What to do when people block?


So I’m realizing the main moments when I get bodied and stumped is when my opponent blocks. I don’t know what to do. What are some things you more experienced players do when an opponent is block happy? I main Birdie. I like battles where my opponent doesn’t block so much but I realize in order to get to the next level I’m going to have to learn to deal with defensive players. Any ideas? Any input is appreciated. Thanks.


it helps to include a recent match replay so people can look for specific problems, otherwise you’re just getting general advice.

there isn’t a simple magic answer to beating a defensive player.

the cut and dry answer is throws beat blocking.

but i’m sure you didn’t ask this question because you didn’t know that. you asked it because you went to go throw someone and then he hit you with a sweep. and then when you tried to bait the sweep he just blocked instead. and then you’re back at square one.

that’s fighting games. you predict out what your opponent is going to do and then do the thing that beats it, and you try to prevent your opponent from doing the same to you.

if you’re struggling with opening people up it’s usually because you’re just being too predictable in your offense.

some people are too antsy - they see an opportunity to do X and get so excited to finally be in that position where X is doable that they do X immediately and don’t even consider other options.

maybe X is really great, maybe it’s +42 on block and converts into tons of damage on hit, but if you’re predictable about how it’s used it’s going to get blocked everytime (or worse, baited out) and then none of that greatness matters.

some people simply don’t know what all of their offensive options are. or if they do, they always go for the same one that leads to huge damage (again, none of that matters if you’re too predictable about it and it gets blocked everytime). or maybe they do know their options and in the heat of battle they just act like they don’t. this is something you just have to hash out in training mode and in reviewing your own replays.

and sometimes you’re just over thinking it. if you haven’t conditioned your opponent to be afraid of rock and start playing paper to counter rock, then there isn’t much point in trying to mindgame them with scissors.

I could go on and on but yeah i don’t think there is an easy solution to this besides reviewing your own matches and keep trying new things to try to add more things to your repertoire.


Keep attacking til they get hit. If they don’t want to throw anything out fine lol. They won’t hit you, so you get free pressure. Yay. If they start reversaling, bait it. Keep them at a range where they can’t reversal or use counter specials or normals.

Throw them this forces them to do something.

If still nothing you’re building meter.

Put them in the corner. To escape they’ll have to do something besides crouching it blocking.

The point is fighting games is all about trade offs. For every action you do, there’s a downside, no matter how overpowered. In this case you’re being turtled. The upside for the opponent is you have no clue what to do and you get frustrated, and probably leads you to make punishable mistakes. The downside for the opponent and upside for you is that hurtling means you get pressure, space control, and building meter! Capitalize on these things and the opponent is simply forced to stop turtling. That’s kinda what it’s all about…mindgames. It’s about controlling your opponent

Oh you’re birdie, well then! Chuck all the cans!!!

(Go watch high level birdies and study how they open up players)


As a FANG player, I can tell you that unless they’re really good and have awesome reactions, a player holding down+back won’t be able to react quickly enough to a lot of stuff if you’re close enough. I’m not saying jump in all the time, but dash+throw, command throws (EX dive with Birdie is particularly difficult to punish on reaction), or plain old frame traps/crush counters are solid options. The easiest thing to do would probably just be to hit him with a lot of safe stuff until he feels comfortable just sitting there blocking, and then hit him with something out of left field that he can’t just block. I can’t tell you how many Mikas/Giefs/Alexes have beaten me by conditioning me to just block and then simply throwing me when I’ve gotten used to holding back. On the opposite side, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve beaten because they get frustrated with me blocking, so they try to randomly jump in over and over or start pressing random buttons in the hopes of scoring a counter. A reactionary player wants you to get frustrated and start randomly doing dumb stuff. Don’t just hit him with unsafe stuff from the front. Try to bait him into pressing buttons, cross him up, throw him. Remember that you’re the one pressuring him, building meter, and dealing chip. If he guesses wrong on his defense, he’s the one eating a lot of damage. SFV is heavily geared towards offensive play, so all it takes is a few mistakes on his part for you to win.

If nothing else, you’re playing Birdie, so you can always just build a ton of V meter to encourage him to come to you.


They do nothing but block? Have you ever tried to throw? You’re playing Birdie for God sake.