Wondering Why Your CounterBreakers aren't working? Find out why!

Yep, I saw that. Just wasn’t sure if you were saying “special move” specifically for this instance (or similar ones) or as a general blanket (which would have included linkers, as they are technically special moves done after openers). It was the former, so I’m good.

Quibble addressed - just wasn’t entirely clear on your chosen terminology. :slight_smile:

I think understanding the rules for manuals is very important. Everyone screws this up at all levels, if your read is they are guess breaking then don’t put in the manual at all, just counter break. Breaking manuals is difficult anyways, so until they prove they can break it off reaction there is no reason to counter break it

One thing I’d really like people to get out of their heads is this;

So if you had the read to input a reversal, but you were slightly too late and got hit instead, do you deserve credit for that?

If you were playing 3rd Strike, for instance, and you had the right read on a parry, but input it a late, do you deserve to score that parry anyway?

None of this makes any sense, but people apply this odd ‘i was right but i was late’ logic to counterbreakers as if they deserve a win there. To be right, you need the right timing on top of choosing the right action. Otherwise, you were wrong. Period.

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You know, I can’t really argue with your parry example. In the end, most decisions in a fighting game are also timing related. I can only try to elaborate why this one is different to me.

Let’s say someone guess breaks wrong. I assume you would agree that he made a mistake. And now, one frame later you go for a counter breaker. You also made a mistake, because you were late. The thing is, these two mistakes happened within 1/60 of a second and the second mistake completely negates the first one. It just doesn’t feel fair to me.

Again, I’m not asking for the counter breaker to be successful in that case. Just the fact that you are super punishable doesn’t sit right with me. It feels like counter breaking isn’t the right strategy against first frame guess breakers because it’s always a lose lose situation unless you also hit that first frame perfectly. Considered that by guess breaking, the opponent’s chance of being wrong is twice as high as the chance of being right, maybe counter breaking isn’t even meant to be the answer to that.

I don’t know how your experiments with the buffer window turned out but if you say that it feels good, I will gladly take your word on that. I know that it technically doesn’t address this situation of being late but at least it gives you the chance to counter break before a first frame guess break if I understood correctly.

First frame counterbreaking manuals will always be a lose lose situation because you cannot counterbreak until the manual makes contact. But they can still attempt to break the manual way before it hits. So your chances of landing a counterbreaker on someone that’s guessing it is slim to none.

I dunno, I think it’s fair to say that if you’re playing 3rd Strike and someone makes a super predictable attack at you, you could call that a “mistake”. If you parry 1 frame late, and you get hit, that is also a “mistake”, and then you lose the round because you get hit by Chun low forward into super. The two mistakes happen in very short succession, but the guy who made the original mistake wins, because your mistake came second.

The “tough” thing for me is the fact that there are times during the game where your opponent has a chance to input breaker, but you don’t have the opportunity to counter break. Your opponent will get locked out if he tries here, but your trump card is guaranteed to fail no matter what you do. I think the answer to dealing with 1st frame mash guess breakers is not to counter break, though… it’s simply to do opener into linker every time so they lock out. So while it’s pretty annoying, it’s probably not going to kill the game for me.

@cRCupcake 's findings are basically that the opponent is unable to input any breaker during the startup of a manual’D special move, even if they are in hit stun, which is… pretty interesting. It’s kind of both a blessing and a curse, because if he’s mashing lights and you do light wind kick after landing a jump in, he WILL break you, even if he inputs it way early. If you were to do a light manual, though, he locks out and you win. But it means you can first frame counter break these special moves if you want to take the risk, and you’re guaranteed to catch any and all break attempts. If you were to try the manual, you have no way to prevent him from locking out by mashing early.

I dunno, does this favor the defender or the attacker? As a defender, I don’t like having to guess strength AND timing, because that means I lock out more and the opponent doesn’t have to counter break as often.

Also @cRCupcake, you might want to take a look at some other counter breaker findings I had that don’t cover cases like this, in this thread: Exploring inconsistent counter breakers
Basically, ever since S1, doubles, linkers, and shadow linkers will do weird things to your hit stun on a move-by-move and hit-by-hit basis, making counter breaks difficult somewhat “randomly”. For example, maybe the 2nd hit of heavy wind kick linker cancels your hit stun, but the 3rd hit doesn’t, so it’s harder to counter break the 2nd hit (to give a random example I haven’t tested). The devs said they will take a look at adding some sort of prevention against this if they have time. I’m really curious if they’ll get around to it, it seems very important to me to improve the feel of the game.

