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The Auto-Parry Mechanic

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Allow me to start by saying all of this is very redundant information. None of this is something that you should/need to know in order to improve as a player. However, some of you may be curious as to how the Auto-Parry mechanic works behind the scenes, which is what this is intended to help with.

There are actually a few of surprises here. I did not expect the mechanic to work in some of the ways it does, and it’s actually a bit weirder than you may think.

This isn’t easy for me to explain in words, so I created a sheet containing examples which should help to visualize how this works. The sheet can be found here: Auto-Parry Examples (projectiles are outdated).

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the rundown.

Most notable facts:
  • You can parry a total of 5 times on a single shield drop (4 auto-parries).
    • Parrying multiple attacks on the same frame only counts as 1 parry.
  • After parrying the 5th hit, the would-be auto-parry frames become intangibility instead.
    • The first actionable frame is on the exact same frame as the 5th parry.
  • You gain extra auto-parry frames (up to 4) depending on how early the first attack is parried.
    • The earlier you parry the first attack, the better.
  • The auto-parry window’s duration and composition is determined by the attack’s intended Shield Lag and Shield Stun, plus a hard-coded amount of frames depending on the type of attack, and how many characters are in game.
    • Auto-Parry windows are generally shorter in 1v1 scenarios despite the increased damage dealt.
  • Greninja can auto-parry indefinitely by buffering shield drops using the Shadow Parry tech.
    • A single input of Side B after successfully parrying an attack will actually buffer 2 shield drops.
      • Meaning, you can parry 15 hits by simply pressing Side B once after the initial parry.
      • May also be used to auto-parry attacks that are not normally auto-parryable, such as Cloud's F-Smash.
      • Video demonstration (created by Captain L)
It’s a common misconception that once you parry the first hit of a fast multi-hit attack, you will simply parry the entire thing. This is only the case if the attack is 5 or fewer hits, while attacks with 6-7 hits are avoided because of the final intangibility window. Although the misconception is warranted, since these attacks (and multi-hit parries in general) are quite rare.

After the 5th parry, the intended auto-parryable frames become intangibility and the FAF happens to be on the exact same frame the parry occured on. This means that you will parry the attack and execute the first frame of whatever action you may be buffering at the same time. However, performing an action will cancel all of the following intangibility frames.

Depending on how early you parry the initial attack, you will gain Extra Auto-Parry frames at the end of the expected auto-parry window. For example, parrying on frame 1 of 5 will yield 4 extra frames, while parrying on frame 5 will provide none. These Extra Auto-Parry frames will be carried over into every proceeding auto-parry window, assuming they are not used up.

The Auto-Parry window’s composition and duration is determined by the following 4 states:
  • Freeze State
    • Fixed amount based on the attack type and number of players.
    • Possible values are 2 (Projectiles), 8 (1v1 Melee Attacks), and 11 (Melee Attacks with 3 or more players).
      • As of Patch 3.0.0, Projectile values are -1 (1v1 Projectiles), and 2 (Projectiles with 3 or more players).
  • Parry Lag State
    • Duration is equal to the attack's intended Shield Lag.
    • Purely comprised of Auto-Parryable frames.
  • Parry Stun State
    • Duration is equal to the attack's intended Shield Stun.
    • Comprised of Intangibility frames and any Extra Auto-Parry frames.
  • Transition State
    • Duration is equal to the attack's intended Shield Stun x2.
    • Has no benefit other than being able to act and usually contains the FAF.
The Auto-Parry window has two animations tied to it:
  • The Freeze Animation
    • The "animation" in which you are frozen in place after the parry.
    • Contains both the Freeze and Parry Lag States.
    • Entire duration is auto-parryable.
  • The Transition Animation
    • Plays when the character exits the Freeze Animation and is transitioning back to the Idle Animation.
    • Contains both the Parry Stun and Transition States.
    • 1/3rd of the duration has intangibility.
    • The remaining duration is actionable.
Thanks for reading. Remember to reference the example sheet if you haven't already. If you have any questions, or if notice any mistakes please let me know.
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Latest updates

  1. 3.0.0 Changes

    Patch 3.0.0 made a small change to this mechanic. The freeze frames you acquire when parrying...
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