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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.

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.

Crossup Protection

If you and your opponent (or the opponent's projectile) are facing the same direction, you can block the attack by holding forwards or backwards. This means if, for example, a character jumps over you with an attack and that attack connects with you after they have crossed up, you will be able to block it as long as you are either holding forwards or backwards, because in that situation you and your opponent are both facing the same direction. Do note that backwards walking still has you facing forwards. So as long as you continue to hold backwards, even if your opponent jumps over you and waits for 20 seconds, the moment they attack you from that side, you will be able to block it by continuing to hold the initial direction.


Shield is a parry-like defensive option that is available to all characters. Shield can be used while crouching (2D), standing (5D), or airborne (j.D), and each type of Shield will work against different types of attacks. Except for grabs, it's possible to Shield any attack: even ones which are impossible to block. Although Shield is a powerful tool, being hit while shielding results in a Fatal Counter, so be careful!

Crouching Shield (1D/2D) beats all lows, but is countered by all highs. Charged standing normals (i.e. 5[B] and 5[C]) also counter low shield, even if they hit mid. Uncharged standing normals (5B and 5C) result in a 'failed' Crouching Shield, which leaves the defender in blockstun, deals significant chip damage, and removes 20% of the Moon Gauge. Aside from that, low shield beats all other mids. Some unblockable moves, like PCiel 2[C], can only be shielded crouching.

Standing Shield (4D/5D) beats all highs, but is countered by all lows. Similarly to Crouch Shield, mid-hitting 2B and 2C attacks cause a 'failed' Standing Shield, which leaves you in blockstun, does chip damage, and removes 20% Moon Gauge. All other mids are susceptible to Standing Shield. Some unblockable moves, like Shiki 5[C], can only be shielded standing.

Aerial Shield (j.D) beats all strikes whatsoever, and is the only possible way to 'block' most grounded attacks while in the air. The only catch is that, if it whiffs, you can easily be punished on landing.

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. Additionally, holding Shield will gradually drain Moon Gauge over time. 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 -8 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.


Ground and Air Recovery

Ground Recovery

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

Air Recovery

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.

Defensive Option Selects

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

An equivalent page for Offensive Option Selects can be found here.

Throw Tech Option Selects

You can input a throw tech behind essentially any action in the game: simply press A+D slightly after your other input. These are some of the most useful ones:

Antiair + Throw Tech

Input: 1 > 3C~AD > 1 (or 1B~AD, depending on character)

Explanation: Either block an immediate strike, tech a throw, or antiair them if they jump to try to bait you into whiffing throw.

How to beat it: Delay to frame trap it (or for 3C, hit them while they're not holding downback).

Heat + Throw Tech

Input: 1ABCD

Explanation: Either activates Heat or techs a throw. Be careful if you have 4 bars, because you'll get Last Arc instead.

How to beat it: Shield the Heat activation.

Moon Skill + Throw Tech

Input: 1BC~AD (or 1 > 3BC~AD > 1, etc.)

Explanation: Block an immediate strike, use a delayed Moon Skill, or tech a throw.

How to beat it: Frame trap it if they're not in Moon Drive. If they are, all the usual countermeasures (e.g. Moon Drive cancel, jump cancel shield, etc.) apply.

Backdash + Throw Tech

Input: 1 > 4AB~D > 1

Explanation: Block an immediate strike, delay backdash, or tech a throw.

How to beat it: Hit them low or chase the backdash.

Miscellaneous Option Selects

Double-Sided 623X

Input: 63214 321 A/B/C (can be thought of as double half-circle back, except the last half-circle stops at 1 instead of going all the way)

Explanation: Gives a 623X input, regardless of which side you're facing. Used for characters with invincible 623 DPs to beat left/right mixups.

How to beat it: Standard DP countermeasures, i.e. safejump, Anti-Heat OS, block, or make it whiff somehow.

MBTL Navigation

The Game
Getting Started
News & updates
The Battle System
Moon System
Game Data
Shiki Tohno
Arcueid Brunestud
Akiha Tohno
Hisui & Kohaku
Miyako Arima
Kouma Kishima
Michael Roa Valdamjong
Vlov Arkhangel
Red Arcueid
Aoko Aozaki
Dead Apostle Noel
Mario Gallo Bestino
Powered Ciel
Mash Kyrielight
Monte Cristo