A Counter Attack is a type of attack that absorbs Normal Attacks then immediately strikes back at the opponent, but can be easily caught by a Grab Attack. By default, they can be activated by pressing the and buttons simultaneously. They can be also cancelled into a dash to perform a Counter Attack Dash Cancel.
Despite being available to all fighters, Counter Attacks vary between Pokémon to Pokémon. They can all vary in height, speed, hurtbox size, and more.
Unlike Normal and Grab Attacks, Counter Attacks are a bit more complex. It is a two-part system; counter armor makes it possible to absorb Normal Attacks, and counterattacking damages the opponent.
Counter armor Edit
Counter armor or blue armor, when active, prevents a fighter from being damaged by Normal Attacks. A blue grid-like effect appears whenever a Pokémon with an active counter armor gets hit by a non-grab attack. Unlike red armor, counter armor can absorb an infinite number of hits as long as it is active. On the other hand, both are beaten by Piercing Attacks.
All standard Counter Attacks, command counters, and certain Support Pokémon activate counter armor. Stance-induced counter armor such as Machamp's low stance and Blaziken's high and low stances only activates when hit by certain types of attacks.
This is the actual 'attacking' part of a Counter Attack. Once the counter armor fades, the fighter in question retaliates with a counterattack. If this happens to intercept a Normal Attack, it will score a Critical Hit.
All standard Counter Attacks are chargeable. Charging a Counter Attack makes the counter armor last for a longer time, and causes it to deal more damage when it hits. The move gains the ability to pierce the opponent's counter armor and red armor as well.
Circumventing Grab Attacks Edit
Standard grabs only work at a close range, requiring the grabber to stay close to the target. By this reasoning, a Counter Attack can damage the opponent and not be grabbed if performed from a distance. Grabs can also be beaten by making a Counter Attack strike first.
Nevertheless, only the attacking part of a Counter Attack can potentially stop a grab. Normal Attacks are better suited to beat grabs instead of Counter Attacks.
Command Counters Edit
There are other moves with similar properties of Counter Attacks, interacting the same way they do with other moves in the Attack Triangle. These moves also activate counter armor, and they have some unique properties.
|Braixen||2A||Light Screen||Counters any non-piercing projectiles, including beams.|
|Chandelure||f.A or 6A||Smog||Releases a gray stationary smoke that explodes when cleared.|
|Charizard||f.A or 6A||Fire Punch||Can transition to Flying Stance.|
|Garchomp||b.A / 4A||Stone Edge||Plays an extra cutscene when it does a Critical Hit, dealing more damage.|
|Gardevoir||Dazzling Gleam||A follow-up counter move to Calm Mind.|
|Gengar||Charge & release A||Sludge Bomb||Throws three toxic puddles that lowers the opponent's attack stat.|
|Lucario||8A||Extreme Speed||Does an upward-diagonal motion, potentially hitting airborne opponents.|
|Machamp||Charge & release A||Scary Face||Reduces the opponent's speed.|
|Mewtwo||b.A or 4A||Barrier||Can transition to other moves such as Telekinesis, Drain Punch, or Confusion.|
|n.A or 5A||Confusion||A counter follow-up to Barrier.|
|f.A or 6A||Fire Punch||Can transition to Ice Punch, that can be followed up by Thunder Punch.|
|Pikachu||8A||Volt Tackle||Does multiple diagonal up-dashes, potentially hitting airborne opponents.|
|Pikachu Libre||2A||Wild Charge||Does more damage on grounded opponents.|
|Sceptile||f.A or 6A||Leaf Blade||Hitting the foe with the leading edge deals more damage.|
|Scizor||A||Swords Dance||Allows the use of more attacks and extended combos.|
|Shadow Mewtwo||A ~ X||Psywave: Vortex||Can hit opponents in the air, piercing any counters along the way.|
|Suicune||b.A or 4A||Mirror Coat||Quickly shoots out a stream of water after being activated by a non-piercing projectile, including beams.|
|Weavile||2A||Taunt||Proceeds to Night Slash when activated, reducing the opponent's Synergy Gauge.|