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Melty Blood/MBTL/Defense

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Ground Blocking

Holding [4] will block all High (H) and Mid (LH) attacks. Holding [1] will block all Low (L) and Mid (LH) attacks. While there is crossup protection in Type Lumina, it only applies to stand block. If you crouch block, crossup protection will not help you. Blocking is always vulnerable to Throws or Unblockable attacks. Having your attack clash with another gives the same cancel options as if the attack were blocked. There are no infinite blockstrings in Type Lumina thanks to blockstun decay, which reduces blockstun by three frames every 28 blocked hits.

[1] [2]

Air Blocking

Holding any back direction in the air ([1], [4], or [7]) will make your character Air Block. Air Blocking will succeed against every air button in the game and almost every projectile, but it comes with a major weakness. You cannot block grounded normals while in the air, and you cannot block Air Throws. If your character gets stuck blocking a highly plus projectile in the air, your opponent is free to run up and unblockable you with a grounded normal.

Landing after Air Blocking reduces blockstun from A normals by 5f and from all other attacks by 6f. If this results in 0f remaining blockstun, the defender can act immediately without any landing recovery time.


Shield is a parry-like defensive option that is available to all characters. Standing Shield (4D/5D) will block highs and mids, and crouching Shield (1D/2D) will block mids and lows. Generally, if the opponent is airborne you should use stand Shield and if they're grounded you should use crouching Shield. Some attacks are unshieldable (mostly grabs) or require specifically standing or crouching Shields (unblockables).

On a successful Shield, one hit of an incoming attack is nullified and a small amount of health is restored for the defender. When the first hit of rapidly-hitting multi-hit attacks is shielded, all subsequent hits are automatically shielded also (known as auto-shielding), but health is only restored once.

Shields interact with the Moon System, giving 1 Moon Icon on success and losing 1 if the Shield recovers without catching anything. The recovery frames of Shield also varies based on your Moon Icons, becoming worse with fewer remaining.

Shield Counters

Successful Shields enable three different follow-ups: Shield Counter A, Shield Counter B, and Shield Counter B+C.

Shield Counter A performs an attack. On the ground, it uses your 3C animation and launches into a combo. In the air, it uses the j.C animation and floats instead. This Shield Counter can also be performed using the C button.

Shield Counter B performs a slow side-swapping teleport into a jumping attack. On counterhit, it ground bounces for a combo.

Shield Counter B+C performs a rising diagonal lunge. It costs 5 Moon Icons. But in exchange, it crosses through opponents, recovers while airborne, is plus on block, and launches high enough on hit for a combo. It is also possible to cancel a shielded attack directly into B+C counter.

Shield Counter Type First Active Active Recovery Total Adv. on Block On Hit On Counterhit Damage Invincibility
A/C 11 6 18 34 -7 Launch Launch 1000 1-15
A/C (air) 6 6 12L Float Float 1000
B 24~29* 2 6* + 12L 43 -2 0 Ground Bounce (Fatal) 1000 Startup
B (air) 19~24* 2 6* + 12L 43 -2 0 Ground Bounce (Fatal) 1000 Startup
B+C 6 10 0 15 +16 Float Float 1200 1-15*
  • Shield Counter B has longer startup depending on the distance to the opponent, up to a maximum of 5 additional frames at full screen.
  • Shield Counter B takes longer to land depending on how high the opponent is. The given recovery and advantage values are against a grounded opponent.
  • Shield Counter B+C loses its invincibility after making contact with the opponent (on hit, block, clash or shield).

Shield RPS (Rock, Paper, Scissors)

Most attacks that are shielded can be cancelled into Shield themselves, which results in a Rock Paper Scissors-esque mind game. At a basic level, Shield Counter A will beat any attack that isn't Shield. Shield Counter B has a slower enough startup to punish people immediately trying to shield your Shield Counter A. Shield Counter B+C can be whiff cancelled into, giving you a safe out unless your opponent manages to shield it.

However, if a Moon Skill, Arc Drive, Last Arc, Forced Release, or invincible special is shielded, it cannot be cancelled into Shield.

Shield Frame Data
Moon Icons during Shield Minimum Active (all) Whiff Recovery (stand) Whiff Recovery (crouch) Minimum Whiff total (stand) Minimum Whiff total (crouch)
10 19 7 + 5 9 + 5 26 (31) 28 (33)
5-9 19 11 + 3 13 + 3 30 (33) 32 (35)
1-4 21 13 + 2 15 + 2 34 (36) 37 (38)
0 22 14 + 2 16 + 2 36 (38) 38 (40)
  • It is possible to block and tech throws that hit during the end of recovery, indicated by the second value in each field.
  • Successful shields with no Shield Counter remain in shield for 25f and have 0f recovery.
  • Air shields are in recovery until landing. They have an additional 12f landing recovery on whiff, but no landing recovery after shielding an attack.
  • Shield behaves as if the Moon Gauge is full for the duration of Moon Drive.

