• Them's Fightin' Herds is available now on Steam for PC!
    You can buy it from these links:
    Humble Bundle // Steam

  • Current Game Version

    1.4.4 (1.5.2021)

TFH: Airblock Blockstun feebdack


Feb 22, 2018
I learned about this a few months ago, and while this information is not common knowledge, I think that once it becomes more widespread knowledge, it will have an impact on the way this game is played, and therefore I think it’s important to at the very least bring to attention and discuss.

6As become more unsafe when blocked in the air. The numbers are as follows.
Grounded Adv/Air Adv:
Ari: -7/-14
Vel: -11/-19
Ole: -7/-21
Pap: -5/-9
Pom: -5/-19
Tian: -11/16

Meanwhile, almost every other move in the game, excluding 3Cs and most specials, gains tons more blockstun on airblock, to the point where the only way to leave that blockstun is usually to land on the ground, leaving the grounded player + in most scenarios.

Because nobody is implementing this knowledge currently, there’s no evidence of how impactful this system is in practice. But in theory, this does create two different power gaps, as well as creates a couple other issues with the game’s universal mechanics.

1: Characters whose only reliable anti-air is 6A are much weaker than those with multiple anti-air options.

2: Characters with strong air options are much stronger than those with limited air options.

These sound like common sense. Obviously the characters with better/more versatile options will be better than those without. These statements were already the case before, but with knowledge of this airblocking system, these differences in character strength could be further exacerbated to the point where it becomes a big problem. (Or bigger problem, depending on who you ask.)

The best scenario to demonstrate both of these concepts is Arizona 6Aing an Oleander. Because Oleander’s j.B hits crouching hurtboxes earlier than most air normals, and because her double jump can cause problems with anti airs, the Arizona would normally want to anti-air Oleander early on in her jump. However, if Arizona does this, she is now -14, and Oleander is at a relatively high height. Arizona’s second highest-hitting normal is 5C, which would make her + if she could force the Oleander to block it, but Oleander’s j.B will actually dodge Ari 5C’s hurtbox and punish it on the way down. The risk-reward is already heavily skewed in Ole’s favor in this sort of scenario, but knowledge of this punish can make Arizona’s 6A even more risky, which sucks for her because 6A is the backbone of her entire neutral game.

The best way to demonstrate the power gap here is to replace each character in this scenario one by one. If we replace Arizona with an Oleander, the grounded Oleander has the option to 2B after making Air-Ole block the 6A. If the Air-Ole already used her double jump, then chances are she lacks the option to dodge this 2B, and is forced to block it, putting herself in a scenario where she either needs to land and be subjected to pressure, or has to PB, locking herself in the air momentarily and possible opening herself up to another strong anti-air string.

If the scenario were between Arizona and Paprika, then the gap between air options is shown. Paprika’s air normals do not hit below her, and she does not have any way of moving herself in the air after blocking an air normal or PBing in the air. This makes Ari’s 6A behave more like Ole’s 6A might, leading into a blockstring that will leave Arizona + when the Paprika lands. The Paprika also cannot air PB as safely as a character like Ole or Tian, who have the option of using air options to retreat after an air PB. This is not necessarily a flaw with Paprika, but more a demonstration of the power gap between characters like her and characters with strong airborne options.

To talk about the aforementioned issues with the universal mechanics:

1: IB is now shown to have even fewer uses than earlier believed. One of the justifications for using IB was the idea that it shaves of 6 frames of blockstun when used in the air. This is pointless when considering the above system. 6As are already more unsafe than usual, to the point where fast air normals can already punish them. And non-6A air normals are so incredibly + that 6 less frames of blockstun is practically useless.

2: This knowledge further strengthens the concept that being in the air in TFH is an extremely powerful position, and that characters with strong airborne play are way better off than those without. Upback, land cancels, preblock, the state of air throws, and now this blockstun system are all factors that contribute to the strength of airblocking. It also further adds to the strength of characters with good air and anti-air options, such as Oleander, and the weakness of characters with limited air and anti-air options, like Paprika.

I know I’ve spoken about this idea of overly strong air game in the past. Keep in mind, much of my complaints in the past have been made without the above knowledge of air blockstun. With the above knowledge added to all of the other existing factors, I think it's clear that having a strong air game is one of the most important factors in TFH, for better or worse.

Personally speaking, I see this blockstun system as an issue. If I were to change anything about this airblock system specifically, I’d make it so 6As were + on airblock, rather than more unsafe. I don’t see why 6As should be made worse when used for their main purpose, in an engine that already skews the risk-reward in the favor of the airborne player. If 6As were + on airblock, it would level the playing field somewhat on both ends, as now characters with better air options are limited to using them either before the 6A happens or after they air-PB the 6A, and the characters who rely on 6A as their primary anti air are as worse off in an airblock scenario compared to characters who don’t rely on 6A. Non-6A AAs would still have a place, as they don’t require a forward input, making them more reliable in crossup scenarios or snap-reaction AAs, and they do not get PB’d as far as 6As do.

That’s my opinion, of course. Whether other players or the dev team view this as a potential issue or not is for them to decide. I do think, at the very least, this is something worth discussing, as it is new information and could further impact the meta of the game once players utilize it more and more. I also think that it's better to bring this up now, because if it does wind up being a problem, then something can be done about it sooner.

That's all for the video guys let me know what you think in the comments section down below don't forget to leave a like, really helps with the YouTube algorithm, and subscribe for more content like this, hit the bell for the notifications and be sure to hit the Join button if you want to support me and what I do thank you so much for watching and see you in the next one