Perfect Blocks, Master Strikes and directional blocking

Alright. I got to admit that although this game is great, it sucks at explaining the combat mechanics, to my taste at least. I’ve watched countless videos and read countless articles of so called combat experts for this game to come to a conclusion that they do not know what they are writing either.

What games teaches you:

  • BLOCK: you can block all attacks by just holding Q by the cost of stamina. It does not seem to care whether I’m matching a direction of my weapon to the direction of attacker.

  • PERFECT BLOCK: to perform perfect block, press Q when a green shield icon appears. Same as above, it does not seem to care for the direction of my weapon.

  • MASTER STRIKE: to perform a master strike (unblockable ripostes) just press Q at the very beginning of the attack.

What I’ve discovered on my own:

  • BLOCK: no changes to how the game explains. Just hold Q to block everything EXCEPT combo finishers which go through. Various guides on gaming sites advice to match the direction of your weapon to the direction of attacker but it does not seem to be needed at all which is odd in my opinion as blocking is stupidly easy.

  • PERFECT BLOCK: now this is a though nut to understand. I have no problems pressing Q when a green shield icon appears. It also does not seem to care for the direction of my weapon. What I can’t understand is why on some of the attacks of my opponents I do not have the possibility to perfect block? Example - I attack, opponent uses perfect block and counters, I use perfect block and counter him, he then uses another perfect block and counters me again but this time I can’t use perfect block as the green shield is not there and attack just goes through (he does not use the unblockable riposte just to point this out). Why this happens?

  • MASTER STRIKE: pressing Q right when opponent starts an attack animation (even before the green shield appears) seem to trigger this. Very easy to execute on first attack of my opponents, hard to execute on my opponents counter made from perfect block. Does not seem to care for the direction of my weapon.

What I want to establish, is whether you need to match the direction of your block to the direction of opponent’s attack for perfect blocks and master strikes (unblockable ripostes) as well as why I can’t perform perfect blocks on every attack if I’m quick enough (and those are not unblockable ripostes). I have defence at 17 and warfare at 13 Any thoughts?


From what i understand master strikes require the weapon to face the same direction as the attack and make a perfect block however i have noted that i could occasionally preform one by making a perfect block and in the slow motion move the weapon towards his before the block connects but it doesnt always work and i may be mistaken.

As to normal blocking i agree that sword placement doesnt mean much which should really be changed

1 Like

I just tried practice fighting captain Bernard (real swords) and can confirm what i said. I perfect blocked then moved my sword towards his and did a master strike 80% of the time. Also i made him surrender by master strikes alone


I can confirm through an hour of experimenting with Bernard that the only factor that determines whether your block is a perfect or Master is speed. No matter which direction my sword was facing, my block would be a master strike provided I was fast enough.

To prove this, I left my sword in the high stance and performed dozens of master strikes regardless of Bernard’s stance.

Master strikes require faster activation than perfect blocks. That’s it.


I had the same impression, yeah. The Help section of menus mentions that in order to make it hard for opponent to perform a perfect block you should aim at section which he is not covering with his sword. Not sure if the same applies for the player, since I have same conclusion as you do.

It is a shame, I love the game, but if blocks, perfect blocks and master strikes took into consideration your weapon placement, it would be much deeper and more difficult combat system, which I would love even more.

1 Like

I really hope they change it because combat is way too easy

1 Like

I agree. I think the best solution would be an optional “hardcore” mode, where blocks require you to match direction and the perfect blocks and ripostes are much harder to perform (require high player skill rather than character skill only). It could look something like this:

  • Regular blocks require you to match the direction of the incoming attack.
  • Perfect blocks require you to match the direction of the incoming attack before pressing Q, and this being done early in the attack motion.
  • Ripostes (master strikes) require you to match the direction of the incoming attack before pressing LMB, this being done very early in the attack motion. Not timing it rightly will leave you open to the enemy strike. Ripostes (master strikes) can also be avoided through a very short window of opportunity, by dodging or pressing Q, but will leave you staggered, with a significantly lowered stamina.

All of these changes would mean that combat is much harder and more skill based, and it would start to make the combat system viable for skill based multiplayer combat.

Obviously this is just a sketch of how it could be done, I’d like to hear what you think could achieve better combat, and how this very neat combat system can be made multiplayer ready.


I like these ideas it would make combat very interesting indeed. This is how i actually thought the combat was going to be. I was hoping for a challenging experience for example i am not sure if it is already there but people with shields should be hard to hurt but tire easily because of the heavy shield so u have to wear them out

i can walk into rattay with a cheap sword and no armour and be an unstoppable god killing all in my way (except nightingale who is unkillable). The trainer who at first was a challenge i can defeat with two master strikes
and i swear the enemies rarely attack you they just stand there ready to defend i would also like to see increased aggression in them

U get a perk called bloodlust where u kill one enemy and get some buffs i would like to see the opposite in enemies e.g the more u kill the more enraged they become because u killed their friends. but this might be a bit complicated i am no game designer

1 Like

Also another change i would like is in targeting. I have this mod installed because i find fighting more then one enemys hard not because of combat bit trying to switch targets

This makes the combat free so it automatically targets the one in front of you but can be locked on like default game.
I dont want to use mods but untill something like this is added to the game this mod will stay installed

1 Like

Matching your opponent stance apparently gives you a slightly larger window for a riposte.
Also you can do a perfect block on the attack after being perfect blocked yourself but the timing is even shorter than for a riposte I feel. That’s probably because a perfect block count as a combo start so the opponent can chain attack directly. Chained attacks are fairly hard to perfect block.

After being perfect blocked, if I fail to perfect block and just block the attack, I try to dodge the second or third strike to avoid receiving a combo in the face.

1 Like

From a YouTube vid I saw he suggested that the matching of direction successfully causes the green shield to last longer thus giving you a longer window to react. This is due to your sword being in the proper placement and not having to come from further away.
If so then matching direction adds some difficulty to combat, but sadly if its not that hard to hit that green shield window then its not really needed and moot. Not to mention you can match direction just by tapping the block button. Cheese way

I always just hit the block and attack button at the same time and master strikes work.

Also if you play on PC there are ways to lower the perfect block window and disable slow motion.