Throw Teching

The throw tech window in Type Lumina is 8 frames. This includes the beginning of the catch animation. The player who actually techs the throw (typically the defender) ends the throw tech at +3. Techs will also occur from throw inputs during the attacker's throw startup.


Option Selects

If you don't know what an option select is, check the Glossary page for it before reading on.

Anti-Heat OS

Input: 5A > 5B~D

Explanation: 5A > 5B will come out on block, and 5A > Shield will come out if the 5A whiffs (I.E. Heat Activation), giving an easy punish.

How to beat it: Vary the timing and situations of Heat activation to keep from being predictable.

This OS allows you to counter wake up moon drive activation with your own via a delayed 5BC input (the so-called [redacted] option select.)

Shield + Throw Tech

Input: 1D~AD


How to beat it: Punish the throw tech.

Fuzzy Mash + Throw Tech

Input: 1 > 1A > slight delay AD > 1


How to beat it: Frame trap it, the OS will result in mashing if there is no throw.

Backdash + Throw Tech

Input: 1 > 4AB~D > 1


How to beat it: Frame trap it or chase the backdash.

Heat + Throw Tech

Input: 1ABCD


How to beat it: Shield the Heat activation.

Moon Drive + Throw Tech

Input: 1 > 5BC > 1AD


How to beat it: Block.

Moon Skill + Throw Tech

Input: 1 > 1BC > 1AD


How to beat it: Depends on the Moon Skill, blocking is the best option.

Safe Jump + Anti-Heat OS

Input: 9C~D

Explanation: Execute a safejump and plink to D shield. If j.C hits or is blocked, shield does not come out. Shield will come out if the j.C whiffs (I.E. Heat Activation, reversal DP), allowing for a punish.

How to beat it: Wakeup Backdash will make the safejump whiff and allow you to escape. Stand Shield the safejump for shield RPS

Ground and Air Recovery

Forward recovery is punishable, all other recovery options are fully invincible and safe.

Magic Circuit

Magic Circuit, often just shorted to "Meter", "Bar", or "Gauge", is a meter that goes up to a maximum of three bars, four if you have lost a round an enter Awakening.
Behind the scenes though, Magic Circuit is actually a value that goes between 0 and 30000 or 0 and 40000, depending on whether or not you're in Awakening. You can think of 11966 as 119.66%, but really this invisible decimal point only really makes the difference in scenarios where you really want to build as much meter as possible in a combo, or give an exact meter gain for your combo.

Earning Magic Circuit Defensively

All of the following defensive actions give you Magic Circuit, an equivalent offense-oriented list can be found in the Offense section.

  • Getting hit by the opponent.
  • Blocking an attack.
  • Shielding an attack.
  • Teching a throw. (Defender only.)
  • Activating Moon Drive.
  • Utilizing Moon Charge.

The precise way one earns Magic Circuit is still being datamined/researched. The following are observations made while using a memory viewer until we can get more hard data from editors with more time.

  • The amount of Magic Circuit gained from blocking an attack is a set amount per move that doesn't scale.
  • The amount of Magic Circuit gained from Shielding an attack is the exact same set amount gained for blocking.


Heat functions as a universal reversal and guard cancel option. Heat activation is slow but it is omnidirectional and unblockable, but there are specific Option Selects found to deal with it. Heat requires at least one bar of Magic Circuit to use, but starts a timer equivalent to how much meter you had. While your character is in Heat, they will slowly regenerate blue health and have access to their Arc Drive (at the cost of ending heat). EX Edge moves will consume a portion of the timer. Heat also gives your character a 10% damage boost, and Saber uniquely receives a 15% damage boost.

Countering heat activation is key to good offense in this game, otherwise players will utilize systems like Moon Charge to ensure they always have at least 1 bar to heat out of your pressure for free. Here's a table of the startup for each type of heat.

Heat Type First Active
A+B+C 14
[A+B+C] 29
Guard Cancel A+B+C 29
Blood Heat

Blood Heat works similarly to Heat but requires your character to be in Awakening state with 4 bars. Blood Heat is functionally a stronger Heat mode, with a higher health regeneration rate and higher damage bonus of 20%, with Saber uniquely receiving 25%. Blood Heat also gives access to Last Arc from shield, making Shield very threatening as Shielding anything can lead to huge damage.

MBTL Navigation

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