Guess breaking: the hell?

Does guess breaking really get people that far in ranked? I’ve played a bunch of gold-ranked players in exhibition that just guess on the first auto-double after an opener. Whether manual or auto-double, I am just flabbergasted at how often they get it right even with changing strengths randomly. Thankfully when they get it wrong, I can get a 40 to 55% combo, but still! I think I’ve shouted a few times to be picked up by the mic, “Oh, come on! How?!”

Unfortunately, counter breaking doesn’t seem to work as consistently as their breaking. I suppose I should just go right to counter breaker after an opener, but that feels so risky. Yet what do you do when you’ve worked so hard to get out of neutral?

Maybe it isn’t that big of a deal if I’m still winning most of the time.

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Conditioning is you best friend. But, yes I often meet a lot of people who guess break or break on first frame.

I admit to breaking at first frame which involves a lot of guess breaking. It is one my biggest weakness and clearly shows on a higher level.

Because counter breaking is imho worse than what it used to be, I condition players to heavies then when they get comfortable, use another strength as they lock out. In rare occasions will I counter since most times it fails me.


Just like @oTigerSpirit said. CONDITION YOUR OPPONENT. What I like to do to completely STOP ppl from guess breaking is to do an opener, Drop the combo, then reset them back into a combo. This will work because you are at advantage because of the hit stun. Your opponent will get tired of being hit continually because they are throwing out slower normals. You are conditioning them to stop mashing. Once you condition them, punish them for blocking.


Guessing is a part of the game. If you guess, you have a 33% chance that you’ll get it right. If you’re in a messy situation, I say you take that chance.


Its rock, paper, scissors.

An infant can get it right 1/3 of the time.


But what he said is that they break in the first need a safe way to tell your opponent. No, no you can’t do that and here’s why.

Just play Raam. Take an entire life bar without ever doing a combo.


If you’re playing a player who guess breaks the first opportunity every time, you can do a few things:

  1. Accept breaks about 33% of the time on your auto-doubles, even if it feels like more than 33% in the short term. Use a heavy AD a lot, because that maximizes the damage you get when they guess wrong. When I’m playing against these types of players, I often go right into my damage loop after an opener (ie, the one I would do if a good player had locked out). Might as well get all the damage possible if they are not thinking about my combo at all!

  2. Go from opener directly into linker, which cannot be broken during startup. If they’re mashing, you’ll get a timing lockout 100% of the time. If they delay their mashing (accidentally or on purpose) you still have the 33% chance.

  3. Counter break them right after the opener. It “feels risky” but you have to understand that a player who is mashing break is not going to be prepared to punish a missed counter breaker very hard. You are basically taking a chance to get 50%+ damage “most of the time” and when you are wrong you might take a throw or a few jabs or something for 6 or 7%. The risk is extremely in your favor. Just make sure you do the optimal damage combo after your counter breaker! Find your character on and look at the top of their character page to find these.

All of these options will lead to you winning.


I love doing counter breaks after an opener, it makes them stop breaking for the rest of the match.


I have a bad habit of doing this :frowning: and I know it is really holding me back.

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Yeah, you could always make yourself predictable and just prepare the counter breaker and get free damage. Then keep doing it till it fails then switch it up.

Just because a counter breaker fails doesn’t mean always mean you’ll punished hard. It happens at all levels of play.

You could definitely do opener to linker and get some timing lockouts for mashers. I like to do opener to heavy linker so after they’ve decided to stop trying guess breaking, they go for the break on the heavy linker, and then I can bait the counter breaker off the heavy linker.

I love doing shadow linkers and successfully counter breaking right before I even hit them.


Yeah unfortunately that’s happened to me many times oh well bad habits never die easily.

If someone seems to be mashing out guess breaks, then I actually recommend just throwing heavies at them. People who mash break tend to vary their guesses after a successful break, in hopes of “finding” you trying to avoid getting broken again on that same strength. Don’t bother running from the strength they just broke if they’re guessing - just toss it at them again. You’d be surprised how often you get the lockout by not varying your combo strengths.


To expand on Storm’s point, basically I would just do heavies until it is 100% clear they are reacting to your heavies (at which point, they are no longer guess breaking). And a lot of guess breaks are usually not heavies, so it doubly works in your favor.

Another fun way to get lockouts is to just go from opener directly into shadow linker, as long as you have one that isn’t rapid fire with no gaps. Against people who love to break, this generates a ton of free lockouts without sacrificing damage. As Hisako, for example, just always do shadow ORZ after you hit with rekka and see if they can break the shadow, and then take a free heavy AD + light linker + medium AD if they lockout in the middle. Most characters have a linker that will work for this purpose.

Basically, there are like… 4-5 different ways you can “stop” unintelligent guess breaking (or at least, do maximum damage on someone who loves to do this). And if they don’t want to stop, you can take both life bars in about 6 or so openings, on average.


@Infilament @STORM179
I love it when someone doesn’t know how to break heavy attacks. I remember in Season 2 there were a several matches where I used nothing but Riptor’s HP Flame auto-doubles (which I’d wager are the easiest to recognize doubles in the game) and I’d never get broken. No mixing up combos, no counter breakers, just damage loops. I’ve ended quite a few games with 4-5 combos total.

If someone is truly just guessing, they’re digging their own grave. You can make EDUCATED guesses and reads and still come out on top, but if you fail to recognize basic patterns you’re gonna have a bad time.

Yes, to be clear, I’m not talking about people who mix in guess breaks with reaction breaks and try to deduce patterns. That’s kind of playing the game the way it’s built (although I’m still convinced a ton of guess breaking here is not optimal). Just talking about people who blindly pick a strength immediately at the start of your combo, as is common with gold players and what the OP was talking about.


Ha ha. Nice to know that someone else uses Riptor like that. I also use it for a easy counter breaker setup :slight_smile:

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It really pays off being a member of these forums when being an inexperienced player, I read/learned so much helpful/critical stuff in my time here, just wanted to say thanks to everyone participating :grin: