Players who specialize in melee combat will benefit from becoming proficient with the Elden Ring Guard Counter. It is simple to pick up, and there are a few things you can do to make it even more useful.
Elden Ring includes a large number of different types of combat mechanics, all of which are designed to make melee combat and defensive gameplay much less focused on turtling and much more focused on actually participating in the action. In the video game Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, one of the playable strategies involves constantly being on the offensive. Because of gameplay elements such as Guard Counter, Elden Ring makes it simpler than ever before to continue participating in combat.
In Sekiro, a Guard Counter performs a function that is analogous to that of a Perfect Parry, albeit with significantly less stringent timing requirements. It's a gameplay mechanic that makes building defenses a lot more enjoyable. A Guard Counter provides defensive players with a new Elden Ring Weapon that can punish particularly aggressive opponents. Rather than hiding behind a Shield and occasionally poking for damage, defensive players now have the option of using a Guard Counter.
Author Erik Petrovich updated this page on June 30, 2022:Some players who are perhaps too accustomed to the flow of combat in other FromSoftware games have found the Guard Counter to be confusing because it is a new melee maneuver introduced in Elden Ring. Some players refer to it as the Elden Ring block counter. It confers the ability to perform a new powerful move immediately after successfully blocking an attack. Although it has the potential to result in Critical Hits in Elden Ring, it is distinct from a Parry in that it does not immediately leave the target vulnerable to a counterattack. Instead, Elden Ring makes it possible for players to stun foes without first having to parry them by introducing a new mechanic known as the Guard Counter. Even though there are some ways to make this new move more reliable using Ashes of War and careful planning, it is not as complicated as it sounds.
The presence of Guard Counters increases the viability of both Shield and Melee Builds
After successfully blocking an attack with a Shield, you are then eligible to launch a specialized assault known as a Guard Counter. It inflicts far more damage on the posture than a typical Heavy Attack would, and foes with very low health can be stunned with just one hit from a Guard Counter if it is used correctly. The true power of this ability lies in the opportunities it presents for critical hits, which it excels at. For example, the Godskin Apostle is an excellent example of an opponent that likes to cast right after striking.
When the enemy's hidden posture meter is broken, they will become stunned, and there will typically be a specific spot on their body where players can strike to initiate a one-of-a-kind Critical Hit. Because Guard Counters inflict such a significant amount of damage on this meter, utilizing them on a consistent basis ought to be an integral part of the rotation for your meelee tank builds.
Hints to Guard Counterattacks
Building your character for melee combat in other FromSoftware games typically entails weaving in and out of the fray to deal small bursts of damage. Because shield-wielding melee players now have an additional mechanic to keep an eye out for and take advantage of, staying in the middle of a fight is much more encouraged than it was in the Dark Souls series.
Make use of shields that have a higher Guard Boost value to get the most out of the stamina you save, and think about using the Barricade Shield Ash of War to make blocking even more effective while still giving yourself plenty of stamina for your comeback. Because Guard Counters can only be performed if you still have Stamina after blocking an attack, you need to make sure that you keep your Shield down in between enemy attacks so that you can regain Stamina much more quickly.
The Elden Ring Guide to Guard and Counterguard Positions
To perform a Guard Counter, you must first locate an opponent who hits close to you. The Godrick Soldiers that appear early on in Limgrave are a good enemy to use for testing out this mechanic; however, the Guard Counter can be triggered by any foe that deals damage that can be blocked. For example, blocking a Glintstone Pebble at melee range will still allow for a Guard Counter to be used, just like it would for a physical damage attack.
To perform a Guard Counter, you must first press the left shoulder button (L1) to raise your Shield just as you are about to take damage. Press the right trigger (R2) as soon as the attack hits your shield and your stamina bar takes damage. This should happen as soon as the attack hits your shield. If everything goes according to plan, a unique sound effect will play while your character executes a one-of-a-kind animation to retaliate against the foe, dealing a significant amount of damage to both their health point total and their hidden posture meter.