That’s all fine. But the reason it comes up, and will continue to come up, is because it is a 1 frame window in a game that doesn’t have a lot of one frame windows. The combo game - we are told over and over- is there to encourage high level mind games even for low level players. Except counter breakers which require frame perfect timing. The end result is encouraging/rewarding people for breaking as early as possible and causing most mere mortals to drop counter breaker attempts and then hear “lockout” as they get punished for their failure even though they played the mind game correctly.

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You have been playing with this adjustment since Mira came out.

No, they don’t. They require you to be on the same frame or before your opponent.

The only instance of needing frame perfect timing was in 3.0 trying to counterbreak a manual, and was fixed in 3.1 with the often mentioned buffer.

I play this game too and have no issues counterbreaking the guys at the office in all kinds of situations. The difference is that when I’m wrong, I don’t blame the game and tell everyone I deserved credit for having late timing or some such nonsense.

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You have been playing with this adjustment since Mira came out.

It is still possible to lockout even if the aggressor buffers their counterbreaker in 3.1 update.


Right, because the change has nothing to do with timing lockouts. All it did was add a 5 frame buffer (stores your input) and plays it on the first frame you are allowed to Counter Breaker.

Your opponent getting timing locked out before you counter break is still a miss on your part.

it’s like boxing: if you are a good counterpuncher, by all means attack when the other guy opens himself up. But, if opening yourself to punish him leads to you being knocked out, it’s your fault. Just block instead of punishing.

The mindgame for me has become more along the lines of “Okay I know he’s a masher, and he’s going to mash a guess break here without a doubt, will my counterbreaker connect?”

Guess I have to hit the lab to “get good” with my counterbreak timings, until then I’ll just keep getting my combos broken and get punished due to the major risk I am facing as the one who made the right read and opened up my opponent, and read that he would break accordingly. I get it, Killer Instinct likes to punish smart play, time to switch to one of the less “intellectual” characters and play the game how it’s meant to be played. Herp Derp.

I think the confusing part is that timing lockouts on manuals simply cannot be counter broken, because you can never input the counter breaker early enough. This is a bit weird, because the other timing lockouts (during startup of linkers, etc) can be counter broken as you expect.

So if you expect someone to mash break on a manual, your only option is to let them maybe lock themselves out (or maybe their haphazard mashing misses the startup of the manual and hits the 1st frame of your manual and then they get a legit shot at breaking).

But I think “fixing” this system is really difficult, because I think you want the opponent to be able to lock out on the startup of manuals (which is unlike the startup of special move manuals, which can generate no lockouts), and it doesn’t make sense to counter break from a neutral position. I suppose being able to counter break the startup of a manual (if the opponent is in hit stun) is an option but I don’t think it will be easy to input this in time. What you’d really like is to counter break like 10-15 frames ahead of time, but that’s when the offensive character is in neutral.


So I guess the question is, is it worth trying to counter break your opponent’s Mistimed Lock Outs in S3?

This is what I’m confused about because I inputted counterbreaker with the coldshoulder input to erase any chance of a counterbreaker coming out out too late.(Look at the input in the gif) But I was still able to lockout. I can’t find explain the science behind that.

Going by keits explanation it simply means glacious can never counter break in that specific instant. The buffer window is making the counter break come out in the first possible frame allowed and it’s still locking out.

Maybe you need to travel ahead of time to make it work but I don’t have that kind of yomi power

This is indeed strange behavior. It means there is a “dead zone” between cold shoulder opener and when Glacius can counter break where your opponent is able to lock out, even if Glacius doesn’t do a manual or anything else here.

As far as I can tell, though, this is not a game-wide thing and seems to be specific to just Glacius cold shoulder (maybe a bug?). Basically, I can’t find this dead zone for other special moves, and I tried an assortment of them in training mode just now. Maybe a few others exist but this seems like a problem isolated to just a few (or only one?) special moves, not a game-wide problem?

The buffer only applies to manuals. The issue being described here is something else entirely.

There does seem to be a buffer at play here Infil, in the gif the counter breaker input is before the combo breaker one so he does actually input it on time but it comes out a few frames later (and therefore too late).

Edit: in fact the counter breaker input is before the move hits so it is definitely buffered, but I agree that this lockout deadzone is its own issue.

I think there has always been this buffer after an opener though, it wasn’t the buffer that was added in 3.1, is what I meant to say.

And it just seems to me like Cold Shoulder has some weird behavior where the first possible counter breaker frame is after the opponent can lock out. Like I said above, I can’t find this behavior for any other special move. It might exist because I didn’t try all special move openers exhaustively, but it seems isolated to just a very few special moves.

Also, I tried to verify the cold shoulder behavior and, while I eventually got it to work, it was a little challenging. Meaning that this is probably pretty frame tight.

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