Beat Edge is the game's name for the cancel system found in MBTL. It's the reason you are able to cancel from A to B to C on hit or block without waiting for the previous move to fully recover. Some players may refer to these as "Gatlings." The Beat Edge system can go in any direction, which enables what's known as a Reverse Beat.
Reverse Beats are one of the main features of Melty Blood. The game's normal to normal cancel routes allow for buttons to be pressed in any order as long as they have not been used before in a string. This means strings that are not possible in other games such as A > C > B and C > B > A are possible. The most common usage of Reverse Beat is to space your character so that Reverse Beating from a C normal to an A normal will whiff, giving much better frame advantage than letting the C normal recover on its own.
Rapid Beat is a new addition to Type Lumina. Pressing any button twice (and 2X~2X for most crouching normals) will begin your character's Rapid Beat string. Pressing any button a third time will result in a Launcher, easily starting an air combo. Rapid Beat 1 normals will vary between characters, but Rapid Beat 2 normals are almost always the respective character's 3C. A normals can be chained into themselves three times before transitioning into a Rapid Beat, and standing A normals require holding back to stop the transition. Rapid Beat normals come with the disadvantage of not being able to Reverse Beat, and will commonly come out if you attempt to Reverse Beat into a normal you've already used in a string. Make sure to pay attention to what normals you've used and this won't become an issue.
Players can select their Rapid Beat input method on the character select screen while selecting their character color, with 4 different options:
- On, working as described above.
- On, but with Rapid Beat 1 performed by pressing A+B on the ground and any A/B/C press performing Rapid Beat 2 afterwards, and off in the air. Allows 5C~4C moves to be input as 5C~5C.
- Off, preventing the usage of Rapid Beat 1 entirely. Also allows 5C~4C moves to be input as 5C~5C.
- Off, but only in the air.
Fatal Counters are stronger counterhits, granting additional frame advantage and increasing the damage of the resulting combo. There are two ways to get a Fatal Counter.
The first is to counterhit someone who is airborne, which will always result in a Fatal Counter (Unless done with 3C). Air Fatal Counters are completely untechable until the character hits the floor, allowing for easy combo pickups.
The second way to get a Fatal Counter is to hit someone during shield's active frames with something that beats shield. There are Nuances to this,
- Throwing/command throwing a shield will always result in a Fatal Counter.
- Hitting a low shield with an overhead or a charged mid such as Ciel's 5[C] or Akiha's 5[B] will result in a Fatal Counter.
- Hitting a low shield with a charged unblockable such as Arcueid's 5[C] or Shiki's 5[C] will result in a Fatal Counter, but will not result in any more damage than a normal hit, though Kouma's comboable automatic followup on 5[C] can capitalize on it.
- Hitting a high shield with any low hit results in a fatal counter.
Same Move Proration (SMP)
Same move proration applies when the same move is used more than once in the same combo. If done, the time it takes for the opponent to tech will drastically shorten, and additional damage scaling will apply, resulting in shorter and less damaging combos. SMP applies to moves that whiff in combos as well. Blowback edge (aka held) moves count as the same move as the uncharged versions - for example, j.[C] applies SMP to j.C if done in the same combo.
Launcher Limit/Jump Cancel Limit
You can only use one Launcher per combo, and trying to use more than one will result in standard hitstun with no cutscene, autojump, or additional untech time. This applies even if you attempt to use different launches, for example starting a combo with Arcueid's 3C or Shield Counter and ending with 4BC won't result in a second launch, in these situations you should use an EX or Jump Cancel into an airthrow to secure your knockdown.
In MBTL, grounded Jump Cancels are a resource. Everyone gets one grounded Jump Cancel, regardless of whether it was used on a normal, a jump cancelable special, or a grounded Moon Skill. If you try to Jump Cancel another normal or special after the first, it won't work. In these situations you should use an EX or Launcher into an airthrow to secure your knockdown. These restrictions to Jump Cancels to not apply to moves in the air, such as Moon Skills that leave you airborne or jump cancellable air normals.
This section covers properties that are the most relevant to the metagame, for a full list of move properties, check the glossary.
Launcher attacks are very unique in terms of what they provide your character. You can easily tell if an attack is a launcher because the camera will zoom in on your character with an accompanying cut-in. Launchers are technically hitgrabs, as the cinematic puts the opponent in the same place every time. If you have not used a launcher in your combo before, you will get the cinematic as well as an automatic jump cancel. If you have used a Launcher in your combo, the move will not re-center your opponent or play the cinematic. Every character has at least three Launchers: 3C, Rapid Beat 2 (which is usually the same move as 3C), and Shield Counter A. Some characters like Shiki and Saber also have supers that Launch, but the same rules still apply.
