Melty Blood/System and Mechanics

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Moon Styles

After selecting a character, three different moon styles can be chosen for them. Not only do these styles changes their moves list and various properties, each style has a series of universal mechanics associated with it, consistent across all characters of the same moon. Below is a quick reference of each style's main differences.

Property Crescent Moon Half Moon Full Moon
Reverse Beat Yes Yes No
Magic Circuit Size 300% 200% 300%
Heat Activation A+B+C @ >=100% Auto IH Only
Heat duration (max) 550f 550f 550f
Blood Heat A+B+C @ MAX None A+B+C @ MAX
Blood Heat duration (max) 500f - 750f
Max Activation Auto None Auto, charged with A+B+C
Max duration 600f - 600f
Circuit Spark A+B+C in Stun @ MAX A+B+C in Stun @ 200% or Auto when hit @ HEAT A+B+C in Stun @ MAX
Shield Normal and EX Normal only, no hold Normal only
Shield Bunker 50% meter, does damage 100% meter, fast w/ no damage 50% meter, does damage
Shield Counter None Auto or 236D in shield 236D in shield
Guard meter 8000.0 10500.0 7000.0
Max guard weakness 3.0x 4.0x 2.7x
EX Guard Yes No Yes
Dodge Yes Yes No
Airdash Cancel univ. normals univ. normals j.A only

Crescent Moon

In general, plays the way Melty Blood Act Cadenza did. A good mixture of speed, power, and comboability. Has the most control over meter out of the three styles.

  • Reverse Beat (can chain attacks backwards, i.e. 5C > 5A).
  • Meter goes up to 300%, at which point MAX mode activates automatically.
    • Can activate HEAT mode by pressing A+B+C while on the ground anytime meter is over 100%. During HEAT mode, red life slowly regenerates and the timer stops. Heat activation has invincible startup, is unblockable, and wallslams, but can be Shielded and is very punishable if baited.
    • MAX mode activates automatically at 300%. When MAX ends, the meter goes to 200% if MAX ran out, or 100% if MAX was ended through an Arc Drive.
      • Can go into BLOOD HEAT mode by activating HEAT in MAX mode. During BLOOD HEAT mode, red life recovers much faster than in regular HEAT.
  • For Crescent Moon only, in HEAT, characters have a 1.07 additional damage modifier and a 0.9 additional defence modifier. In BLOOD HEAT, characters have a 1.13 additional damage modifier and an additional 0.85 defence modifier.
  • Can dodge both on the ground and air by pressing 2A+B. Doing an air dodge makes your character realign to face the opponent at the end of the dodge (as opposed to double jump, where the character realigns at the beginning). Dodges will temporarily weaken the guard bar. Can cancel air normals into airdodge for 50% of your meter.
  • Airdash Cancel: Most characters can airdash cancel universal air normals (i.e. j.A, j.B, and j.C but not something like j.2C) on hit or block, but not on whiff. See here for exceptions.
  • Can Circuit Spark (burst) both in the air and on the ground by pressing A+B+C when getting hit in MAX mode.
  • Has both EX Shield (tap D, aka parry) and Normal Shield (hold D). Failed Shields will temporarily weaken the guard bar, while a successful Shield strengthens it (up to the starting value). Cannot Shield Counter.
  • Shield Bunker is performed by pressing 214D. Can be performed in blockstun to essentially work like a guard cancel or alpha counter. Costs 50% meter (only out of blockstun) and does a bit of damage. Needs to be used carefully since it is slow and punishable. When used in neutral it has clash frames at the beginning of its startup.
  • EX guard is performed by guarding an attack right before it hits, like a Garou Just Defend or a Guilty Gear/BlazBlue Instant Block. Restores guard meter and very slightly reduces blockstun when successful. EX guard can be done during blockstun, so multiple hits in a blockstring can be EX guarded.

Ex guard increases pushback, restores some of the guard meter, lowers meter gain for the offender and because of ex guard granting -1 block stun and -1 Hitstop, it can also eat up inputs for the offender since they can only cancel their normals during hitstop.

Half Moon

Good comboability, power is generally low but damage can be very high with extended combos. Has the least control over meter out of the three styles. Generally suited to a rushdown style of play.

  • Can Reverse Beat
  • Meter goes up to 200%, at which point HEAT mode activates automatically (except during hitstun, in which case it activates when you regain control of your character).
    • HEAT mode: Cannot manually activate heat. During HEAT mode red life gradually regenerates (at rate of Crescent's Blood Heat) and the timer stops. If your character gets hit while in HEAT mode you will automatically Circuit Spark. EXCEPTIONS: If your character is getting comboed by the opponent and you reach 200% meter before the combo ends, then you can choose to manually Circuit Spark with A+B+C. If you trade with your opponent, Circuit Spark won't be triggered.
  • Can dodge both on the ground and in the air by pressing 2A+B. Works the same as Crescent Moon's dodge.
  • Airdash Cancel: Like Crescent most characters in Half can also airdash cancel air normals. See here for exceptions.
  • Shield: Cannot hold, only tap, but Shield is active for two frames longer. If Shield is successful, your character will automatically perform a Shield Counter. The Standing Shield Counter will launch the opponent to allow for a follow-up combo, and the Crouching Shield Counter will perform a sweep and knock the opponent down. Both Standing and Crouching Shield Counters can be cancelled into a special or EX. Shielding projectiles will not trigger the auto counter, although it can be performed manually by inputting 236D after a successful shield. A failed Shield will decrease guard quality, though a successful shield will not heal quality.
  • Shield Bunker is performed by pressing 214D. Costs 100% meter when used in blockstun, but is faster and has better recovery than the Shield Bunkers of the other moon styles as well as causing a hard knockdown. Does not do any damage. Outside of block, it costs no meter, does not cause a hard knockdown, and does damage (all identical to other moons?).
  • Cannot EX guard but has a more resilient guard bar (150% maximum Guard Quality) than Crescent or Full Moon.
  • Gains a 6AA followup to 5A which is typically used as a combo extender.

Full Moon

Emphasis on power, more damage per hit, but less comboability. Similar to BlazBlue or Guilty Gear.

  • Cannot Reverse Beat. Has basic weak->medium->strong chain sequence. There are also rules within the button strengths for how moves chain into each other. A’s have no restrictions, B’s are normal->crouching normal->command normal(ex: F-Ciel 5B2B4B), C’s are normal->command normal and crouching normal->command normal. Basically there are BlazBlue/Guilty Gear style gatling chains.
  • Meter goes up to 300%, at which point MAX mode activates automatically. Before reaching 300%, instead of being able to activate HEAT you can press (and hold) A+B+C to charge meter at an accelerating rate.
    • MAX mode automatically activates at 300% and starts draining over time. When MAX depletes, it resets meter to 100%. If an EX is used during MAX mode, it uses a chunk of the remaining MAX meter, then continues draining if any is remaining, then resets meter to 0% once depleted. If an Arc Drive is used, it instantly resets meter to 0%.
      • Can go into BLOOD HEAT mode by activating HEAT (pressing A+B+C) in MAX mode. This works the same as Crescent's BLOOD HEAT except all red life is healed instantly, and the timer does not stop.
      • Also, in MAX heat mode, almost all normals and certain special moves (all EX-cancellable moves?), including air moves, can be cancelled on hit or block by doing an Initiative HEAT, which is performed by pressing A+B+C during cancellable frames. Additionally, any normal or special move that can be EX cancelled on whiff can also be IH'd even on whiff. Kind of like a GG or BB Roman/Rapid Cancel, but on top of cancelling the attack Initiative HEAT also puts your character in HEAT mode. IH is similar to Crescent HEAT, but like Full Moon BLOOD HEAT it instantly heals all red health and does not stop the timer.
  • Can Circuit Spark both on the ground and in the air by pressing A+B+C during MAX mode.
  • Cannot dodge or air dodge.
  • Airdash Cancel (j.A Only): Unlike Crescent and Half, Full can only airdash cancel j.A for most characters instead of all three air normals. See here for exceptions. Can still double jump cancel normally.
  • Shield: Cannot EX Shield (except for the purpose of doing Last Arc), but can normal (held) Shield. Upon a successful Shield, your character can cancel into a special (including EX), activate Initiative Heat, or perform a Shield Counter by inputting 236D, but cannot cancel into normals from Shield. Similar to Half Moon's Shield Counter, Full Moon's Shield Counter can also be cancelled into a special move (including EX) and launches the opponent to allow for a follow-up combo, however, Full Moon's Shield Counter only uses the Standing Shield Counter even if crouching Shield was used.
  • Shield Bunker is performed by pressing 214D - this works identically to Crescent's Shield Bunker.
  • Like Crescent, can EX guard.

