Guilty Gear XrCise - Neutral 2

Difficulty Intermediate

Focus Backdashes and Maintaining Calm

Once you have a basic understanding of neutral in Guilty Gear, you may find parts of it overwhelming as a beginner. The speed and timing for a lot of the better options in neutral require a steady mind and a steady hand. Even a small reduction in your input cleanliness or speed can make a good option be less helpful. Therefore this set of exercises intends to keep getting the player accustomed to the higher speed of neutral in Guilty Gear while continuing to build a players knowledge of the various universal options (and some of the more character specific ones), as well as how to maintain the proper mindset required to keep up the consistency and steadiness to retake the advantage in neutral.

These exercises are all under the Match Up section of the Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 Missions. These missions can be found by going to Battle > Dojo > Missions, from the Start Menu. Be sure you have selected Match Up missions and not Universal missions, in order to get the correct exercise.

These exercises are a supplement to the Missions content and are not intended to be replacements. If you find yourself confused by some of the terminology used throughout this exercise guide, or if you are new to Guilty Gear, we strongly encourage you take a look at the Universal missions first, before using ours.

While you can attempt these exercises with any character, not all of the advice is applicable to certain characters, due to the high variability of character abilities in Guilty Gear. The most important thing to note in these exercises is just as much when an option cannot work for you, as when it can.

We highly encourage trying the End Goals of the exercise even if they may not utilize the most optimal approaches for your character, as the End Goals are meant to teach a broader concept. Just be sure to note when said approaches are less optimal.

As these exercises are intended to supplement the game's existing tutorial content, not all of them actually require completing the goal given in the Match Up mission. Mastering these exercises is less about completing the mission given by the game, and more about how you approach the situation that the mission presents.

Match Up Exercise 10

Character Requirement

No specific character is required for this exercise though how good your characters backdash is may effect parts of the exercise.


  • Starting Goal - Do the exercise as the game intended, blocking Zato's pressure string, and learn where the gaps are that allow you to jump out of it.
  • Second Goal - Normal guard the first hit of Zato's string, backdash out of the next hit.
  • Third Goal - Guard Zato's string, then Super Jump out of the gap in his pressure.
  • Fourth Goal - Guard Zato's string and explore what special move options can bring you forward quickly enough to avoid Zato's drill.

Exercise Summary

Do the exercise as normal, guarding the pressure string figuring out the timing where you can jump out. Use the first part of this exercise to see how crouching and standing as well as just guarding effect it. Eventually you will want to learn how to just guard the string. The main point of this part of the exercise is to get you used to what ranges the different guard options put you at, and where the gaps in Zato's string are.

Once you got the basic exercise down, it is time to focus on backdash. Regular guard the first hit then try to backdash at a similar timing that you would block the second hit to Just guard it. Backdash has invincibilty frames in this game so unless the opponent does a move expecting you to backdash or has long quick buttons, you can normally escape. It is extremely difficult, but once you get the hang of it you may start to realize that the backdash is an option select in itself. At first your timing may vary, but you may notice that sometimes your backdash will instead result in a Just guard of the second and third hit. If you are quicker you can succeed at the backdash. However, it is useful to understand both timings since in a real situation if the opponent hits you with another move that can catch your backdash or is quick enough to fill the gap in a pressure string quicker than you expected, you still have hit block in that case even though you intended to dash since you were still hitting back. This is a defensive concept, but it is one specific to neutral in Guilty Gear since it is one of a few options for dealing with an opponent who is controling neutral.

After you are comfortable with the backdash, block the pressure string but this time try to super jump at the end of it. This creates a different kind of execution strain, but adds to yet another response you can have in neutral when the opponent has advantage in it, and tends to be mostly universal compared to the backdash.

Lastly, look for special moves that move you forward. These moves can evade the last hit in Zato's string (The drill) and put you close to him and put you at a slight advantage in neutral depending on how quickly your own move reocvers. This can be a good tool in neutral for players who also like to pressure, close in, or frustrate as part of the way they deal with neutral.

Mastery of this exercise is being able to do the OS backdash/just guard as well the super jump. Additionally you should known what special move options move you forward if any. Try to see if there are moves you can do out of the super jump that might have a similar effect to the special moves that move you forward, in the case where you do not have any grounded options.

Additional Notes

Not all characters have moves that can move you forward, but some do. I-No can use Stroke the Big Tree (with S but not HS) if you wish to see this type of move in action.

If you suspect your character does not have a good enough backdash to do the second goal, attempt the trial with I-No as is able to do it, and use this to help you figure out whether the problem is your own execution and timing or your character.

Match Up Exercise 04

Character Requirement



  • Starting Goal - Parry Ky's Greed Sever after blocking his pressure string.
  • Secondary Goal - Do the same as before but now attempt to do Jam's punch or kick parry strike out of the parry.
  • End Goal - Backdash after the last hit in Ky's pressure string before the Greed Sever and then immediately parry after the backdash.

Exercise Summary

The goal of this exercise is to guard Ky's string, backdash, and then parry Ky's Greed Sever. The main focus of this exercise is doing an executionally difficult thing while maintaining calm, as a lot of Guilty Gear neutral requires certain 'perfect' execution under difficult conditions.

First get used to blocking the full string and the timing for it. Then aim to Just guard the Greed Sever. Then parry at the same time you would Just guard.

Once you get the timing for parrying, try to do a parry strike. Use punch or kick parry strike. The window for doing the attack after the parry is small so you must be very fast in reacting to your succesful parry. This is mainly about calm. You may find yourself having difficulty doing the parry once you add the second requirement. This is normal, as you have more on your mind. It is important to maintain calm throughout.

Lastly try to backdash out of the first part of Ky's pressure string before the Greed Sever and still perform the parry. This is extremely difficult executionally, however the difficulty in execution is intended as it is meant to push on your ability to maintain calm in the face of a very difficult possibly frustrating situation in neutral where you must do a difficult response to a small gap in order to retake advantage in neutral.

Additional Notes

This exercise is good to come back to after doing other executionally difficult exercises, as it quickly changes the executional requirements on you, while pushing on your mental, physical, and emotional states. This is a mindset heavy exercise, even though it would seem like a lot of the requirements are defensive. However, like a few other exercises in the intermediate level ones, it is intended to be done in conjunction as a lot of Guilty Gear requires a higher mastery of emotional control under executional strain, and the ability to keep looking for your intended situation while performing difficult execution.