Attacks with the Blowback Edge property can hold the attack button they're mapped to in order to change their properties. Most commonly, this means the move is slower but gains increased damage and hitstun. Some attacks also change how they have to be guarded, as Shiki's fully charged 5[C] becomes unblockable and has to be Shielded high. Using these early in a combo can open up the combo routes your character can do. Using these later in combos is a lot harder, as the longer startup means it's more likely the combo will drop.
Attacks with Invincibility (often shortened to Invul for Invulnerability) either have reduced hurtboxes in specific areas or no hurtboxes at all. Typically, if an attack is notated as a reversal, then that attack has invincibility from the first frame of the move. Moves that low crush typically have no hurtbox around the foot area of the character, allowing them to go over most low attacks. Moves that low profile have frames that do the opposite and have reduced hurtboxes around the head and chest.
Armored moves behave similarly to clashes but the armored character will still take damage and hitstun from any move that connects while they are armored. Examples of armor can be found in Kouma's command grabs or Miyako's charged rush punches. Note that if the damage you take while armored exceeds your remaining life total, you will still be KO'd.
Armor can be broken if hit by these types of moves:
- EX moves
- Shield counters
- Shiki's unblockable moves like 5[C]
Every Special Move in the game will deal a small amount of Chip Damage if blocked. This damage is unavoidable unless the attack is shielded, but then your character isn't blocking anymore. Chip Damage cannot KO a character under any circumstance. Normals typically do not deal Chip Damage, however there are exceptions.
Clash is a mechanic in which, rather than hitting or being blocked, a move instead gets cancelled out by another move. When a clash occurs, the screen freezes momentarily with a huge visual and sound effect, allowing players to recognize the situation. Upon being neutralized during a clash, moves can be cancelled similarly to when they're hit or blocked, with the notable exception that all normal attacks become jump cancellable. Knowing what to cancel into after a clash in order to come out on top can give savvy players a major advantage. Heat, Arc Drives, and Last Arc cannot clash.
Clash lasts for a total of 25 frames. However, when a 3C attack clashes with an air attack, the aerial opponent remains stuck in the clash for 3 additional frames, giving advantage to the 3C user.
There are slight differences between various types of clash situations:
Normal Clash Frames — Clashes during startup frames of a charged normal move.
- Clashes only with normals or specials, not Moon Skills or EX moves
- Invincible moves are exempt
In Type Lumina, most charged normals (e.g. 5[C], j.[C]) have what are called 'clash frames'; that is, frames of startup during which most attacker's moves will simply clash, letting you avoid being Counter Hit. Functionally, this serves a similar purpose to armour: protecting you during the startup of slow attacks. Notably, invulnerable moves (including Shield Counters), EX moves, and Moon Skills will never clash with normal clash frames; if your opponent tries to clash through them, they'll just get hit instead.
Normals with clash frames are very strong, but there are ways around them. If your move is neutralized by normal clash frames, you have the opportunity to cancel as if your move had hit the opponent (or jump, if you used a normal attack); however, the opponent is unable to cancel. If you're able to react quickly enough (or perhaps OS) to cancel into an invulnerable move, you'll typically always win. Many players choose to use Moon Drive, as it's easier to perform on reaction. Otherwise, you can usually jump, either to Shield or to dodge the attack. Visual explanation here and here.
Moon Skill (Special) Clash Frames — Clashes during startup frames of a Moon Skill during Moon Drive, or a charged special move.
- Clashes with normals, specials, and Moon Skills. EX moves are more complicated
- Invincible moves are not exempt
- Moon System specific mechanics
One of the several powerups granted to a player during Moon Drive is that, whenever they use a Moon Skill, the startup gains clash frames, allowing them to be used to bulldoze through opponent's moves. Note that this lasts for a maximum of 11 frames, so slower Moon Skills do have a period of vulnerability. Unlike normal clash frames, special clash frames are able to clash through Moon Skills, invincible moves (including Shield Counters), and EX moves. However, note that EX moves beat Moon Skill clash if the EX move was performed after the Moon Skill started, making EX reversals a reliable answer to opponent's Moon Skills.
When neutralized by special clash, the attacker's options are the same as on normal clash, i.e. any action performable on hit (and jump, for normals). There are two significant differences in the case of Moon Skill clash, however. Firstly, Moon Skills cannot be cancelled on shield and are fully punishable; this makes jump cancel shield a significantly more appealing option, although only when given enough time for jump startup. Secondly, given that the opponent is already in Moon Drive, they cannot counter if you use your own Moon Drive, giving you a reliable and easy punish, albeit at a cost.
When Moon Skill clash occurs, a significant portion of the remaining Moon Gauge is spent, and a moderate amount of blue health is restored. In the case where this consumes the last of the Moon Gauge (ending Moon Drive), then the clash armour will end, and any subsequent hits will result in a counter hit instead of a clash.
In addition to Moon Skills, there are a select few chargeable special moves which also have clash frames, notably Mash 236[B] and Saber 214[X]; these function similarly, being able to clash with EX moves and Moon Skills, but don't obey any of the Moon-Skill specific mechanics outlined above.