Referenced from:

Meter Management

Meter (known in game as Magic Circuit) is very unique in Melty Blood, and is also handled very differently depending on which moon phase is chosen.

Meter is built by:

  • Connecting an attack(hit or block)
  • Whiffing a projectile
  • Blocking
  • Shielding
  • Getting hit
  • Circuit Charge(Full Moon only)

So throws and whiffing attacks do not increase meter. (there are some exceptions however, such as Nero's and Warachia's airthrow)

What's Heat?

Most attacks in Melty Blood deal both permanent damage and recoverable damage (represented by the remaining red in the lifebar). Heat is an advantageous state in which a character recovers the red health in their lifebar. The 3 moons each have different ways of getting into Heat mode. Properties of Heat mode:

  • Red life slowly recovers (instantly for Full Moon's Initiative Heat)
  • EX/supers can be performed at a reduced cost
  • Gain access to a new EX called an Arc Drive(41236C)
  • Meter slowly decreases to zero
  • Game timer freezes (Does not apply to Full Moon)
  • Increased damage and defence (Crescent Moon only)

What's Heat Activation?

Assuming this is just "normal" heat activation, this is something that is reserved for Crescent Moon only. Anytime a Crescent moon character has at least 100 meter, is on the ground, and isn't in hitstun or blockstun, then a heat activation can be done by pressing 5E or 5A+B+C. The C moon character will then be put into Heat mode. Properties of the heat activation itself:

  • Invincible startup
  • Unblockable
  • Wallslams opponent
  • Has a fair bit of recovery
  • Does a bit of damage, cannot KO opponent
  • Can be shielded by opponent

What's MAX mode?

Unique to Melty Blood is that one cannot sit on full meter, forcing the opponent play differently. Once Magic Circuit reaches 300% for Crescent or Full moon, MAX mode activates, during which meter drains and many options unlock:

  • EX/supers can be performed at a reduced cost
  • Gain access to a new EX called an Arc Drive(41236C)
  • If your character gets put in blockstun or hitstun, a circuit spark (burst) can be performed by pressing 5E or 5A+B+C
  • Can reach Blood Heat mode by pressing 5E or 5A+B+C on the ground if your character is not in blockstun or hitstun. The actual blood heat activation has the same properties as normal heat activation.
  • Can perform an Initiative Heat (Full Moon only)

What's Blood Heat?

Blood Heat is only available to Crescent and Full Moon, and while similar to normal Heat comes with extra benefits:

  • Gain access to a new EX called an Another Arc Drive(41236C). For many characters this is just an upgraded version of their normal Arc Drive.
  • Gain access to a very powerful attack called a Last Arc.
  • Improved damage and defense even compared to Heat (Crescent Moon only)

What's Auto Heat?

Auto Heat is reserved for Half Moon only. Half Moon meter only goes up to 200%, after which Heat is automatically activated. During Auto Heat, meter slowly drains, and:

  • Red life slowly recovers
  • EX/supers can be performed at a reduced cost
  • Gain access to a new EX called an Arc Drive(41236C)
  • Will automatically Circuit Spark if hit

What's Circuit Charge?

