Guilty Gear Strive features updated visuals, solid netcode, and most importantly Arc System Works’ signature system mechanics.
While there are more obvious changes like “gatling combinations” (Guilty Gear’s combo mechanic basis of chaining Punch>Kick>Slash>Heavy Slash>Dust) restricting Punch chains into command normals and Kicks into Dust, some of the other returning franchise mechanics such as Roman Cancels are less clear. Roman Cancels are advanced techniques that come in a variety of colors. Learning every single type will become increasingly significant for high level play as the meta develops.
What is a “Roman Cancel”?
When you ask most fighting game fans about Guilty Gear the first thing that will come to mind is probably setplay, unblockables, blocking, and Roman Cancels (often shortened to RC). Roman Cancels are one of the series’ staple mechanics. Players can press any three buttons besides Dust simultaneously to trigger it.
Roman Cancels typically let players cancel inputs to create combos, extend pressure, make unsafe moves safe, and more in exchange for meter. A flashing circle usually pops out of characters upon use. There are different colors or types of Roman Cancels depending on the game. In Strive, each one has unique abilities and applications for a variety of situations.
Yellow Roman Cancel
It’s no secret that Guilty Gear is focused on offense. One player tries to get the other to block as long as possible to ensure a hit. Thankfully, the game has tons of defensive mechanics to help you turn the tide and survive onslaughts of attacks. Enter: Yellow Roman Cancel, a familiar name to the series but with a new style.
In Guilty Gear Strive the Yellow Roman Cancel (YRC) was redesigned into a defensive maneuver similar to the old Guilty Gear guard counter mechanic, Dead Angle. Players can press the corresponding three buttons for 50% of their Tension Meter while in blockstun to let loose a yellow shockwave. This small shockwave puts opponents in a slowdown state, halting any momentum and likely resetting neutral. However, this option isn’t available if you’re Guard Crushed. YRC isn’t infallible and can be punished on block.
Red Roman Cancel
Red Roman Cancel will be familiar to anyone that has played a Guilty Gear game. It is the most basic of the bunch. Simply input the RC command after attacking and for 50% of your Tension Meter you’ll cancel your animation into an optimal setup, combo extension (very useful due to the new jab gatling change), or stray hit confirm depending on your situation.
Purple Roman Cancel
Purple Roman Cancel is another classic RC system returning in Guilty Gear Strive. This RC activates during the recovery frames of an attack (either startup or end) when your opponent isn’t in hit or blockstun. They’ll only be slowed down if the shockwave hits them. This makes PRC a big gamble. One good read from your opponent can land you in an even worse situation.
Blue Roman Cancel
Blue Roman Cancel (BRC) has quickly become the talk of the town for all the Guilty Gear lab monsters. It costs 50% of the Tension Meter and is usable when you RC while not attacking. While the application of this “new” RC hasn’t been fleshed out just yet, many players are using it offensively to mix-up pinned opponents. For example, jump canceling normals for frame advantages in conjunction with the new RC Drift mechanic to break through someone’s guard.
Speaking of the RC Drift, the Roman Cancel system allows players to buffer movements into the cancel animation. This new mechanic, dubbed RC Drift, has tons of applications: dodging incoming attacks, moving forward to follow projectiles for tick throw setups, escaping setups, and much more. Input a dash right before Roman Cancelling (left, right, up, or down for a fast fall) to drift. You’ll always move in the direction of your drift during the cancel.
The Fast Roman Cancel is the simplest of the new Roman Cancel mechanics. Input an attack right after Red Roman Cancelling in order to instantly attack. While its application seems simple, players haven’t explored Fast RC as much as the other Roman Cancel mechanics. We’ll just have to wait and see how it develops.
Stay tuned to the Competition Center for more techniques and insight into the Guilty Gear Strive community.