Hitbox Clash — Clashes when the hitboxes of both players' attacks collide. Both players can cancel.
- Normals and specials can only clash with other normals and specials, Moon Skills and EX moves can only clash with other Moon Skills and EX moves
- Projectiles and invincible moves are exempt
- Special moves can't be jump cancelled
Hitbox clashes occur when two opposing hitboxes overlap. Unlike how it works in most fighting games, this will even occur if your hitbox connects with the opponent's hurtbox - as long as it is touching another hitbox, the attack will clash. This type of clash can be cancelled as if your attack got blocked, although all normals can still always be jump cancelled. Very importantly, unlike clash frame-type clashes, both players have the opportunity to cancel after a hitbox clash, so there's rarely any one option that can guaranteed win.
- Moon Skills and EX moves can only Hitbox Clash with other Moon Skills and EX moves.
- Projectiles and invulnerable moves (including Shield Counters) are unable to Hitbox Clash
- MBTL Clash System Breakdown by AlexTheMaestro/Melancholy
Cancelling obeys the following hierarchy:
- Anything that can be normal cancelled can also be special cancelled.
- Anything that can be special cancelled can also be EX cancelled.
- Anything that can be EX cancelled can also be Moon Drive/Arc Drive cancelled.
In practice, this leads to several 'tiers' of cancelability: standard normals can be cancelled into anything, most command normals can be cancelled into anything except normals, (non-EX) specials can be cancelled into anything except normals and specials, and EX moves can only be cancelled into Moon Drive or Arc Drive.
- Grounded A normals and most standard special moves can be cancelled on whiff. For A normals, this only works at the beginning of a string.
- Moon Skills and EX moves cannot be cancelled on whiff, with the exception being jump cancel points.
- Moves with startup invincibility can only ever be cancelled on hit, not on block or whiff.
- Grounded normals cannot be jump cancelled on block. They can be jump cancelled on hit, but only once per combo.
- Air normals can be jump or airdash cancelled on block or hit, provided you have a double jump or airdash available and the air normal is jump cancellable.
Refer to the character wiki pages for the specifics of each move's cancel options.
Characters cannot be thrown during blockstun, nor for 8 frames after blockstun, wakeup, or grounded hitstun. Shielding forfeits throw protection.
Throw vs. Strike
If a Strike and a Throw (Command or not) are to connect on the same frame, the strike will always win, even if the throw reaches the opponent's hurtbox.
Air Throw vs. Strike
Air Throws follow the same rules listed above, but are more likely to be beaten out due to having no startup, being active frame 1. If a strike and an Air Throw are to connect on the same frame, the strike will always win, even if the throw reaches the opponent's hurtbox.
Throw vs. Throw and Air Throw vs. Air Throw
If two throws (Grounded or Airborne) connect on the same frame, whoever doesn't have Sprite Priority will tech.
Throw vs. Command Throw
Command Throws are throw invulnerable from frame 1 up through their active frames, thus if a Regular Throw and Command Throw are to connect on the same frame, the Command Throw will win.
Offensive 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 Defensive Option Selects can be found here.
- Demystifying Melty Blood's Option Selects by ScrawtVermillion
Whiff Cancel Option Selects
These are option selects that take advantage of the fact that 2A and 5A can be canceled into other actions even on whiff.
Input: 2A > 2A+D (or any A normal > D in general, either on its own or with any followup input)
Explanation: 2A > 2A will come out on block, and 2A > Shield will come out if the 2A whiffs (for example due to a Heat Activation). If the first 2A is a frame-perfect meaty and shield is canceled into as soon as possible, it's possible to even shield the fastest DPs. If you use a different follow-up input, for example by doing 2A > 2BD, 2B will come out on block instead. It can be possible to shield both fast and charged heat with a frame perfect 2A > delay 5AD, but the timing is extremely unreliable and it also loses to all faster reversals.
How to beat it: Mix between fast Heat and charged Heat. Vary the timing and situations where you use Heat to keep from being predictable. Backdashing can cause 2A and the follow-up shield to whiff. If the 2A is not perfectly timed, fast DPs can beat it.
Meaty 2A + MD "OS"
Input: 2A > 5B+C > React.
Explanation: While not actually an OS at all, this technique is used to close out games and is more effective when your opponent has already used up their MD. You meaty 2A, pause the game to check whether it was hit/block/whiff, and respond accordingly (e.g. shielding an attempted heat or 2Cing an attempted backdash).
How to beat it: Block the 2A. If you have MD and choose to backdash or wakeup DP, you can Moon Drive Counter during the freeze to cancel your recovery and create a +0 situation.
Hitstop Option Selects
Safe Jump + Anti-Heat OS
Explanation: Execute a safejump and press and hold D with a small delay. 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
Ultimate Guide to MBTL Offense | Basics, Offense Styles, Rebeats, Advancement by Phantom