Hey, everyone! Welcome to our new piece of Daily Content! Every Tuesday, we will be releasing articles about our games! These can range from simple things like analyzing the base pentagon in BattleCON to complex card counting in EXCEED. This week, we have an advanced BattleCON Guide from Marco!
I've been playing a lot of BattleCON Online recently and I've quickly come to the realization that Parries are becoming more and more vital to one's success in this game. When faced with strong competition from all over the globe, one has to step-up and get better. Parrying well is one way to do just that. Now, let's address that first question that's surely on your mind:
Parrying? In BattleCON?
Yes! Parrying in BattleCON! Now, let's be clear: I am NOT referring to the alternate Beta Base that you can find in certain editions of the game. I am, in reality, referring to a technique that many excellent players incorporate into their game-plan. However, I'm sure that none of you have probably seen Parries explained in the rulebook. This is because Parrying is not exactly an explicit mechanic.
You see, Parrying is actually the act of intentionally clashing your opponent's attack! While the rulebook describes clashing as a simple means to resolve ties in priority, many advanced players have learned that this mechanic can be quite useful for disrupting enemies. So, what exactly about intentionally clashing an attack is so powerful?
As per clash rules, once you and your opponent have a priority tie, both of you are forced to play a new base, replacing the originally-set one. This should, usually, result in the tie being broken. The key component of this mechanic is the fact that both you and the opponent must play a new base. To the novice, this may seem like a neutral occurrence. However, to the expert player, such an occurrence can be abused.
If you, as the one Parrying, knew you were about to clash, you could easily use a "bad" base to initiate the clash. This gives you a huge advantage when entering the ensuing clash, as your options will, usually, be stronger than your opponent, who likely did not expect this clash to happen. One clear example of this is initiating a Parry using Burst with a fast Style. Since Burst is generally a slow base, the ensuing clash will generally be in your favor. One of your opponent's faster bases are down, and your slowest base is down. It is simple to see why this is effective.
Such a technique is crucial to getting out of certain situations that seem unbeatable. If none of your options seem to beat your opponent's attacks, see if Parrying them will counter their move. Most of the time, the answer is an absolute yes!
Now that you're familiar with this concept, it is important to explore the 2 kinds of Parries and their roles in your game-plan.
The Hard Parry is what you usually think of when you think of a Parry. You perform an action with a prediction in mind. My opponent will do X, so I will do Y to counter it. This kind of parry takes its name from the term "hard read," which tells you volumes about its nature. This kind of parry often results in one of two situations: either your opponent gets utterly destroyed, or YOU get utterly destroyed.
Hard Parries are huge and tend to swing the game around in one way or another. This makes them a bit volatile as you are, essentially, placing all your eggs in one basket. So, while the pay-off can potentially be huge, the amount of risk one takes when performing a Hard Parry is atrocious to the point that I would not recommend using it. What, then, is its use?
The answer is simple: Dodge. Hard Parries are very useful when dealing with Dodging opponents. The thing about Hard Parries is that they require you to do 2 things: hard read and parry. See, even if you've already guessed what base your opponent is using (hard read), it's still generally hard to actually Hard Parry them. This is because many characters have access to styles that let them modify their priority slightly, resulting in a hard-to-clash set of attacks. As such, even if you're more than 95% sure that the opponent will use Strike, you're not guaranteed that you'll be able to Parry it. This can prove to be very risky.
When attempting to Hard Parry any other base, playing an attack with the wrong priority often results in you eating a lot of damage. This is not the case for attempting to parry Dodge. At worst, the opponent Dodges out of the way, but you were using a sub-par attack with a bad base anyway, so it's no big loss.
As such, if you're fairly certain that the opponent is Dodging, then a Hard Parry is absolutely the way to go. However, there's another kind of Parry that proves to be more useful than this.
The Hedge Parry is a super advanced technique. Indeed, it is even harder than Hard Parrying and Hard Parrying involved literally predicting your opponent's move! This kind of Parry is less of an actual "fighting game parry" and more of a hedge, hence its name. Hedge Parries are all about mitigating risk and capturing certain attacks that your attack cannot usually beat.
I believe that an example best illustrates this concept.
Say that, in this situation, the Hikaru player wants to Burst while the opponent's Drive is in discard. Of course, any player would immediately think about the opponent's Shot. Shot, being Burst's natural counter, means that performing a Burst is not as safe as it seems. Now, for most players, this is where the analysis stops. They see that the opponent has a counter option available and say that Burst is a good and viable option, but not necessarily a guaranteed attack. However, advanced players see this situation and think beyond that. They think about clashing Shot, instead of countering it. In this situation, an advanced player will immediately think of this:
Advancing Burst, in the above situation, offers a lot of cool bonuses. It's a decently powerful Burst with decent speed and potentially 5 Power. However, much more than these, it's important to look at its exact Priority. That's right. This attack is not only strong, it ALSO clashes an average Shot. Just like that, a "viable, but not guaranteed attack" becomes much safer! The Advancing Burst play beats out most average Strike and Grasp plays while also clashing it's natural Shot counter, making it significantly safer than the original Burst play.
Doing this is called Hedge Parrying. The end-goal is not necessarily to Parry the opponent. In fact, when Hedge Parrying, you don't actually want the Parry to happen. Think of the Parry as insurance. Should your opponent play the attack that counters yours, you get a secondary chance to correct yourself during the ensuing clash.
This kind of Parry is, therefore, not about swings, but about safety. You consider your options and attempt to form attacks that give you some safety if the opponent picks a hard counter. This makes it more powerful than a Hard Parry, but it also makes it extremely harder to execute as you have to have a good grasp of the attack spectrum for both players. However, should you master it, it will surely prove vital to your success!
Parries in BattleCON work very differently when compared to most fighting games out there. Hard Parries allow you to heavily punish predictable players and enemies who spam Dodge a lot, while Hedge Parries allow give your attacks an extra level of safety. Use both of them wisely and watch your wins rack up!
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