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H2's Pokkén Cliff Notes

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Hi All,


H2 here. First I want to say, I definitely recommend the game's tutorial for learning first and foremost. 

That said I wanted to write up a very short and sweet tl;dr guide for Pokkén DX that is easy to digest. 

Turns out there's a lot to cover even with me trying to make this tl;dr, so let's start:


Overview of coverage:

1. Attack Triangle

2. Crush system

3. Armors & Piercing

4. Frame advantage - coming soon

5. Cancels - coming soon

6. Support/Assist - coming soon

7. Synergy Meter - coming soon


1. Attack Triangle

I'll start here, because most people will not have trouble identifying with this system. 

The attack triangle is akin to rock paper scissors in several ways, this isn't a fully proper description, but it gets the point across.


The triangle is comprised of 5 things even though it's a triangle:

A. Attack (uncolored and red effects)

B. Block (light blue shield that gets darker when weak, lump this in with Counter)

C. Counter (blue effects, lump with this in with Block)

D. Grab (green effects)

E. Piercing (can be Attacks or Counters will be covered later in full)



Each item of the triangle beats something else in the triangle and loses to something else in the triangle.

If you win an exchange in this system you score a critical hit for bonus damage in your combo, block is the only exception where critical hits are not involved.

Block and Counter have a similar purpose, in high level play, block is a more reliable defensive option.



The priority of the triangle is as follows:

  • Attack
    • Beats Grab - Gain frame advantage (ability to attack first) or crush grabs depending on timing.  Up + Strong attack always crushes grab regardless of timing.
    • Loses to Counter - Attacks hit armor giving synergy meter to your opponent
  • Block 
    • Nullifies Attacks - Most attacks that can't be charged hitting block will cause you to have frame advantage (meaning you can attack before your opponent)
    • Loses to Grab - Grabs are unblockable (will not result in a critical hit however)
  • Counter
    • Beats Attack - armors attacks during startup into a briefly vulnerable counter attack hitbox.  Counters usually beat attacks, but it's possible to be hit during a few frames in between armor and the counter attack hitbox.
    • Loses to Grab - Grab beats counter armor, it is possible if a counter attack hits early enough to hit someone out of their grab animation startup
  • Grab
    • Beats Counter - Grab bypasses counter armor, counter attacks can hit the start-up of grabs in rare situations
    • Loses to Attack - You will lose frame advantage if you grab at the start of an attack animation or be crushed if you grab late into an attack animation.  Some attacks always crush grabs regardless of timing
  • Piercing
    • How does piercing fit into this? Piercing is a property on attacks or counters.  It is often tied into charged up moves and can be attacks or counter attack options.  The main thing to understand here is that a piecing hitbox will always break through armor if it connects with it. 


2. Crush System

What is the crush system? Simply put, it is a system where some options have invincibility frames against other options.  This is most easily observed by using characters that can crouch to avoid attack options with a height property of "high".  Every move in the game has an offensive crush property associated with it.  Additionally there are defensive states with defensive crush properties too.


Offensive/Attack Crush Properties

  • High - most anti air attacks (up + light attack)
  • Mid-high - most grab crush attacks (up + strong attack)
  • Mid - a rare attack property
  • Mid-low - most attacks and counter attacks in the game have this property
  • Low - most crouching attacks and grabs in the game have this property


Defensive Crush Properties

  • High invincibility - Avoids only high attacks
  • Mid-high invincibility - Avoids mid-high attacks and high attacks
  • Mid invincibility - True invincibility, avoids all attacks
  • Mid-low invincibility - Avoids mid-low attacks and low attacks
  • Low invincibility - Avoids only low attacks


Common Defensive States

  • Low stance - Has high invincibility
  • Anti-air state - Has mid-high invincibility, a property of anti air attacks (up + light attack)
  • Airborne - Has low invincibility, active while in the air after initial jump frames
  • Jump start-up - Has low invincibility, active while jumping before you are off the ground
  • Initial jump frames - Has mid-low invincibility, active after your character leaves the ground of a jump until you start reaching the top of your jump
  • Super flash - Has mid invincibility, active at different frames depending on the super/burst attack being used
  • Burst activation - Has mid invincibility, active frame 1 upon activating your burst mode, a great get off me tool



3. Armor & Piercing

There are 3 kinds of armor in the game. Counter armor, Attack armor, and Light Attack Armor.  The common trend of all armors is that you don't take hitstun.


Counter Armor

By this point in the guide you are probably familiar the basics of how this works.  Counter armor beats attacks and loses to grabs and pierces.  It's important to also note that any non-piercing hits that connect with your counter armor will not deal damage to you at all, and you will gain synergy meter towards your burst for armoring attacks.  Being hit during counter armor will cause the game to briefly pause a few frames per hit as well potentially giving players extra time to react and release their counter attack.


Attack Armor

There are a few moves in the game that have attack armor, this is red armor.  You will still take damage from these attacks, but you can't be grabbed and will always grab crush.  There is 1 exception to the grab crush rule and that is for grab supers/burst attacks.  Grab supers/burst attacks will always crush any armor that is active including attack armor.


Light Armor

This armor is granted when you activate your full synergy meter and are in burst mode.  Fast light attacks will not cause hitstun to you unless your opponent is also in burst mode, but these attacks will still deal damage.  Only strong attacks with slightly more startup will be able to inflict hitstun to you while your opponent is not also in their burst mode.

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