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Blue Oni, Red Oni: Armor and Invincibility in Pokkén

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The tutorial teaches you how to guard, of course, and it will show you how counterattacks defend against your opponent’s attacks. But there’s more to defense in Pokkén than just those options. This guide introduces all the different kinds of armor and invincibility in the game, and how you can use them for yourself.

Blue Armor / Counterattack Armor

We’ll start with the most common armor, blue armor. You’re probably already familiar with some of this from the tutorial, but a quick review will help us discuss the other armors later.


Blue armor is your basic counterattack armor. When it’s active, your character’s outline has a blue glow. If you get hit with an attack, unless it’s a piercing attack, the armor activates with a flash. When that happens, it’s like you weren’t hit: there’s no knockback, no hitstun, and you take no damage. On the flip side, if you get grabbed while you have blue armor, that’s a critical hit for your opponent—they won the Attack Triangle.


You get blue armor by:

  • Doing a basic counterattack (X+A). If you charge the counterattack, the blue armor lasts longer, delaying the attack portion. Each character has different minimum and maximum durations for this armor. A fully charged counterattack will pierce an opponent’s blue armor, so it’s useful to know whose counterattack charges faster in any given matchup.

  • Doing a command counter. Almost every character has one, so I won’t list them all here, but some “popular” examples are Lucario’s Extreme Speed (8A), Pikachu’s Volt Tackle (8A), and Charizard’s Fire Punch (6A). You can recognize them because just like the basic counterattacks, the move gives the character blue armor during its warmup, and then the attack comes out. For a full list, check out the frame data, and look for attacks that are type “C”.

    Chandelure’s, Sceptile’s, Suicune’s, and Weavile’s burst attacks are all counterattacks, so they have blue armor too.

  • Calling a support with blue armor: Electrode, Magneton, Qaugsire, Snivy, or Whimsicott. Electrode gives the caller blue armor as long as it’s on the field. All the rest grant a short burst of blue armor as soon as you call them. If you get grabbed out of this blue armor, it doesn’t count as a critical hit.

  • Doing a stance that gives blue armor: These are a little funny, because they don’t show the usual blue glow. That’s because the stances only grant blue armor against certain kinds of attacks. Against those attacks, though, you’ll still get the blue flash and all the benefits of blue armor. These stances are:

    • Blaziken’s high stance (against high projectiles)
    • Blaziken’s low stance (against low attacks and projectiles)
    • Machamp’s low stance (against low attacks)
    • Mewtwo’s low stance (against low attacks)
    • Shadow Mewtwo’s low stance (against low attacks)

Red Armor / Special Armor

Where blue armor is associated with counterattacks, red armor is associated with normal attacks. Where blue armor is a defensive option for you, red armor is more of an offensive buff to help you force your attacks through. The basic mechanic is the same: if you get hit with an attack when you have red armor active, the armor activates with a flash—but of course it’s red, not blue. The attack will sort of go through you: you won’t be knocked back or down, and if you’re in the middle of an attack animation, it will continue uninterrupted. However, unlike blue armor, you will still take damage from the attack (a little less than you would normally), and you can even be K.O.ed.


Note that when a character techs a grab with an attack, there’s a similar animation with a red flash that goes in a wave from back to front. This isn’t red armor; this is just an animation to emphasize the grab tech.


You get red armor by:

  • Doing an attack with red armor. Again, there are too many to list, but moves that show the effect best are Chandelure’s Overheat (8A) and Mewtwo’s and Shadow Mewtwo’s Psystrike (8A). Check the frame data for attacks with “Armor” in the notes column.

    Garchomp’s burst attack has red armor for the first few frames.

  • Using Charizard’s high stance. This grants red armor against special mids.

  • Using Garchomp’s high stance. This grants red armor against low attacks.


Red armor can fail in a couple of ways:

  • If the hit gets your opponent to 12 phase shift points (PSPs) in Duel Phase, it will connect and cause a Phase Shift as normal.
  • If the hit is the tenth hit that this armor has absorbed, it will connect normally, causing hitstun. Then the armor will reset.

Burst Armor

The tutorial covers burst armor, but now that we’ve covered red armor, discussing the parallels can help us remember the details of both. Burst armor is basically a weak red armor that’s always active when you’re in burst mode. Weak attacks (usually ones that use the Y button) will not cause you hitstun. If you’re in an attack animation, it will continue uninterrupted. It also has all the downsides of red armor. You still take damage, and it can fail the same ways.


There’s no separate animation or indicator that burst armor blocked a hit. Just knowing you’re in burst mode is enough.

Invincibility Frames

Invincibility frames, or iframes for short, are exactly what they sound like: frames where a character is invincible from all attacks and grabs. Unfortunately there’s no single visual indicator or when iframes are active or prevent an attack from connecting. Instead, the attack animation just goes through as if it whiffed. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to remember what grants iframes. You get iframes by:

  • Activating Synergy Burst: You’re invincible as soon as you activate Synergy Burst until the shockwave comes out.

  • Doing your burst attack (usually):

    • Sceptile, Suicune, and Weavile do not get iframes in their burst attacks.
    • Gengar and Mewtwo get iframes from the first frame of their burst attacks.
    • In version 1.3 (the Wii U version), Charizard gets iframes from the first frame of their burst attack if they activate it midair.
    • Everyone else gets iframes from the fifth frame of their burst attack.

    These iframes last until the first hitbox comes out.

  • Doing an attack that makes your Pokémon (nearly) invisible: Chandelure, Garchomp, Gengar, Mewtwo, and Shadow Mewtwo have various attacks that cause them to dig, minimize, or teleport. They’re invincible at these times. Check the frame data for exact numbers.

  • Backdashing: Backdashes are invincible for the first few frames of their animation. The same often goes for attacks that incorporate backdash movement, like Weavile’s taunt. Again, check the frame data.

  • Calling a support that grants iframes: Fennekin, Pachirisu, or Umbreon. These supports grant iframes as soon as you call them, and they last until the primary effect starts. Note that Pachirisu’s effect doesn’t get your opponent off you, so if they read your call, they can time their attacks around your iframes and still hit you.


Edited by PokkenZard
more about red armor failure; suggestions from Ricky

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In addition to Suicune and Weavile, Sceptile and Chandelure also have CA armor on their burst attacks.


Also there are a couple character specific instances of i-frames such as Chandy's Minimize (in 1.3) and the attack portion of Weavile's taunt. Not sure if you wanted to add this or if the purpose was just to explain i-frames

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