Full Moon only. Anytime a Full moon character is on the ground and isn't in hitstun or blockstun, a circuit charge can be performed by holding 5E or 5A+B+C. During this state, meter will build at an accelerating rate. 5E or 5A+B+C can be released to leave the circuit charge state.

Uses of Resources

What's an EX move?

Also known as supers, EX moves are specials that are performed with the C button that have a big superflash before the move comes out. Most of them cost 100 meter, but there are some that cost 150.

What's an Arc Drive?

It's a special EX move that can only be done in Heat or MAX mode.

What's a Last Arc?

It's a very powerful move only available to Crescent and Full moon. Last Arcs are triggered by EX-Shielding (or Shield in Full Moon, but not by held shield) an attack during Blood Heat. Each Last Arc requires the character to be on the ground or in the air, depending on the character. Most Last Arcs do at least half a lifebar's worth of damage, some of them do scaled damage based on meter left.

What's a Circuit Spark?

Circuit Sparks are a defensive option that can be compared to Guilty Gear bursts. They can be done both in the air and ground when your character is in hitstun or blockstun, and can only be performed in MAX mode for Crescent and Full moon, and in Heat Auto mode for Half moon. After they are performed, meter immediately goes to zero. Properties:

  • No recovery (Half Moon ground spark only)
  • Completely strike invincible throughout duration
  • Unblockable
  • Knocks down opponent

Ground sparks can be baited for C and F moon by either shielding them or jump canceling backwards into an airdash forwards for a jumpin punish (the window is quite tight though). Air sparks can be baited by purposely dropping a combo to create distance between you and the opponent's spark, where they cannot do anything till they hit the ground, or by airthrowing the opponent out of it. Note that H-Moon air spark is actually still strike invincibile while falling down but can be airthrown, meaning it is possible to still punish air spark if baited correctly.

Is Half Moon's auto spark really automatic?

Not really. It's only automatic if the Half moon character gets hit, without trading, during Auto Heat mode. If the Half moon character happens to reach 200% meter while getting comboed, then spark can be manually inputted like the other moons.

What's an Initiative Heat?

It's the way that Full moon characters get into Heat mode. Initiative Heats are done by doing an attack or special in MAX mode, and then pressing 5E or 5A+B+C. This will completely cancel the recovery of the attack, instantly recover all red life, and put your character in Heat mode. So it's basically a Guilty Gear roman cancel that heals life. IHs can be done with hitting and blocked normals, and with hitting/blocked/whiffed specials.

What's a Shield Bunker?

The "normal" Shield Bunker is available only to Crescent and Full moon. These are analogous to Alpha Counters and Guilty Gear's Dead Angle Attacks, but they can actually be done outside of blockstun. They cost 50 meter to use in blockstun, and are performed by inputting 214D.
The Shield Bunker has two phases: the first phase has your character go into a stance with a Shield frame, and the second phase has your character do the actual attack. If the opponent's attack connects with the first phase's Shield frame, then the second phase's attack will be inescapable for the opponent.
They do a bit of damage, but cannot actually KO the opponent. They also have some recovery, so they can be very unsafe on block/whiff. Due to changes in Current Code, C and F Moon can no longer ever score a counter hit on their bunkers. This means the attacks will never actually be a knockdown.

How are Half Moon Shield Bunkers different?

They have the same 214D input, but cost 100 meter instead. The differences are:

  • The shield bunker attack starts up faster
  • Almost no recovery
  • Deals zero damage
  • Hard Knockdown

Keep in mind that if a Half moon character inputs 214D when they're not in blockstun, then they will do the normal shield bunker instead.

What's a Shield Counter?

It's a move for Half and Full moon. Full moon can perform it by inputting 236D after a successful shield. It comes out automatically on H moon if a shield is successful, or manually by inputting 236D when shielding a projectile. Shield Counter has a fast invincible startup that can be done on ground or in air, and launches allowing follow up combos. Like Shield Bunker, they can be very unsafe on block/whiff.

Powerd CielCrescentHalfFull
Red ArcueidCrescentHalfFull
White LenCrescentHalfFull