A Guard Break (also written as Guardbreak or GB) is a maneuver that attempts to break the opponent's stance as your Hero grabs hold of them. Guardbreak typically have strong tracking and forward momentum, preventing players from simply dodging the maneuver unless they move greatly out of range (such as through backrolling). A Guard Break is initiated either through the (X) button for XB1, ⬜ for the PS4, or the Middle Mouse Button (MMB) for PC.
Guard Breaks are 400ms in speed, but become 300ms if performed right after a Feint. They cost 15 Stamina, even if Counter Guard Broken. However, if it misses, it will cost an extra 11 Stamina for a total of 26 Stamina.
Follow-ups EditHero into a wall or another Hero will stun that Hero temporarily (if thrown into another Hero, both Heroes will be stunned), giving a chance to spring an attack on them. However, while they are staggered, they are also Guard Break Invulnerable to prevent Guard Break spamming.
Throwing costs 18 additional Stamina, but inflicts 20 Stamina damage (damage inflicted varies between Heroes, but is typically 20) on your opponent. Throw distance depends on the Hero, with some being able to throw really far away while others only throw short distance. While throwing your opponent, you will not flinch from normal attacks (Bashes will knock you back).
All Heroes are able to perform a Light, Heavy or Zone Attack upon Guard Breaking the opponent, with the Light Attack always being guaranteed. Certain Heroes will have special follow-ups instead that only they can perform. More listed in the Tactics section below.
Countering Guard Breaks Edit
All attacks are also invulnerable to Guard Breaks except for the first section of their attack. Fast attacks have a small window (as little as 100ms) while slow attacks such as Heavy Openers have much more vulnerability to Guard Breaks. Use this invulnerability to counter opponents who often try to Guardbreak you. When you try to Guard Break an enemy who is in this frame of Guard Break Invulnerability, you will bounce off and take 1000ms to recover.
While not advised, backrolling is a possible strategy in avoiding a Guard Break as the backroll is invulnerable to Guardbreaks unlike normal Dodges.
While in Revenge Mode, your Guard Break will ignore the target's Guard Break Invulnerability window. Together with the Uninterruptible Stance you get through Revenge, this allows you to Guard Break an opponent who is performing a chain of attacks.
Throwing an opponent while in Revenge will also cause them to fall to the ground as if they are Exhausted.
Guard Breaks are useful in performing mix-ups, especially once you have mastered Feinting. Because Guard Breaks after a Feint are faster than a Guard Break from neutral, you can use this to fool an opponent to parry your Heavy Attack, only to feint into a Guard Break. This is especially useful for Exhausted or almost Exhausted Opponents, since they cannot cancel their parry attempt, and when thrown by a Guard Break, they will fall to the ground.
Guard Break Throws are also a useful tool for displacing an opponent. This is particularly the case when you can throw them into a wall for a Stagger or, better yet, into map hazards. Many map hazards exist in For Honor, and should be taken advantage of when you can throw your opponent into them.
- Spiked barricades or walls, which are featured in many maps such as Beachhead, a lethal to anyone thrown into them.
- Bodies of water or lava, and open cliffs, are lethal as the Hero will plunge to their death. These are available on many maps.
- High ledges can be harmful, either through the act of falling or the potential that the Hero who just threw you off can perform a Plunge Attack on you. Available on all maps.
- Geysers on Cathedral are dangerous. If you get knocked against an active Geyser, you will receive medium damage as you bounce off. Standing above a Geyser when it activates will instantly kill you.
- Open fires may not kill you instantly, but deal overtime damage and causes you to stagger if you bump into them.
- On maps such as Shipyard and Forge, there are working machinery that are lethal if thrown into (Sawblades and Hammer Press, respectively).
The following Heroes have special follow-ups to Guard Breaking an opponent that they can use to their advantage:
- Upon Guard Breaking an opponent, Peacekeeper and Centurion can follow up with three timed strikes: Bleed Stabs with Light for Peacekeeper, pommel strikes to inflict Stamina Damage for Centurion. They can also throw their opponent after the first or second strike, but will end the move once the third is performed or if they mistime any of the strikes.
- Jormungandr can input a Light upon Guard Breaking an opponent to perform Jotunn Gift, dealing stamina damage or even sending their target to the ground if they are Exhausted. If the target is not exhausted, Jormungandr can follow up Jotunn Gift with a throw.
- Shugoki has the ability to send his Guard Broken opponent flying with Demon Ball when he performs a Heavy input.
- Shinobi has the ability to Guard Break from range by charging up their Charged Heavy and initiating with the Guard Break input. If successful, Shinobi will reel in their target, guaranteeing a Sickle Rain or Guard Break Throw. If the opponent Counter Guard Breaks the Ranged Guard Break, Shinobi will be pulled towards their opponent and sent to the ground.
- Some Heroes have follow-ups to the Throws, such as Valkyrie's Spear Sweep or Shaman's ability to go into a Forward Dodge Attack immediately.
- Centurion and Jormungandr have special interactions with opponents who are downed, which can happen if you throw an Exhausted opponent. They can perform a special Heavy move that deals a lot of damage.
- Both Raider and Warlord have special Throws:
- Raider's Forward Throw has them carry the opponent on their shoulder for a Stampede Charge, while their Side and Back Throws have them spin the opponent around as their Stamina gets drained.
- Warlord is able to push his opponent a very long distance with his shield instead of simply throwing them immediately.
- A few Heroes have stunning properties on their Guard Break Throws, such as Kensei and Jiang Jun.
- A number of Heroes have in-built soft-feints from an attack (usually a Heavy) into a Guard Break. These include Raider, Kensei, Peacekeeper, Shaman and more. These in-built soft-feints allows for ease-of-use for the Hero.
- For a number of Heroes, their back Throws will have the Hero leap over or move around their opponent before pushing them in the backwards direction. As a result, instead of the target being displaced, both Heroes are displaced from their original position. In particular, the back throws can cause the Hero to essentially switch places. Some examples of this are Shinobi and Zhanhu.
- Some Heroes though has this on their other throws, particularly Orochi's Forward Throw and the Side Throws of Peacekeeper and Nobushi. When they throw their opponent, they will push their target back while leaping away. By doing this, they launch themselves away from their target, displacing themselves away from their original position.
- Peacekeeper and Nobushi's cases are very apparent as it occurs during their Side Throws. Before push-kicking their opponents away, they will shuffle over to their opponent's side. Peacekeeper particular performs a big leap upon pushing her target, greatly displaces herself from her own original position. Nobushi is similar, but due to her leap being less exaggerated, her displacement is not as far or obvious
- While players are allowed to Guard Break NPCs, there are in-game measurement taken to deter abuse of unintended behaviors.
- For non-Hero NPCs such as Soldiers, Pikemen and Archers, together with the Captains and Shield Captains seen in gamemodes such as Skirmish, continuously Guard Breaking them will cause them to die to prevent diverging them away from their path. Whoever last Guard Broke them will still receive the kill bonus.
- For the objective-oriented NPCs such as the Commander or Guardian, if moved out of their territory (the space they are meant to occupy and fight in), they will receive infinite Revenge activation, Slippery (automatic Counter Guard Breaking) and regain health as long as they remain outside.
- The Officers, the Breach-variant of Captains, are the only exception to this rule as they will not die or gain any form of immunity if they are moved away from their intended path.