
Something to keep in mind is that

Since you haven’t actually had any experience with the game yourself, it would be wise to heed the words of the people who have who’re trying to explain the way it works. If we’ve learned to manage against the crazy offense in this game (which is really impressive for me, since KI is the first fighting game I ever got above button masher level in), with time and practice you will too.
I don’t want you to think I’m looking down on you here, but the fact of the matter is Killer Instinct is a very different game from Mortal Kombat and it will require you to learn a new set of skills, regardless of if you were to choose CAM or Manual controls.

Some other notes

Let’s be clear, Random and Ambiguous Cross Up are not the same thing. Random implies what is going on has no rhyme or reason to it, while having moves that come in from unexpected angles and force the player to react in ways that would normally be uncomfortable or otherwise not obvious is a very deliberate decision. Generally “randomness” will come from simply playing the game with other human beings, who will react to different situations in different and often unpredictable ways. This will become part of your growing process should you choose to play KI. The only character with a TRULY random element to them is Omen, and that only applies to his fireballs, which generally have a universal counter among any character in the cast due to projectile invincible moves.

Shouldn’t have to worry about lag too much. The majority of players I face in friendly matches are on the other side of the American continent, with another huge portion coming from over seas, ranging from Europe and Asia to Australia. It is very rare to see any noticeable input delay, and I generally only experience major lag-spikes if there’s inclimate weather or extreme distance involved.

You come in here, complaining about something you clearly have no idea about, demanding system-wide changes to a game you haven’t played and have no idea how far reaching the repercussions would be, not to mention that this is a time-honored tradition (back blocking was first in fighting games), and you think my attitude is wrong? Reality check, dude. We’ve been playing this game for ages, as well as Street Fighter and similar games, and we’re doing better than ever. The KI community is awesome, as the recent KI World Cup showed, and quite frankly, even though I’ve been nothing but welcoming to new players on these and other forums - we don’t need your entitled ■■■ here if that’s how you’re going to talk when you haven’t even played the damn game.

I hope you like this game, I really do. It’s absolutely fantastic. But accept that you’re coming into something that’s been around since the 90s (KI) and 80s (back to block) and that it’s you who has to learn and adjust, not the other way around.


Whoa thanks for the effort writing this xD From what i watched(and i watched almost every big tournament matches that had VODS on youtube) only seems-to-be-unfair thing was blocking but if you say i’ll get used to it i guess i can only trust for now :stuck_out_tongue: Everything else seemed balanced to me. Omen grab has long startup and glacius has to have a threat since he isnt very good close. Havent make any research about shadow jagos %48 unbreakable thing tho. Thanks for the long reply

It’s not a particularly noteworthy amount of effort on my part, I wouldn’t think. I’m not even sure if all the information piled up was a whole 2 paragraphs. Just that if there’s something that needs 'splainin, I’ll do my best to splain it all in one go.

For further consolation, I recommend bringing @TheKeits into the discussion. He’s kind of our resident expert on how combat in Killer Instinct works considering he’s the guy in charge of it.

no no no no no. The block button is one of the many reasons that ruins Mortal Kombat for me. I like crossuos as a tactic and because of the block button there aren’t any crossups in MKX. What Fighting games have you played? It seems to me that you think that KI is the only game where you block by holdong the opposite direction. Its the same in Street Fighter.

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It appears you’ve mistaken these forums for the Destiny or World of Warcraft forums, where people are endlessly and pointlessly vicious.
We’re used to helping one another and sharing insight, so you’ll have to forgive us if we’re not accustomed to being insulted for offering experience-based opinions… by the very person we’re trying to help.

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This ain’t MKX. Lag is (98% of the time) nonexistent and it doesnt even matter if your opponent is on the other side of the planet.

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Things in Ki can be tricky to block at times. The offence in Ki is kind of crazy, it is this way for a reason…It is balanced by the combo breaker system. You have to remember that not blocking a cross up correctly is not the end of the story where you eat a guaranteed 30%, it is just the beginning of the mind games.

This explains a little.

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“I thought it was child’s play compared to X .” phase are usually used by people who think they are the best and its an insult to something i like. Also he doesnt know mkx yet he comments about how unreactable mixup system is and how the game is childsplay then says something like “you cant say anything before you play the game”. And when i comment about block system im the problem here? I said “i might be wrong” like 3 times now .“coming in and making uneducated assertions about something you think you don’t like even though you don’t even play the game is just asinine” oh wait I already said “i might be wrong” in the op. And i am not wrong at some points as we can see they are patching wulf shenanigans.

I see this differently. How strong mixup game of certain character is not the same as evaluating base blocking mechanics as a whole. Wulf was supposed to overwhelm blocking opponent (general observation: block is not the only defensive action and sometimes not the best one), so he was given a fast mixup from up-close as well as riskier and slower mixups from halfscreen. If we had block button here, devs would just build wulf around that and give him scarier low/overhead options with short range instead of dash through, the result would be the same.

Except when it’s not, ofc, because mobility tool that can be used for mixup is not the same as just mixup tool, and covering horizontal space specifically has considerable ramifications in the game with much more air control options than, say, MKX (even though KI isn’t anime FG which are typically much more liberal when it comes to aerial movement).

I won’t go deeper on that, I’m just saying that it’s possible to design strong offence that can justify nerfing regardless of how block works, so what happens to Wulf is not a direct consequence of this game being b2b.

Fitting examples would be Glacius and Sadira who got their offensive setups based on left/right mixups arguably enhanced as opposed to nerfed Wulf and Riptor (and the latter got some additional dirt as a tradeoff, so it’s not like it’s just plain nerf to Riptor’s offence either).

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